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    Authors Are Rockstars Tour: Jessica Spotswood Guest Post + Giveaways

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    I am so happy that I’m co-hosting the Authors Are Rockstars Tour, because it means that I get to have an author that I think is a total rockstar stop by the blog for a guest post. And that author is none other than the very awesome Jessica Spotswood.

    If it weren’t for this tour I’d have never had the courage to invite the author to stop by. And I definitely wouldn’t have been able to ask her why she chose Cate as the voice of her series.

    While Cate is a heroine I absolutely adore – for all those reasons the author mentions in her post, below – she isn’t the stereotypical heroine. Of course that’s probably why I love that it’s her voice the story is told in.

    But that’s not the only reason why I love the Cahill Witch Chronicles. The writing is beautiful. The story is completely captivating, magical, suspenseful, exciting and more than a little bit heartbreaking.

    And while I may only have been recently introduced to this author’s writing, the intriguing world she built and the amazing characters she created, I instantly fell in love and Jessica Spotswood achieved immediate rockstar status.

    But if you haven’t yet read the first two books in this amazing series, and you haven’t yet met Cate Cahill, be sure to check out the “Why Cate Cahill?” guest post, below, to learn just a little bit more about her, and the books’ descriptions that follow below the post, to discover more about the series.

    And if you want a chance to win some bookish prizes be sure to enter the giveaways at the end of this post.

    But before all of that, if you’d like to know why I think this author rocks, here’s why….

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    Jessica Spotswood is a Rockstar because…

    Her writing is beautiful, gorgeous, heartbreaking, riveting, enchanting.

    She made me fall in love – and fall hard – with a series whose setting and world are not from my “go to” genre.

    She made me adore a heroine who isn’t perfect or kick-a** or “the best” or “the most.”

    She made me root for the good boy. (Believe me, it’s not an easy feat.)

    She was able to instantly transport me into the world she created and keep me there from beginning to end. (I never wanted to leave.)

    She knows how to create killer cliffhanger endings. (I’m still reeling over what happened at the end of STAR CURSED.)

    And she made me swoon with passages like this one….

    Finn tilts my chin up with one finger, and I kiss him. I kiss him as though I will break into a thousand tiny pieces if I don’t; I kiss him as though my lips on his can protect him from any possible danger.

    When he pulls away, there are tears gathering in my eyes. I tilt my head down so he won’t see them.

    (Passage from STAR CURSED.)

    Oh and she named a character Finn. (Favorite character name ever.)

    Although Jessica Spotswood has only recently become a rockstar author to me, she is one that I know will forever hold that title. I will read everything fiction she has on offer. And heck yes, I wish the third book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles was “on offer” right about now.

    About Jessica Spotswood

    Jessica Spotswood

    Jessica Spotswood is the author of the Cahill Witch Chronicles: BORN WICKED (2012), STAR CURSED (2013), and as-yet-untitled book 3 (summer 2014).

    She grew up in a tiny, one-stoplight town in Pennsylvania, where she could be found swimming, playing clarinet, memorizing lines for the school play, or – most often – with her nose in a book.

    Now Jess lives in Washington, DC with her playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey. She can be found doing yoga, teaching writing workshops for teens, or – most often – with her nose in a book.

    Some things never change.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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    The Guest Post

    Why Cate Cahill?

    One of the topics Rachel proposed was: Why Cate Cahill? The Cahill Witch Chronicles explores the relationship between three sisters, so why did I choose Cate as the protagonist? Why tell the story from her point of view?

    Cate isn’t the cleverest of the three (that’s Tess). She isn’t the prettiest (that’s Maura). I’ll leave the question of whether she is the most powerful aside for now, for fear of STAR CURSED spoilers – but she isn’t the one who wants to be the most powerful (Maura again). Maura dreams big – of sailing off to Dubai or Paris on an adventure, of falling in love, of a world where witches are governing New England. Tess has a questioning spirit; Paul and Cate joke in BORN WICKED about how when she was little, she went around constantly asking why? She dreams of learning new languages and reading all the books in the Sisterhood’s library and then writing her own someday. Cate’s dreams are smaller: she wants a garden of her own and a husband and children. She wants to be safe. In many ways, she’s the most traditional of the three sisters. She has to be dragged (well, blackmailed) into adventure, and when she’s presented with enormous responsibilities – well, she manages, but she doesn’t leap into them joyfully. She frets and whines and wonders why me for a bit first.

    Does it make her a typical heroine? No. But I think – hope? – it makes her relatable. Cate isn’t like Katniss or Katsa or Tris. She’s not badass; she’s not kickass; she doesn’t have any particular physical strength. She’s clever, but she’s not Hermione either. She’s just stubborn and loyal; she wants to take care of the people she loves. In STAR CURSED we learn that she’s extremely good at healing magic, because she is able to put aside her body’s natural reticence and endure the subsequent sickness in order to help people. Her best quality – how fiercely she wants to protect her sisters – is also her biggest flaw, because she can’t see around what she wants for Maura and Tess in order to let them live their own lives. And, oh, are there consequences when she makes decisions for them that go against their own wishes. The bad things that happen to Cate can often be traced back to her own mistakes. That interests me.

    Cate is flawed. It was important to me to write a heroine who isn’t perfect. She is super bossy – borne in part from her promise to her dying mother to look after Maura and Tess, but also because she’s the oldest and it’s the role she’s been playing for so long it’s become habit. She keeps secrets when she shouldn’t – not just from her sisters but from her father and her friends and Finn – in part to protect them, but in part because she thinks she knows what’s best. Also, Cate is judgey. She prefers climbing trees and running through the gardens to dressing up for a fine tea party. She would rather not draw attention to herself, which means she tends to wear serviceable blues and grays instead of the bright hues and lace and feathers that are all the fashion; she would rather be alone with her hands in the dirt than make awkward small talk. She has so many secrets to keep that at the beginning of BORN WICKED, she’s never sought out any girl friends; she doesn’t see the need for them. In fact, she judges girls like Sachi and Rory who are loud and laughing, who flirt and take pleasure in looking pretty. Cate calls them cabbageheads and thinks they’re stupid. But the fantastic thing about having a flawed heroine is that over the course of the series, she has an opportunity to change. She can realize her own mistakes and try to do better. I think – hope? – that makes Cate her own kind of powerful heroine, and one we can all relate to.

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    About the Books

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    About BORN WICKED…

    A gorgeous, witchy, romantic fantasy by a debut author! Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and the Beautiful Creatures series!

    Everybody thinks Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship–or an early grave. Then Cate finds her mother’s diary, and uncovers a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. But if what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe–not even from each other.

    GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

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    About STAR CURSED…

    With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

    Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

    In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess’s quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

    GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

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    The Cahill Witch Chronicles

    GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST

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    giveaway

    What’s Up for Grabs

    Giveaway #1 – There will be three winners total for this giveaway.

    –A signed copy of STAR CURSED to ONE winner (US/Canada)

    — A Cahill Witch Chronicles swag pack containing BORN WICKED and STAR CURSED bookplates and stickers, bookmarks, a BORN WICKED wristlet and a STAR CURSED postcard to TWO winners (International)

    Giveaway #2 – There will be one winner for this giveaway.

    –A set of BORN WICKED and STAR CURSED to ONE winner (International)

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    The Deets

    – You must be 13 or older to enter

    – Giveaway #1 will have 3 winners (one US/Canada ONLY, two International)

    – Giveaway #2 will have 1 winner (International)

    – ALL giveaways end on August 31st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific

    – ALL winners will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter

    – Giveaway #1 prizes will be sent directly from the author

    – Giveaway #2 books will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository

    For each giveaway there is a mandatory “Leave a Comment” entry. And for giveaway #1 there is an additional requirement to determine eligibility US/Canada or International.

    All other entries are optional. The tweet entry is a daily option.

    Giveaway #1

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Giveaway #2

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Review: Born Wicked

    Born Wicked New Cover

    addtogoodreads

    BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood was released in the U.S. on February 7, 2012 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. A paperback edition was released on January 3, 2013.

    It is currently available to order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Putnam Juvenile, the print edition is 272 pages.

    BORN WICKED is the first book in author Jessica Spotswood’s Cahill Witch Chronicles. The second book in the series, STAR CURSED, is slated for release on June 18, 2013.

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    Goodreads Description…

    Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

    Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word… especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

    If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

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    Author Jessica Spotswood’s BORN WICKED is a beautifully written, incredibly engaging and simply magical read. It’s a story that, while fictional, addresses very real issues from  our history – the fear of witchcraft, the oppression of women and girls, the suppression of knowledge and freedom of speech, opinion, expression.

    It’s a story that captivates with not only its interesting characters, their relationships, their motivations and their beliefs, but its mystery, its magic, its suspenseful storyline. And it’s a story that will keep readers guessing right up to its climactic conclusion.

    Under the guise of keeping everyone safe from the threat of witches and witchcraft, the priests of the Brotherhood have established a dictatorial rule. One that is overly restrictive, unforgiving and deadly for those in opposition.

    Which makes it even more important for no one to find out about the secret Catherine Cahill and her sisters are keeping – that they are witches, possibly even the prophesied ones. But with one sister who is curious about her abilities and another who can’t seem to control them, hiding who and what they are is becoming even more of a challenge.

    And with time running out for Cate to decide on her future, one that will mean leaving her sisters behind, she’ll need to figure out a way to keep their secret safe, keep them hidden from the Brothers and keep them from drawing the attention of the Sisters. Because if they are the three sisters from the prophecy, then the danger to all of them will be greater than ever and will be deadly for one of them.

    Cate Cahill is an incredibly likable and relatable main character. She’s been cast into the role of protector, forced to make sacrifices, and is faced with difficult decisions. Decisions that will either take her away from her home and family, leave her sisters unprotected, leave her heartbroken or break someone else’s heart.

    She is compassionate and thoughtful, but not perfect. She is pretty but not the most beautiful of her sisters, smart but not the most clever. But her ability to see the good in people and recognize her own faults makes her endearing and makes her a character readers will want to know more about.

    BORN WICKED is a breath of fresh air and an absolutely wonderful addition to the genre. It’s exciting, it’s surprising and it’s intelligent. With its diversity in its character archetypes, its nod to events in history and its atypical heroine and hero, this story stands out from the crowd.

    And with its build up to a shocking finish, which will leave readers anxiously awaiting the sequel, BORN WICKED is an absolute must read first book in the series.

    Reviewer gives this book…

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    On a personal note…

    BORN WICKED may be a story of witches. But it’s no ordinary tale of witchcraft and spellcasting. And the witches are anything but ordinary.

    I am not someone who gravitates toward books about witchcraft. And I’m definitely not someone who reads many books of witches around the turn of the century… the twentieth century, that is.

    But from the moment I started reading BORN WICKED I was in love. With the main character, Cate Cahill, with the setting, with the world. Even though it was dark, oppressive, scary. Though I kind of think that’s exactly why I fell in love.

    I couldn’t wait to learn more about the witchcraft and the prophecy the story talks of. I instantly wondered whether Cate was “the one” and if she was, what would happen to her, to her sisters. And if it wasn’t her but someone she cared about, I wondered what would she do to protect them.

    There is something really beautiful about the writing and the way the story flows. Something magical. It took me surprise. I did not expect to love it as much as I did, given that it wasn’t one of my “go to” genres, given that it wasn’t a story with a lightning-fast pace, given that there were no deadly battles.

    And yet the pages just flew by. The story held me captive. Cate’s predicament made me anxious. The Brothers made me angry. The Sisters made me wary. And Cate’s sister Maura made me want to throttle her.

    I questioned everything. And everyone. Everyone was suspect. From Paul to Maura to Mrs. Corbett, to Sister Elena, to Sachi, to Rory. I didn’t know who could be trusted. Except maybe Finn and Tess. And even then, I wasn’t sure they wouldn’t betray Cate.

    I didn’t know what anyone’s motives were. Except maybe the Brothers. Their motives seemed pretty obvious. I didn’t know when the “bad thing” would happen. The one that I just knew would happen. I didn’t even know what that “bad thing” would be. Which made this more than a little bit of a nail-biter.

    Reading BORN WICKED was the perfect escape. The world was one I could easily imagine the characters in. It was one I was easily transported to. And it was one I didn’t want to leave.

    Especially after that ending. Which was killer. Which would have killed me if I didn’t have the next book in the series to dive into immediately. I may have uttered a few expletives after reading that ending. Though I knew… I just knew… that something like that would happen.

    While this book was such an amazing surprise, what was even more surprising was Finn. He’s not the typical character I would root for. Paul fits that description. But it was Finn that stole my heart. He was the good guy – sweet, rumpled, studious. And yet he was it for me.

    But I won’t say whether he was the boy for Cate, if Paul was more to her liking or if someone or something else held more of an appeal. Because that would be spoiler-y. And I don’t do spoilers.

    BORN WICKED has been one of my favorite reads this year. And if magic were real, I’d say this story cast its spell on me. I was bewitched, enchanted, spellbound.

    Favorite passage…

    I actually had two clear favorites. One I would have loved to include but it is somewhat spoiler-y. So I’ve chosen to share my other favorite, which is rather scandalous given the time period.

    I knot my fingers in his hair and pull his mouth back to mine.

    His hands move over me, light as feathers, stroking my back, my hip. Tangling in the sash around my waist, anchoring me tighter against him. My body burns wherever he touches.

    Book trailer…

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    My Reading Pile #115

    I didn’t get any physical books in the mail but I did receive two eARCs for review. Both of which I’m super excited for. And as I’m not going to BEA this week my next week’s pile of books received will be non-exist, too.

    But that’s more than okay as my review pile is quite backed up as it is…. And I’m too scared to think about all the awesome fall release titles right now.

    My-Reading-Pile-115

    [Credit for mailbox sharing goes to The Story Siren]

    Thanks to Kismet Book Touring, Harlequin TEEN and NetGalley I received an eARC of INDELIBLE (The Twixt #1) by Dawn Metcalf for review. I’m super excited about this upcoming title as it sounds dark and amazing and I’m stoked to be on the tour so that I get the chance to read this just a bit early.

    I’ve been trying hard to stay away from Edelweiss, but I couldn’t help but click to download RESIST (Breathe #2) by Sarah Crossan, which I received thanks to Greenwillow Books. I really enjoyed the first book in the series and can’t wait to set out on the next adventure in this world without oxygen.

    While I’d love to read both books now, I still have just so many amazing review books on the pile ahead of them that I can’t move them up just yet. Though I’m really tempted to take a peek at INDELIBLE as I want to meet this Indelible Ink.

    Of course that’s not to say I’m not thrilled to be reading the two books I have on the pile this week.

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.
    (May 26, 2013 – June 1, 2013)

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    Born Wicked New Cover

    addtogoodreads

    First up on the pile is BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood. I have been dying to read this book ever since I first saw the original cover for it. I even got an early copy thanks to Jaime of Two Chicks on Books and I purchased it for my Kindle. But it’s taken forever to get it on the pile.

    Though I did start to read it when I first got my hands on it, I wasn’t able to keep reading thanks to a busy “must read” schedule at the time. But now that I have an early copy of the second book in the series and can read them both back-to-back I just had to add them both to the pile this week.

    It’s been awhile since I read a story about witches and I’m super excited to meet Cate and discover the world the author created for her Cahill Witch Chronicles. I love stories that involve forbidden romance and fate, and I especially love stories where there is a character named Finn.

    And I’m super curious about this Brotherhood and Sisterhood and whether Cate Cahill and her sisters are able to stay safe. As there is no way I’ll be missing out on the chance to read these books this week, I will definitely have all my questions answered on Tuesday when I’ll be picking up BORN WICKED.

    Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

    Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word… especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

    If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

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    Star Cursed Cover

    addtogoodreads

    Next up on the pile is STAR CURSED by Jessica Spotswood. I received an ARC for review from the publisher, Putnam Juvenile, and as its release date is coming up on June 18th, I just had to add it to the pile this week.

    Well, I didn’t have to, as it wasn’t a request. But I desperately wanted to. And getting a copy for review was the perfect excuse to read it, and the first book in the series, this week.

    I am trying so very hard not to take a peek at the description, which I included, below. Because I don’t want to find out if it reveals secrets from book one. And I don’t want anything about that first book to be spoiled.

    While I’ve heard that this series is awesome – as I expected it would be – I haven’t actually read a review or checked out the ratings because I don’t want to be swayed in any way. And while I may have loved the original cover a bit more than these more modernized ones, I can see how they’d be more marketable and more sales mean more books in this series. Which, as I anticipate, is a really good thing.

    And as I mentioned above, I will be reading both books in the series this week and will hopefully have answers, unless I’m left on a cliff, about Cate, Finn and any other characters I may meet by the week’s end.

    With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

    Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

    In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess’s quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

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    Wishful Thinking Reads:

    I actually desperately want to read INDELIBLE by Dawn Metcalf this week. It was one of the review eGalleys I received and it’s shouting loudly at me from my Kindle. And I’m not too sure I’ll be able to resist the temptation of changing it from a wishful thinking read to a currently reading book.

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    Those Left Behind:

    Yes, this is week two of not being able to read a single book… which is part of what prompted my Random Thoughts post this week. But it wasn’t so much blogging that kept me from reading this past week. I’ve just been hugely exhausted all week. Which is why my posts have been somewhat erratically scheduled. And even though I managed to sleep for umpteen hours yesterday, I’m still not back to normal… or what counts as normal for me, anyway.

    Hopefully the long weekend will help. We shall see….

    But I am going to be starting on last week’s books tomorrow and do a sort of reading marathon until I finish them. Which is why I won’t be starting on this week’s reads until Tuesday. And today I plan on finishing DANCE OF THE RED DEATH because I must know what happens with Araby, Will, Elliott and April.

    I still have a bunch of reviews to write. Trying to condense all my thoughts and feels about GODDESS has not been easy. But hopefully with a little bit more rest and relaxation this weekend I’ll be able to get that posted later this week.

    And I really hope to be able sneak in my wishful thinking read at some point this week. Because it sounds so amazing and different and dark.

    With Novella Reading Week coming up on the 10th, I must get finished with all these long overdue reads and reviews so that I can focus solely on those “must read” novellas I’ve been dying to read.

    So many books, so very little time to read them….

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    NetGalley Pile Adds & Finds:

    I didn’t put in any new requests this week, aside from INDELIBLE by Dawn Metcalf (Harlequin TEEN, Jul 30 2013). But as it was for a tour and I was invited via NetGalley widget it wasn’t technically a request.

    And I did get approved for ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill (Disney Book Group, Sept 3 2013) that I requested last week, which I’m so stoked about.

    While I didn’t spend too much time looking for new books to request, I did discover a few awesome books in my searches. And they are…

    WINDS OF SALEM (A Witches of East End Novel) by Melissa de la Cruz (Hyperion, Aug 13 2013) *Not a YA title*

    HOW TO LOSE EVERYTHING by Philipp Mattheis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group, Jul 23 2013)

    A REALLY AWESOME MESS by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin (Egmont USA, Jul 23 2013)

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    I want nothing more than to get lost in a book this weekend. And surprisingly, at least for me, I want to read a print book versus my Kindle. I just kind of want to curl up in my armchair with book in hand and just disappear for a bunch of hours. I don’t want to think about reviews or posts or email or being social. I don’t want to worry about what else I should be doing. I just want to read.

    And while I’m not sure I can do that, I’m really hoping that with the extra day this weekend I will be able to. But we shall see.

    This week will be interesting with so many bloggers at BEA. But I’m excited to once again be participating in Armchair BEA. This time from my new, and very comfy, armchair.

    With a tour-free week on the blog it will be nice to be able to post some interesting discussion posts for the event, a couple of reviews and my usual featured posts. As much as I love promoting the books I love, I like variety. So I’m really curious what this year’s topics will be.

    Anyway…

    I am desperately trying to get through my pile of physical ARCs so that I can clear off my shelves. But with so many awesome titles releasing in eARC format on NetGalley and Edelweiss, I’m finding it very hard to stick to that plan. I may have to opt for a one print book, one eBook approach.

    And right now I’m just so very ready to dive back into DANCE OF THE RED DEATH, so that’s where I’ll be for much of the day. Hopefully. But what about you?

    Are you opting for a read-free week because you’re headed to BEA? Are you planning on participating in the Armchair version of the event? Or is this just a regular week for you and you’re looking forward to reading the books you received and have on your reading pile this week?

    As always, if you have any interesting books you’ve received or are reading this week, leave a comment and let me know!

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    Do you create a reading pile?
    If so, what’s in your pile this week?

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    Top 10 Book Covers of 2012

    top10

    Today is Day Two of Top 10 of 2012.

    A week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward.

    I am so excited to be able to co-host this event again this year with Lisa from A Life Bound By BooksJessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Jaime from Two Chicks on Books. I am even more stoked that Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads has joined us as a co-host this year.

    In case you hadn’t heard of our week-long event, it runs for five days, starting on Monday, where we have been sharing some of our FAVORITE lists and inviting YOU to share yours in the Linky list each day.

    Throughout the week, each of the hosts will have a giveaway that you can enter, so be sure to check out all of our stops this week. Of course, if you’re just as curious as I am, you’ll want to check out as many of the top ten lists being shared this week as possible.

    And if you haven’t yet signed up, that’s OK, there’s still time. Just check out THIS POST for all the details.

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    The topic for today is…

    Best Book Covers of 2012

    This time I’m glad it’s only for books released in 2012, because there are some amazing 2013 covers that I love, love, love including…

    Mary Lindsey’s ASHES ON THE WAVES, Amanda Hocking’s TIDAL, Karsten Knight’s AFTERGLOW, Bethany Griffin’s DANCE OF THE RED DEATH, Brodi Ashton’s EVERBOUND, Courtney Allison Moulton’s SHADOWS IN THE SILENCE, Scott Tracey’s PHANTOM EYES, Kimberly Derting’s THE ESSENCE, A.G. Howard’s SPLINTERED, Cassandra Clare’s CLOCKWORK PRINCESS…

    Yeah, 2013 is going to be impossible… unless that IS my 2013 list….

    Last year I had the most challenging time choosing just ten covers for my Top 10 Book Covers of 2011. This year it was even worse, so I did include a small gallery of other favorites. But seriously, that’s not cheating!

    Cover-Love

    1.

    Masque of the Red Death

    MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH by Bethany Griffin

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    2.

    Vessel

    VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    3.

    Born Wicked Cover

    BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    4.

    Soul Screamers Volume Two

    SOUL SCREAMERS VOL. 2 by Rachel Vincent

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    5.

    Everneath

    EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    6.

    Arise

    ARISE by Tara Hudson

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    7.

    Timepiece cover

    TIMEPIECE by Myra McEntire

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    8.

    Illuminate Cover

    ILLUMINATE by Aimee Agresti

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    9.

    Grave Mercy

    GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    10.

    Lullaby

    LULLABY by Amanda Hocking

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Honorable-Mentions


    02

    Once again my favorite covers seem to be those with ladies in them. But this year it’s not all about the dress.

    MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH has just the most gorgeous colors, textures and fonts.

    VESSEL is just stunning. I have no other words.

    BORN WICKED has just this warm old-fashioned elegance.

    ARISE has wonderfully rich, dark and beautiful colors.

    TIMEPIECE is so creative and different and eye-catching.

    ILLUMINATE has wings and a gilded elegance.

    GRAVE MERCY has a crossbow which I didn’t see the first hundred times I looked at the cover.

    And LULLABY has such vivid and lively colors.

    So what if I’m totally enchanted by SOUL SCREAMERS VOLUME TWO and EVERNEATH because of the dresses and the wispy delicate feel to those dresses. They’re beautiful.

    What can I say? These are my cover love picks after all.

    ***

    It’s still not too late to sign up for the event. Whether you want to go back and post your Top Ten Lists for any of the missing posts or you just want to start today… or tomorrow… you can!

    Tomorrow’s topic is YOUR CHOICE. Whether it be villains or love triangles or books with your favorite quotes, it’s up to you. And while I totally wanted to pick villains again, many of my villains have turned into book boyfriends… don’t ask… please.

    I also would have loved to do a post of books with my favorite passages, but many of those books are 2013 reads or secret books. So I chose … nope, I won’t reveal that here. You’ll have to tune in tomorrow to find out what MY CHOICE will be.

    03

    Once again I can’t wait to check out your Top Ten Book Covers for 2012. Just leave your link in the Linky List below so everyone can take a peek.

    And don’t forget to check out today’s giveaway on…

    TCoB

    PLEASE NOTE: This is the SAME Linky List that is on each of the co-hosts blogs, so please just enter your links once!


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    Giveaway: Born Wicked SIGNED

    So, apparently, while authors are rockstars, I’m not much of one as I completely forgot to include this book in the Mega Giveaway. It was supposed to be in that last group of books but clearly I spaced and so it was inadvertently left out.

    And I only discovered it when I was boxing up all the giveaway prizes for their eventual shipment. So, as agreed with my co-hosts, instead of tacking it on to that giveaway I’m giving it away separately. But what they may not know is that I am still tying it into the Authors Are Rockstars Tour.

    That’s because Jessica Spotswood is one of the amazing rockstar authors on our tour and if you haven’t checked out her stop at Narratively Speaking, it’s HERE. And if for some reason you haven’t heard of this awesome book, be sure to check it out on Goodreads by clicking the image above.

    Anyway….

    What’s up for grabs:

    A hardcover copy of Born Wicked SIGNED by rockstar author Jessica Spotswood.

    The deets:

    1. One entry per HOUSEHOLD.

    2. There will be ONE winner.

    3. You must be 13 or older.

    4. Giveaway is International.

    5. Contest ends at 9:01 p.m. Pacific on Friday, August 24, 2012.

    6. Winner will be chosen by Random.org through Rafflecopter and announced on August 25th in this post.

    7. Winner will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.

    The only requirement is to leave a comment answering a question about the tour.

    There are a few extra entry opportunities including following the author on Twitter. But they’re not required. Of course, if you’d like to spread the word that would be awesome!

    And if you haven’t checked out all the stops on the tour quite yet, they’re HERE.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    The Trailers: February

    They’re back! For those times when you just need a short break from reading.

    Here, for your viewing pleasure, are a few amazing book trailers for just some of the books releasing in February, a peek at a couple of those coming out in March, and a glimpse or two at a few authors talking about their new books.

    And as always, I couldn’t help but take a look back at some of those missed January trailers.

    ***

    Dead to You by Lisa McMann

    Release date: February 7, 2012

    (thefrog235)

    ***

    Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

    Release date: February 7, 2012

    (PenguinYoungReaders)

    ***

    Pure by Julianna Baggott

    Release date: February 8, 2012

    (HachetteBookGroup)

    ***

    Nightmare Garden by Caitlin Kittredge

    Release date: February 14, 2012

    (VLCPhotoProductions)

    ***

    Bewitching by Alex Flinn

    Release date: February 14, 2012

    (HarperTeen)

    ***

    The Catastrophic HIstory of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

    Release date: February 21, 2012

    (PenguinYoungReaders)

    ***

    A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford

    Release date: February 28, 2012

    (gypsygurla) – Eden and Az’s Trailer

    ***

    A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford

    Release date: February 28, 2012

    (gypsygurla) – Kristen’s Trailer

    ***

    Partials by Dan Wells

    Release date: February 28, 2012

    (HarperTeen)

    ***

    Here’s what the authors are saying…

    The Rivals by Daisy Whitney

    Release date: February 5, 2012

    (MockingbirdsBook) – the author talks about her book

    ***

    Dead to You by Lisa McMann

    Release date: February 7, 2012

    (SimonSchusterVideos) – the author talks about her book

    ***

    Fever by Lauren DeStefano

    Release date: February 21, 2012

    (SimonSchusterVideos) – the author talks about her book

    ***

    Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

    Release date: February 28, 2012

    (HarperTeen) – the author talks about her book

    ***

    And for just a peek ahead at what’s coming in March…

    Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

    Release date: March 13, 2012

    (imajenius74)

    ***

    Slide by Jill Hathaway

    Release date: March 27, 2012

    (HarperTeen)

    ***

    And for a look back at a few of those we may have missed…

    Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith

    Release date: January 24, 2012

    (cosproductions)

    ***

    Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

    Release date: January 31, 2012

    (HarperTeen)

    ***

    Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

    Release date: January 31, 2012

    (snowwhite86904)

    ***

    We hope you enjoyed the lovely distractions. Stay tuned…we’ll be back with our regularly scheduled programming later today.

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #58

    Below are the YA books coming out this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.

    These are books for the week of February 7th-February 13th that I have pre-ordered.

    ***

    Dead to You by Lisa McMann will be released in the U.S. on February 7, 2012 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Simon Pulse, the print edition is 256 pages.

    ***

    I can’t believe Dead to You is releasing this week and that my Kindle pre-order will be downloading in just a few short hours. I’ve been dying to read this book ever since I heard about it and when I received the ARC a few weeks ago I wanted to shove everything off the pile to read it, but I couldn’t.

    I won’t go on endlessly since I did spotlight this last month for my Book Watch post, but Lisa McMann is an amazing writer, with a very unique writing style that I always love. And I can’t wait to read this next book of hers, which sounds incredibly dark and mysterious, about a boy, Ethan, who had been kidnapped, has somehow gotten free and has been reunited with his family only to find that something “unspeakable” is blocking his memory.

    It sounds chilling and I just can’t wait to uncover the mystery.

    Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood will be released in the U.S. on February 7, 2012 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at Amazon and in hardcover and eBook formats at Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Putnam Juvenile, the print edition is 272 pages.

    Born Wicked is the first book in The Cahill Witch Chronicles by author Jessica Spotswood and is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

     ***

    I have been excited for the release of Born Wicked for what seems like ever. I have an early copy, but haven’t had a chance to read it, but I will be reading it very soon. I’m just not sure if I’ll read the ARC or the eBook I have pre-ordered.

    This cover is absolutely stunning and it and its title are what drew me to this book in the first place. But once I read the description, the story itself ensnared me. This story about witches sounds totally intriguing, filled with secrets upon secrets – the girls being witches, whatever Cate discovers about her mother, a “forbidden romance,” and what sounds like a dark fate that the Cahill girls have waiting for them.

    I cannot wait to get this on my reading pile because Born Wicked sounds like a debut that I definitely shouldn’t miss out on reading right now.

    Two Truths and a Lie by Sara Shepard will be released in the U.S. on February 7, 2012 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 304 pages.

    Two Truths and a Lie is the third book in the Lying Game series by author Sara Shepard. The fourth book in the series, Hide and Seek, is slated for release on July 31, 2012.

    ***

    I read the first book in this series by author Sara Shepard and loved it. I bought the sequel, Never Have I Ever, but haven’t been able to read it yet. I decided to order this third book in the series, Two Truths and a Lie, with the idea I’ll be able to read both book two and this book back-to-back before the next book comes out in July.

    I have not read the description for this book because I do not want to accidentally discover any spoilers from book two, but it is linked in the cover above. I am so super curious as to what’s happened to Sutton and Emma, how much of the mystery was revealed so far in this series and what new questions have arisen since I last checked in with them.

    These aren’t typically the kind of books I read, but after reading book one I can’t help but want to find out where this story will lead. It’s definitely an addictive series and I can’t wait to get caught up on it soon.

    The Wood Queen by Karen Mahoney will be released in the U.S. on February 8, 2012 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Flux, the print edition is 336 pages.

    The Wood Queen is the second book in The Iron Witch series by author Karen Mahoney.

    ***

    I loved the first book in Karen Mahoney’s The Iron Witch series. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of this second book in the series. I thought the story was incredibly entertaining and I’ve been wanting to know a lot more about Donna and the world she is a part of. And I fell completely in love with the cover for book one.

    The description doesn’t reveal much about what’s in store for Donna in this next book in the series, but it definitely doesn’t sound good. The Wood Queen is seeking vengeance against her and the alchemists aren’t exactly her biggest fans for what she’s done. But I get the feeling that this second installment in the series will be action-packed and I can’t wait to see what happens.

    ***

    In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

    Pub. Date: February 8, 2012

    Published by: Flux

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

    Pub. Date: February 7, 2012

    Published by: Balzer + Bray

    (AmazonBarnes & Noble)

    Pure by Julianna Baggott

    Pub. Date: February 8, 2012

    Published by: Grand Central Publishing

    (AmazonBarnes & Noble)

    Almost Everything (A Vampire Princess Novel) by Tate Hallaway

    Pub. Date: February 7, 2012

    Published by: NAL Trade

    (AmazonBarnes & Noble)

    The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols

    Pub. Date: February 7, 2012 (the eBook was released on 12/6/11)

    Published by: Simon Pulse

    (AmazonBarnes & Noble)

    ***

    {Note: All covers link to the books on Goodreads}

    ***

    I only have four books pre-ordered this week because the Jennifer Echols book, The One That I Want, that I have listed in Other Books of Note is one I already purchased in eBook format, though the paperback edition is releasing this week.

    Even though it is a fairly slow release week for books I’m purchasing, I am really excited to read all four books I have on order. And I really hope to be able to do so before the end of the month when I have quite a few books pre-ordered so that they don’t fall too far down in my reading pile.

    While I love release weeks when I have at least six books pre-ordered, I am happy when there are a few slower weeks so that I can pretend that I’m keeping up with my ever-growing TBR pile.

    ***

    As always, I would love to hear what you’re hoping to add to your collection this week!

    And if you have any great suggestions of “must read” books to buy that are releasing this week, please let me know!

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