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Everneath

    Review: Everbound

    Everbound

    EVERBOUND by Brodi Ashton will be released in the U.S. on January 22, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, the print edition is 368 pages.

    EVERBOUND is the second full-length novel in Brodi Ashton’s Everneath series. The third book, due out in 2014, is as yet untitled.

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    ***The Goodreads description is spoiler-y for Everneath***

    Goodreads Description:

    Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

    Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

    Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

    In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.

    ***

    EVERBOUND is a riveting, heartbreaking and tension-filled story about love, sacrifice, determination and betrayal. It takes readers on an electrifying and danger-filled journey. It tests the characters’ strength and devotion and willingness to do whatever it takes to get what their hearts desire.

    Nikki Beckett felt as if she lost everything when she lost Jack. As much as she wished she could change any one of the decisions she’d made that led her to the Everneath, led her to Cole, she was powerless to turn back the clock.

    But she was not ready to give up. And she was not yet without hope.

    Even if finding Jack would be almost impossible, she had to try. Because doing nothing was not something she could live with. And living without Jack was not living.

    She just had to return to the Everneath. And she just needed to find Cole to do it.

    Brodi Ashton’s EVERBOUND takes this story in an exciting new direction – one that’s just as suspenseful, heartwarming and heart-wrenching as the first book in the series, but one that is also action-packed, filled with deadly obstacles, difficult challenges and formidable foes, and has an even greater connection to the mythology.

    The author demands more from her heroine in this second installment in the series. As Nikki searches for ways to save the love of her life, she must put her trust in someone she never imagined she could trust. She must find the emotional and physical strength to pass the Everneath’s tests. She must find answers to the Everneath’s questions, because choosing wrongly would mean almost certain death.

    And she must never give up hope or give in to defeat. For Jack’s sake. For her sake. And even for Cole’s.

    Switching between the present and the past, through Nikki’s memories and stories and through Cole’s, the timeline of the story is expanded. It allows for a look at both characters’ pasts that had not been previously revealed. And it allows Jack Caputo to be very much a part of this sequel.

    While both books could be dubbed love stories, EVERBOUND is also an enthralling adventure. One that is fraught with danger, with a ticking clock, hidden agendas, twists and turns and a few surprises that lead to an ending that is no less shocking than that of its predecessor.

    EVERBOUND is a must read for fans of the first book in the series, for readers who enjoy stories that are a mix of love stories, adventures and modern interpretations of classic myths, and for readers who love books with jaw-dropping endings that will leave them desperate for the next installment.

    Reviewer gives this book…

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    On a personal note…

    Even though I read it in the description, I really didn’t think I’d get to go on a journey with Cole and Nikki and their other two traveling companions. And I definitely didn’t think it would be as awesome as it was.

    It was just as exciting as Dorothy and company’s travels through Oz, but way more deadly. It felt more like they were running through a gauntlet instead of trying to make their way through the labyrinthine passageways that were the Everneath.

    I loved the author’s interpretation of the mythology. I loved how she incorporated those stories, those beliefs, into this one and how they shaped the world she created. I kept thinking, “I can totally see that!” and “Oh my gosh yes!”

    And I seriously loved just how much Cole there was in this story. Even though much of the gut-wrenching heartbreak involved Jack, there were still moments that made my gut twist for Cole. And there were a lot of moments where I kept begging Nikki to trade her mortality for immortality and spend the rest of forever with Cole.

    After doing what she needed to do for Jack, of course. Because as much as I adore Cole, I still like Jack.

    There is just so much I want to talk about. About Cole’s feelings. About Nikki’s. About what happened in the Everneath. About what happened after. And especially what the heck happened at the end.

    Because… oh… my… gosh. The end. There was this one thing I saw coming… sort of. This other thing I did not see coming… at all. And then there’s this third thing that has me asking all sorts of questions about what it could mean. Because I don’t have a clue. Not. One. Single. Clue.

    And it’s absolutely killing me.

    But of course I can’t talk about any of that, because it would be so totally spoiler-y. And I wouldn’t want to spoil one second of this reading experience. Not even the part where….

    All I can say is I’m so glad I’d read Neverfall so that I could learn more about Cole before I dove into this book. I’d loved him from the moment we were introduced in Everneath and I fell crazy in love with him in Neverfall. And that did not change in this book. Not even when….

    Nope. Not going to reveal that.

    Nikki’s unshakable devotion to Jack, on the other hand, made me want to throttle her. While I’m normally a huge fan of complete and utter devotion in a love story – a love without question, without doubt, without giving in to temptation – I so wanted her to be swayed to the dark side. So I was very pleased when….

    Oops.

    While there wasn’t the same type of countdown clock in this story as there was in   Everneath, a clock was most definitely counting down. There was a time limit to this journey. Which made it that much more suspenseful.

    And I loved the peeks at the past as seen through Nikki’s memories. They were sweet and romantic and funny and heartbreaking. For Nikki. For Jack. And for Cole.

    I am literally dying for the next installment in this series. I want answers to my questions about that thing at the end that I have no idea about. I want to know who ends up winning at the very end, or if turns out that they all end up losing.

    This is one series I just know will have at best a bittersweet ending and at worst an ending that will be an absolute tear-jerker. I have a bad, bad feeling I will be sobbing.

    Favorite passage…

    Of course I have quite a few favorite passages. This is the Everneath series after all. And I would have loved to include my favorite passage about Cole. But as most of the heartbreaking ones that were non-spoiler-y involved Jack, I decided to cave and share one of those instead.

    “How did you know to turn back?” I said.

    With his head still down, he said, “I waited for you.”

    “But it’s a race. Why did you wait for me?”

    He lifted his head so that his eyes met mine. “I always wait for you.” He took a deep breath, my ankle still in his hands. “I’m always waiting for you.”

    Book trailer for Everbound

    This review is based on an ARC I received through a trade with another blogger.

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    Quickie Review: Neverfall

    Neverfall

    NEVERFALL by Brodi Ashton was released in the U.S. on December 26, 2012 in eBook format. It is currently available to order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    The eNovella is published by Balzer + Bray.

    NEVERFALL is a novella set between EVERNEATH and EVERBOUND in Brodi Ashton’s Everneath series.

    ***

    Goodreads description:

    A thrilling new novella from the author of the Everneath series!

    Jack is trapped for eternity in the Tunnels while Nikki has managed to evade Cole’s grasp . . . for now. But Cole is more desperate than ever to find answers about Nikki, his best chance for taking over the throne of the underworld. How did she survive the Feed? Can Cole find another Forfeit like her who can survive it too?

    Cole’s quest leads him to the other side of the world, to a mysterious, dangerous society known as the Delphinians, whose price for information might be higher than Cole can pay—a price that could destroy Nikki. But when Cole attempts to steal the answers instead, his mission ends in disaster. Faced with centuries in a Delphinian dungeon, Cole is confronted with questions he’s been too scared to ask himself: Is he really obsessed with the throne—or is he obsessed with Nikki? And can she really give him a new beginning as the Everneath’s king . . . or will she instead bring about his tragic end?

    ***

    NEVERFALL is an incredibly entertaining short peek into Brodi Ashton’s world of Everlivings and Forfeits. It’s told from Cole Stockton’s point-of-view and takes readers along for the ride as he attempts to learn Nikki’s secret of just how she survived the Feed.

    It is the perfect length to help not only bridge the gap until EVERBOUND’s release, but to give readers a better understanding of just how Cole thinks and feels. About humans. About the ruler of the Everneath. About Nikki.

    NEVERFALL, like EVERNEATH, alternates between the past and the present. This time it’s Cole’s past and present. Teasing just enough to whet the appetite, but still leaving readers with questions to bring to the second book in the series.

    Filled with a mix of heart-stopping, swoon-worthy, nail-biting and heartbreaking passages, NEVERFALL will keep readers glued to the page and even more desperate for the next installment in the series. It will also make them incredibly glad they’ve never encountered a Delphinian Scholar.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    5

    On a Personal Note…

    I am not the biggest fan of novellas. They are often too short to give me anything but a tease. Or they are so disconnected from the main storyline that I don’t feel like it’s worth taking the time to read them. But that was NOT the case with NEVERFALL.

    I knew I’d be reading this the second it released. I just HAD to see inside Cole’s… mind. I wanted to know exactly how he felt about Nikki. I wanted to see how much of a bad boy he really was. I wanted to learn just what his motivations were. And I wanted to find out if I was wrong for falling for him in EVERNEATH.

    Well, I won’t reveal spoilers here, but I got ALL my answers. And I will just say that I knew I wasn’t wrong.

    This short story gave me the perfect bite. It was just as awesome as I’d hoped it would be and it surprised me by giving me just a little bit more than I expected in the form of “The Delphinian Dungeons of Suck.”

    I still shudder when I think of them. And what it could have meant for our “hero.”

    I love how this leads right up to and overlaps just a little bit with EVERBOUND and explains Cole’s whereabouts. Something that Nikki doesn’t know, but I do. And I love, love, love getting to know Cole’s real name.

    Nope, you won’t find that here. That you have to discover somewhere else… say, in NEVERFALL. Which is a MUST READ.

    favorite-passage

    Favorite Passage…

    I actually had twelve passages I noted in this short eBook novella. Twelve. My most favorite one is spoiler-y. But then so are most of them. I do love this one though. Because it’s so very much Cole.

    All I could see … all I could smell … was Nikki. The waves of her brown hair had the perfect symmetry of one of Mozart’s minuets. Her emotional layers had the depth of a full symphony.

    All I wanted was to bathe in her harmony.

    This review is based on an eBook I purchased.

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    Book Watch: Everbound

     

    EverboundEVERBOUND by Brodi Ashton will be released in the U.S. on January 22, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, the print edition is 368 pages.

    EVERBOUND is the second full-length novel in Brodi Ashton’s Everneath series. The third book, due out in 2014, is as yet untitled.

    ***

    There are three gorgeous books releasing the week of January 22nd that I’ve been anxiously awaiting. Two I have early copies of to read, one I’ve been pining for but I fear will fall victim to my “don’t let it end” syndrome. So it was definitely tough to choose a book to watch this week.

    But after a short inner debate I just had to choose EVERBOUND by Brodi Ashton because it’s the book I’ve been dying to read since 2011, the book that has not one but two boys I adore – of course one I adore way more than the other – writing that leaves me all twisted up inside and a story that keeps me riveted.

    And then there’s the cover. Which I love way more than that first cover – which I thought was seriously amazing. But this one is even more stunning. Though that’s not why I chose EVERBOUND to spotlight.

    I chose it because it continues Nikki, Cole and Jack’s story. It holds the answer to what comes after that ending that absolutely slaughtered me. It brings Nikki and Cole together in order to journey into the Everneath.

    And I chose it because it’s every bit as amazing and breathtaking and heartachingly beautiful and dark and nerve-wracking as book one.

    I finally got this book back on the top of my pile recently and have just a few pages left to read. Though I’m trying so very hard not to read them so that I won’t have to find out how things end and be forced to wait more than a year to learn just what comes next.

    Brodi Ashton really knows how to craft a tale that is spellbinding. She knows how to create characters that are easy to love, easy to hate, heartbreaking and maddening. And she knows how to torment her readers by making them ache for her characters, fear for them, worry for them.

    But before I spill all the details of just what I’ve discovered that happens in this book, I will end this post. And while I am so anxious to read both THE ARCHIVED and BOUNDLESS, I just had to choose EVERBOUND as the book to watch this week for all of those reasons I mentioned above and so many, many more I didn’t.

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    Places to Watch

    The author on TWITTER

    The author on FACEBOOK

    The author’s BLOG

    The author on GOODREADS

    The series on FACEBOOK

    ***

    About the Book

    Note: The description is SPOILER-Y for EVERNEATH

    Goodreads description:

    Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

    Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

    Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

    In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.

    ***

    The Trailer

    Note: The trailer is SPOILER-Y for EVERNEATH

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    Other Amazing Books to Watch

    Here are a few other awesome books releasing the week of January 22nd:

    Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand

    The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab

    Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

    Ravage (Deviants #3) by Jeff Sampson

    Slated (Slated #1) by Teri Terry

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    Top 10 Book Boyfriends of 2012

    top10

    Today is DAY FOUR 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.

    05

    The topic for today is…

    Best Book Boyfriends of 2012

    The rules insist that they be books that I not only read in 2012 but that were released in 2012… but… well, I’m not exactly one for sticking to the rules. (Last year, for my Top 10 Book Boyfriends in 2011 list, I had nearly twice the honorable mentions as I did book boyfriends. Yeah. So much for rules.)

    I mean, I can’t just leave off a few of my favorite book boyfriends just because I read their books early or read them a little bit late, can I? Noooo. I can’t do that.

    But I have decided to limit it to just one boy per book – which almost always means the bad boy. Sorry Az, Will, Adam, Jack….

    And because I’ve taken the plunge and spent a little too much time reading non-YA releases, I just had to create a book boyfriends post on my non-YA blog. Because there is just no WAY I could leave those darker, sexier, older book boyfriends out of the mix this year.. Though all I can say is that I am so relieved that I did not devour all the books in Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series… yet….

    Next year is going to be so tough.

    Book-Boyfriends

    1.

    Before I WakeTod

    Good boy or bad boy: Good… most of the time

    Favorite characteristics: Angelic in appearance with a devilish personality, sarcastic, charming

    Best line: Too many to count, but here’s one…

    “I’m well aware.” Tod sat up and pulled me up with him until we faced each other on my bed. “Forever used to feel like a curse. Now it feels like a promise,” he said, and my chest ached, and I loved that feeling–that rare pain that came from feeling too much, so different from the emptiness I’d almost gotten used to. “All you have to do is stay here with me.”

    Why he won: Do you have to ask?

    Won out over: His terribly flawed younger brother Nash Hudson

    Book Read in 2012: BEFORE I WAKE by Rachel Vincent

    2.

    Destroy MeWarner

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad… except when it comes to… nope, not going to reveal that here

    Favorite characteristics: Sexy, broken, redeemable… I hope

    Best line:

    I almost forget that she still hates me, despite how hard I’ve fallen for her.
    And I’ve fallen.
    So hard.
    I’ve hit the ground. Gone right through it. Never in my life have I felt this. Nothing like this. I’ve felt shame and cowardice, weakness and strength. I’ve known terror and indifference, self-hate and general disgust. I’ve seen things that cannot be unseen.

    And yet I’ve known nothing like this terrible, horrible, paralyzing feeling. I feel crippled. Desperate and out of control. And it keeps getting worse. Every day I feel sick. Empty and somehow aching.

    Love is a heartless bastard.

    Why he won: Because he breaks my heart. And yet he’s just so broken. Hero potential

    Won out over: Adam, who while incredibly sexy and just so perfect, might be a little too perfect

    Book Read in 2012: DESTROY ME, UNRAVEL ME by Tahereh Mafi

    3.

    SplinteredMorpheus a.k.a. Moth

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy

    Favorite characteristics: Mysterious, devious, otherworldly, clever, sexy

    Best line:

    Raising one hand, he tilts his hat to that sexy slant. “You want me. Admit it.”
    Even if he’s partly right, I’ll never tell him. “Why would I want you?”
    He lifts thee fingers to countdown. “Mysterious. Rebellious. Troubled. All those qualities women find irresistible.”

    Why he won: Because he doesn’t have to be good and yet he sometimes is

    Won out over: Skater boy Jeb who is a knight in shining armor but doesn’t have that propensity for wickedness

    Book Read in 2012: SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard

    4.

    Wings of the WickedCadan

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy with a good heart

    Favorite characteristics: Sexy, redeemable, honorable

    Best line:

    He was quiet for a moment. “You have a lot more to deal with than most people. Nobody is like you. No one else is what you are, or has ever been what you are. You’re changing, trying to adapt to this world.”

    Why he won: Because he chose the difficult path. Because he doesn’t just want to be good, he actually works against everything in him to be good

    Won out over: Will who didn’t have to overcome nearly as much to be who he was and to get what he did

    Book Read in 2012: WINGS OF THE WICKED, SHADOWS IN THE SILENCE by Courtney Allison Moulton

    5.

    Sweet EvilKaidan a.k.a. Kai

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy

    Favorite characteristics: Dark, super sexy, a bit of a tease, a bit of a jerk, musician

    Best line:

    “So that’s it, then?” he asked. I ignored him. “I always wondered what it would feel like.”
    That made me curious enough to turn to him.
    “What what would feel like?” I asked.
    “Rejection.”

    Why he won: Did I not say dark, super sexy, a bit of a tease already?

    Won out over: No one. There is no competition for Kai

    Book Read in 2012: SWEET EVIL by Wendy Higgins

    6.

    Poison PrincessJack

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy

    Favorite characteristics: Dark, dangerous, smokin’ hot, possessive, protective, knows what he wants and goes for it

    Best line:

    Jackson growled at his friend, “Want a taste of dat girl, me.” The look in his blazing eyes . . .

    Why he won: Because while he is a bad boy he’s not such a bad guy. Being smokin’ hot didn’t hurt his chances. Not at all

    Won out over: Death. It’s still too early to tell if Jack will win next year, but I’m incredibly intrigued by Death

    Book Read in 2012: POISON PRINCESS by Kresley Cole

    7.

    SilverBlake

    Good boy or bad boy: Both… but leans toward the “good”

    Favorite characteristics: Driven, deadly, gorgeous, rebellious, hero

    Best line:

    Blake’s lips curve into a smile.
    “Mine,” he whispers, shattering the silence.

    Why he won: Because he said to heck with star-crossed love. Because he and Brianna have amazing chemistry. Sizzling

    Won out over: Austin. Because in SILVER, Austin did that one bad thing. In GOLD, though? Buh-bye Blake

    Book Read in 2012: SILVER, GOLD by Talia Vance

    8.

    NeverfallCole

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy

    Favorite characteristics: Manipulative, musician, immortal, sexy

    Best line:

    I looked Meredith straight in the eye. “There’s no such thing as epic love.”

    Why he won: Because everyone is against him. Because he is so right for Nikki, she just doesn’t know it

    Won out over: Jack. Because Jack should have been better but wasn’t. Not until the end

    Book Read in 2012: EVERNEATH, NEVERFALL by Brodi Ashton

    9.

    A Touch MorbidLuke  a.k.a. Lucifer

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy. Can’t really get much worse. He’s Lucifer

    Favorite characteristics: Evil. Manipulative. Self-centered. Manipulative. Yeah, I said it twice. Singer. H.O.T.

    Best line:

    With effort, she forced the wonder from her voice. “You think I can be bought with pretty things?”
    Luke chuffed in disbelief before she turned her attention back to the dresses. “You’re a black hole of a girl, Kristen,” he snapped.
    “And to think,” she said. “Most guys would have kept on with the poetry.”
    “Most guys aren’t worthy of you. I am. And you are worthy of me. You see my gifts for what they are. You’re a challenge.” He twisted her to face him. “I won’t insult you with bribery again.”

    Why he won: Because he makes me grin. He’s just so evil and yet so incredibly charming. Because he makes me want Lucifer to win out. How sick is that?

    Won out over: Az who really never stood a chance. But after what Az did, I want to throttle him

    Book Read in 2012: A TOUCH MORBID by Leah Clifford

    10.

    StarlingThe Fennrys Wolf a.k.a. Fenn

    Good boy or bad boy: A good bad boy

    Favorite characteristics: Ability to handle a sword. Charming. Mysterious. Dangerous. Uber-sexy. He is the Fennrys Wolf

    Best line:

    “I’m scared, Fenn.”
    “I know, Mase,” he said quietly. “Would it help at all if I told you I was scared too?”
    She twisted around and looked up at him. “No,” she said seriously. “Not even a little bit.”
    “Good. ‘Cause I’m not.” He grinned. “Not even a little bit.”

    Why he won: Because he’s the Fennrys Wolf. Because he is a master at swordplay. Because even with amnesia he is still just so super cool

    Won out over: Cal. Why? Because Cal is a bit of an asshat. There. I said it. Mason deserves so much better

    Book Read in 2012: STARLING by Lesley Livingston

    Honorable-Mentions

    Gavriel Duval from Robin LaFever’s GRAVE MERCY – an absolutely swoon-worthy hero. But maybe just a little too good to make my list of bad boy book boyfriends.

    Elliott and Will from Bethany Griffin’s MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH – it was because the two were so equally matched and I couldn’t choose between them that they didn’t make the Top Ten List. I still don’t know who’d be more right for Araby.

    Colt from Karsten Knight’s EMBERS & ECHOES – only an honorable mention because I can’t reveal just how amazing he really is.

    Daemon from Jennifer L. Armentrout’s ONYX – drop-dead gorgeous, totally swoon-y, super sexy, stubborn, jealous. Would have… should have… made the list. Why am I restricted to only 10? It’s like these lists want me to stop reading!

    ***

    It’s still not too late to sign up for the event, even though it ends tomorrow. 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… you can!

    Tomorrow’s topic is Top 10 Books I’m Looking Forward To in 2013. And the only rule is that they be books releasing in 2013. Which sounds easy enough. But not quite. There are a ton of books on my reading pile from 2011 and earlier. Books I’m totally looking forward to in 2013. It will not be easy to create that final list.

    Anyway…

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

    04
    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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    Top 10 Book Quotes in 2012 + Giveaway

    top10

    Today is DAY THREE 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.

    05

    The topic for today is…

    Best ____ of 2012

    Today’s post is one where we get to choose what “best of” topic we want to talk about. Last year I chose to share my Top 10 Villains. But as four of those villains don’t feel very much like villains to me anymore, I decided to go with something different this year.

    The problem is that I keep changing my mind. First I was going to do love triangles, but I haven’t read books with that many actual triangles. Then I thought of bad boys but that list was virtually identical to my book boyfriends list. After that it was cliffhangers, but I couldn’t exactly remember which ones were really cliffhangers and which ones just felt that way. And forget about favorite heroines… I have way too many of those.

    Then – yesterday – I was so sure I was going to do my top ten re-reads – which would have allowed me to list WINGS OF THE WICKED, EVERNEATH, A TOUCH MORBID, IF I DIE, THE LONG WALK, CITY OF BONES… yeah, it would have been a great list.

    But, in the end, I decided to go with Favorite Quotes/Passages. Because I always love to tease them. They’re moments in books that stand out to me. And while I have hundreds and hundreds of them, I had no problem choosing a few of my favorites.

    Although they have to be from books I read in 2012, I’m also assuming it means that they can be from books I re-read in 2012. Which leaves the door wide open. Though I still refuse to put my favorites if they’re super spoiler-y.

    I am also cheating, just a little bit, by including one or two “runners-up” quotes from the books with my favorite passages. Of course some of my favorite books, like BEFORE I WAKE, have over 30 favorites.

    Let’s just say it has not been easy.

    FavoriteQuotes

    1.

    Before I WakeBEFORE I WAKE by Rachel Vincent

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Avari and Kaylee…

    “It’s a crescendo of death, all building toward that powerful note at the finale that makes the audience gasp and hold its collective breath. You are that last note, Kaylee. You are my finale, and the symphony of pain we create together will echo throughout eternity before finally fading into an agonized silence….”

    And

    Tod and Kaylee…

    “You can see as much as you want, whenever you want.”

    “Unless you’re working, right?” I teased, but the heat in his eyes when he shook his head was unmistakable.

    “Whatever you want. Death itself would wait for you, Kaylee….”

    And

    Tod and Kaylee…

    “I’m well aware.” Tod sat up and pulled me up with him until we faced each other on my bed. “Forever used to feel like a curse. Now it feels like a promise,” he said, and my chest ached, and I loved that feeling–that rare pain that came from feeling too much, so different from the emptiness I’d almost gotten used to. “All you have to do is stay here with me.”

    2.

    Poison Princess

    POISON PRINCESS by Kresley Cole

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Evangeline and Death…

    “Remember, Empress,” he said. “Death always defeats life. It might take time, but I will always win.” As he mounted that mighty steed, he pinned me with his hypnotic eyes. “When your blood bathes my sword, I’ll drink it just to mock you….”

    And

    Evangeline and Jack…

    “Evie, I’ve wanted you from the first time I saw you. Even when I hated you, I wanted you.” He raked his fingers through his hair. “I got it bad, me.”

    My heart felt like it’d stopped–so that I could hear him better.

    “For as long as you’ve been looking down your nose at me, I’ve been craving you, an envie like I’ve never known.”

    3.

    A Touch Morbid

    A TOUCH MORBID by Leah Clifford

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Luke and  Kristen…

    Luke tilted his head, his neck tense, cracking with a snap. He rolled his shoulders.

    “You’re a silly little dead girl.” He glared at her, his tone harsh. “You should mean exactly nothing to me.” He grabbed her chin, forced her to meet his eyes. “And yet I covet you more than anything else on this Earth.”

    And

    Luke and Kristen…

    Her breath caught, and she dropped her hand from his shoulder. “It’s been a year,” she said quickly. “God knows you’ve moved on.”

    He didn’t break her gaze. “God knows nothing.”

    4.

    Grave Mercy

    GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Duval and Ismae…

    His smile flashes, quick and surprising in the darkness. “When one consorts with assassins, one must expect to dance along the edge of a knife once or twice. I bid you good night.”

    And

    Ismae and Madame Hivern…

    Her words are sharp, but her voice is sweet, like honey on the edge of a blade, and meant to be cutting. I comfort myself with the knowledge that if Duval ever feels smothered by me, it will be because I am holding a pillow over his face and commending his soul to Mortain.

    5.

    Embers & Echoes by Karsten Knight

    EMBERS AND ECHOES by Karsten Knight

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Wes and Ash…

    “People like you and me weren’t built to lead peaceful lives together in the suburbs. Two of us together in one place is as inevitably fatal as running around a stack of dynamite with a torch.”

    And

    Ash and Colt…

    “Colt,” she said, her voice breaking. He paused and looked over his shoulder. “Did we . . . Was there ever a happy ending for us?” she asked. “Any of the times?”

    Colt wet his lips and gave her the smallest of smiles. “The odd thing about living forever is that the word ‘ending’ doesn’t apply to us. But just because there are no happy endings, doesn’t mean you can’t hope for a ‘happy-for-now.”

    Then he was gone.

    6.

    Sweet Evil

    SWEET EVIL by Wendy Higgins

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Anna and Kaidan…

    He was kissing me. On my neck. I should stop him, I thought, but the softness of his mouth was so . . . Oh. I could feel the beauty of each crease on his lips as they rested against the pores of my skin. The only sounds in the room were our beating hearts and breath.

    And

    Anna thinking about Kaidan…

    My nerves shot into high alert. I looked around, but nobody else was near. When I looked back up, there he was, standing right in front of me. Good gracious, he was sexy–a word that had not existed in my personal vocabulary until that moment. This guy was sexy like it was his job or something. Seventeen-year-old boys were not supposed to be so…nongangly.

    7.

    Everneath

    EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Nikki and Cole…

    He put his lips against my head. “Heroes don’t exist. And if they did, I wouldn’t be one of them.”

    And

    Nikki and Jack…

    I turned against his body, so I was facing him, and wrapped my arms around his back and tangled my legs up with his.

    I’d spent a hundred years with Cole, in a similar position, but this was nothing like it. There were no outside forces keeping us together. No otherworldly powers interfering with this simple act.

    No. Jack wanted me close because he wanted me. Separating from him now would be worse than anything I’d felt before. Separating from him now would make me bleed, and I would never stop.

    I didn’t tell him this. I didn’t have to.

    We stayed like that for hours–my head on his stomach–trying so hard not to fall asleep. As if we could stop time.

    8.

    Masque of the Red Death

    MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH by Bethany Griffin

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Araby and…

    “And I’m falling in love with you,” he whispers. “But I would throw you in the water and watch crocodiles tear you to bits, if I thought that doing so would accomplish my goals. Do. Not. Trust. Anyone. Especially me.”

    And

    Araby and….

    The velvet voice holds a hint of amusement and a hint of something else. He leans over and looks down into my face. My disorientation intensifies when my eyes focus on his. The tattoos, the dark hair. My heart speeds up. I think . . . I think . . . can a person’s heart stop if she is only seventeen years old? I suppose that if I do fall apart, my father can put me back together again.

    9.

    Wings of the Wicked

    WINGS OF THE WICKED by Courtney Allison Moulton

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Ellie to Will…

    “How we feel about each other makes us stronger. It makes us fight harder for each other. You’re standing there and telling me you can’t let Michael kill you because you don’t trust anyone else to be my Guardian. Will, you’re the best not just because you’re the strongest. You protect me like no one else can because you love me. Fighting it weakens us. We’re tearing ourselves apart!”

    And

    Will to Ellie…

    He closed his eyes and his forehead touched mine. “I’m so sorry for everything. I never wanted to hurt you or make you doubt me. I need you to trust me. I need you. And I love you. I want you. You know I do. I’ll never stop doing any of those things until the day I die for you.”

    10.

    Hallowed cover

    HALLOWED by Cynthia Hand

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Clara and…

    I stop. We’re both breathing heavy, snow clinging to our hair, melting on our clothes. I stare down at him. Snow floats around us….

    He sucks in his bottom lip for a second, the quickest, tiniest motion, to moisten it.

    All I would have to do is close my eyes and let go.

    Try it, he says without words, so softly it’s like the brush of a feather in my mind. Let’s find out what’s next

    But there’s hesitation in him too; I feel it.

    And

    Clara thinking about Christian…

    “You must think I’m an idiot,” he says then.

    I look up, started. There are a lot of words I’d use to describe Christian Prescott: mystery, enigma, conundrum, destiny, terrifying, and, well, just plain hot, if I’m being honest, but the word idiot has never crossed my mind. Except maybe that one time at prom.

    Honorable-Mentions

    Starling

    STARLING by Lesley Livingston

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Mason Starling about Fenn…

    There was something so naked in his expression, Mason thought. And then she started to actually blush at the memory of what he’d looked like just a few minutes ago. Okay, not naked more like raw–uh, no. That wasn’t helping either. She winced inwardly. How about vulnerable?

    Yes. That was exactly it.

    03

    Silver

    SILVER by Talia Vance

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Brianna and Blake…

    When he finally lets his eyes slide to mine, there’s anger, yes, but something else too. A fear that claws at my neck. A sadness that floats up from nowhere and pulls me along. Desire, so strong that I want to fall into him.

    04So that’s my list. The hardest one yet to create. And I’m still thinking of posting a few of the “outtakes” on The Annex this week. Because there are just so many amazing quotes and passages, I feel awful leaving them off the list.

    Are any of those quotes and passages among your list of favorites for 2012? Do you keep a list of favorite passages in the books you read? Or is quote collecting not something you do as a reader or blogger?

    Anyway…

    I am super stoked to check out just what topics everyone chose today. There will be so many different types of “best of” lists that it will be extra fun to see just what books, heroes, villains, heroines, love triangles, cliffhangers, et cetera that everyone picked.

    But before you head off to check out some of the other posts around the blogosphere, today I’ll be the blog hosting the giveaway. All the details are below.

    the Giveaway

    What’s Up for Grabs?

    Two YA Books of Your Choice (not to exceed $30 total) released in 2012 or releasing in the first week of January 2013, to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository.

    The Deets

    You must be 13 or older to enter

    ONE entry per HOUSEHOLD

    Giveaway is international

    Winner will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter on January 2, 2013 at Midnight Pacific

    Winner will be announced on this post and contacted by email

    Winner will have 48 hours to respond

    There is no requirement to like or follow but spreading the word would be awesome!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    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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    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.

    05

    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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    The Extras: The Teasers #10

    There are so many amazing books out there – released or soon-to-be-released – that have certain passages that just captivate.

    Here are just a few of those that caught my attention in the past couple of months.

    Of course there were two books that I read in the past month that I would love to tease, but because both aren’t close to release I can’t quote from them.

    ***

    I could easily tease ten or more amazing passages from Divergent that just stuck with me. I included one of my favorites with my review, but it wasn’t my absolute favorite.

    I actually do have one of those, but as I said then, it has to be read in context so I won’t tease it here.

    But this one makes my breath hitch just a little….

    Tris about Four…

    His straight eyebrows are drawn low over his eyes. My stomach writhes, partly because I know he makes a good point but I don’t want to admit it, and partly because I want something I don’t know how to express; I want to press against the space between us until it disappears.

    And this one stops me from breathing altogether….

    Tris about Four…

    It isn’t the height that scares me–the height makes me feel alive with energy, every organ and vessel and muscle in my body singing at the same pitch.

    Then I realize what it is. It’s him. Something about him makes me feel like I am about to fall. Or turn to liquid. Or burst into flames.

    For such a dark book there were surprisingly quite a few gorgeous passages in Hushed that created these beautiful moments amidst the darkness and violence.

    I chose one of my favorites to include with my review, but I just knew I’d be including at least one more for this post.

    It was a tough choice, but once again I went with a beautiful passage rather than a dark one.

    Archer and Evan…

    Archer’s vision blurred. The damned tremors found their way back into his hands, and he curled them tightly against his own chest. Evan’s forehead touched his. So close, they were sharing breath. “I can’t stand it when you look at me like that,” Evan whispered.

    Archer curled his hands tighter, nails biting into his palms. “Like what?”

    “Like your heart is breaking.”

    On a Dark Wing is another book that had so many amazing passages and quotes to choose from. I don’t know how many I flagged, but they take up nearly two pages of my typed review notes.

    There is one that I really want to tease, but I won’t. While it’s not spoiler-y, it is important to the story and should be discovered during the read, not outside of it.

    And while I chose a passage about Nate for my review, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tease a quote this time. And to be just a bit cruel, I won’t reveal who the speaker is.

    … to Abbey

    “I want you to know. The time I’ve spent with you has meant everything to me. Whether I face an eternity of nothing or it all ends tonight…” He looked up from the fire and fixed his beautiful blue eyes on me. “You were worth the risk, Abbey.”

    I love teasing passages from Alexander Gordon Smith’s Escape from Furnace series. There are so many chilling ones to choose from, and Death Sentence is most definitely not the exception.

    I chose to tease one about Alex’s encounter with the warden in my review, but I saved this longer passage specifically for this post.

    And yes, the last (and best) two sentences are missing from this. This is a teaser after all.

    Alex’s thoughts…

    And then he was gone. With no hand to block it, the floodgates opened once again and the mayhem cascaded into my head. I fought it, I fought to remember who I was and what had happened to me. But the film on-screen was a tide of violence that consumed me, and as I drowned in the endless parade of bloodlettings and bruisings I realized I could no longer remember what I looked like. 

    There are just so many stunning and beautiful and heartbreaking passages in Everneath, though most of them are spoiler-y and can’t be teased. I mean really, really spoiler-y.

    And while I did tease a passage in my last Teasers post it was the same one I included with my review. So I think it’s more than fair that I get to tease another one. Especially since I did read Everneath a second time in early December, well within the timeframe for the reads for this post.

    And while this one could be considered a spoiler, since I won’t say who said it or who it’s about, I think it’s perfectly safe.

    …to Nikki…

    “Trust me, Becks. I know exactly what loving you looks like on a person. And he loves you.”

    My face went warm and I looked away.

    Cinder is filled with so many quotes and passages that just made me grin. Even a few that made me laugh out loud. But my favorite passages and quotes were those between Kai and Cinder.

    And if I could have teased this entire scene I would. But then it wouldn’t really be much of a teaser, would it?

    So I decided to take a few sentences from right in the middle. To find out what comes before and what comes after? Well, I will say that it’s in the book, just waiting to be read.

    Kai and Cinder…

    Her body simultaneously yearned to close the gap between them and push him away. The anticipation that warmed her lips made it impossible to do either. “Your Highness?”

    She tilted her face toward him, the subtlest of movements. She listened to his wavering breath and this time, it was his eyes dropping to her lips.

    Somewhere during the month of December I managed to sneak in another read of Shattered Souls and was reminded again of just how many things I loved about this book. Especially Lenzi’s thoughts.

    I did tease a nice long passage months ago in my Teasers post after I first read it and a shorter one was included with my review. But, because there were just so many passages and quotes that I noted, of course I found one more to tease.

    And yes, even this one has a touch of sarcasm mixed in.

    Lenzi and Alden…

    I loosened my grip and shifted so that I faced him. I’d never felt this charged and confident. The resolution was a huge rush, and my strange, unearthly attraction to him was more than I could resist. I entwined my fingers in Alden’s thick, silky hair, and before I thought through what I was doing, I kissed him on his gorgeous mouth. Not a gentle kiss, either.

    To my astonishment, he laughed. I pulled back, mortified.

    “Well, you wanted to be friends,” he said, eyes twinkling. “That was friendly, I suppose.”

    One of my more recent reads was Hallowed, so all my favorite passages and quotes are fresh in my mind. So much so that I still tear up when I think of them. Though I didn’t include one of those heartbreaking passages along with my review, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to include one here.

    And while I couldn’t tease any of my most favorite heartbreaking ones, as they are completely spoiler-y, there were plenty I loved that weren’t quite so revealing.

    Ones like this one…

    Clara about Tucker:

    I pick a seat way in the back of the bleachers. I shouldn’t be here, I know, shouldn’t be away from home right now, when no one else knows where I am. But I want to see Tucker. Part of me thinks that if I can just lay eyes on him, I’ll find myself again. I’ll know.

    And although I’ve been trying to fight the urge not to tease my favorite non-heartbreaking one, I think I might have lost that battle. But to be fair, I’m only revealing just a few lines from this five paragraph scene that just makes me melt.

    Clara and…

    I stop. We’re both breathing heavy, snow clinging to our hair, melting on our clothes. I stare down at him. Snow floats around us….

    He sucks in his bottom lip for a second, the quickest, tiniest motion, to moisten it.

    All I would have to do is close my eyes and let go.

    ***

    Once again I decided to stop after teasing just eight books. While I have a few more reads with passages that will definitely tease, I’ll save those for the next time. And since I have been reading more books lately, I’m sure my next teasers post will be sooner rather than later.

    While these teasers may not all be my absolute favorite passages from each book, they are passages that I love, love, love. And if I were to reveal those favorites here, I think I’d be ruining the very best parts of the story. And that wouldn’t be a tease. That would be just mean.

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