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Hushed

    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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    Hushed Blog Tour: Author Interview Kelley York

    I am absolutely thrilled to be today’s stop on the Hushed blog tour as it gave me the opportunity to ask author Kelley York all those burning questions I had about her just-released debut book Hushed.

    By participating in the tour, I was also lucky enough to get a chance to read Hushed early and what an amazing read it was. If you’d like to see what I had to say about this captivating, dark and edgy story, feel free to check out my spoiler-free review.

    In case you haven’t yet heard about this awesome book, here’s what Goodreads has to say….

    Goodreads description:

    He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.

    Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another – Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.

    Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

    But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants…And what she wants is Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.

    ***

    And if you’d like to take a longer look inside Hushed on the publisher’s website, CLICK HERE.

    Who is Kelley York?

    Author Bio:

    Kelley was born and raised in central California, where she still resides with her lovely wife, daughter, and an abundance of pets. (Although she does fantasize about moving across the globe to Ireland.) She has a fascination with bells, adores all things furry – be them squeaky, barky or meow-y – is a lover of video games, manga and anime, and likes to pretend she’s a decent photographer. Her life goal is to find a real unicorn. Or maybe a mermaid.

    Within young adult, she enjoys writing and reading a variety of genres from contemporary with a unique twist, psychological thrillers, paranormal/urban fantasy and horror. She loves stories where character development takes center stage.

    Kelley’s website: http://www.kelley-york.com/blog

    ***


    Q. Hushed is a wonderfully dark and captivating read. It starts off and gets right to the chase and keeps on delivering those shocks. For someone who hasn’t yet added it to their TBR pile, in one sentence, how would you, as the author, describe Hushed?

    A. HUSHED is a dark look into the human psyche, and explores the deadly lengths some will go to for the ones they love.

    [Fiktshun: Oooh! I love, love, love this!]

    Q. Evan is really the only bright spot in this book. When you brought him into the story, was he meant to be Archer’s redemption? Or did that change as the story progressed?

    A. Originally, Archer wasn’t meant to have much redemption. It wasn’t a conscious decision to change anything, since I didn’t plot anything out. I had this vague idea that Archer would be alone (or, you know, dead) at the end of the book. Within two chapters of Evan’s introduction, I realized that was going to change. His character was immediately drawn to Archer and he wanted to make everything better. (Far be it for me to stand between that, right?)

    [Fiktshun: Absolutely!]

    Q. Archer and Vivian seem like polar opposites in terms of personalities – one is organized, quiet, calm and the other is fiery, frantic, chaotic. Yet both were incredibly broken. What did you like most about writing Vivian’s character? And Archer’s?

    A. I love Vivian’s chaotic temperament. I love how she can twist a situation and justify everything she does. Archer gets mad at her for something, and she so effortlessly (and unconsciously!) folds it back on him. In this way, she’s damaged Archer more than what he witnessed as a kid did. For Archer, I love his shyness. His hesitance toward Evan and how, the closer he wants to be, the more he draws away.

    [Fiktshun: I have to say that I love both Viv’s chaos and Archer’s shyness. They balance each other out sooo well!]

    Q. In another interview you mentioned changing the ending. Having read Hushed, I see how that other ending works just as well as this one – a dark book with an even darker ending definitely has an appeal. What made you decide to end this on a happier note – and I say “happier” not “happy”?

    A. Like I mentioned above, it wasn’t a conscious change. Archer started out with the lot of the flaws Vivian has. The manipulative qualities and whatnot. But quickly, Viv took those over and she turned from a sweeter, more sympathetic character into…well, who she is in the book now. My characters always take routes all their own whether I like it or not. Archer became this character I felt desperately needed a second chance, so I’m glad the story steered toward the ‘happier’ (not happy!) ending. In retrospect, the original ending I had in mind would’ve been very flat. It would’ve felt like, “All of this, and for nothing.”

    [Fiktshun: Oh, I don’t know about flat…. Those kinds of endings make a huge impact, though I’m imagining quite a few irate fans.]

    Q. Archer Pond seems like someone who is starved for affection. The slightest outreach from Evan made such a huge difference. You mentioned that originally Archer’s feelings toward Evan went unrequited, as they did with Vivian. If Archer’s affections weren’t returned by either character, how might that have changed him and the story?

    A. Having not one, but two people he loved, turn him away would have utterly ruined him. He would’ve been convinced he was the monster everyone said he was, and I doubt there would have been any saving him at that point.

    [Fiktshun: Well, then I’m so incredibly glad that Evan returned Archer’s feelings.]

    Q. I am such a huge fan of dark, morbid and unhappily-ever-after stories. Hushed has so many of those wonderful qualities. But you changed the ending to one that is slightly less grim, you added in a love story where there originally had been none. Were there any changes from the original that added darker elements where they may have once been more optimistic?

    A. Marissa and everything she brought into the story, as well as the stuff with Archer’s parents, were all additions that cropped up as I wrote and weren’t intentional nor planned. The way things ended with Vivian, too, is definitely darker and grimmer than I originally thought it would be.

    [Fiktshun: Oh yes, Marissa did bring in a kinder and gentler aspect to this story. Though Archer’s parents…. I will say nothing about that situation.]

    Q. What are your favorite go-to snacks while writing?

    A. I’m not much of a snacker while I write. I need lots and lots of soda, though.

    Q. What are your favorite writing distractions when you’ve hit a wall?

    A. Movies, video games, Facebook games…

    [Fiktshun: Oh, Facebook games are sooooo addictive!]

    Q. What are some of your favorite dark contemporary reads?

    A. GONE, GONE, GONE by Hannah Moskowitz is fairly dark, as was BROTHER/SISTER by Sean Olin. LARK by Tracy Porter was good.

    Q. Do you prefer writing from a male main character’s p.o.v. or a female main character’s and why?

    A. I can do both, though I seem to lean toward male POV and I’m not sure why.

    Q. If you had to pick your favorite character from Hushed, who would it be and why?

    A. Definitely Archer. He was the first of the characters to appear in my head, and he’s such a good person underneath it all. He’s just, you know, broken.

    [Fiktshun: Here’s to being broken. The broken make for such amazing characters to read about!]

    Q. If you had to pick your favorite character from another dark contemporary book who would it be and why?

    A. Ohh. Maybe Will from BROTHER/SISTER? He was so very broken and wanted to do what was right.

    And now it’s time to play…

    “This” or “That”

    Q. Happy endings or tragic endings?

    Tragic!

    Q. Love stories or unrequited love?

    Unrequited love.

    Q. Writing in silence or writing with music?

    Music.

    Q. Writing in the morning, afternoon, evening or dead of night?

    Dead of night.

    Q. Mac or PC?

    PC.

    Q. Outlining or free writing?

    Free writing.

    [Fiktshun: I absolutely love all these answers. I, for one, am all about the unrequited love story. There’s nothing quite as tragic. And the dead of night is the perfect time to write – fewer distractions and don’t all dark thoughts come in the dead of night?]

    ***

    I am so unbelievably happy with all these answers. Thank you so much for stopping by and answering every single one of my questions. Had I know this was a possibility, I might have been even greedier and asked just a few more!

    Hushed was released on December 6, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Entangled Publishing, the print edition is 242 pages.

    Here’s what people are saying:

    ‘Kelley York delivers in this impressive debut. I was at the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next! Bottom line, this was unputdownable!!!’

    — YA Fantasy Guide —

    ‘How exciting that we live in a time when gay teen protagonists can be just as screwed up as straight ones — and their stories just as creepy!’

    — Brent Hartinger, award-winning author of Geography Club and Shadow Walkers —

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #49

    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 December 6th-December 12th that I have pre-ordered.

    ***


    Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare was released in the U.S. on December 6, 2011 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, the print edition is 528 pages.

    Clockwork Prince is the second book in The Infernal Devices series by author Cassandra Clare.

    ***

    It’s finally out! The wait is over! Though I’m still waiting to receive all the print copies I’ve ordered from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books of Wonder, I’ve had this book on pre-order for my Kindle for months and months and it downloaded early. So it’s mine!

    I already read and reviewed Clockwork Prince (HERE) so I’m not going to ramble on and on about what I think this book might be about. Because I already know. And it’s awesome! Soooooo awesome.

    I am super curious to see whether everyone will be Team Will or Team Jem when they’ve finished reading it. I also can’t wait to hear what everyone will think of Tessa. And as is always the case with Cassandra Clare novels, I have even more questions at the end than I had when I started reading.

    I only finished this book just over a week ago, but I’ve been dying to talk about it with everyone. So I hope there will be tons of reviews for me to stalk in the coming weeks.

    If for some reason you’re the one person who hasn’t pre-ordered their copy, or if you just weren’t sure about this sequel, check out an excerpt of the prologue from the series website, CLICK HERE. It might just change your mind.

    Deadly Little Voices by Laurie Faria Stolarz was released in the U.S. on December 6, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Hyperion Books for Children, the print edition is 352 pages.

    Deadly Little Voices is the fourth book in the Touch series by author Laurie Faria Stolarz.

    ***

    I have been a fan of this series since way before I started blogging. They don’t make the eBook versions available too far in advance of release date, so this is one book I’ve been stalking regularly over the past couple of months so that I could add it to my list of pre-orders the second it was available.

    I have missed this series and am dying to find out just what happens to Camelia, Ben and Adam in this next installment. And as always with this series, I can’t wait to try and solve the mystery, which there seem to be a few of in this book.

    Fortunately there is at least one more book in the series, because I’m not ready for this series to end. Though I’m worried that things appear to be getting darker and darker. And in this book, Camelia’s abilities seem to be causing her to become slightly mentally unstable, which does not sound like a good thing at all….

    Shattered Dreams by Ellie James was released in the U.S. on December 6, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available online to order in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, the print edition is 352 pages.

    Shattered Dreams is the first book in the Midnight Dragonfly series by author Ellie James.

    ***

    I actually received an unsolicited ARC for this book last spring but hadn’t had the time to check it out until very recently. And since I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to read it before release, I decided to pre-order it so I could read the finished copy instead.

    This book sounds very intriguing. And I love that the description uses the words “dark odyssey” to describe what happens to the main character, Trinity, in her search for a missing girl. A girl that she had a vision about. A girl everyone thinks Trinity might have something to do with the disappearance of.

    I want to find out just what happened to Jessica, what secrets Trinity uncovers about her past, and just what these “shocking truths” are.

    There is a bonus short story, Haunted Destiny, that came out two weeks ago that is currently available as a free eBook download for the Kindle, HERE, and for the Nook, HERE.

    Struck by Rhonda Stapleton was released in the U.S. on December 6, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Simon Pulse, the print edition is 752 pages.

    Struck is a bindup of Stupid Cupid, Flirting with Disaster and Pucker Up by Rhonda Stapleton.

    ***

    I first learned about this book back in October. I’d known of the author for a lot longer, but hadn’t known about this bind-up until the cover caught my eye when stalking the publisher’s catalogs. I was pretty much sold by the cover, so as soon as I skimmed the description I pre-ordered it for my Kindle.

    I love the idea that the main character, Felicity Walker, applies for a job at a matchmaking company and discovers that she’s actually a cupid. I also love that the author modernized cupid.

    There are no winged cherubs with bows and arrows in this book. Cupids now get hot pink PDAs, and love arrows get sent through email instead of the old fashioned way. It also makes me smile to know that cupid has a quota.

    This really does sound fun and super cute and I can’t wait to take a peek at this soon and hopefully get a chance to read all three stories around Valentine’s Day.

    Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey will be released in the U.S. on December 8, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Philomel, the print edition is 336 pages.

    Shattered Souls is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

    ***

    Just two more days until release day. And I can’t wait! I didn’t have time to stalk my local bookstore to see if Shattered Souls was on shelves early, but I have a print copy pre-ordered and am anxiously awaiting my eBook downloading to my Kindle on Thursday.

    I absolutely love, love, loved this book when I read it last spring – yes, it was a really, really long time ago. I was hoping to have the ARC I traded for back in my hands by now, but that didn’t happen. Fortunately I only have a couple more days to wait.

    I did end up posting my review of Shattered Souls this summer as part of the book tour, but I will probably be doing a buzz post soon. Because I’m so curious as to what everyone else will think of this book that I love. Whether they’ll love Lenzi as much as I do – especially her sarcasm – whether they’ll love Alden or whether they’ll be heartbroken over Zak.

    I won’t go on and on and on about this book, because I feel like I’ve talked about it so much already, but this story of past lives and reincarnation totally captured my heart and its gripping storyline kept me on the edge of my seat.

    To read a short excerpt on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.

    Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout was released in the U.S. on December 6, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    (The eBook was available for purchase on November 29, 2011.)

    Published by Entangled Publishing, the print edition is 292 pages.

    Obsidian is the first book in the Lux series by author Jennifer L. Armentrout.

    ***

    Obsidian’s official release date is today, but the eBook was available last week for download at Amazon and so I had my copy since then. Although I read this book a little over two weeks ago, I’m already dying to re-read it.

    I had no idea when I requested this book for review that it was a story about aliens and I’m glad I didn’t. Because I might have immediately turned away from a book that I would have regretted not reading.

    Obsidian is hot. Daemon Black is hot. Just thinking about a couple of those scenes makes my heart race a little. He’s gorgeous. He’s arrogant. And he has some pretty amazing powers.

    Katy would better off if Daemon stayed away from her, and she away from him, but their chemistry draws them together. Which makes this one sizzling read. But it also puts Katy in danger.

    I won’t say more, because I already reviewed it (here). But to really know how awesome it is, it just has to be read.

    Obsidian just came out, but I already cannot wait until Onyx is released. And Daemon looks even hotter on that cover, which was revealed yesterday. So, I can only imagine just how yummy this next book is going to be.

    To read an excerpt of Chapter One of Obsidian from the author’s blog, CLICK HERE.

    Hushed by Kelley York was released in the U.S. on December 6, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    (The eBook was available for purchase on November 29, 2011.)

    Published by Entangled Publishing, the print edition is 242 pages.

    Hushed is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

    ***

    I received an eARC of Hushed for review, read it – devoured it really – this past weekend and just reviewed it here on the blog yesterday. And as soon as I finished my review I headed over to Amazon to pre-oder a finished eBook for my collection. Because this is one book I definitely plan on reading again.

    Apparently the eBook for Hushed was also released a week in advance of its official release date, which I would have loved to know, as the eARC wasn’t formatted nearly as nicely as the finished copy.

    And since I did just review it, I don’t want to ramble on and on again twenty-four hours later. Though I’m absolutely sure I could!

    But for readers who love books that are dark and weighty, violent and shocking, with just a few moments of brightness, then Hushed is definitely the perfect read. It was for me.

    To read an excerpt of Hushed on the publisher’s website, CLICK HERE.

    Surrender (A Haunting Emma Novel) by Lee Nichols

    Pub. Date: December 6, 2011

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

    Pub. Date: December 8, 2011

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Ruthless (Pretty Little Liars #10) by Sara Shepard

    Pub. Date: December 6, 2011

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Sweep Volume 5 by Cate Tiernan

    Pub. Date: December 8, 2011

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    ***

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

    ***

    It is definitely not a slow release week this week. I have seven books pre-ordered – not including the multiple print copies of Clockwork Prince – and I’m seriously considering a couple of the other books of note to buy.

    At least I’ve read and reviewed four of the books that I’ve purchased, so they’re not being added to my TBR pile. But because I loved them so much, of course I’d love to be able to re-read all of them.

    And I’m seriously hoping to be able to squeeze in Deadly Little Voices at the beginning of January, because I absolutely love this series.

    I also hope that the next couple of weeks are a lot slower for releases, because I think I’ll be getting a gift card or two for Christmas and would love to have a few books left to buy with them.

    ***

    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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    Review: Hushed

    Hushed by Kelley York will be released in the U.S. on December 6, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats.

    It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and in paperback format at Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Entangled Publishing, the print edition is 242 pages.

    Goodreads description:

    He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.

    Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.

    Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

    But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants… And what she wants is Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.

    ***

    Archer Pond is a killer.

    He is seeking vengeance for the brutal crime that took his best friend Vivian from him years ago and turned her into someone he doesn’t even know. Someone he isn’t even sure he likes.

    He’s made a list. He’s studied his victims. And one by one he plans on making each of them pay for what they’ve done.

    Archer Pond is a monster… but he doesn’t want to be.

    He wants to be free. Free from the guilt he feels over what happened to Vivian. Free from Vivian, who keeps pulling him back into the drama her life has become and whose very existence is suffocating him.

    But the only way he truly believes he can be free is if no one on his list remains alive.

    That is until he meets Evan.

    Evan makes him want to be better. Evan makes him feel like he’s not alone. Evan makes him believe that there is more. And Evan makes him feel human.

    With Evan he doesn’t need revenge to make him feel free. And when he’s with Evan he doesn’t need Vivian.

    And Vivian is not happy….

    ***

    Hushed is a raw, powerful, deliciously dark, edgy and gritty story. It is a story that combines lightness and beauty with ugliness and violence. And it is one that is filled with sadness, desperation and hope for redemption.

    From the opening pages it holds absolutely nothing back. Bringing the reader into this chilling and violent story with a main character who at first glance seems nothing more than a cold-blooded and calculating killer. Someone seeking vengeance, but with little remorse for his actions.

    Archer Pond is way more than a flawed character. He’s dark, he’s disturbed, but he is not without hope. He may not fully grasp the wrongness of his actions, but when he meets Evan Bishop he begins to see things differently and is able to recognize that there is more to life than just the cold, empty world he’s created for himself, and an existence that revolves entirely around Vivian Hilton.

    Author Kelley York takes readers on a journey to the darkest of places with her character, Archer, as he works his way through his list of those he feels are deserving of his vengeance, tries to find salvation for his friend Vivian and hopes to find freedom for himself.

    Hushed is not a light story or one that ends happily. Archer’s actions are shocking and chilling and not easily forgivable. He is not instantly likable, nor could he be called lovable, but he is a sympathetic character whose actions, while not excusable, are understandable and are not done out of evil but out of a misguided sense of righting a few wrongs.

    As the story progresses, the author begins to fill in the missing pieces from Archer and Vivian’s past, allowing readers to see the complete picture only after they’ve already formed their opinions. And forcing them to adjust their perceptions with each new revelation.

    This is a story that is as haunting and sorrowful as it is horrifying and brutal. And it is one that will stick with readers well beyond the final page.

    Hushed is a story for an older young adult audience and one for readers who aren’t sensitive to, or uncomfortable with, a fair amount of violence. While the violence is prevalent, it isn’t excessive to the story and it is incredibly important for the characters’ development.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    On a personal note:

    Wow, what an expected an amazing surprise this book was for me. I knew this would be a dark book. I glanced at the description and took one look at the cover and it was pretty obvious that this would be dark.

    What I didn’t realize is just how powerful it would be for me or how connected I would become to the story. And I never imagined just how long it would affect me after I was finished. How completely hollowed out and empty I’ve been feeling for the past few days.

    I was completely knocked over by the opening pages. The author did not ease me into her story, she shoved me in. Hard. Talk about not pulling any punches at the start. What a way to open a book. It was incredibly bold. It’s one of those openings that will either draw people in or instantly repel them. And it doesn’t let up.

    Of course I’m the perfect audience for this book. I like things dark. I like a no-holds-barred approach. I like shocking and disturbing openings that tell you exactly what to expect from the get-go.

    I did not like Archer at the beginning. There wasn’t much that was likable about him initially. He was cold. He was calculating. He seemed very OCD. And he was so intensely focused on what he set his mind on doing – killing those who had hurt his friend.

    But he was so incredibly sympathetic. And so completely messed up. He had no real sense of right and wrong. I felt for him, even if somewhere I felt that it wasn’t just the hardships in his life that made him the way he was.

    And I did find myself rooting for Archer. Hoping there would be some redemption for him. Hoping things would end up okay, even when I also hoped they wouldn’t.

    But I loved Evan. And I feared for him. Every moment I spent terrified that just being part of these two characters lives would dull his brightness, extinguish his light. He was goodness where they were darkness. He was the only bright spot in this dark story. Without him I’m a little afraid at what the outcome might have been.

    He was warm and beautiful and affectionate and his presence added a bit of a love story to this tragic tale.

    And then there was Vivian. Who was awesome and awful. And totally manipulative and immensely cruel and incredibly selfish. I hated her, but I loved to hate her. And I was afraid of what she’d do. But even with everything she did, I still pitied her.

    I loved that Archer and Vivian were total opposites in many ways and so much the same in others. He was quiet and calm and detailed and organized and she was fiery and frantic and chaotic. But they were both starved for affection. And they were both incredibly broken.

    I was captivated by this story from the moment I started reading it. It was the harshness and the cold realities of their situations that kept me reading page after page. But it was Evan who brought the sunshine and the hope that made this a read that wasn’t so emotionally tough.

    I absolutely loved this book. I’m glad that it was brought to my attention and I will definitely be buying the finished eBook when it is released. Hushed was a story that hit me hard when I read it and even harder after I was done. It was such a perfect read for me and I can’t wait to see what other dark stories the author writes as I will definitely be checking them out.

    ***

    I had so many favorite passages, some incredibly dark. But just to show that this story is more than darkness, here’s the shorter of two passages I loved that were so hard to choose between:

    He shook his head, smiling, “I think I need to do less of needing people, honestly.” As he turned to unlock the door, Evan grabbed his arm and pulled him back around. Barely a breath separated their mouths.

    “Want me, then,” Evan murmured against his lips. “If you don’t need me, at least want me.”

    ***
    To read an excerpt of Hushed on the publisher’s website, CLICK HERE.

    This review is based on an eARC I received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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    My Reading Pile #36

    I received no books in my mailbox this week. Not a one. Well, I did receive a copy of Shatter Me, which I ordered to send to someone who won a giveaway, but as I never list books I’ve bought or books that I’ve bought that aren’t for me, it doesn’t count.

    I have been waiting on a huge number of books, some which may be MIA due to the post office’s negligence, others which are just in super-slow-motion transit and may show up today – fingers crossed – and still others which I don’t think have been sent just yet.

    I have plenty to read, so I am not too sad that my mailbox was empty. Though I am a wee bit glum about a few ARCs that haven’t landed in my hands yet from trades or requests.

    And although I don’t list eBooks I’ve requested through NetGalley, I did receive an audiobook of Cinder by Marissa Meyer from the publisher, Macmillan Audio, as a digital download. I typically get review audiobooks as CDs, so this is my first digital download file, but it works just the same and I can’t wait to add it to my “reading” pile in December.

    As I am sharing something I received in my eMailbox this week, I’m giving credit to Kristi at The Story Siren who came up with the idea of sharing what’s in her mailbox each week.

    And now for what I’ll be diving into…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (November 20-November 26, 2011)

    ***

    First up is Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I received an eARC from the publisher, Entangled Publishing, through NetGalley. And as release date is coming up soon and I just want to read it that badly, it’s on the top of the pile this week.

    I had my eye on this book for quite some time, but was determined not to request any books through NetGalley until I was all caught up with my reading. I caved a week or so ago after seeing someone else tweet about their review and how awesome this book was.

    While I didn’t read any reviews, I know how amazing the author is and so I headed over to NetGalley to make the request. Apparently there weren’t copies available, but after talking with another blogger on Twitter, they released more copies and approved my pending request.

    I had already read the first chapter on the author’s blog, but I knew this would be very different from her other series. Although I didn’t know, until creating this post and actually reading the description on Goodreads, that the hot neighbor Daemon was in fact an alien, not a demon as I had thought. And that the main character, Katy, gets marked by him, is now a magnet for other aliens and needs his protection.

    This will be my very first alien book, I believe, and I’m totally intrigued with the idea of this story. I’ve already taken a peek at the first three chapters, so I already know that once again I love the author’s writing. I also love the fact that the main character is a book blogger. And I can’t wait to see if I will fall in love with my very first book involving aliens.

    I suppose I should have guessed the alien nature of the book by the font in the title on the book cover, but I have been staring at the button on my blog of Daemon and really couldn’t see anything aside from him.

    As with Half-Blood, I’m sure I’ll devour this book and will suffer the wait until the next book is released. The sequel, Onyx, is slated for release in 2012.

    Next up on the pile is Hushed by Kelley York. I received an eARC from the publisher for review as I’ll be part of a blog tour for this new book, releasing on December 6th.

    I would have added it to the pile earlier, because this book sounds dark and spectacular and I’ve been dying to read it, but since my review needed to be posted closer to release date I decided to wait. I’ve waited long enough, so now it’s on the pile this week.

    The first sentences in the description on Goodreads were what got me hooked on this book. “He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.” But the cover is just as dark and scary and made me want to read this even more. I think chilling is the best word to describe that cover.

    I am so curious as to what happened to Vivian when she and Archer were children that made him so protective of her. Protective enough to kill for her. And while the description calls Vivian “manipulative,” she sounds just plain evil.

    I am hoping Archer does break free of Vivian, finds happiness with Evan – well as much as can be found given that he’s a murderer – and has a chance at redemption. Although, I’d be just as happy with a dark, dark ending. Either way, I can’t wait to start reading this book and I’m so glad I was approached to be a part of this tour.

    Wishful Thinking reads:

    This is a total wishful thinking read, because the book doesn’t exist. I would love to read Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer. Yes, I just saw Breaking Dawn and no, it didn’t make me want to go back and re-read the series. But it did make me want to read Midnight Sun, which, based on the first eleven chapters, is the best book of them all.

    I’d also love to read A Touch Morbid, which I probably will have as my wishful thinking read every single week until release date. But as I don’t have a copy, I’ll just have to pine for it along with everyone else.

    Those left behind:

    I’m quite behind on some older review books, and I didn’t completely finish reading the books on last week’s pile, but I am just one girl and it has been a really, really tough week. Hence few comment responses, falling behind on NaNoWriMo and late posts. I hope to catch up over Thanksgiving weekend on the comments and the NaNo stuff, but we’ll see.

    I did read Everneath and fell in love with it – that book is so completely awesome – but I haven’t yet written my review. It was one of those books I fell in love with too deeply to be able to formulate any coherent thoughts and every time I sat down to write it, what I came up with was drivel.

    ***

    I am happy to say that I did not request a single book this week. I’ve stayed strong although I was tempted to head over to NetGalley when I heard that Tempest by Julie Cross was available for request. But since I am so behind I thought better of it.

    I do have one book, which I may be receiving this week depending on the USPS and the holiday mail schedule, that will be added to the pile for an immediate read. But if I don’t receive it until next week, I’ll add it then.

    And yep, that book is Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. And I have three days from receipt to read it, so I hope to get it on Friday and have the entire weekend to devour it.

    ***

    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your pile this week?

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