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    Giveaway: Half Bad by Sally Green

    Half Bad

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    I am super excited to be able to give away a copy of Sally Green’s HALF BAD thanks to the awesome folks at Viking Juvenile (Penguin). I received an advance copy of the book to read and review and it’s one of my most favorite reads this year. So I love that I am able to give away a copy to one of my blog’s readers so that they can read it and fall in love.

    It really is such a unique and amazing book… though I think I’ll refrain from gushing here in this post. I had planned on combining this giveaway with my review post, but as my reviews are always super long, I thought it better to post it separately.

    Because it struck a chord and is one of those books I like to call “me books” I gave it my off-the-menu six-star rating. If you’d like to know what I thought, you can read my review HERE.

    And if you’d like to know a little bit about the book…

    About Half Bad

    In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both.

    Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

    Series: Half Life #1
    Author: Sally Green
    Publisher: Viking Juvenile
    Pages: 416
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY

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    About Sally Green

    Sally Green lives in Warrington, England with her husband and son. Having decided not to return to her successful career in finance, she is currently studying for a BA in Literature with Creative Writing with the Open University. Her spare time is spent hill walking in Wales and drinking too much coffee.

    WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

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    The Giveaway

    GIVEAWAY

    What’s up for grabs…

    A hardcover copy of HALF BAD to one winner – US ONLY

    The deets…

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • Giveaway is US only
    • Prize will be sent directly from the publisher
    • Giveaway ends on March 17 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
    • Winner will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter
    • Winner will have 72 hours to respond with their details
    • No mandatory requirements to enter. There are a few extra entry opportunities

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

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    LANDRY PARK Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

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    I am so excited to be able to welcome Author Bethany Hagen to the blog today for the LANDRY PARK Blog Tour to talk about one of my most favorite characters in her novel, David Dana.

    I was immediately intrigued by David, about who he really was, what secrets he was keeping, and just what he thought about Madeline. He kept me guessing throughout the story, but I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t quite figure him out. Madeline had an equally difficult time, or so it seemed.

    And while I’d love to talk about all the reasons why I adored him, I think the author does a far better job and I’d likely reveal a bit too much of the story in trying to explain just how this charming, intense, mysterious, maddening boy won me over.

    Of course he wasn’t the only reason I loved this story and can’t wait for the sequel’s release. I was fascinated by the historical aspects that mirrored our history – and our mistakes – in many ways. I enjoyed seeing the main character, Madeline Landry, evolve as the story progressed. I loved learning about her family’s history, even if it… well, I’m not going to reveal that.

    But it was just so easy to be swept up in this story and transported to this futuristic society that felt very much like a historical one. It was so very easy to imagine that this author’s version of the future could become a reality. It was so nice to read a story whose world was so well-developed and well-thought out.

    Of course it would be much nicer if I could return to this world instantly rather than having to wait for the next book in the series. Especially as I’m just so curious about a certain Captain MacAvery and just what will happen next, after that rather interesting tidbit of information we were given right there at the end.

    Anyway… if you haven’t yet had the chance to meet David Dana, Author Bethany Hagen gives you a bit more insight into who he is, why he’s one of her favorite characters to write and why he drives Madeline Landry crazy.

    And if you’d like the chance to win a copy of this amazing book, just enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

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    The Guest Post

    Bethany Hagen Talks About Her Character David Dana

    Like many books, Landry Park has a boy, David Dana, who is all blond hair and blue eyes, a captain in the military and too wealthy for his own good.  He’s also cognitive dissonance embodied.  After the death of his father, he and his mother move to Kansas City, and as an unattached bachelor, he makes quite a splash.  David is a bit of a shock to Madeline—he’s extremely flirtatious, very playful and not afraid of an argument.  He challenges her quite a bit—on her beliefs and her perspectives—but at the same time doesn’t seem to take anything too seriously.

    Of course this all drives Madeline crazy.

    I think David has lots of literary progenitors, all stemming from my favorite books.  He’s a little bit Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind, a little bit Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey, and a little bit like Lancelot of Camelot.  He is one of my favorite characters to write because his motivations are so shaded and contradictory and unknown (even to himself sometimes.)  Plus, he’s always dressed in tuxedos and tight sweaters, and I like that in a character.

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    About Landry Park

    Landry Park Cover

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    Series: Landry Park #1
    Author: Bethany Hagen
    Release date: February 4, 2014
    Publisher: Dial
    Pages: 384
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish Gentry, sixteen year old Madeline Landry dreams of going off to the University. Gentry decorum and her domineering father won’t allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when her childhood friend is attacked and she witnesses Gentry golden boy David Dana secretly helping a Rootless girl, in spite of the fact that the Rootless, who maintain the nuclear power the country relies on, are exposed to dangerous radiation. As Madeline begins to question everything she has been taught her whole life, rumors of war and rebellion begin to swirl amidst Gentry courtships and extravagant debuts. Soon Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she is forced to make a choice: to stay with the Gentry—her family, her charmed life, and the estate she loves dearly—or to join David in the fight for Rootless equality.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | GOODREADS

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    About Bethany Hagen

    Bethany Hagen

    Bethany Hagen was born and raised in Kansas City, meaning she can tolerate jazz for brief amounts of time and is offended by dry rub barbecue. She grew up reading Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, and all things King Arthur. When she’s not working at the library or running around with her kids and husband, she’s writing or thinking about writing. Landry Park is her debut book.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | GOODREADS

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    The Giveaway

    The publisher has offered up a hardcover copy of LANDRY PARK for giveaway to one winner – US ONLY.

    • Giveaway ends on March 6, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.
    • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below… 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Cover Reveal: The Sound of Letting Go + Giveaway

    The Sound of Letting Go Cover

    THE SOUND OF LETTING GO by Stasia Ward Kehoe

    Coming February 1, 2014

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    My Thoughts

    I don’t usually participate in cover reveals sight unseen. Try almost never. But I just knew that the cover for THE SOUND OF LETTING GO was going to be beautiful. And I was right!

    I love this cover. I don’t even know where to begin… it’s just so pretty. From the color choices to the background image to the fonts. There is not one thing I don’t love about this cover.

    I love that the cover let’s the title speak for it. It’s an amazing title. It broke my heart before I even read the description. And I think the choices for fonts while clean and simple aren’t plain and boring. They have just a bit of whimsy to them. And with the blur that almost mimics the lens flare circles, it adds a layer of depth.

    I love that the author’s name is left justified like the title instead of centered at the bottom. And I love that it’s all caps which contrasts with the all lowercase of the title. I also love the color choices for both the title and the author’s name.

    And I just love, love, love the “wish” in the background. It, too, fits in so well with the title and the idea of letting go.

    Of course it’s not just the cover that’s amazing, but the book. Just check out the description, which follows below, and see for yourself. I know that I cannot wait to read it when it releases next winter.

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    About the Book
    For sixteen years, Daisy has been good.  A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly.  A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad.  She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.

    But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal.  Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy?  Should she side with her parents or protect her brother?  How do you know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?

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    About the Author

    Stasia Ward Kehoe

    Stasia Kehoe grew up dancing and performing on stages from New Hampshire to Washington, DC. She now writes books for young adults and choreographs the occasional musical.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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    The Giveaways

    This cover reveal comes with some awesome giveaway prizes including…

    A signed hardcover of AUDITION

    An ARC of THE SOUND OF LETTING GO

    Swag pack from authors Gretchen McNeil, Carrie Harris, Elana Johnson and Jessi Kirby

    (As I am not the one hosting the giveaway, just sharing the Rafflecopter, I am unaware of the rules and restrictions or whether it’s US only.)

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

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    Review: Black City

    Black City

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    BLACK CITY by Elizabeth Richards was released in the U.S. on November 13, 2012 in hardcover and eBook formats and will be releasing in paperback format on May 7, 2013.

    It is currently available to order online in hardcover and eBook formats and is available to pre-order in paperback format at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Putnam Juvenile, the print edition is 384 pages.

    BLACK CITY is the first book in a series of the same name by author Elizabeth Richards. The second book in the series, PHOENIX, is slated for release on May 28, 2013 and the third book in the series, currently untitled, is due out in 2014.

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    A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

    In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

    When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

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    BLACK CITY is a dark and intriguing post-apocalyptic story set in a chilling future where fear gives one man absolute power to rule with cruelty and violence and to oppress an entire race of beings. It is also a love story of two people forbidden to be together because of who they are, but who are willing to risk everything for love, including their lives.

    Ash Fisher is a twin-blood. Part-human, part-Darkling he doesn’t quite fit in with either race. Forced to live with his father on the human side of the Boundary Wall where he is looked upon by many with fear and repulsion, he is left to wonder if life in the Darkling ghetto, the Legion, would be better.

    Natalie Buchanan is the daughter of the Sentry Emissary. As part of the ruling class, she could have everything. But after what happened with her father and sister, moving to Black City and following her mother’s orders is the last thing she wants to do. Even though there’s nothing left for her in Centrum, she wishes she could return, because being back in Black City is so much worse.

    But everything changes when Ash and Natalie’s worlds collide.

    Instantly fearful of, distrusting and hateful toward one another, they hope their paths will never cross again. Even though their touch set off sparks. And even though they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another.

    Because being together is forbidden and being branded a race traitor is a death sentence in the United Sentry States.

    Elizabeth Richards has created an imaginative and richly detailed world in BLACK CITY. A dark and gritty backdrop, a fascinating new race of beings – the Darklings – and a terrifying leader who is willing to exterminate an entire race to further his agenda, make for an immensely entertaining read.

    And with a star-crossed love story, told from both characters’ perspectives, this story is exciting, suspenseful and absolutely heartbreaking.

    In BLACK CITY, the author builds the foundation for what is to come in future books in the series. The world-building is elaborate, with much of it presented at the outset, which initially slows the pace and impedes the story’s flow. But once the information is laid out about the world and its characters, the pace picks up and has a nice cadence as it switches back and forth between the two main characters’ perspectives.

    Even with its paranormal element and futuristic setting, the story has a realistic feel, which gives it depth. The  world mirrors a real life dictatorship where people are governed by fear, driven to decisions that cause them to turn a blind-eye to oppression and are willing to turn their back on their loved ones if it means avoiding the wrath of those in power.

    BLACK CITY is a fantastic and incredibly engaging start to this series. With moments that are breathtaking in both their beauty and their cruelty and a build-up to an ending that can only be called riveting, this story will appeal to readers who like their stories a bit dark, who enjoy putting their emotions on a roller coaster and who want to be transported to a future that doesn’t in the least bit resemble a utopia.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    Rate04On a personal note…

    It took me a dozen or so pages to get into BLACK CITY. While I was instantly intrigued by Ash, the world-building at the outset was a bit overwhelming. Especially as I was reading with a review in mind.

    I ended up having to stop and take notes every couple of sentences, which kept me from engaging with the story right from the start. As much of the information didn’t end up being necessary to an understanding of the story, and a lot of what was presented didn’t factor into this first book in the series, I would have preferred to have it introduced in smaller doses a bit further into the story rather than right at the beginning.

    That being said, I loved this world. It was dark and chilling and all sorts of horrible for most of its citizens. Its leader was the epitome of evil. Even his name, Purian Rose, gave me the heebie-jeebies. And yet I can’t wait to learn more about him and the rest of those in power in the United Sentry States in subsequent books in this series.

    I am also completely fascinated by the Darklings. While I still don’t fully grasp what they are – vampire/faerie hybrids perhaps or something altogether new? – they are so very interesting. And I’m just so curious what powers they would have if they weren’t so severely oppressed.

    I also loved that the story switched between Ash and Natalie’s perspectives. Which was a bit of a surprise because I’m usually a single POV kind of reader. While I would have loved to have more time discovering the world from Ash’s point-of-view, as Natalie was sometimes a bit clueless, I loved getting to see more of the world because of the dual perspectives.

    And while I don’t want to reveal too much, I just have to talk about the love story. It’s the reason why I picked up this book in the first place. The second I saw the description which called this “a dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story,” I knew it would be a book I just had to read.

    The love story had the right amounts of angst to make me feel all twisted up inside. Even though things sometimes felt rushed, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Ash and Natalie’s love story. It was the forbidden, star-crossed, Romeo and Juliet kind of love story. And it totally made me melt.

    And oh my gosh that ending! I just have to talk about that too. Well… that thing that happened right before the end. My heart broke. I totally knew what was going to happen – I accidentally read the first line of the description for the sequel – but the knowing actually made it that much more torturous to read. I kept waiting for the moment “it” would happen, wondering just how it was going to happen, which made me anxious long before I might have been had I not known.

    BLACK CITY was not at all what I expected it to be. I anticipated a typical dystopian setting with some kind of dictatorship. I expected a forbidden love story. I expected dark. But the story and setting were so much more interesting and elaborate than I thought they would be.

    The world the author created was much darker, more detailed and far more complex than I could have imagined. The dual perspectives allowed for a stronger connection to the two main characters and a longer look at their very disparate worlds. And its characters, the Darklings especially, were absolutely fascinating. Though Ash Fisher was totally in line with my expectations and just as swoon-worthy as I’d hoped he would be.

    This story was so very different from what I’d thought it would be, but its differences are what made it so incredibly appealing. And it took everything I had not to immediately start reading PHOENIX to continue the story and stay in this world.

    Favorite passage…

    I had a few favorite passages. Two that were a bit too long to include… and then there was this one…. It gives me chill bumps, too.

    His gaze is like a thrilling darkness sliding over my body, cold like winter’s frost, leaving a trail of goose pimples where his eyes have touched me.

    Book trailer…

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    My Reading Pile #109

    This was a really slow week at the mailbox. Well… maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. I decided to spend an entire week hiding from my mailbox. It’s very likely there were no books, as I wasn’t expecting any, but if there were, when I check tomorrow I’ll have a lovely surprise.

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    So, for this week I can only talk about the books I am reading, or plan on reading. As I have a visitor coming in from out of town later this week, I’ll likely not get much reading done. And if I want this post to go up next Saturday I’ll have to prep it in advance, so there may be another book-free mailbox in next week’s post, too.

    But I do have two great reads on the pile this week. Both were totally unplanned. But as I’ve been in such a mood to read dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels and multiple books in a series, I moved them to the top of the pile. So…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.
    (April 14, 2013 – April 20, 2013)

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    Black City
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    First up on the pile is BLACK CITY by Elizabeth Richards. I’d purchased a copy for my Kindle when it released last year. I hadn’t actually heard of it until the massive promotional blitz for it, which normally might have sent me running in the opposite direction, but the campaign was a good one and it did put a book that might not otherwise have been on my radar on it.

    And once I read the description I just had to have it. The first sentence completely sold me. But the rest – the Romeo and Juliet love story, the intrigue of these beings called Darklings, a “deadly conspiracy” – would have had me running to the eBookstore even if that first sentence weren’t there.

    Of course, it’s taken some time for me to actually get it on my reading pile. But now that I have an early copy of PHOENIX and the release date for the paperback version of BLACK CITY is nearly here, I just couldn’t resist putting it on the pile this week.

    And I actually may have already started reading it. Because I just couldn’t wait for Sunday. And I am LOVING it so far.

    A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

    In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

    When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

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    Phoenix
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    Next up on the pile is PHOENIX by Elizabeth Richards. I am so excited to have received a couple of early review copies from the publisher, Putnam, and while it isn’t releasing until June, I just couldn’t resist the chance to read this sequel back-to-back with BLACK CITY.

    I have been in such a mood to read multiple books in a series back-to-back. Right now I almost don’t want to read any books, unless they’re series-ending books or standalones, without at least two books for me to dive into.

    So, I’m super excited to have this sequel to read immediately after finishing BLACK CITY. Of course I’m kicking myself for adding the book descriptions to these posts because I accidentally read the first line for this sequel and it’s really revealing. Granted, it’s not like I’d have to suffer a cliffhanger ending for very long, since I’d just have to pick up the sequel. But knowing how one part of the story ends just kills me.

    I am still excited to read this follow-up, though. And I might just be even more excited, because now I want to know just how what happened to the character happened and just what it all means. And even though I’ve been spoiled by the first line in this description, I will not read any more of it, as I want the rest to be a surprise.

    If all goes well, I will be able to start reading PHOENIX on Tuesday. As I know with my guest arriving on Thursday I won’t get any reading done after that.

    Weeks after his crucifixion and rebirth as Phoenix, Ash Fisher believes his troubles are far behind him. He and Natalie are engaged and life seems good. But his happiness is short-lived when he receives a threatening visit from Purian Rose, who gives Ash an ultimatum: vote in favor of Rose’s Law permanently relegating Darklings to the wrong side of the wall or Natalie will be killed.

    The decision seems obvious to Ash; he must save Natalie. But when Ash learns about The Tenth, a new and deadly concentration camp where the Darklings would be sent, the choice doesn’t seem so simple. Unable to ignore his conscience, Ash votes against Rose’s Law, signing Natalie’s death warrant and putting a troubled nation back into the throes of bloody battle.

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    Wishful Thinking Reads:

    I would love to read the next book in the Blood of Eden series. But given the fact that it’s not even close to its release date, I really can’t even justify wishing for it. And because I have so many books I should be reading right now, I probably shouldn’t even allow myself to wish for any.

    Of course, I’d also love to be reading the final book in the Southern Vampires series, DEAD EVER AFTER by Charlaine Harris. But as that doesn’t come out for a few weeks and I don’t have an early copy, it is only ever going to be a wish.

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    Those Left Behind:

    So I did read RISE from the previous week’s pile, so that is no longer left behind. I even reviewed it. And I am still reading UNBREAKABLE – I seem to have misplaced my book light temporarily so I switched things up and started reading a book on my Kindle instead. Without a doubt I will finish it this weekend.

    But I did not get the chance to read GODDESS. Which I am going to try and read after I finish the two books on this week’s pile if I do get some free time later in the week. Though I think it’s more likely it will be a back on the pile read next week.

    I am still not caught up on reviews, though I hope I’ll be able to get at least one of three long overdue reviews done this weekend. But as I have one more book to review and six other posts I need to create between now and Monday, I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to. As always, I am hopeful.

    I’m just much more in a reading mood than a writing mood at the moment, so it is very difficult to go against the urge to pick up those books. But I’m trying to be good. I think I’m failing….

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    NetGalley Pile Adds & Finds:

    I may have gone a little crazy on NetGalley this week and requested four titles…

    Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

    BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by April Genevieve Tucholke (Penguin Young Readers Group, Aug 15, 2013)

    Belladonna

    BELLADONNA (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #2) by Fiona Paul (Penguin Young Readers Group, Jul 16, 2013)

    Earthbound

    EARTHBOUND by Aprilynne Pike (Razorbill, Jul 30, 2013)

    The Fury

    THE FURY by Alexander Gordon Smith (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Jul 23, 2013)

    While approval is pending on the three Penguin titiles I am keeping my fingers crossed and holding my breath. It’s not likely I’ll get approved for any of them, but a girl can dream.

    And it seems there are a ton of titles from the  Penguin Group’s catalog that have been added to NetGalley in the past week, along with some other interesting sounding books. And they are…

    STARCURSED (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #2) by Jessica Spotswood (Penguin Young Readers Group, Jun 18, 2013)

    PHOENIX (Black City #2) by Elizabeth Richards (Penguin Young Readers Group, Jun 4, 2013)

    TARNISH (Gilt #2) by Katherine Longshore (Penguin Young Readers Group, Jun 18, 2013)

    THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET by Robin Palmer (Penguin Young Readers Group, Jun 27, 2013)

    OUR SONG by Jordanna Fraiberg (Penguin Young Readers Group, May 2, 2013)

    FLICKER & BURN (Cold Fury #2) by T.M. Goeglein (Penguin Young Readers Group, Aug 20, 2013)

    PROXY by Alex London (Penguin Young Readers Group, Jun 18, 2013)

    ALL I NEED by Susane Colasanti (Penguin Young Readers Group, May 21, 2013)

    THIS SIDE OF JEALOUSY (The Innocents #2) by Lili Peloquin (Penguin Young Readers Group, Aug 20, 2013)

    SYLO by D.J. MacHale (Penguin Young Readers Group, Jul 2, 2013)

    FIVE SUMMERS by Una LaMarche (Penguin Young Readers Group, May 16, 2013)

    IMPOSTOR (Variants #1) by Susanne Winnacker (Penguin Young Readers Group, May 23, 2013)

    BATTLE LINES (Department 19 #3) by Will Hill (Penguin Young Readers Group, Aug 29, 2013)

    45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS) by Kelly Barson (Penguin Young Readers Group, Jul 11, 2013)

    INTUITION by C.J. Omololu (Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, Jun 18, 2013)

    LOVE IN THE TIME OF GLOBAL WARMING by Francesa Lia Block (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Aug 27, 2013)

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? by Jordan Sonnenblick (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Sep 3, 2013)

    BROTHER, BROTHER by Clay Carmichael (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Aug 20, 2013)

    TIDES by Betsy Cornwell (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jun 4, 2013)

    NOTHING BUT BLUE by Lisa Jahn-Clough (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 7, 2013)

    THE ELITE (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass (HarperCollins UK Children’s, Apr 11, 2013)

    GOOD FOR YOU (Between the Lines #3) by Tammara Webber (Penguin Books Australia, May 22, 2013) **ONLY for Australian Bloggers/Reviewers**

    There are a TON of books on this list. It took me forever to pull them together, and it was even more of a challenge not to request all of them. Though I did end up requesting two of the four titles listed above that I found while researching. Research is sooooo dangerous.

    Thankfully I have printed ARCs of PHOENIX, STAR CURSED and FLICKER & BURN or I’d have three more titles I’d be requesting. As it is, I’m fighting the urge not to request TARNISH, THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET and OUR SONG. It’s not easy.

    And while I only include YA titles on this list, if you like to read Middle Grade books, Penguin has a lot of new super cute sounding titles available to request, so be sure to check them out!

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    I didn’t get much reading done this week as I had a number of posts that I needed to create and I spent a little bit too much time playing around on my new “tester” blog. Which is no longer going to be a blog I test my posts on because my designer – Parajunkee Design – made it way too awesome…

    Book Blog Site

    Of course now that it isn’t going to be a tester, I’m having a few more tweaks done. And creating a new tester blog… which she’s designing. Uh oh.

    But I hope to be much more productive this weekend as far as reading and reviewing goes. Though with all those posts I need to create, I don’t know how much reading I’ll get done. I am still hopeful for the reviews, however.

    Anyway…

    I’d hoped to post this last night, but given the fact that I crashed at 10:30 and then woke up at Midnight only long enough to check that my post on The Annex went live, I had to wait until morning to finish and proofread it.

    And although I didn’t get any books in the mailbox – at least I don’t think I did – I hope you got some amazing titles and have a few you are planning on reading this week.

    If you’d like to share your book hauls or your planned reads, leave a comment – and if you blog, a link!

    As ever, happy reading!

    ***

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

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    Cover Reveals: Flicker & Burn and Cold Fury + Giveaway

    I am super excited to be able to take part in this AWESOME cover reveal for not one, but TWO covers for the first two books in T.M. Goeglein’s COLD FURY trilogy.

    COLD FURY, the first book in the series, has been redesigned with this awesome, dark and gritty new cover, which is a perfect match to the cover for FLICKER & BURN, the second book in the series.

    The paperback edition of COLD FURY will be  releasing in June 2013 and FLICKER & BURN will be releasing in hardcover format in August 2013.

    If you haven’t yet had a chance to meet Sara Jane Rispoli or take a step into author T.M. Goeglein’s Chicago, be sure to check out the Goodreads descriptions for each book, further below. But if you have, then you’ll definitely want to take a peek at this awesome blurb about FLICKER & BURN from the author…

     

    The thrill ride that began in Cold Fury kicks into high gear in Flicker & Burn, as the threats to Sara Jane Rispoli come at her from all directions. She continues the desperate search for her missing family, but this time she’s on the run from creepy beings with red, pulsing eyes and ghostly white skin chasing her through the streets of Chicago in black ice cream trucks – they can only be described as Ice Cream Creatures. They’re skeletal and ferocious, hell-bent on catching or killing her, but also a weird link to her family, a clue to where they might be and who has them.

    While Sara Jane battles these new pursuers, she learns painful lessons about the phenomenon that possesses her, cold fury. At the same time, she’s uncovering buried secrets about the misdeeds of her family – old murders and blood vendettas – that might be connected to the disappearance of her mom, dad, and brother. The mysteries, violence, and constant state of chasing or being chased could be the undoing of her relationship with handsome Max Kissberg. Despite the love growing between them, Sara Jane can’t tell him the truth about her life, and fears for his safety.

    Not only do the Ice Cream Creatures display the grisly amputated finger of her mom to prove their viciousness, and not only does Lucky, the Outfit Boss of Bosses, whistle in Sara Jane for a sit-down with deadly consequences, but her gorgeous cousin, Heather Richards, enters the scene, as well. All that matters to Sara Jane is saving her family and keeping everyone she loves alive and safe. But the forces she encounters, both external and the ones crackling inside of her, fight her every step of the way.

     

    Awesome, right? This sequel sounds even darker, more dangerous and more action packed than the first. I cannot WAIT for its release!

    But this post isn’t supposed to be just about how awesome the story is, it’s about the amazing new covers.

    And while I included an image of them side-by-side, so that it would be easy to see just how perfect they look together, I thought I’d include each of them below, so that it would be easy to see how gorgeous they look on their own.

    COLD FURY

    I LOVE this new cover for COLD FURY. It brings in more artistry and adds a layer of grittiness that the first cover didn’t have. While it still features Sara Jane Rispoli, it adds in the backdrop of the city below. And as the city itself was such a big part of that first book, I love getting to see it featured on the cover.

    But the things I love most about this new cover are the title font and the black and white images. Both fit in so much better with the vision I had of the world that the author painted.

    And with the cover for FLICKER & BURN designed in the same style, this one will look  perfect sitting next to it on the bookshelf.

    Goodreads description…

    Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos in this breathtaking adventure

    Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance–until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).

    Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It’s a quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies–a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K in cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense–hidden in its pages the secret to “ultimate power.” It’s why she’s being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives.

    Action packed, with fresh, cinematic writing, Cold Fury is a riveting and imaginative adventure readers will devour.

    FLICKER & BURN

    As much as I love the cover for COLD FURY, I LOVE this cover for FLICKER & BURN even more. I am partial to covers with red against a black and white backdrop. But I also love the panoramic view of the city, Sara Jane’s placement on the cover, that the title isn’t the only text appearing above cityscape, and even the little flames flickering above the text.

    I love that this cover for FLICKER & BURN, with its warm colors, is such a stark contrast to the cool colors in COLD FURY. Of course it makes sense, given each book’s title. But they pair together incredibly well.

    Of course seeing both of these awesome covers together makes me so very curious about just what the cover for third and final book in the series will look like. But I suppose that is a reveal for another day.

    Goodreads description…

    Sara Jane Rispoli is still searching for her missing family, but instead of fighting off a turncoat uncle and crooked cops, this time she finds herself on the run from creepy beings with red, pulsing eyes and pale white skin chasing her through the streets in ice cream trucks; they can only be described as Ice Cream Creatures. They’re terrifying and hell bent on killing her, but they’re also a link to her family, a clue to where they might be and who has them.

    While she battles these new pursuers, she’s also discovering more about her own cold fury and more about the Chicago Outfit, how the past misdeeds–old murders and vendettas–might just be connected to her present and the disappearance of her family. But connecting the dots is tough and time-consuming and may finally be the undoing of her relationship with the handsome Max–who’s now her boyfriend. But for his own safety, Sara Jane may have to end this relationship before it even really starts.

    Her pursuers who’ve shown her her mother’s amputated finger and the head of the Chicago Outfit who’s just whistled her in for a sit-down make a romance unthinkable. The only thing that matters is finding her family and keeping everyone she loves alive.

    COLD FURY will be released in paperback on June 13, 2013 and is available to pre-order at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    FLICKER & BURN will be released in hardcover and eBook formats on August 20, 2013 and is available to pre-order at AMAZON.

    And if you haven’t yet “met” the author behind this wildly entertaining series, here’s just a little bit about him and a few places you can catch him online.

    ***

    T.M. Goeglein

    T.M. Goeglein began his career as a writer of print and television ads for a host of advertising and media companies. As a screenwriter, he created both original scripts and worked as a script doctor for several production companies in Los Angeles. He was an original contributor to the Huffington Post ‘Living’ section, and continues to write for both the national edition and Huffington Post Chicago. Read T.M. Goeglein’s stories on the Huffington Post.

    His debut young adult novel, COLD FURY, was published by Penguin/Putnam on July 24, 2012 and is the first in a trilogy; he’s currently working on the second and third book. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Laura, and two young children.

    Find him:

    WEBSITE, BLOG, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, GOODREADS, TUMBLR

    And now for an amazing giveaway courtesy of the author and publisher for an ARC of FLICKER & BURN. Details are below….

    I am super thrilled to be able to offer up for giveaway an ARC of FLICKER & BURN by T.M. Goeglein to ONE WINNER.

     

    The details:

    Only ONE entry per household.

    Giveaway is US ONLY.

    You MUST be 13 or older to enter.

    Giveaway ends on December 26, 2012.

    Winner will be contacted by email and announced in the Rafflecopter.

    There are extra entry opportunities for this giveaway.

    ARC will be sent directly from the publisher once ARCs are available.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Cover Reveal: Ashes on the Waves

    Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey

    Coming Summer 2013

    ***

    There is nothing quite like having an absolutely amazing book enveloped by an equally gorgeous cover. And I am so incredibly thrilled to be able to reveal this stunning cover for Mary Lindsey’s ASHES ON THE WAVES here on the blog tonight.

    The artist, Nekro, could not have done a better job in capturing the spirit of the book in his creation. From the character’s upturned face into the rain, to the balance of dark and light to its overall haunting beauty, it is the perfect introduction to this dark, gothic tale.

    While I am so privileged to get the chance to reveal the cover here on the blog tonight, the artist will be revealing his original artwork, which is just a bit different, tomorrow. Whether it’s on his website, tumblr or facebook, I do not know. But keep an eye on both author Mary Lindsey and artist Nekro’s tweets, because you won’t want to miss it!

    ***

    My Thoughts

    I love everything about this cover, from the fonts to the colors to the model’s pose to the tagline. Everything. There’s not one thing I do not love. I love how she appears to be breaking free from the crest of the wave and how the tilt of the font follows both the wave and the line of her body.

    I love how the clouds break to allow light through to give a peek at the home in the background, but that it’s still nestled in the fog, lending it an air of mystery.

    And I love the balance of light and dark from both the waves and sky.

    I could go on and on about all the delicate touches and beautiful details that capture my eye, but then this post would be endless.

    But before I go I will just say again how perfect this cover is for the story. Which is so amazing that I think I’m going to have to read it again tonight.

    ***

    About the Book

    Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.

    With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make a wager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer.  Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.

    Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem Annabel Lee, Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love.

    Find it: GOODREADS

    ***

    About the Author

    Mary’s writing is a natural expression of her love of reading and a fascination with the flexibility of the human imagination. Books make the impossible possible.

    Prior to attending University of Houston Law School, Mary received a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Drama from the University of Houston. She has taught drama and playwriting in a large public high school and English in a private school. Currently, Mary teaches acting to children and teens at a private studio in Houston, Texas.

    Mary lives in Houston with her husband, three kids, two dogs, her daughter’s pet rats, an Australian Bearded Dragon and dozens of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. (The roaches are long story—don’t ask.)

    Find her: TWITTER, FACEBOOK, WEBSITE, BLOG, GOODREADS

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All reviews on this website are unbiased and reviewers are in no way compensated for their reviews by the author, publisher, or any other agencies. While some reviews may be based on receipt of ARC copies of an authors work, a fair and impartial review is always given by the reviewer. Most of the reviews, however, are based upon books purchased after publication date.