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    STEADFAST Blog Tour: ‘Top Five Moments’ Guest Post + Giveaway

    Steadfast-HC

    I am super excited to be kicking off the STEADFAST Blog Tour with a very awesome guest post by Author Claudia Gray in which she shares her Top Five Moments from the Spellcaster Trilogy.

    I love, love, loved SPELLCASTER – so much so that I re-read it in anticipation of this tour – and I’m currently reading STEADFAST and I already love it even more than the first book in the series. But that’s not a surprise to me as Claudia Gray’s series just keep getting better and better as they progress.

    If you have read the first book in this series then you know what a Steadfast is and just what might be awaiting the characters in this sequel. And if you’ve read at least one book in this series then you are probably just as excited about the third book in the series, SORCERESS, as I am.

    Of course if you haven’t yet had the chance to dive into this very amazing series, you may not want to read beyond the author’s first of five top moments. Because they do reveal quite a bit about who’s who and what’s what in SPELLCASTER and a little bit about what’s in store for some of the characters in STEADFAST.

    But if you have read both books or don’t mind getting the inside scoop about what’s going to happen in each book before you begin, then definitely read all five of the author’s favorite moments. Because they are really, really great moments that she chose and I have to say they rank in my top ten… I do have a few other favorites, too. One of which I plan on sharing with my review.

    Whether you’re new to this series or someone anxiously awaiting STEADFAST, there’s an amazing giveaway as part of this tour for a signed copy of STEADFAST + swag to three winners. And, yes, it’s international.

    But before you scroll down to the giveaway, be sure to check out the author’s awesome guest post. I’d love to know which of the five scenes she lists as favorites are favorites of yours.

    If you haven’t yet heard about the Spellcaster Trilogy, I’ve included some information about the two full-length books currently – and soon-to-be – available and the eNovella which is all about Elizabeth Cooper. And if you haven’t yet had a chance to “meet” the author, her bio, along with places to find her online, is also below.

    I’ve included the full tour schedule, which I’ll be updating with direct links to the posts when they go “live,” at the bottom of this post. So if you’re stopping by later this week, next week, or any time after the tour, you’ll be able to check out all the guest posts, author interviews, character interviews and reviews without having to search.

    But today is my stop and I have a really awesome guest post. So if you’d like to check that out, I’ll let you do that now….

    The Guest Post

    Five Favorite Moments from the SPELLCASTER Trilogy

    by Claudia Gray 

    One

    Mateo rescues Nadia.

    Nadia’s magical powers mean she doesn’t need a lot of rescuing – but in this scene from SPELLCASTER, she’s in way over her head. Literally. After she dives in the sound for a lost magical artifact, Nadia fails to surface again. Mateo dives in to see her trapped in seaweed that’s part of a protective spell, and she hasn’t been able to breathe for way too long.

    Quickly he broke for the surface again, took in the largest mouthful of air he could hold, and plunged in. Mateo kicked toward her, caught her shoulders in his hands. The panic in Nadia’s eyes was terrible to see. He pressed his mouth to hers, opening it – then blew the air into her lungs, giving Nadia precious oxygen. As he did, he felt Nadia realize what he was doing and inhale deeply; for a moment they remained tangled like that. Two people, one breath.

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    Two

    Elizabeth interrupts Nadia’s spell.

    Nadia decides to cast a spell to remove some of Elizabeth’s magic; the spell is better cast in the water, so she gets into the clawfoot tub at home. But Elizabeth senses the shift in magic, and retaliates.

    Elizabeth lit her candle. She made her own out of tallow fat, the old way, boiling down the dead flesh herself. How it glistened when it melted – and ahh, the smell. There was no replacing that stink, the fetid odor of real magic. Some people prettied it up, but she preferred to know it for what it was. 

    Holding her hand out flat, Elizabeth pushed it forward until her fingers were in the candle’s flame. The first flare of heat hurt, but she had long since learned to ignore pain.

    She held it there, and held it there. Her skin turned red, and the thin wisp of smoke rising from the candle began to darken. The tallow scent deepened into the smell of smoldering flesh. 

    Hotter, Elizabeth thought. Pain-sparked tears welled in her eyes, but they were meaningless. Her fingers had begun to turn black.

    Make it hotter.

    The air was almost uncomfortably thick with steam now, and Nadia could feel her whole body prickling with heat from the tub – she hadn’t turned the cold tap enough – but she knew she had to concentrate …

    But Nadia couldn’t think, the water was so freaking hot – it almost burned. 

    Her eyes opened wide as she realized the water was getting hotter. Though the taps were off, the water in the tub was heating up second by second, faster all the time, and she gasped aloud to see steam billowing up – oh, God, it stung, it hurt, it was going to start cooking her –

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    Three

    Verlaine makes a list of pros and cons.

    Verlaine first appears to be just another girl at Rodman High – albeit one who wears vintage fashion, has long hair that’s already silver at age 17, and always seems to be on the outside looking in. She and Nadia become fast friends. Yet Verlaine turns out to be more connected to the dark magic in Captive’s Sound than she ever imagined. The sorceress Elizabeth may even be responsible for the deaths of her parents when Verlaine was only a baby. Nadia has told Verlaine they can’t know for sure unless they visit her parents’ gravesites.

    Reasons To Visit My Parents’ Graves Soon 

    Have to know if that hag Elizabeth killed them or not.

    Should probably take flowers or something because I’ve never taken anything there and maybe that’s kind of awful, and I am somehow being the worst daughter ever to people who aren’t even alive.

    If Elizabeth did this, then revenge is necessary even though she is a mega bad-ass witch from ye olden days and I am a high school senior with a shrieking-alarm key chain as my sole means of self-defense. So some planning time for said revenge is probably also necessary.

    Reasons Not To Visit My Parents’ Graves Soon

    Not sure I’m ready to deal with that, at all.

    Already working on stopping Elizabeth in her tracks, so revenge motivation is an unnecessary addition to my plans. Also that’s probably the only way to make this apocalypse-averting thing even more stressful than it already is.

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    Four

    Elizabeth threatens Nadia’s dad.

    Now we’re in STEADFAST. In this book, the sorceress Elizabeth isn’t trying to defeat Nadia; she’s trying to recruit her. The One Beneath wants Nadia to serve him, and Elizabeth’s willing to do whatever it takes to make her serve the forces of darkness whether she wants to or not. During one altercation, Nadia learns to her horror that Elizabeth has cast a powerful spell on her father, creating a dangerous (and illegal) attraction to Elizabeth he would never feel otherwise. Although Mr. Caldani has done absolutely nothing wrong, Elizabeth informs Nadia that won’t be the case for long.

    “At this rate, I’m very close to going to Ms. Walsh for a counseling session, where I’d confess that I’d been pressured into an affair by one of my friends’ fathers. I wonder what your life would be like if he went to prison for statutory rape? Would you be old enough to take custody of Cole full-time? Though of course you’d have to drop out of school and work to support you both. Even if you did find a job, you couldn’t keep that lovely house, I’d imagine. There are some cheaper apartments further inland that might do. Then again, maybe you’re not old enough after all. Would Cole go into foster care?” Elizabeth frowned. “Or do they still have workhouses? I can’t recall.”

    I like this because it touches on one of the most important things about Nadia – her connection to her family – and because it’s so incredibly disturbing. No one wants to think about their parents’ sex lives even in the best circumstances. Discovering that her dad’s being manipulated in this way – it seriously screws with Nadia’s head.

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    Five

    Asa shows some of his true power to Verlaine.

    Verlaine felt a shiver go through her then. Although there was no overt sign that Asa was someone besides Jeremy Prasad, something other than human – it had somehow become completely clear that he could stop them all if he had to, and make them sorry they’d even tried to get past him.

    One of the things I loved most about writing STEADFAST was introducing the character of Asa – really Asael, a demon in the service of the One Beneath. But he’s been scooped out of hell and dropped into the undead body of Nadia’s classmate Jeremy Prasad, supposedly to serve Elizabeth. Asa, however, has a few schemes of his own. He winds up messing with the heads of Nadia, Mateo and Verlaine, turning them all against each other at times. Yet as he spends all this time observing them, he can’t help paying more attention to Verlaine. As a demon, he understands something about the dark magic affecting her; in some ways, Asa is the only one who can see Verlaine for who she really is. And he likes what he sees …

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    About Steadfast

    Steadfast

    goodreads2

    Series: Spellcaster #2
    Release date: March 4, 2014
    Publisher: HarperTeen
    Pages: 352
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine have saved Captive’s Sound from the dark Sorceress Elizabeth…or so they thought. Despite their best efforts, a crack opened and a new, greater evil seeped through. With Mateo as her Steadfast, Nadia’s magic is magnified and she is more powerful than ever. But there is still so much she doesn’t know about the craft, leaving her open and vulnerable to a darker magic…which has begun to call Nadia’s name.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | GOODREADS

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    About Claudia Gray

    Claudia Gray

    Claudia Gray is a pseudonym. I would like to say that I chose another name so that no one would ever learn the links between my shadowy, dramatic past and the explosive secrets revealed through my characters. This would be a lie. In truth, I took a pseudonym simply because I thought it would be fun to choose my own name. (And it is.)

    I write novels full-time, absolutely love it, and hope to be able to do this forever. My home is in New Orleans, is more than 100 years old, and is painted purple. In my free time I read, travel, hike, cook and listen to music. You can keep up with my latest releases, thoughts on writing and various pop-culture musings via Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Goodreads or (of course) my own home page.

    If you want to contact me, you can email me here, but your best bet is probably to Tweet me. I don’t do follows on Twitter, but I follow everyone back on Tumblr, Pinterest and Goodreads.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | TUMBLR | PINTEREST |GOODREADS

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    Other Books in the Series

    Spellcaster

    Title: SPELLCASTER (Spellcaster #1)
    Release date: March 5, 2013
    Publisher: HarperTeen
    Pages: 400
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Description…

    When Nadia’s family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to it than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia senses a dark and powerful magic at work in her new town. Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, trying to dodge the local legend that his family is cursed – and that curse will cause him to believe he’s seeing the future … until it drives him mad. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl—Nadia—from a car accident come true, he knows he’s doomed.

    Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his family’s terrible curse, and to prevent a disaster that threatens the lives of everyone around them. Shimmering with magic and mystery, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray’s new novel is sure to draw fans of the Hex Hall and Caster Chronicles series, and fans of the hit CW TV show The Secret Circle.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | GOODREADS

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    The First Midnight Spell

    Title: THE FIRST MIDNIGHT SPELL (Spellcaster #0.5)
    Release date: November 5, 2013
    Publisher: HarperTeen
    Pages: 64
    Formats: eBook

    Description…

    In this suspenseful companion novella to New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray’s Spellcaster, learn the tragic origins of the dark witch Elizabeth.

    It’s 1695, and Elizabeth Cooper is a young witch in Fortune’s Sound, Rhode Island. She spends her days perfecting spells with the local coven and dreaming about one day marrying Nat Porter. But Nat is the son of Widow Porter, another witch and the leader of their coven. According to the First Laws of the Craft, Elizabeth is strictly forbidden to marry him.

    Elizabeth never imagined dabbling in the dark arts, bringing herself close to serving the One Beneath. But as she feels Nat slipping away from her, she will do anything to secure his love. How much harm could she do with one single spell, even if it is black magic?

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

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    The Giveaway

    There is an awesome giveaway included as part of this tour for…

    A SIGNED copy of STEADFAST + swag (bookmarks) to THREE winners – International.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Feb. 24th – Fiktshun – Guest Post

    Feb. 25th – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

    Feb. 26th – Fantasy Book Addict – Interview

    Feb. 27th – Magical Urban Fantasy Reads – Character Interview with Verlaine

    Feb. 28th – Jenna Does Books – Interview

    Week Two

    Mar. 3rd – Mundie Moms – Review and Excerpt

    Mar. 4th – Parajunkee – Interview

    Mar. 5th – Bookalicious – Guest Post

    Mar. 6th – Tales of a Ravenous Reader – Guest Post

    Mar. 7th – The YA Sisterhood – Guest Post

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #114

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

    These are books for the week of March 5th-March 11th that I have pre-ordered.

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    Spellcaster

    SPELLCASTER by Claudia Gray will be released in the U.S. on March 5, 2013 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and in hardcover and eBook formats at BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 400 pages.

    SPELLCASTER is the first book in author Claudia Gray’s series of the same name. The second book in the series, STEADFAST, is slated for release in 2014. And the third book in the series, SORCERESS, does not yet have a release date set.

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    I received an early copy of SPELLCASTER by Claudia Gray, the only printed ARC I’ve requested from the pubs since 2011, and oh my gosh this book is amazing. And I cannot wait for the finished eBook to download to my Kindle this week.

    I’ve been going through major Claudia Gray withdrawal as I haven’t yet had the courage to finish the Evernight books and I still haven’t had the chance to read FATEFUL. But getting to read SPELLCASTER just a little bit early has reminded me of every single reason why I should get those books back to the top of the pile ASAP.

    While I haven’t yet finished it at the time of this post, I will be finishing it today. And so as not to spoil anything I will only just say that it’s just so easy to get caught up in this book. Nadia is a character that I was instantly able to connect with and want to know more about. And the story is nearly impossible to put down. Something I had to do… with much reluctance… in order to finish this post.

    Let the Sky Fall

    LET THE SKY FALL by Shannon Messenger will be released in the U.S. on March 5, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Simon Pulse, the print edition is 416 pages.

    LET THE SKY FALL is the first book in author Shannon Messenger’s series of the same name. The second book in the series, currently untitled, is slated for release in 2014.

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    I am so unbelievably sad that I didn’t get the chance to read LET THE SKY FALL before its release. But as it will be downloading to my Kindle on Tuesday I will definitely be reading it very, very soon.

    I desperately want to meet Vane and Audra. I want to discover this story of air elementals, guardians and forbidden romance. I want to find out just what memory Audra needs him to forget. And I want to see how they’ll keep themselves safe when there are “warriors coming to destroy them.”

    This was one of my most anticipated reads and while I didn’t get to read it early, I am so stoked that it’s releasing this week. And there is no way this month will end with me not having found out if it’s every bit as awesome as it sounds.

    Requiem

    REQUIEM by Lauren Oliver will be released in the U.S. on March 5, 2013 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and in hardcover and eBook formats at BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperCollins, the print edition is 432 pages.

    REQUIEM is the third and final book in Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy.

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    After having read DELIRIUM early and hearing that the ending to PANDEMONIUM was even more torturous, I’ve been waiting for the final book in the series to be released to get back into this world. Well, now that REQUIEM is releasing this week, I plan on diving in and discovering for myself just how wicked a cliffhanger everyone had to suffer.

    I have tried very hard not to take a peek at this book’s description or listen to any of the chatter. But of course I couldn’t help learning of new characters that appeared in PANDEMONIUM and a certain character that may not have had as complete an ending as I thought they had.

    I’ve also heard that this final book is told from both Lena and Hana’s perspectives. So I’m curious to see if that will take away from or add to my love for this final book in a series I already know is amazing.

    I am very hopeful of reading both books next month when I have a little room to breathe. Because I know I’ll need it. After reading DELIRIUM I was in a daze for two weeks.

    Infatuate

    INFATUATE by Aimee Agresti will be released in the U.S. on March 5, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Harcourt Children’s Books, the print edition is 416 pages.

    INFATUATE is the second book in author Aimee Agresti’s Gilded Wings series.

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    I only recently read ILLUMINATE and fell completely in love with the characters, the world and the author’s writing. And I’m so excited that the sequel is releasing this week. INFATUATE promises to be just as awesome as the first book in the Gilded Wings series.

    I cannot wait to see what happens to Haven, Lance and Dante in this new setting. I cannot wait to find out whether they’re able to defeat the Krewe. And I cannot wait to see a certain character that I wasn’t sure would be in this sequel.

    The description calls this book “thrilling, romantic, and full of surprises” and I just know it will be. And I cannot wait to read it and find out for myself just what those surprises are, just who the romance is between, just how thrilling it will be and whether there will be another book in this amazing series.

    A Touch Menacing

    A TOUCH MENACING by Leah Clifford will be released in the U.S. on March 5, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Greenwillow Books, the print edition is 320 pages.

    A TOUCH MENACING is the third and final installment in author Leah Clifford’s A Touch Trilogy.

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    I am both excited and terrified for the release of A TOUCH MENACING. If the title itself weren’t enough to make me nervous, listening to the author tease about this final book in the series would be.

    And it was. Because I am officially very, very, very nervous about what is to come.

    As I already spotlighted A TOUCH MENACING for my Book Watch post in February, I don’t want to prolong my agony or yours by rambling on endlessly. But I am ever hopeful the author won’t be too cruel to her characters or readers. I am hopeful that even if evil triumphs over good, it won’t leave me completely shattered.

    And I am hoping that even if certain characters don’t make it to the end of this story, the characters I’m rooting for will.

    Yes, that’s a lot to ask. But as I said above, I am ever hopeful.

    Unremembered

    UNREMEMBERED by Jessica Brody will be released in the U.S. on March 5, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 320 pages.

    UNREMEMBERED is the first book in author Jessica Brody’s series of the same name. The second book in the series is entitled UNFORGOTTEN and the third book in the series is currently untitled.

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    I was given an early copy of UNREMEMBERED by Jaime of Two Chicks on Books… actually she sent me two copies but I gave one back. But until recently I hadn’t taken a look at the book’s description. Though as soon as I did I clicked over to Amazon to pre-order it for my Kindle.

    While I haven’t had the chance to read it early, I’m so happy to be adding this book to my collection. Because it sounds absolutely amazing. And it’s not a standalone, but a first book in a series. So that’s a win, win.

    I love stories where the character is in the dark about who they are and about their past. I love the element of mystery where both reader and character have to decide who to trust and who isn’t trustworthy.

    I’m so very curious to find out just how Seraphina survived the crash. I’m even more curious about how and why she was on the plane in the first place. And I can’t wait to learn what abilities she does have, why her very existence seems to be a mystery, and what this “looming threat” is that she can’t remember.

    The description calls UNREMEMBERED “mesmerizing and suspenseful” and I am so very excited to add this to my collection this week and read it later this month.

    The publisher offers a peek into the book HERE and a trailer which I’ve included below.

    The Book Trailer

     Emblaze

    EMBLAZE by Jessica Shirvington will be released in the U.S. on March 5, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. (The audio edition was released on March 1, 2013.) It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Sourcebooks Fire, the print edition is 464 pages.

    EMBLAZE is the third book in author Jessica Shirvington’s The Violet Eden Chapters. The fourth book in the series, ENDLESS, does not yet have a U.S. release date and the fifth book in the series is currently untitled.

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    I haven’t yet read any of the books in this series but I keep buying them with the hope of eventually getting the chance to read them back-to-back. And I made no exception when it came to pre-ordering EMBLAZE.

    For some reason I thought it was a trilogy and had planned on devouring all three books once they were released, but I now see there will be at least five books. Which means I’ll just have to wait a little bit longer before diving in. Especially since they’re released far earlier in Australia than the U.S. and I’d rather not have that extra element of torture while I wait for the next installment.

    But I really do want to meet Violet Eden and find out just how amazing the world is that the author created. I see that it’s gotten great ratings on Goodreads and I love stories about angels and really want to finally get a chance to read this one.

    As I haven’t yet begun this series there’s no way that I will be checking out the description to spoil what’s happened in the first two books in the series. But the book cover above is linked to Goodreads for those who want to check out just what happens in EMBLAZE.

    I may end up caving and starting this series this spring, but without a firm release date on the U.S. edition of book four, I hope I can hold out just a little bit longer.

    Other Books of Note

    The Nightmare Affair

    THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR (The Arkwell Academy #1) by Mindee Arnett

    Pub. Date: March 5, 2013

    Publisher: Tor Teen

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    When We Wake

    WHEN WE WAKE by Karen Healey

    Pub. Date: March 5, 2013

    Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Flowers in the Sky

    FLOWERS IN THE SKY by Lynn Joseph

    Pub. Date: March 5, 2013

    Publisher: HarperTeen

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Permanent Record

    PERMANENT RECORD by Leslie Stella

    Pub. Date: March 5, 2013

    Publisher: Amazon Children’s Publishing

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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    The Murmurings

    THE MURMURINGS by Carly Anne West

    Pub. Date: March 5, 2013

    Publisher: Simon Pulse

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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    Legacy of the Clockwork Key

    LEGACY OF THE CLOCKWORK KEY (The Secret Order #1) by Kristin Bailey

    Pub. Date: March 5, 2013

    Publisher: Simon Pulse

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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    Shadow Falls The Beginning

    SHADOW FALLS: THE BEGINNING by C.C. Hunter

    (BORN AT MIDNIGHT & AWAKE AT DAWN)

    Pub. Date: March 5, 2013

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Bruised

    BRUISED by Sarah Skilton

    Pub. Date: March 5, 2013

    Publisher: Amulet Books

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Orleans

    ORLEANS by Sherri L. Smith

    Pub. Date: March 7, 2013

    Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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    [Begin Update]

    I cannot believe I didn’t have A BLOOM IN WINTER listed with the releases when this post went “live.” I was so excited when it downloaded on March 5! As it is categorized as a New Adult title, and because I’m late in including it, I’m listing it here. But it is one of the books I have pre-ordered and one I cannot wait to read!

    A Bloom in Winter

    A BLOOM IN WINTER (Summerset Abbey #2) by T.J. Brown

    Pub. Date: March 5, 2013

    Publisher: Gallery Books

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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    I also apparently forgot these two other pre-orders…

    Death, Doom and Detention

    DEATH, DOOM AND DETENTION (Darklight #2) by Darynda Jones

    Pub. Date: March 5, 2013

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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    Thirst 5

    THIRST NO. 5: THE SACRED VEIL by Christopher Pike

    Pub. Date: March 5, 2013

    Publisher: Simon Pulse

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    [End of Update]

    ***

    02

    Okay. It’s not so bad. I only have seven books pre-ordered… at least I think I only have seven. Last week, I was incorrect in having six books pre-ordered as eight books actually downloaded. WICKED KISS by Michelle Rowen – which, thanks to Amazon’s new way of viewing digital orders I didn’t realize was one of my pre-orders releasing last week – and STAR CROSSED by Jennifer Echols, a non-YA title.

    So having only seven books on order this week isn’t terrible. Especially since I’ll have devoured at least three of them before the week is over. (SPELLCASTER, A TOUCH MENACING, INFATUATE.) And hopefully LET THE SKY FALL.

    But I really, really want to read UNREMEMBERED and REQUIEM, though that will require reading PANDEMONIUM and possibly HANA first.

    [Insert HUGE sigh]

    While I will never wish that there weren’t so many amazing sounding books releasing each week, I wish that either my reading speed or the amount of time I had to read would increase. Exponentially.

    But for now, I will continue to attack my fast-growing TBR pile one book at a time and hope for the day that I have just a bit more time to read those books that remain.

    As ever, wishing you an amazing reading and book buying week ahead.

    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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    My Reading Pile #94

    It was a quiet week at the mailbox this week, which was no surprise as it was a holiday week. I barely got any mail and I didn’t get any books this week. Which is just fine, because I have way too many books that should be on my reading pile this week as it is.

    No-Books

    But even though I don’t have any new books brought to me by Mr. Postman, I do own quite a few books, one of which I’m planning on reading this week…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.
    (December 30, 2012 – January 5, 2013)

    05

    I am only planning on reading one book this week because I know things are going to be insane at work and because I have a ton of catch up to do on all my blogs this week. The Top Ten event, while a lot of fun, took an enormous amount of time and I’m behind on email, responding to comments, and creating my posts.

    And at this time of year I always like to do a little bit of clean up and organization but that has yet to happen.

    So….

    Spellcaster

    Thanks to the awesome folks at HarperCollins I have an ARC of SPELLCASTER by Claudia Gray for review. And while I probably shouldn’t be attempting to read it now, I can’t help myself.

    It has been a long time since I’ve read a book by this author, who is one I have adored since long before I started blogging. And SPELLCASTER sounds absolutely amazing. I am intrigued by the promise of dark magic. I love stories with “local legends” and curses. And I can’t wait to find out whether Nadia and Mateo can break the curse and “prevent a disaster that threatens the lives of everyone around them.”

    I believe this is a standalone novel, but I suppose I’ll know for sure later this week. But I really hope there is a happy ending for the two characters, that forces don’t pull them apart and that disaster is averted.

    This book sounds dark and magical and gorgeous, much like the cover. And I cannot wait to move this to the top of the pile after New Year’s Eve.

    ***

    Wishful Thinking reads:

    I wish I could read UNRAVEL ME right about now. I read it so long ago I’m going through major withdrawal. But as I gave away my early copy, I just have to pine for its release date just like everyone else.

    But I suppose if I had to choose a book that I own that I was wishing I could read, it would be SPELL BOUND by Rachel Hawkins. Because I really, want to read SCHOOL SPIRITS which is taunting me from my Kindle.

    ***

    Those left behind:

    I am so behind on my reading. It was a crazy week between work and the holidays. I do plan on reading SUMMERSET ABBEY this week and I’m almost done with WHAT THE SPELL.

    But I did finish HOUSE RULES by Chloe Neill and NEVERFALL by Brodi Ashton. Though I still have yet to write my reviews.

    And I still haven’t written my review for SPLINTERED. But the Top Ten event this week zapped me of any energy I did have left over. Well, that… and then there was the fact that I downloaded the latest Angry Birds app. So. Not. Good.

    It was a total fail this week in terms of reading more blogging less. I did a LOT of blogging and very little reading. I seriously hope to remedy that in the new year… which is on Tuesday. *GULP.*

    ***

    NetGalley Pile Adds:

    I did not take a peek at NetGalley this week and I hadn’t planned on checking it for this post. I was trying to go for the whole “holiday” means time off line of thinking. But I ended up peeking. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment.

    There were quite a few titles available for bloggers in the UK and Australia. Books I definitely covet. But there were still a number of titles for all bloggers.

    RIPTIDE by Lindsey Scheibe (Flux) looks interesting. BRUISED by Sarah Skilton (Amulet) is another book I’ve seen around the blogosphere.

    And I love the look of THE SWEETEST DARK by Shana Abe (Random House). I may even have put in a request.

    ALSO KNOWN AS by Robin Benway (Bloomsbury) looks super fun. And THE DIFFERENT GIRL by Gordon Dahlquist (Dutton Juvenile) sounds eerie.

    I may be the last person to hear of this book, but Yelena Black’s DANCE OF THE SHADOWS (Bloomsbury) has a gorgeous cover and the description had me at “dark.” I ended up requesting that one too, but even if I’m not approved, I will be adding this to my collection because it sounds amazing.

    THE LOOP by Shandy Lawson sounds wicked awesome as does POISON by Bridget Zinn. Both are Disney titles. I decided to take a shot and am hoping for the best with POISON, though I do have that book pre-ordered ever since I first saw it on Parajunkee’s blog.

    04

    Between the holidays and work and the Top Ten event, this past week was insane. I’m really hoping to have some downtime this weekend so I can read. But with three tour stops coming up, plus my year-end goals post and the fact that I set some personal goals that I want to accomplish during my two days off this week, I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to read.

    And as I’m trying to do some blog clean-up – transferring posts from My Reading Pile to The Annex – and learn how to move my blog from one host to another, I’m not sure if I’ll even get to read at all. But here’s to hoping….

    Anyway….

    This will be the last My Reading Pile post of 2012. I can hardly believe it. But it will be back in 2013 with its 95th installment. Holy wow!

    I hope you had better luck with your reading piles last week than I did. And I hope you’re able to reach your 2012 reading goals by Monday Midnight.

    If I don’t catch you around the blogosphere before then, Happy Reading and Happy New Year!

    ***

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

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    Spellcaster Music Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

    I am so super thrilled to be a part of the Spellcaster Music Blog Tour! Having a music tour for this book is such a unique and fun idea. I loved checking out all the other stops on the tour to see just what songs were chosen and to learn a little more about some of the awesome characters in Spellcaster. And I can’t believe that I’m the last stop and that the tour ends today!

    But, before I go any further, I just have to thank Cara Lynn Shultz, Harlequin TEEN and Kismet Book Touring for allowing me to be a part of this amazing tour.

    This series is utterly enchanting and I absolutely adore Emma and Brendan. So, when I found out that Emma Connor would be stopping by the blog and picking out a song for Brendan I was crazy happy.

    And after I found out what song Emma first had in mind for Brendan, I couldn’t stop grinning. But in the end I definitely think she picked the perfect song. She would know. They are…. Nope. You’ll get no spoilers from me. Read Spellbound and Spellcaster – or take a peek at either book’s description – if you want to know more.

    Anyway….

    Before we get to Emma’s song pick and the giveaway, here’s just a little bit…

    About the Book

    Finding your eternal soulmate – easy. Stopping a true-love-hungry evil – not so much…

    After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although…it’s not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain – especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close….

    But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan’s deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma’s crash course in über-spells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.

    Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NIndiebound

    Find SpellboundGoodreadsAmazonB&NIndiebound

    About the Author

    Cara Lynn Shultz’s love of supernatural writing began when she was 7 and wrote a play about ghosts, which she and her friends acted out on her grandparents’ porch. Since then, her work has appeared in Teen People, Alternative Press, Stuff, InStyle, Us Weekly, The Guardian UK and countless posts on Facebook and Twitter.

    She is a proud graduate of Fordham University and is currently a senior editor at PEOPLE.com. Cara lives in her native New York City with her husband, tuxedo cat and 8 million other people.  Spellbound is her first novel.

    Find her: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

    And now for why you’re really here….

    I am so unbelievably excited to welcome Emma Connor to the blog. She is this awesome heroine who you just want as your BFF. And it doesn’t hurt that she has this amazingly swoon-worthy boy Brendan for a boyfriend.

    So, without further ado, I’d like to turn things over to Emma….

    Hey, thanks for having me! So, I get to pick a song for Brendan, right? This should be really easy for me to do, considering that we’re constantly emailing songs back and forth. But it’s going to be SO hard, because Brendan’s such a music ninja. Seriously, he knows everything there is to know. I’ll ask him, “Oh, have you heard of this band?” and he’s all, “Yeah, I saw them two years ago. They played in the back of a bodega” or someplace even more obscure, because of course he saw them before anyone else.

    So, I gotta be honest, I’m really tempted to pick something funny, like “Moves Like Jagger.” And he would probably cut his ears off if I picked something too poppy, like Justin Bieber. Brendan gets extremely judgey about pop music, in case you didn’t know.

    Here’s my other dilemma. I know, it sounds like I’ve had a million dilemmas. Picking a college won’t be as hard as picking this song, I swear. Anyway, I have a ton of songs that remind me of Brendan. When I first met him I listened to a lot of old Blink-182 and Something Corporate. But I don’t want to pick one of those songs, because he knows about them already.

    So I’m going with a new song. It’s by We Are the In Crowd, “Kiss Me Again.” It’s just an awesome song, with the singer of one of my favorite bands (All Time Low). Technically this song is supposed to take place at the start of a relationship, but I have to be honest, I still get butterflies when I’m with Brendan. Serious butterflies. Karate butterflies. They’re doing scissor kicks in my stomach. And I like that you get both the guy and the girl’s perspectives in this song. So here’s the song, I hope you like it. 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing your song choice for Brendan, Emma. It was absolutely perfect! While it sounds like it was a pretty tough decision to make, I think he’ll love it.

    And it’s so awesome that Brendan still gives you butterflies. Who says they have to stop just because you’ve been together for a awhile? I sure don’t!

    Anyway, thanks so much again. You are always welcome to stop back!

    Emma is awesome, right!? I totally wish I could have asked her just a few questions about spell casting and Brendan.

    Anyway….

    As this is the final stop on the Spellcaster Music Blog Tour, not only can you enter to win a copy of Spellcaster, but you can enter the iPod Giveaway!!!

    While a few of the daily giveaways for a copy of Spellcaster have ended, there are a few that are still going on. So be sure to visit the other tour stops for a chance to win!

    To enter for a chance to win the GRAND PRIZE giveaway of an iPod nano skinned in the Spellcaster cover art and for another chance to win a copy of Spellcaster, guess who would most likely be found at an A.F.I. concert! Then, enter your answer in the Rafflecopter Widget below.

    (HINT: The correct answer can be found at one of the Tour Stops.)

    Winners for the iPod nano Giveaway are drawn from all entries who named the right character. The winner for the Spellcaster copy will be drawn from all entries! 

    This giveaway is open to US/Canada ONLY.

    For the full contest rules, CLICK HERE.

    Tour Stops

    Tour kick off – Harlequin, Paranormal Blog
    Monday  March, 19th – My Cute Bookshelf 
    Wednesday, March, 21st – Mundie Mom’s
    Friday, March, 23rd –  VerbVixen

    Monday, March 26th – A Book and A Latte
    Tuesday, March 27th -Book Birthday! – Read Me, Bookmark Me, Love Me
    Wednesday, March 28th – Miss Page Turner’s City of Books
    Friday, March 30th – writers write, right?

    Monday April 2nd – Alice Marvel’s
    Wednesday, April 4th- Paranormal Wastelands
    Friday, April 6th – Fiktshun

    If you’d like more information about the tour or the guest posts, head over to Kismet Book Touring’s Spellcaster tour page.

    ENTER THE GIVEAWAY BELOW….

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #65

    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 March 27th-April 2nd that I have pre-ordered.

    ***

    Slide by Jill Hathaway is releasing today, March 27, 2012, in the U.S. in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, the print edition is 256 pages.

    Slide is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com. The second book in the series, Imposter, is slated for release in March 2013.

    ***

    Wow, time really does fly. I remember when I first heard about Slide and it seemed like ages until it would be released. Well, today is its release date and my copy has officially downloaded to my Kindle. And I can’t wait to read it.

    I love the idea that Vee can just slide into the minds of others and that it seems she witnesses them at their worst – cheating, drinking, doing goodness knows what… and murdering. It doesn’t exactly sound like the most awesome ability to have.

    I am so curious to find out if Vee will be able to find out who killed her sister’s friend, if she tells anyone how she knows Sophie was killed, and just what is going on with her friend Rollins to make him act so strange.

    And I really hope Vee will be able to catch the killer before someone else gets hurt.

    I am super excited to read this debut book that promises “a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger.” It sounds seriously awesome.

    Forgiven by Jana Oliver is releasing today, March 27, 2012 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, the print edition is 368 pages.

    Forgiven is the third book in the Demon Trapper’s series by Jana Oliver. Foretold, the fourth book in the series, is scheduled for release on August 2, 2012.

    ***

    I have been in love with this series since the moment I saw the U.S. cover for The Demon Trapper’s Daughter. And I’ve been obsessed ever since I read it for review. So, of course I am so extremely thrilled to have Forgiven download to my Kindle today. And while I received a finished copy from the publisher, there’s no way I wouldn’t buy the eBook to have this in my permanent collection.

    I won’t go rambling on and on as I’ve already spotlighted Forgiven for my Book Watch post a few weeks ago. Besides, I’ve just about finished reading it and am afraid I might reveal spoilers if I talk too much about it right now.

    But it’s amazing. It’s epic. It was so worth the torturous wait. After reading Soul Thief early, the added wait nearly killed me. But I’m glad I survived to be able to read Forgiven. Though I am terrified about just how things will end and just what new amounts of suffering the author will put me through as I wait for Foretold.

    The description wasn’t kidding when it said that things would definitely get darker for Riley Blackthorne. Riley got herself in deep at the end of Soul Thief and because of that things only seemed to be getting worse. And I will say nothing more…. At least until I post my review.

    For those who have read Soul Thief, they’ll want to pick this next book up immediately. And for those who haven’t started this series, now is the perfect time to dive into book one. Riley is one kick-a** heroine that everyone should meet.

    Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter is releasing today, March 27, 2012, in the U.S. in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Harlequin TEEN, the print edition is 304 pages.

    Goddess Interrupted is the second full-length book in the Goddess Test series by the author. The third book, The Goddess Inheritance, is expected in October 2012.

    ***

    I absolutely adored the first book in the series, The Goddess Test, when I read it last year. And I’ve been anxiously awaiting the sequel. Especially after having read the description which takes Kate and Henry into the Underworld.

    Goddess Interrupted is another book whose release date came as a surprise. I can’t believe the wait is finally over and that the eBook is happily residing on my Kindle. But it is. And I may just have to take a quick peek at it, because I miss Kate and Henry. And I can’t wait to get back into this world of modern day gods and goddess.

    I am dying to find out if Kate is able to save Henry from the King of the Titans. And I am even more curious to see just how she manages to get along with Persephone. No easy feat, I’m sure.

    This sequel sounds absolutely captivating – even more enchanting than the first book in the series – and I am excited to continue the adventure with Kate on her journey through the Underworld.

    ***

    UPDATE: One other book releasing this week that I had pre-ordered but forgot to include when this originally posted is Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz. I don’t know how I missed this in my list of pre-orders, but it just downloaded and so I’m updating my post as it belongs with this week’s releases.

    Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz is releasing today, March 27, 2012 in paperback and eBook format. It is currently available online to order in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Harlequin TEEN, the print edition is 384 pages.

    Spellcaster is the second book in the Spellbound series by author Cara Lynn Shultz.

    ***

    I am so excited for this sequel to Spellbound. I thought the first book in the series was absolutely enchanting and while I didn’t know that there would be a sequel when I finished reading it, I’m so thrilled there is. And even though I received an eARC for review, there was no question that I would pre-order the finished copy for my eBook collection.

    I don’t want to talk too much about what I’m excited for in Spellcaster as it could be spoiler-y for the first book in the series. So, I will just say that I can’t wait to find out what’s next for Emma and Brendan. According to the description there is something “dark and hungry” that is going after them, which has me nervous. Very nervous.

    And I can’t wait to see just what spells Emma learns and if they are strong enough to keep them both safe from whatever is after them. This sequel sounds every bit as enchanting as book one and I am so curious to see just how it ends.

    ***

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

    ***

    I’m glad to have another slow release week. My TBR pile is certainly happy and my wallet is even happier. I am nearly done reading Forgiven and it’s just as amazing as I thought it would be. And I can’t wait to read Slide, a debut book that’s been on my radar for awhile, and Goddess Interrupted, a sophomore novel whose predecessor I love.

    There are quite a few books releasing in the coming weeks that I’m dying to start reading. And there are a few that have recently released that are absolute must reads.

    So, I’m relieved to have a reprieve, even if it is for just a couple weeks. Because some of the books coming out in April and May are so seriously amazing they will definitely be at the top of either my TBR pile or my TBRR pile.

    ***

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

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

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    My Reading Pile #54

    It was a quiet week at the mailbox this week, though I didn’t check the mail yesterday or today…. I am expecting a few books from a trade, but they’re not due to be delivered until Monday.

    As I am sharing what I received in my mailbox 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.

     

    Thanks to the amazing ladies at the YA Sisterhood blog, I received a signed ARC of Frost by Marianna Baer, plus a TON of swag! The post office was once again not so kind to my book, the envelope was open and some swag may be missing, and my book is bent, as is the swag, but it’s still awesome.

    Frost was an eerie and deliciously creepy book so I’m thrilled to have a signed copy.

    While my bookish deliveries may have been small, I wish the same could be said of my reading pile….

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

    (March 25 – March 31, 2012)

    ***

    First up on the pile is Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. I received an ARC from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, through the Shelf Awareness newsletter for review. I also have an electronic copy via NetGalley.

    I was completely surprised when reading the book’s description as I hadn’t paid close attention to the cover to see that the model was carrying a weapon and I had made incorrect assumptions that it was a historical romance novel. But it’s not. At all. It sounds completely kick-a** and has become a book I’ve been dying to move to the top of the pile.

    I can’t wait to see just what Ismae’s – love that name – powers and destiny are. The idea that she becomes an assassin for Death sounds pretty amazing. I have read the first chapter and the style of writing has a wonderful flow to it that I just know will make this an easy book to get lost in.

    I haven’t read too many books where the setting was at court where the royals play their deadly games, but I am excited to read Ismae’s story and find out if she chooses her assignment over her heart.

    Next up on the pile is Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz. I received an eARC from the publisher, Harlequin TEEN, through NetGalley for review and I can’t wait to read this second book in author Cara Lynn Shultz’s series.

    When I read Spellbound, the first book in the series, I wasn’t sure if there was a sequel planned. But I hoped. I thought that book was enchanting and an absolutely wonderful fairytale and I wasn’t ready to be done with the characters or the world. I’m glad not to be disappointed.

    This sequel sounds even more magical and even more exciting. Especially as there is an evil force trying to come between Emma and her soul mate. I am so curious to find out if this dark power can destroy their bond or if Emma will be able to stay strong and defeat it.

    The first book in the series was a fun and super-quick read that just made me smile. I am expecting the same with this sequel that I’m so happy was created.

    Wishful Thinking reads:

    I am dying to read Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins. I actually started reading it the night it came out but had to stop before I had an answer about what happened after that cliffhanger. It’s been killing me not to be able to pick it up.

    Of course I had no idea it was the last book in the series so now I’m dreading reaching the story’s end. And while it is already making me hesitate about picking it up because I never want it to end, I am still wishing and hoping that I’ll be able to read it this week.

    Those left behind:

    Yes, as usual, I am so behind. I would love to see a week in which I have absolutely nothing written here. While I did finish Sweet Evil last weekend, I did end up re-reading it this week because I couldn’t get it out of my head. Which put me further behind.

    And instead of continuing on with last week’s pile, which I had started to tackle, I went completely off pile. I am about halfway through Destined by Aprilynne Pike and dreading every single second that takes me to the end of this series. I’ve also been reading a book for my After Dark blog and a couple of short critique sort of reads.

    So, while I am a good way into Forgiven, I have yet to read The Hunger Games which means I can’t see the film just yet.

    NetGalley Pile Adds:

    Thanks to Jaime of Two Chicks On Books, I discovered that Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen was available on NetGalley. So, of course I just had to request it. I did not request The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa as I am expecting a print copy through a trade, but it was really tough not to click that “request” button.

    So, I am happy to say that I only have the one new request. If only I could get caught up on all those older ones….

    ***

    I have been a terrible blogger this week but a good reader. Re-reading a book is a guilty pleasure I shouldn’t do too often as it does set me back with my reading pile. But sometimes it can’t be helped.

    I’m still finding it terribly hard to add the word “no” to my vocabulary on a regular basis. But I’m trying. And while I haven’t yet had that “me” reads month, I am ever hopeful.

    It’s spring now, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that with the turn of this new season I’ll have better resolve and faster page turns. Anyway…. Happy reading week, as always!

    ***

    Do you create a reading pile?

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

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