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    Authors Are Rockstars Tour Kicks Off + Giveaway

    kick-off

    We are so unbelievably thrilled to kick off the first day of the 2nd Annual Authors Are Rockstars Tour here on our blogs Fiktshun, Two Chicks on Books and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.

    This year’s event is even more packed full of awesome than last year’s event, with 166 authors on tour throughout the month of August. We’re super excited to welcome back many of last year’s favorites and get a chance to put a number of new participants in the spotlight.

    The tour will officially begin in three hours where we’ll be hosting the first of our authors – Rachel Vincent (at Fiktshun), Page Morgan (at Two Chicks on Books) and Andrea Cremer (at Magical Urban Fantasy Reads).

    As these three authors are some of our very most favorites, we are incredibly honored to be able to host them on our blogs and share with our readers just why we think they’re rockstars.

    When we kicked off the event last year we had just 96 participating authors, but by the tour’s end we had 102. So it’s still possible that there may be some new adds along the way again this year.

    Most days will have either five or six authors being hosted. Some days even have seven. Only the first and last days of the month will spotlight just three authors on our blogs.

    If you’d like to check out the full schedule, CLICK HERE or click the button in the sidebar.

    The month will feature some amazing guest posts and interviews by the rockstar authors on tour. Some blog hosts will even be sharing reviews along with their posts. There are also a number of awesome giveaways being hosted thanks to the authors, publishers or blog hosts. So you won’t want to miss any of the stops on tour this month.

    At every stop the blog host will be talking a little bit about why they think their author is a rockstar and we can’t wait to find out just what they have to say. While we get a chance to peek at most of the authors’ posts, what the bloggers say will be a complete surprise.

    Once again the generosity of the amazing team at Harlequin Teen is astounding. And we cannot thank them enough for supporting every single one of their authors on this tour.

    We are also so very grateful to each of the authors who have donated their time to be a part of this event. Without them we wouldn’t even have an event. And we want to give an extra thanks to those who have offered up something for giveaway as it is above and beyond anything we’d asked for.

    And last, but definitely not least, we want to thank the bloggers who will be hosting the authors throughout the month. Their participation in this event is an integral part of why this is such a success and we are so very honored that they’ve signed up to be a part of our tour.

    But in order to kick this event off right we are once again hosting a few month-long giveaways. This year, however, we’ve decided to host each of the giveaways on our respective sites. So if you want to enter to win what’s up for grabs by Two Chicks on Books and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, you’ll have to check out their kick-off posts.

    But to give just a tease of what Jaime at Two Chicks on Books is offering, think late summer/early fall ARCs. And yes, there will be swag. You can check out her giveaway, HERE.

    Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads also has some amazing ARCs for giveaway. To check out what she has up for grabs, CLICK HERE.

    And if you want to know what I have for giveaway… well… just keep scrolling down for the pics and the deets.

    Thank you so much for stopping by to help kick off the 2nd Annual Authors Are Rockstars Tour. If you’re looking to check out the first three authors on tour be sure to come back at Midnight, Pacific!

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    What’s Up for Grabs

    There are a total of FIVE (5) giveaway prize packs up for grabs.

    — A SIGNED copy of CLOCKWORK PRINCESS by Cassandra Clare + Authors Are Rockstars stickers and random swag – US & Int’l

    — A SIGNED copy of UNRAVEL ME by Tahereh Mafi + Authors Are Rockstars stickers and random swag – US & Int’l

    — A SIGNED copy of JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman + Authors Are Rockstars sticks and random swag – US & Int’l

    — A SIGNED set of the UNRAVELING series by Elizabeth Norris + Extra Content Booklet (unsigned) + Authors Are Rockstars stickers and random swag – US ONLY

    — A SIGNED copy of THE TESTING by Joelle Charbonneau AND a SIGNED copy of THE FIFTH WAVE by Rick Yancey + Authors Are Rockstars stickers and random swag – US ONLY

    AARS-stickers

    The Deets

    — You must be 13 or older to enter

    — There will be FIVE WINNERS

    — 3 Signed Book Giveaways are US + International, 2 Signed Book Giveaways are US ONLY

    — You can enter each of the giveaways via their respective Rafflecopter forms

    — ALL giveaways end at 11:59 p.m. Pacific on August 31, 2013

    — ANY entry that looks suspect will be removed from the giveaway

    — Winners will be chosen by Random.org through Rafflecopter

    — Winners will be announced on Friday, September 6, 2013 and notified by email

    — Winners will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details or prizes will be forfeit

    There are no hoops for the giveaway. The only mandatory entry is to leave a comment as to why you think the author whose book you want to win in the giveaway is a rockstar. All other entries are optional, including the daily Tweet!

    Good luck in the giveaways and I hope that you enjoy the Authors Are Rockstars Tour this month!

    Enter in the Rafflecopter forms, below:

    Giveaway #1

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    Giveaway #2

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    Giveaway #3

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    Giveaway #4

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    Giveaway #5

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    Quickie Review: Undone

    Undone

    addtogoodreads

    UNDONE by Elizabeth Norris was released in the U.S. on March 5, 2013 in eBook format only. It is currently available to order online at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Balzer + Bray, the story is 105 pages.

    UNDONE is a novella in the author’s Unravelling series set between the first and second books.

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    Description…

    Before the accident. Before their universes collided. Before they fell in love.

    Riveting and romantic, Undone: An Unraveling Novella contains three short stories set in the world of Unraveling, the first book in the gripping sci-fi duology by Elizabeth Norris.

    Before Ben Michaels saved Janelle Tenner’s life, Janelle saved Ben when he stumbled through an interuniverse portal into a completely new world. That day, he fell in love with the girl of his dreams. And he never forgot her.

    Through three stories told from Ben’s point of view, learn how Ben and his friends discovered their ability to travel between worlds, how Ben first met Janelle, and how he pined for her for years before he actually got the chance to meet her, save her life, and capture her heart. And find out what happens to Ben between the cliff-hanger conclusion to Unraveling and the beginning of its heart-stopping sequel, Unbreakable.

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    UNDONE is an exciting, fast-paced novella told from Ben Michaels’ perspective that bridges the gap between the events that took place in book one, UNRAVELING, and those that take place in UNBREAKABLE, the final book in the series.

    The story also gives readers a quick peek at events in Ben’s life that took place prior to the start of UNRAVELING up through everything that readers had experienced through Janelle’s eyes in that book.

    While much of the earlier part of the story had already been revealed, UNDONE let’s readers see just how Ben felt about those things that happened, how he reacted and just how important Janelle was to him.

    The beginning of the story jumps rather quickly from moment to moment, only allowing for a glimpse, but the pace slows a bit to allow readers to connect to the new events, those exclusive to this novella.

    Where the first part of the story offers a heartwarming and heartbreaking look at Ben’s life, the latter part of the story adds excitement and suspense to the mix. It introduces new characters, reveals that not all is as was expected for Ben and Eli, and sets the stage for things to come.

    For those that read this story in sequence, the ending leaves off at a place in the story that will make them anxious to find out what happens next. For those that read it after both full-length novels, while there won’t be that same level of anticipation, it may just prompt a re-read of that next book.

    UNDONE is a must for those that want to take a longer look at the world, to find out exactly what happened with Ben and Eli before Janelle’s arrival, or to get to know a little bit more about Ben – his feelings about Janelle, his attempts to return home, and his reasons for what he did after he got there.

    And for those that wish to continue the story for just a little bit longer, this eNovella also includes a short two-chapter sneak peek at UNBREAKABLE.

    Reviewer gives this novella…

    Rate04

    On a personal note…

    I am always a fan of getting to see a story from another charcter’s POV. And I loved getting to experience this story through Ben’s eyes. Even if it was only a brief peek.

    As I did read this out of sequence, there wasn’t quite the same tension build as there would have been had I not already read the series to its conclusion. But I still enjoyed getting to see what was going on with Ben during the time that led up to everything that happened in UNBREAKABLE.

    Of course my favorite part of this novella was seeing what Ben thought of Janelle from the moment they’d first met. Yes, I may have swooned once or twice. And I loved getting to know what was happening with him during those moments from UNRAVELING as seen from Janelle’s POV.

    And yes, reading the novella made me want to re-read UNRAVELING so I could match up those previously revealed moments with what I now know about Ben.

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    Review: Unbreakable

    Unbreakable

    addtogoodreads

    UNBREAKABLE by Elizabeth Norris was released in the U.S. on April 23, 2013 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats at AMAZON and in hardcover and eBook formats at BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, the print edition is 496 pages.

    UNBREAKABLE is the second and final full-length book in the Unraveling series by author Elizabeth Norris.

    div5 Description…

    Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

    And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

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    UNBREAKABLE is the intense, action-packed and bittersweet conclusion to this stunning two book series that takes readers on an exciting and harrowing journey through multiple universes to solve a mystery, to stop a criminal enterprise, to stay an execution and to save someone whose life is in peril. It is a journey that is filled with danger and suspense. One with a ticking clock. And one that not everyone will survive.

    In the aftermath of the catastrophic events that left Janelle Tenner’s life and universe devastated, she is trying to pick up the pieces and move on. But with so much lost and so much she blames herself for, finding a way to do more than survive hasn’t been easy. Especially with a broken heart.

    But when more and more people go missing in the wake of the disaster that left her world in shambles, including someone she cares about, she can’t just sit on the sidelines. Even if it means partnering with Agent Taylor Barclay in order to find them and find answers.

    And when she discovers the truth about their disappearances and that Ben is being accused, as dangerous as it may be for her to get involved and to put her trust in Barclay, it’s a risk she’s willing to take. Because all they have are just five days. To find out the truth. To solve the crime. To prove his innocence. And even with her help it may not be enough and they may run out of time.

    Elizabeth Norris wrote a sequel that is every bit as tension-filled as the first book in her series. While a much different story than the first, UNBREAKABLE has all the elements that made UNRAVELING an exciting and riveting read – a strong main character, a thrilling storyline full of surprises and nail-biting suspense, a captivating mystery and crushing heartbreak.

    But the author takes readers on a much different adventure, develops a character whose role hadn’t previously been as significant and creates a new dynamic between two of her characters. All of which come together in a story that feels at once familiar and refreshingly different, a story that is gripping and that will keep readers on the edge of their seats as the clock once again counts down.

    With its fast pace, action that is daring and danger-filled, a plot that twists and turns, characters that are incredibly appealing and a love story that is both sad and sweet, UNBREAKABLE is an outstanding must-read conclusion to this amazing series.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    Rate05 On a personal note…

    There are a million and one things I want to talk about. Most of which I can’t without ruining everything. I almost wish I waited until this book had been out for months before reading it so I could be a bit more revealing about why I’m torn into shreds by what happened in this book.

    I loved this follow-up. In some ways I loved it more than the first book. Okay… well… one way, in particular. Barclay. Oh my gosh. While I just barely liked him in the first book in this series, I fell madly in love with him in this sequel.

    Maybe more so than Ben…. Yep. I said it. It’s true. After reading UNBREAKABLE I am officially Team Barclay. He’s just… and after what he did… and after what Ben did….

    While I can’t reveal all the reasons why… or really any of the reasons why… I will just say that there were times during this book that I completely forgot about Ben. There were even one or two moments that I wished Janelle forgot about him, too. Yeah, Barclay was just that awesome.

    But Janelle was, too. She was totally kick-a**. She was brave and heroic and smart and loyal. She was my kind of heroine. She was practical and so completely the opposite of an idiot. And while she did let her heart make some of the decisions for her, she didn’t let it make her weak.

    There was this one passage that I loved, right toward the end, that totally summed up who she was. Of course I can’t say what it was without spoilers, but it reminded me of just why she is one of my favorite heroines in YA.

    I’m glad that this story didn’t take the same path that the first book did. As much as I loved the looming disaster aspect, I think it would have been way too over-the-top if this story followed suit.

    But I did love that there was a time limit again. It definitely made this read riveting. I was obsessed with that countdown clock. Completely and totally obsessed. Every new chapter made me that much more anxious about whether Janelle and Barclay would succeed in their mission. I got more nervous with each passing hour as to whether they would find the proof they needed.

    And while I didn’t tear up as often as I did in that first book, there was this moment in UNBREAKABLE that tore my heart out. It was so heartbreaking that I literally stopped reading and closed the book before making it to the end of the sentence. I couldn’t even read on to find out what actually happened. I had to stop. Catch my breath. Let the “Noooooooooo!” stop echoing through my head. Let a few tears fall. And then pick the book back up to find out just what really happened.

    Of course I won’t reveal that. But, yes, there were more tears.

    And I was so totally surprised.

    Actually, I was surprised by just how much I loved this book given the fact that one of my favorite characters didn’t have a large role to play. And by the fact that when they were present, I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted them to be.

    But this book was insanely good. I totally have to go back and re-read UNRAVELING. I must read UNDONE, which will hopefully make me fall back in love with Ben. And I definitely plan on re-reading UNBREAKABLE. I only wish this was a trilogy because I already miss these characters. Fiercely.

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    Favorite passage…

    Almost all the passages in this book that I earmarked as favorites are hugely spoiler-y. Most of them also make me tear up. So I decided to choose just a snippet from this one scene… one of my favorite scenes, actually.

    Even still, I had a tough time choosing which passage to select from this particular scene – I went back and forth at least five times – but I decided on….

    Barclay shifts slightly next to me and my left knee slides in between his. I can feel the soft cotton threads of his shirt under my fingertips, the tense muscles tight underneath the fabric. And I can feel his heartbeat thumping in his chest.

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    Book Watch: Unbreakable

    UnbreakableUNBREAKABLE by Elizabeth Norris will be released in the U.S. on April 23, 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 Balzer + Bray, the print edition is 496 pages.

    UNBREAKABLE is the second and final book in author Elizabeth Norris’ Unraveling series.

    ***

    There are a TON of awesome books releasing the week of April 23rd, many of which I have pre-ordered and cannot wait to read. But there is no book releasing on the 23rd that I am more thrilled about than UNBREAKABLE by Elizabeth Norris. Though as I am reading it now, finally, I won’t have to wait three more weeks before I can find out just how this series ends.

    I only recently discovered just how awesome the characters and world are that author Elizabeth Norris created in the first book in this duology, UNRAVELING. It’s only been six months since I found out just how suspenseful and heartbreaking her story was.

    From what I’ve heard, this sequel has even more tension than its predecessor and the read will result in many more tears. And as it is a series-ending book, the end will really be the end for the characters. So it’s made it that much more nerve-wracking to take the plunge.

    But finding out just what happens with Janelle and Ben is totally worth the tears and all the feels. Seeing just what truths Janelle uncovers is worth being forced to say goodbye early. And getting the chance to spend a little bit more time with Agent Barclay makes me forget every single reason I had for delaying the read.

    The description hints at another ticking clock. It promises a story that will be filled with action, danger and heartache. And if I wasn’t already anxiously awaiting its release before having read the description, just knowing that this story may not end happily for Janelle fills me with that much more nervous anticipation.

    So, while I am excited to read Stacey Kade’s THE RULES and I’ve been told Josin McQuein’s ARCLIGHT is out-of-this-world good, I didn’t even pause for a second before putting UNBREAKABLE in the spotlight this week, because it is the most highly anticipated read for me for the week of April 23rd. And I am just so very glad I don’t have to wait that long to actually read it.

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    Places to Watch

    The author on TWITTER

    The author on FACEBOOK

    The author’s WEBSITE

    The author’s BLOG

    The author on GOODREADS

    The author on TUMBLR

    The author on PINTEREST

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    About the Book

    Goodreads description:

    Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

    And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

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    Other Amazing Books to Watch

    Here are some other awesome books releasing the week of April 23rd:

    THE RULES (Project Paper Doll #1) by Stacey Kade

    CHOSEN AT NIGHTFALL (Shadow Falls #5) by C.C. Hunter

    HOW I LOST YOU by Janet Gurtler

    CRUSH (Crash #3) by Nicole Williams

    ARCLIGHT by Josin L. McQuein

    NATURAL BORN ANGEL (Immortal City #2) by Scott Speer

    EXILE (Mercy #2) by Rebecca Lim

    THE ELITE (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass

    TRUTH OR DARE (Capital Girls #3) by Ella Monroe

    MANICPIXIEDREAMGIRL by Tom Leveen

    HOW ZOE MADE HER DREAMS (MOSTLY) COME TRUE by Sarah Strohmeyer

    DARIUS & TWIG by Walter Dean Myers

    THE SILVER DREAM (Interworld #2) by Michael Reaves, Neil Gaiman, Mallory Reaves

    UNNATURAL CREATURES by Neil Gaiman

    QUINTANA OF CHARYN (Lumatere Chronicles #3) by Melina Marchetta

    JANE AUSTEN GOES TO HOLLYWOOD by Abby McDonald

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    Top 10 Books I’ve Read in 2012

    top10

    Today is the first day of Top 10 of 2012.

    A week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward.

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

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

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

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

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    The topic for today is…

    Best Books I’ve Read in 2012

    Thankfully it doesn’t have to be a book released in 2012, just one I’ve read in 2012, as my reading was all over the map this year. Of course that actually increases the possibilities…. darn it!

    And there are a few books I read this year that I’d LOVE to have listed below, but as they are secret books, I can’t. But I hope the authors know that I would list them here if I could.

    I am trying so hard to stick to just ten this year, and have put the creation of this list off to the very last minute because of that fact. I thought it’d be easier to do my book boyfriends list, so I started that one first, but reducing it to 27 is where I’m stalled right now. So much for taking the easy route.

    Last year I totally cheated and created two lists – Top 10 Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011 and Top 10 Non-Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011. Thankfully I had two blogs in order to create those lists.

    This year, while I plan on breaking many of the rules of this event, I will just create the one. And only list four honorable mentions.

    Anyway…

    After a LOT of hair pulling, a few tears, maybe one or a thousand shouts of frustration and a ton of guilt, guilt, guilt, here is this year’s attempt at listing my favorite reads of 2012. Though I decided to restrict them to YA reads only AND books I have reviewed. Hey, I have to save SOME of my 2013 reads for next year’s list, right?

    [Thankfully I did NOT finish reading EVERBOUND by Brodi Ashton (and read EVERNEATH and already counted it in 2011) so that’s one less book to try and squeeze onto this particular list. And now I’m even more glad I read A TOUCH MORBID by Leah Clifford in 2011.]

    So without further ado, after that really, really, really long intro, here they are….

    BIR-2012

     1.

    Splintered

    SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    I am just so madly in love with A.G. Howard’s SPLINTERED. While it is a 2013 release, as I read it and fell under its spell this year, I just had to include it on my Top Ten List.

    It touches on everything I love about the books I read. It’s dark. It’s a little bit twisted. It’s magical. It has characters I utterly adore – Alyssa, Morpheus, Jeb, Chessie. And it’s a book that got its hooks in me and just won’t let go.

    It has everything I loved about Lewis Carroll’s story and then some which is why it takes the number one spot.

    2.

    Poison Princess

    POISON PRINCESS (The Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    POISON PRINCESS was my very first Kresley Cole read. It was dark, disturbing, incredibly sexy and so totally addictive. The world was chilling. The Arcana even more so. And Jack Deveaux was absolutely delicious.

    Then there was that ending. Oh my gosh, the wait for book two has been killing me. I don’t know how I’m supposed to last until the next book in the series releases. Although I’ve been trying to fill the void by devouring the author’s Immortals After Dark books. Which helps. Just a bit. I’ve only read three but I love, love, love them.

    Still… I really, really, really would love to know just what happens in the next book in the series. The world the author created is wicked awesome and I most definitely want more.

    3.

    Before I Wake

    BEFORE I WAKE (Soul Screamers #6) by Rachel Vincent

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Do I really need to say why BEFORE I WAKE by Rachel Vincent has made my top ten? This series is one of my favorite series of all time. I am devastated it will be ending in 2013 and I’ll have to say goodbye to Kaylee, Tod, Nash, Sabine, Emma and even Avari. Yep. I’ll even miss that hellion. I clearly have it bad.

    But why this book? Because it is just as much a roller coaster as each of the author’s other books. It piles on the heartbreak. It shocks. It surprises. And it leaves readers – me, me me! – desperate for the next installment.

    I cannot believe it’s ending in 2013. I don’t even want to think about it. Because what will I possibly do without the agony of waiting for the next installment in this series?

    4.

    Silver

    SILVER (Bandia #1) by Talia Vance

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    What a surprise SILVER by Talia Vance was. I did not anticipate just how much I would love this book. It was an insta-love book for me. The moment Blake and Brianna truly saw each other I was ensnared. And it left me a little breathless for the rest of the read.

    The mythology was unbelievably awesome. The world was deadly. The story tied me up in knots. The boys were incredibly swoon-worthy. And I totally inhaled this book.

    Of course the sequel, GOLD, blew me away, too. Which I really didn’t think was possible because of certain directions the story took – no I won’t reveal those here! – but as it was such an early read, and a book without a cover revealed, I thought I’d wait to add it to next year’s Top Ten List.

    5.

    Sweet Evil Cover

    SWEET EVIL (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    I have loved SWEET EVIL by Wendy Higgins for so long that I can barely remember a time when I wasn’t in love with it. From the very moment I learned of its title I was in love. I fell harder when I saw the gorgeous cover. And I was irrevocably in love after having read the description.

    It wasn’t just Kaidan Rowe, the totally swoon-y bad boy, that made me love this book. There was a depth to this story, there was definitely a darkness to it. All I could think about was how amazingly captivating and interesting and different this story was. And all I wanted was more, more, more.

    I bit my nails to the quick waiting for word on the sequel. Because I just had to know what was next for Kai and Anna, I had to find out how dark this series would get, and I had to be able to return to the world. And no, I haven’t had that opportunity yet, but now that the trilogy has been picked up, I will get that chance.

    Which makes me so unbelievably happy.

    6.

    Shadows in the Silence

    SHADOWS IN THE SILENCE (Angelfire #3) by Courtney Allison Moulton

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    I had the hardest time choosing which book to pick – SHADOWS IN THE SILENCE or WINGS OF THE WICKED by Courtney Allison Moulton. Because they BOTH deserve to be on this Top Ten List. But as there were only ten spots, I couldn’t justify choosing two books from the same series. But I really wanted to.

    This is a brand new read for me, and I just know if I had longer to sit with it before choosing my top ten books, it would totally be a top five. Because it was heartbreaking, gorgeous and so totally epic. It was my favorite book in the series. And I’m still tearing up just thinking about how things ended and the fact that they did end.

    The writing was amazing, the battles were fierce and devastating, and the love story was beautiful and heart-warming. I couldn’t think of a more perfect ending to the series.

    Though, of course, I wish there were more. Because I miss Ellie and Will and Cadan and it’s only been days since I said goodbye. I hate to think how sad I’ll be at this time next year.

    7.

    Demon Eyes

    DEMON EYES (Witch Eyes #2) by Scott Tracey

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    There was no way I was leaving DEMON EYES by Scott Tracey off my list. Because this series is so incredibly awesome. I may have read this book more than a few, but less than several, times this year. And no, it wasn’t too many times.

    I got to love Braden even more in this sequel, though it was Drew I fell madly in love with. But it was the unbelievably jaw-dropping, heart-stopping events toward the end of the book that blew my mind, that made me say “no way, no way, no way” and left me shattered. In tears. Broken.

    And if that wasn’t enough, the author added another twist to the knife he stuck in my heart. So, yes, of course, this book is a favorite of mine.

    8.

    Masque of the Red Death

    MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (Masque of the Red Death #1) by Bethany Griffin

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    I was so worried that MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH by Bethany Griffin wouldn’t be everything I hoped it would be, that it wouldn’t live up to my super high expectations. With a cover as stunning as it has and a premise based on Poe’s, this story had a lot to live up to.

    And it did. Oh my gosh it did. I felt myself sink right into this story from the moment my eyes devoured the author’s hauntingly beautiful writing at the very beginning. I immediately wanted to know more about Araby Worth and the dark and chilling world she lived in.

    One where breathing the air could mean death. One where people were suffering from the Weeping Sickness. And one where there two amazing boys – Will and Elliott – to be surprised by.

    There was no question this would make my list this year and I am anticipating the sequel, DANCE OF THE RED DEATH, making the list next year.

    9.

    Embers and Echoes

    EMBERS & ECHOES (Wildefire #2) by Karsten Knight

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    I am a huge fan of author Karsten Knight’s writing. But I thought that after that holy wow ending in WILDEFIRE that he couldn’t top things in EMBERS & ECHOES. I was so totally wrong.

    Because this book… this book… was… so amazing, so heartbreaking – that one scene, oh my gosh that scene still squeezes my heart – and so completely shocking, so action-packed, so freaking epic.

    I am dying for AFTERGLOW, although at the same time I’m so totally terrified. Because I don’t know just how dark things will get or if there will be even the tiniest of happy endings for any of the characters.

    But, yeah, this is definitely a top ten favorite book of 2012 for me.

    10.

    Unraveling

     UNRAVELING (Unraveling #1) by Elizabeth Norris

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris was another complete and total surprise. I did not expect to fall in love with it. I did not expect it to be a genre that would captivate me. I did not anticipate shedding any tears.

    So of course I wasn’t prepared when the tears came. That first time, the second or the third. I did not expect to be as fascinated by the genre. I did not expect to be desperate for the sequel. And yet I was… I am.

    I knew I should never have read the description for book two. Because, while the wait for me isn’t as long as it has been for some, knowing just what might come next has made me incredibly anxious.

    I love being surprised by books. I love finding a gem when I wasn’t even looking. And that’s what UNRAVELING was to me when I discovered it this fall. So I just had to give it a spot on my Top Ten of 2012 List.

    Honorable-Mentions

    This Is Not a Test

    THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers

    Beautiful. Haunting. Unexpected. Heartbreaking. Chilling. A must read.

    Cinder

    CINDER (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

    Imaginative. Delightful. Surprising. Heartbreaking. Familiar yet wonderfully different.

    Grave Mercy

    GRAVE MERCY (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers

    Epic. Epic. Epic. Kick-a**. Amazing. Heartbreaking. Gavriel Duval.

    Onyx

    ONYX (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

    Sexy. Bewitching. Suspenseful. Addictive. Frustratingly yummy. Hello Daemon.

    04

    Since this is my YA blog I didn’t feel it would be fair to take three of my top ten spots away for my favorite Non-YA Reads of 2012. But there were three exceptional books that I read in 2012 that rival quite a few of my favorite YA ones and they are…

    Hard Bitten

    HARD BITTEN (Chicagoland Vampires #4) by Chloe Neill

    One of the most heartbreaking ends to a book I’ve ever read. Ever. A punch to the solar plexus. It destroyed me. I have not recovered.

    Shadow Bound

    SHADOW BOUND (Unbound #2) by Rachel Vincent

    Fierce. Devastating. Gorgeous. Seriously kick-a**. Sarcastic. Awesome to the nth degree.

    Halfway to the Grave

    HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE (Night Huntress #1) by Jeaniene Frost

    Sexy. Sexy. Sexy. Wicked. Dark. Deadly. Ah-mazing.

    02

    Well, those are my Top Ten Books I’ve Read in 2012 with just four honorable mentions and a shout out to my three favorite Non-YA reads this year. It was just so hard to choose only ten, but at least I kept it close. And those ten are definitely my top ten picks of the year.

    I know I rambled on… and on… and on… about my ten picks, but I promise to only do that for today’s post. I hope. But as I haven’t created any of those posts yet I can’t be one hundred percent certain.

    Anyway….

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

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

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    A LIFE BOUND BY BOOKS



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    Review: Unraveling

    UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris was released in the U.S. on April 24, 2012 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Balzer + Bray, the print edition is 464 pages.

    UNRAVELING is the first book in author Elizabeth Norris’ series of the same name. The second book in the series, UNBREAKABLE, is slated for release on April 23, 2013.

    ***

    Goodreads description:

    Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed–as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she’s opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, she knows–with every fiber of her being–that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

    But her revival, and Ben’s possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father’s files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something–but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what’s right in front of her: Everything that’s happened–the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben’s sudden appearance in her life–points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets–and keep from falling in love with him in the process.

    From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl’s fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.

    ***

    UNRAVELING was a complete and total surprise in all the best possible ways. For readers a little hesitant about trying out a story dubbed “sci-fi” this book is the perfect read. It’s packed full of action, the characters are so easy to connect with, fall in love with, and become heartbroken over. The storyline is utterly engaging, the concepts fascinating, the ending killer.

    While I was initially reluctant to pick up this book that I’d purchased on release date because of its label, from the moment I read the first lines I found myself wanting to read more. The author’s writing had a wonderful flow. It was engaging. It was inviting.

    And it made me instantly curious about and incredibly sympathetic toward her main character, Janelle Tenner. Especially after the shocker the author threw in just pages into the story.

    UNRAVELING is not just a story of the supernatural. It is a mystery. It is a love story. It is an adventure. One I was not able to put down. Even with a stack of “must read” books on my reading pile.

    I was totally riveted to this story. To the heroine, Janelle. To the reluctant hero, Ben. And even to the best friend, Alex. I wanted to know the reason behind what happened to Janelle at the beginning of the book. I wanted to know just what part Ben had to play in everything that went down. I wanted to solve the mystery before the characters did. And I wanted to keep reading even after there were no more pages left to read.

    Every pre-conceived notion I had about science-fiction was thrown out the window after I read UNRAVELING. It wasn’t this foreign, alien concept that I couldn’t wrap my head around. The science that was included as part of this story was fascinating. It kept me interested. It made me think. It made me want to know more.

    But, of course, I was most captivated by the love story and the heartbreak. Which sometimes went hand-in-hand. I did not expect to make as strong of an emotional connection to this book as I did. I did not at all expect there to be tears. But there were. On more than one occasion.

    And I did not expect the author to be as skilled at writing absolutely heart-wrenching scenes as she was at writing scenes filled with fast-paced action, nail-biting suspense and shocking surprises. Yet she mastered them all.

    Elizabeth Norris created an interesting and wonderfully diverse group of characters in UNRAVELING. Some of whom were likable, lovable, brave or trustworthy or some combination thereof. Others who were the exact opposite.

    And while there were a few characters I absolutely adored, Janelle and Ben were the two characters I believed in and rooted for from beginning to end.

    Janelle is an amazingly strong character. She’s brave, determined, protective and fiercely loyal. But most of all she’s a fighter. Even with everything that she’d been through in her life, with everything and everyone she lost, she did not give up.

    And Ben Michaels is equally as amazing, totally swoon-worthy, and just as determined, protective and loyal as Janelle. He melted my heart, he broke my heart and he brought me to tears more than once. But he so was totally worth it.

    I love stories with a ticking clock, with an uncertain future and a boy with secrets. I love stories where a happy ending is only the thing of dreams. And I love stories where my jaw drops in surprise, where I wonder out loud, “What just happened?” and where I am left a bundle of nerves worried about what will happen next.

    This was one of those stories.

    Suspenseful. Surprising. Heartrending. Utterly irresistible. An absolute must read and one I must read again.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    Favorite passage:

    I actually had quite a few, so choosing just the one wasn’t easy. But I thought this short passage, which makes me sigh every single time I read it, was the perfect tease for this amazing book.

    Then the scent of mint, soap, and gasoline hits me, and it’s like I’m on my back on the 101 looking up at him all over again. But he turns away, and we narrowly avoid any physical contact. I watch his back for a few seconds, but he doesn’t turn around.

    It doesn’t matter. Every nerve ending in my whole body feels as if it’s on fire.

    ***

    And if you’d like to take a longer look inside, courtesy of the publisher, HarperCollins, CLICK HERE.

    ***

    Book Trailer:

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    The Crush List #8

    Here are five books that I’m crushing on big time

    SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard is a new crush, but one that I feel like I’ve had for a lifetime. Maybe it’s the familiarity with the ALICE IN WONDERLAND story. But I think it’s more likely that I’ve been trapped in Wonderland ever since. And time is different there.

    I read it nearly a month ago and I still can’t get it out of my head. I still find myself wondering about the different paths Alyssa has before her. And different boys she has to choose from.

    But whether it’s me not wanting to say goodbye, or the story not letting me go, I can’t seem to get SPLINTERED out of my head.

    Why I’m crushing BIG TIME:

    A familiar journey. A dangerous quest. A dark twist. An even darker world. A shocking revelation. A complicated yet wickedly appealing guide. An incredibly delectable white knight. A heroine with a bit of a wild side. A totally twisted dinner party. An exciting and magical adventure. And heartbreak so crushing it leaves one breathless.

    MOONSET by Scott Tracey is also a new-ish crush. Though I’ve been crushing on this book ever since I first heard about it months and months ago. And it’s not just because I love the author’s writing. Or that I love stories about witches.

    I just knew that I would fall madly in love with this new world, these new characters and the absolute insanity that is their existence. I knew that I’d want more from the second I dove in. And I knew that I’d be pining for the sequel before I even got halfway through.

    I can only hope that the wait for the next book in the series won’t kill me. But as that book is so very far, far away from being a reality, it’s very possible it will.

    Why I’m crushing:

    A dark legacy. A secret past. Hidden truths. Black magic. Wicked awesome abilities. Deadly enemies. Magic. Covens. Action. Suspense. Kick-a** characters. All set in a town called Carrow Mills.

    POISON PRINCESS by Kresley Cole is a fairly new crush but one that hit me hard. Like a two-by-four in the face kind of hard. I haven’t fully recovered. I am still scarred. And I don’t think I will recover until I find out what’s happening in the sequel.

    When I first heard of the series I hadn’t had  a clue what an “Arcana Chronicle” could possibly be about. But now that I do know, oh…my…freaking…gosh!

    And all I can say now is, “I can’t wait! I can’t wait! I can’t wait!” Wait for what? ENDLESS KNIGHT. October 2013. That is all.

    Why I’m crushing:

    An incredibly hot and totally sexy Cajun boy named Jack Deveaux. An utterly dark and twisted world. Filled with even darker and more twisted people. A road trip through a landscape that is the stuff of nightmares. An ending that will make you want to scream. And a story that absolutely sizzles. I’m talking H.O.T.

    UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris is a brand new and totally surprising crush. I did not expect to crush on this book. At all. It was not a sub-genre I thought I’d ever like, let alone love, love, love.

    Yet I do. A LOT. And if it’s humanly possible I love it even more than that.

    If I’ve learned one thing from having read and crushed on this book, it is not to judge a book by its label.

    Why I’m crushing:

    A ticking clock. Heartbreak. A sexy savior. Heartbreak. A daring and determined heroine. Heartbreak. An intriguing premise. Some more heartbreak. A lightning-fast pace. And an outcome you just might not see coming.

    STARLING by Lesley Livingston is both an old and a new crush. I’m still crushing on the author’s WONDROUS STRANGE series and often wonder what’s going on with those characters that did not make an appearance in this book.

    But it’s new because of the exciting new world and awesome new characters, but mostly it’s because of the Fennrys Wolf.

    I knew this book would make my crush list before I even cracked open the cover. Because it’s Lesley Livingston. Because it is set in the same city as the series of hers I already adore. Because of the Fennrys Wolf.

    But even with all of that, I couldn’t help but get crushed by the grand and…revealing…entrance that Fenn made. One I can’t help but think about long after I devoured this book.

    Why I’m crushing:

    Magic. Danger. Faeries. Sword battles. A city under siege. A killer beginning. A killer ending. And all sorts of Fennrys in between. A quest for answers. An action-packed adventure. And a heroine who knows how to handle both a sword and a wolf with a memory problem.

    ***

    I know it’s been a long while since I posted one of these. It’s not because I haven’t been crushing on the books I’ve read, because I have. But I haven’t crushed on five books that I’ve read in a relatively short timespan from one another since my last post in February. Which meant no Crush List post.

    But now, I have so very many book crushes that they won’t even fit into this post. I actually have three books I’m crushing on that did not make this list and two more I know I’ll be crushed by when I read them next week. So maybe, just maybe, I’ll have another one of these posts next month.

    Once again my crushes seem to be all over the place – Sci-fi, dystopian, paranormal, supernatural and fantasy. But it doesn’t diminish their crush-ability in the least.

    Not. At. All.

    All I can say for sure is that I haven’t crushed this hard on this many books in a long time. But perhaps it’s because of the dark and sexy Morpheus, the magical journey through Wonderland, the dangers abounding in Carrow Mills, the lone bright spot in the post-apocalyptic world that is Jack Deveaux, the heartbreak that is Ben Michaels and the pants-less Fennrys Wolf.

    Yes. Perhaps that’s it. [INSERT WICKED GRIN HERE.]

    ***

    Do you crush on books?

    What makes a book crushworthy for you?

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