2.28.2014

Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic by Lauren Oliver
Published: March 4, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: via Edelweiss
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

My Thoughts
This was my first adventure in reading a Lauren Oliver novel and I now I have to read everything she’s written. I loved how she captured the feel of this small town and all of its down on their luck characters.

The premise of Panic is that it’s a game. Money is collected and at the end of the year only seniors are able to do a series of dares and basically the last one standing wins it all. While it might sound easy it’s not, they find out your weaknesses and use them against you.

While Panic the game is the supposed to be the main subject of this read, it’s the people I loved the most. The people are what fueled my love of for this story. Everyone has their own crosses to bear, whether it’s revenge, secrets or just simply trying to survive. My favorite character is Heather; her main reason for playing Panic in the beginning was for her and her boyfriend who later dumps her, but later wants to win to make a better life for her and her little sister. Her mom is a drunk and Heather is the main caretaker for sister. She is the one who I most felt for and totally connected with.


I felt this was a fresh way to tell a new story about teens and competition games. I mean as for as myself I’ve only read about this types of things in dystopian reads. I loved this realistic depiction; I could really see this happening in any town today. This is a great contemporary read with enough action to keep you glued but also a great basic storyline of growing up and finding out where you belong and where you want to go. It also shows us how strong we are when we are pushed against a wall. Sometimes we are stronger than we realize. 

BOTTOM LINE... IT'S...

2.27.2014

Review: Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg 
Published: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Point
Format: via NetGalley
Challenges: 2014 NetGalley/Edelweiss
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis
For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

My Thoughts
First things first…GO GET THIS BOOK NOW!!!
This is the cutest, funniest most refreshing book I’ve read in a long time. This book totally got my attention from the first word. It drew me in and I read it in two sittings, which I haven’t done in a while.

I love the dialogue and the chemistry between Macallan and Levi, which is something that only a gifted writer can do. I’ve read many people say this is a Harry met Sally for teens but I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two, even though I’ve a HUGE fan of the movie Better off Friends is something that deserves its own praise.

Better off Friends tells the story of Macallan and Levi, Levi being the guy kid in school and Macallan being his first friend. It tells of how they grow up together and weathering the ups and downs of junior and high school. Two kids who know each other better than they know themselves, opening up to each other telling the other one only their deepest and darkest secrets they have never shared with anyone but each other. Call it bad timing or just not wanting to rock the boat each of them start to fall for each other but never at the same time. While I was reading I was screaming…COME ON GET TOGETHER ALREADY! However I liked the drawn out moments, like all things in life things will happen when they are meant to.

I loved the alternating povs and especially the little banter at the end of chapters between Macallan and Levi as they told their story. SUPER cute! This is definitely one of those books that gave me the feels. You know those feelings that can only happen when everything in a book is so right…so perfect. This is one of those books that I will be telling anyone who will listen that they must read. It is one that I will surely never forget. Writing at its best!

BOTTOM LINE... IT'S...

2.26.2014

Promo Blitz: Blunder Woman by Tanya Eby

Blunder Woman by Tanya Eby
Contemporary Romance/Chick Lit/Women's Fiction
Date Published: 1/15/2014

Synopsis
Chloe Knaggs is a bit of a nerd, a bit of a klutz, and all Blunder Woman, especially when it comes to love. Take the love of her life, Matt M. - or as she calls him - Mmm. He's her consummate unboyfriend, meaning, they have all the intimacy of a dating couple without any of the intimacy. Confused? So is Chloe. When Matt decides to elope with the very beautiful, svelte Amber, Chloe goes a little bit crazy and takes her hippy mom and best friend Megan right along with her.

Blunder Woman is a hilarious romp with bright characters through a series of misadventures including a derby party gone horribly wrong, a night of drinking Flaming Turtles, and a fundraising event where the biggest blunder of all occurs. Blunder Woman is funny, fresh, and above all real...in a truly awkward way.

WARNING: "Blunder Woman" will make you snort out loud so drinking while reading is not recommended.

EXCERPT
Two
A Brief (but not brief enough) History About Matt

I met Matt at a group training camp, you know those places to which companies take their awkward employees--employees who don’t get along and work better on their own. So the Company makes everyone go to a weekend long ‘retreat’ which is really a weekend long house-arrest without the little ankle bracelets.
I’ve done these things before.
You have the group leader and you’re locked in a room with your ‘teammates’ (or office workers who usually you have nothing to say to), and then the group leader leads you in an exercise of trust…usually something like falling backwards from a high perch and hoping to God your coworkers catch you. It’s supposed to teach you about trust and the importance of working as a team, but I don’t think it translates at all. During one of these exercises, I actually spend most of the time obsessing about how much I don’t trust my coworkers and how very little I want to fall into their arms. But I digress.
I didn’t want to go to the stupid Employee Esteem Training but I had to. I’d just been hired part-time at the musical society to write grants and organize fundraisers and I had to show that I was part of the team, a real go-getter, a team player. (More on this musical society later. Work is important, but right now I’m talking about the love of my life.) So the team-building thing was mandatory. No go, no job, end of story. So I was very pleased to walk into the Wedgwood Center (a.k.a. The Happy Place) and see a very handsome and very male individual standing in the center of the room, arms open and smiling. Sex appeal came off of him in waves, the way the scent of Axe deodorant pours off high school boys.
I can tell you what he looks like, but it doesn’t do him justice. Descriptions never do, you just end up envisioning a freakish monster with whatever hair and eye color I’ve described and try to think it’s sexy. So instead of saying he was tall and had dirty blonde hair and a wide smile (words that don’t really describe him at all), I’ll say instead that he was a mixture of Jason Bateman of Arrested Development quirkiness, with a Harrison Ford grin, and a body (I imagine) just like an oiled-up man posing in Glamour’s Hot Guy of the Month. This was Matt: sensitive, sexy, warm, sexy, open, funny, sexy, tall, ripped, sexy, and a smile that made me feel like he was looking just at me, even if he was looking at everyone the same way. And he was sexy. Did I say that? Like the kind of guy that should reproduce because, duh, that’s what we’re designed for, right?
I should have known I was in trouble right there. A man you’re attracted to somehow makes your brain stop working. It’s some kind of alien power, I’m sure of it. Attraction equals instant stupidity.
And when he opened his arms and welcomed us, I was ready to do any stupid trust exercise he asked, including the high wire walk between trees, which I did, all the while screaming, “I hate this! I can’t do this! Get me out of this tree!!!” Then I looked down at Matt and felt, somehow, I could do anything. Blammo. He suddenly became my rock, my force, and the new obsession of my life.
Two days later, I called him at his work. I called at 6:30 on a Sunday, certain he wouldn’t be there, and he wasn’t, thank the Gods, so I left a truly awkward message.
“Hi! Matt! This is Chloe!” My voice was so tight and peppy it sounded like I was on helium. “Oh. Chloe from that group you just had, you know, Mozart fundraiser go-go-go! I was the one with the curly shortish reddish hair, the one who talked a lot, the one who screamed ‘FOR GODDSAKES GET ME OUT OF THIS TREE!!!’ Yeah. So I was wondering if you’d like to go out for coffee with me? Scratch that. I don’t drink coffee, but maybe you do. You could get coffee and I could get something else. Tea maybe. Probably hot chocolate. Or maybe just water. And a scone. I like scones. Do you like scones? Yeah. So. I’d like to meet you. For an un-coffee. Okey-dokey? Okay.”
Not only had I actually said “Okey-dokey”, I also hung up without leaving my number. I had to call back and leave another message that I knew he’d get before the previous message so I basically had to repeat the entire thing. It was terrible.
He called me Monday morning.
We had uncoffee on Tuesday. Followed by unlunch (I was too nervous to eat) and an unwalk (we sat on a park bench and talked). I thought, I’ve found him. He’s the One, and leaned in to kiss him. He answered a call on his phone. It was his mom. At the end of our ‘date’ he hugged me to him, told me he loved spending time with me, that I was unlike anyone he’d ever met.
I’d been in love with him ever since.
I’ve loved him for two years. Two years of incredible conversations and ‘undates’. Of having dinner together, and movies, and celebrating each other’s birthday parties. Two years of meeting him for uncoffees and having unsex (meaning elaborate sex fantasies only in my mind), of being at his beck and call. Two years of celebrating holidays not on the holiday, but near it. Of talking about our daily lives on the phone or while curled up watching a movie. And when I stop to think about it, two years of never meeting his friends, never meeting his family, and never, not ever, meeting his penis.
I’ve loved him for two years. Two! I probably love him still. And I hate his guts for that. Really. I do.

About the Author
Tanya Eby is an audiobook narrator and novelist living in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her tiki-obsessed husband and two quirky kids.


BUY LINKS

2.25.2014

Cover Reveal: Perfectly Messy by Lizzy Charles

Perfectly Messy by Lizzy Charles
Release Date: May 2014
Add to Goodreads


Summary from Goodreads
Popularity isn't everything it's cracked up to be. Justin Marshall knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business owner, and son of Minnesota's next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for the man he’s trying to be.

But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen kisses and whispered promises just aren't enough. That is, until scandalous photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal during Justin's dad's gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect her: he breaks her heart.

For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.

Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can’t live without.


Link to book one:



About the Author
When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.

Author Links:


Cover Reveal Organized by:

2.24.2014

Promo Post: The Days Lost by Shannon McCrimmon

The Days Lost by Shannon McCrimmon
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Age Group: YA
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Action & Adventure
Tour organized by: WordSmith Publicity and AToMR
Add to Goodreads


Book Description
On the heels of her high school graduation, Ellie Morales is spending her summer vacation in the mountains of Western North Carolina with her dad and brother, Jonah. Having lost their mother only months earlier, all of them are trying to cope with the loss in their own way.

Part routine, part escape, running is Ellie's way of dealing with her grief. Shortly after sunrise each morning, Ellie and her dog, Bosco, set out for a lengthy run on the path that passes by her house and leads deep into the woods of the Blue Ridge Mountains. One fateful morning, Ellie is lead off of the trail and discovers a secret that will change her life, as well as the lives of the family she meets, forever. One member of this mysterious family is Sam Gantry, who seems unlike any guy she's ever known.

This meeting sparks a series of events, causing Ellie to question everything she's ever known and believed. The more she learns about Sam and his family, the more she wants to help him find the missing puzzle pieces.

Quotes:
“Your looks will go away when you get old and haggard but a big heart won't wither.” 
I wish society placed more of an emphasis on inner beauty because how kind we are to others, how good of a person we are, those are the things that should matter, not if we have perfect hair or a flat stomach.

“Faith is blind, and so is love.”  
I think when we first fall in love with someone, we fail to see their faults because we're so caught up in the euphoria of being in love.

“I would do anything to be with you. You are my passion.”  
To me, this is incredibly sexy, the ultimate compliment a man could give a woman.

“I want to run in the rain with you, and kiss you at my front door, and then wait for your call the minute I get inside.” 
I love this statement. It exudes that feeling of first time love—the butterflies in your stomach, I can't get enough of you type of feeling.

About the Author
I'm a Florida native who currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina with my husband and toy poodle. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking Earl Grey tea with honey and cream, singing ineptly and butchering the lyrics to my favorite songs, and asking my friends ridiculous, hypothetical scenario-based questions.

Social media: Twitter : FacebookWebsite : Pinterest





Tour Schedule
February 24

February 26
I Read Indie-Fun Facts

February 27


February 28
Mkannah-Review

March 1



2.21.2014

Review: Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook

Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook
Expected Publication: February 25, 2014
Format: via Edelweiss
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating 3.5/5

Synopsis
As first graders, Avery and Nora bonded over a special trait they shared—they were both adopted.

Years later, Avery is smart, popular, and on the cheerleading squad, while Nora spends her time on the fringes of school society, wearing black, reading esoteric poetry, and listening to obscure music. They never interact...until the night Nora approaches Avery at a party, saying it’s urgent. She tells Avery that she thought she found her birth mom—but it turned out to be a cruel lie. Avery feels for Nora, but returns to her friends at the party.

Then Avery learns that Nora overdosed on pills. Left to cope with Nora’s loss and questioning her own actions, Avery decides to honor her friend by launching a search for her own birth mother. Aided by Brody, a friend of Nora’s who is also looking for a way to respect Nora’s legacy, Avery embarks on an emotional quest. But what she’s really seeking might go far deeper than just genetics.

My Thoughts
This is the tale of Nora and Avery, two friends who were once close but like many teens outgrow each other once they reach high school. They fell into different social circles but shared one thing in common, they were both adopted. Nora always was on a quest to find out the missing part of who she is, never really finding peace within herself and never quite fitting in anywhere. Avery was the opposite she was the all American girl, she was a cheerleader, miss popular and in the “in crowd.” After learning Nora overdosed Avery felt a bit of guilt, the guilty that she put Nora on the back burner and focused on her new friends.


During that time period she was going through things in life, like the breakup between her and her boyfriend. She becomes closer to one of Nora’s friends Brody; he is unlike any guy Avery has ever known. He helps her in a search of finding her own birth mother. She finds out she could turn to him and tell him things that she never tell her friends. In a series of things that happen she does indeed find her mother. What happens next could break a person but instead it makes Avery stronger. She learns who she really is and the discoveries that brought her to this point let her come into her own. It leads her into that next phase of her life not looking back only forward knowing she has no regrets. It’s a beautiful coming of age story one that lets us know it’s never too late to find what moves us and that the people in our lives, no matter how long are brought into it for a reason.

THE BOTTOM...IT'S...

2.20.2014

Late to the Game: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Since I’ve started blogging my TBR list has been growing by the day. So in honor of that I'm doing a feature called Late to the Game. This will feature books that just about everyone [but me] has read. Hey like they say...better late than never...right?


The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Published: May 2009
Format: Kindle purchased
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BYR
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

My Thoughts
I was a little nervous when I first decided to read this novel. I had never read a Jenny Han book before and I’m always nervous when it comes to reading a book or series that so many people love and adore. I’m always scared that I won’t like it or even worse it won’t live to the hype, not so much the hype from others but the one I’ve built up in my head. Well I’m glad to say this has lived up to it and more.
I quickly feel in love with Belly, Jeremiah and Conrad. The summer world that Jenny Han built was near perfection. I totally envisioned myself at the beach right along with them. I loved the tale of these friends who were more like family who grew up together every summer. I also loved the flashbacks of the summers past; it gave us some insight on how everyone grew over time. Like any girl coming of age, Belly is dealing with the pains of growing up and figuring out who she is and her growing feelings for the boys in her life. While she has always loved more than the other she still feels torn and is trying to figure out if what she ever feels is even real.
In reading this it can’t help but bring back those memories of that first crush and trying to figure out if its love or not. That summer has been the hardest for Belly, dealing with her parents divorce, coming to terms with who she really wants to give her heart to and deciding wither or not just to declare her true feelings and let the chips fall where they may.
This novel is the perfect contemporary YA beach read. It has characters you won’t be able to forget and a storyline that captures you from the very first sentence. I honestly don’t know why I’ve waited so long to read it, and now that I have I can’t wait to find out how the rest of the series plays out.

Quotable moments…
*Moments when lost can’t be found again. They’re just gone.


*Sometimes it’s like people are a million times more beautiful to you in your mind. It’s like you see them through a special lens- but maybe if it’s how you seen them, that’s how they really are.

THE BOTTOM LINE... IT'S...

2.19.2014

WoW [64]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Expected Publication: July 29, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Synopsis...
Five strangers. Countless adventures.One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

Why I Can’t Wait….
ROAD TRIP!!! I love this! Nothing is better yet any and everything can happen…good or bad. Looks like a great summer read no doubt.

Feel free to link me to yours, I love to see what’s the next big read.

2.18.2014

Review: Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt

Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt
Published: February 18, 2014
Publisher: Walkers Children
Format: via NetGalley
Challenges: 2014 NetGalley/Edelweiss
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis
When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, "miserable" doesn't even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother's first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real... until she breaks up with him.

For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she's really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She's determined to change his mind, and when they're stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance.

Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.?

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.

My Thoughts
People aren’t always what they seem. 
That’s what I took away from this novel after a slow start, while I enjoyed most of book this was one of things that got to me. However once it got started I really got into it. Brighton was the typical girl who guys liked and girls wanted to be like. She’s smart pretty yet not a snob but her down fall was that she is a tad naïve. She has put all this pressure in keeping up the façade of having it all together. She has managed to fool everyone, everyone except herself. She’s about to bust at the seams having to deal with school pressure, being the rock that holds her mother together all while never really dealing with the death of her father. On the weekend of the anniversary of his death, Brighton is about to lose it all she ever wanted was to make her father proud and to follow into his footsteps, but in order to do that she has to convince the new guy Jonah to help her.
Jonah hates everything about his new school, the town, his new stepfather and his classmates especially Brighton. To him she is everything that he stands against; he wants his old school and life back. Through a series of events Brighton and Jonah are brought together and realize that they are more alike than they could ever imagine.
I’ve always enjoyed those books and movies that feature these all night adventures that brought and torn people apart. How one night really can turn your life upside down and make you learn more about yourself and others than you ever thought possible. Those nights are what change your life forever.
What I like most of all was the alternating POVS, I love how by doing this we the reader can get the full and complete story. While I liked the chemistry between Brighton and Jonah I wished we got more of it and sooner than we did. I liked how they balanced each other out, he made her fun and she made him more open in dealing with his feelings.

This is a great book about all the things that can happen when you least expect it, and how sometimes those are the things where you learn the most from.

THE BOTTOM LINE... IT'S...

2.17.2014

Review: Etched on Me by Jenn Crowell

Etched on Me by Jenn Crowell
Published: February 4, 2014
Format: via NetGalley
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis
On the surface, sixteen-year-old Lesley Holloway is just another bright new student at Hawthorn Hill, a posh all-girls prep school north of London. Little do her classmates know that she recently ran away from home, where her father had spent years sexually abusing her. Nor does anyone know that she secretly cutting herself as a coping mechanism...until the day she goes too far and ends up in the hospital.

Lesley spends the next two years in and out of psychiatric facilities, where she overcomes her traumatic memories and finds the support of a surrogate family. Eventually completing university and earning her degree, she is a social services success story;until she becomes unexpectedly pregnant in her early twenties. Despite the overwhelming odds she has overcome, the same team that saved her as an adolescent will now question whether Lesley is fit to be a mother. And so she embarks upon her biggest battle yet: the fight for her unborn daughter.

My Thoughts
Etched on Me is a well written tale of Lesley who it seems life it’s taken its toll on. It’s at times a hard to read tale of rape and mental illness and it’s effect on her life. I definitely feel for Lesley and all the hardships she suffered growing up. She fought for her voice to be heard and believed when she said her father raped her. She had to deal with the after effects of that coming out and how her mother knew what was going on yet didn’t do anything to stop it. Then having to deal with mental illness and fighting for her daughter. 
Throughout the book all I kept thinking about was can't this girl catch a break? There is only so much a person can handle before they break into pieces. Mental illness is still something people don’t want to talk about, even in this day and age its taboo. People think “mental illness” equals plain crazy and it’s way more than that, it’s a disease, just like any other.

While this novel is very informative it is very raw. It pulls no punches and at times it was a tad to gritty for me. I do like that it does deal with topics that need to address and can potentially help many people who may need it. So if you want a read a story that tells it like it is and touches on social topics this maybe the one for you.

THE BOTTOM LINE...IT'S...

2.14.2014

Mini Reviews: Valentine's Day Short Stories

Be My Valentine by Teresa F. Morgan, Nikki Moore and Brigid Coady 
Published: February 13, 2014
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Format: via NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

My Thoughts 
Be my Valentine is a sweet collection of stories that will surely capture your attention. I love the seamless flow of each story while they aren’t connected I feel like they compliment each other very nicely. While each story focuses on different aspects of love and sometimes loss I believe we can each relate to at least one of the stories. This a great quick read for anyone who wants a light romantic read, and this will surely touch your heart.





Cupid Hates Me: A Short Story by Mazy Morris Published: January 12, 2014
Format: Kindle free read
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
It’s Valentine’s day and best friends Charlene, Samantha and Claire go out on the town in an attempt to forget that they are once again man-friendless on this most odious of manufactured holidays. What they don’t know is that their luck is about to change.

My Thoughts
This is a very cute short story about finding love in the most unexpected places. Three friends in different phases of their love lives find love when they’re not looking. This is funny and definitely pulls and the heart strings. This will speak to anyone who feels that Cupid and love have forgot about them. While it may seem you are alone it shows you that you never are. There is that someone out there for each of us, we just might have to wait awhile to find them. In the end it’s all worth the wait.

Release Event: Lost in Love by Kate Perry

Lost in Love [Summer Hill #2] by Kate Perry
An Adult Contemporary Romance
Release date: February 12, 2014
Published by Phoenix Rising Enterprises, Inc.

Synopsis
Portia Summerhill feels like a loser.

Thirty-something, jobless, and living at home… How could she not? Next to her accomplished sisters, Portia's achievements—or lack thereof—are that much more noticeable.

The one thing Portia can claim is expert knowledge on antiques and her ancestry, and in a moment of serendipity, the perfect job lands in her lap: curator at the Museum of British Peerage. There's one caveat: the museum won't hire her unless she brings the family jewels with her. Or, more specifically, the infamous Summerhill tiara.

Except a cowboy hotelier stands between her and her tiara. Jackson Waite needs help getting his newest posh hotel launched and, luckily for Portia, he's willing to make a trade. If she helps him meet the deadline for his new resort, he'll give her the tiara. Only, the more time she spends with Jackson, the more Portia wonders if she wants the tiara or the man keeping it from her.

About the Author

Kate has tangoed at midnight with a man in blue furry chaps, dueled with flaming swords in the desert, and strutted on bar tops across the world and back. She’s been kissed under the Eiffel Tower, had her butt pinched in Florence, and been serenaded in New Orleans. But she found Happy Ever After in San Francisco with her Magic Man.

Kate's the bestselling author of the Laurel Heights Novels, as well as the Pillow Talk and Guardians of Destiny series. She's been translated into several languages and is quite proud to say she's big in Slovenia. All her books are about strong, independent women who just want love.

Most days, you can find Kate in her favorite café, working on her latest novel. Sometimes she's wearing a tutu. She may or may not have a jeweled dagger strapped to her thigh.



2.13.2014

Review: Twisted Sisters by Jen Lancaster

Twisted Sisters by Jen Lancaster
Published: February 4, 2014
Format: copy via publisher
Publisher: NAL
Rating: 2/5

Synopsis
Reagan Bishop is a pusher. A licensed psychologist who stars on the Wendy Winsberg cable breakout show I Need a Push, Reagan helps participants become their best selves by urging them to overcome obstacles and change behaviors. An overachiever, Reagan is used to delivering results.

Despite her overwhelming professional success, Reagan never seems to earn her family’s respect. Her younger sister, Geri, is and always will be the Bishop family favorite. When a national network buys Reagan’s show, the pressures for unreasonably quick results and higher ratings mount. But Reagan’s a clinician, not a magician, and fears witnessing her own personal failings in prime time. (And seriously? Her family will never let her hear the end of it.) Desperate to make the show work and keep her family at bay, Reagan actually listens when the show’s New Age healer offers an unconventional solution….

My Thoughts
I had high hopes for this book. As a fan of Jen Lancaster’s previous books I thought I was in for a treat, well sadly I wasn’t. I didn’t get the laughable moments I’ve gotten in her other books. Maybe it was me I don’t know but I just couldn’t get into the story. There was just something that didn’t click with me. As I read on I was just waiting for something to happen, for the storyline to pick up but needless to say it never did for me.
I couldn’t relate to the main character. She just didn’t give me anything. Even if I don’t like a character sometimes I tend to find some common ground with them but with this one I didn’t. She just wasn’t very likeable. As someone who hates to leave a book midway through I struggled to finish it.

Although I didn’t feel a connection to this book in particular I’m still a fan of Jen Lancaster. I look forward to her next read, and while I didn’t click with this book I do recommend her previous books especially Here I Go Again I fully enjoyed them.

2.12.2014

WoW [63]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm featuring two amazing books I can't wait for.


Remember Me [Find Me #2] by Romily Bernard
Expected Publication: September 23, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen

Synopsis...
Wick Tate, a teenage hacker and former foster child, is back in action in this sequel to FIND ME. As a new murder case unravels, a new badass hacker love interest arrives on the scene, and long-buried secrets start to shake loose. But this time, Wick’s not so sure she can win.

Why I Can’t Wait….
I’m a huge fan of the series and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. Super excited about this one!





The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan 
Expected Publication: September 9, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen

Sypnosis
Eveny Cheval just moved back to Louisiana after spending her childhood in New York with her aunt Bea. Eveny hasn’t seen her hometown since her mother’s suicide fourteen years ago, and her memories couldn’t have prepared her for what she encounters. Because pristine, perfectly manicured Carrefour has a dark side full of intrigue, betrayal, and lies—and Eveny quickly finds herself at the center of it all.

Enter Peregrine Marceau, Chloe St. Pierre, and their group of rich, sexy friends known as the Dolls. From sipping champagne at lunch to hooking up with the hottest boys, Peregrine and Chloe have everything—including an explanation for what’s going on in Carrefour. And Eveny doesn’t trust them one bit.

But after murder strikes and Eveny discovers that everything she believes about herself, her family, and her life is a lie, she must turn to the Dolls for answers. Something’s wrong in paradise, and it’s up to Eveny, Chloe, and Peregrine to save Carrefour and make it right.

Why I Can’t Wait…
Sassy Southern chicks with what seems like attitudes and secrets…SOLD!

Feel free to link me to yours, I love to see what’s the next big read.

2.11.2014

Cover Reveal: After the Storm by Marie Landry

After the Storm by Marie Landry
Expected Publication: April 2014

Synopsis
For most people, starting senior year at a new high school would be a nightmare, but for Ella O’Dell it’s the new beginning she desperately needs. Two months after her mother’s death, she’s ready to leave behind the rebellious, unhappy person she became when she found out her mom was dying.

When Ella meets River Maracle and Sadie Fitzgerald, she begins to learn it’s okay to be herself, even if that means being different. River and Sadie aren’t ashamed of their misfit status—River grew up on a reservation, and his mother is the school counselor; Sadie stands out with her funky homemade clothes, and is a master at ignoring the whispered rumors that have plagued her since the beginning of high school.

Ella finds a kindred spirit in Sadie, and something more in River. After almost a year of pretending to be someone she’s not, she finally embraces life and allows herself to have fun without constant guilt. But despite her budding happiness, something is off with her new life. She doesn’t want to dwell on the past, but Angel Island is a small place, and she soon realizes her demons are harder to outrun than she thought.

Excerpt
~First Day of School~

I head off across the lawn, sending a quick wave over my shoulder. Ezra’s car rumbles to life and the sound of the engine slowly fades as they drive away.

Kids rush past me, their voices ringing out as they catch up after a summer away, talk about upcoming school activities, and show off their new clothes. I hear footsteps behind me, and a second later a girl with glossy blond hair falls into step beside me.

“Was that Ezra Rhodes who just dropped you off?”

And hello to you too. “Yeah. He lives next door to me, and he’s my sister’s boyfriend.”

Her green eyes sweep over me curiously, and my skin prickles. “So you’re Gabriella?”

Oh great. Thirty seconds in and someone already knows who I am…was. So much for my reputation not following me to school. I don’t remember seeing her on the beach this summer, but then I wasn’t exactly sober much of the time. “Ella.”

“I’m Kyla. I didn’t get to many of the parties on your side of the island this summer, but I heard about them. You dated Chris, right?”

I stumble slightly at his name, but recover quickly. “Yeah, but if you don’t mind I’d really rather not talk about him.”

She wrinkles her nose. “I don’t blame you. Guy’s a jerk. You’re so much better off without him.”

I knew he was a jerk from the beginning but it didn’t stop me from going out with him. We fooled around some, but when I wouldn’t have sex with him he tried to force himself on me. Luckily I got away with nothing more than a ripped dress, but the whole experience had shaken me pretty badly and was something I tried to avoid thinking about. I know a lot of other girls aren’t as lucky as I was, but it was the wake-up call I needed to stop my destructive behaviour.

I suppress a shudder. Kyla and I have reached the front doors now and I’m anxious to find the office then get to class.

Kyla reaches out and blocks the handle of the door I’m reaching for. “I’m sorry. My friends tell me I don’t make a very good first impression.” She laughs lightly and shrugs one shoulder in a ‘what can you do?’ sort of way. “I’m not gonna lie, I heard some stories about you this summer, but I’m not one to judge.”

She opens the door and ushers me through before she keeps talking. “Anyway, I just wanted to say hey so that you can start your day knowing at least one person here.”

“Well…thanks. I appreciate it.”

She beams at me. “No problem.” Someone calls her name from down the hall and she waves before signaling for them to wait. “I’ll probably see you at lunch, ’kay? My friends and I sit at one of the long tables by the window if you need someone to sit with.” She gives me a little finger wave before hurrying to join a group of five or six girls who begin to squeal and hug each other when Kyla joins them.

I give my head a quick shake. Last year Kyla would have been exactly the type of girl I’d have wanted to be friends with. I would have taken advantage of her popularity and tried to get in with her group, even if I didn’t really like them. When Charlotte left school to take care of Mom, I started hanging out with her two best friends Alexis and Bianca, who welcomed me into their large group of friends at school. From there I met the smaller group of kids who cared more about skipping class, smoking, drinking, and other things. Everything went downhill from there, and I know I can’t let that happen again. Not here, not now. Not ever again.

I head for the office and get my schedule and a map from one of the secretaries. There’s a sticky note on my timetable that says the school counselor wants to meet with me during my free period later this morning. Great. Hopefully it’s nothing more than a ‘Welcome to Angel Island Secondary School’ pep talk, but I highly doubt it. More likely it’s an ‘I hear you let your life fall apart last year and that your mother died at the beginning of summer…let’s talk about that’ deal.

Something to look forward to.

Author Bio
Marie has always been a daydreamer; since early childhood she's had a passion for words and a desire to create imaginary worlds, so it only seemed natural for her to become a writer. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, watching copious amounts of TV on DVD, or having grand adventures with her nephews and niece. She's a hopeless romantic, an unapologetic eavesdropper (occupational hazard), an equally unapologetic squeeing fangirl, and a lover of swoonworthy book and TV characters. For more on Marie and her books please visit http://sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca. She also loves to chat with fellow book lovers, so feel free to tweet her @SweetMarie any time!

Author Links

Sale
For the course of the cover reveal, Waiting for the Storm will be 99 cents across all ebook platforms.

 Amazon / Kobo / BN / Smashwords

Giveaway
Marie Landry is having an international giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.