Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book Blitz and Giveaway: All In by Marta Brown

Welcome to the All In book blitz! I have book and author information, a FABULOUS excerpt, a giveaway for everyone! Check it out!

All In by Marta Brown

Publication Date: May 28, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads):

On the picturesque island of Martha's Vineyard, there are two kinds of residents. Locals and Stays.

Local boy, Lane McCarthy, plans on spending his summer working at the country club to save money for college in the fall, while summer stay, Ashley Whitmore, and her elite group of friends are only there to play.

As the summer heat goes up on the island, so does the ante, when both Lane and Ashley must decide what they’re willing to wager in order to follow their dreams… and their hearts.

With stakes as high as the surf, and hopes as high as the midday sun, will they risk everything and go all in?

The Excerpt:


“Good afternoon and welcome to the Field House Grille. May I start you two off with drinks or an appetizer today?” The waiter’s voice startles me out of my conspiracy theories, and I resume perusing my menu.

“Yes, I’ll have a long island ice tea and a white wine spritzer for the lady.” Gregory orders with confidence. He’s only a year shy of the legal drinking age so he may pass as old enough to get served, but it’s obvious I’m not old enough to drink yet. “And then we’ll have an order of the calamari to start and for our entrees she’ll have the sea bass, and I’ll have the filet.” He shuts his menu and hands it back to the waiter with bravado.

“I’ll actually have a bottle of San Pellegrino please,” I say, staring at my menu, trying to avoid the embarrassment of being carded and then denied, or worse, my parents finding out I tried to order an alcoholic drink, at the club no less. “And what salad would you recommend?” I start to ask, but the words get caught in my throat when I finally look up and see the waiter.


He. Is. Gorgeous.

“Well…our house mixed salad is very popular. It’s locally grown organic and is fresh picked daily. It comes with a light raspberry vinaigrette dressing that can be tossed on or left on the side,” he says, holding my gaze.

“Oh. Yes. That sounds… yummy.” The words come out all breathy, and I’m immediately humiliated at the way I must have sounded.

Yummy. Breathy. Seriously, Ashley?

“Then on the side, miss?” the waiter asks, a faint smile playing on his lips.

“Yes, thank you,” I say, feeling my face flush with warmth.

Apparently Gregory Chase isn't the only boy in town who can make a girl blush, and by the daggers Gregory’s shooting the poor guy with his eyes, he knows it too.

Gregory clears his throat and pulls the attention of the waiter back on him. “Fine. We’ll have one house salad with dressing on the side and an order of calamari to start.” Then with a dismissive flick of his hand, “Now, go fetch our drinks.”

Go fetch our drinks? Is he serious? How can he think it’s okay to speak to someone that way? But before I can say anything the cute waiter lets out an amused laugh that surprises me.

“I’m sorry sir, but I’m gonna have to see an ID first.” The waiter looks not at all sorry to ask, which makes me have to hide a smile.

“You have got to be kidding me,” Gregory starts. “I left it in the men’s locker room,” he explains, but his confidence is shaken. No one ever challenges Gregory.

“I’m sorry sir, but without a valid ID I’m not gonna be able to serve you, but I’ll be happy to wait here while you go and get it.” The waiter gives Greg a fake smile and then me a real one. He clearly is enjoying himself.

It’s evident Greg’s not going to get his way, so he finally concedes, but without an ounce of grace. “How about you take your eyes off my date, and go do your job.” He levels the waiter with his eyes. “And just bring me a damn coke while you’re at it.”

“Will do, sir,” the waiter says with artificial politeness, giving Gregory an almost imperceptible bow before turning around and leaving.

This time, I’m the one who gets caught watching one of the waitstaff walk away.


“Dude, I just busted some richie-rich for trying to order drinks underage, and he had the nerve to yell at me for looking at his date. Too bad for him, she was looking right back,” I say with a cocky laugh before giving Mario a high five. “Man, it’s the jerks like that, that always get everything in life—the money, the power, the girl. Probably has some big fat trust fund to pay for college too.”

“Sorry, man, but try not to let him get under your skin, amigo.”

I know Mario’s right, I should just let it go, but I’m sick and tired of Stays treating us locals like we’re nothing. And who the hell tells someone to ‘go fetch’? What am I? A dog? What an ass.

I drum my fingers against the metal counter at the pass until Mario rings the service bell with a grin and hands me their starters.

“Here, orders up and good luck.”

I give him a nod then try to shove my jealousy and anger down when I enter the dining room again, but I feel it hovering right on the surface. I take a deep breath before setting the calamari in the center of the table and the salad in front of the girl.

“Is there anything else I can get you right now?” I ask, and it’s hard to keep my eyes off of her long dark hair, her light green eyes and her legs that go on for miles. Maybe that douche had a point.

“No, I’m fine. Thank you,” she says politely, and I wonder why she’s on a date with such an ass-hat. Either way, girls like her don’t date boys like me. Unless they’re trying to piss off their parents, which is fine by me, but she doesn't look like the rebellious type.

I turn to face him, lifting my eyebrows. “And you?” I ask because it’s my job.

“Yes, there is something you can do for me, how about you explain why my silverware is off of the floor.” He holds up his dinner fork, but I don’t understand what he’s talking about. Off the floor?

“Excuse me?” I reach for the fork to examine it. I personally set this table less than an hour ago, and the silverware hadn't touched the ground. Why would it? But right before I’m able to take the fork from him for a closer look he opens his thumb and pointer finger letting the fork fall to the hardwood floor with a loud ping that echoes through the dining room.

“See.” He looks me right in the eyes, a smirk plastered across his smug face, challenging me.

You have got to be kidding me. This guy picked the wrong day.

I calmly pick the fork up off the ground, bring it to my mouth and spit on the tongs before lifting my apron and polishing it until it’s dry and shining. So much for not letting him get under my skin.

“My apologies, sir.” I place the fork back on the table in front of him like I’d accidentally brought out the wrong appetizer instead of spitting all over the dude’s silverware. “If there’s anything else I can do for you please let me know, otherwise your entrees will be out shortly.”

I watch his eyes go wide with shock before walking away looking cool, calm, and collected, even though on the inside I’m totally freaking out. This is not going to end well.

About the Author:

Marta Brown grew up in the Pacific Northwest and was a teenager when Doc Martens, Pearl Jam and flannel were the norm and Dylan loved Kelly forever. (Beverly Hills 90210 shout out)

She still lives just outside Seattle, now with her husband and cat, and loves the rain.

When she’s not writing about cute boys, first kisses and the magic and wonder of being seventeen, she’s watching The CW. And she sleeps in. Late.

The Giveaway:

1 signed copy of All In (open US only) and 10 e-books copies of All In (open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday (#31): After Eden by Helen Douglas

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm featuring:

After Eden by Helen Douglas
Book One of the After Eden series
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: November 5, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads):

The day Eden met Ryan changed her world forever. Actually, not just her world. Ryan has time traveled from the future to save the world. In a few weeks, Eden’s best friend Connor will discover a new planet—one where human life is possible. The discovery will make him famous. It will also ruin the world as we know it. When Ryan asks Eden for help, she must choose between saving the world and saving her best friend’s greatest achievement. And a crush on Ryan complicates things more than she could have imagined. Because Connor is due to make the discovery after the girl he loves breaks his heart. That girl is Eden. 

Grounded in a realistic teen world with fascinating sci-fi elements, After Eden is a heart-pounding love triangle that’s perfect for dystopian fans looking for something new to devour.

I can't wait to read this book. I vastly prefer the UK paperback version (see HERE), and I'll be buying that.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review: All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry
Book One of a trilogy
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Rating: 1 star
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

Set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them. Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all. The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.

And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.

What I Liked:

Literally, nothing. I'm sorry, I don't say this a lot, but this book appealed to me in absolutely NO WAY. Just the cover, I suppose. And the glowing synopsis. Gosh. I really, really wanted to like this book, but it totally fell flat for me.

What I Did Not Like:

There isn't much to this book. It's extremely short (something like 240 pages, which seems even shorter on a Kindle), and it's not what I would call dense. I'd seen a few things about this book before reading the book - that the author has a beautiful writing style, beautiful prose, a really beautiful way with words. Also, the synopsis leads us to believe that there is some powerful romance, an amazing friendship, and some mythical aspect to the novel. Sounds great, right?

Well. I'll start with the writing style. I really don't see what's so beautiful and amazing and gripping about it. I found the writing style and the narration boring and repetitive and not at all engaging. I was expecting something fabulous, something dynamic that would sweep me off my feet - and instead, I got flat, boring, lifeless narration, brought on by a not-so-awesome writing style.

Then there's the fact that this book is really short, and not that dense, and not a lot happens in this book. Literally, all that happens is the narrator describes her life with her best friend, then Jack appears, the narrator falls in love with Jack, but then Aurora (the best friend) does too, and then Jack and and Aurora disappear, and the narrator feels the need to save them.

TRUST ME when I saw that my cute summary above is more interesting than the entire book. NOTHING HAPPENS. The first part of the book WITHOUT Jack is the narrator describing how not-hot she is, and how gorgeous and perfect Aurora is. She describes how Aurora barely remembers her dad, and how she (the narrator) doesn't know her dad. Then Jack comes along, and sweeps the narrator off her feet.

That really irritates me - that Jack appears and the narrator and him just fall in love. It's total insta-love, insta-lust, whatever. There is no powerful love story in this book. I don't see or feel any all-encompassing pull between Jack and the narrator, that makes them soul mates, or something. It's complete insta-love, with a giant dose of lust. Seriously. They cannot keep their hands off each other, and all the narrator can think about is Jack, so much that she can't see straight.

So much that she doesn't realize when her best friend falls in love (or lust) with Jack as well. Assuming I understood that correctly from the story. There is a good chance that I didn't understand the entire story. I originally thought that Aurora and the narrator had the same dad - which would make the constant "close like sisters" references make sense - but I never got an explanation on that (surprise!).

I kind of hated the narrator throughout the entire story. She acts like a tough girl - she even thinks she's tough - but she bows to whatever Aurora wants. She runs off with Jack at every chance. She blindly tries to get Aurora and Jack from whatever hell they put themselves in (I seriously mean hell - that's the mythological part). She constantly tells Aurora that no one means more to her than Aurora, but when Jack comes along, we know that's not true. Everything is Aurora, Aurora, Aurora, and Jack, Jack, Jack. I expected some sort of threesome to happen at some point in the book - in which I would have STOPPED, and clocked in my first DNF. I don't know about your sexual preferences, but threesomes are NOT for me.

So, there is a love triangle, sort of. And I hate all three people in the love triangle. You know it's bad when you disliked (hate) all of the main characters in the book. The only character that I could stomach was the narrator's friend who saves her at the end (and I cannot remember his name, for crying out loud!).

I touched on this, but the plot is ridiculous. It feels like NOTHING happens, and then at the last couple of percents, the narrator goes on some life-changing quest to get Aurora and Jack, and that all in itself is so confusing and pointless and UGH! Can the author at least TRY to explain ANYTHING?! I don't understand  the "mythology" part of the book. I'm putting it in quotes because I don't even know if it's mythology, or the narrator is doing drugs or drinking alcohol, or the narrator is off her rocker.

No characterization (the narrator does not grow up AT ALL), no plot, no explanation, crap romance... how did I even finish this book?! Thank goodness it was so short - because I remember getting violently angry on so many occasions while reading this book. Good thing I love my Kindle.

I think that the people who say the author's writing is beautiful must have a better understanding of how to muddle through confusion nonsense nothings that make absolutely NO SENSE. It's rare that a book confuses me. It's rare that an author twists a story that I can't figure out. It's also BAD when I meet a story that I can't understand, because I am not stupid, and yet, I cannot make head or tail of this book.

I'm done. I apologize to the author, the publishing house, and the team of people who worked hard to get this book to where it is. But to me? This book is absolutely awful and a complete waste of my time. (and we all know how many books are out there...)

Would I Recommend It:

No. Nonononononono. Do NOT make the mistake of thinking that there is a pretty cover, a wonderful romance, and a mysterious story waiting for beneath that deceptive cover. Like I did, unfortunately. I had really high hopes for this book, and it ended up being an utter disappointment.


1 star. Trust me when I say that I would have given it 0 stars, had I the chance.

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Blog Tour Review: The Liberator by Victoria Scott (and GIVEAWAY!)

Welcome to my stop on The Liberator blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours. Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

Stick around at the end of my review for the giveaway!

The Liberator by Victoria Scott
Book Two of the Dante Walker series
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Bad boy, meet bad girl.

Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn't like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.

When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard. 

With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

What I Liked:

WOW, what a sequel! I really, really liked The Collector, so I was a bit scared to read The Liberator. I totally have sequel terror, and I am the person that would wait until the third and/or final book of the series to come out, just to binge read Book Two and Book Three. Waiting is SO HARD, and sequels are, well, scary. Most sequels end in cliffhangers or depressing endings where the male protagonist and the female protagonist are separated, and one has to go rescue the other.

WELL. That is not the case with this book! I am so happy to say that the ending, at the very least, was probably what I liked the most, because Victoria didn't kill us all by doing something tragic and heartbreaking and depressing, like what I mentioned above. Though, we DO have to wait for Book Three. Boo.

Anyway. In this sequel, Dante is no longer collecting souls for Boss Man a.k.a. the devil a.k.a Lucille (hehehe, love that!). He is a liberator now, working for Big Guy, a.k.a. God. Instead of sending souls to Boss Man/Lucille, Dante is supposed to send souls to heaven.

Of course, it isn't easy for Dante to reform his old (bad) ways. He still likes to party, like when he did as a collector. The difference is, as a liberator, there are repercussions for not sending souls to heaven, and there are repercussions for partying/drinking/doing things that Dante always liked doing.

So when Dante is assigned to save Aspen's soul, a girl in Denver, he balks at the idea. Not only does he have leave Charlie, but he has to do something as a liberator - which makes him feel weird, as he was a collector for so long. I love seeing this struggle in Dante, because it made him seem less perfect (sorry, Dante!), yet still, well, Dante.

Aspen reminds Dante of his old life, but he has to complete his mission, or he'll be on probation. Aspen is an incredible character. I had a feeling that I would like her by he end of the book, and that she was so much more than she seemed. While she is a little wild and obnoxious when we are first introduced to her, she becomes a huge and vital part of Dante's mission - a more personal mission that he takes on while trying to save Aspen's soul.

I love how Victoria weaves one story into another. We as readers are under the impression that Dante will go to Colorado, try and save Aspen's soul, and come back. Not so simple! Dante and the gang (Max, Valery, Annabelle, Charlie, and a surprise appearance!) learn crucial facts about heaven, hell, souls, and... scrolls. Everything in this book becomes so much more than just Dante and Charlie.

That's another thing that I love about this book: everything becomes more than just the lives of the characters. It's not just about getting the girl, or being a liberator, or saving friends. To Dante, and Charlie, and Aspen, so much more is at stake. I like that Victoria turns the lives of her characters upside down - but she does it in a way that keeps them selfless, and focused on the bigger picture. If that makes sense.

The romance. We have Charlie and Dante, but there's also Max and Valery, and another couple that I can't mention because that would be spoiling something and I refuse to spoil this book for anyone! No, the appearance of Aspen does not equal love triangle of Dante, Charlie, and Aspen. You all know Dante better than that - he loves Charlie so, so much! How could he think of being with another girl when he loves Charlie like he does!

Max and Valery are hilarious and so cute. Max is a collector, and Valery is a liberator. Valery doesn't think they should rush things and get married, because of the fact that technically, they're on two different sides. So, Valery evades Max's advances. Poor Max! I hope things work out for them.

The end... isn't *really* a cliffhanger ending. I was very satisfied with it, and I did and didn't see it coming. I love how it will segue into the third book though - it's perfect! I can't wait to read what Victoria comes up with in the third book!

What I Did Not Like:

This might just be me, but I found the beginning a wee bit slow. A lot of the beginning. A lot of it was necessary... but the pacing was just not fast enough. It took about... 40% for me to be completely consumed and flipping pages like a crazy person.

But that's okay, because the rest of the book was well-paced and a lot happened, so it went by quickly. The second half and ending made up for the beginning/first half.

Would I Recommend It:

YES! Read the first book, or keeping reading the series if you have read Book One! I was majorly impressed with The Collector, and I'm equally impressed that Victoria pulled off an awesome sequel to follow up a fabulous debut.


4 stars. No sequel slump for Dante!

About the Author:

I’m a teen fiction writer with a die-hard affection for dark and humorous books. My work is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger literary agency. I have a master’s degree in marketing, and currently live in Dallas with my husband, Ryan.

My first series started with THE COLLECTOR, and was published by Entangled Teen in April 2013. The second book in the trilogy, THE LIBERATOR, will release August 2013. My next series kicks off with FIRE & FLOOD and is being published by Scholastic, February 2014.

The Giveaway:

1 signed copy of The Liberator, and a signed copy of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - international!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Review: The Trouble With Being A Duke by Sophie Barnes

The Trouble With Being A Duke by Sophie Barnes
Book One of the At the Kingsborough Ball series
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Summary (from Goodreads):

Sometimes happily ever after…

Anthony Hurst, Duke of Kingsborough knows the time has come for him to produce an heir. But first he must find a bride. When he meets the most exquisite woman at his masquerade ball, he thinks his search is over…until the breathtaking beauty runs off. With few clues other than her figure, her scent, and the memory of her kiss, Anthony must find his mystery lady.

…needs a little bit of help.

Isabella Chilcott can scarcely believe it: she is finally at the Kingsborough Ball. As a child, she dreamed of dancing a waltz here and now, thanks to a gorgeous gown she’s found in the attic, Isabella is living her fairytale fantasy. And she’s waltzing with the Duke of Kingsborough himself! But she must escape before he discovers her secrets…for she is not who she pretends to be, and falling in love with Prince Charming is the last thing she can allow herself to do…

What I Liked:

This book was so adorable yet so striking at the same time! I love the idea of it - it sounds like Cinderella! Anthony is a rich Duke who knows he must get married soon, so he can have an heir. Isabella also knows that she has to get married soon - because her parents have fallen on financial hard times. Isabella has a suitor - Mr. Roberts - but she dreams of fairy tales endings.

Isabella decides to sneak away to the Kingsborough Ball, a huge event hosted by the Duke of Kingsborough and his mother. There, she meets the Duke, Anthony, and many other splendid company. But it is the Duke with whom she falls head over heels in love, and it is she with whom Anthony fall heads over heels in love. But Anthony never finds out her name, and when the night is over, he fears he will never see her again.

I absolutely LOVE the way this book is set up. The ball happens, they meet, they part ways, he begins the search for her, they meet again, he has to win her AND her parents over... this is such a fun book. Every time Anthony and Isabella meet, I knew that something very funny or very steamy would happen. Throw in stuffy Mr. Roberts here and there, and it couldn't get better!

I like how Isabella was stubborn with Anthony - she didn't just run straight into his arms every time she saw him. She kept her distance for propriety's sake, but she still allowed interaction between them. Their relationship grew slowly but steadily, and I'm happy with how the author handled the progression of their relationship.

The romance, as I mentioned, was steamy and sweet. Anthony fell completely in love with Isabella when he saw her at his ball, and stopped at nothing to just see her again. I love HIS stubbornness towards her, his determination to see her.

The ending of this story is beautiful. I remember thinking, FINALLY! And then wanting to cheer. While the plot of this book wasn't overly complex or intricate, I enjoyed the small twists and turns and the truth of Isabella's lineage. 

What I Did Not Like:

Okay, Isabella's parents got on my nerves. I understand why Isabella's mother is so touchy about a duke courting her daughter (especially when all is revealed at the end!), but seriously!? They got on my nerves at every turn of the page. 

I also which there could have been a little more depth to this book. There is this one plot twist that I totally saw from the very beginning and figured out by one fourth of the book. Otherwise, this book is very straightforward - not a bad thing! I just read wayyyy too many Young Adult books.

Would I Recommend It:

Yes! This is one of my favorite historical romance novels. I hope you give it a try!


4 stars. A cute, adorable, sweet, yet steamy romance novel that does not disappoint!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Repossession by Rachael Wade

Welcome to the Repossession book blitz! I have the book and author information, teasers, and a giveaway!

Repossession by Rachael Wade
Book One of the Keepers trilogy
Publisher: Rabbit Hole Press
Publication Date: June 27, 2013

Official Summary:

Skylla only knows that she has been kidnapped and held prisoner by the foreign invaders and their human allies. And that the world is ending. Or so the humans think. The invaders have made it clear that their arrival is one of hostile intent, and as their takeover spreads, so does the panic across the globe. No one knows how to defeat them, or if it’s even sane to try.

Jet, Skylla’s human captor, is up for the challenge, though. A traitor in Skylla’s eyes, he is working with them. But Jet has his own agenda; one that doesn’t include babysitting Skylla or helping the enemies. And as the human race struggles to keep the invaders from achieving their goal, Jet and Skylla’s paths collide to reveal the truth behind Skylla’s abduction.

The invaders are headed for the water. Jet is headed for the water. But that’s the last place Skylla wants to be. That’s where the future of humanity lies, and where the bridge to their yesterdays was burned. On a mission to take back what is rightfully theirs, Earth’s population is determined to make sure this isn’t the end. But some endings were never theirs to begin with.

About the Author:

Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she's not writing, she's busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Visit her at and, or come chat with her on Twitter via @RachaelWade.


“I was about to say that we all hurt the ones we love. That we can’t help it and that for some reason, we’re just defective like that. Maybe because those we love most bring out the very best and the worst in us, and in some twisted way, we resist that magic.” – Skylla Warden


“I squirmed in his hold, but it didn’t take me long to give up. His grip was too strong. My arms laced around his neck and I glared up at him. “That sounds more like you having your way until you decide to let me have mine.”

“Yeah, that’s about right.”

“I don’t want you to carry me.”

“Well, what you want and what’s actually going to happen are two very different realities.”

“What kind of convoluted crap is that?”

“True convoluted crap. Now stop busting my balls and let me carry you.”

I sighed, making sure it was long and overly dramatic.” – Skylla and Jet


“When it was just you and your fight to live, the only thing that mattered was time. Time was the only thing reminding you to propel forward and find your next meal, the next roof over your head, or those few hours of crucial sleep, because your days were numbered and they wouldn’t stop for anyone, no matter how rich, privileged, or smart you were.

If there was one thing I’d learned in my short span of twenty-three years, it was that time didn’t discriminate.” – Skylla Warden


“Because that’s life, you know? Good and bad. You can’t have one without the other. The bad brings out the good in us, and the good can be corrupted by the bad. It’s always a struggle—to fight for the good, so it tips the scale.”  - Jet Phoenix


“We sat on the dusty floor like that for what felt like hours, our legs intertwined in the kneeling position. Like the demon and the angel reaching for one another on Jet’s arm, I felt half of everything. Half pure, half used. Locked in a dark, beautiful embrace. One I wouldn’t wish on anyone yet one I wouldn’t ever reverse if given the chance. Not when it had the power to save a life.” – Skylla Warden


“Is there anything that doesn’t piss you off?”

“Yeah, flowers and sunshine. But there’s none of that to be found since this world fell into a hellhole, so you won’t see me cracking rainbow smiles or going easy on you anytime soon.” - Jet and Skylla


“I did not have all the answers. I did not know if I’d deserved God’s grace or wrath, or what would become of me if I ever fled this town. But I did know how to shoot a gun.”  - Skylla Warden

The Giveaway:

(1) ebook copy of Repossession - open internationally! Read the rest of the terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter, please!

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Searching for Beautiful by Nyrae Dawn

Today Nyrae Dawn and Entangled Teen are revealing the cover for SEARCHING FOR BEAUTIFUL, which releases on March 4, 2014. Also enter below for a paperback of the book or an eBook!

On to the reveal!

Oh, trust me, this is official reveal...

But I'll still being obnoxious ;)

Searching for Beautiful by Nyrae Dawn
Publisher: Entangled
Publication Date: March 4, 2014

Official Summary:

Before, Brynn had a group of best friends, a loving boyfriend, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And after…she had none.

When Brynn lost the boyfriend who never loved her, the friends who feel she betrayed their trust, and the new life just beginning to grow inside her, she believes her future is as empty as her body. But then Christian, the boy next door, starts coming around. Playing his guitar and pushing her to create art once more. She meets some new friends at the local community center, plus even gets her dad to look her in the eye again…sort of.

But can Brynn open up her heart to truly find her life’s own beauty, when living for the after means letting go of the before?

The Excerpt:

Christian looks at me. I wait for a smart-aleck reply or a smile but get neither. Just his blue eyes sucking me in like a whirlpool. “That’s what I thought you would say. So you just have to keep fighting for it. Keep fighting to get it back.”

My eyes won’t leave his and his won’t leave mine. And he’s cute. God, he’s so cute, I just want to focus on his cuteness. I want that to be all that matters. When his hand comes up and cups my cheek, I gasp. He brushes his thumb under my eye and licks his lips and I’m frozen and on fire and close to having a heart attack and anxious all at the same time.

Slowly, he leans forward and I know he’s giving me time. And my heart is leaping and I want to feel his lips. This is Christian. The boy who asked me to dance. The boy I ran to my mom about and told her that I loved. And now he’s my friend. The first person who has made me feel normal since everything happened.

But I’m so scared. Scared of messing it up. Scared he’ll decide he doesn't want me. Scared of losing him. Of getting hurt.

He gets closer and I smell his sweet, sugary scent. See his mouth and wet lips and that hair I want to touch.

See the one person besides Emery who I have. The one person I can’t lose. “Wait,” I say and Christian stops moving. He’s still close. So very, very close that his lips are only an inch away from mine. “I’m scared,” I admit.

“I won’t hurt you.”

And I swear a part of me believes him. Maybe all of me. But how do I know if that’s the right decision or not?

He runs his hand down my face and touches my hair. Love that he’s not nervous to do it the way I am with him and I watch his fingers, brown against my red hair.

“Go out with me, Bryntastic. Let’s go do something this weekend. Don’t keep running. I won’t even try to kiss you again unless you tell me to. Or I’ll wait for you to do it. Just let go. Live.”

His words are what I want. I want them so badly and they sound so perfect that it’s hard not to just scream, “Yes!” right now. “Why?” I ask him. “Why are you so nice to me?”

I love his strength. Love that he doesn’t even hesitates before saying, “Because you were my first crush. Because I used to watch you conqueror anything and used to listen to you laugh with your friends. You were happy and I loved your smile. Because I had to work up the courage to ask you to dance and I did, and then I left and the one thing I missed was that smile. I watched my sister lose hers and watched my family fall apart and when I came back here? I wanted to see your smile again. Because you’re beautiful when you smile and you've lost it now. I want you to conquer this because what the hell is the purpose in it all if the first girl I ever danced with loses her smile?”

I don’t realize I’m crying until Christian wipes my tears. “You think I’m beautiful?” 

About the Author:

Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn’s passion. There have been times in her life where she wasn't able to chase that dream the way she desired, but she always found her way back to telling stories.

One of her loves has always been writing about teens. There’s something so fresh and fun about the age that she loves exploring. Her husband says it’s because she doesn't want to grow up. She doesn't think that’s such a bad thing and luckily for her, he doesn't either.

Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. She loves going on emotional journeys with characters whether it be reading or writing. And yes, she’s a total romantic at heart and proud.

Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids.

When she’s not with her family, you can be pretty sure you’ll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her.

She writes for Entangled Publishing, Grand Central Publishing and is self-published.

Nyrae is represented by Jane Dystel of Dystel and Goderich Literary Management.

The Giveaway:

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Review: Weather Witch by Shannon Delany

Weather Witch by Shannon Delany
Book One of the Weather Witch trilogy
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Rating: 1 star
Source: ARC from publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

In a vastly different and darker Philadelphia of 1844, steam power has been repressed, war threatens from deep, dark waters, and one young lady of high social standing is expecting a surprise at her seventeenth birthday party–but certainly not the one she gets!

Jordan Astraea, who has lived out all of her life in Philadelphia’s most exclusive neighborhood, is preparing to celebrate her birthday with friends, family and all the extravagance they might muster. The young man who is most often her dashing companion, Rowen Burchette, has told her a surprise awaits her and her best friend, Catrina Hollindale, wouldn’t miss this night for all the world!

But storm clouds are gathering and threatening to do far more than dampen her party plans because someone in the Astraea household has committed the greatest of social sins by Harboring a Weather Witch.

What I Liked:

I liked the IDEA of this book. You all know I'm a sucker for anything historical fiction - which is one of the biggest reasons why I requested this book. But I was sorely disappointed by this novel. It didn't even feel historic. Read on.

What I Did Not Like:

I don't even know where to start with this novel. I barely finished this novel - it took all of my willpower to convince myself that I was not (and am not) in the habit of not finishing books. I like to finish what I start, and leave nothing behind, so to speak.

There were some key elements of the book that I could not stand. The FIVE different plots, which, by the way, NEVER crossed all at one time in the book. The lack of characterization in any or all of the characters was annoying, as well as the fact that I disliked basically all of the characters. Delany never fully explained the terms "Conductor", a "Maker", or even a "Weather Witch" - all huge parts of the book. And I'm not one hundred percent sure why this book is classified as steampunk, because it did NOT feel like a steampunk book, or have most of the steampunk elements.

I'll start with the five plots. One plot surrounds our protagonist, Jordan, and what happens to here when she is taken away. Another plot surrounds Rowen, her best friend (and the boy she likes), and what he does to find her. Another plot surrounds Bran, the Maker of the Weather Witches. Another surrounds Chloe, a maid in Jordan's household. The final plot (I hope I'm not missing any) surrounds Marion, a man who used to be under the care of Chloe, before she allegedly killed him and as family (not true).

I thought this book was going to follow Jordan and ONLY Jordan. This book is third person, but I didn't expect there to be five plots in this book. Jordan's plot was the primary plot, up until her birthday party. After that, the book splits into five different perspectives (still third person). It's confusing! 

Jordan is going to Holgate, where the Maker (Bran) is. Bran is Making Weather Witches, and dealing with the appearance of a daughter he never knew he had. Rowen is trying to fend Catrina (Jordan's scheming friend), and find Jordan. Chloe is falsely charged for murdering the family she used to work for (before she started working for Jordan's family). Marion finds out about Chloe's pending death, and wants to help her, because he knows she is innocent.

I'm sorry, but that's too much. None of it makes sense, and none of it has anything to do with the other plots. One plot might tie into another plot, but all five plots make no sense in this book. And here's the thing: THEY NEVER MEET. All five plots never come together at the end of the book. Usually when an author has so much going on, all of it meets at the end of the book or something.

So here I am, wondering what Marion's plot and Chloe's plot have anything to do with Jordan or Bran or Rowen. And why do I care about Bran and his daughter? It's great to see another side of Bran, but the whole time I was reading Bran's point-of-view, I was wondering, is this still the same story? Is anything going to happen yet?

Basically, the sheer number of plots and how they never intersect just made me mad. I got confused more than once with this book, and for me, that's not easy, for me to get confused. You KNOW the author has made a tangled web of crazy confusion when I can't follow the direction of the book.

Bran is the only character that I believe experiences any growth of character whatsoever. We see a lot of his point-of-view, and his slow change brought on by the appearance of his precious little daughter. I felt bad for Bran, because he has an awful job as the Maker, and now he has a daughter. But then I didn't feel bad for him, because he continued to Make Weather Witches.

I think that the number of plots made the the development of characterization in this book poor. Had there been less plots, each character that got a plot could have grown and developed more. But Jordan, Rowen, Marion, and Chloe did NOT experience any progression in their character development, in my opinion, Bran is the only one that changes, and in the very end, he doesn't change at all.

And someone please please PLEASE explain to me what a Conductor, Maker, and Weather Witch is. And why Delany felt the need to capitalize like, every single word. Well, not every word. But she capitalized words a lot. Delany never gives an actual explanation as to what a Conductor, Maker, and Weather Witch really are. Of course, I can infer, but as I tried to explain what they were to a friend, I found that I could not explain the terms well. That is BAD. If the author cannot explain what key terms in the world of the book are, then how are readers supposed to understand the book? Especially when you add on FIVE confusing plots and zero character development.

I don't see how this book is steampunk. It felt like a paranormal read to me. The steampunk part, with machines and whatnot, does not come into play until the very end, when Bran and other characters are on an airship. That's really the only element of steampunk that I saw. 

And also, I found the "historical" part of this book not believable. This book could have been set in any time period, modern or historical, for all I know. The speech was not that authentic. In the beginning, I got more of a feel for the historic elements of the book, because of the description of Jordan and Catrina's gowns. But as the book progressed, I had no idea what historical period this book was in - because the world-building kind of dropped off.

Can I mention that there is like, NO romance in this book? During the entire book, Rowen rejects the idea of being in love with Jordan. Jordan realizes that she likes him. Before she is taken away, at her party, Rowen is going all out to impress her. But nothing romantic happens, and this book is a flop when it comes to the romance. If you were going to read this book for the romance alone, don't. There basically is no romance.

Also, this book was SO BORING. Did I already mention that I barely finished this book? Talk about forcing oneself. On the day I was reading it, I told myself I wasn't allowed to eat lunch until I finished this book. I could have cared less about any of the characters. This book was so dry and so boring that I hoped all of the characters would die or get wounded or do SOMETHING interesting, or anything at all. 

This is my first Delany novel. So, I'm not familiar with her writing style. But oh my gosh, the writing style just lent itself to my boredom and confusion. Talk about vague and evasive? Delany explained NOTHING, wrote nothing specific, classified nothing. 

The ending... honestly, I don't know what to say about the ending. I don't really get it. The ending is no different from the rest of the book. Nothing really changes! And Rowen and Jordan... what!? Ugh. I don't understand the ending (surprise!), and I don't really care for the ending.

I'm finished. I can't think about this book anymore. A total disappoint, especially for a historical fiction lover. I mean no disrespect towards the author of the publisher or the team that made this novel what it is today. 

Would I Recommend It:

No, oh my gosh, no. I totally regret reading this book. It was a waste of my time, and honestly, a waste of am advanced reader copy sent to me by the publisher. I feel so bad that I didn't like this book, and even worse, because I requested it. 


1 star. I would rate it lower, but I can't. Hopefully my experiences with St. Martin's Griffin will get better! Because this book was so not my cup of tea.

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!