Monday, January 23, 2012

Falling In Between Blog Tour & Doodle-Graph Giveaway (INT)

Yay! I'm super excited that today is the first day of a month long book tour for my YA Romance Falling In Between, available this Valentine's Day! There are six random international giveaways happening at the blogs hosting the tour, so be sure to check them out. To see the list of awesome blog sites participating in the tour and to enter the giveaway for a signed doodle-graph copy of Falling In Between, head on over to my giveaway page! And for the first time ever, I'm allowing one entry a day for tweeting the giveaway!

Good Luck!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Girl by Paige Harbison (ARC)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...New Girl
Paige Harbison
Expected Publication: January 31, 2012

Synopsis: They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

There are technically two new girls in New Girl. One is trouble-maker Becca, who was shoveled off to boarding school by her parents for her junior year. Becca mysteriously goes missing at the end of the year and her spot is replaced by new girl #2 for her senior year, whose name we don't even learn about until the end of the novel. The story switches back and forth between the two girls as they both advance through their respective years, and it's kind of interesting to see how each girl is treated by the student body.

Becca isn't exactly the nicest of people and seems to be the queen of manipulation, but for some reason the entire studen body idolizes her - probably cause she supplies the booze. New Girl #2 is treated like absolute crap the moment she arrives because she looks similar to Becca, took over her spot in school, must room with an absolute bipolar-Becca-loving-freak of a roommate who left Becca's side of the room a freakin' shrine and won't let New Girl #2 dare to make any changes. And it doesn't help that New Girl #2 develops a mutual attraction for the two boys that Becca was playing with.

I want to feel sorry for Becca since she's missing, but it's really hard as the story progresses and she becomes an absolute horror to her boyfriend and his best friend, who she's cheating on him with. New girl #2 I trully do feel sorry for. She's treated like crap by the majority of the student body, particularly by her psycho roommate, mostly because Becca's ex has shown her some attention.

I really dug New Girl. It was refreshing and I flew right through it. Hell, any book that keeps me up all night cause I just gotta know what happens next always gets five stars from me. :)

ARC provided by HarlequinTeen via NetGalley.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fracture by Megan Miranda (ARC)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Fracture
Megan Miranda

Synopsis: Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine -despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

What would you do if you only had one day left to live?

I love books that I fly right through! Fracture started off right away with Delaney's fall through the ice and being saved eleven minutes later by her best friend Decker. She suffered permanent brain damage and wasn't expected to recover, but lo and behold, for some reason she does - though it turns out that her altered brain began to pick up on a new frequency. It takes her a few bodies to figure out why she feels tingles and an unatural pull towards certain people, but Delaney can now tell when someone is close to dying. The stronger the pull and more intense the tingles, the closer they are to passing away.

But there's something else strange about these deaths. Everytime she finds the person she's drawn to, nineteen year old coma survivor Troy seems to be within the vicinity as well. Too much to be considered coincidence, Troy is the only person Delaney is willing to confide in about her newfound ability (cause quite frankly, her family and personal relationships have all gone to crap since her almost-death). Delaney wants nothing more than to try to help those on death's doorstop defeat death. Troy thinks differently and sees the pull as a way to help those passing away by easing them through the process with minimal suffering. Naturally, Delaney and Troy butt heads each time a new individual appears on their death-dar, but it becomes a full-out battle when one of Delaney's own friends becomes the next possible victim.

Delaney may have been in the running for Valedictorian at her school but she wasn't that intelligent when it came to people and her newfound gift. I felt she should've figured out her death-dar and Troy's constant appearances a little sooner. And I felt she could've resolved a lot of issues with her best friend Decker if she had just opened up to him about her newfound gift, who was clearly the only person that wouldn't have strapped her in a straight jacket and thrown her in the booby hatch for admitting it.

Overall, I really liked Fracture. It was an easy, clean and engaging paranormal read that I finished almost instantaneously. There was a little romance but I wouldn't go so far as to categorize this as a romance. Fracture is definitely worth the read so go pick it up!

ARC provided by Bloomsbury Children's Books via NetGalley.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Win an ARC of Falling In Between - YA Romance

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Just head over to A Book Lover's Review to enter for the Dreaming About Books Giveaway Hop!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark (ARC)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...The Demon Lover
Juliet Dark
Published: December 27, 2011
Synopsis: Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of writing her bestselling book, The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. After all, Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she finds herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.

But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: He’s not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the incubus, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this demon lover from her heart.

Surprisingly, I really enjoyed The Demon Lover, and I say surprisingly cause I've noticed lately I seem to enjoy young adult novels more than the adult ones. I am a little hesitant to call a book about an incubus seducing and sucking the life out of a woman an actual romance, but hey, Callie McFay seemed to like it. I also enjoyed the author's creation of Fairwick College, in which the majority of the staff and students enrolled seemed to be a little more than human. I did, however, find it a little odd that Callie didn't realize she was a little more than human herself until she was well into adulthood and working at the college, especially since she had studied and written a book about folklore. In fact, there were times throughout the novel I felt Callie was a little dense to what was going on around her, but maybe being exhausted from her romantic encounters with the incubus dimmed her perception a bit.

Fair warning - there's a lot to keep up with in this novel. There are sooooo many characters with wierd names that are all some type of different supernatural being, a lot of which I've never heard of before. And they've all got their own problems and stories that almost seemed forced onto the character at times - like they don't have anyone but Callie to share their problems with. She might as well  take on the position of Guidance Counseler too. And the problem with having an endless amount of characters circling the MC is that I really didn't care about any of them too much. Except the mouse. I became rather fond of her familiar Ralph the mouse...go figure...and who would've thought one's familiar would be a mouse! And I'm still not sure the purpose of referring to another author's work in this novel. It didn't serve much purpose other than offering sexual stimuli and confirming that another woman that lived in Honeysuckle House had been visited by the incubus...but we already knew that without reading the dead woman's manuscripts.

Even though The Demon Lover seemed almost bombarded with secondary characters and stories, I was still pretty happy with this novel in the end and I look forward to seeing what happens to Callie and her demon lover in the future. Call me crazy, but I really hope the incubus can find a way to merge itself into her life properly.

ARC provided by Random House via Netgalley.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hidden Heart by Camelia Miron Skiba

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Camelia Miron Skiba

Synopsis: Tessa Cosma is a deceptively sweet businesswoman who knows how to ride the wave of chaos in corrupt, post-communist Romania to maintain the lifestyle she so carefully built for herself. Her ideal world shatters when an unplanned pregnancy ends after a brutal assault. To compound her troubles, she must unravel a fraud accusation that threatens her reputation and career. Alessandro Santinelli, the charismatic Italian banker with whom she spent an incredible, lust-filled night a year ago, comes to her rescue. But Tessa refuses his help and chooses to rise above the devastating forces of death, betrayal and fraud to prove her innocence and discover her true self. Throughout Tessa's journey towards forgiveness and redemption, Alessandro guards over her from a distance. He provides her the space and time she needs to heal, meanwhile hoping to recapture something he believes was lost and unattainable.

Wow. Hidden Heart takes you on quite the emotional journey. Tessa Cosma certainly gets rung through the ringer again and again and again. She starts off being someone every woman in post-Communist Romania wishes they could be - successful and respected by the men she works with (but unfortunately not by the numbskels in the street that still treat Romanian women like no-nothing whores and loser boyfriends that can't deal with the woman being more successful than they are). Her job and relationship officially go to hell-in-a-handbasket when she's accused of stealing money from her latest work transaction, then cancels an out of town work obligation just to go home and find her boyfriend in bed with another woman. What a day...

But the hits don't stop there. The bank employee sent to investigate the fraud allegations turns out to be a man she had a steamy one night stand with. Joy. Her drunk ex-boyfriend begins to harass her and threaten violence. Super joy. She finds out she's pregnant with drunk's child. Gre-at...A family member passes away. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Is it any wonder she contemplates suicide after being brutally beaten and left for dead?

What I liked about Hidden Heart was that you trully learned to care for Tessa and began to feel what was happening right along with her. Luckily, Tessa has one positive thing going for her that makes all these horrible tribuations bearable - a new lover that makes her heart melt...and the reader's too.
 Copy provided by author for honest review.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (ARC)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Every Other Day
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication: Dec 27, 2011

Synopsis: Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human. And then every day in between . . .She's something else entirely.
Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.
When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive. . .and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

It feels like it's been a while but I finally read a book that dug its claws into my arm and wouldn't release its grasp until the very end. Kudos to Ms. Barnes. I am surprised that the description is lacking quite a bit what this book is about cause Kali practically takes care of helping the human pretty early on in the novel. Although the popular girl getting bitten by the Chupacabra puts everything into motion, the novel seemed more focused on how Kali develops a psychic link with another non-human named Zev and seeks to rescue him from his white-walled prison within the depths of a genetic engineering conglomerate (where, as the last sentence of the synospis states, she learns the reasoning behind her condition.)

I do have to say this. Although I really enjoyed Every Other Day, there were soooo many holes and inconsistencies that I couldn't even keep up with the count after awhile. Here's just a few: (SPOILER ALERT) 

1. In a world where vampires, hellhounds, zombies, dragons exist and are sometimes even protected by extinction laws, no one seems to be able to wrap their little head around the notion that Skylar has some psychic abilities - they all think she's crazy for even thinking it's possible, even though she predicts things correctly time after time. Really?

2. Company men spend the entire day chasing down Kali to retrieve the research specimen within her, but when they cause her friend Bethany to crash the car, the men don't take Kali or the specimen...they just leave her in the road to die (which of course she can't) Or can she? See #3.

3. We're told over and over again that Kali can't die, can't be poisoned, can't feel pain, can't even be hurt, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. So why is it when she's taking on her superwoman form did she feel the poisonous effects and eventually pass out from zombie bites, or feel pain when she had the run-in with the manticore? Little confusing. Especially since having the chupacabra within her actually made her stronger!

4. Okay, this one isn't actually a hole but it just screamed at me when I saw it. Near the end of the novel when Kali entered the Chimera building I suddenly couldn't get the movie Resident Evil out of my head. The facility description and the mutant monsters inside were all a little too familiar, and Kali suddenly came off as a lighter version of Alice advancing her way through the Umbrella Corporation.
All said and done, the action in this book and the rantings coming off Bethany and Skylar are what really kept me going. And I know this story made me say huh? quite a bit cause the author would contradict something that was already said and done, but I still couldn't put my ereader down. And for me that's what I consider a successful book. It hooked me from the beginning and kept me hooked all the way through. I actually did like Ms. Barnes as a writer and will definitely check out some of her work in the future - I just hope her next novel doesn't leave me feeling Things That Make You Go Hmmm.

ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Previously Loved Book Giveaway - January

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December's winner of Ripple by Mandy Hubbard is....

January's Book Giveaway

Paperback Copies
Wanna enter to win? Head over to my giveaway page.