Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas

Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas
"Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe's Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer's car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the "drowned rat" look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees— of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe's list of Top Ten Best Moments."- summary from Amazon



FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Zodiac by Romina Russell

Zodiac by Romina Russell
"Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancrian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?"- summary from Amazon

REVIEW TO COME!!

and here's an interview with Romina:
1) How did you get the idea for Zodiac?

My editor, Liz Tingue, and I came up with the concept for ZODIAC by combining my love of Space with her passion for astrology. Liz and I met ten years ago, in a college class that was pretty much “math for English majors,” and we always knew we wanted to team up on a creative project. I think ZODIAC was written in our stars. J


2) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor(s)? Or, if you don’t like those, do you have a favorite snack to eat while writing, or as a reward for writing?

I like strawberry Jelly Belly beans, but my favorite things to snack on are dark chocolate bars, chocolate chip cookies, and salty French fries.


3) What do you do in your free time when you’re not writing?

…annnd I just realized I have no life. (Blogger's note: She has a life!! She does a lot of cool things, like write newspaper columns, produce movie trailers, photography, and potentially plays the drums, though her bio is a bit unclear on that front though I don't know why you would dream of a new drum set if you didn't play, lol.)


4) What are you currently reading, or are about to start? Are there any 2015 books you’re excited about?

I’m reading Winter Falls by Nicole Maggi who is another December debut author. As a member of the Fearless Fifteeners, I’m excited about tons of books in 2015, like Dove Arising by Karen Bao, Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee, and An Ember In the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, to name a few.


FTC: Received hardcover from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
"Sam McKenna has never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She's expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don't think girls belong there. What she's not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so trivial . . . no matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don't just want her gone—they won't rest until she gives up. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active . . . and determined to force her out.

At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust . . . and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences."- summary from Amazon

HOLY CRAP THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING!!! And, like Lies We Tell Ourselves from earlier this week, made me so angry at the Neanderthal sexist military guys in this book (and I read those books back-to-back). I would constantly get the urge to punch someone. It's just crazy that anything like this could happen in this day and age, but I know it definitely still does. A lot of archaic thinking is still in some major institutions.

Aside from the anger, this was a wonderful debut book and I loved the character of Sam- extremely strong (both in strength and will), loyal, and fierce. I loved being in her perspective and reading her journey through a semester at the DMA, which also included some romance with her young, hot drill sergeant. I LOVED Drill (you do find out his real name in the book, but I'll leave that for you to find out) and their scenes together were alternately sweet and hot. Hensley knows how to write a fantastic realistic love connection.

The secret society is absolutely crazy and that whole aspect of the book had me on the edge of my seat. I wish more had been done (or more had been written) in regards to the ending, but I do think it was handled realistically, which I guess is how it should be (though I would not be opposed to an unrealistic ending if it meant good completely won out over evil).

Overall, a highly recommended debut that deals with something very different from what we see in YA. I know I've never read a book set at a military academy. I am looking forward to seeing what Hensley does next!

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
"In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town's most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept "separate but equal."

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another."- summary from Amazon

I was angry during a lot of this novel, not because I hated the book or anything, but because of how bigoted and ignorant many white people were during this time in our country's history. It made my blood boil reading how African-Americans were treated and what sorts of things they went through to make integration and equality happen. But it is inspiring to be reading from Sarah's point of view, going through the days with her and feeling her thoughts and emotions during this whole process. And Linda's perspective is great too- seeing her change over the course of the novel and making realizations about herself, her family, her peers, the black students, and others around her was handled so beautifully by Talley.

Talley's writing is engrossing and compelling, and she makes both Sarah and Linda very distinct and their attraction to each other very real. The book is told in five different parts (Parts 1 and 3 are Sarah alone, Part 2 is Linda, and Parts 4 and 5 go back and forth between the two) and takes place over the course of a few months.

Overall, an extremely stellar debut and I urge everyone to go check it out. I cannot wait to see what Talley writes next!

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Blog Tour- Wild by Sophie Jordan

Wild by Sophie Jordan
"A good girl goes fabulously bad in the final book in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s sexy New Adult romance series, in which three Ivy League suite-mates seek higher knowledge of just how far they can go.

Months after her boyfriend dumped her, Georgia can still hear the insults he hurled at her. Boring. Predictable. Tame. Tired of feeling bad, she’s ready to change her image, and go a little wild. What better way to prove her ex wrong than a hot night of sexual adventure at the secret campus kink club?

In the shadowy den of the kink club, she unexpectedly runs into Logan Mulvaney, her friend’s little brother. A player extraordinaire too hot for his own good, he may be younger, but the guy is light years ahead when it comes to sexual experience. Now he’s telling her to go home—“good girls” don’t belong here!

Georgia is tired of having others define her. She’s going to teach Logan a lesson he won’t forget—one white hot, mind-wrecking kiss . . . that leads to another . . . and another . . . and. . . . Realizing she’s way in over her head, Georgia runs.

Only Logan won’t let her go. Everywhere she goes he’s there, making her want every inch of him. Making her forget who she is. Who he is. And just how wrong they are for each other."- summary from publisher

About the Author:
Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she's also the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avon historical romances. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she's not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows. Sophie also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler. You can find out more on her website, or follow her on Twitter and Facebook!

Here's a small excerpt from Wild:

“I gotta go,” I said hurriedly, turning to walk around the Jeep, ready to climb in the backseat, not even caring how obvious I was in trying to put distance between us by unnecessarily circling around the vehicle.

I felt him move behind me before I felt his hands on my arms. “No, you don’t,” he growled. “You don’t get to run away again.”

I squeaked as he hauled me back against his chest. My spine stiffened iron-rod straight against the wall of his broad chest. I felt my eyes go huge in my face. He was touching me. Again.And I was freaking out on the inside. I sucked in a deep breath, determined that my freak-out stayed internal only.

“Let me go. They’re coming.” My heart hammered violently in my chest and I didn’t know if it was because we were about to get busted by my friends or because his body felt so unbelievable against mine. Okay, fine. It was both.

His mouth brushed my ear as he spoke, spiking sensation to every nerve in my body. “Are you embarrassed, Georgia? You don’t want them to see me with you? Don’t want Pepper and Reece to know about us?”

“There is no ‘us.’ ”

“Oh, but there will be. We both know why you came tonight.” His fingers flexed, each digit a burning imprint on my forearms.

“Yeah?” Was that breathy croak my voice? “Why?”

“Because you haven’t been able to forget what it felt like to kiss me, and you want to know if the rest of it will be that good, too.” He bit down on my earlobe and a whimper escaped my lips. “It will be.”

An invisible band squeezed around my chest. I swallowed against my constricting throat. “Arrogant much?”

“It’s okay. I haven’t been able to forget either. I can still remember the way you taste.”
Oh. My. God.

I swallowed a moan and lurched free from him. Swinging around, I faced him and felt my knees go weak at the look in his eyes. Heavy-lidded and deep, his blue eyes looked almost indigo as they stared down at me.

“I know you probably think it’d be some great joke to bang one of your brother’s friends, but I’m not going to be another notch on your bedpost . . . some girl you screw once and forget about the next—”

He moved fast then, closing the space that I had established between us. Oh, yeah. He was a jock with ninja-fast reflexes. I needed to remember that.

I gasped as his hand slid around my neck, fingers burying in the hair at the base of my scalp. He lowered his head, dropping his forehead against mine until our breaths clashed and mingled. His fingers pressed and massaged the back of my head, shooting sensation straight to the core of me. Holy hell. Was that some kind of secret pressure point?

His words gusted over my mouth. “You think we’d fuck just once?”

My stomach plummeted at his blunt words.

He took my hand and dragged it between us, pressing my palm to his crotch—against the outline of his cock in his tight baseball pants. It hardened, growing beneath my touch and I felt an answering ache clench between my thighs. God, it had been so long.

“This doesn’t feel like a joke to me. You don’t,” he growled in a tight voice. “I want to do things to you . . . things a clean, vanilla girl like you never dreamed of. Things that tool boyfriend of yours never came close to doing to you.”

“Ex-boyfriend,” I replied automatically.

At my response, Logan pushed my palm harder against him, rubbing the hard ridge of him. A tiny moan escaped me as the ache squeezed between my legs.

He angled his head. “I think you want me to do dirty things to you, Georgia.”


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