Friday, May 31, 2013

Cover Reveal: My Life As a Lumberjack or How I Fell For the Wrong Guy(s) by Sara Olds

About the Author:
About Sara Olds: Sara V. Olds has been telling stories for as long as she can remember. One of her favorite memories is of unfolding a tale for friends while they were all bundled in sleeping bags catching a comet shower in the Uintah Mountains.  Mother of three: Large, Medium and Small, she welcomes her newest role, that of mother-in-law.
Life has taken her from thither to yon and back again—she's moved 22 times during her marriage. She breathes to travel. Longs to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning a horse. Is an addictive reader. Enjoys swimming, skiing, violin and movies. Wonders if she'll ever get to SCUBA dive again. And has found a calling that fulfills her in ways she never could have imagined—teaching history to—wait for it—8th Graders.
Her stories consume her. There's nothing she'd rather do than spend all day, all night and the next day conversing with her latest set of characters. History, adventure, action, romance, humor. Adults, YA and kids. Yep, she does it all. Looking for something to enjoy on a quiet rainy afternoon? Or wanting a pulse-pounding, stay up all night turning pages adventure? Or a you've-GOT-to-be-kidding romp? You'll find them in her pages.
Sara’s social media links:
Good-looking rangers, fresh mountain air and an avalanche of crazy adventures await unsuspecting Mercedes “Benz” Bennion in her summer job with the US Forest Service.
Buy links for LUMBERJACK:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Countdown: Missed Titles (10)

While trying to keep up on the blog along with my crazy, and sometimes chaotic life, I of course decided to bring back the countdown post today.  They're some of my favorites posts to prepare and doing the research on them is always exciting because I seem to always end up pleasantly surprised by how many titles out there that I end up wanting to read in the worst possible way.

So while I've got a huge list already compiled of all the great titles still to come in 2013, I want to feature some reads that I somehow missed in the previous countdowns.  I'm always both upset and excited to find titles that somehow went under my radar.  Upset because I already feel like I'm behind, and have possibly missed out on great reading experiences, but also excited to finally come across them so that I'll have the chance to make up for lost time and dive right into these intriguing reads.  Finding new titles is like someone bringing over a package of macaroons to unexpected and incredibly sweet...not to mention impossible to resist!

Countdown Pick #1:  The Supremacy by Megan White

What would you be willing to sacrifice for the perfect way of life?

We had lost everything. We were desperate and looked to our officials for help.

The Supremacy stepped in, seemingly coming out of nowhere.

They were a government issued task force set up to rebuild life and prosperity.

They gave us homes, they gave us food, but they wanted something priceless in return.

We were the beginning, the first batch. We were the Testers.

Once again Big Brother seems to be at the heart of this novel...what they want on the other hand is hard to tell, but it sounds like an exciting adventure leading to the answers, don't you think?

Countdown Pick #2:  Temptation (Temptation, #1) by Karen Ann Hopkins

Your heart misleads you.
That's what my friends and family say.

But I love Noah.
And he loves me. 

We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other's arms.

It should be


forever, easy.

But it won't be.

Because he's Amish.
And I'm not.

This book intrigued me for several reasons, but most of all I realized that I don't know nearly enough about the Amish culture, and while this is book falls into the fiction category, I'm hoping that it'll educate me on some of the issues and information that I'm sorely lacking.

Countdown Pick #3:  Hurt by Tabitha Suzuma

Why? is the burning question on everyone’s lips. Why would a guy like Mathéo Walsh want to die? At seventeen, he is Britain’s most promising diving champion. He is a heartthrob, a straight A student and lives in one of the wealthiest areas of London. He has great mates and is the envy of everyone around him. And most importantly of all, he is deeply in love with his girlfriend, Lola. He has always been a stable, well-adjusted guy...

Until one weekend. A weekend he cannot seem to remember. All he knows is that he has come back a changed person. One who no longer knows how to have fun, no longer wants to spend time with his friends, no longer enjoys diving. Something terrible happened that weekend – something violent and bloody and twisted. He no longer knows who he is. He no longer trusts himself around people: he only wants to hurt, wound and destroy. Slowly, he begins to piece back the buried, fragmented memories, and finds himself staring at the reflection of a monster.

Tormented, Mathéo suddenly finds himself faced with the most devastating choice of his life. Keep his secret, and put those closest to him in terrible danger. Or confess, and lose Lola forever...

I have to know what happened that weekend to Matheo, don't you?  The cover image for this title was what drew me in initially but after reading the description there was no way I wasn't going to add this to my TBR list!

Countdown Pick #4:  Steelheart (Reckoners, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics... nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

Yep, the comic book nerd in me came out with a vengeance when I heard about this one...I want to know what kinds of powers the Epics got when this event took place and I can only imagine the action packed scenes that Sanderson will bring within these pages.  There's a contest going on for this title that ends June 20th over at Goodreads, so if you're interested make your way over there and enter for your chance to win!

Countdown Pick #5:  Prophecy Girl (Angel Academy, #1) by Cecily White

Amelie Bennett. . . . Ending the world, one prophecy at a time.

I was born to slay Crossworld demons.

Big black flappy ones, little green squirmy ones. Unfortunately, the only thing getting slain these days is my social life. With my high school under attack, combat classes intensifying, and Academy instructors dropping right and left, I can barely get my homework done, let alone score a bondmate before prom.

Then he shows up.

Jackson Smith-Hailey. Unspeakably hot, hopelessly unattainable, and dangerous in all the right ways. Sure, he’s my trainer. And okay, maybe he hates me. Doesn’t mean I’ll ignore the wicked Guardian chemistry between us. It’s crazy! Every time I’m with him, my powers explode. Awesome, right?


Now my teachers think I’m the murderous Graymason destined to bring down our whole race of angelbloods. Everyone in New Orleans is hunting me. The people I trusted want me dead. Jack and I have five days to solve the murders, prevent a vampire uprising, and thwart the pesky prophecy foretelling his death by my hand. Shouldn’t be too difficult.

Getting it done without falling in love. . . that might take a miracle.

Entangled publishing sent me an email regarding this release and once I got a peek at it there was no turning back.  I was intrigued and super excited for the chance to read this one in the future!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I Love Recommendations (2)

So I'm sure I'm not alone when I say how much I enjoy and appreciate getting recommendations and suggestions from anyone and everyone when it comes to books that may not have crossed my path.  It's always so helpful to hear what others think about a book, while it might not always sway me in one direction or another, it's still great to have a little bit of a heads up going into something as to what I might be able to expect or not expect, depending on the case.
Like I said yesterday, I went on one of my favorite sites, Goodreads, and I decided to see what they had lined up for me by way of book recommendations.  I'm so glad I had the time and that I got the chance to check it all out, because yet again I think Goodreads and the people they've got working on that site know me all too well and I love them for it!  I got a huge list (insert excitement) of titles that I decided to add to my TBR list thanks to all of their help.  Here a few of the titles they you guys have anything to add to the list?  Have you read or heard something about the titles below that you want to share?

Anew (The Archers of Avalon, #1) by Chelsea Fine

Two years ago, Scarlet awoke in the forest alone, afraid, and unable to remember anything. Lost and confused, her life was a mystery...until she met a boy with a familiar voice.

Gabriel Archer has a voice from her past, and Scarlet's determined to remember why. She immerses herself in his life only to discover he has a brother he's kept hidden from her: Tristan Archer.

Upon meeting Tristan, Scarlet's world becomes even more muddled. While she's instinctively drawn to Gabriel, she's impossibly drawn to Tristan--and confused out of her mind. As she tries to piece together her history Scarlet realizes her past...might just be the death of her.

**Apparently fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout and Shelly Crane will be instant fans of this series, and I'm ready to test out that theory.

Ashes of Twilight (Ashes Trilogy, #1) by Kassy Tayler

Wren MacAvoy works as a coal miner for a domed city that was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century to protect the royal blood line of England when astronomers spotted a comet on a collision course with Earth. Humanity would be saved by the most groundbreaking technology of the time. But after nearly 200 years of life beneath the dome, society has become complacent and the coal is running out.  Plus there are those who wonder, is there life outside the dome or is the world still consumed by fire? When one of Wren's friends escapes the confines of the dome, he is burned alive and put on display as a warning to those seeking to disrupt the dome’s way of life. But Alex’s final words are haunting. “The sky is blue.” 

What happens next is a whirlwind of adventure, romance, conspiracy and the struggle to stay alive in a world where nothing is as it seems. Wren unwittingly becomes a catalyst for a revolution that destroys the dome and the only way to survive might be to embrace what the entire society has feared their entire existence.

**Because I had read and enjoyed, Lisa M. Stasse's The Forsaken, Theo Lawrence's Mystic City, Kevin Emerson's The Lost Code, and Heather Anastasiu's Glitch, I'm predicted to like this series as well.  Those four books are ones that I truly enjoyed from start to finish, so if this title falls into that same category, I'll be one happy reader for sure!

Revamped (Angel Creek, #1) by Ada Adams

A simple mission turned deadly.

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.

**Based on how I liked J.A. London's Blood Kissed Sky, this one was added to my list and while it's the first I've ever come across it, the description I read pulled me in and has me optimistic that I'll be wanting to continue on in the series.

Epic (Epic, #1) by Conor Kostick

Generations ago, violence was banned on New Earth. Society is governed and conflicts are resolved in the arena of a fantasy computer game, Epic. Everyone plays. If you win, you have the chance to go to university, get more supplies for your community, and fulfill your dreams; if you lose, your life both in and out of the game is worth nothing.

When Erik, seeking revenge for the unjust treatment of his parents, dares to subvert the rules of Epic, he and his friends find themselves up against with the ultimate masters of the game: the Committee. If Erik and his friends win, they may have the key to destroying Epic's tyranny over New Earth.

But if they lose . . .

**After marking Catherine Fischer's Incarceron as a book I enjoyed this title popped up for my perusal.  I'm not quite sure if I'm sold yet or not, but it did pique my interest enough to put it on the list and only time will tell if it can live up to the recommendation.

Thin Air (Thin Air Saga, #1) by Lynn Seresin

Alice Ayre is no ordinary teenager. She took her first name from a statue in Central Park, pulled her last name out of the air (literally), and she’s actually almost a thousand years old. In fact, the only “ordinary” thing about Alice is that she’s in love.

Alice was a sylphid—a winged air spirit—when she spotted Daniel Field camping in the Adirondacks and lost her heart to the handsome NYU student. Intangible to the human senses, her only hope of winning his heart resides in becoming mortal, even though transmutation is forbidden by Paralda, ruler of the air. Risking punishment, however, seems a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness.

Tracking down Daniel in New York City ends up being surprisingly easy. Getting noticed by him for all the right reasons is another story, especially when the human world keeps tossing challenges in Alice’s path. Just when she’s mastered zippers and buttons, she catches herself dropping a sugar packet into her coffee and mistaking a photo of John Lennon for one of Daniel’s relatives.

Her eccentricities raise the occasional eyebrow with Daniel and his friends, but her quirky charm, sweetness, and sincerity win out. Before long, she lands a job, begins a relationship with Daniel, and starts settling into her new life—until her past comes after her.

**Catherine Banks' Artemis Lupine series is one of my favorites.  Based on that knowledge, Goodreads pulled this title for me to check out and so far the description has me intrigued and wanting to find out what will happen with Alice and Daniel.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!!

I hope you guys are enjoying your Memorial Day Weekend.  This girl headed down to the beach with some good friends and a few good books of course, and I'll be coming back later today unfortunately....these holiday weekends never last as long as we want them to.  So hopefully we can all enjoy the time we have and catch up on some good reads and time with great friends and family!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

In My Mailbox (95)

This is a meme that I first heard about from Kristi over at The Story Siren and immediately wanted to jump on board. I'm always picking up new books, because I never tire of reading, but the other thing I like about this meme is that it gives everyone an opportunity to check out what other book fanatics, bloggers, etc... got for themselves. I've gotten great recommendations from this meme and hope that keeps up in the future.

Here's what I got, what did you guys get this week?

For Review:

The Dark Shore (The Atlanteans, #2) by Kevin Emerson (Thanks to Katherine Tegen Books)

BEWARE THE GODS AND THEIR HORRORS. Owen and Lilly have escaped Camp Eden, but the next step on their journey to find Atlantis and protect it from Paul and Project Elysium involves crossing the perilous wastelands of a wrecked planet. And unlike in EdenWest, where bloody truths were kept hidden beneath the surface, out here the horrors live bright beneath the poisonous sun.

With treachery at every turn, Owen has no choice but to bring his wounded clan to the dark shores of Desenna, a city built from the ashes of EdenSouth. Desenna's blood-soaked walls may hold the key to Owen's journey in the form of the third Atlantean as well as a deeper understanding of the true purpose of the Three, but there are also secrets lurking in the shadows, waiting to be unleashed, and once they rise, there may be no escape.

Filled with action, mind-bending twists, and powerful scenes of emotional and physical sacrifice, THE DARK SHORE takes readers on a journey to a question so great, even the gods have trouble answering it: What would you be willing to do, to save humanity from itself?

School Spirits (School Spirits, #1) by Rachel Hawkins (Thanks to Disney-Hyperion)

Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

Rachel Hawkins' delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as the New York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!

Anathema (Casual Enchantment, #1) by K.A. Tucker

Evangeline has spent her teenage years in obscurity. Her foster parents have the emotional aptitude of robots and her classmates barely acknowledge her existence. About to turn eighteen and feeling like a social pariah, she is desperate to connect with someone. Anyone.

When Evangeline meets Sophie after literally stumbling upon her café, she believes she’s found that connection. Willing to do anything to keep it, she accepts a job as Sofie’s assistant and drops everything to fly to Manhattan, where she is thrust into a luxurious world of Prada, diamonds, and limitless cash.

With such generosity and kindness, it’s easy for Evangeline to dismiss certain oddities... like Sofie’s erratic and sometimes violent behavior, and the monstrous guard dogs. She’s even willing to dismiss her vivid dreams of mob-style murders, beautiful homeless people living in caves, and white-eyed demons that haunt her each night as figments of her imagination—especially when one of those figments is the gorgeous Caden. When she wakes up with bite marks on her neck, the fairy tale quickly turns into a nightmare. She slowly unravels the mystery surrounding Sofie and friends, and the reality of the bites and the “dreams.” What she discovers is far more mysterious and terrible than anything she could have imagined.

In a world where everyone has motive to lie for personal gain, Evangeline must decide which deception is least likely to get her killed.

Faelorehn (Otherworld Trilogy, #1) by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson

I never heard him come after me and even as I climbed the slope and stumbled onto our shaded back lawn, I didn’t look back. It was like the day the gnomes chased me all over again, but this time I was not escaping some horrible little creatures, I was fleeing from an incredibly good-looking guy who could very well understand me completely. I was either saving myself from that serial killer I always imagined lived down in the swamp, or I had finally gone over the deep end . . .

Meghan Elam has been strange her entire life: her eyes have this odd habit of changing color and she sees and hears things no one else does. When the visions and voices in her head start to get worse, she is convinced that her parents will want to drag her off to another psychiatrist. That is, until the mysterious Cade MacRoich shows up out of nowhere with an explanation of his own.

Cade brings her news of another realm where goblins and gnomes are the norm, a place where whispering spirits exist in the very earth, and a world where Meghan just might find the answers she has always sought.

Dissever (Unbinding Fate, #1) by Colee Firman

Addison Sanders is used to spending her days in the snow-capped mountains snowboarding and practicing combat at grandfathers centuries old estate. But all that comes to a screeching halt when she wakes up to find the entire estate has been moved to an amazing tropical location, right in the middle of a busy tourist town on the ocean.

After meeting Tanner on the beach one night, everything Addy’s life was built around changes. He’s smart, funny, covered in tattoos, and completely not her type.

Humans shouldn't be able to see into her world, but somehow Tanner can. That makes him dangerous and against her better judgment, Addy can't stay away from him.

At the same time, a guy she grew up with who never gave her a second glance can’t get enough of her. Gage is tall, blond, gorgeous, and not human. He has plenty of girls vying for his attention, so she has no clue what he wants with her. That’s got her pretty suspicious of his motives.

With her grandfather acting as the Overseer for an ancient group of human-like people called Akori, her life is already complicated. But when he dies, things get downright ugly.

As the last living Sanders, Addy is forced to try to claim her grandfather’s position. Instead of inheriting his role as Overseer, a strange Akori symbol appears on her neck. It’s a mark no human should be able to carry.

Addy discovers her family was deceived into serving the Akori for the last 250 years. The mark leads her to a stranger who may turn out to be the key to ending her family’s centuries old burden.

With her grandfather gone and the power and secrets of her family up for grabs, placing her trust in anyone could lead to disaster. Betrayed by old friends and leery of new ones—she’s left to cut through the lies and deception to get to the truth.

Addy discovers that sometimes its better not knowing and misery really does love company in Dissever—Book One of the Unbinding Fate Series.

Indelible Love - Emily's Story by D.W. Cee

Emily Logan - An adult orphan, foodie, and a believer in happily ever after - gets dumped by Max, her college boyfriend of four years, the night of their graduation, the night he was supposed to propose. Her world shattered, she picks up the pieces when she finds love again with Jake.

Dr. Jake Reid - Successful doctor, loving boyfriend, the one who wants to fulfill Emily's happily ever after - falls in love with Emily at first sight and pushes their relationship fast and furious.

Max Davis - Reserved, indecisive, Emily's first love - believes he let go of his first love for her sake, for all the right reasons. Eighteen months after the break-up, he's ready to win Emily's heart again.

Insecure from her broken relationship, Emily can't fully trust Jake's passion and love for her and struggles between Jake, the man who wants to create a future with her, and Max, the man who wants to relive the past. When both men propose, Emily's indecision causes her to lose her true love. Laugh, cry and cheer for Emily as her relationships unfold through culinary delights that begin in Napa Valley and weaves through eateries in San Francisco, Kyoto, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Paris. Who she chooses for her happily ever after may surprise you in the end.

Captured (Captive, #1) by Erica Stevens

Blood Slave.

Captured, taken from her beloved family and woods, Aria’s biggest fear is not the imminent death facing her, but that she will be chosen as a blood slave for a member of the ruling vampire race. No matter what becomes of her though, Aria knows that she must keep her identity hidden from the monsters imprisoning her. She has already been branded a member of the rebellion, but the vampires do not know the true depth of her involvement with it, and they must never know.

Though hoping for death, Aria’s world is turned upside down when a vampire named Braith steps forward to claim her. He delays her execution, but Aria knows it’s only a matter of time before he drains her, and destroys her. Especially once she learns his true identity as a prince within the royal family; the same royal family that started the war that ultimately brought down humankind, reducing them to nothing more than servants and slaves.

Aria is determined to hate the prince, determined not to give into him in anyway, but his strange kindness, and surprising gentleness astonish her. Torn between her loyalties to the rebellion, and her growing love for her greatest enemy, Aria struggles to decide between everything she has ever known, and a love she never dreamed of finding.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I Love Recommendations

So I'm sure I'm not alone when I say how much I enjoy and appreciate getting recommendations and suggestions from anyone and everyone when it comes to books that may not have crossed my path.  It's always so helpful to hear what others think about a book, while it might not always sway me in one direction or another, it's still great to have a little bit of a heads up going into something as to what I might be able to expect or not expect, depending on the case.

So when I went on one of my favorite sites, Goodreads the other day, I decided to see what they had lined up for me by way of book recommendations.  I'm so glad I had the time and that I got the chance to check it all out, because yet again I think Goodreads and the people they've got working on that site know me all too well and I love them for it!  I got a huge list (insert excitement) of titles that I decided to add to my TBR list thanks to all of their help.  Here a few of the titles they you guys have anything to add to the list?  Have you read or heard something about the titles below that you want to share?

Crash (Crash, #1) by Nicole Williams

Southpointe High is the last place Lucy wanted to wind up her senior year of school. Right up until she stumbles into Jude Ryder, a guy whose name has become its own verb, and synonymous with trouble. He's got a rap sheet that runs longer than a senior thesis, has had his name sighed, shouted, and cursed by more women than Lucy dares to ask, and lives at the local boys home where disturbed seems to be the status quo for the residents. Lucy had a stable at best, quirky at worst, upbringing. She lives for wearing the satin down on her ballet shoes, has her sights set on Juilliard, and has been careful to keep trouble out of her life. Up until now.

Jude's everything she needs to stay away from if she wants to separate her past from her future. Staying away, she's about to find out, is the only thing she's incapable of.

For Lucy Larson and Jude Ryder, love's about to become the thing that tears them apart.

**Based on my reading of Jamie McGuire's Walking Disaster this title was recommended to me, and while I don't think any book is going to even come close to the greatness that is everything McGuire writes, I'm willing to give what might be similar a shot.

Bridger (Bridger, #1) by Megan Curd

Ashlyn McVean doesn't believe in fairy tales. That is, until Ashlyn is thrown into the crosshairs of grudges her grandmother created long ago. After finding out she is one of two people able to cross between faerie realms, Ashlyn is faced with trying to understand her abilities, along with navigating a new relationship with her boyfriend, Liam.

As if being on a centuries old hit list and dealing with crazed pixies isn't enough, her new abilities mean trouble for Liam.

Knowing her new life puts everyone she loves in danger, Ashlyn must decide what's most important in her life between friends, family, love, and ultimately, realms.

**After enjoying Elizabeth Isaacs' The Light of Asteria as much as I did, Goodreads seems to think this series will be right up my alley and I'm hoping and crossing my fingers that they're right on the mark!

Rush (The Game, #1) by Eve Silver

So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

**Thanks to being a fan of books like Patrick Carman's Pulse series, I've got this great future title to look forward to.  How this one escaped my radar up until now blows my mind, because right now I only wish I had it in my hands and didn't have to wait until June to start it.

Existence (Existence Trilogy, #1) by Abbi Glines

What happens when you're stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.

Pagan Moore doesn't cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn't let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he's dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn't realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he's about to break all the rules.

**If this is anything like Shelly Crane's Significance series, or Jennifer L. Armentrout's Lux series, than I'll be in very good shape!

Legend (Legend, #1) by Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

**Veronica Roth's Divergent series and Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series are what brought up this book as a recommendation for me.  I'll admit that I've seen and heard about this title for quite some time now and yet I'm not really sure why I haven't checked it out yet.  But with two strong series recommendations like these I'm thinking that it's time I dove in, don't you think?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Branching Out

Since I hit my reading rut earlier in the month, I've been determined not only to break out of that situation, but also to make sure that it doesn't happen again anytime soon.  So one of the ways I'm going to try and ensure that doesn't happen is to branch out slightly with the books I'm reading on a regular basis.  A while back I decided that for every new book I purchased/read that I would also make sure to read one of the titles that had been sitting on my bookshelf unread for way too long.  I'm going with the same mindset here, with a slight tweak. 

As much as I love YA titles and have no plans to stop reading them anytime soon, I'm going to make a big effort to thrown in a few other categories as well...mix things up a bit.  So while my coffee table book collection continues to grow every chance I get (and I do read each of the new additions) I'm hoping to throw in some adult fiction as well.  Lately I've been lucky enough to get quite a few recommendations thrown my way in this department and I'm going to take full advantage.  Here are a few that I've been told to add to my collection pronto...

A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

I wish I could tell everyone who thinks we’re ruined, Look closer…and you’ll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed.

When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the “ungettable” Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn’t wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed. But after Scott sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, to Scribner’s, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and take the rest as it comes.

What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined attention and success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Everyone wants to meet the dashing young author of the scandalous novel—and his witty, perhaps even more scandalous wife. Zelda bobs her hair, adopts daring new fashions, and revels in this wild new world. Each place they go becomes a playground: New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris, and the French Riviera—where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein.

Everything seems new and possible. Troubles, at first, seem to fade like morning mist. But not even Jay Gatsby’s parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous—sometimes infamous—husband? How can she forge her own identity while fighting her demons and Scott’s, too? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda’s irresistible story as she herself might have told it.

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

Whoever dares to seek the Firebird may find the journey — and its ending — unexpected.

Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes sees images; glimpses of those who have owned it before. It’s never been a gift she wants, and she keeps it a secret from most people, including her practical boss Sebastian, one of London’s premier dealers in Russian art.

But when a woman offers Sebastian a small wooden carving for sale, claiming it belonged to Russia’s first Empress Catherine, it’s a problem. There’s no proof. Sebastian believes that the plain carving — known as “The Firebird” — is worthless. But Nicola’s held it, and she knows the woman is telling the truth, and is in desperate need of the money the sale of the heirloom could bring.

Compelled to help, Nicola turns to a man she once left, and still loves: Rob McMorran, whose own psychic gifts are far greater than hers. With Rob to help her “see” the past, she follows a young girl named Anna from Scotland to Belgium and on into Russia.

There, in St. Petersburg — the once-glittering capital of Peter the Great’s Russia — Nicola and Rob unearth a tale of love and sacrifice, of courage and redemption…an old story that seems personal and small, perhaps, against the greater backdrops of the Jacobite and Russian courts, but one that will forever change their lives.

Jackie O: A Life in Pictures by Elizabeth Kane

If the Kennedys were America's royal family, there was only one candidate for queen. Jackie Kennedy was the epitome of style and glamour, envied and imitated by women the world over. The extraordinary life of a woman who survived heartbreak and loss and became a twentieth-century icon is charted is this delightful book in more than 120 stunning photographs and informative captions.

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin

In the midseventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away."

Emmy and Grammy Award winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Martin has always been a writer. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written.

At age ten Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott's Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes.
Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his times in the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late sixties, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the seventies.

Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before. Born Standing Up is a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all time.

Pharrell: Places and Spaces I've Been by Pharrell Williams

Redefining cool for a new generation, Pharrell Williams is a creative force, using music, fashion, and design to express his distinctive style. Originating at the crossroads of art, design, popular culture, and street savvy, Pharrell Williams’s output is unique. By playing off different disciplines—namely music, fashion, street art, and design—and using each as an element in the other, Pharrell has redefined the role of the contemporary recording artist, blazing a trail for other musicians and prominent cultural figures. Illustrated with lavish photography, this book also explores his musical career in depth, charting his many projects from his production team The Neptunes, to the band N.E.R.D., and his collaborations with friends Kanye West, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, and other hip-hop royalty. This unprecedented volume documents Pharrell’s prolific body of work and his contribution to contemporary culture. In his own unique graphic language, he details his extensive creative pursuits, including clothing lines, jewelry, and accessories designs for Louis Vuitton, furniture and other product design, limited-edition toys, graphic designs, skate graphics, and collaborations with Moncler, Marc Jacobs, the artist KAWS, and with architects Zaha Hadid and Masamichi Katayama/Wonderwall. 

The book includes ontributions from Buzz Aldrin, Toby Feltwell, Zaha Hadid, Shae Haley, Chad Hugo, Jay-Z, Masamichi Katayama, Ambra Medda, Takashi Murakami, NIGO ®, Loïc Villepontoux, Kanye West, Anna Wintour, Hans Zimmer, Ian Luna and
Lauren A. Gould

**So I think that's a pretty good list to start with, and who knows?  Maybe I'll end up finding some real winners and be able to pass the word along to all of you.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Covers of Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish.  This feature was created because they're particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish (and who isn't?). They're all about creating new lists including a little bit of everything and I've been meaning to participate for so long but always seemed to get behind.  So here we are and hopefully you'll head over to their page and check out what everyone else put up for this week's Top Ten.

While all of us know that we shouldn't judge a book based only it's cover, we all do it a little bit.  It might be that the cover is what drew our attention to check it out further, or kept us from racing to the register to make our purchase if it was less than appealing.  Either way, a book's cover image is important and I've come across a lot that have just taken my breath away and gotten me even more excited to read a title that I'd already been looking forward to checking out.

Favorite Cover Pick #1:  The Space Between (The Book of Phoenix, #1) by Kristie Cook

When Life Falls to Pieces, Answers Lie in the Space Between

After a month-long dance tour through Italy, 20-year-old Leni Drago returns to Georgia to care for her great-uncle, only to find him gone, the home they shared empty and any evidence he ever existed wiped out. All that’s left is a journal she can’t open.

Jeric Winters has been searching for a piece of his past for over a year, only to reach a dead-end in Georgia. When an urgent and magnetic pull draws him out of his hotel room, he comes face-to-face with the beautiful dancer who’s been haunting his dreams day and night.

Jeric’s one to stay away from—a bad-boy, hit-it-and-quit-it type—but Leni can’t escape the fervent feelings between them. As their own existences begin to crumble around them and shadowy forms that are more monsters than men attack, they realize there’s more to the connection between them than physical fascination.

To solve the riddle their lives have become, they must embark on a journey that requires them to face their pasts and release their true souls. And they must do it fast—dark ones from another world are closing in, intent on killing them. Permanently.

I'm not sure if it's the pastel colors swirling around, or the silhouettes presented of two of the characters?  Either way, the first look I got of this title and I was sold.

Favorite Cover Pick #2:  Airel (The Airel Saga, #1) by Aaron Patterson & Chris White

All Airel ever wanted was to be normal, to disappear into the crowd. But bloodlines can produce surprises, like an incredible ability to heal. Then there’s Michael Alexander, the new guy in school, who is impossibly gorgeous…and captivated by her. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she can hear the sound of pages turning, and another, older story being written. It is the story of an ancient family, of great warriors, of the Sword of Light, and the struggle against an evil so terrible, so far-reaching, that it threatens everything. Airel knew change would be an inevitable part of life. But can she hold on when murder and darkness begin to close in and take away everything she loves? Will she have what it takes when the truth is finally revealed?

While I might not have been sold on the story itself, the cover image haunted me.  There was something about the character's pose and the coloring that drew me in and without a doubt left me wanting to know what her story was?

Favorite Cover Pick #3:  Splintered (Splintered, #1) by A.G. Howard

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Who didn't fall in love with this cover? It's creative and blows a great imagination out of the water...all the elements it should possess to tell a tale related to Alice in Wonderland.

Favorite Cover Pick #4:  Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn Trilogy, #1) by J.A. London

Only sunlight can save us.

We built the wall to keep them out, to keep us safe. But it also makes us prisoners, trapped in what's left of our ravaged city, fearing nightfall.

After the death of my parents, it's up to me--as the newest delegate for humanity--to bargain with our vampire overlord. I thought I was ready. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the monsters. Then again, nothing could have prepared me for Lord Valentine . . . or his son. Maybe not all vampires are killers. Maybe it's safe to let one in.

Only one thing is certain: Even the wall is not enough. A war is coming and we cannot hide forever.

It's all about the girl and the fabulous dress right?  Again another cover that left me haunted and wondering what this girl's story was all about.  I couldn't resist.

Favorite Cover Pick #5:  The Selection (The Selection, #1) by Kiera Cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Yes it's another one I fell in love with due to the girl and the fabulous dress...but come on!  It's a stunner and totally worthy of my gawking.

Favorite Cover Pick #6:  Reached (Matched, #3) by Ally Condie

After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.

I waited to see what this cover would look like just as anxiously as all the other fans.  When I saw the new color scheme that was being used, and the way our main character Cassia was breaking out of the bubble instead of being trapped inside I was thrilled.  Excitement coursed through me and I was eagerly counting down until I'd get to check this third installment out and see what Condie had in store for her characters this time around.  Condie didn't disappoint with her writing and plot lines, nor did the cover image fail to live up to what I was expecting.  All of it was just fabulous!

Favorite Cover Pick #7:  If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) by Gayle Forman

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

I know that this title has both a hardcover image and a paperback cover image, but it's the paperback cover image that I fell in love with.  And after reading this story I can't imagine another cover more suited to the story.  It perfectly captures what goes on within the pages, and the image itself drew me in before I knew anything about the story Forman would weave so poetically for her readers.

Favorite Cover Pick #8:  The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Love is all you need... or is it? Penny's about to find out in this wonderful debut.

Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It's a personal choice. . .and, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways . . . which is too bad, because there's this certain boy she can't help but like. . . .

Everyone knows I'm a huge fan of all things Elizabeth Eulberg, but this cover sold me right off the bat before I even knew anything about her.  My love of the Beatles goes back to when I was little and my dad was trying to make sure I didn't grow up without an appreciation for the "good" type of music.  In fact ever since seeing this book cover and reading more about it in Eulberg's story I've always wanted to reenact the famous album cover with friends or family!

Favorite Cover Pick #9:  Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers.

Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and doll-sized cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, dizzy with the mixed signals of a boss who claims she’s on a diet but has Isabella file all morning if she forgets to bring her a chocolate muffin. Mary thinks she might cry with happiness when she finally meets a nice guy who loves his mother, only to realize he’ll never love Mary quite as much. And Lauren, a waitress at a Midtown bar, swears up and down she won’t fall for the sleazy bartender—a promise that his dirty blond curls and perfect vodka sodas make hard to keep.

With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering, what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. These are the years when everyone else seems to have a plan, a great job, and an appropriate boyfriend, while Isabella has a blind date with a gay man, Mary has a crush on her boss, and Lauren has a goldfish named Willard. Through boozy family holidays and disastrous ski vacations, relationships lost to politics and relationships found in pet stores, Girls in White Dresses pulls us deep inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life.

I think this one just speaks for itself if you've ever been a bridesmaids or participated in a wedding of any kind.  By the end of the process it's very likely you'll find yourself feeling a lot like this girl featured on the cover....a dress and a bouquet of flowers...point me in the right direction and away we go.

Favorite Cover Pick #10:  Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

An iconic novel dressed in a fierce design by acclaimed fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo. See the other titles in the couture-inspired collection: Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula, The Scarlet Letter and Wuthering Heights.

Ruben Toledo’s breathtaking drawings have appeared in such high-fashion magazines as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Visionaire. Now he’s turning his talented hand to illustrating the gorgeous deluxe editions of three of the most beloved novels in literature. Here Elizabeth Bennet’s rejection of Mr. Darcy, Hester Prynne’s fateful letter “A”, and Catherine Earnshaw’s wanderings on the Yorkshire moors are transformed into witty and surreal landscapes to appeal to the novels’ aficionados and the most discerning designer’s eyes.

Ruben Toledo's illustrations take my breath away!  I love his creative take on this classic favorite of mine, as well as all of the other Penguins' classics that he gave his own spin to.


Related Posts with Thumbnails