Monday, February 3, 2014

Countdown: March 2014

It's almost here...March is one of my favorite months in the whole year because of just one day!  On this very special day (you know which one I'm referring to) everyone comes out and shows their Irish pride.  Whether they're Irish or not, they are on this day, and somehow we all manage to have a great time.  On top of all the fun and festivities that come with this month, there are also quite a few new releases that are scheduled to hit the shelves and I can't wait to check them out for myself.  Here's a few I'm looking forward to reading, are there any you've come across that I missed on my list?

Countdown Pick #1:  Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam (03/18/2014)

Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.

I love when I come across a dystopian style book that has a plot that immediately sounds eerily believable.  With the way our technology grows and thrives each and every day, I can without a doubt seeing something like this scenario coming to fruition.  Its got the makings of a potential love triangle, enough action packed ideas to have me reading late into the night and the general idea of it all is so new and unique from what's out on the shelves right now, that I can't help but add it to my countdown list.
Countdown Pick #2:  Deathsworn (Deathsworn, #1) by Leah Cypess (03/04/2014)

When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.

But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.

As a fan of Cypess' work in the past I'm curious to see what she'll bring to the table this time around.  I'll admit that I enjoyed her first series much better than her standalone title, so I'm hopeful that this series will follow suit.
Countdown Pick #3:  Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel (03/2014)

Witches must choose the path they will follow, and Darlena Agara is no exception. She’s been putting it off long enough, and in her case, ignoring it has not made it go away. In a moment of frustration, Darlena chooses to follow Red Magic, figuring she had outsmarted the powers that be, since there’s no such thing as Red Magic. But alas, Darlena’s wrong (again) and she becomes a newly declared Red Witch.

Her friends are shocked and her parents horrified by the choice Darlena has made. As a Red Witch, she now governs one third of the world’s chaos. She is the walking personification of pandemonium, turmoil, and bedlam, just as the patrons of Red Magic would have it to be.

But Darlena believes there must be more to Red Magic than chaos and destruction, and she sets out on a journey to achieve balance. Only doing so puts her at odds with the dark goddess Hecate, who simply will not allow Darlena to quit. She encourages Darlena to embrace who and what she is and to leave good magic to the good witches. If only Darlena could, life would be simple, and she would not be the Daughter of Chaos.

DAUGHTER OF CHAOS is the first in a YA paranormal trilogy.

Its been so long since I've picked up a book where witches have gotten center stage, that I'm ready for a change of pace, and I think this March release is just what I'm looking for, don't you?  We still don't have an exact date to look forward to, but I'll be on the lookout and when I know, you'll know!
Countdown Pick #4:  Hexed (The Witch Hunter, #1) by Michelle Krys (03/2014)

If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?

Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.

Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.

Half of me was laughing while I read this synopsis and the other half of me must admit that my curiosity was piqued.  With no cover image for this title yet, I'm left with only my imagination, but as soon as I can find a cover attached to this future release, I'll be sure to share.
Countdown Pick #5:  Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy (03/18/2014)

What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?

Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.

I've read enough books and seen enough movies now where someone is given an end date for whatever reason, and the lists are compiled of things they want to accomplish or do before that date arrives.  This is a first though, where I've seen the main character's situation reversed and find themselves facing good news, but news that now comes with consequences due to their actions after receiving that end date and having it taken back.

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