Monday, February 24, 2014

Author Interview: Victoria Scott

A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?


Fire & Flood is coming out tomorrow.  How does it feel?  What's your favorite part of the process been so far?

It feels surreal. I wrote this book over a year ago, and to see ARCs and final cover images coming together is gratifying.  My favorite part was seeing the typeset pages, and realizing that my little manuscript had become a book. 

What's your best advice for someone who wants to be a writer?

Treat it like a job. Schedule writing sessions, learn the industry, subscribe to magazines, and don't make excuses, ever. If you can afford to do it full time, do it full time. Forty hours a week at a minimum. If you want to be a serious writer, you have to put in serious time. 

Name three things you loved about writing Fire & Flood.

First, the Pandoras. I love those animals. Second, Guy Chambers. He's a big departure from Dante Walker, and it was delightful getting in his head. Third, doing research: 
 
- What can you eat in the jungle? 
 
- What does it feel and sound like? 
 
- What dangers are there? 
 
What's in your reading pile right now?  Any recommendations or titles we should steer clear of?
 
Right now I'm reading Gillian Flynn's Dark Places, and man is it dark. Much darker than her other titles. I also recently read Hexed by Michelle Krys. What a fun, creepy book!
 
If you could travel anywhere you wanted, where would you go and why?  If you could take three things with you, what would they be and why?
 
I'd go to Sante Fe, NM because I once took a brilliant vacation there and I'd like to return. I'd bring my husband, a pocketful of cash, and a pair of comfy ballet flats. 
 
About the Author:
 
 
Victoria Scott writes teen fiction and is represented by Sarah Crowe. She’s the author
of the Fire & Flood series published by Scholastic, and the Dante Walker trilogy published
by Entangled Teen. Her books have been bought and translated in nine foreign markets
including the UK, Germany, Turkey, Poland, Australia, China, Brazil, New Zealand, and
The Netherlands. Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and adores cotton candy.
 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

In My Mailbox (126)

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 world is changing. Once, Witch Song controlled everything from the winds to the shifting of the seasons-but not anymore. All the Witches are gone, taken captive by a traitor. All but Brusenna. As the echo of their songs fades, the traitor grows stronger. Now she is coming for Brusenna. Her guardian has sworn to protect her, but even he can't stop the Dark Witch. Somehow, Brusenna has to succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find the traitor. Fight her. Defeat her. Because if Brusenna doesn't, there won't be anything left to save.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ariane Tucker has finally escaped GTX, the research facility that created her. While on the run, Zane Bradshaw is the only person she can trust. He knows who-and what-she is and still wants to be part of her life.
But accepting Zane's help means putting him in danger.
Dr. Jacobs, head of GTX, is not the only one hunting for Ariane. Two rival corporations have their sights set on taking down their competition. Permanently.
To protect Zane and herself, Ariane needs allies. She needs the other hybrids. The hybrids who are way more alien and a lot less human. Can Ariane win them over before they turn on her? Or will she be forced to choose sides, to decide who lives and who dies?
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mariella Teagen hasn't spoken a word in four years.

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella's life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.


Hexed (The Witch Hunter, #1) by Michelle Krys (Thanks to Delacorte Press)

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.


Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood, #1) by Victoria Scott (Thanks to Scholastic Press)

A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Countdown: March 2014 (3)

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?
 

Mariella Teagen hasn't spoken a word in four years.

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Celease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Celease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella's life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.

 
I'm not sure how all these characters will tie in together, but this whole idea is so unique and original from what I'm been reading lately, that I'm eager to find out more.  I haven't read anything by Cameron in the past, but I think this will be a great first experience with her writing and hopefully only the beginning of a very exciting and interesting series.
 
Countdown Pick #2:  The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski (03/04/2014)
 

In the tradition of Kristin Cashore and Cassandra Clare comes this brilliant, unputdownable, star-crossed romance about the curse of winning.

Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is an aristocratic citizen of Valoria, a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Here, a girl like Kestrel has two choices: join the military or get married. Despite her skills in military strategy, Kestrel’s real passion is music.Which is why she feels compelled to buy Arin, a slave with a talent for singing, at auction. It’s not long before she finds herself falling in love with Arin, and he seems to feel the same for her. But Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for Arin is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

 
Based on the synopsis, as a fan of both Cashore's writing and Clare's previous works, if Rutkoski brings anything close to what those two have produced I will be one happy reader for sure.  I'm still waiting to see what the cover image will look like, but when I find out, I'll be sure to share.
 
Countdown Pick #3:  Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland (03/11/2014)
 

Zephyr Mourning has never been very good at being a Harpy. She'd rather watch reality TV than learn forty-seven ways to kill a man, and she pretty much sucks at wielding magic. Zephyr was ready for a future pretending to be a normal human instead of a half-god assassin. But all that changes when her sister is murdered--and she uses a forbidden dark power to save herself from the same fate.

Zephyr is on the run from a punishment worse than death when an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend (a surprisingly HOT friend) changes everything. Because it seems like Zephyr might just be the Nyx, a dark goddess made flesh that is prophesied to change the power balance. For hundreds of years the half-gods have lived in fear, and Zephyr is supposed to change that.

But how is she supposed to save everyone when she can’t even save herself?

Put a mythological spin on a story and I'm pretty much guaranteed to want to read it eventually.  Ireland's previous work, Vengeance Bound, is also on my list to read, so I'm hoping that once I get one under my belt, I'll be able to dive right into the next.  I'm looking forward to watching Zephyr on the run and seeing what types of adventures she'll encounter along the way.
 
Countdown Pick #4:  Resistance (Replica Trilogy, #2) by Jenna Black (03/11/2014)
 
Nate Hayes is a Replica.

The real Nate was viciously murdered, but thanks to Paxco's groundbreaking human replication technology, a duplicate was created that holds all of the personality and the memories of the original. Or ...almost all. Nate's backup didn't extend to the days preceding his murder, leaving him searching for answers about who would kill him, and why. Now, after weeks spent attempting to solve his own murder with the help of his best friend and betrothed, Nadia Lake, Nate has found the answers he was seeking... and he doesn't like what he's discovered.

The original Nate was killed because he knew a secret that could change everything. Thanks to Nadia's quick thinking, the two of them hold the cards now — or think they do.

Unfortunately, neither of them fully understands just how deep the conspiracy runs.
I love Black's writing and her Faeriewalker series was one of my favorites and I was incredibly sad to see it come to an end.  Somehow I missed out on the series opener, but I plan to rectify that before this sequel hits the shelves.  I'm not a huge fan of this cover, especially compared to the beautiful images I came to expect from her Faeriewalker series, but I'll forget all about that if Black's writing pulls me in like before.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

In My Mailbox (125)

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:
 
Pointe by Brandy Colbert (Thanks to Penguin)
 
Theo is better now.

She's eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.

Donovan isn't talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn't do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she's been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.
 
The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe (Thanks to Viking Childrens)
 
For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?


Grimnirs (Runes, #2.5) by Ednah Walters (Thanks to Firetrail Publishing)

Straight out of the psych ward, Cora just wants her life to be normal. She doesn’t want to see souls or the reapers collecting them. The guy she’s loved from a distance for years moves away without saying goodbye. So yes, she’s nursing a serious heartbreak. It’s no wonder love is the last thing on her mind when Echo storms into her life.

The chemistry between them is mind-blowing.The connection defies logic. Even better, the souls leave her alone when he is around.

Too bad Echo is the poster boy for everything she hates in a guy—hot, beautiful,and cocky. He is also a soul reaper. A Grimnir.
The very beings she wants out of her life. Maybe normal is overrated because Cora wants it all. Answers. Love. A life.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Author Interview: Kasie West

Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.


Split Second just released a few days ago.  How does it feel?  What was your favorite part of the process?

It feels scary and exciting and bitter sweet and amazing all wrapped up into one crazy, stress-induced, nervous package. If that makes sense. I'm happy it's out but now nervous that its not just mine anymore, everyone gets to weigh in and judge my baby. :) My favorite part of the process though is hearing back from readers. I enjoy interacting with people who are similar to me in that we love books. They're our passion. 

What's your best advice for someone who wants to be a writer?

Keep reading, keep writing. If it's something you're passionate about and you enjoy, keep moving forward. If you wrote a book, write another while searching for a home for the first. Talk to other people in the same place as you. Surround yourself with support and knowledge.

Name three things you loved about writing Split Second?  Did you enjoy writing this sequel better than the series opener, Pivot Point?

Connor (I love this boy), The Compound (I loved being able to share more about the world), and Addie (I loved getting to see her happy). And did I enjoy writing the sequel more? Hmm. That's a hard question. Yes and no. Sequels are fun because it's like going home. I felt like I knew the characters and the place and it felt more natural to write it. But sequels are also hard because now there are all these expectations about what should or shouldn't happen. And there is this tremendous amount of pressure that came as I was writing it. 

What's in your reading pile right now?  Any recommendations or titles we should steer clear of?

I'm in the middle of reading THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN. I'm enjoying that a lot. I also have HOUSE OF IVY AND SORROW and THESE BROKEN STARS in my pile. I try not to tell people to steer clear of any books just because reading is such a subjective thing. If I like something you might not and vice versa. But I'm all about shouting from the rooftops the books I loved. So off the top of my head, some I've read recently that I adore: FANGIRL, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE, NIL, EXILE, THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING

Will there be any other installments in the Pivot Point series?  If so how many are you planning and what can readers look forward to seeing unfold in the future reads?

As of now, it's just the two (Pivot Point and Split Second). I've played around with a companion novel, featuring one of the side characters, but we'll see. 
 
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?  If you could only take three things with you, what would they be and why?
 
Right now I could use some relaxations so I'd love to go somewhere tropical to relax and unwind. Three things I'd take with me? Books, chocolate, notebook/pencil. 
 
About the Author:
 
 
I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels, published through Harper Teen are: PIVOT POINT, its sequel SPLIT SECOND (Feb 2014), and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US (a contemporary novel). I also have two more contemporaries, ON THE FENCE coming out July 1, 2014, and THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND coming out the summer of 2015.
 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Swoon


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.

Romance will always be on the top of my list when anyone asks me what I like to read.  I'm fine if that files me away with all the other cliches about girls, because I can't help what I like, and that goes for my reading tastes as well.  I'm always going to love watching a romance bloom and unfold, seeing the characters discover their feelings for what they are and learn all the important things about their love interest as well as themselves throughout the adventure.  I love it all, and here are a few of my favorites.

Romantic Pick #1:  Just One Day (Just One Day, #1) by Gayle Forman


A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels.

 
 

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.


Romantic Pick #3:  Accordance (Significance, #2) by Shelly Crane


In the sequel, Maggie learns much more about all the strange things that happened to her, and has to face new ones. She rebels against it, but ultimately, must face it for her new families sake and maybe even her life. Bish went from being her biggest supporter to her biggest pain in the butt and Kyle's intentions to attract her interest may not be so innocent. Caleb and Maggie face many new obstacles together and fight to work through them but will one that should be a good thing be too much for Maggie to handle?
 

Struggling with her father's death, Nina meets Jared Ryel, presumably by chance. However it soon becomes clear that he knows more about her than even close friends. When her father's former associates begin following her in the dark, Nina learns that her father was not the man she thought he was, but a thief who stole from demons. In searching for the truth behind her father's death, she stumbles upon something she never expected, and something Hell wants, that only she holds the key for. Jared risks everything to keep the women he was born to save, by sharing the secret he was sworn to protect.
 

INTENSE. DANGEROUS. ADDICTIVE.

Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

 
 

First installment of award-winning author Kristie Cook's bestselling Soul Savers Series
Alexis Ames has a life full of promise...but not all promises can be kept.

When Alexis Ames is attacked by creatures that can't be real, she decides it's time she learns who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their family's secrets closely. After meeting the inhumanly attractive, multi-talented Tristan Knight, however, Alexis retreats behind her fa├žade of normalcy...until she discovers he's not exactly normal either. Then their secrets begin to unravel.

Their union brings hope and promise to her family's secret society, the Angels' army, and to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy - Satan's minions and Tristan's creators. After all, Alexis and Tristan are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.


Romantic Pick #7:  Love Story by Jennifer Echols


She's writing about him. he's writing about her. And everybody is reading between the lines..
For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter. . . . except this story could come true.

 
 

What if you found out that there was another world inside your own? What if all of the things you thought made you weird, actually made you powerful? Artemis's life is changed forever when the mysterious man from her dreams, Ares, comes to claim her as his mate. The seventeen year old girl must find a way to adapt to her true life and accept her fate or run from it. She must overcome her fears and human ideals to give her self to the dangerous world, and man, that is her destiny.
 

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

 
 

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Countdown: March 2014 (2)


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:  The Haven by Carol Lynch Williams (03/04/2014)
 

For the teens at The Haven, the outside world, just beyond the towering stone wall that surrounds the premises, is a dangerous unknown. It has always been this way, ever since the hospital was established in the year 2020. But The Haven is more than just a hospital; it is their home. It is all they know. Everything is strictly monitored: education, exercise, food, and rest. The rules must be followed to keep the children healthy, to help control the Disease that has cast them as Terminals, the Disease that claims limbs and lungs—and memories.

But Shiloh is different; she remembers everything. Gideon is different, too. He dreams of a cure, of rebellion against the status quo. What if everything they’ve been told is a lie? What if The Haven is not the safe place it claims to be? And what will happen if Shiloh starts asking dangerous questions?

Williams is one of those writers that when I've read her previous work, it's affected me when I least expected it to.  There's a quality to her work that makes her plots feel dangerously real and with a synopsis like this one, that might make for a very tense and anxiety ridden read, but its one I look forward to experiencing.
 
 

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

 
I'm already practically swooning and I haven't even read page one.  I know Despain's previous The Dark Devine series was a huge hit, but I still haven't gotten around to trying to catch up with all those installments.  After reading this synopsis, I'm starting to understand why a lot of readers go crazy for her plots and characters.  I'm thinking that if this future release turns out to be as good as I'm thinking it will, I'm going to have to try to play catch up with all her other titles as well.
 
Countdown Pick #3:  NIL by Lynne Matson (03/04/2014)
 

On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that she has to find a way to beat the clock, and quickly.

If there's anyone that reads this synopsis and isn't already on the edge of their seat to read this future release for themselves, I'd be shocked!  I have so many questions and I'm not sure I can make it another month before I get my answers.  Matson has already impressed me and I haven't even cracked the cover yet.
 
Countdown Pick #4:  The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle (03/15/2014)
 

Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.
 
Serle could take this in a million different directions, and no matter which way she decides to go, I'll be one of the first in line when it's finally released to find out which one she picked.  The synopsis alone has me sympathizing for the main character and super curious to see what Astor will bring into her life and where it all will finally lead.
 
Countdown Pick #5:  Panic by Lauren Oliver (03/04/2014)
 

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

 
I tried to start reading Oliver's Delirium series a while back and just couldn't get into it.  I'm not sure if it was the book itself or if I was in some kind of reading rut, or what?  But because she has such a dedicated fan base out there and I've heard such wonderful things, and almost nothing bad to be honest, I'm going to try again, with a fresh start and all that.  Here's hoping this book is the one that turns me into a fan!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

In My Mailbox (124)


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:
 
Scan (Scan, #1) by Sarah Fine & Walter Jury (Thanks to Putnam Childrens)
 
Tate and his father don’t exactly get along. As Tate sees it, his father has unreasonably high expectations for Tate to be the best—at everything. Tate finally learns what he’s being prepared for when he steals one of his dad’s odd tech inventions and mercenaries ambush the school, killing his father in the process and sending Tate on the run from aliens who look just like humans.

All Tate knows--like how to make weapons out of oranges and lighter fluid--may not be enough to save him as he’s plunged into a secret inter-species conflict that’s been going on for centuries. Aided only by his girlfriend and his estranged mother, with powerful enemies closing in on all sides, Tate races to puzzle out the secret behind his father’s invention and why so many are willing to kill for it. A riveting, fast-paced adventure, Scan is a clever alien thriller with muscle and heart.
 
 
 
Resistance is the second installment in acclaimed author Jenna Black’s YA SF romance series.

Nate Hayes is a Replica.

The real Nate was viciously murdered, but thanks to Paxco’s groundbreaking human replication technology, a duplicate was created that holds all of the personality and the memories of the original. Or...almost all. Nate’s backup didn't extend to the days preceding his murder, leaving him searching for answers about who would kill him, and why. Now, after weeks spent attempting to solve his own murder with the help of his best friend and betrothed, Nadia Lake, Nate has found the answers he was seeking...and he doesn’t like what he’s discovered.

The original Nate was killed because he knew a secret that could change everything. Thanks to Nadia’s quick thinking, the two of them hold the cards now—or think they do.

Unfortunately, neither of them fully understands just how deep the conspiracy runs.
 
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (Thanks to Walker)
 
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.
 
Kristen Simmons' fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series continues in Three.

Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop running. After weeks spent in hiding as two of the Bureau of Reformation’s most wanted criminals, they have finally arrived at the safe house, where they hope to live a safe and quiet existence.

And all that’s left is smoking ruins.

Devastated by the demolition of their last hope, Ember and Chase follow the only thing left to them—tracks leading away from the wreckage. The only sign that there may have been survivors.

With their high profile, they know they can’t stay out in the open for long. They take shelter in the wilderness and amidst the ruins of abandoned cities as they follow the tracks down the coast, eventually finding refugees from the destroyed safe house. Among them is someone from Chase’s past—someone he never thought he’d see again.

Banding together, they search for a place to hide, aiming for a settlement a few of them have heard about…a settlement that is rumored to house the nebulous organization known as Three. The very group that has provided Ember with a tiny ray of hope ever since she was first forced on the run.

Three is responsible for the huge network of underground safe houses and resistance groups across the country. And they may offer Ember her only chance at telling the world her story.

At fighting back.
 
 
An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.
 
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

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