Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My 2014 wants and 2013 favorite books

I tweeted yesterday that 2013 was a complete and utter waste of time for me. I didn't write or finish any good novels, I didn't do anything big. I lived, sometimes quietly, sometimes a little louder than usual. I'm an adult and I'm ok with it.

As I've done in previous years, I'm going to list my wants because I don't do resolutions. Here's the list of things I want from 2014*:

- I want to be happier in everything I do(work/personal life). It's as simple as that.
- I want to read more.
- Explore the world more, and save up for a trip to a different continent.
- I want to critique and beta read more. With that, I want to be a better critique partner and find one
  more person to add to my currently awesome list.
- Cooking! I really do want to try and make food that takes more than 5 minutes to put together.
- I still haven't found my purpose in life, so maybe I'll get a step closer to that this year. No hurry
  though.
- I want to do more nice things for other people, even if it's just a kind word, a cup of coffee, a hug,
  helping somebody carry their bags. I want to be a better person.
- Get out of the house more. Yes, this is a thing for me.
- Drop a few more KGs, exercise more, be more comfortable with me.
- And lastly, I want to write a book that will have my friends go 'You should read my friend's novel. It's
  really good, I think you'll like it'. Something that's tweet worthy, if you know what I mean. That would
  make me beyond happy, and it's really all I want.

*None of thing things on my 'want' list is written down with bad or negative feelings.

Here's a few of my favorite books as I read them throughout the year:




Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1) by Diana Wynne Jones
Admittedly, I've watched the movie a million times. I've made no secret about it being my favorite animated flick of all time and that it inspires the hell out of me, but at the end of 2012 I decided it's time that I read it. I did and loved it just as much as the move. I've got it's sequel on this year's TBR pile and I'm really looking forward to it.






Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1) by Laini Taylor
This is such a special book for me. I've added it to my favorite books of all time. The moment I started reading I fell in love with Laini Taylor's words, and as I continued I said to myself 'this is what I want to write like'. Reading this book was a turning point for me and the way I write, and even though my words will never even come close to being compared to hers, it's something I'm working towards. It's a good thing because I'll never stop working toward getting better.




Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2) by Katie McGarry
I shied away from reading YA contemporary novels because their stakes are usually not the kind that keeps me reading, but when I stumbled across Katie's book on NetGalley, I decided to give it a shot. It was the best reading decision I've made this year. I love her writing and I'm in love with this series. Fan for life.









Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton
This book. When I finished reading this novel, I sat back and thought, 'I wish I'd written this story'. It has such a unique concept, and I know I wouldn't have been able to do it half as much justice as Kelsey did.






 



Elite (Eagle Elite, #1) by Rachel Van Dyken
This book blew me away with its awesomeness. Seriously, I could yammer on about how much I loved it, but you can go read my review. I'm sorry that the sequel didn't live up to it 100%, but I still really like it as well.








Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3) by Katie McGarry
Yeah, I already have one Katie McGarry book on here, but this is definitely one I'll remember. If possible, it's even better than Dare You To, and I'm anxiously awaiting the next in the series.









Destiny Gift (Everlast, #1) by Juliana Haygert
In the post before this one I review Destiny Gift, and I've been lucky enough to have read the sequel, the review of which will be up in the next week or two. It's a wonderful addition to the NA market that's so full of contemporary tales.











No Mercy (Were-Hunter, #6; Dark-Hunter, #18) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
I've only linked to one book, but I've read seven of her books this year across different series, and I'm still a fan. I can't get enough of her books, and they will always be on my favorite lists. I'm starting a new one tonight and I can't wait.



 

I had a really good year in books and it makes me even more excited about what's sitting on my TBR.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Review: Destiny Gift by Juliana Haygert



Last post of the year and I'm putting up a book review! In the new year I'll tell you guys about the best books I read this year, what I want from 2014(I don't do resolutions), and the one or two highlights from 2013.  So let's get to it.
Destiny Gift thrusts us into a disastrous world where people believe that they’ve been deserted by the deities they believe in.  Earth is being plagued by natural disaster, crime is abundant, and giant bats are out for blood.  This is a mixed-genre story and the combination of urban fantasy and post-apocalyptic elements sets the scene for what turns out to be a riveting and fascinating read.
Our leading lady is having visions, something she’s conflicted about because of who she meets while she’s having them. They’re not the most normal thing in the world, but having to choose between giving them up for a more normal life and thus not seeing who she sometimes desperately want to see, the choices are clashing to say the least. Nadine is a strong yet vulnerable character, relatable in the way that yes, things scare her, but she also knows when to step forward and do something, no matter what.

When the person from her vision, Victor, enters her real life but has no idea who she is, Nadine is shattered.  And if that isn’t enough, Nadine has to deal bats attacking her and seeing more visions she has no idea what to make of.  Enters Micah(MICAH!). He’s the perfect contrast to Victor and the whirlwinds he creates between the tree of them only adds to the groups dynamic as they set out to find the answer to the questions each of them has.

Destiny Gift is a great start to a unique series that starts with one problem then gets busy with another problem and ends up with a whole litter of baby problems. We like problems. 


DESTINY GIFT

Genre: NA paranormal romance
Word Count: 73,000

Thirty years in the future, a sinister New York City exists in permanent darkness.

A student at the secured NYU, nineteen-year-old Nadine has visions of Victor Gianni, an imaginary guy she has real feelings for. Afraid of being truly insane, she explains the visions away as simple daydreams, but she can no longer deny them when she bumps into Victor in real life. But this Victor doesn’t know her, and turns her away. After the encounter, Nadine’s visions change to those of eerie fates, gods she’s never heard of, demons with sharp claws they are not too timid to use … and instructions.

To discover if she’s losing her mind, Nadine follows the vague directions—with the real, rude and reluctant Victor—leading to a man who knows it all: Nadine can restore an ancient creed by unveiling the clues on her visions, and bring sunlight and peace to the world again. But that’s only if the demons and the other evil forces behind the darkness don’t stop her first.

Amazon | Barnes&Nobles | Kobo | Smashwords | Apple | Createspace | Goodreads | Pinterest Board

About the Author:

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | NA Alley





Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cover Reveal: Where You'll Find Me by Erin Fletcher

Today Erin Fletcher and Entangled Teen are revealing the cover for WHERE YOU’LL FIND ME, releasing in early 2014! Check out the gorgeous cover, exclusive excerpt, and enter to win an eARC! 

I've had the privilege of reading an early version of this novel, and trust me when I say that you are in for a treat. 

On to the reveal!

When Hanley Helton discovers a boy living in her garage, she knows she should kick him out. But Nate is too charming to be dangerous. He just needs a place to get away, which Hanley understands. Her own escape
methods—vodka, black hair dye, and pretending the past didn't happen—are more traditional, but who is she to judge?

Nate doesn't tell her why he's in her garage, and she
doesn't tell him what she's running from. Soon, Hanley¹s trading her late-night escapades for all-night conversations and stolen kisses. But when Nate¹s recognized as the missing teen from the news, Hanley isn't sure which is worse: that she's harboring a fugitive, or that she's in love with one.


 

Exclusive Excerpt

Nate looks me over, from my jacket to my favorite pair of jeans, to the shoes that are bonfire-worthy but still cute. My hair, with the help of a straightener, is so silky that my dark bangs fall into my eyes even more than usual. My eye makeup is amped up. Whether all of this is because of the bonfire or because of who I hoped I’d run into before leaving is open for debate. He reaches up and brushes my bangs away from my face. The split-second touch makes me crave more. “You look gorgeous.”

“Thank you.”

“Where are you headed?”

Though staying here in the garage might be a better option, I say, “A bonfire.”
Nate studies me again, but this time it feels like he’s looking for something deeper. “Don’t you ever get tired of sneaking out?”

“Not really,” I say with a shrug.

He tugs on the zipper of my fleece, lowering it slightly and pulling me closer. “What are you running from, Hanley?”

 It feels like my secrets are written all over my face, but I say, “Nothing.”

When he smiles, it’s almost sad. “I don’t buy it.”

I lean in, putting both hands on the car behind him, one on either side, trapping him. “You tell me why you’re living in my garage and I’ll tell you what I’m running from.”

He gives a sly smile and doesn’t budge. “Secrets it is.”

“Secrets it is,” I echo. And even though the small space between us is electric and threatening to disappear, I push off the car and step away. “I’ll see you later,” I say as I open the door.

“Hanley,” he says before I can get too far. “Be careful out there, okay?”

I don’t make any promises.


About Erin:

Erin Fletcher is a morning person who does most of her writing before sunrise while drinking excessive quantities of coffee, believesflip-flops qualify as year-round footwear, and would spend every day at thebeach if she could. She has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics (which is almost never useful when writing books) and lives in North Carolina.

You can visit Erin on her website and on Twitter. 

Giveaway: 

1 eARC of WHERE YOU’LL FIND ME International


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Blog Tour: Elect - Rachel Van Dyken


I'm incredibly excited to be a part of Rachel van Dyken's blog tour for Elite's sequel Elect. Elite was one of my favorite reads of the year and I waited for the follow-up since I finished Elite like nobody's business.

I need an excuse to look at the cover again, so I'm putting it up and adding the description. Because I can. As extra treats, there's an excerpt, a mafia game, AND a giveaway as well! I'll also be posting a review during next week. FUN STUFF! Let's get to it. 

Elect

Would you die for the one you love? 

Nixon Abandonato made his choice. And now he has to pay the price. Tracey is the love of his life, but being with him has made her a target of his family's enemies. The only way to keep Trace alive is convince the world she means nothing to him. 
 

Trace Rooks has fallen irrevocably in love with the son of her family's sworn rival, and she knows in her bones nothing can tear them apart. Until Nix suddenly pushes her away and into the arms of his best friend... But Trace isn't ready to give up on a future with Nix--and if he won't fight for them, she will. 

In the end, a sacrifice must be made. A life for a life. For what better way to cover a multitude of sins than with the blood of a sinner . . . 


Excerpt


“Let’s make a pact.” Chase put his hand on my shoulder.
“A pact?” I sniffled and turned to him. “What kind of pact?”
“One that’s forever. One that protects people rather than hurts them.”
“How do we do that?” I was suddenly interested. What if I could make all the hurt go away? What if I could save everyone!
“We do this.” Chase pulled out his pocketknife and cut open his hand, then nodded to me to do the same thing. Without pausing I cut open my hand and handed back the knife. “Blood brothers. We’re never gonna hurt each other and we’re gonna save those like your ma, Nixon. Ones who can’t save themselves. We’re going to protect them.”
“How?” I watched as the blood dripped from my open palm.
“Rules.” Chase shrugged. “They keep people safe, right? At least that’s what my mom says.” He smiled. “We make rules and we start our own club. That way, we don’t have to listen to anyone but us.”
I liked it. I chewed on my lower lip. “What do we call ourselves?”
“The chosen?” Chase offered.
“No, that sounds lame. We have to sound… more powerful than that.”
My eyes flickered to the road, and a sign poked into the ground. It said election. “Elect.” I pointed. “Let’s call ourselves The Elect.” It made sense; after all, the president was elected, wasn’t he? We weren’t exactly chosen, but we were making the choice, we were electing ourselves protectors. That’s what we were.
“Who else can join?” Chase asked.
“Tex and Phoenix. They’ll want to.” A weight suddenly felt like it was being lifted off my twelve-year-old shoulders. “Should we shake on it?”
“Yeah.” Chase smashed his hand against mine as our blood mixed. “No going back, Nixon.”
“No.” I shook my head. “No going back.”

I pressed my fingers to my temples and watched, replaying that moment over and over again in my head as the outline of Chase and Tracey flickered in the moonlight. Would he really do this to me? After all the shit we’d been through?
I gauged her reaction, hoping that I would be wrong. Praying to God that Trace would just this once listen to me. Her eyes flickered with interest for a few brief seconds before she looked down at the ground.
“Shit.” I waited in the shadows. A part of me knew this would happen. The part that told me to damn my feelings to hell and ignore all the warning signs that I’d been seeing. But now it seemed like it was too late. I stayed, planted where I was, watching, waiting.
“Chase, you can’t…” Trace shook her head. “You can’t be like this. We can’t do this!”
“We aren’t doing anything,” Chase said in low tones, reaching for Trace’s hand. “Don’t you?” He looked directly at me, although all he saw was a shadow. I knew I was well hidden. “Don’t you feel the same way?”
Trace jerked her hand away from Chase’s. “It doesn’t matter what I feel. It’s not about me, Chase.”
“But it is.” Chase reached for her again. This time her hand grasped his in such an intimate embrace I thought I was going to vomit all over the ground. The outside air was cold as hell as little pieces of ice tried to find their way into my wool coat.
“It isn’t.” Trace sighed. “It never was.”
Chase jerked her toward him. She fell against his chest and looked up into his eyes. “What are you doing?”
Chase sighed. “What I should have done a long time ago.” He grabbed the back of her head and pulled her in for a kiss. Their lips touched.
I had to look away.
The only sound in the night was that of my soft footsteps as I walked away… leaving my heart in broken pieces where I’d last stood. She was lost to me; it wasn’t even the Sicilians that had taken her, but my best friend.
           A gunshot rang out loud and clear in the night air. I turned back around just in time to see Trace collapse into Chase’s arms.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Bio:
 
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at http://rachelvandykenauthor.com/

Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Crash Into You - Katie McGarry

She girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.


Katie McGarry’s characters have a way of getting under my skin and climbing into my heart without me even knowing it, and this time they did it with a lot of bang.

CRASH INTO YOU kicks off with Isaiah refusing to deal with one of his biggest issues and Rachel literally running away from hers. Both set the two on a course that would change the rest of their lives in ways neither saw coming.

Isaiah is such a complex, layered character and getting to know him and learning more about who he is as a person was such a great experience. He’s loyal and fierce and protective, and it made him an instant favorite of mine. Threaded in with that was his vulnerable side as well, and that he allowed Rachel to see it made me appreciate him that much more. He was surprised by it and it endeared me to him. I hope we get to see more of him as the series progresses.

Rachel is a fierce, wounded little thing I and loved her. Meeting Isaiah was the best thing that could have happened to her – and vice versa – even though it took some work to get where she needed to be in her life. But she tackled everything with all she had in her, and how could you not admire her for that?

The two of them come from such opposite worlds, and those differences brought out the best in both of them. They contrast off each other perfectly and the fit of them is like a key in a lock. I adored everything about this book. I loved what I learned about the things Isaiah and Rachel had in common, and the details just added more depth to the story.

This novel is a rollercoaster from start to finish and it’s by far my favorite in the series. Katie McGarry delivers from start to finish and left me wanting more. She’s at the top of my favorites on the YA list and I anxiously wait for what she sends our way next.

Massive thank you to Harlequin TEEN and NetGalley for the eARC. You guys make my face happy.

You can find the author or awesomeness here:

*Rambly and stilted review because it's hard to keep my love for certain books contained. Be glad I didn't write an essay ;)