Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Winner of Midsummer's Eve Giveaway!

Congratulations to the winner of my Midsummer's Eve Giveaway! The prize is a book of choice from TBD up to $15

And the winner is...

Angie - via tweeting about the giveaway.

The winner will be notified by e-mail (once yahoo.mail stops crapping around and lets me compose one).

Congrats, Angie!

Thanks to all of you that entered :-D Stay tuned for more giveaways in the future!

Book Spotlight - Adam Orser: Chronicles of Evolution by Daniel Armand

Adam Orser seems to be a regular guy, leading a fairly successful life in Toronto as a psychologist with a loving girlfriend, Jazmin. But there is nothing ordinary about Adam. Fate interrupts his planned marriage proposal, and a serious car accident thrusts him into a metaphysical reality behind a deep coma that holds his physical body in check. Through an advanced system of training and evolution created by the celestial realm, Adam is called to a dangerous mission with profound implications for the world he knows, and life and death consequences for one missing nine-year old girl, who is no ordinary kidnapped child. Fantastical forces are at work on both sides of the veil between the world we recognize and those yet to be discovered. Destiny compels Adam to freely choose the part he will play in a no-limits competition between good and evil. Questions of existence, causality, and truth converge as Adam struggles to find his way back to Jazmin and a life that will never be the same.

Publication Date: April 1, 2012
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Sci-fi
Publisher: Two Harbors Press

About the Author:
Daniel Armand lives in Toronto, Ontario. His inspiration behind; Adam Orser - Chronicles of Evolution, originated during the summer of 1983, after a near death encounter offered an incredible insight into the obscured aspects of life, love and the progression of the human spirit. Daniel is currently working on the next novel of the Adam Orser saga.

“I truly hope this novel will help inspire readers all over the globe, to embrace their spirituality. It is through clarity of mind and understanding that we may one day ‘bloom’ into harmony and unlock our limitless potential.”

You can visit Daniel's website HERE.


To find out more about this book you can check it out on Goodreads.

It is also available for purchase on Amazon:

Also available online at Barnes and Noble:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Adult Review: All The Wrong Reasons by J.L. Paul

Irelyn's life is headed in the right direction: College education, new friends, fantastic boyfriend. Her dream of writing romance novels isn't too far out of reach. Her relationship with her family is good. And to top it all off, she's positive her boyfriend is going to propose soon. Yes, life is wonderful.

Until that night with Lucas changes everything.

Publication Date: February 24, 2011
Genre: New Adult, Mature YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: My own Tower of Books!

I bought this book for my Kindle when I saw it compared to Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I adored that book and was excited to try something along the same lines. This didn't quite live up to my expectations but was still an enjoyable read.

I really liked the overall plot of the book. Irelyn gets herself into some major trouble when she has a one night stand with the smokin' lead singer of a band. Problem is that she has a boyfriend she's been in a long-term relationship with AND that she can't stop hooking up with band guy, Lucas. I love when characters make bad decisions and ultimately come out on top. I also loved Lucas and his bandmates/family. I read this book super fast to find out how everything was going to turn out, it was hard to put down.

All that being said there were a few things that kept me from rating it higher than I did (3 stars). There was a recurring theme of Irelyn blushing, like all the time. It started to feel contrived. Please keep in mind that I love a well-placed red-cheeked gal. It can add so much to a scene when put in the right place AND used sparingly. My last issue was that in a book like this that promises some angst and sex...I kind of missed the sex :) There was all the build up and then...*play music* cut to landscape shot out of the window. I'm no perv, but I want to know what these people are doing with (to) each other *waggles eyebrows*

I would say that if you like books in this genre that you should go ahead and read it. It was definitely still worth it for me and I'll be reading the second book in this series soon too. I could see room for improvement but was overall satisfied with the story.

Winners - Blog-o-Versary Giveaway!

Yay to the TWO winners of my bloggie birthday Giveaway!! The winners (chosen via Rafflecopter) are:

mels (via Tweeting about the giveaway)


Jay (via following my blog)

Congrats to you both!
Winners have been contacted by e-mail and will have 72 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Thanks to everyone that entered! Sorry it wasn't your lucky day this time, but I'll have more giveaways coming up :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

MG Review: Capture the Flag by Kate Messner

Three kids get caught up in an adventure of historic proportions!

Anna, José, and Henry are complete strangers with more in common than they realize. Snowed in together at a chaotic Washington D.C. airport, they encounter a mysterious tattooed man, a flamboyant politician, and a rambunctious poodle named for an ancient king. Even stranger, news stations everywhere have announced that the famous flag that inspired "The Star-Spangled Banner" has been stolen! Anna, certain that the culprits must be snowed in too, recruits Henry and José to help catch the thieves and bring them to justice.

But when accusations start flying, they soon realize there's more than justice at stake. As the snow starts clearing, Anna, José, and Henry find themselves in a race against time (and the weather!) to prevent the loss of an American treasure.

Publication Date: July 1, 2012
Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery, Adventure
Source: Thanks to Scholastic for my review copy!

First of all, this is a great entertaining MG read for the summer. It does take place in a snowed-in, all-flights-are-cancelled airport but for some reason it still gives you the right vibe for summer reading :)

The story follows Anna, Jose and Henry as they meet up and end up getting tangled in the mystery of who stole the flag from the museum. Just like Jose and Henry, I was skeptical of Anna finding anything useful in the airport to point towards who the real suspects of the crime were. She proved us all wrong by actually being right...well, about some things at least.

I liked how the book didn't shy away from the danger they put themselves in by going head to head with the people that stole the flag. It showed how important finding the flag was to them, and it showed how dedicated they all were to their family's secret society. Speaking of which, that was another thing that would make this a magical read for Middle Graders. What kid doesn't like to pretend they are part of a secret society that gets called to go on missions and all that awesome stuff?

I thought this was an enjoyable book with spunk. I loved the friendships that were formed throughout and I'm assuming these same friendships will continue if there were to be a sequel. This would make a nice Indiana Jones-esque series for this age group.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MidSummer's Eve Giveaway Hop!

It's been awhile since I've participated in a Giveaway Hop! This one is hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer and there are a ton of giveaways going on.

Prize to be won: One person will win a book of their choice from The Book Depository (up to $15). I know we all have our summer wishlist of books and this is a good way to get one of them...for free :)

Entry: One entry per person and it's International as long as TBD ships to your location :)

Date: This hop runs from June 20-26th

Words from me: Good luck to everyone!!

And don't forget to check out all the other blogs on this Giveaway Hop. There are a ton of blogs participating :) Click here for a link to the POST.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombie
Source: My own Tower of Books

Not since I read The Book Thief over four years ago have I been so in awe of somebody's writing. I'm not saying the writing is the same as in that book, but it is so totally different from any other style/approach to a story and it is freaking amazing. The words 'verbal vomit' come to mind. BUT not in a bad way at all.  It's as if the author can harness the insane way our own brains work and think through things in our heads, where only we can hear, and that's how she writes for the MC in this book, Sloane. The emotions in it are so truthfully deep. Purely genius and fan-frickin-tastic to read.

Sloane (wishing I could have a fourth child to use this name on :) is living with her father when the world goes to hell. And it all goes wrong on the day she was planning to kill herself to be free from her abusive father and also to be free from the ache and betrayal of her sister leaving her there with her dad to basically suffer his abuse alone.

The progression of her character in this book is beautiful and poetic to read. She finds herself in a group of survivors inside of her old school. The problem being that she has never wanted to survive, the zombie outbreak hasn't shattered her world like it has all the others because she's never felt like she had something to live for anyway. As she's narrating the story I noticed that at first she's always talking about everyone else, narrating what's going on while she watches. She doesn't really get involved but as she starts trying to come to terms with the things warring within her she gradually becomes more present in her first person narrative. If that makes sense :) I was seriously in awe of Courtney Summers writing in this, like it was blowing my mind as to how someone could even write something so amazing.

I should definitely mention that this book will be appealing to absolutely everyone. Yes, I'm going to stand by that blanket statement. You don't like zombies? Cool, because this book isn't about zombies. You love zombies? Great, because this book has those. It's a book about people and emotions and motivations and so many other things...that just so happens to have zombies in it as the catalyst for all those other things to be revealed.

I want to also bring up how much I love the cover and title of this book.  The cover is just straight up awesome.  And I should point out that you'll be seeing some more blood spattering on the pages within the book as you go along. Now that title. Before reading the book I just assumed that it was playing into the fact that they were trapped in a school and it's not a test, get it? More literally it's taken from a radio broadcast in the book that repeats 'This Is Not a Test' over and over. But once you've read the whole thing it takes on such a new meaning in regards to Sloane and how she deals with the entire situation.

Obviously I loved this book and I think everyone should read it and love it too :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: The Weepers: The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker

3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since I’d seen daylight. One-fifth of my life.

Sherry and her family have lived sealed in a bunker in the garden since things went wrong up above. Her grandfather has been in the freezer for the last three months, her parents are at each other’s throats and two minutes ago they ran out of food.

Sherry and her father leave the safety of the bunker and find a devastated and empty LA, smashed to pieces by bombs and haunted by ‘Weepers’ - rabid humans infected with a weaponized rabies virus.

While searching for food in a supermarket, Sherry’s father disappears and Sherry is saved by Joshua, a boy-hunter. He takes her to Safe-haven, a tumble-down vineyard in the hills outside LA, where a handful of other survivors are picking up the pieces of their ‘other lives’. As she falls in love for the first time, Sherry must save her father, stay alive and keep Joshua safe when his desire for vengeance threatens them all.

Publication Date: May 15, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Post Apocalyptic, Zombie
Source: Thanks to Marshall Cavendish for making this title available through Netgalley.

I have to say I agree with alot of the reviews I read about this book. A decently entertaining read that really gets interesting the last 20 pgs or so. I liked the book alright, but never had any 'wow' moments. The plot is interesting, especially once you find out the history behind the virus that has changed so many people and how it has affected the rest of the world.

I know alot of people could go either way as far as romance is concerned in their books. But I find that I will like a book exponentially more if it does have romance at least threaded throughout. There is some of that in The Weepers but it's not the focus of the book. Like I said, that's not a problem for some people.

There were only a few things that really stood out to me that I disliked. First, the MC's name is mentioned so few times that I had to look it up to even write it out in this review. (It's Sherry btw) The second thing is just all the counting of days. Sherry lived in a bunker with her family for years and the total days is something like 1,141. For me, when I see a number written like that I have to say it all out. One thousand, one hundred forty-one. It kept jumping me out of the book. That might not bother anybody else but me...

I really liked the story of how The Weepers came to be. I think it's pretty unique as far as zombie-esque stories go. I liked the fact that these infected humans still have some sort of intelligence which makes them a bit more daunting to face down. I really liked Tyler's character but wished there was more of him in it...which is a distinct possibility for the next book.

All in all, this is an entertaining and quick read. I can see the series getting more and more interesting as it goes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: My Life Next Door

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly awaiting!

My pick this week:

My Life Next Door
By Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication Date: June 14, 2012

From Goodreads:
A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.


This sounds like the perfect summer book and I've been dying to get my hands on it! I doubt I'll make it out of the bookstore's parking lot without reading the first chapter (at least).

What are you waiting on??

Blog-o-versary Giveaway! My Tower of Books Turns 1!

I really can't believe it's been an entire year since I started this blog. It's been a crazy/wonderful experience and I've loved it :-D

As a thank you to all my Followers and Friends I wanted to have a Bloggie Birthday Giveaway!

The Prize: TWO winners will get their book of choice up to $12 from The Book Depository

Dates: The Giveaway will run from 6/13 - 6/23

Open Internationally as long as TBD ships to your address.
(Click HERE to see if they ship to you)

Good luck to everyone and thanks for being a part of my first year  :)))

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, 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 needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, 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’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Publication Date: May 26, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Source: My own Tower of Books

One of my book friends texted me and told me I had to read this book. We have similar book taste so I bought it and started it the next day. I swear I would have walked around the house with my Kindle all day not speaking to anyone if I could've gotten away with it. It's like the perfect storm of everything I die for in a book.

I was skeptical the first two chapters because I thought 'Been here, seen this.' Um, no. The entire story is so unique and Abby and Travis's relationship is absurdly addicting to read. Their relationship is passionate and volatile...and sweet. Abby is so likeable and every decision she makes made sense to me, I didn't have to forgive the book anything because there was nothing to pick apart. Travis do I put this...I mean, can I marry a fictional character yet? Is that possible? :)

Seriously though, there are so many reasons to love this book and I can't do it justice. Read it!! It stands on its own merit. This is definitely a must-read and I'm now dying to read it again. AND I *needs* to see this as a movie!

I am freaking out over this author and will be reading everything she writes! If you want to buy this book (and YOU SHOULD :) it's only $2.99 on Amazon. So worth that price and more.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

FREE on Amazon: The Last Three by Almon Chu

I reviewed this book back in November.  Click HERE to read my review. It's novella or short story length but it leaves you wishing it was longer.

Here's the link to get your free copy!

It's free June 8-10th

and again

June 17-18th.

Check it out :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Monitor What My Kids Are Reading? Nah.

The other day I was having a conversation with Hubby, aka Uber Nerd.  *Note that I said coversation and not debate*  We were in total agreement on the subject.  We were just blabbing around about how our oldest is just beginning to read and how cool it's going to be when we can share some of our favorite books with all three of the kids.

Even though we've had this conversation countless times (remember, nerds) we were talking about how we think our parents raised us in an environment that made it really easy to love reading.  We have two things in common on that front.  We learned to read early and were never restricted on the materials we could read (aside from straight up Romance or something).

I started off in the MG/YA of my time which was pretty dinosauric when I think back.  After that portion of the library had been exhausted I just read the authors my parents were reading.  Dean Koontz, Robin Cook, Peter Benchley, John Grisham, Stephen name a few.  Keep in mind, I was probably 10 or so when I started reading these.  My parents did say that if it had anything inappropriate they didn't want me to read it, but I was allowed to self-monitor.  I did a pretty good job most of the time :)  I do remember reading Stephen King's Pet Sematary when I was 12ish. It was effing scary and had the first erotic scene I've read.  It involved a bubble bath and a rubber cleaning glove *yig* that I remember almost 16 years later.

Do I think a twelve year old should be reading Stephen King.  My knee-jerk answer is "H to the No".  But looking back I was mature enough to stop reading when I felt uncomfortable.  I stopped reading at that scene and didn't finish the book until years later.

Reading those adult books created a spark that ignited my mind and still burns to this day.  I am a ravenous book consumer and I love to write as well.  I give alot of the credit for that to my parents.  I feel I would be doing my own kids a great disservice if I used the modern day, micro-managing parental mindset and didn't let them open their imaginations and let their own creativity blossom .

If my kids can read and comprehend adult books and they are interested in reading them, I say "Go for it!".  Within reason of course :)

What do you think?  Were you given free reign at the library as a child?  What will/do you do with your own kids?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Free for Kindle - Scars by Cheryl Rainfield (June 5-6 only)

Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.


You can download SCARS for *free* today and tomorrow (June 5-6) on Amazon. In SCARS, Kendra must stop hurting herself—before it’s too late. Don't miss out on a free copy of this book!

*Click HERE to download your free copy!*

Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: Temptation 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 ROSE & NOAH forever, easy. But it won't be. Because he's Amish. And I'm not.

Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Source: Thanks so much to Harlequin Teen for making this title available through Netgalley!

Temptation has a really cool and unique forbidden romance going on in it. Rose and Noah definitely should not be together, but they find it impossible to stay apart.

I had a mixed bag of feelings about this novel. From the beginning I was pretty sure I knew how things would turn out between these two young characters, but I was actually kept guessing the entire time. They can't be together...maybe they can! Nope, no way. It could never work out, Buuuut...(yes, I did this the entire time I was reading :) My need to find out how things would play out kept me reading and I got through this one really fast. I shouldn't forget to mention that the characterization is really well done even though I wasn't totally sold on the romantic element.

As much as I was interested in how Rose and Noah's love would be resolved, their relationship was lacking in intensity to me. I never quite got how they fell so madly in love apart from just a physical attraction that was mistaken for something more...the story of teenagers' lives really. Sometimes I'd be rooting for things to work out for them, and then other times I was pretty sure it was the worst possible idea.

Although the romance was missing a spark for me, the plot does a good job of keeping you drawn in, not wanting to miss what will happen. And although you *kind of* find out what happens between these two young lovers, this is the first book in a series and the reader is left on a smallish cliffhanger :) Since I still feel a great need to see what goes down I'll be keeping an eye out for Temptation's sequel.