~ On Hiatus ~

December 26, 2012

Review: A Song for Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Hi!

I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas! :)

Before I get to the end of the year posts, here's one more recommendation from me:


A Song for Julia (Thompson Sisters #1) 
by Charles Sheehan-Miles


Release date: December 5th 2012
by Cincinnatus Press
Format: Paperback, 374 pages

Goodreads

Everyone should have something to rebel against.

Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.

Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father's career and dominating her family's life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she's haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy.

When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.

My thoughts:

A Song for Julia was a truly special book. I loved Just Remember to Breathe, but there was something so much more powerful and beautiful and touching about this story! I read it in one sitting and it left me a little lost after I finished it. I mean, you know that 'book hangover' feeling us book addicts get from time to time, right? That's what this book did to me. And I loved it!

But let me start at the beginning. Julia is Alex's (the heroine from Just Remember to Breathe) oldest sister. We got a glimpse of her in that book too and it was enough to intrigue me. I had a feeling she had her own good story, so I was very excited when I found out Charles Sheehan-Miles was writing it. And it was better than I expected! So, we go back in time a few years, in the early 2000s, when Julia and Crank first met. She was a proper, rich, perfect girl, he was a punk singer with family issues and a band that was struggling. They were so wrong, and yet so right for each other!

There was something about her, though. Sexy as hell, but that wasn’t really it. I looked at her, and it was like she was ready to explode. I’d lived on rage and adrenaline most of the last six years, and when I looked at Julia, I thought I saw someone who understood that. (Crank)

Julia and her story broke my heart. She had a troubled past, a very dark secret and a scarred soul that no one even knew about. In the past few years, she's been a shell of a person, trying to do the right thing for her controlling parents who never understood or helped her, trying to live as best as she could given the circumstances. Always in control of her thoughts, emotions, actions and reactions, never letting her guard down for anyone or anything. But all that was about to change.

I’ve never liked feeling out of control. Not like that. I’d gone there once, head over heels in love, and it did so much damage to my life I didn’t think I’d ever recover. No way I’d ever go there again. Whatever else happened, I was in control of my life. No one else. Certainly not some formless emotion and lust that can take away who you even are. (Julia)

She has friends, a big family with many sisters, but she's closed off from all of them. And then she meets Crank and realizes there might be more to life than what she was having. There can be passion, there can be someone who understands you, there can be someone worth leaving your defenses down for at least for a little while. There can be someone worth facing your past for. Someone who is the opposite of what everyone wants and expects for you. Someone you didn't know you needed until you met him.

Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest, away from home, and they just click. There are all sorts of signs telling them they should stay away from each other, not to mention that she's the oldest daughter of an Ambassador, a very smart Harvard girl and he's a player and a struggling band singer who hasn't even finished high school, but their connection is too intense and different from everything they've had before to ignore. They spend a great day in Washington, then they attempt to put it behind them and get back to their respective lives.

My life didn’t have room for someone like Crank. And from what he’d said, his didn’t have room either. This was all a little off-key, out of place, almost as if it was someone else out to dinner with him, and I was playing a role. I almost never go out with guys. And I never let my emotions get ahead of my brain. But tonight, as we tried to wave down a cab to head toward Georgetown, I was feeling a little out of control. (Julia)

But like the fact that they couldn't stop thinking about each other wasn't bad enough, they kept bumping into each other (sometimes literally) back in Boston as well. And that's how their crazy, beautiful, heartbreaking story began. Their banter was awesome, their relationship had its up and downs, there were harsh truths and high emotions all over the place, Crank and his band cracked me up, I hated Julia's parents with a passion (especially the mom, ugh - if there's a ever a book titled 'Things a Mother Should Never Ever Do/Say to her Daughter', Julia's mom made sure to do all of them and then some), I really felt for Crank's broken family, but it was the story behind all that what really got me. A beautiful story about healing, compassion, fighting your past once and for all and putting it behind you, about caring and fighting for someone even when they keep pushing you away, about breaking walls, barriers, customs and expectations, about finding your way in life and about not giving up when everything and everyone keeps hurting you or pushing you around and trying to control your life choices. About taking risks, trusting your heart, but most importantly, about trusting someone else with it again. About seeing beyond the carefully placed facade, beyond rumors and appearances, about learning that what's underneath it all is special and worth loving and fighting for. About not letting guilt, hurt and fear dictate how you live your life. About truth, freedom, rebellion, fighting against the odds and taking control of your own life. About passion, music and special relationships. In short, this is a story about trust, hope, love and healing. A true life lesson.

I'm not going to get into details, I get teary eyed just looking through my favorite quotes and passages and thinking about everything Julia went through, but you have to read it. One of the most deserved 'happily ever after's I've read in a long time! Oh, and yeah. Alternative POVs - you know I'm addicted to two POVs stories. ;)

The writing is brilliant too! Even Julia's POV is very well done, you can feel all the emotions pouring out from the page and pulling at your heart strings. They both have unique, but realistic, powerful and easy to relate to voices and personalities. An all around amazing book!

Other favorite quotes:

It’s amazing how you can say a lot of words that are all true, and completely obscure the truth at the same time. I was an expert at that. I spend my life spinning a web of half spoken truths; an armor weaved of words that do nothing but hide who I am.
He grinned and very gently shook his head. “Nothing to rebel against? Nothing at all?”
“Nope,” I replied. Except maybe my mother, who controlled every moment of my life. But that’s more than I was willing to say.
“That’s sad,” Cranks said. “Everyone should have something to rebel against.” (Julia)

This was different. It was very different. Everything I’d seen of Julia fascinated me. She was kind, and compassionate, and smart as hell, and she was also one moody bitch. Call me crazy, but that combination was one hell of a turn-on. I wanted to break her out of that shell and find out what she was like underneath. (Crank)

“What did you do to her? Why did she leave like that?”
I took a deep breath and answered honestly. 
“I told her I loved her.” (Crank) *tear*

“ You need to know that I’d do anything for you … even kiss you goodbye and watch you go. ” (Crank) 


Get the book: (the kindle edition is only $0.99!!)




I added the playlist the author set up for the book on youtube here. And here's a song I really liked and I think really captures some of the feelings in the book: 





Review copy provided by the author Charles Sheehan-Miles and the blog tour host in exchange for my honest opinion. THANK YOU!

P.S. Recommended for readers who also enjoyed Easy by Tammara Webber and The Sea of Tranquility by Kaja Millay.
P.P.S. You can read it even if you haven't read the first book in the series. 




Review: A Song for Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Hi!

I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas! :)

Before I get to the end of the year posts, here's one more recommendation from me:


A Song for Julia (Thompson Sisters #1) 
by Charles Sheehan-Miles


Release date: December 5th 2012
by Cincinnatus Press
Format: Paperback, 374 pages

Goodreads

Everyone should have something to rebel against.

Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.

Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father's career and dominating her family's life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she's haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy.

When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.

My thoughts:

A Song for Julia was a truly special book. I loved Just Remember to Breathe, but there was something so much more powerful and beautiful and touching about this story! I read it in one sitting and it left me a little lost after I finished it. I mean, you know that 'book hangover' feeling us book addicts get from time to time, right? That's what this book did to me. And I loved it!

But let me start at the beginning. Julia is Alex's (the heroine from Just Remember to Breathe) oldest sister. We got a glimpse of her in that book too and it was enough to intrigue me. I had a feeling she had her own good story, so I was very excited when I found out Charles Sheehan-Miles was writing it. And it was better than I expected! So, we go back in time a few years, in the early 2000s, when Julia and Crank first met. She was a proper, rich, perfect girl, he was a punk singer with family issues and a band that was struggling. They were so wrong, and yet so right for each other!

There was something about her, though. Sexy as hell, but that wasn’t really it. I looked at her, and it was like she was ready to explode. I’d lived on rage and adrenaline most of the last six years, and when I looked at Julia, I thought I saw someone who understood that. (Crank)

Julia and her story broke my heart. She had a troubled past, a very dark secret and a scarred soul that no one even knew about. In the past few years, she's been a shell of a person, trying to do the right thing for her controlling parents who never understood or helped her, trying to live as best as she could given the circumstances. Always in control of her thoughts, emotions, actions and reactions, never letting her guard down for anyone or anything. But all that was about to change.

I’ve never liked feeling out of control. Not like that. I’d gone there once, head over heels in love, and it did so much damage to my life I didn’t think I’d ever recover. No way I’d ever go there again. Whatever else happened, I was in control of my life. No one else. Certainly not some formless emotion and lust that can take away who you even are. (Julia)

She has friends, a big family with many sisters, but she's closed off from all of them. And then she meets Crank and realizes there might be more to life than what she was having. There can be passion, there can be someone who understands you, there can be someone worth leaving your defenses down for at least for a little while. There can be someone worth facing your past for. Someone who is the opposite of what everyone wants and expects for you. Someone you didn't know you needed until you met him.

Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest, away from home, and they just click. There are all sorts of signs telling them they should stay away from each other, not to mention that she's the oldest daughter of an Ambassador, a very smart Harvard girl and he's a player and a struggling band singer who hasn't even finished high school, but their connection is too intense and different from everything they've had before to ignore. They spend a great day in Washington, then they attempt to put it behind them and get back to their respective lives.

My life didn’t have room for someone like Crank. And from what he’d said, his didn’t have room either. This was all a little off-key, out of place, almost as if it was someone else out to dinner with him, and I was playing a role. I almost never go out with guys. And I never let my emotions get ahead of my brain. But tonight, as we tried to wave down a cab to head toward Georgetown, I was feeling a little out of control. (Julia)

But like the fact that they couldn't stop thinking about each other wasn't bad enough, they kept bumping into each other (sometimes literally) back in Boston as well. And that's how their crazy, beautiful, heartbreaking story began. Their banter was awesome, their relationship had its up and downs, there were harsh truths and high emotions all over the place, Crank and his band cracked me up, I hated Julia's parents with a passion (especially the mom, ugh - if there's a ever a book titled 'Things a Mother Should Never Ever Do/Say to her Daughter', Julia's mom made sure to do all of them and then some), I really felt for Crank's broken family, but it was the story behind all that what really got me. A beautiful story about healing, compassion, fighting your past once and for all and putting it behind you, about caring and fighting for someone even when they keep pushing you away, about breaking walls, barriers, customs and expectations, about finding your way in life and about not giving up when everything and everyone keeps hurting you or pushing you around and trying to control your life choices. About taking risks, trusting your heart, but most importantly, about trusting someone else with it again. About seeing beyond the carefully placed facade, beyond rumors and appearances, about learning that what's underneath it all is special and worth loving and fighting for. About not letting guilt, hurt and fear dictate how you live your life. About truth, freedom, rebellion, fighting against the odds and taking control of your own life. About passion, music and special relationships. In short, this is a story about trust, hope, love and healing. A true life lesson.

I'm not going to get into details, I get teary eyed just looking through my favorite quotes and passages and thinking about everything Julia went through, but you have to read it. One of the most deserved 'happily ever after's I've read in a long time! Oh, and yeah. Alternative POVs - you know I'm addicted to two POVs stories. ;)

The writing is brilliant too! Even Julia's POV is very well done, you can feel all the emotions pouring out from the page and pulling at your heart strings. They both have unique, but realistic, powerful and easy to relate to voices and personalities. An all around amazing book!

Other favorite quotes:

It’s amazing how you can say a lot of words that are all true, and completely obscure the truth at the same time. I was an expert at that. I spend my life spinning a web of half spoken truths; an armor weaved of words that do nothing but hide who I am.
He grinned and very gently shook his head. “Nothing to rebel against? Nothing at all?”
“Nope,” I replied. Except maybe my mother, who controlled every moment of my life. But that’s more than I was willing to say.
“That’s sad,” Cranks said. “Everyone should have something to rebel against.” (Julia)

This was different. It was very different. Everything I’d seen of Julia fascinated me. She was kind, and compassionate, and smart as hell, and she was also one moody bitch. Call me crazy, but that combination was one hell of a turn-on. I wanted to break her out of that shell and find out what she was like underneath. (Crank)

“What did you do to her? Why did she leave like that?”
I took a deep breath and answered honestly. 
“I told her I loved her.” (Crank) *tear*

“ You need to know that I’d do anything for you … even kiss you goodbye and watch you go. ” (Crank) 


Get the book: (the kindle edition is only $0.99!!)




I added the playlist the author set up for the book on youtube here. And here's a song I really liked and I think really captures some of the feelings in the book: 





Review copy provided by the author Charles Sheehan-Miles and the blog tour host in exchange for my honest opinion. THANK YOU!

P.S. Recommended for readers who also enjoyed Easy by Tammara Webber and The Sea of Tranquility by Kaja Millay.
P.P.S. You can read it even if you haven't read the first book in the series. 




December 22, 2012

Fang Girl by Helen Keeble: Guest Post & Giveaway

Hi everyone!

I have a super fun guest post and a giveaway to share with you today! We all need our fun vampire fix from time to time, don't you think? ;)


But first, some info on the book I'm talking about:



Fang Girl
by Helen Keeble

Release date: September 11th 2012
by HarperTeen
Format: Paperback, 352 pages

Goodreads:

Things That Are Destroying Jane Greene’s Undead Social Life Before It Can Even Begin:

1) A twelve-year-old brother who’s convinced she’s a zombie.

2) Parents who are begging her to turn them into vampires.

3) The pet goldfish she accidentally turns instead.

4) Weird superpowers that let her rip the heads off of every other vampire she meets.(Sounds cool, but it doesn’t win you many friends.)

5) A psychotic vampire creator who’s using her to carry out a plan for world domination.

And finally:

6) A seriously ripped vampire hunter who either wants to stake her or make out with her. Not sure which.

Being an undead, eternally pasty fifteen-year-old isn’t quite the sexy, brooding, angst-fest Jane always imagined....

Helen Keeble’s riotous debut novel combines the humor of Vladimir Tod with Ally Carter’s spot-on teen voice. With a one-of-a-kind vampire mythology and an irresistibly relatable undead heroine, this uproarious page-turner will leave readers bloodthirsty for more.

Get the book: Amazon / B & N / The Book Depository

About the author: 



Helen Keeble is not, and never has been, a vampire. She has however been a teenager. She grew up partly in America and partly in England, which has left her with an unidentifiable accent and a fondness for peanut butter crackers washed down with a nice cup of tea. She now lives in West Sussex, England, with her husband, daughter, two cats, and a variable number of fish. To the best of her knowledge, none of the fish are undead.

Her first novel, a YA vampire comedy called FANG GIRL, is out 11th Sept 2012, from HarperTeen.

She also has another YA paranormal comedy novel (provisionally titled NO ANGEL) scheduled for Sept 2013.

*** Guest post ***

Three Things Vampires Don't Want You To Know
Guest Post by Helen Keeble


Vampires aren't real. If they were, they couldn't stay hidden for long, right? Thanks to the endless books, films, and TV shows filled with vampiric lore, we all know how to recognise a bloodsucker. And we all know their weaknesses - sunlight, beheading, fire, stakes, athletic teenage girls, holy water, garlic…

Or maybe that's just what the vampires want you to think are their weaknesses.

Delve a little deeper into traditional vampiric folklore, and there are a lot of weird things that don't appear in our modern vampire fiction. Things that maybe the vampires want to keep quiet…

1) They're just like unicorns

No, not because vampires are also beautiful and sparkly. Because, like unicorns, vampires are terrified of virgins. In fact, while unicorns are irresistibly drawn to virgins, according to Romanian folklore virgins are irresistibly drawn to vampires.

Actually, this is true in a lot of paranormal romances too, now that I come to think of it.

Anyway, all you have to do is stick a virgin on a white (or possibly black - sources vary) horse, and they'll be able to lead you straight to the grave of the nearest vampire. And if you use a woman older than 25, she’ll even be able to kill the vampire for you as well. Just get her to whip the vampire's grave with a hazel twig, and the bloodsucker will never be able to rise again.

Basically, older female virgins are homing missiles of mass vampire destruction. No wonder literature is full of vampires desperately trying to romance young girls. They have to neutralize them!

2) They float

"Big deal," I hear you say, rolling your eyes. "Ducks float. Boats float. What's so special about vampires floating?"

Because, according to our friend Romanian folklore again, vampires always float. They literally can't sink.

Folklore boringly suggests using this trait to determine if someone is a vampire by tossing them in a river, but just think of the many other uses for this peculiar property...

"This is the captain speaking. Unfortunately we have hit an iceberg and water is now pouring through the hull, but there is no need to be alarmed! The vampires strapped under the Titanic's hull make this ship literally unsinkable. While we repair the hole, please enjoy complimentary cocktails on the aft deck, and ignore the muffled screams of the tormented undead underneath your feet."

Vampires would definitely want to keep this one quiet. No bloodsucker wants to spend eternity stuffed under an airplane chair as an emergency floatation device.

3) You're probably always carrying the means to defeat one

Check your pockets or purse. Got some spare change? Maybe a half-eaten packet of breath mints? A tissue?

Congratulations! You can stop a charging vampire in his tracks.

All you have to do is fling a handful of small objects at him, and he'll be compelled to stop in order to count them all. No, really. The technical term for this behaviour is arithmomania, and it crops up everywhere in vampire folklore, all around the globe. Poland, Romania, China, India, pretty much everywhere has legends about obsessive-compulsive vampires. Though curiously, it seems to have fallen out of favour in modern vampire fiction.

Apart, of course, from one famous case:



There you go. Incontrovertible proof that Sesame Street is written by vampire hunters, who are determined to make sure children everywhere know vampires' real weakness.

And now you do too.

P.S. Yes, I really do use one of these pieces of vampire folklore in my novel FANG GIRL. And no, I'm not going to tell you which one…

***

LOL! Awesome, right?:P 

And now the giveaway...

Open internationally, and the last day to enter is December 25th.

The prize pack includes:
- one signed copy of Fang Girl (can be personalised)
- a voucher for an ARC of Helen's next book NO ANGEL as soon as they are available (likely to be Spring/Summer 2013)
- a cheerful vampire goldfish paperclip
- Fang Girl stickers featuring the cover and quotes from the book


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Event hosted by:



Fang Girl by Helen Keeble: Guest Post & Giveaway

Hi everyone!

I have a super fun guest post and a giveaway to share with you today! We all need our fun vampire fix from time to time, don't you think? ;)


But first, some info on the book I'm talking about:



Fang Girl
by Helen Keeble

Release date: September 11th 2012
by HarperTeen
Format: Paperback, 352 pages

Goodreads:

Things That Are Destroying Jane Greene’s Undead Social Life Before It Can Even Begin:

1) A twelve-year-old brother who’s convinced she’s a zombie.

2) Parents who are begging her to turn them into vampires.

3) The pet goldfish she accidentally turns instead.

4) Weird superpowers that let her rip the heads off of every other vampire she meets.(Sounds cool, but it doesn’t win you many friends.)

5) A psychotic vampire creator who’s using her to carry out a plan for world domination.

And finally:

6) A seriously ripped vampire hunter who either wants to stake her or make out with her. Not sure which.

Being an undead, eternally pasty fifteen-year-old isn’t quite the sexy, brooding, angst-fest Jane always imagined....

Helen Keeble’s riotous debut novel combines the humor of Vladimir Tod with Ally Carter’s spot-on teen voice. With a one-of-a-kind vampire mythology and an irresistibly relatable undead heroine, this uproarious page-turner will leave readers bloodthirsty for more.

Get the book: Amazon / B & N / The Book Depository

About the author: 



Helen Keeble is not, and never has been, a vampire. She has however been a teenager. She grew up partly in America and partly in England, which has left her with an unidentifiable accent and a fondness for peanut butter crackers washed down with a nice cup of tea. She now lives in West Sussex, England, with her husband, daughter, two cats, and a variable number of fish. To the best of her knowledge, none of the fish are undead.

Her first novel, a YA vampire comedy called FANG GIRL, is out 11th Sept 2012, from HarperTeen.

She also has another YA paranormal comedy novel (provisionally titled NO ANGEL) scheduled for Sept 2013.

*** Guest post ***

Three Things Vampires Don't Want You To Know
Guest Post by Helen Keeble


Vampires aren't real. If they were, they couldn't stay hidden for long, right? Thanks to the endless books, films, and TV shows filled with vampiric lore, we all know how to recognise a bloodsucker. And we all know their weaknesses - sunlight, beheading, fire, stakes, athletic teenage girls, holy water, garlic…

Or maybe that's just what the vampires want you to think are their weaknesses.

Delve a little deeper into traditional vampiric folklore, and there are a lot of weird things that don't appear in our modern vampire fiction. Things that maybe the vampires want to keep quiet…

1) They're just like unicorns

No, not because vampires are also beautiful and sparkly. Because, like unicorns, vampires are terrified of virgins. In fact, while unicorns are irresistibly drawn to virgins, according to Romanian folklore virgins are irresistibly drawn to vampires.

Actually, this is true in a lot of paranormal romances too, now that I come to think of it.

Anyway, all you have to do is stick a virgin on a white (or possibly black - sources vary) horse, and they'll be able to lead you straight to the grave of the nearest vampire. And if you use a woman older than 25, she’ll even be able to kill the vampire for you as well. Just get her to whip the vampire's grave with a hazel twig, and the bloodsucker will never be able to rise again.

Basically, older female virgins are homing missiles of mass vampire destruction. No wonder literature is full of vampires desperately trying to romance young girls. They have to neutralize them!

2) They float

"Big deal," I hear you say, rolling your eyes. "Ducks float. Boats float. What's so special about vampires floating?"

Because, according to our friend Romanian folklore again, vampires always float. They literally can't sink.

Folklore boringly suggests using this trait to determine if someone is a vampire by tossing them in a river, but just think of the many other uses for this peculiar property...

"This is the captain speaking. Unfortunately we have hit an iceberg and water is now pouring through the hull, but there is no need to be alarmed! The vampires strapped under the Titanic's hull make this ship literally unsinkable. While we repair the hole, please enjoy complimentary cocktails on the aft deck, and ignore the muffled screams of the tormented undead underneath your feet."

Vampires would definitely want to keep this one quiet. No bloodsucker wants to spend eternity stuffed under an airplane chair as an emergency floatation device.

3) You're probably always carrying the means to defeat one

Check your pockets or purse. Got some spare change? Maybe a half-eaten packet of breath mints? A tissue?

Congratulations! You can stop a charging vampire in his tracks.

All you have to do is fling a handful of small objects at him, and he'll be compelled to stop in order to count them all. No, really. The technical term for this behaviour is arithmomania, and it crops up everywhere in vampire folklore, all around the globe. Poland, Romania, China, India, pretty much everywhere has legends about obsessive-compulsive vampires. Though curiously, it seems to have fallen out of favour in modern vampire fiction.

Apart, of course, from one famous case:



There you go. Incontrovertible proof that Sesame Street is written by vampire hunters, who are determined to make sure children everywhere know vampires' real weakness.

And now you do too.

P.S. Yes, I really do use one of these pieces of vampire folklore in my novel FANG GIRL. And no, I'm not going to tell you which one…

***

LOL! Awesome, right?:P 

And now the giveaway...

Open internationally, and the last day to enter is December 25th.

The prize pack includes:
- one signed copy of Fang Girl (can be personalised)
- a voucher for an ARC of Helen's next book NO ANGEL as soon as they are available (likely to be Spring/Summer 2013)
- a cheerful vampire goldfish paperclip
- Fang Girl stickers featuring the cover and quotes from the book


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Event hosted by:



December 21, 2012

99 Authors, 99 Titles for 99 Cents ($990 worth of prizes)

Hi guys!

I know it's a busy time of the year and I'm not even going to mention the other thing that's supposed to happen today, but I think some awesome prizes and book sales would be more than welcome!

This event is hosted by Buymereadme.com:

Some of the prizes are: $500, Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7", Amazon Paperwhite, $75, $50, $25, $20 Amazon Gift Cards. Just follow the banner bellow and you'll find everything you need about the 99 cents books and how to enter to win the prizes offered by the authors participating in this event.

These prices are available on Amazon only.

For a listing of books offered and to enter to win, click here!!

 

99 Authors, 99 Titles for 99 Cents ($990 worth of prizes)

Hi guys!

I know it's a busy time of the year and I'm not even going to mention the other thing that's supposed to happen today, but I think some awesome prizes and book sales would be more than welcome!

This event is hosted by Buymereadme.com:

Some of the prizes are: $500, Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7", Amazon Paperwhite, $75, $50, $25, $20 Amazon Gift Cards. Just follow the banner bellow and you'll find everything you need about the 99 cents books and how to enter to win the prizes offered by the authors participating in this event.

These prices are available on Amazon only.

For a listing of books offered and to enter to win, click here!!

 

December 18, 2012

Blog Tour - A Song for Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles (Giveaway)

Hi guys!

A Song for Julia is the second book in the Thompson Sisters series, a New Adult Contemporary series I'm getting seriously addicted to. If you recall, I read the first book, Just Remember to Breathe, a while ago and I really loved it (my review). Julia is Alex's older sister, we met her briefly in Just Remember to Breathe and I was very excited to read her story as well! And it was even better than the first! I'll get on that in my review later, but for now, here's some info on the book and a huge giveaway for you!

A Song for Julia (Thompson Sisters) 
by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Release date: December 5th 2012
by Cincinnatus Press
Format: Paperback, 374 pages

Goodreads

Everyone should have something to rebel against.

Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.

Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father's career and dominating her family's life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she's haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy.

When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.

About the author:

Charles has been a soldier, nonprofit executive, short order cook, IT manager and run a restaurant. He doesn't believe in specialization. He currently works as a communications and outreach specialist for a law firm representing disabled veterans.

Charles lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife Veronica and their two children.

Also author of Republic, Insurgent and Prayer at Rumayla.

Find Charles: Website / Twitter / Facebook

Get the book: 




Giveaway:

GRAND PRIZE - $250 Amazon gift card

The winner will be chosen from all of the commenters throughout the tour by Rafflecopter and announced on 12/26.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour stop giveaway: Just Remember to Breathe

A digital copy will be provided by author and the blog tour and I'll add a paperback copy as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Both giveaways are International and end right before Christmas. :)

Follow the blog tour for more chances to win!


 
December 15
Guilty Pleasures
The Muse Unleashed

December 16
My Fiction Nook
Romance Book Craze

December 17
My Secret Romance
Rumor Has It
The Book Asylum

December 18
Simply Ali
Deea's Journal ~

December 19
What's On The BookShelf
Have Book Will Read

December 20
Hesperia Loves Books
Heart Breaking Reviews

December 21
MK Kendall
Passionate About Books

December 22
I Love Indie Books
JM Harrison

December 23
Melinda Dozier

December 24
Love, Laughter, Friends
Queen of the Night Reviews

Hosted by 



Phew! That's a super awesome giveaway! Good luck everyone! :)

Blog Tour - A Song for Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles (Giveaway)

Hi guys!

A Song for Julia is the second book in the Thompson Sisters series, a New Adult Contemporary series I'm getting seriously addicted to. If you recall, I read the first book, Just Remember to Breathe, a while ago and I really loved it (my review). Julia is Alex's older sister, we met her briefly in Just Remember to Breathe and I was very excited to read her story as well! And it was even better than the first! I'll get on that in my review later, but for now, here's some info on the book and a huge giveaway for you!

A Song for Julia (Thompson Sisters) 
by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Release date: December 5th 2012
by Cincinnatus Press
Format: Paperback, 374 pages

Goodreads

Everyone should have something to rebel against.

Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.

Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father's career and dominating her family's life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she's haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy.

When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.

About the author:

Charles has been a soldier, nonprofit executive, short order cook, IT manager and run a restaurant. He doesn't believe in specialization. He currently works as a communications and outreach specialist for a law firm representing disabled veterans.

Charles lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife Veronica and their two children.

Also author of Republic, Insurgent and Prayer at Rumayla.

Find Charles: Website / Twitter / Facebook

Get the book: 




Giveaway:

GRAND PRIZE - $250 Amazon gift card

The winner will be chosen from all of the commenters throughout the tour by Rafflecopter and announced on 12/26.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour stop giveaway: Just Remember to Breathe

A digital copy will be provided by author and the blog tour and I'll add a paperback copy as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Both giveaways are International and end right before Christmas. :)

Follow the blog tour for more chances to win!


 
December 15
Guilty Pleasures
The Muse Unleashed

December 16
My Fiction Nook
Romance Book Craze

December 17
My Secret Romance
Rumor Has It
The Book Asylum

December 18
Simply Ali
Deea's Journal ~

December 19
What's On The BookShelf
Have Book Will Read

December 20
Hesperia Loves Books
Heart Breaking Reviews

December 21
MK Kendall
Passionate About Books

December 22
I Love Indie Books
JM Harrison

December 23
Melinda Dozier

December 24
Love, Laughter, Friends
Queen of the Night Reviews

Hosted by 



Phew! That's a super awesome giveaway! Good luck everyone! :)

December 15, 2012

Review: Valkyrie Rising (Valkyrie #1) by Ingrid Paulson

Hey guys!

Long time no see! I hope everyone is doing great!:)

I haven't got that much time to read and blog lately, but I should have a few reviews posted soon.


Valkyrie Rising (Valkyrie #1) 
by Ingrid Paulson
Published: October 9th 2012
by HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages

Goodreads

Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.

My thoughts:

I have mixed feelings about this book. Overall, I liked it, but sometimes it kind of irritated me, so it took me longer than usual to get through it. I'll get on the details in a bit.

The premise might sound familiar for Young Adult Paranormal books: main characters find out about the existence of a supernatural world and their connection to the supernatural creatures living among them, they get pulled into that world, bad things happen, villain shows up, more dangerous things happen, villain is defeated, characters grow stronger by the end of the book and find out more about them and their past. There's also some romance thrown in into the mix. But despite the familiarity, there was something totally original and very interesting about Valkyrie Rising. First, we have the setting: Norway, then, we have the mythology and the supernatural world intertwined with the human world and then the kickass characters. Fascinating!

The synopsis is a little too spoiler-y for my liking, but there were enough twists and turns in the book to keep me interested and engaged in the story.

Ellie is a normal, LA teenage girl. She has problems with her overbearing, overprotective brother and his too-charming-for-their-own-good best friend, but she manages just fine. And then she goes to her grandmother in Norway for the summer and everything changes.

The village where her grandmother lives is kind of creepy. There are all sorts of rumors around it and people look at Ellie and treat her strangely. And when big brother extraordinaine and his trouble-maker friend join her, things get even more interesting - and downright weird and scary. Because there might be some truth behind the whispers in the village and there might be something supernatural and really creepy about the disappearances of all the young boys in the area. And like worrying about that and about Graham being the next capture wasn't enough, Ellie starts to feel the rising of some dark, strange power inside her and the calls of other mythological beings who prowl around.

While my logical self told me to take the car, something primal within me howled that I’d be faster and safer on foot. Invisible. Once the night air filled my lungs, my instincts were honed to a razor-sharp clarity. I could see each leaf on every tree. The wind whispered secrets, carrying to my ears the footfalls of the squirrels and deer in the forest. I could smell the salt in the air and feel the slightest shift in the wind’s direction. Something was happening to me. It was as electrifying as plunging headfirst into ice-cold water—every molecule of my body was alert, awake, and screaming for action. 

There are many secrets in her family and around that place, but she doesn't get a chance to explore them, because a turn of events thrust her into action and all she can do is fight for her life, for the people she cares about and for the innocent lives that got caught in the crossfire. And that was what I loved the most about this book: the action, the suspense, the mystery, the presence of kickass characters, the mythology beings and their badass, action-movie moves...

“Get away from her!” I screamed as I threw the dagger at the Valkyrie. I hadn’t known I had that kind of violence in me until my fingers relaxed, letting the blade fly. One manicured hand snatched the blade from the air without flinching. 

There was never a dull moment in the second part of the book. Except for Ellie's childish behavior and annoying whiny thoughts, that is. Which brings me to what I didn't love about this book: I couldn't really connect with the main character, Ellie. I liked her when she took action and fought for everyone's safety, when she confronted beings so much older, more knowledgeable and powerful than her, when she stood up for her brother and the boy she secretly loved, but that part of her was too much in contrast with the normal, teenage girl. To me, it felt like that immature side of her was a bit forced (not realistic enough); it was like she was made to act dumb, insecure, stubborn, reckless and whiny because that's how teenagers are supposed to behave, not because that's what she was actually like or that's how she really felt. Does this make any sense? Ugh, what I'm trying to say is that, in my opinion, the change from badass Valkyire who can kill everyone in two seconds flat, face some very powerful beings and a Norse God to a whiny, insecure teenager was too abrupt. Of course, she had plenty of moments of strength, determination and courage and that's when I was cheering her on.

I liked her relationship with Tuck, though. They both have feelings for each other, but they've also known each other forever and they don't want to ruin that or to hurt her brother in the process (infamous player going after his best friend's younger sister and all that), so they don't act on those feelings - not right away, anyway. Their banter was priceless (it kind of reminded me of Daemon and Katy from Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout). And Tuck was pretty badass himself, even though he had his own secrets, mood swings and conflicted emotions. Fun, playful and a real charmer. *swoon*

When I looked at him that closely, at those white teeth framed by that deceptively innocent smile, I knew why Tucker Halloway excelled at getting whatever he wanted—especially from girls. And I couldn’t fathom why he was wasting that particular talent on me when bullying and mockery had always been the accepted currency between the two of us. “What do you want?” I asked, instantly wary. “Shouldn’t you be enjoying the party?” His smile curled up at one corner, proof positive he was up to no good.

“I meant, why play games? I get by just fine on looks alone.” His smile was blinding, driving his point home. “Don’t forget your charming personality,” I said, and my stomach flipped when his grin widened at my words. Making Tucker laugh was the best kind of rush. “I hear modesty is quite the aphrodisiac,” I added.

Graham's condescending, overprotective, patronizing attitude got a little on my nerves too, but overall, I liked the secondary characters. They were all unique and had their own important roles in the story. The grandmother was so awesome! Not what you would expect when visiting old relatives on the other side of the world. *thumbs up*

So, like I said, mixed feelings. I loved the action, the setting, the mythology and the characters most of the time, but there were a few moments when I just wanted to get into the book and shake them senseless. Or to throw the book across the room (thankfully, there weren't many of those moments). The writing is engrossing and it flows naturally, so there's a lot of potential to this series. The only other Valkyries I read about were in the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole, but that's an adult romance series, so things were a bit different. Still, I think it's safe to say that they are some of my favorite supernatural creatures in lit, so I'll probably read the next book in this series when it comes out as well!


Get the book: Amazon / B & N / The Book Depository

Stalk the author: Facebook / Twitter / Website


Review: Valkyrie Rising (Valkyrie #1) by Ingrid Paulson

Hey guys!

Long time no see! I hope everyone is doing great!:)

I haven't got that much time to read and blog lately, but I should have a few reviews posted soon.


Valkyrie Rising (Valkyrie #1) 
by Ingrid Paulson
Published: October 9th 2012
by HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages

Goodreads

Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.

My thoughts:

I have mixed feelings about this book. Overall, I liked it, but sometimes it kind of irritated me, so it took me longer than usual to get through it. I'll get on the details in a bit.

The premise might sound familiar for Young Adult Paranormal books: main characters find out about the existence of a supernatural world and their connection to the supernatural creatures living among them, they get pulled into that world, bad things happen, villain shows up, more dangerous things happen, villain is defeated, characters grow stronger by the end of the book and find out more about them and their past. There's also some romance thrown in into the mix. But despite the familiarity, there was something totally original and very interesting about Valkyrie Rising. First, we have the setting: Norway, then, we have the mythology and the supernatural world intertwined with the human world and then the kickass characters. Fascinating!

The synopsis is a little too spoiler-y for my liking, but there were enough twists and turns in the book to keep me interested and engaged in the story.

Ellie is a normal, LA teenage girl. She has problems with her overbearing, overprotective brother and his too-charming-for-their-own-good best friend, but she manages just fine. And then she goes to her grandmother in Norway for the summer and everything changes.

The village where her grandmother lives is kind of creepy. There are all sorts of rumors around it and people look at Ellie and treat her strangely. And when big brother extraordinaine and his trouble-maker friend join her, things get even more interesting - and downright weird and scary. Because there might be some truth behind the whispers in the village and there might be something supernatural and really creepy about the disappearances of all the young boys in the area. And like worrying about that and about Graham being the next capture wasn't enough, Ellie starts to feel the rising of some dark, strange power inside her and the calls of other mythological beings who prowl around.

While my logical self told me to take the car, something primal within me howled that I’d be faster and safer on foot. Invisible. Once the night air filled my lungs, my instincts were honed to a razor-sharp clarity. I could see each leaf on every tree. The wind whispered secrets, carrying to my ears the footfalls of the squirrels and deer in the forest. I could smell the salt in the air and feel the slightest shift in the wind’s direction. Something was happening to me. It was as electrifying as plunging headfirst into ice-cold water—every molecule of my body was alert, awake, and screaming for action. 

There are many secrets in her family and around that place, but she doesn't get a chance to explore them, because a turn of events thrust her into action and all she can do is fight for her life, for the people she cares about and for the innocent lives that got caught in the crossfire. And that was what I loved the most about this book: the action, the suspense, the mystery, the presence of kickass characters, the mythology beings and their badass, action-movie moves...

“Get away from her!” I screamed as I threw the dagger at the Valkyrie. I hadn’t known I had that kind of violence in me until my fingers relaxed, letting the blade fly. One manicured hand snatched the blade from the air without flinching. 

There was never a dull moment in the second part of the book. Except for Ellie's childish behavior and annoying whiny thoughts, that is. Which brings me to what I didn't love about this book: I couldn't really connect with the main character, Ellie. I liked her when she took action and fought for everyone's safety, when she confronted beings so much older, more knowledgeable and powerful than her, when she stood up for her brother and the boy she secretly loved, but that part of her was too much in contrast with the normal, teenage girl. To me, it felt like that immature side of her was a bit forced (not realistic enough); it was like she was made to act dumb, insecure, stubborn, reckless and whiny because that's how teenagers are supposed to behave, not because that's what she was actually like or that's how she really felt. Does this make any sense? Ugh, what I'm trying to say is that, in my opinion, the change from badass Valkyire who can kill everyone in two seconds flat, face some very powerful beings and a Norse God to a whiny, insecure teenager was too abrupt. Of course, she had plenty of moments of strength, determination and courage and that's when I was cheering her on.

I liked her relationship with Tuck, though. They both have feelings for each other, but they've also known each other forever and they don't want to ruin that or to hurt her brother in the process (infamous player going after his best friend's younger sister and all that), so they don't act on those feelings - not right away, anyway. Their banter was priceless (it kind of reminded me of Daemon and Katy from Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout). And Tuck was pretty badass himself, even though he had his own secrets, mood swings and conflicted emotions. Fun, playful and a real charmer. *swoon*

When I looked at him that closely, at those white teeth framed by that deceptively innocent smile, I knew why Tucker Halloway excelled at getting whatever he wanted—especially from girls. And I couldn’t fathom why he was wasting that particular talent on me when bullying and mockery had always been the accepted currency between the two of us. “What do you want?” I asked, instantly wary. “Shouldn’t you be enjoying the party?” His smile curled up at one corner, proof positive he was up to no good.

“I meant, why play games? I get by just fine on looks alone.” His smile was blinding, driving his point home. “Don’t forget your charming personality,” I said, and my stomach flipped when his grin widened at my words. Making Tucker laugh was the best kind of rush. “I hear modesty is quite the aphrodisiac,” I added.

Graham's condescending, overprotective, patronizing attitude got a little on my nerves too, but overall, I liked the secondary characters. They were all unique and had their own important roles in the story. The grandmother was so awesome! Not what you would expect when visiting old relatives on the other side of the world. *thumbs up*

So, like I said, mixed feelings. I loved the action, the setting, the mythology and the characters most of the time, but there were a few moments when I just wanted to get into the book and shake them senseless. Or to throw the book across the room (thankfully, there weren't many of those moments). The writing is engrossing and it flows naturally, so there's a lot of potential to this series. The only other Valkyries I read about were in the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole, but that's an adult romance series, so things were a bit different. Still, I think it's safe to say that they are some of my favorite supernatural creatures in lit, so I'll probably read the next book in this series when it comes out as well!


Get the book: Amazon / B & N / The Book Depository

Stalk the author: Facebook / Twitter / Website


December 11, 2012

Cover Reveal: Back to You by Priscilla Glenn

Hi guys!


Back to You has been on my radar for a while now, it seems to fit my New Adult Contemp addiction just right. So I'm excited to share the new cover with you today!


*Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours


Back to You 
by Priscilla Glenn

Published: October 20th 2012 
by CreateSpace 
Format: Kindle e-book, 328 pages

Goodreads

When Lauren Monroe first laid eyes on Michael Delaney back in high school, she had every reason to stay away from him; within minutes of their first encounter, his volatile actions confirmed his notorious reputation. But Lauren saw something in him that caused her to question his bad-boy persona, and against her better judgment, she took a chance. She had no way of knowing that the unlikely friendship they formed would become so important to her.

Or that it would end so painfully.

Eight years later, when Lauren begins her new job at Learn and Grow Day Care, Michael is the last person she expects to see. Refusing to revisit the hurt and confusion of their past, Lauren vows to keep her distance from him. But staying away from Michael proves to be more difficult than she thought, despite her lingering grief and her instincts for self-preservation.

As Lauren and Michael recall the friendship that changed them forever and the events that tore them apart, will they finally be able to heal? Or will the ghosts of Michael’s past prove to be too much to overcome?


Get the book: Amazon

About the author:


Priscilla Glenn lives in New York with her husband and three beautiful children. She has been teaching English Language Arts at the middle and high school levels for the past eleven years. Glenn has written three books, although Back to You is her first published novel. Her guilty pleasures include great books, good wine, anything chocolate, and Robert Pattinson :)

Find Priscilla: Twitter | Facebook


Let me know what you think!


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