Tuesday, July 31, 2012

500 Follower Giveaway!



We here at The Revolving Bookcase are so excited to have reached the milestone of 500 followers! To show our appreciation, we are having a giveaway just for those followers (and any new ones too!) We picked a few of our favorite books of 2012 so far and a couple new August releases we are super excited about - the winner will get their choice of book from that list in paperback or ebook form! Open to US and International followers as long as The Book Depository ships to your country and they have your chosen book available! Since this is about giving thanks to our followers, you have to follow in some way to enter, but all other entries are optional. Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Contest runs until the 15th. Good luck and thank you!

What can you win? Your choice of one of the following books, there are links to their descriptions in goodreads following the cover pictures(note: Tempting the Best Man is an ebook only, and If I Were You will be pre-ordered as it is being released August 24th):


Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
If I Were You  by Lisa Renee Jones
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Tempting the Best Man by J. Lynn 
(AKA Jennifer L. Armentrout)
Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter
At Last -  by Jill Shalvis
The Prophet - By Amanda Stevens
Firelight - by Kristen Callihan


Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: Grasping at Eternity (The Kindrily Series #1) By Karen Amanda Hooper

                                     Grasping At Eternity (Book 1 of the Kindrily Series)
                                                        Karen Amanda Hooper
                                                             May 25,2012
                                                        Starry Sky Publishing
                                                            e-book 285 pgs
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
        Leave it to Maryah Woodsen to break the one rule that will screw up eternity: Never erase your memories.

Before entering this life, Maryah did the unthinkable—she erased. Now, at seventeen years old, she’s clueless that her new adoptive family has known her for centuries, that they are perpetually reincarnated souls, and that they have supernatural abilities. Oh, and she's supposed to love (not despise) Nathan, the green-eyed daredevil who saved her life.

Nathan is convinced his family’s plan to spark Maryah's memory is hopeless, but his love for her is undying. After spending (and remembering) so many lifetimes together, being around an empty version of his soulmate is heart shattering. He hates acting like a stalker, but has no choice because the evil outcast who murdered Maryah in their last lifetime is still after her.

While Maryah’s hunter inches closer, she and Nathan make assumptions and hide secrets that rip them further apart. Maryah has to believe in the magic within her, Nathan must have faith in the power of their love, and both need to grasp onto the truth before they lose each other forever—and discover just how lonely eternity can be.

X-MEN meets MY NAME IS MEMORY in Karen Amanda Hooper’s latest young adult release.

Review:
       I truly loved the premise of this book. Soulmates, being with someone for centuries, each life different but with the same family and shared history. I am such a hopeless romantic. The story starts off with a bang but then I think it slows a tad and dragged until about halfway though when Maryah and Nathan finally actually meet face to face when they are both conscious.I think what took me a little getting used to was the fact that the author kept alternating between points of view. One chapter would be Maryah then the next would be Nathan. The author did a great job right at the beginning of each chapter letting you know whose point of view it was but it still took me a little bit to get used to. I felt Nathan's pain. He loves Maryah so much and she chose to erase him, he is just so tortured by needing to be near her but not wanting to see her without the love for him in her eyes. Once the story picks up it was hard to put down. As you read you feel the need to get all the answers to so many questions, Why would you choose to forget hundreds of years with your soulmate? Can Maryah get all her memories back? Why are they being hunted? This book was a great start to this series and I am eagerly looking forward to the next one in the series to hopefully get the answers I am looking for.   Oh and I think the cover is just lovely. As you read the story you get the significance of all the parts of the cover and I just think it is done beautifully. 

There is currently a giveaway for this book on Goodreads (until August 18th)
 ENTER HERE


Grasping At Eternity:  3.5/5  stars
Cover:  5/5  stars
                                                                ~~~~~Tanya~~~~~

**Special Thanks to the author, Karen Amanda Hooper, for providing a copy for review. This in no way affected the review content.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

On that fantrain

So my co-blogger Laura has already read and reviewed this book, here.(I agree with everything she said and have nothing to add.) I just wanted to say that I finally read this book and I am on the HUGE FAN TRAIN of Jennifer Armentrout. This book was great! I am so glad I finally got around to reading it and I only have to wait 2 weeks until the next book, Onyx, comes out. I think everyone should read this book, it really is great. I enjoyed the banter between Daemon and Kat, the chemistry was great. This is a must read.

                                                         ~~~~~Tanya~~~~~

Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster
Jamie McGuire
August 14, 2012 (paperback, Atria Books)
(Originally published May 26, 2011)
432 pages



Synopsis: 



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, 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 ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.



**************************************************

Review: 



Explosive. 


That's the best word to describe the passion and emotions that roll through this book.


I had been reading such great things about this book, and now I know why. I love romance novels with great tension and big, passionate conflict. The kind that makes your heart ache to read. This book is LOADED with scenes that do just that. Along with a whole lot of co-dependency and jealous behavior. Almost too much. Which is the only thing keeping me from giving it five stars...it was just a bit too long with too many conflicts and ups and down in the roller coaster ride. I feel like it could have been 50-100 pages shorter and be just as good, if not better for it. The characters are both seriously flawed and have a lot of growing up to do, but how many college students do you know who aren't that way in at least some way? I'm also not a fan of descriptive violence, so I was a little worried about the whole "fight ring" part, but Ms. McGuire does an excellent job at portraying that seedy aspect without being overly graphic, although I could do without the number of fights Travis got into outside of the ring. 


I read this book (all 400+ pages!) in a day...good thing I didn't have to work that day! According to Goodreads, there is another version coming out as told from Travis' POV. Cannot wait for that! 


This is one of those books that I got as an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley, but think I might be buying my own copy as well, because I have a feeling I'm going to want to reread it and lend it to friends. There is a giveaway for print and audio copies of this book going on right now (until August 3rd) on Goodreads - Enter Here






Beautiful Disaster: 4.5/5 stars.
Cover: 5/5 stars. 
Audience Rating: PG-13/R (violence, language, some mildly descriptive sexual content)



Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: Quarantine:The Loners by Lex Thomas



Quarantine: The Loners
Lex Thomas
July 10, 2012
Egmont USA
416 pages, Hardcover


Synopsis: It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High—until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning.

A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school.


**************************************************

Review: From page one, this book grabs you and doesn't let go. What starts out a bit jumpy, smooths out about 30 pages in and compels you to keep reading. The plot, although reminiscent of Trapped by Michael Nothrop and Gone by Michael Grant, still manages to be original enough that you really have no idea what iS going to happen. In a sea of predictable dystopian novels, that is so refreshing.


Having two degrees in biology and biomedical science, it was really hard for me to suspend reality and look past the absurdity of the plot. Even the most virulent of diseases out there would not infect anyone quick enough to kill them in seconds. Hours? maybe. Seconds? no. And if it only kills people past puberty, then why wouldn't the girls, who on average are a year or two ahead, show signs way sooner than the boys? Despite being so preposterous, I somehow was able to move past my incredulity as I became engrossed in the story.


My only other major complaint is that there weren't enough good moments and romance to offset the horrific and graphic violence thrown to you in every other scene. In movies, non-stop action is fine, even desired, but when reading something over the course of days, a nice respite from that is very welcome. It was almost as if the book was written with the intent to make it into an action movie, and humanity was just another casualty of that war. 


Overall, gripping, fast-paced, and unpredictable -- it's going to be difficult to wait a year to see what happens next. 


Quarantine: The Loners: 3.5/5 stars. 
Cover: 4/5 stars
Audience Rating: PG-13 (Strong graphic violence involving teenagers, adult themes, language)





Thursday, July 19, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Different Seasons by Stephen King

                                               

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile. Be sure to check out all the blogs participating using the linky list at the end of the post (if it isn't up when you first read this, check back later in the day, I will update it as soon as the link is up) .


*********************************************************

                        
Different Seasons
Stephen King
Originally Published August 29, 1981
Viking Press
527 pages
There are so many reasons I chose this as this week's Throwback Thursday featured book. First off, it may just be my favorite book of all time, it most absolutely is my favorite Stephen King book. It also has the odd distinction of being one book that's actually a set of novellas that spawned THREE movies. Yes, three. Movies that most people probably don't know were based on Stephen King works: The Shawshank Redemption (based on Rita Hayworth & The Shawshank Redemption), Stand By Me (based on The Body), and Apt Pupil (based on, well, Apt Pupil). As you may have guessed, there is a fourth novella in this set, The Breathing Method, which to my knowledge hasn't been made into a movie, and that's probably a good thing.

I love the layout of this book. The four novellas each represent a different season: Rita Hayworth & The Shawshank Redemption is "Hope Springs Eternal", Apt Pupil is the "Summer of Corruption", The Body is the "Fall from Innocence", and The Breathing Method is "A Winter's Tale". None of them are really what you would call "typical" Stephen King horror, but all are at least somewhat disturbing in their own way. I cannot claim to have read all of King's works, but of  the dozen or so books I have read of his, Rita Hayworth & the Shawshank Redemption is my favorite, and what I think is his best writing ever. For anyone who has seen the movie, you can probably understand why. It's just such a perfect example of all sides of humanity. In just over 100 pages, this world comes alive, and your emotions are stretched to their limits - love, betrayal, anger, frustration, guilt, happiness, and yes, of course, hope. Nearly twenty years after first reading this, I can still remember the way I felt after reading it. Those emotions have stayed with me all this time.

My favorite quotes, one of which I recently published in a Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes post: 

"Some birds are not meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.” 
               and 

“Hope is a good thing - maybe the best thing, and no good thing ever dies.” 
I also love The Body (Stand By Me). It's perhaps one of the best coming-of-age stories out there. Again, such a powerful story full of emotion. I think it really speaks of Stephen King's prowess as a writer that he can write with such breadth not only across stories, but within them as well.

If you are a fan of Stephen King, or even if you're not, Different Seasons is a book that is absolutely worth reading. I think we can all learn something from it.

Different Seasons (as a whole): 5/5 stars

Rita Hayworth & the Shawshank Redemption: 5/5 (can I give 6??)
Apt Pupil: 4/5
The Body: 5/5
The Breathing Method: 3/5


Cover: 4/5 - There are many, many covers out there for this book since it has been around for over 30 years and reprinted many times with some covers featuring the movies as they came out. This cover is the one I first read, but it was blue instead of black-brown. I think I like it best for that reason.







Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes: Respect Canada

Apparently, this past Monday was "Respect Canada Day" here in the US. I admit I had no idea this was a real day, but I do think that our neighbors to the north deserve our respect. So, this week's Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes features quotes about Canada or by Canadians. Thanks for being such great neighbors, and providing us with all those great hockey players. :)




"In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect."
- Bill Clinton
“I love Canada...It is a great country much too cold for good sense, inhabited by compassionate, intelligent people with bad hairdos.” ― Yann Martel, Life of Pi
“How is it that everyone on this train has so much alcohol?""We always head to Canada at the beginning of the season," she says taking her seat again. "Their laws are much more civilized. Cheers.”  ---Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants
“I'd like to add some beauty to life," said Anne dreamily. "I don't exactly want to make people KNOW more... though I know that IS the noblest ambition... but I'd love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me... to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn't been born.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams
“She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.”
― Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient
"There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada with its virile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people. "
- Sir Winston Churchill
"Canada is like your attic, you forget that it's up there, but when you go, it's like "Oh man, look at all this great stuff!"'
- Unknown

Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars
Diana Peterfreund
June 12, 2012
Balzer + Bray
402 pages
Synopsis: It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

****************************************************

     For Darkness Shows the Stars is beautifully written with a unique concept. I definitely felt the Jane Austen influence and although technically a dystopian novel, it felt more like a historical one. It took a little too long to get to the point, and I might have even been a bit bored at first, but the writing is so pretty that I kept on. I loved the secret notes between the young Elliot and Kai at first, but going back and forth in time became annoying and I found myself wanting to skip those sections, but I didn't because they often had helpful back story, which clearly was the author's use for them. They are also some of the only true interaction you actually see of Elliot and Kai that isn't obscured by misconception. By the end of the novel, I wanted to scream at the characters to put aside their pride, open their eyes, and just communicate already!  
     This is a love story, yes, but set against a very interesting struggle between science and religion, painted in a way that I was not exactly sure at first which side the author wanted to win (even later, the message is subtle enough and open to interpretation that I doubt anyone reading it would be offended). I kept picturing the Luddites (of which Elliot is one) as Amish, and although I think that possibly was the intent, I found it a little distracting. 
     After it was over, I was wishing for a sequel - not only to see more of Elliot and Kai, but I actually want to know what happens to this world that Ms. Peterfreund has created. I cannot remember the last time I read a book where that happened. For Darkness Shows the Stars sends a powerful message that will having you thinking way past the last page. 

For Darkness Shows the Stars: 4/5 stars
Cover: 5/5 

Audience: PG-13 (some violence and tough concepts)


*Special thanks to Krista from Nawanda Files for the giveaway of this great book! 





Thursday, July 12, 2012

Throwback Thursday

                                               

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile. Be sure to check out all the blogs participating using the linky list at the end of the post.

                        ************************************************************************
                                                       Through Violet Eyes
                                                      Stephen Woodworth
                                           Originally Published August 31, 2004
                                                         Published by Dell
                                                               333 pages
Synopsis:
      In a world where the dead can testify against the living, someone is getting away with murder. Because to every generation are born a select few souls with violet-colored eyes, and the ability to channel the dead. Both rare and precious—and rigidly controlled by a society that craves their services—these Violets perform a number of different duties. The most fortunate increase the world's cultural heritage by channeling the still-creative spirits of famous dead artists and musicians. The least fortunate aid the police and the law courts, catching criminals by interviewing the deceased victims of violent crime.

But now the Violets themselves have become the target of a brutal serial murderer—a murderer who had learned how to mask his or her identity even from the victims. Can the FBI, aided by a Violet so scared of death that she is afraid to live, uncover the criminal in time? Or must more of her race be dispatched to the realm that has haunted them all since childhood?

                                   ************************************************************** 
 I must admit, that I picked this book up as the cover grabbed my attention. The violet eyes jumped off the shelf at me. Once I started reading I was hooked. It was a unique concept, being able to use people to talk to the dead so no murder would go unsolved or murderer unpunished.This book was unlike anything I was reading at the time I picked it up and it just captivated me. It has it all, murder, mystery, love and heartbreak. It definitely was a page turner for me and I definitely still recommend it to people that want a great murder, mystery. It was a great start to this series. 

                                               ~~~~~ Tanya ~~~~~~






                                    

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes: Loss

A very good friend of mine lost her brother last week. They say to truly know a man, look at those he loves and who love him - if you knew those people like I do, you'd know he couldn't have been anything other than a wonderful, kind, & generous person. And that he was. My heart aches for my friend and her family, as well as for him - knowing his life at the end was so dark, he couldn't find any hope, or any other way out.

This Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes is dedicated to John, to his family & friends, and to all the lost souls out there - I hope you can read these words and know you are not alone, and there is always a way out of the darkness.

Please support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in any way you can. 

Visit www.afsp.org to learn more & to help. 

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on Earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP
“Some things don't last forever, but some things do. Like a good song, or a good book, or a good memory you can take out and unfold in your darkest times, pressing down on the corners and peering in close, hoping you still recognize the person you see there.”
― Sarah Dessen, This Lullaby
“Thomas Edison's last words were 'It's very beautiful over there'. I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.”
― John Green, Looking for Alaska
"...in the sea of grief, there were moments of grace, moments in time when one could remember what was left rather than all that had been lost."  - Kristin Hannah, Night Road
“I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.”― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
“You’ll get over it…” It’s the clich├ęs that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don’t get over it because ‘it” is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never loses. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?”
Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body
"I'll be seeing you;In every lovely, Summer's day;
And everything that's bright and gay;
I'll always think of you that way;
I'll find you in the morning sun;
And when the night is new;
I'll be looking at the moon;
But I'll be seeing you."
-Irving Kahal "I'll Be Seeing You" 
“to love life, to love it evenwhen you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weighs you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you - again.”
― Ellen Bass
"Remember me when I am gone away,         Gone far away into the silent land;
         When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
         You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
         Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
         And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
         For if the darkness and corruption leave
         A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
         Than that you should remember and be sad."
                                                - Christina Rosetti, Remember
"Those of us who knew him best talk about him often...Sometimes it makes me sad, though, Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice, but still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend."                                            - Stephen King, Rita Hayworth & The Shawshank Redemption.
 
*************************************

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: The Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryden

                                                 The Theory of Attraction
                                                        Delphine Dryden
                                                  Published July 9, 2012
                                                          Carina Press
                                                            136 pages
 Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Camilla can set her watch by her hunky rocket-scientist neighbor who jogs past her window each day. She relishes each glimpse of his shirtless abs, and is dying to see more. But it’s hard to connect with a man who doesn’t seem to know she exists…

Ivan feels at home in the lab, not in social situations. When he finally approaches his attractive neighbor, it’s not for a date—he wants tutoring in how to behave at an important fundraiser. Ivan doesn’t expect the chemistry between them to be quite so explosive, and is surprised when Cami actually accepts his proposal to embark on a series of “lessons”.

Cami soon discovers Ivan’s schedule isn’t the only thing he likes to be strict about—he needs to be charge in the bedroom as well. She’s shocked at how much she comes to enjoy her submissive side, but wonders if a real relationship is in the equation

Review: 
      This is a fun and sweet story about an awkward but hot scientist and his lovely female neighbor. I started reading this book and immediately thought of one of my favorite shows, The Big Bang Theory.  The way Ivan describes social situations and how he interacts with people totally reminded me of Sheldon Cooper from the show and I loved it. Camilla has been living next door to Ivan for a few years and over that time she has gradually come to lust after him. When Ivan asks Camilla for her help preparing for a fundraiser at work she see this as an opportunity to finally maybe get a little closer. She gets what she wants and is shocked to learn what secrets the Professor has. Not only does Ivan have a strict schedule he sticks to for his daily routines but he also likes discipline in the bedroom.  I enjoyed watching these two gradually come together and realize what they mean to each other. This was a quick, steamy and fun read. If you are a fan of sexy, nerdy men this one is for you. I enjoyed this a lot and will be looking for other books by this author. 

The Theory of Attraction :    3.5/5
Cover:                                     2.5/5
Audience Rating:   R (18+ only, numerous descriptive sex scenes)
                                                            
                                                            ~~~~~Tanya~~~~~ 

 Note: I received ecopy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This in no way affected the review content.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Christmas in July Giveaway Hop!


Welcome to the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop hosted by Claire Reads & My Pathway to Books! This is the first year we've participated in this fun hop - the only rule is that the prize has to be a secret. But, we can give out clues...So, our prize is the winner's choice of 1 of 5 books, but YOU have to figure out which five they are! You'll know you found the right ones because the Hop button pictured above will be in those reviews on our blog! Here are some clues to help you find the posts:

  • There are 5 different books to choose from.
  • Each book is one we've reviewed on our site and liked (4 or 5 stars).
  • Each book has been reviewed in 2012. 
  • Each book has the color RED or GREEN on the cover somewhere (it might be in a very small part though)! 
  • 3 books were reviewed by Laura, 1 by Tanya, and 1 by BOTH of them (in the same post)! 
Once you've found the books (or at least one of them), fill out the rafflecopter below to enter! (note: you can enter without knowing which book you'll win too - it'll be that much more of a surprise!) You don't have to be a follower, but extra entries if you are! After you're done, make sure to check out the other 27 blogs on the hop for some great prizes (see linky list at the end of this post). Good Luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend
Marie Lu
Novemeber 29, 2011
Putnam
305 pages

Synopsis: What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.


From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

**************************************************


Review: Wow! I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked up this book to read. My sister had told me it was really good, but for some reason, I was reluctant to read it. In fact, I've had this one sitting on my shelf since BEA of LAST year. As soon as I started reading, all that reluctance vanished and I was caught up in a sea of emotions. And boy does it make you feel to read this - it's like an emotional roller coaster. Sadness, frustration, confusion, love, anger, pride... yeah, this one is pretty dark, but it has a few good moments too. And those just feel so right, I cannot wait to see if Day and June get more of them in book two. I can guarantee you, I won't take me another year to read that one, and I just happen to be a lucky one in possession of an ARC from this year's BEA! 

Legend: 4.5/5 stars (avg Goodreads user rating: 4.07)
Cover: 3.5/5 (I thought it was a bit boring - but I like book 2's cover a LOT more - I put a preview below)
Audience rating: PG-13 (lots of violence, witnessed deaths, torture) 



Here's a preview of Prodigy(Book 2)'s cover - isn't it pretty?! To-be-released January 2013. 















Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review: Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn


Rock Me
Cherrie Lynn
May 4, 2010
Samhain Publishing
280 pages



Synopsis:

Loving him couldn’t be worse than losing him. Could it?

Candace Andrews has had enough of pleasing others. In an act of birthday rebellion, she sets out to please herself—by walking into the tattoo parlor owned by her cousin’s ex-boyfriend. All she wants is a little ink, and Brian’s just the guy to give it to her.

As soon as she submits to his masterful hands, though, the forbidden attraction she’s always felt for him resurfaces…and she realizes the devilishly sexy artist could give her so much more.

Sweet, innocent Candace is the last person Brian expected to see again. She’s everything he’s not, and her family despises him. He doesn’t need the hassle, but he needs her, and this time no one is taking her away. Not even those who threaten to make his life a living hell.

Backed into a corner, Candace faces the worst kind of choice. Cave in to those who think Brian is a living nightmare…or hold her ground and risk it all for the one man who rocks her world.

Warning: This book contains explicit sex, naughty language, tattoos aplenty, family drama, a hot rock concert…and a bad boy hero who’s pierced in all the right places.

**********************************************

Review: 
For those of you adults who enjoy the feel of a YA novel, with all it's relationship angst and drama, but wish there could be more "adult" scenes (and actual naming of body parts!) this is absolutely a great choice. I had heard that it was super-steamy and swoon-worthy (which it most definitely was), but was not expecting it to be so touching and heartfelt as well. I usually find the overbearing parent storyline to be really annoying, but this book tackled it in a way that it only hovered there for a moment before moving on. I only wanted to scream at the book in frustration once or twice :) I felt like Cherrie Lynn had her characters walk a fine line between sexy and trashy, but luckily sexy seemed to prevail. As the pseudo-"warning" in the synopsis says, there is certainly enough sex and dirty language to go around, and the interesting and descriptive body piercings were a new subject for me. 

This is book 2 of a series, but I had not read book 1 and didn't really feel I was missing anything. I'm definitely going to go pick it up though. I'd love to read Evan and Kelsey's story! 

Overall, a great, sexy contemporary romance.


Rock Me: 4/5
Cover: 3/5

Audience rating: R (18+ only, numerous very descriptive sex scenes)



Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: Crash Into You by Roni Loren

                                          Crash Into You (Loving On the Edge #1)
                                                           Roni Loren
                                                 Published January 3, 2012
                                                          Berkley Heat
                                                           336 pages 
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
 Brynn LeBreck has dedicated herself to helping women in crisis, but she never imagined how personal her work would get, or where it would take her. Her younger sister is missing, suspected to be hiding from cops and criminals alike at a highly secretive BDSM retreat-a place where the elite escape to play out their most extreme sexual fantasies. To find her, Brynn must go undercover as a sexual submissive. Unfortunately, The Ranch is invitation only. And the one master who can get her in is from the darkest corner of Brynn's past.

Brynn knows what attorney Reid Jamison is like once stripped of his conservative suit and tie. Years ago she left herself vulnerable only to have him crush her heart. Now she needs him again. Back on top. And he's all too willing to engage. But as their primal desires and old wounds are exposed, the sexual games escalate-and so does the danger. Their hearts aren't the only things at risk. Someone else is watching, playing by his own rules. And his game could be murder.


This is the debut novel from Roni Loren and a good start to what could be a fun and interesting series. There were somethings I did not like/enjoy about it but for the most part it was a good read. The story starts out with our heroine Brynn out on a horrible date to a fundraiser for her job. It is there that she runs into the new lawyer starting that week at the Crisis center she works for. The lawyer turns out to be Reid, the only man Brynn has ever loved and the man who introduced her to the BDSM lifestyle 10 years ago. As the story unfolds the author goes back and forth between now and when Brynn & Reid first met and started dating. This is one aspect of the story I enjoyed. I liked reading about how they met and the relationship unfolded. Reid was trying to run from his dark dominant side, thinking it made him a pervert. Brynn just wanted him to be himself and pushed him to be who he truly was. It was interesting to see them tip toe into trying some of the BDSM but that being said it also was a light (and I hate to say it) vanilla BDSM that this book tells about. I have not read a lot of BDSM books but I have read a few other authors who in my opinion do a better job at explaining and telling of the BDSM play & lifestyle. 
  As you read on you learn the reasons of Brynn and Reid's breakup 10 years ago and how when they last met a few years ago Reid destroyed her completely when he defended her mother's murderer in court. Now that they are going to be working together Brynn finds it hard to ignore him especially when he offers to help her find her missing sister. The sparks fly and the mystery is great. I also enjoyed reading about Jace who is the hero of book two in the series. 
   Overall it is a good story with an interesting supporting cast and a murder mystery to solve. I will be looking for book 2 in this series (came out July 2, 2012) to see how Jace's story unfolds. 


Crash Into You:    3/5 stars
Cover:               4/5 stars

                    ~~~~~Tanya~~~~~

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Nobody's Baby But Mine


Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile. Be sure to check out all the blogs participating using the linky list at the end of the post.

****************************************************************************
Congrats! You've found one of the books featured in our Christmas in July Giveaway Hop!

 
                                                  Nobody's Baby But Mine 
                                                   Susan Elizabeth Phillips
                                                  Originally published 1997  
                                                          Harper Collins
                                                             384 pages

Synopsis:
The Plan
Genius physics professor Dr, Jane Darlington desperately wants a baby. But finding a father won't be easy. Jane's super-intelligence made her feel like a freak when she was growing up, and she's determined to spare her own child that suffering. Which means she must find someone very special to father her child. Someone . . . well . . "stupid."
The Target
Cal Bonner, the Chicago Stars' legendary quarterback, seems like the perfect choice. But his champion good looks and down-home ways are deceiving. Dr. Jane learns too late that this good ol'boy is a lot smarter than he lets on -- and he's not about to be used and abandoned by a brainy baby-mad schemer.
The Explosion
A brillant, lonely woman who dreams only of motherhood . . . A take no-prisoners tough guy who'll settle for nothing less than surrender . . . Can passion and physical attraction propel two strong-willed yet vulnerable people to a totally unexpected love?
                     ********************************************************************************** 

 I enjoy romantic comedies. Romance and laughter are some of the best medicine to cure whatever ails you. In my opinion Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes some of the best romantic stories around and is honestly one of the only authors around that can actually have me laughing out loud at some of her scenes as I am reading.(In this story there is one particular scene involving a car and lucky charms cereal.) This story starts out with a "brainy heroine" wanting to get pregnant and posing as a hooker to get a "dumb jock" to help her with that. What evolves from that is a story about not judging a book by its cover and a great enemies to lovers relationship. It also has a fun cast of supporting characters. I just think you can not go wrong with a Susan Elizabeth Phillips book when you want a fun, relaxing romance to read.


Nobody's Baby But Mine:    4/5 stars
Cover:  3/5 stars  ( some of the newer editions have better covers)                                    ~~~~~Tanya~~~~~

I completely agree with Tanya - when it comes to romantic comedies, Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes some of the best. I also remember laughing out loud at the lucky charms scene in this book and at least one or two others as well. I thought the premise was a bit idiotic (a very intelligent woman wanting dumber kids so they wouldn't get picked on, really???), but once I got past that, I really enjoyed the book. It's one that I still remember many years later.  

Nobody's Baby But Mine: 4/5 stars
Cover: 3/5 (I agree - this one is not the best) 




Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes: Independence Day!

Happy Birthday America! 




“My country owes me nothing. It gave me, as it gives every boy and girl, a chance. It gave me schooling, independence of action, opportunity for service and honor.”― Herbert Hoover
"O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea."
          -Katharine Lee Bates, America the Beautiful
"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy."
     -John Adams
"All men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
   -Thomas Jefferson, In the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
"When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea.  He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect."  ~Adlai Stevenson
 “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”  - Franklin D. Roosevelt








Tuesday, July 3, 2012

We've been blurbed!

Cursed
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Expected Publication: Sept. 18, 2012
Spencer Hill Press

My first blurb! 

"Jennifer L. Armentrout writes it like no one else. In my opinion, she is the queen of romantic paranormal YA fiction. For those who love Obsidian and Half-Blood, Cursed is a must-read. You will not be disappointed!" 

I am so excited! I received an ARC of Cursed from the publisher at BEA this year - you may remember that I posted how excited I was to get to meet Jennifer not once, but twice, since she is one of my new favorite authors. Of course, Cursed was one of the first books I read after BEA because I knew if it was anything like Obsidian or Half-Blood, I would love it. Well, love it I did, and with it fresh in my mind, I wrote my review, and then sent a copy to editor Kate Kaynak @ Spencer Hill Press. And... they quoted my review for a blurb on the jacket cover! Of course, now I'm going to buy a bunch of copies and have some awesome giveaways to go along with my review and the release in September. Make sure you come back then! For now, here is a synopsis of the book, and a tease of my review:


Synopsis:
Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.
Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?
But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.
Review teaser:
My favorite part of romance novels is the tension and build-up, and Jennifer L. Armentrout writes it like no one else. In my opinion, she is the queen of romantic paranormal YA fiction. 
In a few short months, I have devoured every one of her books, starting with Obsidian and the Covenant series -- and now with Cursed, she has hooked me again. She just loves to frustrate us readers by erecting barriers - whether society rules and taboos, or in this case, physical issues - which keep young lovers apart. But, that frustration only fuels the fire of romance and keeps us reading to find out how it will all work out (and we know it has to, because YA/paranormal or not, they are all still romance novels at heart!).  
Cursed brings us into the world of Ember McWilliams, a high school senior who was killed in a car accident two years ago, and then miraculously brought back to life by the special touch of her younger sister, Olivia. But, that event apparently awakened her own "gift" -- killing anything living she touches. What she thinks of as a curse, has made her an outsider with very few friends and an obvious lack of a love life. Enter Hayden Cromwell. A mysterious boy with a "gift" of his own who promises refuge and help controlling her gift. He gives her hope that maybe she doesn't have to be quite so alone in this world...but only if she can trust him. Which means trusting his family, who may or may not have had a role in the accident that caused her father's death and brought upon her curse... 
Full review to follow in September! Hope to see you then!