Where reading is a way of life

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Deuce Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Deuce (Vortex #3)
Release Date: 2014

Summary from Goodreads:
The epic conclusion to The Vortex Series coming soon!

In an instant everything changes for seventeen-year-old Cassie Moore. Together she and her time-traveling boyfriend, Trent Astor, battle to survive their next impossible challenge. As they navigate through a third parallel world in which Cassie begged Trent to create for her, the two soon discover that no world can be made perfect.

And while they fight through their new circumstances, the universe may just have its own agenda for them both.

With DEUCE, the 3rd and final book of The Vortex Series, Janine Caldwell combines fantasy and romance to create a compelling love story of integrity and sacrifice.

My rating: 4 stars
My 2 cents:  Over the last week, I've read the entire trilogy, so this will actually be a review over the trilogy as a whole.

I really enjoyed it.  I have really gotten into the whole time travel/sci-fi YA scene lately, and I especially love time travel books that have their own take on the phenomenon.  The Vortex series turned it into almost a paranormal ability given to Trent (Jeremy) by nature.  I really loved this take on it!

The only thing that was a little annoying was the whole "Twilight" feel to the basic plot.  This didn't last long, and its not a Twilight knock off, but it has that old tired paranormal boy-with-powers-saves-normal-girl-who-then-falls-in-love-with-him-but-he-must-stay-away-or-she-will-be-in-danger thing.  This was really the only negative I could find with the books, and it didn't bother me that much.  After it gets going, that whole comparison disappears anyway, because the rest of the story is so unique!

The story is a dual POV between Cassie and Trent, which I really liked.  It was nice to see Trent's side of things, especially when he was acting like a total boy and I just wanted to shake him!  Overall, I did like him, but I didn't feel that "book boyfriend" connection I wanted.  Later in the books that becomes more clear!  Cassie was a great MC, and my favorite character without a doubt.  I also really loved Trent's sister, Lorelai.  She was probably the most complex character in the story.  All the other characters are pretty bit parts and don't play a huge role.  The story is really about Trent, Cassie and Lorelei.  

This was a great read, and if you are into time travel or sci-fi, I definitely recommend it!

Goodreads links for series:

Buy Links:

About the Author
Janine Caldwell was born in Concord, CA and raised in the small San Francisco Bay Area town of Clayton. Four days after high school graduation, Janine attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a degree in English.
Janine now lives in Anthem, AZ with her husband and two sons. As a lifelong literature fanatic, she knew it was only a matter of time before she would become obsessed with writing her own work. With relatives like the Brothers Grimm and Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), she figured fantasy writing had to be in her DNA.

Books published by Janine include Visited, a YA coming-of-age fantasy, Rematch andDouble Fault–the first two books of The Vortex Series. The final book in this YA fantasy romance, Deuce, will be released soon.

Author Links:

10 ebooks of Deuce (via smashwords coupon) (INT)

Contest is void where prohibited. Entrants must be 13 or else have parent or guardian’s permission to enter. Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner’s name will be selected. Winning entries will be verified for authenticity.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Hosted by:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fire Country Book Birthday + Giveaway + Interview with David Estes!

Today, Fire Country by David Estes turns one year old. In the first year since Fire Country was born, so much has happened. David signed with an agent, sold more than 10,000 books, wrote five more books and published a further three). He knew he just had to celebrate and he'd love for you to be a part of it! David owes so much of his support to the blogger community, and he wants everyone to have the chance to be a part of the Fire Country Birthday Bash.
Everyone goes home a winner, simply follow the prompts below and swipe your eCopy of Fire Country from Smashwords. Read and leave a review on Amazon if you enjoyed it. Feel free to share the code with your friends, family, neighbours and literary inclined pets.
Coupon Code: WH62C
Expiration: March 1, 2014
What's a party without prizes? Yes, David is not only giving everyone a chance to download their own copy of Fire Country, book one in the Country Saga for free, but he's also giving you stuff too. You could win an Amazon giftcard open internationally, U.S residents can win a signed copy of the David Estes book of your choice, or a handful of David Estes eBooks of your choice. Awesome.
Visit David via his Blog  Facebook • Twitter and via Goodreads
Pay Perry the Prickler a visit on Twitter and Goodreads
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now, on to the interview!

Welcome, David, it’s great to have you on the blog again! Today we are celebrating Fire Country's 1st Book Birthday! Do you want to tell us more about it?

Thanks so much for having me on your awesome blog again, Jenny! When I wrote Fire Country, it was a huge surprise for me. Normally I plan out my writing schedule at least a year in advance, but this particular book came out of nowhere. I was in the midst of writing the sequel to The Moon Dwellers, my YA dystopian series that takes place completely underground, when a voice started talking in my head. Her name was Siena and she lived aboveground. That changed everything for me. Her voice was so strong and she clearly had a story to tell, so that got me thinking about writing a sister series to the Dwellers Saga. When it all came together in my mind, it was a huge epiphany. I knew the two trilogies would have to eventually come together in a 7th book that tied the plots and the characters into one story.

So I finished the two sequels to The Moon Dwellers, and then wrote Fire Country, a book about a tribe of people struggling to survive in a desert-like environment. They created their own harsh laws meant to help them survive and grow their tribe, but one girl, Siena, questions everything as she fights to unravel the secrets the tribes’ leaders have been keeping.

Now the series is complete, with all seven books out, and I couldn’t be happier with how it all came together, something I was very worried about as I embarked on my writing journey! It seems like I published Fire Country only yesterday, so when I realized it had been a year, I knew I had to celebrate with a big event to let anyone who wanted a FREE ebook of Fire Country to have the chance to read it!

So it’s been a year since Fire Country came out, and all kinds of crazy awesome things have happened to you since then! What has been the most surprising thing that has happened to you in the last year?

Honestly, I’m shocked at all that has happened since I wrote Fire Country, especially since so much of it has seemingly come out of nowhere. There are really two major surprising things that happened this year, which are somewhat linked together.

In early June of 2013 I started getting Tweets and Facebook/Goodreads messages congratulating me on The Dwellers Saga being included on a popular Buzzfeed article called “15 Series to Read if you Enjoyed The Hunger Games.” I said, “What?” I hadn’t heard anything about this until after it happened and my friends and readers started telling me about it. I went to the article and was flabbergasted to find my series listed amongst 14 other bestselling series, many of which had movie deals, including Divergent, Graceling, and The Mortal Instruments. And then came the spike in book sales. After the article, sales of The Moon Dwellers and its sequels really picked up, more than tripling.

Three weeks later I was incredibly happy that all my hard work was finally paying a few of our bills. I was still a poor, struggling Indie author, but at least we’d stopped eating through our savings completely. That’s when the next amazing thing happened.

A literary agent who I’d been rejected by before, Andrea Hurst & Associates, contacted me. They’d received a message from a film production company expressing interest in the film option for The Moon Dwellers. I’d written a testimonial for Andrea Hurst & Associates a while back, and apparently that had linked me to her agency on Google, which is why the film production company contacted her. She said she’d given them my contact information, and then she asked how things were going since I’d last spoken to her two years earlier. (Note: by this point I’d given up on finding an agent and had stopped querying.) I responded and thanked her and updated her on my exciting news about the Buzzfeed article and the recent success my series had had.

We traded a few more e-mails, but long story short, she wanted to read to my book and discuss potential representation. Two weeks later I’d received a formal offer of representation from Andrea Hurst & Associates, changing my life forever. Since then my sales have more than doubled again, putting them more than six times the level they were at before the Buzzfeed article, which means more readers get to experience the story I created, which is a dream come true.

My agent (I still can’t believe I get to say those words!) and I are currently seeking a publisher for my new YA novel

Give us a prediction of what you think your life will be like one year from now.

Oh gosh, I have no real idea, Jenny! There’s so much uncertainty at the moment that there are many possibilities. Just because I have an agent who’s opening doors for me that I never thought would be opened, doesn’t mean those same doors won’t be slammed in my face in a month or two. Although I HOPE I will have at least one book published by a major publisher, there are no guarantees in this business. For now, I’m staying optimistic, but realistic, continuing to write, and focusing on enjoying being able to live out my dream. At the end of the day, I’m so proud to have the amazingly loyal readers that I have, and it’s my goal to always entertain them with my new books.

One thing I do know, however, is that regardless of whether I find a publisher that’s the right fit for me and my books, I’ll continue to write and publish for a long time to come.

I love the cover for Fire Country. Who designed it? Did you give any input to the artist?

Ooh, I’m so glad you asked this because I LOVE the cover too! The cover design was done by Regina Wamba at MaeIDesign. In terms of input, my wife, Adele, and I always work together on the concept for my book covers, which we then present to our graphic designer, in this case Regina. We also selected the stock photo of Siena. So we do have quite a lot of input, but then we relied on Regina’s talent to bring all the elements together into an awesome cover that would stand out amongst the myriad YA books that are out there!

Fire Country spends some time on the topic of bullying, which makes this book really relevant to today's kids. In your opinion, has bullying changed much since you were a kid? And what do you think is the answer to the problem of bullying?

Another awesome question and I’m so glad you noticed the theme of bullying in the book. Although it wasn’t originally my intention to write a book about a girl who was bullied, this was Siena’s story to tell, and unfortunately, she had to withstand quite a lot of bullying.

From what I can tell, bullying hasn’t changed much since I was a kid. I can’t pretend like I was traumatized from bullying as a kid, but I did have a number of experiences with it, both toward me and toward other kids. It has to stop, plain and simple. The awful stories of teenagers committing suicide because of being bullied should be a wake-up call to our society, and yet they are mostly ignored.

I believe there are two major things that have to change:
1) Bullying in the entertainment industry: Let’s face it, as much as we wish parents had all control over molding the people their children will become, it’s TV, movies, and the internet that plays a major role in how they think. When I see reality TV shows such as American Idol focusing on the worst singers, many of whom seem to have some form of mental illness, and mock them, laugh at them, and basically make them feel horrible about themselves, it sends a clear message to our children: bullying is OK. I applaud the rival show, The Voice, for going in the opposite direction and only giving airtime to talented singers who should be the focus of these “singing” shows. On that show, they build people up, rather than tearing them down. Shame on American Idol for exacerbating the bullying problem. As a side note, I have noticed that the most recent season of American Idol has been giving less airtime to the terrible singers and more time to the talented ones, but it’s still not enough. They need to go all the way! This is just one example, but there are numerous others.

2) Bullying education and consequences: This is a hard one, because each situation is so unique that it’s hard to make blanket rules to cover bullying. That being said, there need to be harsher rules and more education, and kids need to feel empowered to stand up for themselves without fear of retribution. Many kids who are bullied and are later asked why they didn’t tell anyone say “I didn’t want to make it worse.” That’s the wrong message. Our kids shouldn’t feel afraid to raise their hand and say they’re being bullied for fear of being bullied more. Now I’m not saying that it’s only schools and educators responsible for handing out punishments for bullying. It’s us as parents, too. Although we love our children, we can’t always assume they are the perfect human beings we hope we raised. We need to open our eyes to the fact that our kids might be bullies and in need of an attitude change.

These are just a couple of my thoughts and I’m sure there are many other solutions possible by people who have far more experience than I. In any case, one of my goals with Fire Country is to show kids the power of perseverance and standing up for oneself. It’s the story of a bullied girl who overcomes her perceived shortcomings to do extraordinary things.

If you could go back and change one thing in Fire Country, would you, and would what it be?

You know, that’s a tough one, because I’m not one to live in regret. Even my earlier works, which are full of plenty of flaws, are all part of my journey and growth as a writer. With Fire Country, I might consider toning down some of the hints I gave to the twists that occur later in the book. A few of my readers thought some of the big twists were a little too predictable, while others surprised them. I would have liked all the twists to be surprises, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

Let's play a little game of “What If?” If you were in jail for any length of time, when you were released, what is the first AND second thing you would do?

Ha! Love it! First…hug my wife and family. Second…eat something I love that I didn’t get to eat while in prison. Maybe lobster tail or a hamburger or something. So yeah, family and food, in that order!

Still playing the “What If?” game—If you were stuck on a deserted island with no other people, what are 5 things you'd like to have with you (not people)?

Ugh, I already feel like Tom Hanks in Cast Away! Okay, here goes, I’m not going to cheat and say anything that could help me get rescued, like flares or a satellite phone or anything like that…

1) A mint-condition boxed set of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. This has been my favorite series since I was a kid, and would do wonders to pass the time.

2) A good, sharp knife. It would really come in handy for all kinds of things, like making shelter and foraging for food.

3) A sturdy fishing pole. Fish would undoubtedly be a major part of my survival.

4) A thick tarp. Tarps are extremely useful and would help me stay dry!

5) Waterproof matches. Eventually I’d have to learn to make fire without them, but it would help to have a little while to learn without having to eat raw fish!

Do you have any other talents or hobbies besides writing?

Well, I guess technically I’m pretty good with numbers and accounting, since I did that for almost ten years before becoming a full time writer, but it’s not exactly a talent I brag about!

I’m also quite good at most sports, which I love playing in my free time. I’ll play pretty much any sport, and tend to pick them up quickly. I love competing and sweating and challenging myself.

You are a very hard working writer, writing every day of the week. How do you keep yourself motivated?

Thanks for noticing! For me it’s just part of the way I’m built. Anything I do I like to do 110%. When I decided to be a full time writer, which was always a dream of mine, I promised myself that even if I wasn’t the most talented writer in the world, I’d be the hardest working one. So although it might seem like I’m a bit of a workaholic—I do write seven days a week—I get to work on my terms and my schedule, because I’m my own boss. I usually work four hours in the morning (writing), take time off for lunch and to enjoy the afternoon with my wife, and then get back to work in the evening (promoting and business side).

I’m motivated to keep up my manic schedule and aggressive publishing timeline because I want to achieve my dream of being a career writer. I don’t want to go back to working in a cubicle doing something I don’t really want to do. So I’ll work as hard as it takes to allow me to write for a living. Another thing that motivates me is my readers. I get quite a lot of positive messages and reviews from them, and those are HUGE in making me smile and keeping my motivated to write an even better book the next time for them. All I want is for them to get great enjoyment out of reading my books.

You and your lovely wife Adele are just finishing up your two year trip around the world. Which place was your favorite that you visited? Why?

The last two years have truly been an amazing experience, one I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy with my best friend. Adele is the most important person in my life, and I wouldn’t have wanted to do a world trip with anyone else. Honestly, we loved EVERY place we visited, which is a testament to what an incredible world we live in and how many genuinely good people there are.

If I had to pick just one as my “favorite” for the trip, however, I’d go with Morocco. For me, the main reason was because of how different it was to every other place we visited. In a lot of ways, it was like stepping back in time. The country has so much to offer in terms of diversity as well. One day we’d be in lazy beach town, the next in a hot manic city, the next in the middle of a desert oasis with giant sand dunes all around us, and the next in the chilly mountains. And each place was beautiful in its own way.

Do you ever think you'll ever branch out and write different genres? Say a romance? Or a contemporary?

YES! Although I’ve clearly focused on YA dystopian and post-apocalyptic books thus far, and will continue to do so for the next year or so, I love all different genres and have many book ideas to try out. I’d love to write a standalone contemporary at some point (I already have a title for the book and plot worked out), as well as a high fantasy novel (still working the kinks out of this idea). I’m also hoping to write more children’s books, continuing my The Adventures of Nikki Powergloves series, which is about a girl superhero. Usually all my books have a touch of romance in them, but I won’t go so far as to say I’ll ever write a “romance” novel ;)

So yes, I absolutely hope to surprise my readers along the way with new ideas in all different genres.

And what has been your favorite moment so far on your journey as a writer?

You saved the toughest question of all for last! Picking favorites has never really been my thing, but if I had to narrow it down to one moment that really changed my life, it was when my agent said she loved my new book and that she couldn’t wait to start pitching it to major publishers. It was like all the hard work, long hours, stressing over reviews, and self-doubt had been smashed together into a single moment when one person validated everything I’d been working towards. Even if this particular novel isn’t sold to a publisher, I finally know that I’m capable of having my books on the same shelves as the books of the authors I look up to. And that means the world to me.

Thanks so much, Jenny, I loved this interview and it’s always fun stopping by your incredible blog!!

Thank you, David, its always a pleasure to have you!  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Just Like a Musical Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Just Like a Musical
Release Date: 12/15/13

Summary from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Ruby Fields has always lived by the rules set up by her foolishly overprotective mother. As a result, she doesn't go to school, she's never been kissed, and almost everything she knows about life is what she has learned from old movies.

But now...now there's this Joshua guy. He's quirky, and he's tall, and he uses “romantic” and “old-fashioned” in the same sentence.

And there's Mrs. Wheeler, an eccentric retired Hollywood costume designer and Ruby's new best friend.

When Mrs. Wheeler ends up in hospital, just after telling Ruby her long-kept secret, Ruby decides to break her mother's rules and embark on a journey that will change her life forever.

Buy Links:

About the Author
Milena Veen was born in Belgrade, Serbia. Her first piece of writing, a poem about a walking cherry, saw the light of the day when she was seven. She's been writing ever since.

Milena graduated from University of Belgrade with a degree in psychology. She lives in a little European town with her husband and a mute cat. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading, riding her bicycle, and listening to music. She prefers clouds to sunshine and coffee to tea. 

Author Links:

My rating: 4 stars
My 2 cents

I really enjoyed this contemporary!  I loved the quirky characters, impossible situations, and just some of the randomness of the story!

Ruby is not your normal 17 year old.  She is homeschool, and her life is ruled by her very overprotective mother.  Ruby just longs for friends and adventures.  She finds both in this fun, strange story!

The best thing about this book was definitely Ruby's character, and her love interest, Joshua.  Joshua suffers from Tourettes, which makes him appear strange to most people, but Ruby is one of the few people in this world who can see past the physical.  

My one complaint was definitely Ruby's mother.  I felt like I didn't get enough of a sense of her character.  Most of the time, I thought she was evil, but then there were times she just seemed stupid, and then she would do things that seemed completely out of character.  I would have liked more to the story in exploring Ruby and her mom's relationship.

I really enjoyed this story, and really appreciated the somewhat realistic ending.  A great, fun read!

$25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

Contest is void where prohibited. Entrants must be 13 or else have parent or guardian’s permission to enter. Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner’s name will be selected. Winning entries will be verified for authenticity.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 17, 2014

Touching Sky CD Blog Tour + $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Touching Sky Touching Sky With a fresh and energizing sound, Stephanie Boyd’s debut album Touching Sky will put a smile on your face and a skip in your step. Unique lyrics, heartfelt vocals and top quality production will inspire and uplift you. With brand new original songs and a novel take on some favorite hymns, this CD will stay with you every day of the week.
  Music Video StephanieAbout Stephanie Growing up in New York, Stephanie was drawn to the power of music from a young age. While she was originally trained in classical singing, Stephanie always gravitated towards more upbeat and modern music. With her debut album, Touching Sky, Stephanie combines her love of traditional messages with fresh music. Since moving to Utah, Stephanie has worked closely with well-known artists including Jenny Phillips, Tyler Castleton, and Michael McLean. She was also featured soloist with Sally DeFord. She has a master’s degree in environmental science she and her husband have enjoyed building and selling businesses together. Stephanie is married with four children (and one on the way!) and likes to read, garden, run and bake fun birthday cakes.  
  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/9/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

My rating: 5 stars
My 2 cents:

I LOVED this CD!  Christian music is not the norm for me to listen to, although I like it fine.  I really like the more modern kind of stuff if I'm going to listen to it, and this CD was great in that aspect!  Everything sounded so fresh and new!  The CD cover is perfect as well--that is how Stephanie will make you feel!  Happy, alive, and like your own ray of sunshine!  I loved the positive messages in the lyrics, and how I felt like a new person after listening to these songs!

Track 1  Today
This song was a great start to the CD.  I would describe this song as plucky and fun, and really sets the tone for the CD.

Track 2   I Am Divine
The lyrics in this song make me think of Katy Perry's "Firework."  Its all about how wonderful you are as an individual, and encourages the listener to love themselves just as they are.

Track 3  He Will Provide the Way
This song is all about trusting God, and to know you are on the right path, even when you feel lost.  I enjoyed this one a lot, is has a great hook!

Track 4   Storm Before the Calm
This is one of my favorite songs on the CD.  It starts out a little dark and brooding, but slowly gets going to a wonderful chorus.  This song stayed in my head for hours, love it!

Track 5   Good for the Soul
This is a beautiful ballad.  The lyrics remind us to slow down and live in the moment more often.  Stephanie's voice is absolutely beautiful and heavenly in this song!

Track 6 Enlisted
Easily my favorite song of the CD.  Beautifully arranged.  It starts out kind of slow, and builds and builds all the way till the end.  The words are clever, and I love the message of fighting by practicing our faith.   

Track 7   It's OK to Be Happy
The tile of this song describes it perfectly.  This is definitely a happy song, and will make you want to get up and dance!

Track 8   Waiting for My Rainbow
I didn't enjoy this song as much as the other tracks.  Its beautiful, but it was almost too saccharine for me.  The song itself is about hope, and has a great message.

Track 9   Rise Up
Another positive song with a positive message!  A very empowering song!

Track 10   Eyes To See
I actually think this one would be a great song for Christmas.  It sounds like a prayer of someone who wants give herself to others and make the world a better place.  Just beautiful.

Track 11  Scatter Sunshine
The final track of the CD has a folksy jazzy feel to it, which makes it very different from every other track.  This is one of those songs that grows on you.  The more you listen to it, the more you'll love it!

Overall, if you love happy music that makes you feel good about yourself and your world, this CD is definitely for you!  Its seriously one of the best CDs I've listened to in a long while!  The lyrics, the music, the melodies, and Stephanie's beautiful voice...absolutely LOVED it!

Thank you so much, Stephanie, for sending me your CD.  My daughter and I will probably wear it out listening to it!  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Haul 2/10

Time for another book haul!  This one wasn't huge, but I did get some good stuff!

Review Books

Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas
Fugitive X by Gregg Rosenblum
Lily Alone by Jacqueline Wilson
The Last Forever by Deb Caletti
Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols
Killer Instict by S E Green
Three by Kristen Simmons
Divergent Thinking by Leah Wilson


Serendipity Falls by Patrice Wilton
Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L Armentrout

Library Books

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Across A Star Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
Eygptomania by Bob Brier

Purchased Books

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Princess Elizabeth's Spy b Susan Elia MacNeal
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman

All the books I purchased except Bloodlines, were purchased in a thrift store, so I got a heck of a deal!  Bloodlines I picked up at Walmart.  Total impulse buy, but I've been wanting to read it for awhile, and none of my libraries have it!

So a great haul overall!  I'm very excited about Killer Instict, Three, and The Last Forever!  What did you get this week?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

YA Authors Q&A Events + Giveaway!

I'm sure all of you book lovers are just like me, and jump up and down with joy anytime you get the chance to interact with a writer you like.  I'm actually excited to talk to any writer, as I think they are incredible people!

I am a mod of David Estes Fan Group and YA Book Lovers Unite group on Goodreads, and I am the events coordinator.  And we have planned out an incredible year for 2014!  We have several BIG authors coming to our group over the next few months, and lots of them are giving away signed books and swag for participiating!  This is your chance to ask an author your questions on your favorite books!  We have done several Q+A events already, and they are so much fun!

Here's the schedule we have so far!

Lissa Price Feb 6-9th

Jodi Meadows Feb 10-13

Rysa Walker Feb 17-20

Mindy McGinnis Feb 24-27

Elizabeth Norris March 3-6th

Katie McGarry March 10-13th

Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner March 17-20th

Sharon Cameron March 24-27

Dan Wells May 5-8th

What an amazing list!  And we add to it all the time!  We also still have all our Q+A threads to read through, which are so fun!  You can learn more about Hugh Howey, Jennifer A. Nielsen, Ilsa J. Bick, Kat Zhang, Laurie Stolarz, Cristin Terrill, Mike Mullin, Susan Dennard, and Barry Lyga!  Check it out!  And we hope to see you at any of the upcoming Q+A events!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February Random Reads

I love this challenge because its monthly, so you can participate as much or as little as you want!  Its hosted over at I'm Loving Books 

In January, my book was 

I did finish it, and I gave it 4 stars!  Its a very good read.  Each chapter is a little short story about a character that lives in this little town on the east coast.  And each has a different view of Olive Kitteridge, an intimidating woman who seems to be involved in everyone's lives somehow.  We also get a few chapters from her POV.  What I loved was how the story and her character were built up over the course of the novel, and before you realized it, you loved Olive, and really felt for her!  This book was very well written!

The details:

In short, Random Reads is a meme where we pick a random book from our shelf to read within the month. Feel free to do more than one per month, but since a lot of people have a lot of books to read each month, only one is “required” for the meme. I’m on Goodreads so I’m using a combination of the sorting feature and Random.org to pick the book I’m going to read.
It’s easy…
  1. If you’re on Goodreads enable sorting to your to-read shelf (you should see numbers next to each book now).
  2. Go to Random.org and type in the Min as 1 and the Max as how many ever books are on your to-read shelf. Or you can enter a smaller number as the Max in order to always pick books that have been on your TBR shelf for longer.
  3. Scroll down to the book matching the number Random.org picks.
  4. Link up to your Random Reads post (below). If you choose more than one book per month, be sure to put a number by your name in the list so it doesn’t look like a duplicate.
  5. Read and be merry. :)
If you’re not on Goodreads just pick a random book from your list in whatever way you want to do it. You can use the method I used above or even just close your eyes and point randomly at a book on your bookshelf if you want (spin the bottle style). lol

For February, I picked 5 books off of my physical bookshelves.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
Sweep Vol I by Cate Tiernan
Possession by Nancy Holder
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

I was thrilled with all of these!  And also nice variety! Sweep is actually a bind up of the first 3 books in the series.  They are about 200 pages each, so I'm not sure if I'll get all 3 read, but I'll definitely read the first book!

Then I picked a book off of my Nook

Here by Denise Grover Swank

And I picked a book off of my Kindle account

Mer by Jade M Phillips

So, I have plenty to read for books on my shelves!  Wish me luck!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Book Haul 2/3/13

Time for another book haul!  I actually did not buy any physical books in the last few weeks or so, but I got plenty of ebooks, eARCs, and library books!

Here we go!

Books for Review

Second Star by 
The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher
Ivy In Bloom: Poems of Spring by from Great Poets and Writers of the Past
The Orphan and the Thief by M.L. LaGette
The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
The Truth About Brave by Karen Hood-Caddy
Saving Quinton by Jessica Sorenson
The Paper Sword by Robert Priest
Sunrise by Mike Mullin


The Woodlands by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
Feed by Mira Grant
Out of Time by Monique Martin
The Emporer's Edge by Linday Burokers

Library Books

Altered by Gennifer Albin
Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel
Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett
A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Renegade by J.A. Souders

Whew!  What a haul!  Now I just need to find some more time to read them all!
What did you get this week?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Indelible by Dawn Metcalf

384 pages, YA Paranormal/Fantasy
The Twixt #1
My rating: 4 stars


Some things are permanent.


And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.

Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future...and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

Somewhere between reality and myth lies…


My 2 cents

This book was an interesting spin on fairies and the fey. Joy has "the sight" and sees Ink in a crowded club. To protect her, Ink actually tries to blind her (?!) but fails, and instead, marks her as his. So Joy is forced to play the dangerous game of his liaison to the fey so she doesn't wind up dead.

This version of the fey makes me think a little of Julie Kagawa's The Iron Fey, just in their ruthlessness. Being Ink's liaison doesn't completely protect Joy, she is kidnapped a few times and brutally injured. There was always something going on, and Joy was in constant danger, which kept the plot moving fairly quickly. I was completely hooked through most of the story.

The book does have its flaws, but they were pretty minor to me. There are a lot of cliches, which is to be expected in a fairy story. The biggest one being that even though Ink tried to blind Joy, she falls in love with him. Let's see, where have we heard that before?

But overall there was plenty of action and mystery going on, and a few big twists towards the end. I was expecting the main one, but it played out a little differently than I though it was going to, so I give the author extra points for her creativity! If you enjoy books about the fey, you will love this one!