Follow & Feature { 07 } I'm Featured!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. The two blogs they are featuring this week:  Books are my reality . & Concise Book Reviews.

Woot! I made FF feature this week :0) I'm so excited! Be sure to drop by Parajunkee to check out her interview questions with me. Thank you Parajunkee & Alison Can Read!
Q: Summer Reading. What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school?

Geez, can I remember that far back? LOL.

Well, I remember four that I really liked: The Iliad, To Kill a Mockingbird, And Then There Were None and Great Expectations. Between those four, I think my favorite would have to be And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I loved the whole setting, the plot, the characters, the mystery and ooh, the creepiness. I read it back in 7th grade and I still remember it... to this day.

So that's it for this week! Let me know if you're a new follower or old. Please be patient with me, I will respond back to everyone :0) And be sure to sign up & participate in #FF!

What's Next { 01 }

A meme, hosted by Iceybooks, in which every Thursday, I select three to five books that I want to read, but can't decide which to read first. I post the cover & synopsis of each book and ask readers and participators to vote on which of my three to five book selections to read first!

I've picked up tons of books lately and I'm so confused on where to start. They all sound so good; hence, I picked them up. Here are my picks:

Maggie is a seventeen year old girl who's had a bad year. She was smart and on track but then her mom left, her dad is depressed, she's graduating, barely, and her boyfriend of almost three years dumped her for a college football scholarship. Lately she thinks life is all about hanging on by a thread and is gripping tight with everything she has.

Then she meets Caleb. She saves his life and instantly knows there's something about him that's intriguing but she is supposed to be on her way to a date with his cousin. But things change when they touch, sparks ignite. Literally.

They imprint with each other and she sees their future life together flash before her eyes. She learns that not only is she his soul mate, and can feel his heartbeat in her chest, but there is a whole other world of people with gifts and abilities that she never knew existed. She herself is experiencing supernatural changes unlike anything she's ever felt before and she needs the touch of his skin to survive.

Now, not only has her dad come out of his depression to be a father again, and a pain as well, but Caleb's enemies know he's imprinted and are after Maggie to stop them both from gaining their abilities and take her from him.

Can Caleb save her or will they be forced to live without each other after just finding one another?

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back. So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

"'What are you thinking, Amy? The question I've asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?'"

Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what did really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife? And what was left in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war...

(Formerly titled The Spirit-Hunters)

The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

An arresting un-coming-of-age story, from a breathtaking talent

Becca has always longed to break free from her small, backwater hometown. But the discovery of an unidentified dead girl on the side of a dirt road sends the town--and Becca--into a tailspin. Unable to make sense of the violence of the outside world creeping into her backyard, Becca finds herself retreating inward, paralyzed from moving forward for the first time in her life.

Short chapters detailing the last days of Amelia Anne Richardson's life are intercut with Becca's own summer as the parallel stories of two young women struggling with self-identity and relationships on the edge twist the reader closer and closer to the truth about Amelia's death.

I've heard many great things about these books. I'm looking forward to all of them, just don't know which one to read first! Yes, I do have the sequels for Insignificance & Hourglass, if that makes a difference.. lol.

Happy reading everyone :0)

Versatile Blogger Award

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I've been nominated for another blog award! Thank you Hannah from Book Haven Extraordinaire for nominating me! I'm flattered & honored from all the nominations :0)

The Award Rules:
  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging
  2. Let the nominees know that they've been nominated
  3. Share 7 random facts about yourself
  4. Thank the blogger who nominated you
  5. Add the Versatile Blogger award picture to your post
{ My 7 Facts }
  1.  I have two older half-brothers whom I love lots but I don't get to see often enough. One lives an hour up north and the other is serving overseas.
  2. I don't drink water. At all. I drink juice, coffee, Powerade, bubble tea... but never just plain old water. Yes, I worry about diabetes one day.
  3. I love bothering cats. I love them so much I can't help but be that annoying person to them, lol. I love to squeeze them and smell that spot right in front of their ears... and I love to softy tug on their fur. Yes, *nods my head* I was that little girl who dresses up her cat and shoves it in a little dolly stroller.
  4. I'm aggressive and competitive. I was never one of those girls who wouldn't play or give my all during gym in school.
  5. I'm shy and an introvert in real life. Online I come across differently.. maybe aloof at times, but I'm different in real life. Unless I'm super close to you!
  6. I'm a stay-at-home mom and it suits me because I'm a total hermit. TOTAL hermit. I go out (socially, errands, family stuff, etc) maybe 2-3 times per week. Otherwise, I'm at home all week!
  7. I love open space. LOVE it. Not necessarily just open space - it could be a forest of trees. I just love having my privacy to... IDK... lose myself? Appreciate nature? I'm okay with the hub-bub of the city, just need my bubble space.
{ My 15 Nominees }
  1. Lexie from Lexie Reads...
  2. Blog of a Bookaholic
  3. Lisa from Shatterbooks
  4. Karen from Cheerful Book Reviews
  5. Escapism
  6. Ashley from #BookNerd
  7. Lucy from What The Bookk
  8. Lyra from Defiantly Deviant
  9. Kim from Kim Reads.
  10. Angie from Pinkindle
  11. Beth from Beth Art from the Heart
  12. Jennifer from A Librarian's Library
  13. Suzanne from YA Nation
  14. The 3 ladies from The Cozy Armchair
  15. Abby from Wintry Words
So that's it! Thanks again for the nominations. Congrats to all the newly nominated that I chose. Happy reading everyone :0)

Liebster Blog Award!

Monday, July 23, 2012

A good friend of mine, Lexie from Lexie Reads, nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award! Thank you so much babe! This award is for new bloggers with less than 200 followers.

Basically what the award is about:

Award winners share 11 facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who tagged them, come up with 11 of their own questions and tag 11 more bloggers with the award.
Eesh, so difficult.

{ 11 Self - Facts }
  1. I used to be a dancer & a cheerleader.
  2. I get obsessive about hobbies pretty easily. I totally immerse myself in it (such as photography & scrapbooking).
  3. I love felines. Big and small. I was going to be a vet/zoo keeper one day just to work with big cats such as tigers and lions.
  4. I can't stand to watch t.v. shows and/or movies most of the time now because I find myself wanting to read instead.
  5. I love to goof around. My hubby is my best friend because he goofs around with me. My kids love it too.
  6. I'm a city girl, but I have dreams of living in a small town one day (though I'd miss having quick access to the Mall of America like I do now, lol)
  7. I'm a huge computer nerd. Well, I'm a tech nerd in general.
  8. I rarely play games, but if I do, I prefer to play PC games vs. PS3 or Xbox 360.
  9. I've never been on an airplane...ever, but I would love to travel one day.
  10. I hate having short hair. My hair has been long most of my life.
  11. I love to drive. It's really relaxing and I love the sense of going somewhere that's worth traveling to (even if it's just to the grocery store around the corner, haha). 

{ 11 Questions to be Answered }
  1. If you could choose a book outside your genre, what would it be and why?
    : An autobiography from anyone I admire as a person. I'm not much of a non-fiction person though.
  2. E-books or Physical Books? Why?
    Both. E-books is my preference now because I read so much and it's more convenient & space efficient. Physical books because no book lover can hate physical books. The smell, the feel of a good story in your hands, etc.
  3. What one book you'll recommend to a person who has never read fictional books?
    A: Well it would have to depend on the person. I suppose I would choose something contemporary so it's not a total 180 degrees from non-fiction. A great contemporary: On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves.
  4. If you could buy only 5 books for the entire year, what would it be?
    A: Eesh. That's tough. Any of Kristen Ashley's new releases throughout the rest of the year, lol. And whatever sequel comes out that is a sequel to one of my favorite books. Whichever 5 comes out first, that would be it. I'm not patient to wait around.
  5. What is your all-time favorite book? Just ONE. Okay, unfair, TWO then.
    A: Ooh, that's really tough! I'm just going to go with whatever made me cry a lot or the hardest since I'm all about the angst. Deeper by Megan Hart & Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens.
  6. What is the title of the book you haven't finished because you couldn't get into it? Explain.
    A: Once I start a book, I always try to finish it. I don't know why, but it's just something I have to do. One that I haven't "continued" yet is Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey. I just couldn't get into it. It wasn't emotionally connecting with me so I stopped reading it for something else. I hear great things about it so I will try to finish it again one day... when I'm in the mood for it.
  7. Paranormal or Dystopian?
    A: Lex! Why the tough questions?! A year ago, I would've said paranormal with no hesitations, but there has been some good dystopians lately. I'm a romance reader though so... I will have to say paranormal just because romance is a bit more romantic when, you know, you're not surviving & fighting for your life.
  8. If you only have three questions you could ask your favorite author, what would it be?
    A: How did you come up with the premise of the story? What was your inspiration? How does the story come to you while you write each scene with its' changes and whatnot?
  9. Most Memorable book for you.
    A: Any of my favorite books, but Deeper by Megan Hart is still haunting to me even though I've read it ages ago.
  10. What is your habit when reading a book?
    A: Habit? I don't think I have one? I'm usually lying down on the couch, floor or bed when reading. I'm not always drinking or eating, but 90% of the time when I'm reading at home, I'm lying down.
  11. What movie based from books are you religiously waiting for?
    A: The rest of the Hunger Games Trilogy. 50 Shades of Grey. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The Mortal Instruments series... I'm not a movie person so I'm the last person to ask about movies. I'm terrible at knowing what's turning into a movie adaptation ...until some person asks if I'm going to see it because it's been out in theaters for a while, lol. But those are the ones I can think of. 
My 11 Questions }
  1. Is it due to a someone(s) or a certain book(s) that instilled your love of reading in you?
  2. Is there a certain "reading nook" you find yourself reading at most of the time?
  3. Whom do you love sharing your love of books with most?
  4. Reading is synonymous with writing. Do you write? If so, what?
  5. You're already a book blogger, are you a book tuber as well (youtube book vlogger)?
  6. Has a book ever made you cry? If so, which book(s)?
  7. Do you have your own library at home?
  8. What's your favorite snack & drink during reading time?
  9. If you had to choose between the two: paperback or hardback?
  10. Do you ever listen to audiobooks or text-to-speech on an e-reader? If so, do you like it?
  11. Can you listen to music or have a movie/t.v. show on while reading?
{ My Nominations }
  1. Dee from Well Pin a Rose on your Nose.
  2. Lee, Ally & Melissa from Rally The Readers.
  3. Sophie from The Dreaming Reader
  4. Ashley from Quixotically Uncharted.
  5. Rain & Dina from Reading Infection.
Technically that's 8 people :0) Thanks again Lexie for nominating me. To those I've tagged, have fun!

BotW { 04 }

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What an interesting week it's been! I've been doing a lot of read along with my online friends so I got a good amount of books done last week, I think. I'm happy that I came across a book that I for sure knew would be a good candidate for my Book of the Week pick.

I've had this book for a while - ever since it came out. It seems like a lot of people had it, but I never really came across any hype about it. I think a lot of people did what I did - putting it aside for another more popular book because the premise wasn't all that. A vampire queen going to high school? Seems like a shallow/immature/too teen-ish read for me.


I absolutely love this book! And I'm so glad my friends made me do the read along with them, LOL. There's so much more to it than just vampires, humans & their "forbidden" love.

My pick for Book of the Week { 04 } is... not a contemporary romance for once:

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
Genre: Paranormal romance, YA
Series: Vampire Queen { 01 }

"Throughout all my histories, I found no one I loved more than one."

Those were some of Rhode's last words to me. The last time he would pronounce his love. The last time I would see his face.

It was the first time in 592 years I could take a breath. Lie in the sun. Taste.

Rhode sacrificed himself so I, Lenah Beaudonte, could be human again. So I could stop the blood lust.

I never expected to fall in love with someone else that wasn't Rhode.

But Justin was...daring. Exciting. More beautiful than I could dream.

I never expected to be sixteen again...then again, I never expected my past to come back and haunt me...
I initially picked this up because it was new, it was a vampire book, it had romance, etc. When it came down to cracking it open (or rather since it's an e-book, picking it on the Kindle) and reading it.... ehh it didn't sound so interesting compared to the other books I had. In my defense, it was a different synopsis that I came across than from the one I posted above! The one posted above sounds good, doesn't it? The other synopsis I came across, well, I just didn't think there would be that much depth to it; just another shallow YA/vampire read.

But it wasn't. Uh, to the contrary, it actually had an amazing depth to it. It was well written and well thought out because it brought out the empathy in me while Lenah was experiencing sympathy for the first time. *Sighs* It was awesomesauce. That is all.

{ Characters } The female protagonist is centuries old and she did come across that way. Certainly she still had that "young age" feel to her, but at the same time, she seemed a world older than her peers in school. She wasn't silly, idiotic, or this light, carefree, giddy character. She's known death and pain. For centuries, that's all she was. It was what defined her. So she comes across as this very somber and dark girl and I loved it. I love the darkness; I love the grittiness, the reality of high school age promiscuity, just everything.

She's a very needy character. She always needs someone there to love her, make her feel unconditionally wanted, etc. But you go through her thought process and you see why she is that way. It seems as if she's eternally stuck in a 16 year old girl's mind frame of always wanting a boy to take care of her. She does come from that century where it's a man's duty to take care of his wife. She knows what she wants and she knows how to pick her men for the characteristics they have that she in fact is looking for.

Her coven was hand-picked by her. They became one of the strongest covens ever - unbeatable. She is smart. She is also beautiful because this handsome male vampire, Rhode, picks her out of all the centuries he's lived, to fall in love with. I love Rhode. Justin & Vicken are two other characters who have been or becomes enamored with her. She's a great character to love. Her thoughts, her being, who she was and who she becomes is all in line with being a teen girl who's also centuries old. It all fits.

{ Plot } She's in this tough spot where she loses the love of her life, but finally gains what she wishes for most. Her love sacrifices himself to ensure her happiness, but the concept of sacrifice is foreign to them because vampires are such selfish creatures. For him to do that... speaks of their love. She really does try to move on and regain that sense of living that she lost, but it's hard to. When she finally comes close to finally letting go of the past and to start living, her livelihood and new mortal friends are threatened by her past. Her coven finds out she is missing and since she is their creator and a part of their coven, they search for her in their need for her. Well, that's where things get hectic. All the sacrifices, death, hurt, heartache in this story... ah, so good!

{ Overall } Throughout this whole book, she grows as a character and she does it so well (or rather, Maizel wrote it so well!) I love it, did I mention that? I gave it 4.5 stars. I've read the second book in the series already - Stolen Nights. I also rated that 4.5 stars. I can't wait for the third book. It's going to take forever... ugh.

I'm just glad there was deaths in the book (how can you have a dark vampire book with no deaths?) and the vampire aspect in this series does have a real dark side. I know there are good and bad vampire versions written out there, but this just has this real side to it such as... they're just beings. Neither good or evil, but beings who kill because that's a part of who they are and what they do. I love the world building or rather seeing how Lenah was a vampire queen through her eyes. How she and Rhode did all these things in the past. It was emotional at times without having that frustrating angst to it...

It's such a good series so I definitely recommend checking it out!

Here are the other books I've read & rated during the week: July 15 - July 21 2012.
Captive Fantasy by Ann Mayburn - 3/5
Skin Truth by Em Petrova - 3/5
The Quickie by Kitty Fine - 2/5
Legally Hot by Lora Leigh - 3/5
Not the Marrying Kind by Nicola Marsh - 4/5
In the Shadow of Vesuvius by Liz Carmichael - 3/5
Insignia by S.J. Kincaid - 3.5/5
Seraphina by Racehl Hartman - 3.5/5
A Need so Beautiful by Suzanne Young - 3.5/5
Last Summer by Rebecca A. Rogers - 2.5/5
Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel - 4.5/5

Until next week :0)

Feature & Follow { 06 }

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. The two blogs they are featuring this week: Booktastic Reviews & Glass of Wine.

Q: Christmas in July! Someone gives you a gift card for two books (whatever that costs). What two books will you buy?
A: Wow. Just two? LOL! Not that I'm ungrateful, but it's so hard being that I am a book lover. It makes me hyperventilate just thinking on trying to choose two books. Well, I'm an e-reader, so I don't get many physical books anymore.. or at all really. With that said, I would take my gift money & buy me two hardcover copies of my favorite books. Yes, I definitely have more than 2 favorites, so... eep this is so hard! I would go with...


Why do I feel like I'm on a game show and I'm frightened on whether I should lock in my answer or not? Haha. 

Can't wait to read what everyone else picked! I'm sure we all struggled a bit on this question... "Just two?" LOL. By the way, make sure to check out my GIVEAWAY; it's ending soon :0)

BotW {03}

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'm in a reading rut! I have all these great books to read; I have 30 pages on my Kindle of books TBR! Nothing feels like the right book to read at this time. I don't know why.

My pick for my 3rd week's BotW is a tough one because I didn't really come across a 5-star book. I've got 3 great ones, but all were 4-stars.

This week, it is:

 Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Amazon. Book Depository.

A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.

High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.    

But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business — until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers — and the consequences could be deadly.
Yes, another contemporary read from me. I can't help it! They're just so.. contemporary and that's what I love about them. It's so realistic and easy to imagine yourself as the protagonist.

{ Characters } I almost dislike them all. Even the beautiful Grayson. Leah, the protagonist, is such a weak character. She's strong by surviving what she had to with no father and a very unreliable mother, but you don't go through daddy/mommy issues without walking away with some emotional baggage of your own. That's what Leah is - emotionally weak with lots of baggage. She has this fortress built around her where she doesn't connect with her friends because she feels that will make her vulnerable and she's too emotionally weak to handle all that. She's right, but it's so frustrating when you read how others roughshod over her and she doesn't ever stand up for herself. Ever. It makes me scream with frustration.  Just her character and how she avoids everything that could be remotely sentimental or friendly .... bah.

Her best friend - She needs to dump. Alec ... I mean I sort of like him, but everyone was playing their own game including him and I didn't like that. Grayson just made me so mad with what he was pushing her to do one minute and then fighting (sometimes NOT fighting) his connection with Leah the next.

{ Plot } It was a steady pace at least. The plot was good from beginning to end. I never felt that there was a slow pace to it. It got really interesting once Mr. Hall dies of course. Once he died, the son(s) take over the business. You don't get a sense of how they do it, why they do it, etc. but it's from Leah's POV so, since she's emotionally distant to anything with a heartbeat, of course, you wouldn't know the details. The "secret" that Grayson holds over her head, I felt it was not well done at all. Considering her position and her living situation, it wasn't well done at all. I felt like if she could easily brush off anything else (like the whole school thinking she's easy!) why is this such a big deal? That didn't make sense.

{ Overall } So if I have so many negatives about it such as not liking a major part of the plot or most, if not all, the characters, why did I choose it as my BotW? It's still a great book about a girl who's trying everything in her power to be in control of her life. She really does know what's important in life. I don't agree with her methods. I don't agree with her not being able to emotionally connect or stand up for herself in certain situations, but she grew up labeled as trailer trash. She took that label and said, "Yes, that's my place now, and I'll never forget where I used to come from. But that's not who I am." How awesome is that? Through all the frustrations, I really enjoyed the book. When Mr. Hall died, I felt bad because ... you felt how important to her success he really was. How important he was because he gave her a chance when no one else did. You realize how vulnerable a position she is in - a minor with no one to help her get out of the path she could easily fall into. After I finished the book, I just sighed and thought, "that's a good book." No greatness, no putting it on the favorites shelf, but still an enjoyable read that I would recommend to everyone who's a big fan of Jennifer Echols and/or contemporary romance. I gave it 4/5 stars.

Here are the other books I've read & rated during the week: July 08 - July 14 2012.
Deadly Memories by P.M. Richter - 3/5
Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan - 3/5
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Staase - 4/5
Lonely Alpha by Ranae Rose - 2/5
Origins by Jessa L. Gilbert - 4/5 * Review here.

Until next week :0)

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves Giveaway!

A couple of days ago, I received my signed copy of On The Island from Tracey Garvis Graves herself. *Fan-girl squeal* I received it in the mail last Friday. It's. So. Awesome. *Pets the book lovingly* Thank you Tracey!

So now I have two paperback copies of On The Island. I read the e-book first and decided to get a paperback copy because I loved it that much. Found out later that day that Tracey was willing to send me a signed one. She then suggested I give away the non-signed paperback I bought earlier & I agree. It's brand new people. I haven't even cracked the spine to read it!

Yes, that's the giveaway copy above my signed copy :0)

It's such a lovely book. One of my favorites and I reviewed it as my first BotW pick. It's definitely a book you want to check out.  If you've been living under a rock and have no idea about what book I'm talking about or maybe you're forgetful and need a refresher:

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves
Genre: Contemporary Romance

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.
T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He's almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn't bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family - and a stack of overdue assignments - instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.'s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

CA and US only. Sorry for the international people! I will be hosting an international giveaway soon so do check back!

Good luck everyone & to the future winner: Hope you enjoy/love the book as much as I do.

Stacking the Shelves { 01 }

Saturday, July 14, 2012

 Stacking The Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews

I never really do these because I'm primarily an e-reader. I don't think e-book hauls are as fun, but *shrugs* who knows? Let me know if you think they're just as good as regular book hauls.

So this last week and yesterday was a ton of fun because I won a book from Tynga, I received a signed book from Tracey Garvis Graves, and I went to a thrift store and found a whole bundle of books priced 2.99 or lower. I didn't buy any novels for myself except one. The Series of Unfortunate Events & Pendragon books are for my son. I'm going back to clean out the store soon, lol.

So here is my crack haul:


Received Signed Copy


I also bought one of those touch & feel books for my youngest. He begged for it because it was a cat version and it looked like our orange cat ... hence him wanting it. I didn't understand why he wanted to pet the book vs. petting our REAL LIVE cat from home... FOR FREE. Whatever. 3 year old logic for you.

I bought Phoenix Rising for myself because I remember reading it back in 8th grade and I LOVED it. It made me cry! Brings back memories of school times & reading it.

So that's my stash. I'm starting to build my library of books. E-books are awesome, but I miss having a library. What's better than a library carefully cultivated to be filled with nothing but my most favorite books?

Do post a link back so I can check out your meme post as well :0) I'll be posting a giveaway tomorrow so make sure I'm on your radar!

{ Review } Origins by Jessa L. Gilbert

Friday, July 13, 2012

Origins by Jessa L. Gilbert
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Series: Black 01
* ARC was provided by author

Red pain, Red desire, Red need, Red hunger…

I have been plagued by the same dream for months now. A nightmare filled with red, dripping with death, where I am the hunter. There is no escape, no end in sight…. The nightmare has become a reality and I am forced with a choice – I can become one with the darkness that lives within that is clamoring, clawing to escape, or I can bury the demon, and the nightmares, once and for all.

It may seem like an easy choice, but not when I also have to choose between the father who has raised me or a mother whom I have thought was dead. Not when the choice is my humanity or Immortality….

Aided by a dark mysterious stranger, a hidden world is opened up to Adelin - a world full of bloodlust and death - the Black world of Immortals. Torn between the two, she faces the hardest decision she's ever had to make. Will she choose the safe, familiar life she has always known? Or will she let the darkness consume her?

When I first received the ARC by the author, I was surprised and a little worried about the length. I'm going to say it: I am not a fan of short stories & novels. Remember, short is relative - anything less than 300 pages is short to me. Most of the time, the short length of the novel(s) doesn't allow me to really lose myself in the story nor does it allow me to fall in love with the characters. Everything is just so rushed. Well, I mean, of course it is. It is a short story/novel. I have trouble with that concept so that's why I was initially worried about this book length. And yes, it is a part of a trilogy so I knew there was more to come, but still my worry wouldn't dissipate. Well, my worry was for naught.

You see, the length is just right. Would I have loved it if it was a bit longer so certain parts were more drawn out and detailed? Yes, I personally would, but the story is damn good being the length that it is. Everything that needed to be included was included. Nothing was rushed; I still fell in love with the story and the characters. At least it wasn't overly drawn out and it was riveting from beginning to end. I read it in one sitting.

{ Character } Awesome characters. Adelin is such a unique name. I like her. I'm not totally in love with her yet, but I could be in the future installments because she's not a weak or ditzy character. She has a good head on her shoulders. I like where she is going. Like I said, the story could've been a bit longer so I would've liked her experience of leaving her dad and re-connecting with her mother be more in depth. That way I can connect with her more, but maybe it's not all-important in the grand scheme of things. Who knows what's going to happen in throughout the series?! What I did get from her throughout the book though - I'm satisfied with.

Her relationship with Vraiden was really nice. And hallelujah, it wasn't insta-love. It was believable, it wasn't rushed, and I really liked the hate/like relationship they had in the beginning. Luc... ah, what can I say about Luc? He's exactly what he's supposed to be: charismatic, loveable, and hotness embodied. I love that he is Vraiden's brother because what is more hot than two boys who are hot? Oh yeah, two hot boys who happens to be two hot brothers.

We didn't get much insight to Adelin's dad, but I'm sure we'll be seeing more of her mother and ... the evil one.

{ Story } When you read a lot of paranormal books, the story changes, but it seems like the world never does. What Jessa did was original. I loved the fact that there was a dark side to this story; loved the grittiness of it all. You have murderers that kill for the pleasure, who love the chase, who lures innocent, beautiful girls to their death and laugh in their face while these girls are begging and crying. It's not all sunshine, rainbows, perfect loves and perkiness.

I love the aspects of what their immortality means, what they do to gain it, how they gain it, the difference in being born and made, etc. It's a nice twist to things and like I said, when you read a lot of the same genre, no matter how small the twists are, it make a big difference. It excites me as a reader because it's bringing a new aspect into this paranormal world.

The story had a nice pace from beginning to end. I never felt like it was getting slow or boring at some parts. It was engaging and it was interesting.

{ Overall } I really enjoyed the book. I really liked the book. I am really proud of Jessa. Okay, so I didn't give it 5/5. I wished it was a bit longer. I wish things were more detailed and in-depth. There could've been more to the re-connection with her mother, more heartbreak & drama from when she had to leave her dad, more time to build a commitment between her and Vraiden. That's just all my personal preference. When you take away my personal preferences, it's still a damn good book! It's definitely worth it for me to go out and buy a paperback copy or two. And I think it's definitely worth your time reading! So flock out and buy it guys.

E-book is now released & available here. Paperback copies will be available at the end of July 2012.

Do check back because sometime in the future, I will be doing a giveaway for a copy of Origins!

Feature & Follow { 5}

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. The two blogs they are featuring this week: Vivaciously, Vivian & a GREAT Read.

Q: What drove you to start book blogging in the first place?

Oh, that's quite easy to answer. I read a lot of books. We're talking about a book to two per day. After a couple of weeks (or months), I sort of get fuzzy on the details and it all starts blending in together. So I use GR along with this blog to keep track of the books I've read and liked, disliked, and all that stuff. Plus, it's a place for me to discuss books with other book lovers and to become a part of a book blogging community :0) I love it!

 I'm sure most of us are pretty much the same - we just started so we could have our own little corner in the big net place to discuss books, but still, I'd like to hear YOUR specific answer :0)

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon {Day 03}

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

{ Day 03 }
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse
Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
Lonley Alpha by Ranae Rose

Current Progress @ 60 hours:
Finished Lonely Alpha @ 130 pages
Starting Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Current Progess @ 68 hours:
Reading Such a Rush @ page 127

Current Progress @ 72 hours:
Finished Such a Rush @ 325 pages (finished it with 8 minutes to spare *happy dance*)

* Total pages read: 1517
* Total books read: 5

Mini Challenges:
The Reader Bee:

Q: What is your most anticipated book for 2012?

A: Oh, that's a toughie. My most anticipated book? I would say The Evolution of Mara Dyer:
The ending of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was such a cliffhanger! I'm dying to know what happened. What this whole series is about specifically is still a mystery to me. And I'm such a predictor-face (or so my hubby tells me)

Other books I'm looking forward to: anything by Kristen Ashley. She's so addicting. Secondly, Checkmate by R.L. Mathewson because I love the humor in this series; she's also very similar to Kristen Ashley's style of writing. And lastly, How to Drive a Dragon Crazy by by G.A. Aiken. I've been waiting for Izzy and Eibhear's book

Magnet4Books: {Completed}

Ugh. Wow. I didn't get as many books completed as I hoped I would. This is just average for me. Some book choices slowed me down as they weren't riveting enough for me to fly through. Also, my son broke out with contact dermatitis all over his face, ears, and arms. No fever, no sickness, just an allergic skin reaction. So that slowed me down a bit. Overall, at least I read an average number of books rather than read less than average during this read-a-thon. I'm glad I participated, it was fun reading other bloggers' progresses :0)

Let me know how you did on your goals! Did you do better/worse than you expected? How were the mini-challenges? Make sure you link back to your final update so I can comment back :0)

Once Upon a Read-A-Thon {Day 02}

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

{ Day 2 }
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

Current Progress @ 36 hours:
Finished Deadly Memories @ 326 pages
Finished The Forsaken @ 384 pages

Current Progress @ 48 hours:
Finished Team Human @ 352 pages

Starting Lonley Alpha by Ranae Rose (short book)
Starting Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols (right after)

 Mini Challenges Completed:

Once upon a time Rafe (Angelfall) and Barrons (Fever) were the top contenders in this new bleak dystopian world of ours. Two contenders fighting for glorious titles of "Total Bad-assery" and "Unable to be Fugly no matter the situation because I'm just so Damn Beautiful". Rafe, the warrior demigod, or Barrons, the immortal beast. Both beautiful, both glorious, and both drool-worthy in their own way. Who shall trump the other to become the title holder (and lover of mine, haha) The bird with an attitude? Or the mysterious "man" described as leftie?
Stiletto Storytime:
Q: Share a foreign author that you adore. Tell us why you like them. Are there any books by them in particular that you would recommend? How did you come across their work?

A: Foreign Author that I love besides J.K. Rowling? I love Kristen Ashley's novels as well. Her books were recommended to me by many of my friends and I picked up the Rock Chick series first. I fell in love with her writing. It's so witty, fun, engaging, and I especially love the hot alpha boys she creates. I would definitely recommend her contemporary romance stuff. I live for that!

Also Stiletto Storytime is hosting a giveaway. The prize is a personalized signed copy of Noble Satyr by Lucinda Brant. You can check out the giveaway here.

Once Upon a Read-A-Thon {Day 01}

Monday, July 9, 2012

This ReadaThon is hosted by Pure Imagination, Reading Angel, and Candace's Book Blog.

{ Day 1 }
Deadly Memories by P.M. Richter
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

Current Progress @ 12 hours:
On page 157 of Deadly Memories ~ 40% done

Current Progress @ 23 hours:
Finished Deadly Memories @ 326 pages

Starting The Forsaken

Mini Challenges Completed:
Between The Pages - 4/4 Completed
IB Book Blogging:  
Question 01: What is your favorite cover that has been revealed this summer and why? Post a link or picture of the cover if you want.

Of course, I have an opinion on book covers - whether they're pretty, okay, or could've been better, but I don't think I have a "favorite". If I had to choose one, I think it would have to be:
It's so different than the pretty pictures out there. It's very graphic, awesome, and a bit reminiscent of HP, isn't it?

Question 02: Do you rely on the cover to help you choose whether you want to read a book or not?

Haha, sometimes. I'm so guilty. I love pretty book covers. That's not saying that I won't read it because the cover is bad. No, I will read it... eventually. It's just that if it came down to choosing between two books who's premise both sound very good, I'd probably like something with the pretty cover over the fugly book cover one. Hmm, I'm a bit of a book cover snob, aren't I? I can't help but like purdy things!

Books I'm planning on reading*:
Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
Lonely Alpha by Ranae Rose
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
The Thing about the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt 

* Books are subject to change... depending on my mood :0)

BotW {02}

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I didn't get to read too many book this week. It was a slower than usual week with me only reading 6 books and one being a short novel. I really liked most of the books I've read this week and two were definitely tough contenders for the BotW pick. But I decided on the one that I felt was more... identifiable to most readers. This pick had real life drama that even if most couldn't relate to it, they know someone who can or is going through it or they know someone who it could apply to.

So my pick for Book of the Week {02} is:

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
Genre: Contemporary Romance

When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

When I first started reading this book, emotionally, it hit me pretty hard. It made me sit down and think of what our soldiers have to go through mentally.  I'm not going to lie, I usually avoid news when it comes to our situation with the Middle East because my brother happens to be over there. I don't want to hear about bombings or the fact that a plane full of Navy freakin' SEALs were shot down. I mean, those guys were the cream of the crop. If it can happen to them... my mind goes haywire thinking what can happen to a young man from the country or well, my brother. I'm sure many of you have friends and/or family serving our country so when you read this story... of course, it gets intense and emotional because of this whole situation. I would definitely recommend it though because it's a glimpse into what military men have to deal with even when they're safely back home.

{ Characters } What I really liked about this book is that it focused on the main character, Travis. It focused on him and his relationships with two other females, his family and old friends, and his "home". It should focus on him, it should be all about him and it was. Even when it came to his relationship with other girls, it was mainly about what she could do for him since he wasn't 100% healthy emotionally. It also focused on his relationship with his family. He wasn't close with his family before and definitely not after. He had trouble connecting to everyone after, but it was nice reading from his POV on what he never thought his family had to go through even though he was the one who signed up and was sent overseas to go through this whole ordeal. It shows how this situation can affect everyone around one person.

{ Plot } The story starts out with Travis first getting home. How he had trouble connecting or feeling that he was finally "home". I guess it was because after his ordeal, it just seemed so normal and that's something he wasn't used to for a while. He barely talked to family or friends while he was gone so you are going through the struggles with him once he gets to the point where he is finally "home". And I say "home" in those quotation marks because, it doesn't feel like a real home to him. What's important to him where the men he bonded with overseas and there not there anymore. The one most important person to him didn't even make it back home so he's having trouble coming to terms with that. It's a heartbreaking story because you get this glimpse of what he sacrificed, what he went through for everyone. For his whole country. And yet, when he comes back, what does he get in return?

{ Overall } Why did I pick this book? It is such a normal book, but it just emotionally hit me so hard. It's a normal, contemporary read that makes you think, "is this what our military men (and women!) have to go through?" It broke my heart & it angered me. I just can't imagine anyone having to go through what Travis did and yet, I know it does happen. I would definitely recommend picking this up & dedicating a part of your time to helping someone who's going to or have been overseas. OR helping the ones left behind... the parents, spouses, siblings, etc. who worry day in and day out about when that special someone(s) is coming back home.

Here are the other books I've read & rated during the week: July 01 - July 07 2012.
Crow's Row by Julie Hockley - 4/5
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda - 4/5
Fallen From Grace by Laura Leone - 3/5
Slave by Sherri Hayes - 3/5
Deceptive Desires by Lilly LaRue - 2/5

Until next week :0)

Feature & Follow Friday {04}

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. The two blogs they are featuring this week: Reading and Writing Urban Fanatsy & The Paperback Princess.

Q: Jumping Genres: Ever pick up a book from a genre you usually don’t like and LOVE it? Tell us about it and why you picked it up in the first place.

Hmm, that's a tough one. I always read a book based on the synopsis and recommendations I get. I don't really care about what genre it's from because there isn't a genre I don't like or haven't read from (besides non-fiction, LOL). I would say that I tend to stay away from horror because I do a lot of reading at night and I'm a total pansy. Yeah, I said it. Pansy = me. I recently read The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda two days ago and it creeped me out. I slept with the light on and it pissed my hubby off. It's about vampires and I'm okay with vampires, but these vampires had zombie-like characteristics and I'm so not okay with zombies. Zombies and ghosts *shudders like a pansy*

I'm excited to read everyone's answer. It's interesting to find out what author was so good at their craft that they can totally convert someone's opinion about a specific genre. Be sure to follow me! I lost a lot of subscribers when I went MIA for a while. I'll follow back of course :0)

Random Reads {01}

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"In short, Random Reads is a meme where we pick a random book from our shelf to read within the month. I’m on Goodreads so I’m using a combination of the sorting feature and to pick the book I’m going to read." - ImLovingBooks.

My TBR list is ridiculous and I don't even add all the books I want to on there! I only add the ones I don't load on my Kindle right away so as to not forget about them, older books that have already been published, but I have yet to get, and books to not yet released. Still, my list is currently at 758 books. Yeah, crazy.

My number was #37 which, according to my GR TBR list, is...

Covet by J.R. Ward
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Fallen Angels 01

Redemption isn’t a word Jim Heron knows much about—his specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charge with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option. Vin DiPietro long ago sold his soul to his business, and he’s good with that — until fate intervenes in the form of a tough- talking, Harley-riding, self-professed savior. But then he meets a woman who will make him question his destiny, his sanity, and his heart—and he has to work with a fallen angel to win her over and redeem his own soul.

There you have it! My random reads for this week. It's supposed to be a monthly meme, but I may try to do a weekly one instead. It'll help when I'm in a reading rut, which I'm prone to do.

I'm a J.R. Ward fan so I'm excited to finally get to this! If you have no idea what to read, check out my GR profile to get ideas or try this meme and let me know book you ended up with!

BotW {01}

Monday, July 2, 2012

I'm BACK! I've been MIA for so long, but I never stopped reading.

I decided to do a Book of the Week (BotW) now that I'm back. In the past, I couldn't get my reviews up fast enough because the reviews would take a while to write and I'd read about a book per day. I still do. It was too much work and it was getting to the point where it wasn't fun to blog anymore. So I decided that instead of doing reviews of almost every book I read, I'll do an overview of all the books that I've read each week. Then I'll pick my favorite that I deem worthy of being the book of the week and one I would recommend to my readers.

I love the book blogging community and miss it. I need to get back in so I have people to discuss books with. So without further ado:

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves
Genre: Contemporary Romance

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.
T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He's almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn't bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family - and a stack of overdue assignments - instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.'s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

This was recommended to me by many of my bibliophilian friends. It was highly rated and raved about. I decided to read it because I was in a reading rut anyways. I have many TBR books waiting (of course) and they were just sitting there on my kindle or laptop and well, I wanted something new. I had an idea of what this was about, but no real concept of it when I started reading. It ultimately went on my favorite shelf on GR. Yes, I loved it.

{ Characters } The characters are so well developed. The characters you are supposed to love, you love. The characters you're supposed to bond with, you bond with. And the relationships between all the characters in this book - so well written, so realistic, and so believable. You want it to work out, you want it to be a HEA somehow just because you love the characters. Now, I know some people are wondering about the relationship between the characters being that the male character is almost half the age of the female character and he's underage. Trust me, the story develops and so do the characters so when the relationship becomes so much more, it's just right.

{ Plot } The story is so different than what I'm used to reading. I haven't yet read a book that's similar to the Lost t.v. series. I don't even watch t.v. This story was just riveting from beginning to end. The struggles of how they survived on this little island, how they struggled for food, water, and shelter. The bond that forms between the two. The highs and lows of each and every day. The plot never gets stagnate. The author finds some story within the story even if the two main characters were stranded on an island with nothing to do in the middle of the day. They're always developing.

{ Overall } Why did I pick this book? I fell in love with it. I cried, hope, and struggled to survive with them. Everything was so believable, so it was easy to fall into the book and feel like I was there with them. Even in the end, the struggles they dealt with were fantastic in the sense that it wasn't nonsense. The thought process of the two main characters dealing with every obstacle was well reasoned, well thought-out. So when they did something that I didn't necessarily want to happen or agree with, I still loved them because I understood where they were coming from. It was never frustration or disappointment, it was just... an overwhelming sense of hope. Hope.. in that I hoped the story ends well for these two characters because I. Just. Love. Them.

This was the author's first and only novel. Originally she self-published, but Penguin recently picked it up because the book is just that awesome. She's coming out with another new novel soon. I'm getting it. I have no idea what the other novel is about, but I don't care. I'm buying it. On The Island is only available as an e-book right now, but the paperback will be available July 10, 2012 so put it on your to-buy list or pre-order it!

So read it people! Read it and love it... or hate it. Or be somewhere in between those two extremes, but tell me all about it. Tell me why you picked it up (was it because of me?) or why you will or won't pick it up. Have you read it? What did you think?

Until next week :0)
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