Monday, June 30, 2014

June Recap

Damn, where did this month go? Seriously. This month went by so incredibly fast that I can't believe July is already here and half of 2014 is gone. I feel like I didn't really do anything this month, and it was full of both good and bad.

The Good: 
*I went to an author event on the 14th and got to meet Bethany Neal!! She is the debut author of My Last Kiss and I actually have a giveaway going on for a signed hardcover of the book. To enter, click here

*I got a lot of reading done, and many of those were NetGalley reads. My feedback to approval ratio is now up to 30%. Woop, woop!

*I surpassed my Goodreads goal of 100 books! I've bumped it up to 175 now, and I know I'll reach it by the end of the year.

*I've made it to 40,000 words on my WIP! I'm more than halfway done with the story, but I have a feeling I'm going to be surpassing my goal. :)

*I went and saw The Fault in Our Stars with my friend! The movie was good, followed the story-line well. But as I only enjoyed the book, I wasn't wowed by it and it didn't make me cry. It was good, though. 

*I started doing weekly memes again! I'm currently participating in Top Ten Tuesday and Waiting on Wednesday. They are so much fun! I encourage all of you to participate in a weekly meme and hop around to the other blogs.

*I've got so many ideas for blog events and posts for the future! I'm excited to get the ball rolling on one of them especially. I'll be emailing authors for it tomorrow. *crosses fingers* I hope I get a positive response about it. (While I'm at it: if you have an event where you want to involve other bloggers, don't hesitate to send me an email! You can find it under my "Contact Me" tab). I say this, because for the first time, I'm participating in one of my favorite bloggers' events for the end of July and early August. I'm so excited!

*I GOT APPROVED FOR A HARPERCOLLINS NOVEL! And that has NEVER happened before! That day I read the email telling me I could download The Queen of the Tearling was just the best! I've been trying to get them to approve me ever since I joined Edelweiss. I'M JUST SO HAPPY. 

*I also got approved for a Disney-Hyperion novel for the first time! I can't wait to read Stitching Snow. It's one of my highly anticipated fall releases. 

*I won some pretty awesome books from giveaways, though I don't ever share pics. My favorite had to have been a personalized copy of Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. :)


The Bad:
*I feel like I wasted too much of my month reading and playing Black Ops. This summer has been flying by, and I don't have much to show for it. It's kind of pathetic.

*There has been a bit of family drama going on, and I don't know how to what to do about it. It's been a hard month for us.

*A week and a half ago, I was in the emergency room for 4 hours. I had another kidney stone. It was so painful, and I fucking hate being in the hospital. And because of it, I had to miss my best friend's little sister's open house. UGH.


*June has just been a bad month for me throughout my life, and I just didn't care when it came around this year.


I guess June wasn't so bad, considering I had more in the good section. But, it still felt like the worst month so far this year.

***


A month in reviews!

*Heated by J Kenner
*Rules of Survival by Jus Accardo
*Her Dark Places by Kelly Killarney
*Descent by Kallie Ross
*The Stepsister's Tale by Tracy Barrett
*The Revealed by Jessica Hickam
*Perfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine
*Drowned by Nichola Reilly
*The Fever by Megan Abbott
*Carnival by K.B. Nelson
*Heart Shaped Rock by Laura Roppe
*The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

My favorites were The Iron Traitor and Drowned. My least favorite was Descent. God, that book was so bad. But I read none that I TRULY loved on this list. The 4.5 and 5 star reads of June belong to Shatter Me, Code Name Verity, Deeper and Harder. :) I just didn't put them up on my blog. Though, I'm doing a double review for Robin York's two novels and that will be up tomorrow!

***

For July, my reading schedule is incredibly tight since I decided to do a bunch of blog tours with my regular pile of NetGalley ebooks. I'm hoping to get all of them done by the 15th, so I can start back on the NG books I missed that published this month. Only 3 of them, so it's not so bad. I'm still trying to make up for going crazy when I first heard of that awesome website. Other than that, I'm hoping to do more cool events/posts for my blog and start thinking seriously of a new design. I'll keep doing my weekly memes and keep reviewing, but I want to add more, especially discussion posts! 

Also, there is an awesome author event in Grand Rapids on the 24th, I think. Susan Dennard and Aimee Carter will both be there, and I so want to meet them! I hope I can get to that, as well as spend some time with my cousins and best friend. I miss them all so dearly. 

So, that's it! Stay tuned into Part of that World for new reviews, blog tours, and weekly memes. :)

Cover Reveal: After Us by Amber Hart


About AFTER US
Sometimes secrets kill. Maybe slowly, maybe painfully. Maybe all at once.

Melissa smiles. She flirts. She jokes. But she never shows her scars. Eight months after tragedy ripped her from her closest friend, Melissa is broken. Plagued by grief, rage, and the painful memory of a single forbidden kiss.

Javier has scars of his own. Life in the States was supposed to be a new beginning, but a boy obsessed by vengeance has no time for the American dream. To honor his familia, Javier joins the gang who set up his cousin, Diego. The entrance price is blood. Death is the only escape.

Two broken souls could make each other whole again—or be shattered forever.

Our time will come. And we’ll be ready.

AFTER US is expected to release December 30, 2014.  Add it on Goodreads here.

Links for AFTER US


***

Excerpt!

“What I want is for you to want me like I want you!”
I clamp a hand to my mouth. Regret slaps me in the face.
Javier pulls my hand away. His stare takes in all of me. My eyes. My lips. I’m embarrassed by what I said. I’m embarrassed by my ridiculous heart, which thumps loudly, echoing his every touch.
“You want me, mami?”
Yes. In the deepest parts of my bones, yes.
Silence.
“Answer me.” His voice is demanding.
“No,” I say, stubborn.
A grin crawls across his face.
“I owe you an apology,” he says. “I couldn’t talk to you earlier. Wanted to. But I couldn’t. You understand?”
“Not at all.”
Javier’s warmth reminds me of the water. Of wanting to jump in. I’d do anything to cool off.
“If I explain it to you, will you remember in the morning?”

“Probably not,” I answer honestly. “But then again, you’re hard to forget.”


***

About Amber Hart
Amber Hart grew up in Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. She now resides on the Florida coastline with family. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She's the author of BEFORE YOU, AFTER US, UNTIL YOU FIND ME, and sequel to UNTIL YOU FIND ME (untitled as of yet). Represented by Beth Miller of Writers House. 

Connect with Amber Hart

Saturday, June 28, 2014

NERC Review #26: The Iron Traitor by Julia Kagawa

*eARC kindly provided by Harlequin Teen via NetGalley*

There is just something about this world of faeries, talking cats, and fickle creatures that Julie Kagawa created that I just don't want to leave. But I was hesitant to start this series, because it's a spin-off. And I loved the other characters so much I wasn't sure if I'd like the new ones.

Rating: 4 Stars!
As soon as I finished The Lost Prince, I had to start this one. There is just something about her stories that draws me in from the beginning, and pulls me along until I'm staring at the end and wondering what the hell just happened.

In this spin-off series, the focus is on Ethan, Meghan's half-brother who is all grown up now. In the first book, he's pulled back into the world of the Nevernever, and that time, he wasn't alone. He learned truths and spent much of the time brooding about how he hated Faery and how pissed he was at Meghan for leaving them. He's still a brooding, sarcastic guy in this book, but his attitude is more bearable. I still dislike how he makes himself the martyr and decides what's best for everyone. But he has nothing on Keirran. 

I thought for sure Kagawa was setting up a relationship between Ethan and Keirran that resembles what Ash and Puck have. But clearly, I've been wrong. It's never going to be like that, though Ethan reminded me of Ash; sarcastic, brooding, pushing everyone away. And Keirran reminded me of Puck; a trickster who likes trouble. It made me wonder, not in a good way, whether the author could write characters with only three types of personalities (Meghan and MacKenzie are very similar too, though I like Kenzie much better). But the characters are very complex, and in this one, Keirran became more like Ash. However, I have zero sympathy with the icy and cold Iron Prince. He did whatever he could for the love of his life, Annwyl, but I find that excuse doesn't fly with me anymore. I still can't BELIEVE how many people have been affected by Keirran's incredibly stupid, selfish, and destructive choices.

In Lost Prince, I can't say I became as invested in these new characters as I was with Ash, Puck, and Meghan. They're starting to grow on me, but I still find myself wanting more interactions with the others, especially Ash and Puck. And now, with what happened in Iron Traitor, I'm unsure how to feel about them. Mostly, one in particular. Keirran. Ugh, that traitor. How could he?!

The plot follows a dangerous story-line where everything these characters do seem to make things worse. Keirran is determined to do whatever it takes to save Annwyl, even at the cost of starting a war and killing himself. Ethan is there to be the "reasonable" voice, although he needed to remind himself when enough was enough. Kenzie was her usual kickass self, and I love that their relationship just keeps developing into something concrete. I loved the cameos with Grim, Puck, and Ash. But ugh, I have no clue where this story-line is going, and it scares me!

I love Julie Kagawa's writing and this world she's created. I seriously can't wait to read the third book!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Breaking Fences by Juliana Haygert Blog Tour


Breaking Fences (The Breaking Series, #2)
Genre: NA contemporary romance
Word Count: ~80,000
Release date: June/2014
Cover by: Okay Creations

Summary from Goodreads:
All Beatriz “Bia” Fernandes wants is to prove herself—to her family and friends—though it’s hard to prove anything with an overbearing father and three famous polo-playing older brothers. After her acceptance into college results in a heated family argument, the Brazilian girl leaves everything behind to find her own American dream.

College life away from home is perfect until the people she believes to be her friends turn on her. With lies and rumors threatening to suffocate her, Bia turns to her only freedom. Riding.


But one thing gets in the way of her escape. Garrett Blackwell and his bad cowboy attitude. Working at the ranch is his obligation, bugging Bia is his newfound hobby. His thick skin and easy grin don’t hide what Bia already knows—this misunderstood and lonely cowboy fights his own demons. Brushing horses’ coats and mucking out stalls shouldn’t be this sexy, and it isn’t long before he becomes a part of her distraction.


However, escaping won’t solve her problems, and it’s up to Bia to break down the fences around her and prove her strength—not to her family and friends, but to herself … and for Garrett. Because standing on her own doesn’t have to mean standing alone.

** Companion novel of Breaking the Reins. Can be read out of order.**


Goodreads link to book one:

Buy Links:
Amazon | B&N | Kobo iBooks

***

Excerpt!
Tom was working on untacking the horses, while Carl hosed them down, and another man brought the tack inside the stables. Eyeing Midnight Dream, I dismounted close to them, and started unbuckling Pepper’s saddle. If they let me, I would do it all myself. Midnight saw me and slowly approached me. He poked my back with his muzzle while I unstrapped Pepper’s saddle.
“You want to play, big boy?” He poked me again, nickering. I laughed.
The trainer came out of the stables, and I froze with the saddle in my arms. Midnight Dream shot away from me, and not having seen or recognized me, the trainer chased after the horse for a couple of minutes until he finally caught his reins.
The trainer turned to bring the horse to the stables and halted, his eyes on me.
“What are you doing here?” Garrett asked. His brows knotted in a deep frown.
I forced myself to move and set the saddle on the fence rail. “Riding.” I kicked my foot in the air, showing off my black and white cowboy boots. “Did you think these were just for show?” I picked up a hose. “And you’re a trainer here?”
Without acknowledging my question, he led the horse inside.
Whatever.
I hosed Pepper off and she nickered in delight.
A moment later, Garrett was by my side. He took the hose from me. “I’m an instructor, a trail guide, a trainer, caretaker, handyman, and everything else in between.” He washed Pepper’s hot coat. “I work here full time.”
“Of all the places I could have chosen to ride,” I whispered, taking a step back. Which wasn’t true. There weren’t that many places around.
He finished hosing Pepper, and then pulled her inside the stable. I followed, but only because I had to go through it to reach the parking lot on the other side. However, with Garrett walking right in front of me, it was hard to focus on anything else. He wore fitted blue jeans, a gray T-shirt that showed a hint of the muscles under it, his brown boots, and hat. There was a small stain of sweat right between his shoulder blades, and I wondered if I could get close enough to sniff him. Not that I liked sweat per se, but a hot guy sweating from hard work? Add that to a great natural scent and I was done for.
I wasn’t a slut like the girls from the sorority made me look like, but I wasn’t a saint either. I liked boys. I liked staring at boys. I liked kissing boys. I liked … I sighed.
Garrett opened a stall and put Pepper in. He closed the door and picked up a bucket of water for her. I leaned over the door and caressed her long neck.
“Thanks for the ride, girl. I needed it.”
I turned and found Garrett right behind me. He stared at me with those hazel eyes, and I wondered what was going on in his mind. He probably had heard about the lies Audrey and Sarah were spreading about me. I wouldn’t be surprised if he believed them. Everyone on campus, except for Phoebe, believed them. What could I do? I seemed to have “Brazilian Slut” stamped on my forehead.
“I … I should go.” I turned to the door as the girl sauntered out of the tack room.
She flipped her long, blond hair back and looked me up and down with disinterest before shifting her gaze to Garrett. “Am I dismissed?”
“Yes, Delilah,” Garrett said, walking around me to meet her.
The girl, who couldn’t be older than eighteen, stopped by Midnight Dream’s stall. “Goodbye, M.D.” She reached her hand inside, but the horse retreated.
I frowned.

“Hey, if it isn’t the Brazilian girl,” Jonah’s voice filled the air, and I turned toward it. He was entering the stable. “What a nice surprise.”

***

About the Author
New Adult author and contributor at NA Alley blog.
While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

Author Links:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Heart Shaped Rock Review and Blog Tour



Heart Shaped Rock
Release Date: May 2014

Summary from Goodreads:
“If you liked the music collaboration of Maybe Someday, you’ve got to check out Heart Shaped Rock.” — New York Times best-selling author of Maybe Someday, Colleen Hoover

"Laura RoppĂ© has written a moving and emotional novel of first love, accurately capturing the voice and mind of a dramatic and emotional sixteen year old girl caught in a maelstrom of grief and loss, love and heartbreak. And then there’s Dean…you'll just have to read the book, ‘cause I can't do him justice in a few short sentences.” –Jasinda Wilder, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of Falling into You

Sometimes a shattered heart needs to sing to love again . . . Sixteen year old singer-songwriter Shaynee Sullivan hasn't so much as touched her guitar since her mom died six months ago. In fact, Shaynee hasn't felt like doing much of anything lately, except maybe playing Whack-a-Mole on her "emotionally intelligent" brother's head. But when she meets a gorgeous and surprising rocker named Dean, her shattered heart begins to mend . . . and then burst at the seams. Heart-wrenching, heart-warming, and sometimes even heart-racing, Heart Shaped Rock will leave you laughing through tears and rooting for love in all its forms.

Hear the original music performed in Heart Shaped Rock at 
www.LauraRoppe.com. All music available on iTunes.


Buy Links:




Link to Trailer:


***

My Review!

It's taken me awhile to figure out my thoughts and form a review on them. Usually, that means I didn't like a book. But I didn't hate Heart Shaped Rock; I just couldn't find words for it. 


Rating: 3.5 Stars!

First of all, I want more books that combine a reading experience with music! Like Maybe Someday, there are songs that correspond with certain scenes throughout the book. And it was a lovely experience, and it really helped make this more enjoyable.  

Because of my love for Maybe Someday, and my love for books about healing, I was excited for this one. And it was such a cute book! Sweet, charming, and with a beautiful message of pushing through your grief and finding the will to live again. 

Shaynee and her family went through a tragedy that tore them apart. And Shaynee lost the fight to live her life, to wake up every morning with a smile on her face, to share experiences with her little brother, and to talk to her dad. She lost the desire, the motivation, the determination to move through that grief and find the strength to heal. And six months later, she's still drowning in sorrow and anguish.

But, should I have to dismiss the stupid, incredibly hurtful, and sometimes downright cruel mistakes she made just because her mom died? It's like it's an excuse for Shaynee to act however she wants to, without thinking of the consequences and wondering how it would affect her loved ones. It's almost like the fact that her mom died gives her the divine right to be... a bitch

I don't mean to be so harsh, but I had a love/hate relationship with Shaynee's character. Sometimes, I was able to look past her behavior because I understand what grief is like. I understood how she felt she had to close off her heart so she wouldn't feel anymore pain. But I also sometimes couldn't stand how she treated her little brother, her best friend, and the guy who made her feel alive again. Shaynee couldn't stand anything that had to do with her mother, even at the expense of Lennox's (little bro's) feelings. And I don't like how Shaynee made Tiffany feel like shit for talking about her mom with people. What was she supposed to do, live like a hermit too? And then you have the drama with Dean. She didn't even give him a chance to explain. 

There was actually a lot of drama in this book, which turned me off. The whole Jared vs. Dean deal was SO annoying. I didn't think two love interests were needed, especially since Shaynee fell in love with Dean AFTER ONE DAY! Insta-love galore. Seriously, their relationship needed so much more development for me to believe that they have a forever kinda love. One date, and then they're already professing their love for one another. NO. Just, no. They were cute, but I would have felt much more than that if they'd actually gotten to know each other.

It made Shaynee's development seem flat and too unbelievable. It wasn't a gradual healing, like I had expected. It wasn't Dean helping her try to live again. It was Shaynee discovering how in the wrong she was about dealing with everything. 

I like characters who challenge me, who make me hate them one minute and then love them the next. But those characters have to feel genuine and real. They have be more than just their circumstances. Unfortunately, I never got a clear grasp on who Shaynee was before her mother died. It made her seem a little one-dimensional. And normally, grief would make me excuse a lot of things. But something about the way Shaynee responded to everything just made me feel like I should have been okay with it because she was grieving the loss of her mom. 

But I really did enjoy Heart Shaped Rock, and the musical experience was so awesome!


***

About the Author
Laura Roppé is an award-winning singer/songwriter, author, audio book narrator, speaker, and former attorney from San Diego, California. In 2011, Billboard Magazine ranked her as Number Three on its chart of the Top 50 "uncharted" artists in the world. In May 2013, Laura began hosting Amazon's weekly podcast, "Kindle Love Stories," for people who love hearing about love stories, romance, and happily ever afters.

Her first book is the non-fiction memoir, Rocking the Pink. Her latest is a YA-teen romance novel entitled Heart Shaped Rock, featuring a soundtrack.

Author Links:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cover Reveal: Dire Wolves Chronicles by Alyssa Rose Ivy

The Dire Wolves Chronicles is a brand new New Adult paranormal romance series that you will want to add to your TBR pile ASAP! The Order of the books is: Dire, Dusk, Dawn,with DIRE publishing September 2014!! 
  
Dire
  About DIRE
Gage was the first guy I ever wanted. He was my first crush and my first fantasy, but he wasn't my first in any other way because he never saw me as anything more than a friend— at least not until the night that changed everything. 

 It was all Gage's fault. He insisted we drive through the storm and take the back roads. By the time the storm hit full force we had no chance. One night of snowbound sex changed our relationship forever. The problem was at the same time I caught another guy’s attention. This other guy happens to be the alpha of a pack of shifter wolves. 

Add it to your Goodreads now!

***

Be sure to look for the next books in the series DUSK & DAWN: Dusk  

Dawn

TDWC Collage
The covers are designed by Cover It Designs with photographs courtesy of CJC Photography.

***

Alyssa Rose Ivy Bio:
Alyssa Rose Ivy- Author Photo
Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.         

Links: 
Twitter 
Author Goodreads 
Pinterest 
Website 
DIRE: The Dire Wolves Chronicles Goodreads 
Facebook

Guarding Angel by S. L. Saboviec Book Blitz



Guarding Angel by S. L. Saboviec
(Fallen Redemption #1)
Publication date: May 19th 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:
Guardian angel Enael can’t seem to keep her human Wards in check. They’re the ones who choose their paths before reincarnating—she’s just there to help make sure they stay on track. But it’s not as easy as it might look.

When she meets and falls in love with charismatic Kaspen, a fellow Guardian, Enael’s feelings about Heaven, Hell, demons, and the life she’s known are turned upside down. Worse, angel-turned-demon Yasva, Kaspen’s former love, still holds him in her clutches. Even as Yasva works toward obtaining complete control of Earth, she taunts and haunts Kaspen’s and Enael’s lives.

Now Enael is forced to face her past (which is centuries long and bursting with secrets), her present (which is terribly unfulfilling and full of questions), and her future (which becomes more uncertain as time passes). Armed with a newfound love and fear of losing it all, she must figure out how to save the world—-and the angel she loves. Which side will win? Who will Kaspen choose? Will Heaven and Earth continue to exist, or will everything go to Hell?

***

Excerpt!
I’d never visited Hell, so I wasn’t certain where it was located, which would make it harder to get there. Instead of envisioning the place, I closed my eyes and pictured Kaspen. I reached for his essence, groping for him. Ah, there. As expected, his life spark was located somewhere other than Heaven or Earth. Darkness pulsated near him.

I took a deep breath and fixed my mind. Straining, I envisioned Kaspen’s face, wondering where I would end up. I opened my eyes to the greens of the Garden melding together and fading.

This transition was nothing like the pleasant tingling I felt when moving between Heaven and Earth. Instead, it felt as though something cold and slippery were being poured over my body, into my mouth and nostrils, and squeezed through my pores. My stomach churned. Dimness enveloped me and the oiliness slid from my skin.

I found myself in front of a pit-marked rock face marred by a double swinging door. I tried to peer through the crack between the doors, but a figure blocked most of the dim, red light.

The doors burst open and I was knocked to the ground. A hood fell over my face. I tried to fade from Hell but couldn’t. Something wrapped around the base of my wings, and my arms were forced behind me and bound.

“Help! Kaspen!”

I was wrenched forward and thrown over something—the shoulder of whatever creature had assaulted me, perhaps. Lurching footsteps carried me away from where I’d faded into Hell. I fought, but whatever bound my wrists and wings squeezed more tightly around them. I stopped struggling, clamping my lips together to keep from crying out.

***

AUTHOR BIO
Samantha grew up in a small town in Iowa but now lives in the suburbs of Toronto with her Canadian husband and expatriate cat. In her spare time, she reads, writes, and thinks about reading and writing—along with playing the occasional video game or eight.

Author Links:
www.saboviec.com

Waiting on Wednesday #15

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

This week, I can't wait to read Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover! :)
Expected publication date: August 5th, 2014!


When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

***

Why am I waiting for this book?

Colleen Hoover is a freaking genius when it comes to New Adult. I have loved every single book of hers, and I've read all of them but This Girl. She is my go-to author when I'm looking for books that will break my heart, twist until it hurts, and glue it back together again. I can always count on her to give me books that will make me cry, fall in love, and that will involve my heart. <3

What book are YOU waiting for this week? As always, leave me a link to your WOW so I can stop by. :)

***

Oh, and I also have a giveaway going on for a signed copy of My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal. To enter, click here