Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (21)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand (Won)
Crewel by Gennifer Albin (Purchased/Preordered)
Through the Ever Night  by Veronica Rossi (Gifted/For Review thanks to EpicReads)
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Trade with Kristen of Lost Among the Shelves)

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger (Purchased) SIGNED
Hourglass by Myra McEntire (Purchased) SIGNED

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (Purchased) SIGNED
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Purchased) SIGNED!!!!
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Purchased) SIGNED!!!
Across the Universe by Beth Revis (Purchased) SIGNED
A Million Suns by Beth Revis (Purchased) SIGNED

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cover Reveal: Sweet Peril

Guys. You know I loved Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. And there's a sequel! Are you read to see the cover of Sweet Peril (out April, 30, 2013)?

Well look no further...

Anna Whitt, daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a claim. She’d been naive about a lot of things. Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

The cover...



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WoW: Out of the Easy

WoW: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Release: February 13, 2013

It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny

- - - -
So I finished Ruta's first book, Between Shades of Grey, two weeks ago. I loved it. It was powerful, beautiful, and made my heart ache with ALL THE FEELS! 

I have no doubt that Out of the Easy will be just as wonderful, and I'm desperate to get my hands on a copy. Anyone willing to help a girl out? LOL. J/K. But seriously, I'm so excited for this book, it's not even funny.

- - - -
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Book bloggers present upcoming books they can’t wait to read and share their enthusiasm about new releases.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Southern Festival of Books RECAP

So I had the pleasure of attending the Southern Festival of Books for the first time. You would think, having lived near Nashville for years, I would have attended the festival sooner. But no.

And I don't know why I waited so long!

There were so many people, so many authors and awesome panels, that I had difficulty choosing which ones to attend. In the end, I attended three panels and got tons of books signed over the course of two days.

Day 1: 10/12/2012 

I couldn't attend the first day of the festival, but I did go to the Author/Blogger dinner with awesome people like Kat Zhang, Bethany Griffin, Ruta Sepetys, Amanda Havard, Lauren @ The Housework Can Wait, Shalena, Hannah Courtney, and more! There were 20 PEOPLE in attendance.

Day 2: 10/13/2012

I went with my cousin. Our mission: to attend the panel with Sarah J. Maas. 

Two months ago, when Sarah told me she was coming to the Southern Festival of Books, I FREAKED OUT. I had long given up any hope of meeting Sarah in person, and now she was actually coming to Nashville. Of all places.

My cousin and I arrived a little early, so I had to wait outside the panel room. There was another panel going on.

Then I looked up and saw Sarah Maas, CJ Redwine, and Kat Zhang.

I didn't think. I got up and hugged Sarah (which seems awkward now that I think back on it, since Sarah's hands were full). And when it was time for the panel to start, I snagged a front-row seat.

The panel was super awesome and informative. All three talked about why they wrote fantasy, how rules are important to any fantasy world, and how fantasy is very much about the main character's journey. Star Wars was brought up a lot, and the argument was made by all three panelists that it was more fantasy than sci-fi. Which makes sense, now that I think about it. Each also talked about finding their place in the world of publication, and the struggles they deal with as authors. All three gushed about their favorite fantasy works, and how fantasy is starting to become an "in" thing, thanks to Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.

After an hour and a half, the panel was over and I went to the singing collandade to get my books signed. Here is a picture of me, my cousin, and the lovely Sarah:


Once I got my books signed, I headed back to attend the Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian panel. It was late, but I was there long enough to hear the two talk about bullying, and their writing process (specifically, how they balanced co-writing and writing their own books). After the panel, I stood in line to get my books signed.

Here I am with Jenny and Siobhan:

Originally, I planned to see Bethany Griffin and Amanda Havard, but I was hungry. My cousin and I met up with Sarah Maas at one of the street venders and we hand lunch together, with Kat Zhang and Lauren @ The Housework Can Wait. It was the highlight of my day, spending quality time with two authors I admire.

Then all five of us bumped into Ruta Sepetys, and we talked with Sharon Cameron. Both are super nice, and super encouraging.

Unfortunately, I had to cut my day short when I got news that my mother was in the hospital. She was in car accident (not her fault), but she's okay. Just hurting. The CT scan was negative, and she was eventually discharged that afternoon.

Thank you Sarah, Kat, and Lauren for your concern. It meant a lot.

And here are two pictures of Sharon Creech, author of some of my favorite childhood books:

Day 3: 10/14/2012

Guys. I met Catherynne Valente! She's the author of the Fairyland books, and if you haven't read them, do it! Now! Her books are magical, whimsical, and full of meaning. All three on the panel talked about their favorite childhood books, and how sometimes those books lose charm when you read them as adults. It was also interesting how everyone agreed that reading aloud to kids was powerful. In addition, they also discussed differences in their writing process for children. And all three talked about their book's illustrations. It was super fun and informative!

 And here I am with Catherynne!

And, I didn't have time to attend the panel, but here I am with Kami Garcia and Margaret Sthol:

It was such a fun weekend. And yes, my mother's car wreck dampened my mood slightly, but I can't deny that it was fun meeting all these authors. I'm hoping next year's festival will be even more awesome. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review + Scavenger Hunt: Crewel

Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Release: October 16, 2012
Source: ARC (won)

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back

Crewel is perhaps one of the most unique reads I've had the pleasure of reading this year. Although the cover didn't impress me, I was utterly drawn by the premise. Spinsters? Who weave time and matter? I didn't know what to think except: I need this book.

And now that I've read it, I can say it did not disappoint.

In this world, girls hold the power to weave time and matter. Not every girl, though. Special girls like Adelice. These special girls are taken away and trained as Spinsters to create the balance of their world. For many, being chosen is an honor. For Adelice's parents, it's a horror they cannot fathom. So from a very young age, Adelice was trained to be "normal", "clumsy", and ""artless". They did everything they could do hide their daughter's gift.

But Adelice slipped and the government comes, in the middle of the night, to retrieve her.

Soon, Adelice discovers why her parents had tried so hard to prevent her from being taken. Being a Spinster is not quite the honor that the government would have society believe. Yes, Spinsters have the power, but the men have control. I would go into more detail about Albin's expertly crafted world, but it's something best left up to the reader to experience.

As for character, Adeliece was fascinating. She wasn't overly brave, defiant, smug. She wasn't demure, shy, or scared. She was just a girl fascinated, confused, and frightened by the new world around her. Adelice is continually fueled by her desire to see her family again.  It was fascinating to see her grow and learn as a character.

The one thing that I wish had been better executed was the romance. It seemed, at times, out of place. There is clearly a set-up for a love triangle between Jost and Erik, but I couldn't seem to distinguish the two guys in my mind. They felt the same, and I couldn't choose one boy or the other. Luckily, this isn't about the romance. It's about the world and a girl who is discovering it along with the reader.

So if you are looking for something refreshing and unique, Crewel might be your up of tea.


But WAIT. 

You'll probably see a lot of reviews for Crewel up today, along with a Scavenger hunt. And there's a prize. Here are the deets.

Directions: There are a list of links below that are your key to finding the answers to the questions in the scavenger hunt. Please answer all the question that are listed for the hunt and the winner that answers all of them correctly will win the awesome prize of a box set full of Fierce Reads titles!


1. Whats Gennifer Albins favorite thing to drink?

2. What is the last phrase in the Crewel Trailer?

3.  What's Gennifer Albin's favorite number? Pick a number between 1-100.(Guess!)

4. What do the Spinsters weave? Be specific(it is mentioned on Gennifer's  blog)

5. When was the Crewel trailer released? 

                           PrizeOne LUCKY winner will get.......
                          A box set of ARC Fierce Read Titles!
Entry Form: When you have found all the answers click HERE and fill out the form to qualify!  

If chosen you must reply to the email within 48 hours or another winner WILL be chosen. Open to the US ONLY(SORRY). 

-Must answer each question correctly to win. Winner will be chosen randomly through

-Must provide a working email address in the form!

-You have until October 18th to enter!

LINKS:  Goodreads Synopsis
               Crewel Trailer 
               Gennifer Albin's blog 

These links shall guide you on your quest to a Crewel World.
Weave Wisely.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (20)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

So here's the deal: listed below are all the books mentioned in the video (including those purchased months/weeks ago prior to the Southern Festival of Books). I will denote which ones were newly purchased at the Festival with an asterisk **

Southern Festival of Books:
Throne of Glass  by Sarah J. Maas (US HB): SIGNED
Throne of Glass  by Sarah J. Maas (UK PB): SIGNED
Throne of Glass  by Sarah J. Maas (US HB): SIGNED. Gift for friend who could not attend the festival. **
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han: (PB): SIGNED
It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han (PB): SIGNED
We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han (PB): SIGNED
Burn for Burn by Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han**
Burn for Burn by Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han (ARC: SIGNED: PRIZE COPY FOR RICKI)
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (PB: SIGNED)**
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (HB): SIGNED
The Girl who Fell Beneath Fairyland and led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente (HB): SIGNED**
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Sthol (PB): SIGNED
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Sthol (PB): SIGNED**

For Review: 
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans (thank you SO MUCH, Simon & Schuster!!!!!!)

Stealing Parker by Miranda Keneally (SIGNED-thank you, Miranda)

Review: Venom

Venom by Fiona Paul
Release: October 30, 2012

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

I admit it. I lust after covers, and Venom's cover was what drew me to the book. Then I read the description and I HAD TO HAVE IT. Thanks to Jennifer Dee, I was able to get my hands on a pretty, pretty ARC and I devoured it. People who say that they hate historical would do themselves a service by reading this book. It's delicious, mysterious, and full of swoon. It's not slow or boring at all.

This book takes place during the Renaissance Venice--with water, gondolas, romance, and intrigue! Fiona Paul truly has a way of making the world come to life. And in this world, Cassandra (Cass) Caravello is among the elite. She has name, power, wealth, and prestige. Or so it seems. Things begin to unravel when one of Cassandra's friends passes away and one trip to her grave changes everything. Where the body of her friend should have been lies another lady, with a red X on her chest. It's clear she's been murdered, but by who? 

Then Cassandra meets Flaco and her world is turned upside down. Lowly, handsome, and full of charm, he's the last person that Cassandra wants to associate with. Besides, she has a fiancé. But if Cassandra is to ever find her friend's body and return it to its rightful tomb, she has no choice but to team with Falco. 

My only complaint with this book, is that Cassandra seemed to trust Falco too easily. But again, it's not like she has choice. She wants answers and a part of her is desperate for adventure, away from the stuffy confines of etiquette. I think chemistry these two have makes up for how quickly Cassandra falls for Falco. They are both fully developed characters, with flaws and strengths, making them all the more fascinating to read about. And the world! It was vivid, lush, and dark. I loved it. 

So do yourself a favor and read this book when it comes out. 


Friday, October 12, 2012

Venom Blog Tour (Venomous Excerpt)

I'm super excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Venom. It's a historical YA romance/adventure/mystery that is just...oh so good....

As a part of the blog tour, Fiona wrote a short story entitled Venomous. Each tour stop has an excerpt. Follow the tour and read the whole story! 

A Secrets of the Eternal Rose short story
By Fiona Paul

The year is 1600 and the streets of Venice, Italy are ripe with intrigue and danger. In this introduction to the world of Venom, eighteen-year-old Mariabella has recently elevated herself from the rank of common prostitute to the status of courtesan, a respected high-class escort for those men in Venetian society who can afford them. Mariabella steps out to attend a party on the arm of her powerful new patron, certain that the night will be filled with glamour, secrets, and adventure.

If you missed the last part of the story, check it out on Rainy Day Ramblings


            I turn to Joseph. “They were entertaining,” I say.
            He shakes his head, a bemused smile on his face. “I find you entertaining, Mariabella. But you’ll go further in this world if you learn to play nice.”
            I make a mock offended face. “I’m sure I don’t know what you mean. Was I just supposed to let those women insult me?”
             “They’re just envious of your beauty and youth.” His dark eyes trail over my entire body. Excitement moves through me, the exhilarating feeling of knowing that someone who could have almost anyone wants me.
            “Did you know them?” I blurt out, before I can stop myself. “I mean, were you...with them?” I raise my eyebrows meaningfully.   
            “Probably at some point.” He smiles. “Who can remember? Come on. It’s time for you to dance with me.”
            Were this any other man, I would think he was being evasive. But someone as powerful as Joseph has no need to hide things, not from me, anyway. He leads me into the dancers, all of us blending into the rhythm like raindrops falling into a canal. Smooth. Effortless.
            “I suppose someday you’ll forget all about me too,” I say, giving him my best sultry little pout. I expect him to make a joke or tell me I’m unforgettable.
            Instead he shrugs. “Why not enjoy tonight instead of worrying about the future? A lot of young women would kill to be chosen for a party like this.”
            Chosen. Again, I think of the old woman cawing about how I was marked. Distracted, I step forward when I should be stepping backward and nearly squash Joseph’s right foot. He raises an eyebrow but doesn’t comment. Blushing, I murmur something about how much wine I’ve drunk, even though I’ve only had a few sips and I’m not even sure what happened to my glass. I do my best to put the old woman and the other courtesans out of my mind. So what if Joseph will replace me someday? I might have my fill of him first and walk away before he can even do so.
              I lift my chin and pull him in close. “Will I be accompanying you back to your palazzo later?”
            Out of the corner of my eye, I see Batista watching me. He’s dancing with a gray-haired woman whose teal dress hangs loosely on her gaunt frame. She’s probably a widow, or perhaps her husband is too busy drinking to dance. It strikes me as charming, Batista’s willingness to entertain complete strangers even though he’s not much for dancing.
            “I have to meet with some friends later,” Joseph says. “Perhaps you could visit tomorrow afternoon instead?”
            I nod, wondering exactly what sort of gathering takes place late at night after everyone has been drinking. I cannot ask, though. It isn’t my place. “I look forward to it,” I say.  My eyes gravitate back to Batista and I wish I hadn’t refused his offer to meet later. Suddenly I could do with the attentions of a man who won’t forget me the instant he finds something younger or prettier to play with.


For the next part of the story, visit Cover Analysis on Monday 10/15. 


Venom comes out October 30, 2012. Come back tomorrow to see my review of Venom (hint: I thought it was FABULOUS!)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Review: The Spindlers

The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
Release: October 2, 2012
Source: e-ARC from publisher via Edelwiess

One night when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy-grubbing and pancake-loving younger brother, who irritated and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not. In fact, he was quite, quite different.

When Liza's brother, Patrick, changes overnight, Liza knows exactly what has happened: The spindlers have gotten to him and stolen his soul.

She knows, too, that she is the only one who can save him.

To rescue Patrick, Liza must go Below, armed with little more than her wits and a broom. There, she uncovers a vast world populated with talking rats, music-loving moles, greedy troglods, and overexcitable nids . . . as well as terrible dangers. But she will face her greatest challenge at the spindlers' nests, where she encounters the evil queen and must pass a series of deadly tests--or else her soul, too, will remain Below forever.

While I usually read and review YA, I am never opposed to reading a middle grade book. Especially if it's by one Lauren Oliver.

In general, middle grade books have the potential to be magical, surprising, and nostalgic. And while I enjoyed The Spindlers, it did not blow me away.

The Spindlers is the story of Liza. She wakes up one day to discover her brother is not...normal. He's acting different, and she's convinced that The Spindlers are to blame. So Liza decides to go to find The Spindlers and reclaim her brother's soul.

Now, Lauren Oliver did a good job of describing Below, but there was a severe lack of world building. I wanted more detail, more magic, more danger, more...something...

Even the character of Liza didn't manage to stand out. I found her dull and too mature for her age. The fact that she goes to save her brother is admirable, yes, but I never connected with Liza and I don't know why. Mirabella, though, was a very amusing character. She's a vain and overgrown rat that Liza manages to befriend. She has the most amusing lines and she's definitely a comic relief. She made the book that much more enjoyable. 

And, honestly, this is Lauren Oliver. So I have to comment on the writing, which was lush and fluid, just like I remember. Her writing kept me hooked and kept me reading. I have no doubt the same will be true for many readers, especially the younger ones. I'm not saying this book is bad. Far from it. It was readable, enjoyable, but it lacked a certain spark and depth that I longed for. Perhaps I was expecting too much from a middle grade book? Regardless, I will continue to read Oliver's works because she a stellar writer.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

6 month Blogoversary + Bday Giveaway (Week 5)

The winners for the INT giveaway and the signed copy of What's Left of Me are (as follows): Carla and Kelly M.  CONGRATS! They have already been contacted and I will be mailing out your prizes soon.

The last giveaway that I have is pretty awesome, guys.

The Southern Festival of Books is happening next weekend. Here's a list of the awesome authors that will be in attendance: R.L. Stine, Sarah J. Maas, CJ Redwine, Gillian Flynn, Julianne Baggot, Kat Zhang, Catherynne Valente, Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian, Kami Garcia, Margaret Sthol, Jessica Khoury, Ruta Sepeyts, Sharon Cameron, Meslissa Walker, and MORE! Seriously. I'm so EXCITED!

And I want to share that excitement with ya'll.


This is open only to US entries. Enter using the rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WoW: Let the Sky Fall

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.

Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them.

GUYS. I am ridiculously excited for this book. Shannon's debut MG book, The Keeper of the Lost Cities, released YESTERDAY and it looks SO GOOD. This book is no exception. It looks romantic and through-provoking: my type of book. Please let 2013 come soon! 

I'm also ridiculously excited to meet Shannon in person when she visits TN later this month. EE! 

So what are you guys waiting on this wonderful Wednesday? Leave a link below and I'll try to visit. :D 

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Book bloggers present upcoming books they can’t wait to read and share their enthusiasm about new releases.