Friday, July 31, 2015

July Wrap-Up


July has been a really great month! I turned 20, my kitten, Mia, turned 1, and I read a crap-ton of books (aka 14)!  :)


The first book I finished this month was All I've Never Wanted by Ana Huang. I really enjoyed this book and you can can check out my review HERE

Rating: 4/5 stars


I read this entire book in one sitting- I could not put it down! I absolutely loved the story and the characters. Kris was sweet and brave and North was protective and swoony! Overall, I had a complete blast reading The Academy by Emmaline Andrews!

Rating: 5/5 stars


Hard to Be Good by Laura Kaye was a short novella that I definitely enjoyed reading.

Rating: 4/5 stars


The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak was really fun, sweet, and entertaining and you can read my full review HERE.

Rating: 4/5 stars


Where You Least Expect by Lydia Rowan was a quick and cute little romance story that I really liked, but didn't quite love.

Rating: 3/5 stars


I've been really excited for Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and am so psyched I finally got to it. The cover is beautiful and the premise was really cool. I think this was a case of my expectations being too high from all the hype and the book falling a bit short. That being said, I really did enjoy this book and will definitely be reading the sequel.

Rating: 4/5 stars


The Girl & the Machine is a short story Beth Revis has up for free on Wattpad. This is a fast read with a twist you don't see coming.

Rating: 4/5 stars


Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan is one of the most heartwarming and eye-opening books I have ever read. And it has a permanent spot on my favorites shelf. <3

Rating: 5/5 stars


Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling is a quick and inspirational read.

P.S.- Happy Birthday to J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter! <3

Rating: 5/5 stars


I finally read the first two books in the Doon series by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon and it was really awesome and fun! I loved the characters and the setting and I cannot wait for the sequel!

Rating: 5/5 stars


Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon absolutely blew my away! For more of my thoughts check out my review HERE.

Rating: 5/5 stars


Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout was the third and final book in The Dark Elements series. And I think it was the perfect conclusion to an amazing series! <3 #TeamRoth

Rating: 5/5 stars


I really enjoyed Lying Out Loud! I loved seeing all the cameos and I thought Sonny's sense of humor was great. But it really could have used just one more chapter. :)

Rating: 4.5/5 stars


-Kristen ♥

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Synopsis: This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more. 

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, ha ve not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Review: This book was absolutely nothing like I'd imagined it would be. Instead, it turned out to be so much better. I just finished reading Everything, Everything and knew I needed to write down my thoughts immediately.

The first thing I want to address is the format of the book, it was such a refreshing change from the usual and really expanded my enjoyment of the story. Now onto the feels.

This book is one of those rare ones that can really change you as a person. It's the kind of book that makes you want to go out and live life to its fullest potential. It's the kind of story that reminds you that life is precious, but that being alive and living are two separate things.

Madeline was a wonderful main character. I loved seeing her grow and change and stand up for herself. I adored Olly. I loved how sweet he was and I loved that Olly was only a stepping stone for Maddy to change her life, not the sole reason.

The big twist in the story was so unexpected and made me so freakin' angry and I'm glad Maddy, as a character, was allowed to hold on to her justifiable anger.

In the end, I absolutely fell in love with this book. If I had one complaint, it's only that I wish the story could have kept going for one more chapter (or ten). Seriously though, you should read this book. Everyone should. It's kind of life-changing.

An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Rating: 5/5 stars

-Kristen ♥

Thursday, July 23, 2015

#Bookstagram

I love books. And I love pictures. So it makes sense that I would love pictures of books! Today I want to showcase a few of my bookstagrams that I'm quite proud of.

A photo posted by Kristen (@kmichelle1) on

A photo posted by Kristen (@kmichelle1) on





A photo posted by Kristen (@kmichelle1) on

A photo posted by Kristen (@kmichelle1) on

-Kristen ♥

Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Spotlight: The Stellow Project by Shari Becker (Author Interview)

Title: The Stellow Project
Author: Shari Becker
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: June 23, 2015

Synopsis: When a killer storm unexpectedly hits Manhattan, seventeen-year-old Lilah Stellow’s dad insists that she and her younger sister, Flori, take refuge at their cabin in the mountains. But instead of joining them with the experimental drug that keeps Lilah alive, he disappears just as news reports name him as a prime suspect in an act of ecoterrorism.

As days pass without her medicine, Lilah finds herself teetering on the edge, caring for her sister, and growing increasingly certain they’re being watched. In her search for answers, Lilah is thrown into the center of a mystery involving an off-the-grid research facility and finds herself drawn in by Daniel, an intriguing boy who is the son of the lead scientist. As she dares to seek answers, Lilah slowly realizes that even the best intentions can go horribly wrong.

©2014 Bird on a Wire Photography
About the Author: Shari Becker was born in Montreal, Quebec, and was raised speaking both English and French. As a child, she spent her summers in the Adirondack Mountains catching fireflies, minnows, and toads. She has an MA from New York University and has worked for Nickelodeon, for Disney-owned companies, and even for an Emmy Award–winning puppeteer. She is the author of two picture books, including Maxwell’s Mountain, a Junior Library Guild Selection and Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book. She now lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband, their two daughters, and their dog. She loves lakes, but despises the bridges that run over them.


Author Interview:

First off, I'd like to thank you for joining me on the blog today! 

Thanks for having me!

1. Describe The Stellow Project as a tweet (140 characters or less)! 

Dependent teen finds inner grit when she becomes a pawn in a mystery involving her family, the government and a top-secret lab in the woods.

2. What inspired you to start writing? 

I was actually a pretty spacey kid. In elementary school I used to sit in the back of the classroom imagining that all the items in my pencil case were characters. The eraser was an evil dragon, the hole puncher was an innocent princess, the pen was the horse … you get the picture. My parents have all these notebooks filled with my drawings and stories. I even tried to sell a picture book to a publisher when I was in fifth grade-ish. They let me down gently, but I didn’t give up. I tried to submit a romance story to Seventeen Magazine when I was in 9th grade. They let me down gently, too. But clearly, I was a woman on a mission.

3. What kind of research, if any, did you do for The Stellow Project

At first, everything was just an idea in my head. But then I had to figure out if any of my crazy, sci-fi ideas would actually make sense. My friend is a pulmonary doc-tor, and he explained the basics of heart and lung surgery to me. My brother-in-law is a master tech guy who explained cell phone technology to me. My father-in-law used to be a liaison between the FDA and a pharmaceutical company, so I had him read over all my lab scenes.

I did a lot of the research about satellites, government organizations and weather, online. You’d be amazed at how many amazing tornado sky photos you can find using google. When I wasn’t sure if my ideas were credible, I would go online and just begin searching keywords.

4. Do you have a specific place where you write? 

Yes, I write in a sunroom / office off my family’s living room. There are lots of windows, but I have to keep the blinds closed or else I’ll get totally distracted by the people walking down the footpath that runs by my house.

An old friend of my mother’s gave me a beautiful antique roll down desk. The desk is small, which is a good thing, because I am not so organized, but there’s not enough room for a ton of mess. Sometimes, I’ll write on the couch in my living room at night. My dog will curl up beside me, which is sweet and cozy, but it is hard to be serious when a dog is licking your knee … or foot.

5. What are you reading right now?

I’m between books. I recently finished “All The Light We Cannot See,” “I’ll Give You The Sun” and “Blue Lily, Lily Blue”. I’ve been so busy launching “The Stellow Project” that I haven’t had time to pick out my next read. I’m open to suggestions! Do you have any?

I recently finished Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman and it was awesome!

This or That... 

Ebook or Real book?

Real, but audio is actually my favorite

Twitter or Facebook? 

Facebook

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate.

Past or Future? 

Future

And just for fun - What is the strangest thing on your desk right now? (Pictures are more than welcome.) 

At the moment my desk is a place for all things lost. I pick up random objects in the house, intending to put them away, but I somehow end up back at my computer, writing, and just forget about them. There is a kitchen timer, an old flip video cam-era, a bag of knitting wool, a lint roller and a nail clipper. I can’t send a photo … it’s too embarrassing.

Thank you so much for answering my questions- I can't wait to read The Stellow Project!

-Kristen ♥
 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Book Spotlight: Hourglass by Pauline C. Harris (Author Interview)

Title: Hourglass
Author: Pauline C. Harris
Publisher: Fire and Ice YA Books
Publication Date: March 11, 2015

Synopsis: Jude Sprocket has been a pirate her whole life. Taken in by a man who found her alone on a distant planet at the age of seven, all she has to remember of her past life is the loss her hand - the vague memory of a race through the woods and a bloody aftermath. Now, her father recently dead, seventeen-year old Jude has inherited his spaceship - Hourglass. Determined to get off Earth and continue her father's legacy of piracy, she assembles a crew and takes to the stars. But more than abandoned ships and hidden treasure await Jude in the vast void of space. She's haunted by dreams of a distant land, children hiding in the shadows, and a little girl she somehow feels the need to find. When Jude and her crew stumble across an uncharted planet, curiosity gets the better of them and they land, unaware of the dangers that wait. Suddenly, Jude's worst nightmares are coming true as she lands on the planet she was never meant to leave.

About the Author: Pauline C. Harris is the author of middle grade and young adult science fiction novels and published her first book at the age of fourteen. She's currently working toward a degree in English. Other than writing, her time is consumed mainly by reading, playing the violin, watching old black and white movies, and trying to survive her college classes.


Author Interview:

First off, I'd like to thank you for joining me on the blog today! 

1. Describe Hourglass as a tweet (140 characters or less)! 

In this gender bent retelling of Peter Pan, Jude inherits her father's spaceship and stumbles across a hauntingly abandoned planet.

2. What made you decide to do a Peter Pan retelling? 

I’ve been really into retellings lately (both reading and writing them!). I also love the idea of taking a normally male oriented fairytale and changing the protagonist to a female. I think it gives a nice twist and new vantage point to the story. And I’ve always loved Peter Pan and I thought a space travel, scifi retelling would be super fun!

3. What inspired you to start writing? 

I credit a lot of my initial inspiration for writing to the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson. I absolutely love those books and when I first got into them when I was in elementary school I knew I wanted to write books like that.

4. What kind of research, if any, did you do for Hourglass

I watched the Disney version of Peter Pan, read the J.M. Barrie novel, and quizzed my dad (in his infinite wisdom on scifi novels) about how spaceships work. That was basically it.

5. Do you have a specific place where you write? 

Not really. Especially now since I’m in college, I’m constantly moving around – from home to school to various trips – so I just write whenever and wherever.

6. What are you reading right now? 

I’m just about to start Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and I can’t wait. I’ve heard so many great things about it.

This or That... 

Ebook or Real book? 

Real book, definitely. I love the feel and the smell and everything.

Twitter or Facebook? 

That’s a hard one…probably Twitter. Facebook is better for personal stuff, but I love talking with other readers and writers in Twitter.

Chocolate or Vanilla? 

Chocolate!

Past or Future?

Future. Scifi future. ;)

Peter Pan or Captain Hook? 

Captain Hook! Villains are always more interesting than the protagonists. (And if you read my retelling, you might find Peter Pan isn’t as nice as everything thinks)

And just for fun- What is the strangest thing on your desk right now? 

It’s not necessarily strange, but it is a little random. I have a typewriter on my desk.


-Kristen ♥

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Blog Tour: A Friendly Engagement by Christine Warner (Guest Post + Giveaway)


Title: A Friendly Engagement
Author: Christine Warner
Series: Friends First, #1
Publisher: Entangled
Publication Date: June 23, 2015

Synopsis: What's a little engagement between friends? 

Omar Esterly is married to his job. But when Omar sets his sights on a potential, family-oriented client, his confirmed bachelorhood becomes a problem. Fortunately, his friend and employee, Devi Boss, has the perfect plan...

Okay, so it wasn't exactly Devi's plan to become her friend's fake fiancée. Lies aren't her style. However, Omar offers her a big, beautiful raise - enough to track down the missing father she's never known - and Devi reluctantly agrees to the whole engagement hoax... 

This was supposed to be a no-strings-attached win-win for both Devi and Omar, but when they cross the line between friendship and...well, something more, Devi realizes she's made a huge mistake that just might cost her both job and friend - falling for her fiancé.

About the Author: Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her husband, three children, one laptop and a much loved assortment of furry friends. Besides laughing and a good round of humor, Christine enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmitic. A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities. She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy, heroines. A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, Christine enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on Facebook, Twitter and her website.


Guest Post:

Today I’d like to talk about dedications. I think it’s one of the little features in almost every book that is often overlooked. I always check out the dedication page when I sit down with a new book. 

Why?

Because I love reading those passages, and I marvel at how a few well chosen words can say so much about the author and the people they dedicate their work to.

After my first book was accepted for publication I didn’t have to think twice about who would get the coveted dedication page. The hard part was deciding what to say without getting to wordy or to sappy. (Both bad habits of mine) My sister was the tank of strength in the bumpy journey I jumped on in the pursuit of becoming a writer and then taking the final plunge into publication. I couldn’t have done any of it without her encouragement and support.

My second book, I had no other option but dedicating my work to my awesome daughter. As a baby she was my pride and joy, as she grew to a pre-teen and then a teenager we had our share of battles. She’s now a young adult, making her way out in the world. Through all the changes we’ve held one steady constant—our love for each other that has carried us through trying times and into a strong friendship.

My third book was dedicated to two very important people in my life that left this earth to soon—my mom and dad. I miss them every day.

The fourth book I wrote was dedicated to all my wonderful readers. And every time I think of this dedication I smile. There’s nothing better than hearing from readers, and knowing that I might have brightened their day with one of my stories.

Now that my fifth book has burst onto the scene—and a sixth and seventh are on the horizon—I didn’t have to think too hard to decide who I’d dedicate my books to. Although, I do admit about worrying if I’ll get the words right.

I won’t reveal the dedications for books two and three in the Friends First series, but I do want to share my dedication for book one, A Friendly Engagement:

To my very special niece and nephew who have given me many smiles through the years as I’ve watched them grow into the amazing people they are today. 

My beautiful niece, Cassandra Devi Rianna Singh-Suwal, who has the strength to do things her own way, and my awe-inspiring nephew, Cristendra Raj Singh-Suwal, who has the biggest heart of anyone I know. 

I love you both. 

If you’ll notice my heroine in A Friendly Engagement shares my niece’s middle name of Devi. Besides dedications, I love “borrowing” traits, names, and characteristics from those in my life.

Are you like me and look forward to that sneak peek into an author’s thoughts by reading their dedication? Or do you skip the dedication page altogether?

I bet after reading this, you’ll check out a few if you haven’t before.

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

-Kristen ♥

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Book Review: The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak

Title: The Heartbreakers
Author: Ali Novak
Series: The Heartbreaker Chronicles, #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: August 4, 2015

Synopsis: "When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. And he had no idea that I was the only girl in the world who hated his music."

Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD...for four hours. She's totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she'll never see him again.

Except, Stella's life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer?

Review: I really enjoyed The Heartbreakers- I thought the book was sweet and entertaining and that the band itself was a lot of fun!


Our main character Stella, is the oldest of her triplets and the love she has for her brother, Drew, and sick sister, Cara, really touched my heart. The band members were my favorite, I loved each of their personalities and the antics they got up to. I really admired Stella's love for photography and how she finally finds the courage to pursue her passion. Oliver Perry was confident and sweet. I really loved how Cara never let her cancer get her down and she always saw the bright side.


Overall, this book was sweet and fun and the whole time I was wishing the characters were real so I could hear the Heartbreakers perform and see Stella's photography for myself. :)

An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

-Kristen ♥

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Anya and the Shy Guy by Suze Winegardner (Excerpt + Giveaway)


Title: Anya and the Shy Guy 
Author: Suze Winegardner
Series: Backstage Pass, #4
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Publication Date: July 14, 2015

Synopsis: Anya Anderson doesn’t just need a big break, she needs any break. Living on the streets doesn’t leave a girl many options, so when she scores a gig reporting on the Seconds to Juliet tour, she jumps at the chance to earn enough money to sleep somewhere safe. And the paycheck will get bigger—and keep her off the streets for good—if she can dig up dirt on Will Fray, the irritatingly hot “shy guy” of the band.

Problem is, Will Fray isn't who everyone thinks he is. In fact, he’s not Will at all. Matt, Will's identical twin, is actually the guy onstage, reluctantly covering for his brother while he’s in rehab. To make matters worse, Matt’s being shadowed by a cute reporter with troubled eyes determined to get the scoop. On him. And he's having trouble finding the willpower to keep his distance…

But if the secret gets out, it won't just be his head on a platter—it’ll be the whole band’s.



About the Author: Suze Winegardner is an ex-pat Brit who quells her homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She thinks her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get that reference, well, she already considers you kin. She is represented by Laura Bradford, of the Laura Bradford Literary Agency,and writes for Entangled Publishing‘s Crush imprint. She’s lived in LondonParis and New York, and has settled, for the time being, in North Carolina. When not writing, Suze loves to travel with her military husband, and take long walks with their Lab.

Excerpt:

Anya’s heart hadn’t stopped thumping through her chest since he’d kissed her. She didn’t know what had made him do that. But she wanted to make him do it again. Her first kiss. That is if you didn’t count Jimmy Madden in fifth grade, and she didn’t. She used to, but not now. 

Not as of ten minutes ago. Now she knew what a real kiss was like. 

She rolled up onto her side, too, and searched his eyes for something, she didn’t know what. But it was so dark up there, she couldn’t really see anything other than the outline of him. 

He spoke first. “Sorry about kissing you before. It was the adrenaline after the show. It’s still in me. But when I get off the stage, I feel like I can fly. Like my body isn’t big enough to hold everything inside me. Like I’m going to explode.” He paused and flung himself on his back again and reached his arms up toward the sky and stretched. “Hey, we can just be thankful that it was you there, and not LJ, right?” 

Her heart rolled over and curled into a dry ball of what the hell? So he would have kissed an old man if she hadn’t been there? What a jerk! There she had been, basking in her first kiss, and she could have been anyone at all. Anyone that just happened to be in reach. What a— 

“That is, if you hated it and never want me to kiss you again. If, by a complete shot in the dark, you actually liked it, then I have to say...” He rolled over again and poked her kind of hard in the ribs. “I’d certainly prefer to kiss you than LJ. Well, almost certainly.” 

Jerk! “Whaaat?” Relief and outrage spiked together and she jumped on top of him, making him “Ooof.” She jabbed her fingers into his ribs as he tried in vain to catch her hands. 

“I’m interchangeable with LJ, am I? Maybe I should kiss him and let you know what it’s like, huh?” 

He grabbed her wrists and levered himself so he was sitting again, leaving her astride his lap. “Stop. Come here,” he whispered, leaning in to her. 

She met him halfway, her eyes fluttering shut as his mouth caressed her jaw. She stretched her neck to allow him better access. The breeze fluttering across the roof mimicked his lips grazing over her face. He pulled away slightly and, after a second, she opened her eyes to see him staring at her. He slowly tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. “You’re beautiful,” he said simply. 

She looked away from him, unwilling to accept that he was being truthful. Fingers tipped her chin back up, and his lips slowly sunk to hers. She felt as if she were melting, from her legs, to her stomach, to her brain that no longer held a thought. 

For a few minutes, her whole world became Will, and his kiss. 

He pulled away and moaned, “Oh, LJ,” against her cheek. He ducked, laughing, before she could reach him with her poking fingers again.

Giveaway:


  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

-Kristen ♥

Book Blitz: Sweet as Sin by J.T. Geissinger (Excerpt + Giveaway)


Title: Sweet as Sin
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Series: Bad Habit, #1
Publication Date: July 14, 2015

Synopsis: Twentysomething Kat Reid is loving life as an in-demand Hollywood makeup artist. She has absolutely no interest in rock ’n’ roll, but in order to pay the mortgage, she agrees to work on the set of a rock video for the world-famous rockers known as Bad Habit…which brings her face-to-face with Nico Nyx, lead singer of Bad Habit and Adonis in the flesh.

However, the fiercely independent Kat isn’t impressed by the hard-living, womanizing rock star. But when Nico’s model girlfriend shows up to the set drunk and Kat is tapped to replace her as the video’s sexy bride, her combustible chemistry with Nico suddenly threatens to consume the set. Nico feels it, too—and becomes determined to win Kat over, body and soul. Yet behind his rock god swagger, Nico hides a dark secret. Can he rock Kat’s world forever, or will he just break her heart?

About the Author:  J.T. Geissinger is an award-winning author of paranormal and contemporary romance featuring dark and twisted plots, kick-ass heroines, and alpha heroes whose hearts are even bigger than their muscles. An entrepreneur since she began hand-addressing envelopes for a local beauty pageant when she was 14, she has owned businesses as diverse as a temporary employment agency to a flower shop. It wasn't until hitting a significant birthday that she became motivated to realize her life-long dream of writing a novel. Her debut novel, Shadow's Edge, was a #1 Amazon domestic and international bestseller, and won the Prism award for Best First Book. Her follow-up book, Edge of Oblivion, was a RITA© Award finalist for Best Paranormal Romance from the Romance Writers of America. Book 6 in the Night Prowler series, Into Darkness, won the Golden Quill award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers' Best, National Readers' Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards. Foodie, wine enthusiast, and nap connoisseur, she lives in California with her husband, on whom all her heroes are based.

Excerpt: 

“Here’s the thing, Nico—”

“Don’t overthink it, Kat. You wanna see me or not?”

My pulse was all over the place. I sat up, then regretted that move as the room began to wobble. “I do.”

“What’s the address?”

“I wasn’t done talking.”

He cursed. I ignored it. “I do want to see you, but I just want to lay a few ground rules before we start this whole . . . whatever this whole thing is.”

I waited for him to respond. He sounded like he was listening hard, and he didn’t answer, so I plunged ahead. “I don’t want to just . . . um . . . ”

“You got a three-date rule, sweetheart?”

I was relieved that he sounded amused. Thank God he had a sense of humor.

“Because I can respect that. But you should realize that when you see me today, it’ll be the third date. So the next time you see me, all bets are off.” His voice dropped. “And I wanna see you again tomorrow.”

“We haven’t even had one date yet!”

“The shoot, then the restaurant. That’s two.”

His idea of what comprised a date was seriously impaired.

“Those don’t count as dates! We were working on the shoot, and you were only at the restaurant for like five seconds. If I see you today, this will be our first date.”

I didn’t mention that he’d gotten the details of the three-date rule wrong. It was sex on the third date, not after. I was trying to buy myself as much time as possible, because he was moving at the speed of a rocket.

“Okay. I’ll give you the shoot. But the restaurant should count. Being with someone at a restaurant is textbook definition of a date. No matter how long it lasted.”

I could not believe we were actually having this conversation. I sighed.

“I’ll take that as a yes. Now give me the fuckin’ address, Kat, before I wear a hole in the damn rug.”

He was pacing?

“What part of town are you coming from? Because I need, like, a half hour to get cleaned up.”

Nico’s response was a growl. I gave him the address.

“You’re in luck. I’m comin’ from the Hollywood Hills. It’ll take me at least forty-five minutes to get to Venice in traffic.” He paused. “Or I could take the bike. That’ll get me there in thirty.”

Was he screwing with me right now?

“You still there, Kat?”

“I’m still here.”

“I’m gonna be there in thirty minutes. You gonna be ready for me?”

Oh, the dark promise in that tone. I felt like I was standing at the edge of a cliff, looking down. I already knew I was going to fall. The only question now was, how far?

And how hard?

 And would the fall break me?

“I’ll be ready,” I whispered.

 Nico’s voice was almost a purr. “Darlin’, that’s exactly what I’ve been waitin’ to hear.”

Before I could say another word, Nico hung up.

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

-Kristen ♥

Monday, July 13, 2015

Trailer Reveal: Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout

ELB - series banner  

Every Last Breath - Cover
Title: Every Last Breath
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: The Dark Elements, #3
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: July 28, 2015

Synopsis: Some loves will last ‘til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

“Armentrout is a major talent…I just can’t stop reading!” --New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter

“Armentrout works her magic with swoon-worthy guys and a twist you never see coming.” --#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines on White Hot Kiss 

Author PhotoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout: # 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
 

Book Trailer:
 

-Kristen ♥

Friday, July 10, 2015

Book Review: All I've Never Wanted by Ana Huang

Title: All I've Never Wanted
Author: Ana Huang
Publication Date: June 9, 2015

Synopsis: The Scions were the four richest, most powerful guys at Valesca Academy, and they ruled the school with iron fists. Everyone wanted to date them or be them...everyone, that is, except Maya Lindberg, who just wanted to avoid them until she could graduate. 

She almost succeeded, until an ill-advised outburst on her part put her right in the Scions' path. Just like that, one became her fake boyfriend, one her unwanted matchmaker, one her guardian angel, and the one she couldn't stand the most? Yeah, he's her new housemate.

A Young Adult romantic comedy that explores what happens when a girl gets everything she never asked for, including a puppy, a new wardrobe, and, possibly, even true love.

Review: All I've Never Wanted was cute and entertaining and just the kind of book I was in the mood for.


The most engaging part of the story for me were the characters. We have quite a pretty big cast, but they all felt so unique and I adored each and every one of them.


I really loved the main character, Maya, she was feisty and stubborn enough to stand up to Roman while still being really sweet. Roman was... arrogant, and a bit rude but you couldn't help but become fond of him. Carlo was my favorite of the Scions, he was really sweet and funny. Parker and Zack were equally as entertaining. Venice and Adriana were sweet. Overall, I really enjoyed this read. It was fun and exciting and different!

A copy was provided by the author.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

-Kristen ♥

Book Blitz: Fractured Memories by Jo Schneider (Author Interview)


Title: Fractured Memories
Author: Jo Schneider
Series: Jagged Scars, #1
Publication Date: May 20, 2015

Synopsis: Sixteen year old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation. She’s learned to put her trust in her knives, and her confidence in her fighting ability. When the Skinnies attack her compound, she’s the lone survivor.

Injured and near death, Wendy is rescued and nursed back to health by mysterious strangers. Her saviors offer her a place among them, but trust has never been one of Wendy’s strengths, and suspicion soon leads to evidence that these people might be the group who killed her family.

The decision to get her revenge, and take the settlement down from the inside out is easy. Keeping her distance from those she must befriend in order to make it happen proves to be much more difficult.

About the Author: Jo Schneider is the author of Babes in Spyland, New Sight-YA fantasy out April 2014, wearer of a black belt in Kempo and always in search of the next cool place to visit!


Author Interview:

1. What does your writing process look like? 

Imagine a desk, and at one end is a neat, little pile of papers. Next to that is another pile, this one not quite so tidy. Maybe one paper is slipping off the stack, which leads the eye to an array of notes that may have been, at one time, in a pleasing fan shape, but now looks like someone gave it a noogie. This is usually where you will discover the discarded wrappers of whatever snacks I could find. A glass with the glazed on remains of a Diet Coke will be sitting on a Dr. Who coaster, and the little cup for pens will be empty, because the pens are now hiding under the papers. When your eyes reach the keyboard, you'll see that everything has been pushed aside to make room for me playing of Facebook.

2. How important are names in your books?

Names are very important, and I'm sometimes horrible at finding just the right one. Ages ago, I bought a baby name book--a book that my fiance packed up when we got married and moved in together and was a little concerned about--and I often use that to find names. Sometimes I look at meanings. Often I will end up with names that all sound the same (one syllable for instance) or all start with the same letter. When that starts to happen, I find a letter I haven't used and I flip open the book. Sometimes I use the web too. Especially if I need, say, legitimate last name from Africa.

In my first novel, New Sight, I couldn't think of a name for the bad guys, so I named them the New until I came up with something better. By the time I got finished writing the book, the New had stuck. It's a dumb name, but now it's theirs.

3. What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?  

Years ago, I was at a little, tiny writing/Sci-fi/Fantasy convention and I went to a class by a guy I'd never heard of. A guy named Brandon Sanderson. His first Librarians book was about to come out, and he was talking about magic systems. I don't really remember what he said about that. What I do remember is one simple statement he made, "Don't be afraid to suck."

I've lived by this creed ever since. Don't expect to be the best author in the room, don't expect to get everything right the first time, and don't expect to wow every reader you encounter. What all authors need to do is keep writing. Find some people who will help you get better and listen to them. It's okay to suck, as long as you're willing to try again.

4. What is one place you want to visit that you haven't yet?

I've had the opportunity to travel a lot, but I've never been to Antarctica. I know it sounds insane, but I totally want to go! Seriously, penguins and the driest place on earth. Plus ice. I'm so there.

5. If you could have an accent from anywhere in the world, which one would you choose? 

Hello, 10th Doctor British please.

6. When you walk into a book store, where do you head first? 

Fantasy and Sci-Fi. Either adult or YA. Whichever I find first. Although if there is a cafe, I might get a snack before I start. Looking at books is both exhilarating and exhausting.

7. Describe yourself in four words. 

 Evil and easily amused.

_______________________

-Kristen ♥
 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Book Blitz: How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes (Guest Post + Giveaway)


Title: How to be a Mermaid
Author: Erin Hayes
Publication Date: July 7, 2015

Synopsis: All Tara ever wanted was to be a mermaid.

So she takes a year off between high school and college to don a fake tail and tour aquariums across the country in a professional mermaid troupe.

Everything’s great until she meets a gorgeous real-life merman named Finn. Suddenly, what she thought was a dream turns out to be a nightmare — she’s turning into a mermaid herself. For real.

Yet when she returns to the sea to seek out Finn and reverse her transformation, she finds herself in the middle of an impending war between the land and sea. Tara may have always wanted to be a mermaid, but now it’s sink or swim. In order to survive, she has to learn how to be one, too.

About the Author: Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books, like the fantasy mystery novel Death is but a Dream, the sci-fi middle grade book Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average, and the Her Wolf paranormal series. She works as an advertising copywriter during the day, and she moonlights as an author. She has lived in New Zealand, Texas, and now in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia. You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she'll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.


Guest Post:

When I first started writing How to be a Mermaid, I knew next to nothing about professional mermaiding. I looked online, watched videos, and kept an eye on forums, but I didn’t think I’d get a chance to see a mermaid in real life. And if it wasn’t for the Georgia Aquarium’s Festival of the SEAson, I probably still wouldn’t have been able to.

As part of the Georgia Aquarium’s Christmas celebrations, the famous Weeki Wachee Mermaids did a special performance at the aquarium. I went to a meet and greet with one of the mermaids and watched them do a live show.

It was one of those defining moments in my life. Watching these mermaids perform was like watching fantasies come true. Up until that point, mermaids were a thing of myth.

The mermaids of Weeki Wachee brought them to life for me.

While I was there, I also did a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium. My wonderful guide took me to areas where a lot of aquarium goers don’t venture. I got to see my favorite animals, the whale sharks, from a whole new perspective. I learned that they ship in food everyday from New Zealand for a particular animal’s diet. And I saw the inner workings of one of the world’s biggest aquariums.

The mermaids were enchanting, but I found that the living, breathing aquarium was just as magical. There are far too many things on this earth that we take for granted. The beauty of the sea is one of them.

The entire experience was eye-opening. A lot of conservation efforts are going on taking care of the animals and our oceans.

If we don’t take care of our environment, there will be less opportunities for future generations to see the beautiful ocean and its creatures.

Finn, Tara, King Oceanus, and King Leviathan may take care of the oceans in this book, but it is our responsibility to do more.

We have a fantastical, magical world around us. We need to take care of it, too.

Giveaway:
A mermaid care package to help you be the best mermaid: 
-A signed copy of How to be a Mermaid Tara's necklace
-Two Mermaid Mix soaks A mermaid mirror compact
-Six starfish hairpins
-A mermaid wallet
-Mermaid perfume
-Mermaid Tail Nail Polish
-A mermaid makeup bag
-Four Little Mermaid Buttons
-And one mermaid handbag to carry all your dinglehoppers


a Rafflecopter giveaway

-Kristen ♥
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