Saturday, December 31, 2011

In My Mailbox #11

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by
The Story Siren.
Head on over for more details on how to join!

Since we didn't get a chance to get one done last week,
we'll be featuring 2 weeks worth of books!

We received:

For review:
Once A Witch & Always A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough - Thank you HMH Books

Hunger, Rage & ARC of Loss (Riders of the Apocalypse series) by Jackie Morse Kessler
Thank you HMH Books

ARC of Purity by Jackson Pearce
ARC of I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Thank you HBG Canada

ARC of The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze-  Thank you HBG Canada
The New Phenomenon by Chris Raabe courtesy of WriteLife Publishing

ARC of Life is But A Dream by Brian James - Thank you Macmillian Children's Pub
ARC of Slide by Jill Hatahway - Thank you HarperCollins
via NetGalley

ARC of Destiny's Fire by Trisha Wolfe - Blog Tour Stop Jan 11, 2012
ARC of In My Dreams by Cameo Renae - Blog Tour Stop Jan 2, 2012

The World Among Us by Beth Ann Masarik - For upcoming Blog Tour
The Sounding by Carrie Salo - Blog Tour Stop Feb 18, 2012

Gifted (Christmas):

Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Across the Universe by Beth Revis (already devoured - review can be found here! )
Batman comic and graphic novel to feed Gabby's Batman obsession

Ruthless, Pretty Little Liars Novel by Sara Shepard - Received from ... I don't know!!  Would love to find out who you are to thank you properly <3

Signed copy of Scars by Cheryl Rainfield & Swag

While you're here why not check out our various giveaways
happening on the side bar!
What's in your mailbox? Feel free to leave your
IMM link in the comments

Winter Holiday Books Blogger Exchange with Jackie from the Hardcover Harlequin

The Winter Holiday Book Blogger Exchange is a Christmas/Holiday Season exchange hosted by the always fantastic Gwenny at Rants~N~Scribbles.
Think of this as a book exchange with a twist!
Not only will we be exchanging books with our partner, but we are also going to participate in a "get to know your blogger partner" post!
I was so very lucky to have been partnered with Jackie from Hardcover Harlequin!  YAY me!  = )

And now....
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Jackie!

This and That - Christmas Edition

Favorite Christmas Song?
 - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Favorite Christmas Treat?
 - Pin wheels!

Favorite Christmas Movie?
 - Santa Claus 1, 2, & 3!!

Favorite Christmas Novel?
 - Not really a novel but I use to read it to my little sister, The Night Before Christmas.

Which do you prefer: Presents vs gift bags?
 - PRESENTS! I absolutely love all the colours of paper, and ribbons and bows! And it just gives it a special feeling because people know you took the time to wrap it all :D And if I put it into a bag I wrap what it is! HAHA!
We asked Jackie why she started blogging?

How the Hardcover Harlequin came to be?

There are a couple reasons why I started my blog, the Hardcover Harlequin, but only 2 main ones stick out in my mind. Over the summer I had hardly known what blogging was until one of my good friends showed me her blog from her English Class she was taking in university. I had no idea of the world bloggers had created especially book bloggers! She had persuaded me to start reading Y.A. again and I just fell in love with everything!

 I was bored one day at home and I just decided I would try it out ... I never knew how much I loved it and how many friends I would end up making!! I just thought I love books and I absolutely love to chat about them and tell people my thoughts so why not make a hobby out of it! I know that really isn't a reason but it was an incentive, lol. Another incentive or reason would be to really have something to call my own. I really only have one hobby which is reading. I use to play a ton of sports before I injured my back, and now I have blogging and reading! I just think it is a way to fill my time instead of watching TV or lazying about! At least when I laze about I can be productive blogging and reading, lol. I feel like blogging as really become a part of who I am and I am loving all the connections and friendships I have made :) I just want to share my love for books of all shapes and sizes and I have FINALLY found a place to do that.

Now a little extra info, the reason I called my blog the Hardcover Harlequin is because I am only ever known to buy books in Hardcover lol, and I am a die hard closet romantic!! And Harlequin is one of my favourite publishing companies! lol. I thought putting the two together would be catchy! lol.
And finally...
What book did Jackie receive from her wish list and why did she put it on her wish list?

The reason why I choose:
Firelight by Sophie Jordan

One of the main reason I chose this book specifically was because I have never read a book in relation to dragons or anything like that! So I thought this would be a good place to start! lol.
Now I know most people think dragons and books and think Eragon which is true I do have the entire series on my shelf waiting to be read but for some reason Sophie Jordan's book seemed to just speak to me every time I'd walk into Chapters! lol.  
And who could say no to opening lines like:
"A hidden truth. Mortal enemies. Doomed love."
Honestly it just screams read me, love me, review me!! lol. And the cover just beckons me with its beauty! lol. So many reason to just jump right into this book!
Thank you so much MaryAnn!! You have completed my need to read a story about every single mythological creature out there! lol.

Omg, how cute is she!  Make sure you head on over to the Hardcover Harlequin and check out Jackie's beautiful blog!  And special thank you to our most awesome host Gwenny from Rants~N~Scribbles for setting this all up for everyone involved!  Make sure you stop on over there too and let her know just how awesome she is!
Can't wait until next years exchange!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Review of Across The Universe by Beth Revis

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

I have been pining for this book for, what seems like, forever! I had recently received an ARC for A Million Suns, and decided it was time to buckle down and finally read this book I have been stalking at the bookstore.  Thankfully, I received it for Christmas, and didn't think twice to start devouring it. And devour it, I did.

I instantly fell in love with this futuristic, dystopian world that takes place on a space craft named Godspeed.  I was pulled into this world that instantly played like a movie in my mind.  Beth Revis is a writing genious.  Everything was perfectly described, the characters were created to be believeable with personalities of their own, and the story was one that I will not soon forget.

I loved how the chapters jumped from the point of view of Amy, and then to the point of view of Elder.  Definitely will always be one of my favorite styles.  Revis does a great job of playing on the emotions of the reader when writing about Amy's sense of loss and desperation when being forcefully woken up decades ahead of her parents, feeling completely alone.  The first few chapters alone are what made the story capture my attention, and the rest of the book kept my attention.  I was sorely disappointed when the book ended, but was quickly overjoyed to have the next installment as an ARC waiting for me.

Even though the story takes place on a space craft, the world that Revis creates is both vastly huge, when you take into account the stars and space, and also immensley small, with having to live in a ship with artificial stars, sun, rain, air and surrounded by walls of metal.  I loved how Revis kept me guessing to the very end about what was going on and who was to blame for the murders of the frozen passengers.  I could feel the wheels spinning in my head trying to come up with a reason for them, and why...what the motive is.  I felt very CSI-ish.

It was interesting to read how the creation of generation after generation is monitored on the ship to ensure the continuity of life on Godspeed.  It's also interesting to read what this "future" colony knows about earth's history and how it is altered to keep order among the people.

I loved this book, and cannot wait to start A Million Suns.  I already miss reading the interaction between Amy and Elder, and am so excited to see what will happen next.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year 2012 Giveaway Hop Stop

Welcome to my stop for the
Happy New Year 2012 Giveaway Hop
Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter for
a chance to win a book of your choice ($12.00 and under) at The Book Depository!
This contest is International as long as TBD delivers to your country.


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Follow My Book Blog #12

Follow Me Friday is a book meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. #FF is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort
between bloggers. In order to join in the fun, all you need is well . . . A book blog(yay us!)
For more info on how to participate, click the button above,
seriously you can't miss it.
This week's question:
The New Year is here -- and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?
 For 2012,  I think I'd like to re-vamp everything.  New background, new layout. AND I think I'd like to try VLOGing my IMM's!  I've chickened out everytime I've attempted, but maybe...just maybe I'll be brave :) 
I'd also like to have more interaction with my followers via the blog and twitter!  I'm very excited for 2012.  I can't wait to ring in the new year!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming
novels we can't wait to read.

Our WoW for this week is...
Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.
Since then, Mac's life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac's hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy's killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy's murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy's boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Hemlock is the first novel in a spellbinding urban fantasy trilogy filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.

Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (an imprint of HarperCollins)
While you're here, why not check out our giveaways:
What book are you waiting for?

Tour Stop: Review of Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan

Welcome to my tour stop for the Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan Blog Tour
hosted by Cedar Fort Books!
Here you will find my review and insights for this unforgettable YA read.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll get creeped out and fall in love with Fracture Light.

I’m dying, I thought. This was unexpected and not at all how I envisioned my death. I was supposed to die gardening in a flowerbed as a hundred-year-old woman, not as a seventeen-year-old trapped in a lake beneath inches of ice.

Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After the Vykens killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. She can’t take any chances. But when she starts to make friends for the first time in her life, she gets careless and lets her guard down. Big mistake.
As an Aura, Llona can manipulate light and harness its energy. But if she wants to survive, Llona will have to defy the Auran Council and learn to use her power as a weapon against the Vyken whose sole desire is to take her light. Now she’s caught in something even bigger than she can understand, with a power she can’t wield, and no one she can trust, except, just maybe, a mysterious stranger.

In this breathtaking and romantic adventure, Rachel McClellan delivers a truly mesmerizing story that will keep you guessing to the very end. -Synopsis from the book
Fan made book trailer
** This book was provided to us by the publisher, and we were in no way paid for our review.
The review was done simply because we support and believe in the author's works**
The first emotion that I felt when I started reading Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan was…sadness. From the very opening of the story, I felt sad. I could feel the sorrow and sense of loss that main character Llona Reese goes through at the funeral/cemetery. It was at this point that I knew that this was going to be a promising read. If the author is already able to conjure up this emotion in a matter of a few pages, I knew that there was only more to come.

I really enjoyed how McClellan introduces the characters in Fracture Light. Their interactions with each other were so addictive to follow. You could already see the budding relationships forming, which is always exciting to watch unfold. And of course, a Young Adult book is never complete without at least ONE character to hate…enter Brian. I mean, what a jerk! How he talks to Llana made me clench my teeth. Again, another sign that this was going to be a great read. EMOTIONS! McClellan does such a great job developing her characters throughout the book. You could really imagine them all as real people, not just an imaginary person in a book. Love, love her writing style.

I found that McClellan’s concept of “light” very interesting and that it reminded me just a little bit of Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s “sister” Dawn, who was “the key” disguised as a human. For those of you who were die hard Buffy fans, you’ll understand what I mean once you read the book. I love those stories of “you can’t always see what’s staring you in the face” type stories. My mind went on different tangents throughout the book trying to decipher who knew what/who Llana was…like I was playing detective, but one who didn’t finger the right culprit. Good thing I’m not really a detective!

Reading about the “dark figure” was totally creeping me out! There aren’t that many books out there anymore that can creep me out, but Fractured Light was among the few that did. It probably didn’t help that I’m home alone most nights, up wayyyy late reading in the almost dark, alone…hearing noises…feeling eyes watching me…eep! McClellan is such great story teller. She provides the reader with such vivid descriptions of this shadow creeper, that this book was seriously giving me a complex. I really felt like something or someone was watching me!

This is such a fantastic, suspenseful read! Each chapter will keep you guessing until the very end, when everything you’ve been questioning is finally revealed.

I encourage everyone who loves a good paranormal suspense read to give Fractured Light a read. You won’t be disappointed, and maybe…JUST maybe, you’ll be looking over your shoulder every so often, or peeking at your window for a shadowy creeper… like I was!

You can read more about Rachel McClellan here

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review of Destined, A House Of Night Novel by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

In Destined, the forces of Light and Dark collide as their epic struggle focuses on Tulsa’s House of Night. Zoey is home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side – and preparing to face off against Neferet. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx’s gift of a human form, he and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if Rephaim can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father’s shadow.
But is Zoey really safe? Does she truly know those who are closest to her? And will love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness? Find out what’s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series. - Synposis from the book

You have no clue how long I've been waiting to read Destined, and since I had so many novels to switch back and forth through I've been forced to put Destined off. Did I regret it? Yes. Yes x one million.  With it being the ninth novel in the House Of Night series (one of my favorite series), I was so excited to begin reading and surprisingly it takes place right where Awakened left off. The one thing that sets Destined apart from the other novels in the series is the new twists with Aurox, Neferet's creature who has been created only for her to command him. Did I forget to mention that he turns into a bull? Well he does.
One of the things that I found most enjoyable was the relationship between Rephiam and Stevie Rae, since Rephiam has been forgiven by the Goddess and was given the form of a human boy. Except that he has a few animal issues, left behind. Cast also gave the readers a new insight into Kalona who, it turns out, isn't as heartless as we've all been lead to believe, and for the first time ever (I think) we get to see the story through Professor Lenobia's eyes, while we also get to learn about her past and her feelings towards the human that has been hired to help her with her stables. Just from the few chapters where I got to see things through Lenobia's eyes I know that when the novella, Lenobia's Vow, comes out I am going to be first in line to get it.
Maybe it's just me but I do always find it interesting in the House Of Night novels that we also get to see minor snippets from the main villains point of view, Neferet. I love seeing just how low she'll go to get what she wants, and how twisted she really is. It also shows her half weird/ half intense relationship with the White Bull of Darkness, as well as how much she hates Zoey and any other person (cough Thanatos, cough) who gets in her way.
I really didn't know what to expect with this installment, to be honest, I think that it almost needed to be longer since the whole novel happens over a period of a week and when Destined came to an explosive finish I had no clue what to expect or what was going to happen next. So many questions were left behind in my head, most of them including what was going to happen to many of the characters and the release date of the next novel. Hopefully it's just as shocking as Destined was and twice as long.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review of Diabolical by Cyntia Leitich Smith

When “slipped” angel Zachary and his werewolf pal Kieren are summoned under suspicious circumstances to a mysterious New England boarding school, they quickly find themselves in a hellish lock-down with an intriguing assortment of secretive, hand-picked “students.” Plagued by demon dogs, hallucinatory wall d├ęcor, a sadistic instructor, and a legendary fire-breathing monster, will they somehow manage to escape? Or will the devil have his due? Best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith unites heroes from the previous three novels in the Tantalize Series — including Zachary’s girl, Miranda, and Kieren’s love, Quincie — along with a fascinating cast of all-new characters for a suspenseful, action-packed clash between the forces of heaven and hell.
** This book was provided to us by the publisher, and we were in no way paid for our review.
The review was done simply because we support and believe in the author's works**

As soon as I started reading, I was once again fully immersed into this hauntingly beautiful world created by Cynthia Leitich Smith. I personally think that you can get by without reading the other three books from the Tantalize series as Smith does a fantastic job of explaining the backstory with each character. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have read them because you’ll have a more in-depth knowledge of the characters histories.
We are once again reunited with characters we have grown to love in the previous books of this series, and this particular book did not disappoint. True fans of Cynthia Leitich Smith will immediately fall in love with this story. With her classic back and forth point of views presented in each chapter, we are treated with a clearer understanding of what is going on in each character’s mind, and see what sort of struggles they are trying to get through. We are also introduced to a few new characters that the readers will come to love, as they do the original cast.
Even though Zach and Miranda are not “physically” together, you can see through Smith’s beautiful writing how much love they still have for each other, even in the afterlife. By having Miranda “report” from Penultimate (somewhere between earth and heaven), we are able to see what is going on in the story from a bird’s eye view. I love that Smith incorporated this style of writing in the story.
There were various points throughout the book where I actually gasped out loud, and my eyes did a little bit of a bulging out thing, and my mouth hung open! It was so creepy, and gross and intriguing all at the same time. Even through all that, I couldn’t turn away. I had to keep reading. Like seriously….snakes coming out of the mouth? Ewwwwwww! Must keep reading on…
Smith has a writing style that is so addictive! With all the different twists and turns throughout the book…omgosh! Sooo good. How many more plot twists can Smith come up with? Just when I think that there couldn’t possibly be anything else she can come up with, I’m foiled yet again! I just love, love love (!) her writing so much…
The pace in her writing is just perfect, leaving the reader with so many different emotions. I’ve found myself “eeping” out loue, and uttering “whaaaat?!?” so loud that I would startle other family members here and get the stink eye... Everything is just so descriptive that there is no way the reader cannot visualize everything being read. You can almost smell the surroundings, and even feel what the characters are feeling. Smith’s vivid description of Hell is absolutely terrifying. I could pretty much hear the moan and wails, feel the touching and scraping of the hands and fingers…so creepy.
And don’t even get me started about the build up towards the end. I just hearted this book so much. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a heaven vs. hell read, craves paranormal romance, and love to get creeped out from time to time. Come see how epic vampire/angel love story pans out. You won’t be disappointed…

While Eternal was all about vampires, Diabolical was all about Demons and Angels *gasps and covers mouth*, which is a pretty great thing considering that all through Eternal I was wondering when we would begin to learn all about the Heaven that Zachary knows and Hell which obviously nobody really wants to go. When reading Diabolical, I felt like I was reading a novel that was a completely different story which is not a bad thing, since Eternal revolved around Miranda's life as a vampire and Diabolical revolved itself around the hunky slipped angel Zachary's new life helping regain the souls of Eternals (or vampires).
Not only did the novel show the development of the characters from the first novel, and the characters from Tantalize, but it also gave us a moment to let us see how Zachary is still grieving over Miranda's death. The way his thoughts are always about 'his girl' and how he can't wait to be re-united with her or how he just knows she's looking watching over him. Talk about your 'awww' moment. The entire novel when I read from Zachary's POV (point of view) I constantly was hoping that he would finish up with his assignment and get to go into the Divine with Miranda.
Now to be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect when I began reading the novel, I was curious about when things would get exciting. Then just like *snaps fingers* that- we get thrown into Scholomance Prep, the school that Zachary and hunky werewolf Kieran end up going to to save Miranda's best friend Lucy. It was great to read all of Kieran's thoughts while they were in what was literally the Devil's school. I also found myself laughing when some of the new characters like Vesper or Nigel said something totally off topic. When reading Diabolical I also began to think that everybody would be totally creeped out by the spirit who teaches the ten students at Scholomance Prep, Ulman who will kill any student who steps out of line.
I recommend this to all the fans of Eternal and Tantalize and to anybody who hasn't began reading this amazing series. I also would recommend this to anybody who wants a slightly darker, but also funny supernatural novel.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Follow My Book Blog #11

Follow Me Friday is a book meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. #FF is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort
between bloggers. In order to join in the fun, all you need is well . . . A book blog(yay us!)
For more info on how to participate, click the button above,
seriously you can't miss it.
This week's question:
 If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book
 which book would you choose and why?
I would want to live inside the Modern Faerie Tale World by Holly Black (Tithe, Valiant & Ironside) because the guys in these books seem very romantic, and I would love to see what the world of the Unseelie Courts would be like...and perhaps try to rule? *raise eyebrow*

While your here, why not enter our various contests!

Chapter by Chapter featured at This Is From My Heart

Hello everyone! 
We are so excited to have been chosen as a feature blog this week by Janiera over at This Is From My Heart!

Click the Banner below and find out a little more about us,
and about Janiera!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review of Fracture by Megan Miranda with Swag Giveaway

In a striking debut, readers will be spellbound by this unforgettable story of life and death ... and beyond.

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine-despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought.

Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.
** This book was provided to us by the publisher, and we were in no way paid for our review.
The review was done simply because we support and believe in the author's works**  

Megan Miranda is a force to be reckoned with in the literary world (Just putting it out there). Her debut novel “Fracture” is quite simply amazing. It was one of those books where when I finished reading it, I stared up at the ceiling and replayed scenes of the book over in my head so I could relive the book again. Written in the point of view of main character, Delaney Maxwell, Miranda’s writing style flowed from one page to the next, and she took her time in moving the story along at a nice and steady pace. This is a wonderfully written book, explaining how one event can affect everyone around you, and reading about what impact it has on one another.

The book starts off with a vivid and detailed description of Delaney’s drowning at Falcon Lake. The writing totally enveloped me and I was watching the entire scene unfold all around me; with what was happening to Delaney during the event…her thoughts, her feelings…, and with what her friends were feeling and what they were doing to save her.

Miranda does a great job developing the characters all throughout the novel, and who could not love the story of Delaney and Decker. One of the reasons I love reading YA so much is the innocence of youth. How, looking back now, you can pinpoint the tell-tale signs of when someone liked you, but you were totally oblivious to that fact. Well, you know how these types of scenarios are synonymous with YA books. Miranda did not disappoint when writing one into Fracture. You can’t help but smile and say “open your eyes! He’s totally into you, and you are into him…” when you read about the developing relationships in this book.

Not only is this book showing the development of young love, but it also shows the development of relationships between parent and child. About relationships that are not even thought of when it comes to the world of teens; a parent’s relationship with their own parents. This book touches base on so many different topics that readers can relate to somehow. Miranda’s mixture of humour helps the reader come to a better connection with the characters, and helps lighten the mood of some of the scenes.

I found myself laughing out loud at various points throughout the book. One point in particular was when Delaney is leaving Troy’s work, and she has to roll down the window to speak with him, and ends up rolling down every window but his. I found that so hilarious because that honestly, happened to me. I was dropping off friends for a night of debauchery, and forgot to ask about something. I had enough time to roll down the passenger side window to shout out the question, but I couldn’t figure out which button was for that particular window. I started to panic because they were getting further away, and so I started button mashing, which resulted in a window symphony. It was pretty embarrassing, but thinking back now…it was also pretty hilarious.

You can really tell that Miranda took her time in researching the details she incorporated into the book in order to make the story more realistic and believable. Every little detail felt like it was strategically placed. I found myself getting sucked deeper and deeper into this world she created. Miranda’s writing style is so beautiful and so full of emotion, with an equally beautiful ending.

This is a story of how Delaney’s world is crashing all around her, and where she finds the strength to push through, a story of courage, perseverance, determination, and strength.

Enter below to win some wicked SWAG!! 

Here's how to win:
1 - Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.
2 - Leave a comment (on this contest page!) stating how you found out about the contest!  Whoever you list will win swag as well!

Official Contest Info:

- Make sure you enter your e-mail address correctly. This is the only way we can contact you to get you your prize, so double check :)
- You must be 13 years of age or older to qualify.
- This contest is international (yay!)
- The winner will be announced sometime on January 21, 2012. The winner will be notified by e-mail (again, make sure you typed it correctly) and will have 48 hours to reply to us. If we don't hear from you, a new winner will be chosen.
- Good luck!!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming
novels we can't wait to read.

Our WoW for this week is...

Orphaned at the age of six, Jane Williams has grown up in a series of foster homes, learning to survive in the shadows of life. Through hard work and determination, she manages to win a scholarship to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy. There, for the first time, Jane finds herself accepted by a group of friends.

She even starts tutoring the headmistress’s gorgeous son, Lucien. Things seem too good to be true.

They are.

The more she learns about Birch Grove’s recent past, the more Jane comes to suspect that there is something sinister going on. Why did the wife of a popular teacher kill herself? What happened to the former scholarship student, whose place

Jane took? Why does Lucien’s brother, Jack, seem to dislike her so much?

As Jane begins to piece together the answers to the puzzle,she must find out why she was brought to Birch Grove—and what she would risk to stay there….
To Be Released: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen 
While you're here, why not check out our giveaways:

Blog Tour Stop: Saving Elizabeth by Amy Machelle: Author Interview & Giveaway

WINNERS!  Congratulations to Stella @ Hushed Paradox &
We are so happy to have Amy Machelle, author of Saving Elizabeth, stop by the blog for a visit!
First off, let's introduce you to this phenomenal YA book!

Blaming God for the death of her father, sixteen year old Elizabeth Bridges denounces her faith and vows never to utter His name again. She tries to distance herself from anything spiritual, but the events that occur after an unwanted move make that difficult.

First, the dreams come – dreams of evil creatures, and rendezvous with the gorgeous stranger she thinks her mind created to escape her miserable life. But her first day at Glacier High proves there’s more to it than that.

Elizabeth meets Riel, the boy from her dreams, and he knows more about her than is humanly possible. He says she possesses a coveted gift that all of Hell is clamoring to seize. The monsters she dreams of are real, and they’re battling for her soul. Soon, Elizabeth is thrust into a spiritual realm where she doesn’t know friend from foe. She battles demons in the storage closets of her high school, with Riel, her only protection.

Will Elizabeth be able to trust Riel and help him save what matters most, or will they both join forces with darkness and turn their backs forever on the only One who can offer them the love and peace they so deeply desire? - synopsis from Goodreads

Hi Amy, and welcome! Thank you so much for taking the time in stopping by the blog and spending some time with us today!

Hi, MaryAnn! Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

Before we get down to the nitty gritty, how about a quick breakdown of what Saving Elizabeth is about. In tweet form (140 characters or less), tell us what your novel is about.

Angry over the death of her father, Elizabeth denounces her faith, but will she be able to deny God once
the demons come to call?

1 - What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve been a daydreamer for as long as I can remember. I’d jot down my daydreams from time to time in high school, but I didn’t start writing seriously until 2009. That’s when the Twilight craze swept through the youth group at our church. Not having read the books, I couldn’t imagine what would have the girls so captivated. I read the series for myself and made it my mission to find faith based paranormal romances that the girls would enjoy. Unfortunately, after perusing our local book stores, I came up empty handed. That’s when I made it my mission to fill the gap. 

2 - How did you come up with the idea in writing Saving Elizabeth?
I wish I could say something cool like it came to me in a dream, but it didn’t work that way. At least, not in dreams I have at night. It was more like an extensive puzzle. I had all of these components floating around in my mind left over from various daydreaming sessions that I knew I wanted to see in a novel. I just had to find a way to piece them together. I’m a big fan of romance, so I knew there had to be a love interest. I’m intrigued by the spiritual realm, so I wanted to include angels, demons, and epic battles between the two. Faith is a big part of my life, so I wanted to explore it. What better way to do that than to place a character in a tough situation that makes them question it? Don’t ask me how it all came together. That’s still somewhat of a mystery to me. Every time I read it I ask myself, “Where in the world did that come from? Did I seriously write that?” All I know is that it just sort of evolved.

3 - Are the characters in your novel inspired by people in your life? If so, how and why?
I think Elizabeth happens to be a mesh of people. She’s spunky like the girls in our youth group. She’s stubborn like me. She’s strong like my mother. Every time I read back through the novel I find a new characteristic that reminds me of someone I know and love.

4 - Are there any authors who have influenced your writing, or that you look up to and have inspired you to start writing?
I love Ted Dekker. He has such an amazing way of leaving me hanging at the end of each chapter, and he explores faith and spiritual issues that cause me to reflect deeply on my own life. I have a hard time putting his books down. I’m a big fan of Tosca Lee for the same reasons, only add to that a beautifully poetic way of writing. Her words just seem to dance off the page.

5 - What is the first Young Adult novel that you’ve read? How did it impact you, if any?
The first YA novels I ever remember reading were by Lurlene McDaniel. In fact, my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Pennington, used to read them to us every day after lunch. That’s how I discovered them. The novels were pretty deep and explored the lives of teens dealing with life-threatening illnesses. The stories were so inspirational, yet heart wrenching at times. I’ll never forget looking around the room one day and finding everyone crying, including the boys who always groaned over the “mushy” parts. I can only hope my novels cause readers to feel so deeply.

6 - Any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?
Never quit. Never back down. Keep going forward. Saving Elizabeth received its fair share of rejections. As a matter of fact, I just received one from an agent I queried over a year ago. Rejection and disappointment is sure to come, but like gold, we are refined in the fire. Each rejection helps smooth rough edges and prepare us for the day someone will fall just as deeply in love with our novel as we are.

Thank you so much for stopping by! We look forward to your future reads!

Thanks so much for having me. It has been a blast!

Available for purchase at Amazon

Amy and her team has been gracious enough to provide us with 2
e-copies for 2 lucky winners!
Simply leave a comment with your email, and we'll draw a winner using!
Ends midnight Jan 12, 2012.  The winners will be announced sometime on January 13, 2012.

Monday, December 19, 2011

On A Dark Wing Tour Stop:Quote Battle

Welcome to one of the first stops for the ON A DARK WING by Jordan Dane Blog Tour hosted by
YA BOUND which runs from December 19 and ends January 2, followed by a live chat with Jordan Dane on January 5 at 7:00 PM EDT to announce the winners of the giveaways.
Today I've put together a little Quote battle between:
Death vs. Tanner

Round 1:
"This isn't a game, Abby.  Your feelings are important to me."
"It's a good thing I'm secure with my manhood or else I'd be a little uncomfortable with your courtship ritual."
 Round 2:
"I'm not curious about the dead.  It's the living I want to know more about.  I want to know about you.  The depth of human emotion is complicated and extraordinary.  It fascinates me."
I'll admit I'm gay if you can defininitely refute that you're not a direct descendant of Sasquatch.  You've got three minutes."

Round 3:
"...Because even if you don't understand what I'm telling you now, I want you to really listen and remember what I said, without filtering my words through...your anger.  Believe me when I say that I thought I'd have a chance to make - to do the right thing - but I'm afraid it's not up to me anymore"
"When I find you, Abby, please don't make me feel like more of a jerk wad than I already do."

Round 4:
"You may not want to see me again...but if you do, I'll be here."
"I may not know why you're doing this, but I'm your friend.  If you ever need someone to bail you out of jail and not post your booking photos on the internet, I'd be that guy."

Final Round:

"Dying.  The word is almost...beautiful, isn't it?  It sounds very much like it is - that one final breath."
"Can that again sometime?  I mean, when I'm actually ready, because I...could do better".
GRAND PRIZE: Jordan Dane is giving away a Kindle Fire to one lucky person!!! Contest rules are posted using the Rafflecopter entry form.

PRIZES: Ten blog stops along the tour will be hosting giveaways for copies of ON A DARK WING with a secret gift from Abbey. Rules for each giveaway will be posted on the blogger's site using Rafflecopter.

WINNERS will be announced at the live chat with Jordan Dane on January 5, so make sure you're there!

Be sure to check all the Tour Stops!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Character Challenge: Edward Cullen vs. Jack Force - Sweetest Vamp Boyfriend

Ever have that awkward moment in the bathroom when you wonder “Hey, I wonder which vampire is totally sweeter than the other?”Don't deny it. We all know you and every other human on this planet has, so guess what? Today is that lucky day where your #1 bathroom vampire question is answered (sound the DUN DUN DUN)...Who is the sweeter vampire boyfriend? Jack Force from Melissa De La Cruz's, Blue Bloods saga or Edward Cullen from obviously Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Saga. Oh snap. We just brought Twilight into the mix. Yeah...I just did that. Like always we will take a look at all of the important things:

 1.) How they won over the loves of their lives.

2.) All the sacrifices they made and then

3.) The ultimate undead boyfriend battle. 

All to know who earns the title of... Ultimate Vampire Boyfriend.

The Scenario
Imagine that one night, a girl named Schuyella (Yeah I went there, got insurance and pulled a Reneesme; Schuyler + Bella = Schuyella) walks down a deserted alley. We see a group of big hooded figures approach...what happens next is unknown. There's fear in the alley. They keep on coming at her. There's no escape! Then she looks to the left and sees Jack and Edward coming her way.

Let's see how they won the hearts of their female counterparts, many teenage girls...
and middle aged women. (Worth marks)
Jack Force - Blue Bloods
Jack is the blue blood reincarnation of the angel of destruction Abbadon. Is it creepy if I add in that he's bound to fall in love with his twin sister, Mimi who is the reincarnation of the angel Azrael? Well weird as that may be, Jack has a bit of a rebellious spirit and falls in love with Schuyler Van Allen. It was love at first sight, when Jack threw himself under a car and Schuyler saw not only that event but  saw him walk perfectly unscathed. Awww, that's how I met my boyfriend (-wait I don't have a boyfriend...)! After many failed attempts at keeping himself away from Schuyler, Jack and her end up bonding, and drinking each others blood on multiple occasions. Being the good boyfriend that he is, Jack throws the vampire Code to the wind for Schuyler and runs off with her to complete the Van Allen Legacy.
Edward Cullen - Twilight
I feel like it would be too much to simply say “He's Edward Freaking Cullen” and be done with it, so here comes the long form. Edward first won over Bella in biology class when he acted like she smelled really bed when in reality, it was to keep himself from attacking the girl with really good smelling blood. We also know that Edward began flirting with Bella when he noticed that he couldn't read her mind, teaching us all a lesson that if a boy can't read your mind he's a keeper. He eventually saved her life from a gang, where on the car ride home Bella told him that she knew he was a vampire. From then on Bella and Edward accepted that they were soul mates, the evidence of that being when Bella ended up having his vampire baby.

So who won over their girlfriend's heart more? Who is loved by teenagers more?Who is loved more by said teenagers' Moms? The easy answer is Edward Cullen. Nobody yell at me! Please! It's just because Edward has saved Bella's life almost 4 times! Good on' ya matey! Your a step closer to becoming the Ultimate Vampire Boyfriend.
In most vampire novels, vampire boyfriends are only as good as all of the sacrifices they make. Let's see what these two have done for their girlfriends. (Worth marks, obviously).

Jack Force
Edward Cullen
There could be a long list of things that Jack Force has done for Schuyler Van Allen, major things and minor things. Since I don't feel like listing every single thing we'll list the few major things that he's done for her.

- He left his sister on the day of their bonding to help Schuyler fulfill the Van Allen Legacy.
- The one major thing that Jack has done is going all the way back to Hell with Mimi, to deal with the Devil. The deal one may ask? (SPOILER ALERT!) The two of them will work for Lucifer to break their bond so that he may be with Schuyler without slowly killing her in the process.
- He's going to end up facing the blood trial (which will result in his death) all because he decided to stand by Schuyler's side to help her defeat Lucifer and save the vampire world.

Edward has done both a lot and not a lot for Bella. I know it sounds confusing but please understand what I mean when I finish listing all the facts.

-Edward resisted her blood = he didn't kill her.

-He killed James and Victoria and almost took on the Volturi to keep her and their child safe.

-He turned her into a vampire.

-He married her.

-He promised to spend every minute of forever with her (awww)

So after a not-so long minute of consideration full marks go to *drum roll please* Jack Force!! Yay! Please Twi-hards don't yell at me. It's just that Jack has done quite a few more major things for Schuyler than Edward has for Bella. Just saying.
Now the moment we have all been waiting for! The ultimate undead boyfriend battle where we will take a look at what would happen if the two boys were ever to meet up, meet the same girl AND attempt to win her affections. The winner? The first boy to steal her heart. Let's see how this goes...

The Scenario:

Imagine that one night, a girl named Schuyella (Yeah I went there, got insurance and pulled a Reneesme; Schuyler + Bella = Schuyella) walks down a deserted alley.As she walks down this alley we see a group of big hooded figures approach, what happens next is unknown. There's fear in the alley. They keep on coming at her. There's no escape!  Then she looks to the left and sees Jack and Edward coming her way.  These aren't like the guys who attacked Bella, these guys have knives and aren't scared of anything. Not even of Edward, when he stands there and growls menacingly. Edward can't kill and won't 'rip those guys head's off'.
So bring in Jack Force who would stand there and shift into his angel form as Abbadon. He has wings and red eyes and stuff, you guys...major stuff. So it's an obvious reason why the gang of boys would run off in fear. So what happens next? The two boys offer Schuyella a ride home, our lovely protagonist knows that you always run off with your knight in shining armor and goes home with Jack.
The next few days work like that, Schuyella seeing both boys at school. Edward covers his nose in biology when he sees her, Jack sees her in the hallways and smiles, Edward sees her in the hallways and heads in the opposite direction. Then one night when Schuyella wakes up in the middle of the night she sees Edward standing at the foot of her bed. Our main character isn't sensible. She gets freaked out and runs for the hills! So after a period of a month (and after seeing Edward in her room on multiple occasions, and seeing Jack in the hallways with his sister, though her and Jack see each other a lot after Schuyella is attacked by a Silver Blood and Jack saves her - secret rendezvous encounter/attack FYI).
Schuyella finally knows who it is that she's in love with exactly.

Nobody get mad! Our ultimate battle was based on what would happen in the real world,if I saw some dude in my bedroom I would probably call the cops. That's what Schuyella does. If a vampire attacked me and some guy saved my skin, I would probably be leaning closer to him than the guy in my biology class who acts like I rolled around in a pig pen! I do think that against any other guy Edward would have had better chances, don't get me wrong I adore twilight- I just don't think that Edward could last against Jack Force.

Congratulations Jack on winning the title of Ultimate Vampire Boyfriend.

 Treat the title wisely, and beware of the other vampires who might want to steal it from you. Don't be a sore winner about it either, sweetie! And Don't forget to call Schuyella back!

Agree? Disagree? Leave comments...let us know what should change, what was missed! This is purely just my opinion :)
If you have any suggestions for future CC's (Character Challenge) let us know! Stay tuned for next  line up.
- Gabby
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