Monday, May 30, 2011

Review + Giveaway: Shade and Shift

SHADE/SHIFT
Jeri Smith-Ready
Paranormal Young Adult
309 pages/367 pages
Simon Pulse
Available Now
Received courtesy of Big Honcho Media for review

THE STORY
No one really knows why the Shift occurred, just that suddenly children born after a certain date were able to see and speak to ghosts, and those born before were not. For Aura, seeing ghosts has always been a part of her life, but when her boyfriend Logan dies, it becomes a way for her to hold on to what she's lost.

When exchange student Zachary shows up at school around the time of Logan's death, Aura's entire world changes yet again. Working together on an assignment researching possibilities for the cause of the Shift, Aura and Zachary discover shocking information about their pasts, their families, and their involvement with the Shift itself.

Though Aura is grateful she hasn't yet lost Logan forever, his continued presence is tortuous as she struggles to come to terms with her residual feelings for him as well as her new attraction to Zachary. But important people are starting to take notice of Zachary and Aura's connection and their link to the Shift, putting more than just their hearts in jeopardy as they seek answers.

MY THOUGHTS
Despite its paranormal element, the world of Shade and Shift is one that's easily believable, the existence of ghosts explained in such a matter-of-fact way we have no choice but to accept the parameters set for us and get immersed in a tale of love and loss, pain and joy, and life and death. Because we know Logan's passing is inevitable from the beginning, the weight of this knowledge draws us into this story almost instantaneously as we mentally and emotionally prepare ourselves for his demise, and attempt to steel our spines in order to be a vicarious support system for Aura when the time comes. Our preparations don't spare us the pain of his loss as we'd hoped though, and we read on with heavy hearts to see what awaits us now that Aura's relationship has changed so dramatically. Ms. Smith-Ready does a lovely job of interrupting our pain with the distraction of a new possible love interest and the mystery surrounding Aura's connection to him, ensuring we never get lost in the churning tide of misery but always have a lifeline to pull us out of the despairing blackness.

Logan is a fascinating character–a young man who seems rather selfish in his pursuit of music to the exclusion of all else (including Aura) during life, and then who, after death, glories in being a ghost despite the pain his presence causes those around him. Because of this, as well as the fact that we are introduced to him a point in his and Aura's relationship where she's beginning to have doubts and reservations about her place in his life, our connection to him is troubled. Though his death is agonizing, it's fairly easy to shift our focus and affection to Zachary as we don't have the benefit of years of memories that Aura has from their shared childhood. Then, just when we think Aura should move on and let Logan go, he either voices a sentiment or makes a gesture that sucker punches us in the gut, the ethereal violet tendrils that comprise his ghostly form suddenly becoming tangible emotional links instead of whispering through our fingers as we grasp for connection. This surprising rush of feeling makes us realize we're not quite ready for Logan to pass on, and we begin to see more clearly why Aura has been waffling with her reactions to both Logan and Zachary.

Shift is a bit heavier on the angst than Shade, Aura's continued confusion over her affections for both boys becoming more prominent, and just as she seems to have a decision made, new information pops up with regard to the Shift to the keep the drama going. When a third romantic player enters the picture, we do begin to question the state of things, but luckily for us his presence is short-lived and the angst is toned down in favor of some very interesting revelations about both Aura and Zachary's pasts. We're given just a few more hints as to what makes these two so special, and our tumultuous emotions are given a brief and welcome reprieve while our minds churn over the possibilities this new information has provided. When the Logan gut-clenching moment does come back at the end to blissfully torture us, we find ourselves ready for the onslaught and finish the last few pages greatly looking forward to the future.

Shade and Shift are very quick reads that deny us any other option than to be involved with characters and story, working us into a frenzy of teen drama and then shifting our attention to an intriguing enigma surrounding our two main protagonists. The combination of romance and suspense is beautifully executed, and Ms. Smith-Ready seems to know just when the Logan/Zachary competition is about to become too much and then relents, allowing us to breathe again and immerse ourselves in the story in a different way. The final installment in this trilogy cannot release soon enough, and I will be at the bookstore the moment it's available.

Overall Series Rating: 4/5

GIVEAWAY


Thanks to the wonderful people at Simon Pulse and Big Honcho Media, I have one copy of both Shade and Shift to give away to one lucky winner today! To enter, just leave a comment with a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. This contest is open to US residents only and will run through midnight EST on June 11th after which time a winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on the blog. Good luck everyone!

If you haven't had a chance yet, be sure and check out the series trailer!

119 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to these books! I've heard good things about them!
    Thanks for the giveaway!!

    GFC: Ivy
    ivykiddo@gmail.com

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  2. Oh I would love to win this series! It sounds so good! Tank you for running this contest. :)

    dulcy_brown@yahoo.com

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  3. Looks great! Thank you! :)

    mcrs_venin(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  4. I've heard so many great things about this series. Would love to win. Thanks a bunch for hosting.

    ~Felicia.

    fchien16@gmail.com

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  5. Yeah, I can't believe I still haven't read this series, especially with such a good rating from you! I think it sounds fun and sassy, and I'm really looking for more reads like that after my current read. Gahhh.

    Please be so kind as to enter me ;)

    iswimforoceans at gmail dot com

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  6. I've heard such good things about these books, but have yet to read either one of them. Thanks for giving the opportunity to win them!
    mimosastimulus[AT]gmail[DOT]com

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  7. I've been wanting to read these, thanks for the giveaway!
    folksohana at gmail dot com

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  8. oooh! I would love to win these books and read them. The series really sounds wonderful!

    -Len-
    maidenveil(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I'd love to win these. Thanks for the giveaway.

    forwhlz at gmail dot com

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  10. Great review Jenny. I have mixed feelings about this series (mostly the romantic drama) even though I found it hard to put down.

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  11. Oh thanks for the chance to win these. I really need to read re-read Shade...and then read Shift. :)

    -Lauren
    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

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  12. I have been eyeing this series for awhile, Thanks for the opportunity.

    vampiremistress2010(at)gmail(dot)com

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  13. Thank you for doing such a great giveaway! Yay!

    littleshelf AT gmail DOT com

    Jennifer of Little Shelf

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  14. I really loved Shade, and I can't wait to read Shift.

    tiahmichelle(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. I'd love to win, count me in! Thanks so much :)

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  16. I have heard such good things about this series. I love books with ghosts; I must read it soon.

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  17. WOW what an amazing giveaway! I have had these on my TBR list for some time! THank you so much!!!

    PelicanJL[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  18. i really want to get my hands on shift. thanks for the giveaway :)

    chelleyreads AT gmail DOT com

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  19. I love the covers for both of these. I am such a cover fanatic.

    frellathon(at)gmail(dot)com

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  20. I've been wanting to read these, thanks for the giveaway :)

    uniquas at ymail dot com

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  21. I've been seeing and hearing about these books all over the blogging world and I'm dying to read them for myself. So please enter me for a chance to win them and thank you!!

    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've been meaning to read Shade and Shift, but I still haven't picked them up yet! D:
    Thanks so much for the giveaway! :D

    theshybookworm(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  23. Thank you for the giveaway! These books look fantastic! :)

    liedermadchen(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  24. I've heard great things about these books! I'd love to win them!

    rootml1 AT hotmail DOT com

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  25. How horrible it must be to see ghosts, even if they get used to it. Now I get so curious how things really are there

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  26. Great review as always! I think the best paranormal/fantasy books are those that you forget that it isn't real. It's one of the comments I made on my review today (Hunger) - that I never believed it.

    alisoncanread at gmail dot com

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  27. Great review! I tend to think it would be cool to see ghosts, but I think I'm over-thinking that. It would eventually get very tiring. And possibly scary if they tended to make surprise visits!

    jessica[dot]agreatread[at]gmail[dot]com

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  28. I thoroughly enjoyed Shade and have been anxious to read Shift ever since I finished Shade many months ago. I have read three mixed reviews about Shift, but am thinking since I like Shade that I really need to get Shift and judge for myself. Good to know that you enjoyed them both too.

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  29. Heard wonderful things about this series!
    rickimc[at]aol[dot]com

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  30. Great review! I'm a bit worn out with love triangles, but this series sounds interesting enough to make up for that. Thanks for the chance to win these books, Jenny! :)

    aveelachild@gmail.com

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  31. That was a great review, I would really like to read them. It sounds like a good series.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

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  32. I've been reading a lot of good reviews for both of these books and have been thinking about getting them so I would love to win them.

    miztik_rose@yahoo.com

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  33. Heard great things about these books!

    TweetyB99 at aol dot com

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  34. Ive always wanted to read this series. Ive heard great things and loved your review..:)

    ps- did you have a blast at bea???

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  35. love to try these blogger not letting me sign in gfc rlrlaney rlrlaney@yahoo.com rhonda

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  36. I have these books (don't enter me into the giveaway), but I have yet to read them! Your review has convinced me that I really need to get on that! :P

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  37. "Then, just when we think Aura should move on and let Logan go, he either voices a sentiment or makes a gesture that sucker punches us in the gut, the ethereal violet tendrils that comprise his ghostly form suddenly becoming tangible emotional links instead of whispering through our fingers as we grasp for connection"

    That was definitely a beautiful way of stating Logan's draw. :) Very heartfelt review, Jenny! ♥

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  38. Nks so much for a great review/giveaway! I would love so much to win this.
    andreat78@yahoo.com

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  39. Thanks for the giveaway!
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

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  40. Sounds interesting. Thanks!

    ceelees(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  41. Horray! Great review Jenny! I feel in love with this book! I love all the action in the second books. Some things, I thought she deserved. Just sayin'

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  42. I loved her aspect of Crow trilogy, so I'm sure I will love these too!

    b(dot)cardone(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  43. I'm a bit confused, but that is nothing new. LOL

    I just don't know if I could really care about Logan. I'm not liking the sound of him despite the fact that his death seems very emotional. Guess I will have to read the books for myself to decide. :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    missie at theunreadreader.com

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  44. I never really started those books but I always wanted to I was just never sure if I would like them.. But, you gave this series such high praise I guess I have to read that now... Well and sometimes I light a bit of angst..

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  45. I have loved LOVED ghost stories ever since I was little - the premise here is great - a reverse of how we usually think of children and how they grow out of these things!

    Awesome giveaway, Jenny! Thanks so much!

    -Linds, bibliophile.brouhaha@gmail.com

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  46. You just made me more interested in this than I was before, even though I only read the Shade half of the review.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    rivkarno1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  47. Shade was one of my favorites from last year and I do have a copy of Shift but still haven't had time to get to it yet. Who to choose Logan/Zachary its such a dilemma.

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  48. Would love to be entered!

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

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  49. I love this series but don't have the actual books. Thanks for the chance to win.
    britneywyatt[at]gmail[dot]com

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  50. Great contest. I keep meaning to check these out and never seem to have a chance.
    Jessica - ireadtorelax@yahoo.com

    BTW - It was great hanging out in line with you at BEA!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'd love to win this! Thanks for the giveaway.

    erinberry12 at charter dot net

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  52. I keep seeing reviews for this series, but have never had a chance to pick them up. Thanks for the chance.

    GFC: Candice
    candicerjames (at) gmail (dot) com

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  53. I've got Shade in my TBR pile but I've been hesitant to start it since I've seen mixed reviews for it. It sounds like a good series though even if there seems to be quite a few love interests.

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  54. This is a great series! Thanks for the chance to win!

    mrsboswellsbooks@gmail.com

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  55. I loved Shade, but haven't gotten a chance to read Shift yet. Thanks for the giveaway!

    theatredreamer08(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  56. What a great giveaway thank you so much they sound so good can't wait to read them! Thanks for the chance!
    tishajean@ charter.net

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  57. I have heard amazing things about these books. I have yet to get them. Thanks for the chance!

    iLiveiLaughiLoveBooks@gmail.com

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  58. Thanks for the opportunity to win such great books. Count me in!

    jcross719 at yahoo dot com

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  59. No! No contest! Just give them to me!!! Please???? <3

    thebookishbrunette@gmail.com

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  60. Ooh, I really must read this series sometime. I really find the concept so intriguing. And I love that you say that the paranormal elements are believable as well. Very cool.

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  61. Oh I've been wanting to read these and this sounds like so much fun. Oh and since you can't wait for the third really makes me want them. Please enter me.

    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  62. This sounds like a great read

    gfc follower

    vidishamun@gmail.com

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  63. Thanks for the great giveaway!

    caldellizzi(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  64. I've been meaning to read these! Thanks for the giveaway!

    loganeturnerblog(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  65. Thanks for this contest! I've heard a lot of things about Shade and I really want to read it!

    twilightforever.edward at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  66. Thank you for the giveaway! I've been wanting to read these for a while!


    breakkanamexd[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  67. You were much nicer to Logan than I was, Jenny. LOL! I couldn't stand him and was especially pissed at how stupid he was when it came to how he died. I found it hard to like him especially when he acts that the whole world revolves around him. I did find Zachary interesting though and maybe it's because of his Scottish accent. Looking forward to reading Shift. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Please enter me in the giveaway. thanks
    marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  69. Victoria ZumbrumMay 31, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    I really want to read this series. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  70. Awesome giveaway! I have heard so many good things about this series.

    ashley.mckinsey(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  71. The plot certainly sounds interesting!

    snarkandwhite (at) gmail (dot) com

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  72. Oh, alright, you've convinced me. Sheesh.

    Rubysreads@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  73. Thanks for the giveaway! I have heard a lot of great things about these books!
    wolfluvr420 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  74. GFC Follower: SpadesHighReads
    Thank you for hosting this giveaway!! Nice to meet you!!

    SpadesHigh @ http://SpadesHighReads.blogspot.com
    TValeros18 @ gmail [dot] com

    Im a follower !!! =) If you wouldnt mind, would you follow me as well? ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  75. I love ghosts - thank you for the opportunity to win the giveaway of what sounds like great reads.

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  76. I have been waiting to read these books for like ever!!! Seeing this post just reminded me that I have been wanting to read them.

    castergirl172(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  77. Thanks for the chance! These sound fun! wilsondev(At)gmail(dot)com
    GFC follower

    ReplyDelete
  78. These sound interesting! Love getting the email updated BTW!

    Sara_0520@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  79. Thanks for the chance to win :D

    alice13188 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  80. Both these books sound super good! Would be nice to have them.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    lyssad87(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  81. I keep hearing such good things about these books! I would love to win a copy ... thanks for a great giveaway :)
    jwitt33 at live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  82. I've been wanting to read these for awhile :)

    thanks

    anedia @ gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  83. Cool! Thanks for the chance to win! I am a gfc follower (hense1kk)

    hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

    ReplyDelete
  84. Thanks for the giveaway! I've seen so many great reviews of this book!
    ambience.of.rain {at} gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  85. Thanks for the giveaway!

    lacrossex3(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  86. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I love these covers and heard the books were pretty good too! :-) Count me in!

    BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  87. Love her books. Thanks for the chance!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

    ReplyDelete
  88. I loved Shade. I had it sitting forever before I read it and when I finally did I couldn't believe I was missing out! I don't see how this one is going to get worked out. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Heather
    hrose2931(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  89. Thank you so much! I want to read these books so bad! Darn Book Buying bans!!

    chelle2006(at)aol(dot)com

    -Michelle

    bookbriefs.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  90. I've been wanting to start this series for awhile--thanks so much for the opportunity!

    kaitlynkline[at]gmail[dot]com

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  91. so glad you enjoyed these! I LOVE Jeri's writing!

    ReplyDelete
  92. These sound great. Enter me! mclanec[at]vt[dot]edu

    ReplyDelete
  93. Thanks for the review. I've heard really great things about this series! :)

    books[a]muggle-born.net

    ReplyDelete
  94. great giveaway
    follow via gfc
    drakebdog@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  95. I loved Shade and can't wait to read Shift! Thanks so much for this opportunity and for the review!

    wheems01 (at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  96. AWESOMENESS.

    msKpopper@yahoo.com

    ♥Cathy

    ReplyDelete
  97. SWEEEETTT!!!!

    katie_tp@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  98. Awesome contest!



    (\___/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
    http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  99. Great review! I've had these on my to-read list for a while now. Thanks for the chance to win.

    Lisapottswriter(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  100. A third possible romantic interest? And I thought two were more than enough...especially since one of them is dead o_o; Anyway, thanks for your fantastic review, Jenny...and for the giveaway! (ONE HUNDREDTH COMMENT. WOOT!)

    piratepenguinreads(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  101. methom@earthlink.net

    Thank you for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  102. I have heard so many great things about this series that I had to go out and order both of them.... I cannot wait to open my mailbox and find them in it!
    Thanks for the great review Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
  103. Thanks for the giveaway
    jenhedger at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  104. heykiddego (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  105. does anyone else have problems rembering what book contests and where you have entered in? rlrlaney gfc rlrlaney@yahoo.com rhonda

    ReplyDelete
  106. Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway! I follow on GFC as squiggles87.

    xxsquigglesxx(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  107. Hooray, I've wanted to read this series for some time!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE CHANCE! (:

    chocolatestarpie(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  108. Wow, great giveaway!

    Morganlafey86(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  109. My Google Account still doesn't like me so I keep having to post as anonymous....GFC Name: Maria (pronounced Mariah) I blame my mother…

    I have heard wonderful things about these books...please include me!

    Thank you! mmafsmith at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  110. I loved Shade and I'm happy you liked Shift. Thanks for the giveaway!

    lindadao2060 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  111. Thanks for the chance to win! This is a new author for me.

    jcross719 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  112. I recently finished the second book and now I totally can't wait for the third! And this giveaway is awesome.

    Usagi @ birth of a new witch
    http://witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com
    usagiko at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  113. I'm so curious about this series. The premise sounds like it could be a little confusing or overly focused on the romance, so I'm glad to hear the romance and paranormal parts are well balanced and executed. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

    imagesandwords at optonline dot net

    ReplyDelete
  114. Ooh! I've been dying, or...urm...living to read these!XD

    ReplyDelete
  115. Thanks for the giveaway!

    bmweida at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  116. I've heard such great things about this series. Thanks for the giveaway.

    -Kate
    sithereandread ATgmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  117. Thank you for the giveaway!
    NC/Truly Bookish
    bookishlilly@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  118. I really have been wanting to read both of these just haven't been able to get them yet. Thanks for the giveaway and hope I win.

    -Laura
    mrs_laura_koehler@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete