Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all my amazing readers and blogging friends here in the US, I wish you and your families a very, very HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I'll be taking the next few days off from the blog to spend time with family (and also eating my weight in mashed potatoes), but I'll be back on Monday and posting will return to normal.

I don't want to leave all my fabulous international friends and readers out of this post, so please know that I adore all of you as well.

Holidays make me sappy okay? *group hug*

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giveaway: The Book Thief Prize Pack

Today I have a very fun giveaway to help celebrate the movie adaptation of THE BOOK THIEF which released this month. I haven't read this book yet but I've heard outstanding things about it and I absolutely cannot wait to see the movie! Just in case you're not familiar with either, here's a short description of the film:

Based on the beloved bestselling book, THE BOOK THIEF tells the inspirational story of a spirited and courageous young girl who transforms the lives of everyone around her when she is sent to live with a new family in World War II Germany.

Starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Sophie Nélisse.

Directed by Brian Percival.

Given the brevity of that description, how about a clip to give you a better feel for it?

It's a long holiday weekend here for those of us in the US, so I'm thinking a trip to the movies might be in order! Who's with me?

More information on the the film version of THE BOOK THIEF can be found below.


Thanks to Twentieth Century Fox I have a fantastic prize pack to give away today! One lucky winner will receive:

• A $25 Visa gift card to see THE BOOK THIEF in theaters
• A copy of the movie tie-in novel THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

To enter, please just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: Taming a Wild Scot

Claimed by the Highlander #1
Rowan Keats
Adult Historical Romance
368 pages
Signet/ Penguin
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
In the Highlands of Scotland, plays for power are fought without rules, treachery and intrigue hold court, and, in one woman’s heart, danger stirs as relentlessly as passion...

Wrongfully accused of murder and left to die in a hellish Highland dungeon, Ana Bisset has lost all hope of freedom. But the beautiful healer’s luck takes an unexpected turn when a hooded stranger appears as her rescuer. After a harrowing escape, Ana settles alone in a quiet village where no one knows her past or her reputation. The last thing she ever expects is to meet her mysterious savior again...

Niall MacCurran is no hero, but a warrior on a dangerous mission to expose a threat to the realm. After his decision to free Ana, he now realizes that it is he who needs her help—willing or no—to advance his quest. But his growing feelings for the delicate yet resilient beauty soon jeopardize their safety—and not even Ana’s healing gifts may be enough to protect their love, or their lives.

Taming a Wild Scot is a solid start to this new highlander series, delighting us with a heroine who can more than handle herself and surprising us by adding a paranormal touch to the historical setting. It's not difficult to guess the basic path this story is going to take when we pick it up–any lover of romance well knows the overall plot arc in advance–so what truly matters is the journey our couple takes in order to be together, and a few small niggles and flaws aside, Ana and Niall's path to happiness is an enjoyable one. The two of them together are a slow burn, any brief sparks that ignite quickly extinguished by an underlying antagonism to their relationship, making their courtship one full of thorns that poke and prod and keep us flipping the pages to see if the next chapter will bring them any closer together.

Ana is heroine who defies what's expected of women in her time, vehemently disagreeing with a fanatical friar and his views on women, wives, and witchcraft, and proving to us again and again that while Niall assisted her escape from the dungeon in the beginning, it's she who continues to save herself. She's a gifted and outspoken healer, wary of saying too much for fear she'll meet the same fate as her mother, but she's also not one to stay silent when doing so would cause others harm. She never cowers despite Niall's short temper and apparent indifference to her feelings, giving him a piece of her mind in private even as she acquiesces to his demands in public in order to maintain their ruse as husband and subservient wife. Ana is smart, brave and extraordinarily resourceful, shining so brightly as to dim Niall's own light at times, leaving him the far less interesting of the two.

There are many moments in this story when Niall is everything we love in a highlander hero: gruff, alpha, and seemingly unsuitable as husband material in the beginning only to soften as the story progresses thanks to charms of one fiery redhead. That being said however, he never seems as invested in the romance as Ana is–cutting her off at the ankles one minute only to wrap her up in his arms the next–so his declaration of love at the end lacks the believability of hers, causing us to wish for a few more chapters in which he could show us that his interest in Ana extends far beyond the physical. He clearly feels protective of her, but the emotional connection feels heavily one-sided, leaving us feeling a bit stuck in place even as things move forward, waiting a touch in vain for the moment when he realizes how much she means to him.

Though the romantic pair in this first book isn't entirely equal in terms of our attachment to them, Taming a Wild Scot is still a fun historical romance with an interesting cast of secondary characters who will no doubt step into the spotlight on their own as the series continues.

Rating: 3.5/5

Find Rowan

This book was sent to me by the publisher  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Crash Into You

Pushing the Limits #3
Katie McGarry
Contemporary Young Adult
474 pages
Available November 26th
Source: ARC from author for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

Crash Into You is yet another painfully fascinating exploration of family dynamics, the word family dissected in sometimes brutal detail as we see how those tied to us by blood can in fact draw it quicker and easier than anyone else. We're given the pleasure though of bearing witness as family is then redefined as it's put back together after being torn apart, perhaps stronger in the honesty of its new scars than in the previous beauty of its seeming perfection. We can't help but approach Isaiah's story with a small sense of dread, our love for him fully cemented after Noah and Beth's stories, and while we know Ms. McGarry would not be so cruel as to tear him down without building him back up, we know watching him fall even as he finds new strength in Rachel will be a special brand of punishment, one we'll feel keenly until that final page gives us his hope and happiness.

Isaiah is someone nearly impossible not to like, his fierce protectiveness of both Noah and Beth something that brought a tremulous smile to our faces as the two of them fought their battles in books one and two, a warmth spreading through us thanks to his love for them, but searing pain followed swiftly behind with the knowledge that even with them in his life he was still so very alone. His loneliness is never more apparent than in Crash Into You, a feeling beautifully echoed in Rachel despite the drastic differences in their home lives, and we want nothing more than for him to find someone for whom he will finally come first. First in thought when sharing good news, first to need when seeking comfort after receiving bad, and first to hear words of love that extend beyond mere friendship.

Rachel is a young woman who could have easily been frustrating, her relatively low opinion of herself thanks to her family something that seems as though it might difficult to get past as we read, but Ms. McGarry does a stunning job of dragging her out into the light for us to truly see, any potential irritation over her brief moments of (understandable) self-pity washed away in a flood of affection. Her strength is quickly clear to us no matter how many times her overprotective brothers remind her she is weak, the determination and fortitude it takes to not only push through her debilitating panic attacks but to also shoulder the knowledge that her parents consider her a mere replacement for the beloved daughter they lost causing us to root for her and Isaiah in the hope they find every bit of peace and joy they so deserve.

The only minor drawback to an otherwise emotionally exhausting yet exhilarating tale is the lack of complete resolution between Rachel and her family, the issues between all of them so deep and complex ten books with them as the focus likely wouldn't see the trauma of Colleen's death entirely healed. Given the next book features Rachel's brother West as a protagonist though, we can overlook some of our remaining questions about the Young family knowing we haven't yet seen the last of them. Rachel and Isaiah together are a striking pair, rough edges met by smooth lines as they each find relief in being the shelter the other so desperately needs, able to admit weakness and know the other's strength will hold them up until the storm passes. They are partners in every sense of the word, and we close the back cover of this book with hearts considerably lighter than when we started, grateful to Ms. McGarry for bring these two into our lives.

Rating: 4.5/5

Find Katie:

If you haven't had a chance yet, be sure and enter to win a Crash Into You grand prize package!

This book was sent to me by the author  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Book Trailer: Pawn by Aimee Carter

Who's excited for Pawn? Well there are only a few more days until it releases, but in an effort to make even the short wait remaining less painful, HarlequinTEEN has released the book trailer. *happy dance* I'm so excited to be able to share the trailer with you today (if you haven't already seen it), I absolutely adored Pawn and wish Ms. Carter the gift of speed writing so the sequel can magically be in my hands asap.

As an added bit of extra fun, I can also provide you with a little peek behind the curtain of Pawn's gorgeous cover. Or a peek behind the metal grate/maze as it were; check out what's waiting inside:

 • • • • • • • • • •


You can be a VII, if you give up everything.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Scion Of The Sun Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Today I'm pleased to welcome author Nicola Marsh to the blog to talk a little bit about the first book in her new Solar Snatchers series, Scion of the Sun. In this first installment, protagonist Holly spends time at a boarding school for gifted students called C.U.L.T, so I thought a fun way to get to know her would be by putting ourselves in her shoes and taking a closer look at what she gets up to during a typical day at school. You can find the full list of participating blogs on the tour here, and don't forget to check out the bottom of the post for details on a tour-wide giveaway!


Holly's reading list at C.U.L.T:

• Traditions of the Innerworld

• Celtic Gods and Goddesses

• Druid Bewitching Seasons

• The History of Arwen

Holly's class schedule at C.U.L.T:

• Lithology (study of rock structure and composition)

• Semantics (study of signs and symbols)

• Dendrology (study of trees)

• Divination (learning the art of predicting the future)

Holly's additional classes at EIROS

• Mastering teleportation

• Gaining control over clairsentience

• Learning to scry

• Banishing a lesser creature of the Underworld

• Becoming one with the Triple Flame

• • • • • • • • • • 

(available now from Month9Books)

When she least expects it, sixteen-year old Holly Burton’s unremarkable life is shaken to the core. A vision of the mother Holly never knew leaves her questioning everything she believes.

Eager for answers, Holly enrolls at a boarding school for highly gifted students in Wolfebane, New Hampshire. But things will get worse before they get better, as Holly accidentally transports to a parallel existence where she's confronted by a dark and ancient evil.

With the help of Joss, a sexy alpha warrior sworn to protect her, and her new BFF, the equally swoon-worthy Quinn, Holly faces her fears and an unlikely adversary in a showdown that is worse than anything she could’ve possibly imagined …


• • • • • • • • • • 


USA TODAY bestselling author Nicola Marsh writes flirty fiction with flair for adults and riveting, spooky stories for teens.

She has published 43 contemporary romances with Harlequin, Entangled Publishing and indie, and sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Her first mainstream romance BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD was nominated for Romantic Book of the Year 2012. Her first indie romance, CRAZY LOVE, was a 2012 ARRA finalist.

Her debut young adult novel, a supernatural thriller BANISH, released with Harlequin Teen August 2013, and her YA urban fantasy series kicks off with SCION OF THE SUN, November 2013, with Month9Books.

She’s also a Waldenbooks, Bookscan and Barnes & Noble bestseller, a 2013 RBY (Romantic Book of the Year) and National Readers’ Choice Award winner, and a multi-finalist for a number of awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers’ Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and has also won several CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Awards.

A physiotherapist for thirteen years, she now adores writing full time, raising her two little heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, and her favorite, curling up with a good book!

• • • • • • • • • • 


• One (1) print copies of Scion of the Sun by Nicola Marsh and Endless by Amanda Gray, and one (1) $15 Starbucks Gift Card (US Only)

• One (1) ebook copy of Scion of the Sun by Nicola Marsh and Endless by Amanda Gray (INT)

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Running On Empty Blog Tour: Sneak Peek + Giveaway

I'm thrilled today to be a part of the promotional blog tour for Running On Empty, the contemporary young adult debut from Colette Ballard. I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting Colette a few months back when she accompanied her friend and fellow author Katie McGarry to a signing in Columbus, and she is one of the cutest people you will ever meet. I'm so looking forward to getting my hands on this book and simply couldn't be more excited for her with the digital release just days away now!

I have a sneak peek of Running On Empty to share with you all, and be sure and check out the bottom of the post for the details on a fantastic giveaway.


Disappoint him? Was that his main concern? Slack-mouthed, I stared at the phone until Justice’s voice startled me from behind. “Everything okay?”

Hoping he hadn’t heard any of my conversation, I put on a smile and turned to face him. 

“Everything’s fine.” I twined my fingers around a chunk of hair at the base of my neck. “That was just Logan reminding me of the Seniors’ Breakfast that I’m about to miss.”

“You’re goin’?” He stared at me like I had a pink squirrel tattooed on my forehead.

I wanted nothing more than to stay here the rest of the day and share my pain with Justice—even if it was in silence. Knowing Logan would never go for that, I pushed the gaping hole in my heart aside. “I’m good now, I had a good cry.” I swatted my hand.

“Ya know, today’s the first time I’ve ever seen you cry.” He leaned his back against the truck, obviously missing the point that I was in a hurry. “You wouldn’t even cry that day you fell off my pony and broke your arm when you were seven.” His face grew serious. “Or when your—"

“Yeah, I’m stubborn that way.” I wiped my hands on my jeans, hoping like hell he didn’t finish his sentence. Now wasn’t the time for a reminder of my reaction to my mom’s death—or rather, lack of reaction.

In my attempt to be strong for my younger sister, I disconnected from my emotions, from things I loved—from Justice. It worked for me until Jack came home wasted one night and I unleashed six month’s worth of the seven stages of grief on him. He slapped me so hard, I didn’t cry for the next five years. Until today.

 • • • • • • • • • •


What does it feel like when you die—in those final moments? Do you feel the physical pain, or just the pain of your regrets? What does it feel like when you realize you can’t answer these questions because you’re not the victim?

You’re the killer.

River Daniels lives an ordinary life as a high school junior growing up in the confines of rural Texas until her boyfriend’s brutal attack leaves her both a murderer and a fugitive. When River’s closest girlfriends come to her aid, they make a hasty decision to not only help her, but leave their own troubled lives behind and join in her escape. The girls manage to elude police for months, but with every near-miss, River’s life spirals further out of control, until she finally hits rock bottom. Realizing she must stop endangering her friends and find evidence proving she acted in self-defense, the girls decide to make a risky move. River must face her ugly past and the one person she was protecting the night her world caved in, the guy she has loved for as long as she can remember.

Releases digitally on November 25th from Tulip Teen

 • • • • • • • • • • 


COLETTE BALLARD grew up on a dairy farm in rural Kentucky. She survived the high school experience back in the day when Aqua Net was bought in bulk and mullets were cool. That’s also when she realized that her constant daydreaming wasn’t a curse, but a useful skill—one she used like a lethal weapon to combat her frustration in algebra class over the haunting question: What does the alphabet have to do with math anyway? Unfortunately, her ninja daydreaming skills only increased her desire to write—not her algebra grade.

After surviving the hairstyles and torturous math classes of her high school years, she wandered a bit—even moving to the farthest northwestern corner of the United States, then to the farthest southeastern corner. She finally settled in the one-red-light town she started in, where she continues to live today with her husband and three children.

• • • • • • • • • •


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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Rule

Marked Men #1
Jay Crownover
Contemporary New Adult
339 pages
William Morrow
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want—and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess—and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw—even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.

Rule gives us a romantic setup that never fails to pull on our heartstrings from the very beginning, Shaw's unrequited love for her late best friend's brother making us ache from the moment she bursts into his room on the very first page and is forced to bear witness–as she has so many times before–to just how alone she is in her feelings. What's so beautiful about this particular pairing is the lack of angst in their relationship, rather than brooding and pining on one or both sides we get a more raw, visceral type of pain, one that extends deep beneath the skin to leave wounds that aren't always visible. There's no shortage of drama or tension, but instead of our fingers winding through our hair to tug in frustration we find an uncomfortable twist in our guts, our desire to see Shaw get the one and only thing she's ever truly wanted for herself matched only by her own, and we read on with breath held, hoping Rule doesn't destroy the heart he doesn't even know belongs to him.

Shaw is a young woman we react to immediately despite starting our time off with Rule's perspective, knowing from the synopsis she's loved him for years and, as a result, flinching on her behalf when she finds him yet again with a naked girl whose name he can't remember. She handles everything miraculously well, shoving her hurt so far down he can't possibly see it even if he opened his eyes laughably wide, and when her moment comes to have Rule just one time, she pounces on it with a clear head despite the alcohol lowering her inhibitions. She doesn't expect anything more from their encounter–doesn't harbor any delusions that he'll suddenly develop feelings for her–and we can only admire her for taking the risk but being honest enough with herself to keep the fallout from cutting so deeply she can't stanch the bleeding.

Rule plays a role we've seen before, oblivious as can be to how Shaw feels and only taking notice of her physically once he sees her dressed in a skimpy work uniform, but for all that he seems cliché, there's an addictive quality to him that extends beyond the fictional women drawn to him like moths to a flame and into reality to snare us as well. Luckily, he has a core group of friends who don't hesitate to mock him for his previous obtuseness and the shallowness of the situation that finally forces his eyes open, allowing us to find humor instead of irritation in the circumstances. His relationship with Shaw is in no way easy, but their struggles feel perfectly genuine and realistic, combining with some rather impressive family dysfunction to have us tied up in knots from which we have no desire to escape. He makes mistakes, pushes when he should pull, and falls back on old habits when his fight or flight reaction kicks in and sends him running, but through it all he never moves beyond forgiveness, and we can't help but root for the two of them with every fiber of our being.

Overall, Rule is a new adult romance at its best, full of sharp edges that find our soft spots and leave bruises, but with repeated contact those edges finally begin to soften, leaving us with a warmth and happiness worth all the discomfort along the way. The secondary characters are deeply intriguing, the kind that have us sprinting to the computer upon finishing to see when we can expect their stories to find their way into our hands, and sparking in us a renewed sense of anticipation even as we glory in the replete feeling we have thanks to Shaw and Rule.

Rating: 4/5

Find Jay:

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jay last week, if you didn't get a chance to check that out, you can do so here!

This book was sent to me by the publisher  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Crash Into You Blog Tour: Interview with the Bewitched Bookworms + a Giveaway

I'm beyond thrilled today to be a part of the promotional tour hosted by Kismet Book Touring for Crash Into You, the third book in Katie McGarry's amazing contemporary young adult series. I'm an enormous fan of all things Katie McGarry, I think she writes extraordinary characters–something I always look for first in any book–and I simply can't say enough complimentary things about Katie or her books to do either of them justice. Love. That is all.

As something a little fun and different, the ladies at Kismet organized a series of blogger interviews between me, the fabulous Rachel at Fiktshun, and the Bewitched Bookworms themselves wherein we all interview, and are interviewed by, one another. I was interviewed by Rachel first, the Bookworms interviewed Rachel next, and today I get to share my interview with my dear friends the Bewitched Bookworms.

The Bookworm ladies were the very first bloggers I met in person and I couldn't love them more if I tried. I'm so pleased to welcome Danny, Pushy and Heather to the blog to answer a few questions about Crash Into You, and don't forget to check the bottom of the post for the full list of participating blogs as well as giveaway details!

Isaiah has a number of tattoos, all of which he wears oh-so well. Aside from him, who is your favorite tattooed hero?

Heather: I’m drawing a blank here, so I’ll let Danny and Pushy answer.

Pushy: *thinks* Hmm... while I do love Four from the Divergent series, I'm going to go with Perry from Under The Never Sky. I LURV me some Perry! *sigh* 

Danny: Ohhh I love my tattooed boys, and I also love reading about them. So, I love Reyes from the Charley Davidson series and of course my all time favorite Barrons!!

If Isaiah and Rachel’s story could only be described to readers in terms of car models, what type of car would it be? 

Heather: Katie McGarry really did her research and picked a great car for both Isaiah and Rachel to drive when she picked the Ford Mustang, especially the model years that she picked. Isaiah’s older Mustang is a bit beat up on the outside like he appears to be, but looks can be deceiving when it comes to what’s under the hood (and inside his head). Rachel’s Mustang is in near mint condition even though it isn’t brand new. The powerful stock engine gives her strength and control when she’s behind the wheel that she doesn’t have in the rest of her life.

Pushy: *crickets* Umm… I know NOTHING about cars, so I'm going to second Heather's opinion. :)

Danny: Heathers answer is just perfect, how could I ever add anything here? ;)

In addition to fantastic protagonists, Katie McGarry always writes fascinating secondary characters as well. Which of the secondary characters in Crash Into You grabbed your attention most and why?

Heather: I loved Isaiah’s friend Abby. While she tried to stay on a neutral side between Eric and Isaiah on the surface to outsiders, she always had Isaiah’s and Rachel’s back. She doesn’t make friends easily, but she decided that Rachel will be her best friend almost right from the start. She’s bold, daring, smart, and calculating, and that’s something that has kept her safe while she’s lived the dangerous life that she’s been forced to lead.

Pushy: I could not agree more! Katie ROCKS the secondary characters! I can't help wondering what's going on with all of them!!! And I love when we get a peek inside, like with Lila's novella, Crossing The Line. Abby's definitely a great choice but I'm also interested in Rachel's brothers. There's SO much going on with that family and I feel like we just scraped the tip of the iceberg with Rachel's story.

That's what I loved most about Crash Into You: Rachel's family full of wonderful über protective brothers. I'm not kidding when I say, that I loved West so much and when I heard that he would be our hero in the next book, I was ecstatic!!! But I also love Rachel's twin Ethan and I hope we might also get a story on this own.

Let’s say you find your way into a street race against another first-timer like yourself. What would you say your odds are of winning?

Heather: If I was my twenty-one year old self again, my odds are good. My husband built me a fast car when we were dating as part of his school (he’s an automotive technician), and I definitely had a much faster vehicle than most of the guys I knew. Back then, all of our friends had huge motors and loud stereos. Plus, I know how to drive a manual transmission. It’s something that a lot of people can’t do these days.

Pushy: If it was all based on the ability to handle speed, very good chances for me. Heather and Danny can attest to my love to drive fast. :) However, unlike Heather, I don't drive stick, so I think that probably overall my chances would just be fair.

Danny: Ha!!! Pretty good I'd say. In Germany we mostly drive stick and I love fast cars so much. And I have to admit, I got a speeding ticket or two already, so I love to drive fast.

If you were able to sit down for a face-to-face interview with either Rachel or Isaiah, what’s the first question you would ask them?

Heather: I’ll let Danny and Pushy answer this one. Can’t come up with anything deep or insightful.

Heather, I’m not going to even bother with insightful. *turns to Jenny* If I could be face to face with these two? I want to know, what happens next?!?!?! The ending of Crash Into You isn't really a cliffhanger but GAH!!! Where do they go from there? I want to continue to bask in their HEA, so if they could expand upon that for me, that would be quite nice!!

I'd ask Isaiah if Beth disappeared the minute he kissed Rachel, and when exactly he realized that the love for Rachel is something else completely and much more real and genuine and intense than anything he ever felt for Beth.

I think most of the fans of this series initially expected Isaiah and Beth to end up together. What’s one thing about Rachel you think makes her a better fit for him?

It’s quite simple: they both love fast cars and working on them.

Pushy: For me it's that from Beth's story, we see how she loved Isaiah like a brother, but not more. And Isaiah absolutely DESERVES his one, perfect, shining love. *sigh*

Danny: I think they make each other stronger, they so strongly believe in each other, that it makes the other stronger, braver. Isaiah always needed someone he could take care of, and at the same time someone who can be strong on her own, without casting him aside. Beth always pushed him away, Rachel doesn't. I just love them together.

Katie writes some beautiful and emotional contemporary romances. If you could beg her to write something in a different genre just for you, what genre would it be?

Heather: I would love to see Katie tackle a paranormal romance. She has the romance part perfected, so I’d love to see what she could dream up next.

Pushy: I'd like to see her tackle a thriller! With the amount of detail she puts into every part of her story, I bet she's whip up a SERIOUSLY SCARY, keep-you-guessing-til-the-end thriller!

I'm with Heather, paranormal romance!! But also, please Katie go and write New Adult, I know you can do steamy and even more sexy!!

Before reading Crash Into You, what aspect of the story would you say you were most looking forward to? Were your expectations met?

I really wanted to see the origins of Isaiah and what his background was. And boy, were my expectations exceeded!

Pushy: I wanted to see if Katie could make me fall in love with ANYONE for Isaiah other than Beth (I have hoped Beth would realize that she really did love Isaiah and then they could couple off). And she did. Oh, sweet Jesus, did I fall in love with Rachel and Isaiah!!!!! *ENORMOUS SIGH*

Danny: I wanted to see Isaiah's heart healed. He suffered so much and his heart was so damaged and broken, that I just wanted him to find love and happiness!!!

A huge thank you to Danny, Pushy and Heather for taking the time to answer my questions! I'm sure almost all of you are familiar with these wonderful women, but just in case you're not, here's where you can find them:

 • • • • • • • • • • 


The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

Releases November 26th from HarlequinTEEN

• • • • • • • • • • • 


Katie was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.
Katie is the author of the full-length Young Adult novels PUSHING THE LIMITS and DARE YOU TO, and the e-novella CROSSING THE LINE. Her debut novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS, is a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and an RT Book Reviews 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel. 

Writing has given Katie an excuse to pursue her passions. Research for her books has provided her with the amazing opportunity to train with baseball players, ride along in a drag car at ninety-six miles per hour and experience boxing and mixed martial arts. The most memorable moments for Katie are when she speaks to groups of teenagers about her research, writing and the truth that no dream is out of reach. Katie would love to hear from her readers.

• • • • • • • • • • 


Thanks to HarlequinTEEN I have two fantastic giveaways to share with you guys today! The first is the chance to win a copy of Crash Into You. The second is a Grand Prize Package including a Harlequin TEEN tote bag full of bookish goodies: 2 Copies of Crash Into You, as well as Pawn, Hooked, Speechless and an ARC of Heartbeat. Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaways are open to US/CAN only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour stops for more Crash Into You fun!

Tuesday, Nov. 5th - Fiktshun
Thursday, Nov. 7th - Swoony Boys Podcast

Tuesday, Nov. 12th - Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, Nov. 13th - Harlequin Blog
Thursday, Nov. 14th - Xpresso Reads

Tuesday, Nov. 19th - Supernatural Snark
Thursday, Nov. 21st - Paper Riot

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cover Reveal: Seeking Her by Cora Carmack

It's a well-known secret that I'm a bit of a Cora Carmack fangirl and have loved each and every installment of her Losing It series, so I'm extremely excited today to get the chance to reveal the cover for her upcoming novella, Seeking Her. Seeking Her is written from Jackson Hunt's point of view (Kelsey's love interest in Finding It), and I simply cannot wait to get my hands on this one. Finding It was my favorite of the series to date despite a very rocky start with Kelsey, and I repeatedly found myself wishing for a peek inside Jackson's head as I read her story, so this one is sure to be a real treat for me.

Enough rambling, check out Seeking Her!

(releases January 28th from William Morrow)

A few months after being honorably discharged from the military, Jackson Hunt is still struggling to adjust back to the real world. He needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he’s going to keep his own demons at bay. The job that falls into his lap, though, is anything but normal.

Bodyguard (and baby-sitter) to spoiled-rich-girl Kelsey Summers isn’t exactly what he’d been looking for, but it’s a chance to travel, to get away from the home that has felt stifling ever since his return. It would be a pretty sweet gig if it weren’t for the fact that Kelsey’s father doesn’t want Kelsey to know she’s being followed. Hunt feels guilty (and a little bit creepy) as he watches her from afar. She’s vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar. When he sees her falling into the same patterns that he suffered years ago, he decides it’s time to stop watching and help her instead. But getting to know her is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her, the more he wants her. 


Friday, November 15, 2013

Interview: Jay Crownover + Rule

I'm so pleased today to welcome new adult author Jay Crownover to the blog to answer a few questions about the first book in her Marked Men series, Rule. I finished Rule a little while back (my full review will be posted next week) and couldn't email Jay fast enough to express my love and request an interview. I want to thank her for taking the time to answer all my questions, and if you haven't had a chance to read this one, I hope you add it to your lists!

Let’s say you decide to make an appointment with Rule for a new tattoo. What would the tattoo he created for you look like?

Lol…I don’t really have room for any more and I just filled up the bottom of one arm with my book inspired tattoo so that’s out. I dunno something that reflected change and taking risks. That’s what Rule was for me…a big ole scary risk! Hmm maybe an eagle head or something that represents freedom. He gave me freedom to just do what a I wanted and not be scared to be reliant on someone else for anything ever again…so yeah maybe that, plus it would fit with all my other traditional style work :-)

If, as a surprise for Shaw, Rule were to ask Jet and his band to play a dedication song to her, what song would he choose?

You’ll have to keep reading the series…I just finished a scene where this exact thing comes up so I’m not gonna give it away. Let’s just say the song is for a very special day in Rule and Shaw’s life.

What’s one quirk or habit of Rule’s that he’s unaware Shaw knows about and might be embarrassed by if he knew?

That his hair color choices aren’t random. It changes a lot because it matches his mood or his mindset. At the end of Jet we see him with green hair, that’s because green is happiness and he’s stoked he just moved in with Shaw.

If Remy had the chance to see how Rule and Shaw are together at the end of the book, what would the first words out of his mouth be?

“Finally”. Or maybe “Make each other happy.”

They are his 2 favorite people in the world he would just want them to take care of each other and finally be together.

You write very appealing and absurdly attractive "bad boys". Who is your all-time favorite bad boy character (book, TV, or film)?

Well I love Jax Teller and Opie from Sons of Anarchy, Ryan Gosling in Drive was amazing, and I like all the guys in the Black Ice series Anne Stuart wrote years ago.

Being a bad boy is subjective to me, I never look at Rule or Jet and see a “bad boy”, I see young men comfortable in their skin, okay with what life has handed them and living life on their own terms. I think the outer trappings get them lumped into that bad-boy category but it really isn’t the case.

We are treated to the alternating point of views of both Rule and Shaw in their story. What’s one challenge each of their perspectives presented for you as a writer?

Well I’m not a boy so getting the male thought pattern and reactions to sound authentic and true to a 20-something year old man can be difficult. Making him sound like Rule and not just some generic young guy can also be hard.

With Shaw it was making her sound, and feel like her own person, not me. Her thought patterns and her reactions are her own, but I caught myself making her talk more like me than I meant which I had to go in and adjust.

It’s a girl’s night for you, Shaw, Ayden and Cora. What are a few of the activities your night will consist of?

Prolly drinks some Bud Light for me…shots and silliness for them. They use girls night to commiserate about the hard-headed, hard to handle men in their lives so I’m sure that would be on the agenda.

Looking forward to Jet, what’s a song title or lyric that gives us a little taste of what’s to come for our next couple?

You can’t always get what you want by The Rolling Stones.

• • • • • • • • • • 


Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want—and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess—and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw—even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.

• • • • • • • • • • 


I’m a native Coloradoan and if you live here you know why that is a source of pride.  I love all the things Colorado has to offer and that is why I choose to set my books in this familiar setting.  I try to write about things I know and am familiar with which is why my stories feature plenty of rock and roll and body modification.

I’ve been in the bar industry since I was in college and I spend over forty hours a week watching the interaction between men and women in a unique way.  I think my 9 to 5 job offers me valuable insights into how relationships start and evolve in a social setting.  I love it.

I like to write New Adult novels because I remember being in my early twenties and thinking I had it all figured out only to be proven wrong time and time again.  When I look back those were the years that defined who I am today, and good or bad those decisions untimely set me on my current path, so that’s what I like to explore in my writing.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pam Reviews: Arclight

Today I'm thrilled to welcome my mom, Pam, back to the blog to guest review for me. She, along with my mother in law Cathy, is nice enough to help me out on occasion when my review pile gets the better of me and I can't thank either of them enough. Take it away Mom!

Arclight #1
Josin L. McQuein
Young Adult/Dystopian
400 pages
Greenwillow Books
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
No one crosses the wall of light . . . except for one girl who doesn’t remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived. A harrowing, powerful debut thriller about finding yourself and protecting your future—no matter how short and uncertain it may be.

The Arclight is the last defense. The Fade can’t get in. Outside the Arclight’s border of high-powered beams is the Dark. And between the Light and the Dark is the Grey, a narrow, barren no-man’s-land. That’s where the rescue team finds Marina, a lone teenage girl with no memory of the horrors she faced or the family she lost. Marina is the only person who has ever survived an encounter with the Fade. She’s the first hope humanity has had in generations, but she could also be the catalyst for their final destruction. Because the Fade will stop at nothing to get her back. Marina knows it. Tobin, who’s determined to take his revenge on the Fade, knows it. Anne-Marie, who just wishes it were all over, knows it.

When one of the Fade infiltrates the Arclight and Marina recognizes it, she will begin to unlock secrets she didn’t even know she had. Who will Marina become? Who can she never be again?

Readers who enjoy complex mysteries and sci-fi thrillers are in for a treat with this debut YA novel by Josin McQuein. Although this genre would not be my first choice for a read, I found this book to be exceptionally well-written, action-packed and intense. For me, it was the white knuckle kind of intense, complete with several pacing breaks for relief and deep breaths so I could process what I just read.

The words “action packed” are more than apt, as the author catapults the reader into complete confusion for the first few chapters thanks to the very limited information about the situation, characters and setting. Unable to understand or visualize the “who, what, and where’s” left me feeling so very lost. However as the story unravels, this imbalance recedes as the reader slowly begins to comprehend how the character and events connect in their world. This constant state of flux between comprehension and confusion may be deliberate by the author as she builds the rising action and suspense to her story, or it just may be me being slow on the uptake. Either way, it didn’t discourage me in the least from finishing the book, in fact it had the opposite effect, forcing me to consume it at record-breaking speed as it moved from crisis to crisis.

I am a huge fan of character development in any genre, easily becoming totally invested in their emotional, mental and physical well being, and Ms. McQuein did not leave me wanting in her characters, especially Marina, the protagonist and narrator of the novel. As she suffered from amnesia, I sympathized with her continuous struggles in trying to understand who she is through the myriad of voids in her past life. I then marveled at her intelligence, courage and fierce determination to overcome them. The author very s-l-o-w-l-y, but very beautifully, develops Marina’s emotional growth and feelings, as well as honestly and realistically portrays her relationships with fellow teenagers and adults alike.

The secondary characters of Anne-Marie, Tobin, and Rue are not as well defined as Marina, but they are nicely developed and easy to like. The talkative Anne-Marie, who from the onset is Marina’s only friend, not only shields her from the cruelty and disdain of her peers, but also gives her complete allegiance. Tobin is guarded, angry, and resentful–justifiably so as his father gave his life rescuing Marina–but as the relationship between them moves forward he becomes thoughtful, fiercely protective and very loyal. And the sweet, loveable Rue can only be described as simply endearing and the development of his character is brilliant. 

However, my absolute favorite in the author’s cast of characters is the Fade, parasitic “monsters” whose bones shift at will enabling them to camouflage into any background. At first, I visualized them as sinister, grotesque, body snatcher-like creatures, but as the Fades evolved, I began to see the unexpected human-like attributes in their features, emotions and ability to communicate. Suffice to say there is more–much more–to these unique characters that captures the imagination and I encourage you to discover them yourselves.

Obviously, I’m truly taken with this original and highly creative novel and would recommend it in a heartbeat. What’s not to like in a novel packed with complicated plot twists, powerful world building, intrigue, a villain, smatterings of an unethical practice and prejudice, all descriptively written? I’d say that’s just about a perfect read.

Rating: 5/5

Personal note:  My warmest thank you to Jenny for not only giving me the opportunity to write this review, but also for challenging me and exposing me to read genres beyond my norm, and in this case, comfort zone. Throughout the not-so-easy process of writing (and rewriting) this, I was continuously reminded of her exceptional gift with the written word, amazed that she does so with such confidence and ease, and awed by the sheer number of reviews she produces. You are incredible my Jen! 

Find Josin:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Because my adorable mom got a little mushy there at the end, I thought I'd share a picture of me and her from this past summer. It was windy, so just ignore our ridiculous hair ;-)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Midnight Thief

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine and is a fun way to see what books other bloggers just can't wait to get their hands on!

Young Adult/Fantasy
Releases July 8th from Disney-Hyperion

From Goodreads:

Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.

But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.

In her arresting debut novel, Livia Blackburne creates a captivating world where intrigue prowls around every corner—and danger is a way of life.

I'm typically not a huge high fantasy person, but I've been reading more and more of this genre lately and each book has only proven to me that I'm way more of a fantasy lover than I previously thought. I love the enemies setup between Kyra and Tristam (though I have to admit in my head his name is Tristan); the romance obsessed girl in me is gleefully hoping their antagonism will lead to love, but if not, I say bring on the secrets and the danger! I'm so ready.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: Hook & Jill

Hook and Jill Saga #1
Andrea Jones
Fantasy/fairy tale retelling
293 pages
Reginetta Press
Available Now
Source: From author for review

THE STORY (from Amazon)
Wendy Darling learns. What appears to be good may prove otherwise, and what seems to be evil…is irresistible.

In this startling new vision of a cultural classic, Wendy intends to live happily ever after with Peter Pan. But Time, like this tale, behaves in a most unsettling way.

As Wendy mothers the Lost Boys in Neverland, they thrive on adventure. She struggles to keep her boys safe from the Island’s many hazards, but she finds a more subtle threat encroaching from an unexpected quarter.…The children are growing up, and only Peter knows the punishment.

Yet in the inky edges of the Island, the tales Wendy tells to the Lost Boys come true. Captain Hook is real, and even the Wonderful Boy can’t defend his Wendy against this menace. Hook is a master manipulator, devising vengeance for his maiming. Insidious and seductive, Hook has his reasons for tempting Wendy to grow up.

Revenge is only the first.

Deepening the characters so artfully sketched by J.M. Barrie, Hook & Jill reveals the dark side of innocence at which Barrie hinted in the figure of Peter Pan. It brings alive a daring Wendy who asks questions and seeks truth; it delves into the man, Hook, the iconic villain. Striding from fairy-tale and thrusting into reality, Captain Hook becomes a frightening force indeed.

Hook & Jill is one of those stories that will likely inspire widely varying opinions, not so much as a result of the subject matter but rather the writing style, Ms. Jones favoring prose that can be a bit dense at times even though it's undeniably beautiful. Hook & Jill has a very classic feel to it, the writing often taking a more circuitous route to get to a point rather than a direct one, sometimes weighing us down with more words than seem necessary to move the plot forward. That being said however, many a reader will appreciate this tale just as it is, but those like myself who sometimes struggle with long descriptive passages and don’t always care to try and glean meaning through a sea of words that work hard to obscure it will find this a more challenging read.

The characters themselves are a compelling group, the heroes and villains of the famous original turned on their heads much to our delight, but even as we glory in the new roles assigned to Peter, Wendy and Hook, we never find ourselves fully connected to them. They are wisps of smoke; dancing beautifully before our eyes but ultimately remaining intangible, slipping right through our fingers as we try and grab them for closer inspection. Hook is a highlight though, gloriously straddling the line between cruel captain and powerful protector, both charming and fascinating us every time he appears on page.

It does take a while before Hook graces us with his presence however, and once he’s finally introduced it’s hard not to feel the slightest bit of irritation whenever we’re taken from him and forced to follow someone of lesser interest. There are times when we’re bounced to characters whom, while not wholly unnecessary, aren’t vital to the plot either, and we can’t help but find ourselves flipping ahead to see how many more pages stand between us and our beloved Hook. All in all, Hook & Jill is a dark and deeply intriguing look at Neverland, but it’s a read that has a bit of a bite to it as well, making certain readers work to make it all the way through.

Rating: 3.5/5

Find Andrea:

This book was sent to me by the author free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.