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Monday, December 31, 2012
It's been a fantastic year. I made more blogger friends, found out about new authors, and read 120 books without counting re-reads! I most definitely completed my goal of 110 books.

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Have you all seen the list of 2013 releases?! I AM SO EXCITED. And Cassandra Clare just posted her Clockwork Princess tour and she's stopping by Portland, OR again! 

Will you be attending this year's ALA Midwinter in Seattle, WA? I'LL SEE YOU THERE! I'll only be there on Saturday, Jan 26 because finals week is during the 28 - 31st, though. I hope I'll see you there!

I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Most Anticipated Books of 2013

Wednesday, December 26, 2012
It is official, 2013 will be the year I go bankrupt from buying so many awesome books. There were so many more books that I wanted to add to this list! I let myself pick 13, but even then it was difficult. 2012 was the year I picked up on a lot of different series, so now my list is dominated by series!

1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
2. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
3. Requiem by Lauren Oliver
4. Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
5. Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting
6. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
7. Boundless by Cynthia Hand
8. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
9. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins 
10. Dare You To by Katie McGarry
11. Of Triton by Anna Banks 
12. Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins 
13. Soulbroken by Heather Brewer

Which books are YOU anticipating?


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!
I hope you all will have a wonderful day.


Top 12 Favorite Books of 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012
It was incredibly difficult to pick only 12 of my favorites from this year's reads! Did anyone else have a hard time over this? These picks were all published this year and are listed in no particular order.
1. The Crimson Crown by Cinda William Chima 
This was a flawless ending to The Seven Realms series! ALL THE STARS FOR YOU, CINDA. My emotions were everywhere when I realized I'll never read any more stories about these characters. 

2. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
I can't say too much or else I'll spoil, but my goodness this book was amazing. If you haven't read Daughter of Smoke and Bone yet then you should. Seriously. Go read it. 

3. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

4. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
I've been raving about this book to everyone throughout the whole year! I absolutely love EVERYTHING about Grave Mercy.

5. Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer
It's a mafia story people!

6. The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting 
CHILLS. I didn't think it could get any darker, but it did. I still look behind me when I walk because of this book. 
7. Something Like Normal by Trish Doller (review)
Slow claps for you, Trish Doller. Slow claps all around. 

8. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
I wanted to grab some plane tickets and go backpacking to all the beautiful places that Kirsten described.

9. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Noah & Echo <3 That is all.

10. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Absolutely LOVED how family played such a huge part in the story.

11. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (review)
SO MANY EMOTIONS. I'm pretty sure a bunch of bloggers have been raving about this including myself. 

12. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (review)

What were YOUR favorites of 2012?

Recommend A: Book with a One Word Title

Monday, December 17, 2012

Recommend A... is a feature hosted by Chick Loves Lit.

Recommend A... Book with a One Word Title

Eon by Alison Goodman
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Firebird, 531 pages
Series: Eon #1
Release Date: August 1, 2009

Sixteen-year-old Eon has a dream, and a mission. For years, he's been studying sword-work and magic, toward one end. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye-an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.

But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a twelve-year-old boy. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.

When Eon's secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic...and her life.

The Eon Series:

Eon | Eona

Excerpt from Sheltered by Debra Chapoton

Saturday, December 15, 2012
Sheltered by Debra Chapoton

Big Pine Lodge Books, 236 pages
Release Date: October, 2012
PurchaseAmazon | B&N

Living together unsupervised, five troubled teens confront demonic forces and are compelled to deal with their problems in distinctly different ways. Paranormal meets psycho meets Goth in this story of a supernatural haunting and budding love.
High school junior, Ben, hacks into his step-father's real estate holdings and provides rooms in an old two-story house to various outcasts: the schizophrenic kid, the angry Goth girl, and the homeless girl who worships him. When Megan needs a place to live she comes to the rooming house with a different set of problems and the ability to confuse and attract Ben.
One by one strange and mysterious occurrences stretch the teens’ beliefs in the supernatural. How they deal with demons, real and imagined, has tragic as well as redeeming consequences.

Next Wednesday 

          Emily knew the precise moment that Ben returned, she felt him in her scars. She watched him carry some things to the house, heard the door close; she smiled when she heard him call out that Santa was here. He did that once before, in early December, insisting that she accept the gift he held out, not wanting her to wait until Christmas to use the mittens he knew she needed.

          She went toward her door now, wondered what he had brought, and then heard Megan’s voice below. Oh no, he probably brought something for her. She scuttled back to her nest by the window and stared outside, was still staring fifteen minutes later when she saw them walk down the street, Ben shouldering a shovel, his other hand knotted with Megan’s.

          She touched the skin on her arms, lightly at first, making it tingle. The image of Ben with Megan multiplied across her mind in broken mirrors, a repugnant picture that reflected her own self-loathing. She scratched at her scabs, felt the pricks of pain force away the ticklish sensations. She closed her eyes.

          When she opened them she saw a figure standing at her door.

          “Who–?” she started, but the figment waned to less than a shadow. Still, though, there was something at her door.

          She rose slowly and held her hand out.

          Its face was more womanly now, friendly, motherly. Yes, she knew this face. Its pearly white skin so shocking against the ruby lips, the stringy hair a match to her own. Her mother.

          She stretched her fingers toward the face. The hallucination faded then sharpened. The eyes began to blaze. She drew her hands back to her own face. What’s wrong with me? The delusion grieved Emily; all around her fluttered a longing.

          And a deadly fear.


Debra Chapoton

Debra Chapoton has taught kids of all ages in her main career as a teacher. She has a BA in Spanish and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English. She started writing in 2002 and was surprised to find out that the characters quickly take over the action and dialogue in the stories.
When she’s not writing Chapoton enjoys the quiet of the full log home she designed and built with her husband. They live in the middle of 62 acres of beautiful woods in northern Michigan.

Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Hyperion, 343 pages (US edition)
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Source: eARC via NetGalley

Oct. 11th, 1943--A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.
When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Where do I even begin with this?

I finished this book in JUNE and it’s been over 7 months and I still can’t get myself to form words great enough to praise this MIND-BLOWING experience of a book. I was left emotionally wrecked after finishing Code Name Verity.

It was written in such a way that I felt every single emotion and hurt right along with them. I WAS A COMPLETE MESS. No matter how hard I tried to close the book and sleep I couldn’t because the writing made me so invested in the story and the unbreakable bond of Verity and Maddie. Their friendship was like no other and I became emotionally attached to them both.

Even after all this time I still can’t fully form the words to describe this book. I’m not exactly sure how I handled the end of the story, but I knew it involved ugly sobbing and a lot of ice cream. I wasn’t able to read another book for DAYS! Code Name Verity is most definitely one of my favorite books of 2012, if not one of my favorite books I’ve read so far.

Overall: 5 out of 5

Bloggers who also LOVED Code Name Verity and wrote more coherent reviews: (links go to reviews)
Katie - Katie's Book Blog
Audrey - Holes in My Brain
Elena - Novel Sounds
Lori - Pure Imagination

Book Haul (10)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

NetGalley: (Thanks to Bloomsbury Children's Books & Harlequin Teen)
Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
Wicked Kiss by Michelle Rowen
Hooked by Liz Fichera
Sacrifice by Cayla Kluver

Review: (Thanks to Coliloquy)
Georgetown Academy: Book One by Alyssa Schwartz & Jessica Etting

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (I FINALLY OWN MY OWN COPY!!! Now I can read it 100 times more!)

Gifted: (Thank you SO MUCH to Vi - Confessions of a Vi3tBabe)
The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

Paper Towns by John Green
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Far From You by Lisa Schroeder
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal



Guest Post with Emily Mah Tippetts on Creating Couples

Saturday, December 8, 2012
Creating Couples
by Emily Mah Tippetts

I suppose it goes without saying that the key to any romance plot is a compelling couple, and my novel, Castles on the Sand, was no exception. What I find interesting about writing romance is trying to puzzle out what it is men find attractive about women, simply because I'm not a man and will never really know, I don't think. Given this, I always think about the developing relationship from the guy's point of view. The woman's comes much more naturally to me. When I devised the romance for Castles on the Sand, I decided to get a lot more literal in how I set up my characters.

Madison Lukas, the protagonist of the story, is a blue eyed blond, like my husband. While my husband complains of his inability to tan, Madison also thinks this is a weakness. Her, quiet, introverted nature is also like my husband's, and then I chose some careful digressions from using him as a model. First off, I made her female (obviously). Second, she does not have the body of a supermodel. My husband's very in shape and slim, but Madison, while also being in shape, is not skinny. She's actually a little rotund, but guys don't care about this. It's our confidence in how we look that's attractive, not the simple basics of our appearance. Third, she's from a rough family background, simply because that punches up the drama.

When designing her ideal guy, I based him on myself. Here I have to be a little coy, because there are multiple guys after Madison's heart in Castles on the Sand. So is the right guy the one from an immigrant family, the one who's confident in his religious faith and knows what he wants, or someone else altogether? Suffice it to say, the right guy is essentially me with a few diverting detail changes. He isn't necessarily a knight in shining armor. As in life, the right guy is the one she deserves once Madison has learned to love herself. I had a lot of fun creating the right guy for her, and I hope my readers enjoy this plot line!


Castles by E.M. Tippetts

Madison Lukas knows her place in the world. She’s not pretty, not interesting, and therefore easy to forget. When it comes to romance, she has to take whatever is on offer. John Britton has been praying for fifteen years to find the sister he lost in his parents’ divorce. She is beautiful, talented, and makes kindness a fine art. Few, if any, guys are worthy to date her. When John and Madison cross paths, he recognizes her at once, but Madison is certain that he’s got it all wrong. Even if she is his long-lost sister, she can’t possibly be the exceptional, amazing girl he thinks she is, can she?


Emily Mah Tippetts

Emily Mah Tippetts writes romance as E.M. Tippetts and science fiction and fantasy as Emily Mah. She is a former attorney with degrees in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University and business law from UCLA.

Originally from New Mexico, she now lives in London with her family. She is a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and thus often includes LDS (Mormon) characters in her work.

Street Team Adventures & Giveaway: FALLING FOR YOU by Lisa Schroeder

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Last month, Lisa Schroeder was asking for volunteers to be part of her street team for her upcoming book, Falling For You, that releases January 1st! I was given some signed bookmarks and bookplates, so today I decided to bring some to my school library.

Turns out that my librarians weren't familiar with Lisa's books, so we spent a good amount of time talking about Lisa's books and 2013 books we're looking forward to! Then I spotted some contemporary readers in my library and gave them some bookmarks and talked some more about books before I had to go to class.

Now I want to share some of the signed bookmarks and bookplates with YOU! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder

Rae's always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her...and the less she wants to give.
As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier. And possessive Nathan becomes jealous.
Then a tragedy lands Rae in the ICU. Now, hovering between life and death, Rae must find the light amid the darkness…and the strength to fight for life and the love she deserves.


Review & Giveaway: Georgetown Academy (Book One) by Alyssa Schwartz & Jessica Etting

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Georgetown Academy by Alyssa Schwartz & Jessica Etting
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Coliloquy, 126 pages
Series: Georgetown Academy #1
Release Date: October 24, 2012
Source: Publisher

It’s the beginning of a new political administration. That might not mean much at most high schools, but at Georgetown Academy, Washington D.C.’s most elite prep school, January 20th means new alliances, new flings, and new places to party.

In a town where one misstep can turn into a national scandal, the students at D.C.’s elite Georgetown Academy know there’s only one rule: whatever you do, don’t get caught.

A fun story full of drama and scandal.

Georgetown Academy is told in different POVS of Evan, Brinley, Ellie, and Taryn. It was interesting to view the same situation from these different characters. These ladies are all trying to play the game to survive in Georgetown. They're not only fighting their own battles, but also their parent's political battles.

The story was filled with pop-culture references and political talk. It was interesting to read about these high school students playing such a strong hand in their parent's political affairs. They would watch what they said, what they wore, and who they hung out with. There was even a party where the cups were blue for democrats and red for republicans.

A neat feature of Georgetown Academy was the option to read a part of the story in a specific characters point of view. When I reached the party scene, I was given the choice to follow one of the four girls into the scene.

Georgetown Academy was highly entertaining! It's a story that would catch your attention if you're into politics and drama.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Shaking Up" Shakespeare with Kim Askew & Amy Helmes

Sunday, December 2, 2012
Top 10 Ways We’re “Shaking Up” Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and “Macbeth” inspired our first two Twisted Lit novels, Tempestuous and Exposure, but in dusting off the Bard’s classic works, we wanted our re-tellings to be fresh, fun, and thoroughly modern. There are plenty of good reasons our books have been called “compulsively readable,” and here are 10:

1. No stupid collars.

What is it with Elizabethan ruffs, those frilly collars that look like the plastic cones dogs wear after a trip to the vet? You’ll find no ridiculous costumes in our novels. Well, unless you count the standard-issue Hot Dog Kabob uniform worn by Miranda and Ariel in Tempestuous, which features a hat with a fake plastic hot dog propeller on top. That’s really the epitome of ridiculous. But no codpieces — we promise.

2. Our “Macbeth” is not a homicidal maniac.

While it’s true that our version of “Lady Macbeth” in Exposure is more than a little bitchy (and bordering on mentally unhinged), her boyfriend, Craig, isn’t as categorically evil as the social-climbing Scotsman in Shakespeare’s version. Yes, Craig is responsible for a fellow student’s death, but as you’ll see in our spin on the tale, good and evil aren’t always so cut-and-dry.

3. Our “Caliban” is hot.

Shakespeare described this character in “The Tempest” as “hag-seed,” “strange fish,” “poor credulous monster,” and “demi devil”... not a fox, in other words. But our version of the character, Caleb, most definitely is. It’s not immediately apparent thanks to his surly disposition and mop of dark hair, which hangs over his oft-glowering eyes — but he’ll grow on you. Trust us.

4. We’ve traded kilts for winter parkas.

We wanted a modern-day setting for Exposure that also felt remote and a little unworldly. Alaska perfectly suited our purposes: Days with limited sunlight, the eeriness of the Northern Lights, and a native culture keyed in to the supernatural — these are some of the elements that helped us reinterpret Shakespeare’s macabre tale for today’s audience.

5. We made our “island” a shopping mall.

In “The Tempest,” sorcerer (and deposed king) Prospero and his teenage daughter, Miranda, are stranded on a deserted island with only a fairy and a savage brute for company. In our version, former “cool kid” Miranda Prospero has been exiled to minimum-wage labor at the food court of her local mall with only geeks for company. When the blizzard of the year strands her and her cohorts in the building overnight, mayhem and magic ensue.

6. Spontaneous rock concerts.

Shakespeare’s plays often feature ditties on lute and fife, with fairies and humans frolicking around Maypoles and such. The characters in Tempestuous break into song, too — only it’s a pretty epic (and totally unplanned) rock concert. ’Cause that’s just how we roll.

7. To pee or not to pee? That is our question.

Without giving too much away, our heroine in Tempestuous finds herself having to answer the call of nature in a very, shall we say unorthodox fashion. You’ll be cringing — and laughing.

8. No stage directions; no iambic pentameter.

Unlike Shakespeare, which is meant to be staged and experienced as an audience member, our novels provide a less-taxing reading experience, without that oft-indecipherable Elizabethan mumbo-jumbo. If Shakespeare is “homework,” we’re the equivalent of a “beach read.”

9. Inside jokes. (Or not.)

If you love Shakespeare, you’re bound to find plenty of the little “Easter eggs” we’ve hidden throughout the text — subtle nods and humorous references to the Bard. But we never beat you over the head with it, so if you hate Shakespeare, pay no attention. The riveting story’s enough to keep you thoroughly entertained.

10. Strong female characters.

We set out to write characters we would want to read about. That includes girls who are clever, funny, and imperfect — best friend material. They aren’t the sort of chicks who’d plunge a dagger in their heart over a boy, nor are they certain that “all’s well that ends well.” They’re just seemingly real girls with seemingly real problems.

Intrigued? Then we invite you to check out our books and see for yourself what they’re all about!

Warmest regards,
Kim and Amy

Kim Askew and Amy Helmes are the authors of Tempestuous (pub. Dec. 18/Merit Press) and Exposure (pub. Jan. 18/Merit Press). For more information about their Shakespeare-inspired Twisted Lit series, check out

Cover Reveal: Fanged Princess by Elisabeth Wheatley

Friday, November 30, 2012
Fanged Princess by Elisabeth Wheatley

Chengalera Press, 95 pages
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Series: Fanged Princess #1

I will not let my brother suffer the same loss…

Hadassah’s father, the Vampire King, punished her for her choice to love a human. Now her brother, the only person in the world who still matters to her, has fallen for a human girl. Determined to keep the girl safe, the three of them flee from their home in New England and find themselves cornered with their father’s minions closing in. If they want to escape, their only hope may be to join forces with the mortal enemies of their kind…

Be ensnared in this dark tale of enduring love, loyalty, and revenge from teenage author, Elisabeth Wheatley.


Elisabeth Wheatley

Elisabeth Wheatley is a high school junior homeschooled in the Texas Hill Country. Her first book, The Key of Amatahns, was published June 30, 2011 when she was fifteen. Since then, her second book, a sequel to her first, has been published. When she’s not day dreaming of adventure and grandeur, she is busy making goat cheese, studying mythology, and training and showing her Jack Russell Terrier, Schnay.

Guest Post: Books that Impacted My Life with Marc Johnson

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Catalyst by Marc Johnson
Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Series: The Passage of Hellsfire #1
Release Date: March 19, 2011

For centuries, the kingdom of Alexandria has protected Northern Shala from the monstrous creatures lurking in the Wastelands. Now, a dark force threatens that fragile peace.
Far from home, Alexandria’s princess is abducted. When a young villager named Hellsfire stumbles upon her and her captors, he rushes in to rescue her, alone and unarmed. His fear and fury unleash an uncontrollable magical force that grants him the power to save the princess—and change the world.
Hellsfire has never craved nor dreamed of power. But such magic as he now possesses has not been seen in Northern Shala for a thousand years, since the devastation of the War of the Wizards and the creation of the Wastelands.
Now Hellsfire must leave all he’s ever known, and make a dangerous journey to learn to master this wild, ferocious power—power he knows he is not ready to wield. More difficult still, he needs to master his emotions. If he can’t, the power will consume him, Alexandria will fall, and darkness will eclipse the land, destroying everyone he loves.
In the dead of cold, the spark shall burn...

Books that Impacted My Life

I love books. That kind of goes with the territory of being a writer. Over the years, I’ve read hundreds (thousands?) of books. A few of them have had an impact in my life, my way of thinking, and my writing.

1. Matilda by Roald Dahl

I loved this book when I was a kid. Since I was about Matilida’s age when I first read this, it connected to me in how strange adults were and how as a kid, you had to overcome so much it seemed like you would never reach adulthood. Of course, now that I’m an adult, there’s nothing glamorous about it.

Even though Matilda was a kid’s book and I was a kid, I knew that this book dealt with some very adult themes like child abuse. I didn’t realize books could work on two vastly different levels at the same time. Yet no matter how mature the themes got, Matilda still had charm, a sense of humor, and salamanders.

2. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Lewis Stevenson

As much as I loved this story and all the various adaptations it has spawned, it was a bit of an oddity when I first read it. Still is, I suppose. Most stories are told from the main character’s perspective, but not this one. It was told from a friend’s point of view. I do wonder what it was like for those that liked during Stevenson’s time. The ending must have been quite a shock to the mystery of who Hyde was and his connection to Jekyll.

3. Redwall by Brian Jacques

This was my first foray into a fantasy series and I would like to thank the Scholastic book form I received in school. I had read a few fantasy books here and there, but what made Redwall great was that every book in the series built upon previous books. I didn’t know such a thing was possible as Redwall revisited familiar characters and situations. While series are common place today, you have to remember that back then(everything pre-mid-90s) a lot of things were one and done especially books and TV shows. Man, I feel old.

4. Lit Life by Kurt Wenzel

Normally, I hate stories that deal with writers talking about how hard writing is. It is hard, but we do it because we love it, and while we may curse and struggle, we enjoy it. Lit Life deals with the life of two writers—one successful and young, the other old and critically acclaimed, and their lives intermingle together. Writing itself is very boring, but this book isn’t. There’s drama, tension, humor, and even a little mystery. A writer’s life is nothing like that!

5. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

In today’s world, you have to be dark, gritty, and edgy. Be it video games, movies, TV shows, and books, they all do it. What I like about Mistborn is that it’s not dark.

Sanderson’s very good at painting worlds with a very unique magic system, but that wasn’t what got me to love the Mistborn Trilogy. The premise was, but what made me a fan of Sanderson was that he can write books that aren’t dark, gritty, violent, and edgy for the sake of being dark, gritty, violent, and edgy. There are some heavy things in it, but there’s also some light fun in his works. It feels very much like Lord of the Rings, and that’s never a bad thing.

Those are just five books I’ve enjoyed over the years and have impacted me in some way. There are plenty other books out that have touched both me and my writing, and I’m sure there will be plenty more.

The Passage of Hellsfire:


Book Haul (9)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

This book haul is WAY overdue. I was going to forget about this and start on the next batch of books, but then I already had this post put together and didn't want to delete it. Books read = *.

Gifted: (Thank you so much to Vi from Confessions of a Vi3tBabe!)
Onyx by Jennifer L Armentrout*
Defiance by C.J. Redwine *

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo*
Hidden by Sophie Jordan

Signings: (Thank you to Mel from Shot in the Arm for getting The Diviners signed for me!)
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting*

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin*
The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima*
Rebel Heart by Moira Young*

Swag from Kimberly Derting, Finale Tour, and Lisa Schroeder:
The cover model of Patch was at the Finale tour and I totally missed it! But thanks to Mel for getting me a signed poster by "Patch" (Drew Doyon).

What books did YOU get? Did anyone brave those Black Friday lines to get anything?

Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Friday, November 23, 2012
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Razorbill, 412 pages
Series: Falling Kingdoms #1
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Source: Stephanie from Cuddlebuggery Book Blog

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:
Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.
Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.
Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.
Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...
The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

Magic, politics, and a rebellious princess. How could I NOT pick this up?

The story was told in multiple POVs from people all over the kingdom. It was incredible being able to look at the downfall of the kingdoms from all of these different characters. I always felt conflicted when something terrible happens because I could understand it from both perspectives.

There was something that bothered me through out the whole story that I couldn’t put my finger on. It was until Stacy from Girls in the Stacks pointed out on my goodreads that the speech patterns were very modern for an archaic world. One of my favorite things about books set in different periods are the unique speech patterns and that made it difficult to fully enter the world inside Falling Kingdoms because of the modern speech.

There were so many things happening at once. Falling Kingdoms was an intense book full of plot twists, chaotic battles, and betrayals. I was still able to enjoy this book, but I ended up not loving it as much as I thought I would.

Overall: 3 out of 5

Other's who have read and LOVED Falling Kingdoms:
Stephanie - Cuddlebuggery
Asma - IceyBooks
Jaime - Two Chicks on Books

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Blog Tour - Guest Post & Giveaway: The Midnight Dragonfly Series

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things… 
by Ellie James 

A lot of people ask me how the Midnight Dragonfly series came to be. Truth be told, it was an accident. I never sat down one day and decided, “Hey, I’m going to write a series of Young Adult Thrillers.” Quite the opposite. I had a dream one night, an intense, vivid dream, one of those dreams you wake up and would swear you’d really been somewhere else, doing something else. One of those dreams that, with time, feels so much like a memory that sometimes you forget it wasn’t real.

Being the OCD person that I am, I became a little obsessed with what happened in the shadows of my sleep, when I was with a group of teens breaking into a beautiful mansion in the Garden District of New Orleans, long abandoned to the cruelties of time and neglect. What were they doing? What if one of the girls was psychic? What if she saw something really bad? What if no one believed her…

Soon, the bones of a story came together, that of a teenage psychic in New Orleans, on a dark journey to explore not only the scope of her abilities, but a past that has been hidden from her, a future foretold in prophecy, and two very different guys. For me, it was the beginning of the most exciting writing experience of my life.

Here are just a few of my favorite things… 

1. Exploring the Unexplained/Psychic Phenomenon 

From premonitions to dream interpretation, communicating with the dead, hypnosis, mind control, even Ouija boards, laying of the hands and reincarnation, the Midnight Dragonfly series enabled me to play around with two of my favorite topics: the frontiers of the human mind, and the ties that bind us all. The possibilities are endless, and the more research I did, the more I wanted to know, and the more intense Trinity’s journey became…

2. The City of New Orleans

The French Quarter. The Garden District. Cities of the dead. Haunting above ground crypts. Voodoo. Mysticism. Centuries-old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. Abandoned buildings. Music. Secrets Laissez faire… The Crescent City quickly emerged, not as a setting, but as a central character in Trinity’s story, providing endless opportunity, and mystery. Sitting down to write was a like a daily mini vacation…where anything goes.

3. The Dragonfly Amulet 

During the first book, I was writing a scene where Trinity is learning more about her mother, who died when she was a little girl. As part of this scene, I suddenly had Trinity receiving a necklace that belonged to her mother. This wasn’t something I plotted in advance, but the words just flowed, so I went with it. I needed to describe the amulet, and without really thinking, found myself talking about a dragonfly. From there, I began researching dragonfly necklaces, and quickly found this:

It was so amazing, and so perfect and, ultimately, led to the name for the series! However, that was just the beginning. I’d always loved dragonflies, but didn’t know much about them. However, as I began researching them, I was blown away by just how perfectly they fit the series. Legends about dragonflies abound. Like Trinity, they exist in two worlds, two realms. They represent dreams, the afterlife. One particular Native American legend maintains that dragonflies are actually the souls of the departed…

4. Messing around with dreams 

Dreams have always fascinated me. What are they and why do we have them? What do they mean? Where do they come from? Are they random entertainment generated from the subconscious mind? Symbolic representations of challenges and stresses faced during the waking hours? Or are they something else, something far more compelling?

Movies like the Matrix or Inception or Shutter Island make my brain hurt, even as they thrill that curious place inside me—and fed the Midnight Dragonfly series. Is there more to our dreams than we realize? Can we harness them, access them later? Explore them? What if…our dream life is every bit as real as our waking life? What if it’s more real?

5. Watching Trinity Grow

Trinity arrives in New Orleans having spent the past fourteen years living alone in the mountains of Colorado with a rigid (but loving) grandmother who refused to talk of the past. She knows she’s different, that she sees things most people don’t, but she has no idea of the dark legacy awaiting her…or the future about to unfold. The first book is all about Trinity coming to terms with who she is. She’s curious, but unsure. She feels compelled to help, but doesn’t know how. By the time she second book opens, however, she’s much more comfortable with her abilities, and more than a little eager to see where they can take her! I was more than happy to show her.

6. Hands-on research trips

Remember that whole New Orleans thing? Yeah. If a city serves as a character in a story, you kinda gotta go there, right? So I did. Over, and over, and over. I walked every street Trinity walks, explored the cemeteries, ran the same route she runs through the Quarter. I stood outside the big abandoned hospital—and, um, maybe sorta slipped into some place that features prominently in Book 2, where, um, maybe I wasn’t supposed to go. …

7. An excuse to eat beignets

Nothing else needs to be said.

8. Meeting My Editor

Sometimes the planets just align. They do. And that’s exactly what happened when Destiny brought me to My Editor. The first time we actually sat down together, we were blown away by all the “me, too’s.” I’m an Aries…Me, too! My significant other is a Libra…Me, too! His name is Charles…Me, too! I love LOST…Me, too! I adore JJ Abrams…Me, too! I love things that can’t be explained…Me, too! I adore Haunted Houses….Me, too!

Serendipity. There’s nothing else like it!

9. Trinity’s relationship with her aunt 

Trinity comes to New Orleans to live with her aunt, a hip, stylish thirty-something who she’s only met a handful of times. It’s a huge shock for both of them, thrown together by shared blood and yet essentially strangers. And yet, as Trinity’s life begins to unravel, it’s Sara who steps in with love and understanding, treating her with respect rather than like a child, and in doing so quickly becomes the one person Trinity can count on…

10. The way the characters took over

I had the story planned. I had the story plotted. I knew what was going to happen. I knew, that is, until I started to write. That’s when the characters took over, shoving aside my carefully detailed outline and revealing the REAL story…a story richer and more intricate than I ever imagined, especially….

11. Dylan

Yeah, Dylan. Sigh…

12. Stepping out on a ledge

In taking over, the characters took me to places I never imagined going, including ledges I tried to protect them from. But Trinity and Chase and Dylan didn’t want to be protected. They wanted to step out on the ledge, and drag me right along with them. But they didn’t just want to be on the ledge. They wanted to go over it—and take me right along with them.

I jumped off a cliff once. It was in Colorado, along the Colorado River. We were white water rafting. Halfway through the trip, the guides stopped by these sheer cliffs. 33 feet they said…and invited anyone who wanted to jump, to jump. I said no. Those around me began to nudge me. Peer pressure took over, and I found myself standing on the edge of a cliff, shaking like a leaf. Just walk off, the guide told me. Don’t jump. Don’t leap. Just walk off. Um…yeah, okay. Just walk off a cliff. It’s not like that goes against ever instinct one has for survival or anything. But I did it. I walked off the cliff…and so does Trinity.

It was a lot more fun with Trinity.

13. All the Amazing People I’ve met along the way

Seriously. This has been so fantastic and unreal. The Midnight Dragonfly series has brought me in contact with fabulous readers and bloggers and publishing professionals, at conferences and book signings and talks, through my Facebook page and Twitter and email. We’ve talked Trinity and Chase and Dylan. We’ve talked dreams and premonitions and clairvoyance. We’ve talked about strong YA heroines and swoon-worthy heroes. We’ve talked writing and reading. Life. And it’s such a gift to make these connections and see all those awesome ties that bind in action.

14. Oh…did I mention eating beignets?


The Midnight Dragonfly Series:

Glimpses. That’s all they are. Shadowy premonitions flickering through sixteen year old psychic Trinity Monsour’s dreams. Some terrify: a girl screaming, a knife lifting, a body in the grass. But others--the dark, tortured eyes and the shattering kiss, the promise of forever--whisper to her soul. They come without warning. They come without detail.

But they always mean the same thing: The clock is ticking, and only Trinity can stop it.

Find out how in Shattered Dreams, Broken Illusions, and Fragile Darkness, available from Griffin Teen!


Ellie James
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Most people who know Ellie think she’s your nice, average wife and mom of two little kids. They see someone who does all that normal stuff, like grocery shopping, going to soccer games, and somehow always forgetting to get the house cleaned and laundry done.
What they don't know is that more often than not, this LSU J-School alum is somewhere far, far away, deeply embroiled in solving a riddle or puzzle or crime, testing the limits of possibility, exploring the unexplained, and holding her breath while two people fall in love.
Regardless of which world Ellie’s in, she loves rain and wind and thunder and lightning; the first warm kiss of spring and the first cool whisper of fall; family, friends, and animals; dreams and happy endings; Lost and Fringe; Arcade Fire and Dave Matthews, and last but not least…warm gooey chocolate chip cookies.

Her next book, FRAGILE DARKNESS, is available from Griffin Teen November 27, 2012.

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Top Ten Books: I'd Want On A Deserted Island

Monday, November 12, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful people of Broke and Bookish
This week's topic: Top Ten Books I'd Want On A Deserted Island

If I was on a deserted island then I'd either be a 1 or 10 on my emotion scale. 

1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
2. The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
3. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
5. Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

6. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
7. Pushing the Limits by Katy McGarry
8. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
9. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

What are YOUR Top Ten Books You'd Want On A Deserted Island?
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