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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
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