Thursday, January 31, 2013

Review: Unleashed

Unleashed
by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
Series: Wolf Springs Chronicles #1
Pages: 382
Release Date: November 22, 2011
by Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers

Goodreads / Purchase
Katelyn McBride’s life changed in an instant when her mother died. Uprooted from her California home, Katelyn was shipped to the middle of nowhere, Arkansas, to her only living relative, her grandfather. And now she has to start over in Wolf Springs, a tiny village in the Ozark Mountains. Like any small town, Wolf Springs has secrets. But the secrets hidden here are more sinister than Katelyn could ever imagine. It’s a town with a history that reaches back centuries, spans continents, and conceals terrifying truths. And Katelyn McBride is about to change everything.

Broken families, ageless grudges, forced alliances, and love that blooms in the darkest night—welcome to Wolf Springs.

*A copy was provided by Random House for review purposes*

Since this is a werewolf book, I was expecting it to be creepy. What I wasn’t expecting was for it to be freaking terrifying. This book is so dark and creepy and scary…but so awesome because of it. Holder and Viguie definitely weren’t messing around, because they got right into the story from page one. I loved how they explained the setting and the situation, and the writing was pretty awesome throughout the book. I really loved the story line and staging. Also, I was totally blind-sided by the part that Kat plays in this book. I did not expect what happened to happen, and I really liked that Holder and Viguie did that. At first, I really enjoyed the suspense that Holder and Viguie created around a certain character who was acting strange (those of you who have read this book know who I’m talking about), but after about 10 pages I figured out what the character was, but Holder and Viguie tried to continue the suspense for about 70 more pages afterwards. Now, either I am a freaking genius and just know stuff, or it was pretty obvious what was going on. SPOILER: [Here’s a little suggestion: don’t name your series “Wolf Springs Chronicles”, have a tag line that says “Every town has its secrets. In Wolf Springs, they’re just a little darker”, and a cover and title that basically screams “werewolf” if you’re going to try and make what these people are a mystery]. That was a bit annoying, and, at times, the storyline was pretty boring and slow-paced, but, other than that, I can’t really think of anything wrong with the book. Oh, wait, yeah I can. HOW ABOUT THE GINORMOUS CLIFFHANGER AT THE END HUH? Almost killed me it did ;P

Pretty much from the second he walked through the door (literally) I fell in love with Trick. Probably because the way that Holder and Viguie described him made me think of my Celebrity Crush (he isn’t actually a cowboy, but for a video he dressed up as one), who also happens to be the hottest man on earth. Every time Trick said something or did something I just envisioned my CC (Celebrity Crush), and I was mush. Trick was funny, sarcastic, smart, and pretty freaking hot. Which is basically everything I would want in a guy (and, incidentally, that pretty much describes my CC, so there.)
I also really liked the part that Kat played in this book. She was strong, smart, kick-butt, fierce, and I’m glad that she stood up for herself and actually did something about what was happening around her.

I can honestly say I’ve never read a creepier, darker werewolf book in my life, and I’m SO glad I didn’t start this book at night, because I would not have slept. What with the super hot main guy and the heart-breaking cliffhanger at the end, I can’t wait for the second book!


4.5 pink flowers


Favorite Quotes:

“He (Trick) bent over to put on his boots, giving her (Kat) a great view of his butt – a nice butt – and her grandfather glanced at her just in time to catch her gaze.

~Page 35
“’Does this bustle make my butt look big?’”

~Page 47, Trick

“’Houston, we are go for launch,’ he said, and then floored it.”
~Page 130, Trick

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#51): Maid of Secrets


This is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlites upcoming new releases that we're highly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is.

Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan


Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 7, 2013

Seventeen-year-old Meg Fellowes is a wry, resourceful thief forced to join an elite group of female spies in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. There she must solve a murder, save the Crown, and resist the one thing that will become her greatest freedom–and her deadliest peril. 

For Meg and her fellow spies are not alone in their pursuit of the murderer who stalks Windsor Castle.

A young, mysterious Spanish courtier, Count Rafe de Martine, appears at every turn in the dark and scandal-filled corridors of the Queen’s summer palace. And though secrets and danger are Meg’s stock-in-trade, she’s never bargained on falling in love…

What are you guys waiting on this week?
Link me up!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: The Madman's Daughter

The Madman's Daugther
by Megan Shepard
Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Pages: 432
Release Date: January 29, 2013
by Balzer + Bray

Goodreads / Purchase
In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

*A copy was provided by Harper for review purposes*

Oh Shepard, this book could have been so good! I was loving it, and then you blew it! GAAHHHHH!
Unfortunately, this book was horrible. It was wrong on so many levels, suffered from a severe bout of insta-love, and had one of the worst main characters I’ve ever seen. The writing and story line was REALLY good, and I loved the idea of vivisection and making humans out of animals. The book was fast-paced , creepy, dark, and thrilling throughout, and the story line and staging was awesome. I loved how Shepard dropped hints throughout the book about certain things (if you've read this you'll know what I mean) so that the reader was able to figure out stuff before they happened.  I don't think I've loved a book so much, but at the same time hated it so much!  Really, I would have given this book 5 stars based on the story and writing alone...and then page 30 rolled around (or somewhere around there) and it went downhill – fast. Just as fast as the romance happened, and that was pretty quick. Literally 10 pages after Juliet was introduced to Montgomery, one of the love interests, she was obsessed with him and wanted to kiss him and have him touch her and blah blah blah. Insta-love. For the record, I hate insta-love. In my opinion, love is supposed to be introduced, then grow over the course of the story, making it really sweet to read about. The love in this book, however, was the complete opposite! Also, there was a horrible love triangle that was painful to watch play out. Now, I can handle a well-written love triangle, but this one was just atrocious. There were two insta-love moments in this book, which I didn’ t think was ever possible in a book, and it wasn’t that I didn’t like the guys, it was just that it was introduced so horribly.
There were several things that I found deeply wrong about this book. One was Juliet, but I’ll get to that rant later…actually, I’m going to talk a bit about her now. Let me explain this situation: Juliet’s father dissects animals and makes them human, and Juliet finds out by snooping. So she’s in the operating room, her dad isn’t there, and Montgomery walks in. So what does she do? She makes out with him on the operating table, where her dad tortured animals. I know that this is kind of a stupid thing to be upset about, but I’m an animal lover, and I hate it when animals are hurt. Not to mention, there’s got to be blood on that table. Why on earth would you make out with someone on a blood-soaked torture table?!
Another thing was Montgomery and the father’s relationship. When it suited Shepard and the book, the father treated Montgomery like “a son” and called him that too. But then, 10 pages later, Montgomery is no longer “his son” and the father hates him. This was so annoying because it just went back and forth, love, hate, son, not son, and it was so obvious that Shepard just manipulated that relationship as it suited the story.

And then we get to the characters. *deep breath*. I’m going to save Juliet for last and am just going to talk about the love interests. For the record, I’m Team Montgomery! I don’t have anything against Edward, I just think that Montgomery is a nicer guy. He’s nice, caring, gentle, and you can tell that he really cares about Juliet. I just didn’t get those vibes from Edward, and he wasn’t very attractive in any way. Honestly, I don’t understand why either of them put up with Juliet. Montgomery DEFINITELY didn’t deserve to be treated the way he was.
And now we get to the manipulative bitch that used these two innocent guys for absolutely no reason. Can’t figure out who that is? Well I’ll tell you – Juliet. If Juliet was to introduce herself to you, she might say something like this: “Hi, my name’s Juliet. I’m a madman’s daughter – and I’m a bit loony myself. I’m a bitch who used two guys just for the run of it. I’m annoying, clueless, and am super proud of my father for torturing animals.” You said it Juliet, not me. She is easily in the top three of my Worst Female Characters list. She was weak, annoying, helpless, and a user. She went back and forth between Montgomery and Edward –“ I love this one, no I love this one.” And even though she loved Montgomery, she was still fantasizing about kissing Edward! AND, as if that wasn’t enough, she was proud of her dad for murdering animals. And all Shepard Juliet blamed it on her dad’s madness being passed down to her because she had “his blood running through her veins.” God, I hate her.

This book had everything going for it! The idea, story line, and writing were AMAZING!  I’m genuinely sad that I didn’t like this book, but Shepard just wrote the insta-love love triangle and Juliet so horribly that I just COULDN’T like this book :(

2 pink flowers

Monday, January 28, 2013

Young Adult Giveaway Hop (US)


Hello everyone!  It's been  a while since I've participated in one of these awesome giveaway hops, but I decided to post today.  This hop is hosted by the awesome I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Book Love 101.



The Prize:
Winner's choice of 2013 releases below.  Please note that they will be in ARC format.




What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard
The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway

The Rules:
~There will be one winner.
~Giveaway ends on February 5, 2013 @ 12:01 AM
~This giveaway is US


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering and may the odds be ever in your favor! :P

US vs UK #6




US vs UK is a meme hosted by Book Passion for Life.  In this meme, I will post a US and UK cover from the same book, and you guys will vote which one you like best.  I'll keep track of the score, and it will be a running competition!


_________________________________________________

The Score:
US: 4 UK: 0 Draw: 1

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass

  VS   



My Vote:

Wow, what awesome covers!  I really like both of them, but the UK one is more eye-catching and kick-ass looking.  It looks ethereal and scary, and supernatural, and I love that!

Links: Goodreads / Purchase

Which cover do you like best?
Leave a comment to vote!

__________________________________________


Last week's winner was...US!
Click here to view last week's covers!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

In My Mailbox #46


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we spotlight the books that we've received for review, swapped, or purchased that week.

FOR REVIEW:


Revel by Maurissa Guibord (finished hardcover from Random House)
City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster (signed finished hardcover from Miriam Forster)


SWAPPED:


The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (hardcover from Becca)



What did you guys get this week?
Link me up!!! :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Review: The Cadet of Tildor

The Cadet of Tildor
by Alex Lidell
Pages: 400
Release Date: January 10, 2013
by Dial

Goodreads / Purchase
Tamora Pierce meets George R. R. Martin in this smart, political, medieval fantasy-thriller.

 There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, angling to exploit the young Crown's inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right.

***Note: This review has some spoilers in it, but they're mostly minor, and I will give you plenty of warning!

The Cadet of Tildor and I have a love/hate relationship.  I’ve really been getting into this kind of genre (fantasy, fighting, action), and I was expecting this book to be really awesome.  And it was…only it kind of wasn’t.  Let me explain: I really loved the setting for this book.  Lindell did a fabulous job explaining the fantasy world, and setting the pace for the story.  Her writing…let’s just say it was inconsistent.  And the story line…well let’s just say it was jumpy.  The reason I mention them right after another is they are a huge reason as to why I didn’t absolutely love this book.  At times, the writing drew me in, and the story was fast-paced and action-packed, and it had a purpose.  And then – it didn’t.  At times, the writing was average, bordering on bad, and the story line was slow and pointless.  Also, sometimes the staging was kind of cheesy and obvious.  SPOILER: ***[Example: Once Savoy is captured because he and Renee set out to free Diam, Renee takes Diam to a cage fight because Savoy bought the tickets while trying to track down Diam and Diam found them and wanted to go.  As a result of Renee and Diam going, Renee finds out what happened to Savoy, and she can rescue him.  That’s all fine and dandy, but let’s not forget, Diam is a child!  I don’t think he’s even 10.  In fact, I know he isn’t 10, because Savoy mentions the fact that he won’t be 13 for several more years.  I would never take a 10 year kid to a cage fight, where there is violence and killing.  This was just down-right horrible staging by Lindell, and just so outrageous.  Anyway, moving on]***.
However, some aspects of the book I did enjoy.  I liked the parts where there was action, and I felt like by the end of the book the story all made sense, and everything worked out okay.  The reason I gave this book such a good rating is mostly because of the ending, which was action-packed and thrilling, and also because of the twists and turns throughout the story.  And then…we get to the characters.

I.  Hate.  Savoy.  I hate him with a passion.  What a mean, stuck-up, conceited, ass-hole guy.  He was sulking about having to teach, and he totally took it out on his innocent students.  SPOILER: ***[He even beat Renee for doing something that he himself did as a child.  He beat her.]***
Yes, he is kind of attractive, and yes, he is extremely kick-butt, but, most of all, he is a huge jerk, and I can’t ever forget that.  And then we get to Renee.  First off, I can totally understand her attraction to Savoy (I mean, come on, if an extremely attractive, muscular, kick-butt guy came in and was all aloof and stuff, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be able to not be attracted to him), but once Savoy beat the shit out of her, I honestly expected her to hate him.  I definitely didn’t expect her to think of him as a friend.  But, other than that, I really loved Renee.  She was smart, kick-butt, defiant, and strong, and I really liked the personality that Lindell gave her.  Go Renee!

Really, this is a very good fantasy read, and I really enjoyed it.  Even with the douche-bag guy and the sometimes less than stellar writing, overall, this book was great.  Do I smell a sequel coming?  I hope so!


4 pink flowers


Favorite Quotes:

“Should she follow the law, or follow her instincts?
~Tag line

“’...You have a problem, de Winter?’  The words left her mouth before her brain filtered them.  ‘Yes, it’s blond, green-eyed, and thinks it’s a god.’”
Aahahahahahah best quote ever.  By the way, Renee was talking about Savoy :P

~Page 180

Friday, January 25, 2013

YADP Post: Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Young Adult Debut Promotions (YADP) is a post I do to help out debut authors, and to get them noticed.  My posts will definitely include a feature of the book, a feature of the author, and a giveaway, with an interview, guest post, or excerpt optional.  If you would like more information about YADP click here and scroll down until you come to the section talking about it.

Today I am featuring...


Kristin Halbrook
And she will be doing an interview and giveaway!


~The Book~


Nobody But Us
by Kristin Halbrook
Pages: 272
Release Date: January 29, 2013
by HarperTeen

Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.


*A copy was provided by HarperTeen for review purposes*

Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever read a debut this sad and this heartbreaking…it was just such a strong book…I’m so impressed with Halbrook.  The writing was really, really awesome, and the idea was really good as well.  The situation that these characters were in…no one should have to deal with stuff like that.  The story line was very good, and it wasn’t a boring book by any means.  It shows a whole another side of the YA contemporary genre, and a whole another side of life.  The ending…oh my gosh.  I sat there for literally two minutes after I read that ending.  I can’t believe that what happened happened.  I don’t usually cry at the endings of books, but I almost did in this one.  I can’t decide if I liked what Halbrook did after the ending.  SPOILER ALERT:[ I feel like Halbrook probably should have made Zoe a little more sad over the fact that Will died, but then on the other hand I liked that Halbrook didn’t go through 10 pages of Zoe crying…so I think I like that Halbrook just moved on.]

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with this kind of cast before.  The amount of crap that Zoe and Will had to deal with as young kids was just horrifying.  SPOILER ALERT:[I completely understand that Will had a difficult childhood, but if my boyfriend (HA, yeah, that’s a dream) had been kicked out of multiple schools for fighting, and had killed someone with a wine bottle, I would be sprinting the other way.]  Will was trying to fix stuff, and he was trying to make things right, but he kept on messing it up with each stupid and violent thing he did.  I know Halbrook wrote him like this to make a point, and I don’t think I’m supposed to like him, so I don’t really feel bad about not liking him.  Zoe is interesting too.  Halbrook made the romance and the characters this messed up on purpose, to show people what sometimes really happens in the world, and there are probably people out there just like Will and Zoe.  Zoe, I think, grew a ton over the course of this book, and I loved watching her change.  She was smart, strong, and tough.

This is definitely the most though-provoking and strong YA contemporary book I’ve read…I think ever.  The messed up characters, imperfect romance, and horrible situation made for a heartbreaking, sad, and riveting story.


4 pink flowers


~Author Interview~

1. Why did you become a writer?

Like so many authors, the desire to write has been with me since I was very little. I loved doing reports at school, entered (and sometimes won!) poetry, short story and essay contests throughout school, and generally loved to make up stories. I wrote terrible fantasy-based fiction as a teen, but took a break for a little while to write a zillion papers in college. A few years after that, I sold an essay to a magazine. It was a defining "I'm a writer" moment. I think the little check that came with the acceptance letter was a big help with that. After, I started novels that I only sometimes finished--my writing apprenticeship--until my craft was good enough to get an agent, and then a publishing contract. Always, this is simply what I wanted to do.

2. Who were your biggest influences?

All the authors I read over the course of my life. It's hard to rate them against each other, because each, from the heavy classics to the oft-mocked Babysitter's Club, contributed to my writing development. A writer will never be a great writer unless she is a great reader. Outside of writing, my parents and family have always been a great influence, encouraging me to follow my dreams and trusting that I knew the best way to achieve them, even if I took a misstep here or there.

3. When and how did you get the idea for Nobody But Us?

I honestly can't remember when--probably right before I started writing it a couple years ago! I tend to take ideas and run with them. As for how, I knew, first of all, that I wanted to write a character with good intentions whose life was a result of a system that hadn't prepared him to be the person he wanted to be. I wanted to write about a person desperate to improve, but who lacked resources. So it was about Will's story, in the beginning.

4. Do you have a special routine you do when writing?  Do you have a place you like to write?

I don't have a special routine. I'm always scared that if I did, and my routine was compromised, I would be unable to write. And I never want to be in that position. I try to set daily goals and reach them at the best times and in the best places. I enjoy writing in my home office, sprawled on the couch and at local coffee shops.

5. Do you like cats or dogs?

I'm 100% a dog person.

6. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Ooooh, both? Probably dark chocolate over milk chocolate, but sometimes the lighter chocolate is nice. It's always a good idea to eat richer, high quality chocolate because a little goes a long way. Mmmm chocolate.

7. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Pistachio! Yup, I was that weird kid who liked the green ice cream--the one that *didn't* have chocolate chips in it. I'm also a fan of Ben And Jerry's Mudslide, too. Their favorite of mine, though, was the Coconut Almond Fudge Chip. They don't make it anymore. :(

8. What is your favorite movie?

The English Patient. Also, Pan's Labyrinth. I love the direction, cinematography, acting and stories for each. Gorgeous films. I tend to prefer the more dramatic films as a whole, though an evening with Mean Girls is fun, too.

9. Is there another book in the works?  If so, what can we expect?

Definitely! Lots of projects. The most important is my next contemporary, which contains secretive pasts, lists of promises, redemption and fear.


~Plus a Little Extra Awesome~

Kristin's Top Ten Dream Road Trips

Since Nobody But Us features a road trip, I thought I would make of list of the top five places I want to road trip. I have taken a few gorgeous road trips already: Washington State to Yellowstone National Park, Highway 101 down the west coast, through the Olympic Rain Forest and down the Fife Coast from St. Andrews in Scotland. Here are some more I'd love to take:

5. The Cascade Loop. Gorgeous mountain and valley scenery, wildlife and breathtaking lakes, and small town charm are highlights of this trip around the Cascade mountain range in Washington.

4. Eastern Canada. Starting at Niagara Falls and routing through Toronto, Montreal and so-pretty Quebec City before making it to Prince Edward Island to see the Anne of Green Gables sites. Ideally, this would be an autumn trip full of delicious harvest food stops.

3. Australia's Great Ocean Road. From Brisbane and the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast to cosmopolitan Sydney and finally Melbourne to visit some friends Down Under. This time of year, a trip like this with the promise of sun is especially appealing. The wineries along the way for samples don't hurt, either.

2. Russian River Cruise. Okay, this isn't technically a road trip. It's . . . a waterway version of the classic highway trip! I'd love to cruise from majestic St. Petersburg to fascinating and vibrant Moscow, visiting the lovely Golden Ring towns in between.

1. Hai Van Pass, Vietnam. I've been keen to visit Vietnam and Cambodia for some time, and this windy road with striking ocean views and atmospheric misty scenery would be the perfect way to get out of the cities for a time. It can be a dangerous road, but I'd still prefer the old route to the newer tunnel.

~Get to know Kristin Halbrook~

Bio:
When I was little, I wanted to be a writer, the President of the USA or the first female NFL quarterback. Despite being able to throw a wicked spiral, I didn't really grow to the size needed for the NFL. Then, as I got older and studied more, I came to realize there were better ways to effect positive change than becoming president. The first one, however, stuck. Even when I was pursuing other dreams, I always took time to write here and there. NOBODY BUT US will be published by HarperChildren's in 2013.

When I'm not writing or reading (which is what I do all day, in all of my work), I'm spending time with pixies, my Mad Scot soulmate, and one grumpy cocker spaniel; traveling across oceans and time; cooking and baking up a storm and watching sunsets and waves crash on the beach. I currently live, love and explore in The Emerald City, though I occasionally make wispy, dream-like plans to move to New York, Paris or a Scottish castle one day (if just temporarily).

Connect:
~Giveaway~



The Rules:
~There will be one winner
~Giveaway ends on February 9 @ 12:00 A.M.
~This giveaway is INT

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks for checking out this post!  If you could share it with a friend that would be really great.  The whole point of this post was to get an awesome debut author noticed, so if you could help that would be great!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

All the Broken Pieces Blog Tour

Hi everyone!  Today I am participating in the All the Broken Pieces Blog Tour, hosted by Entangled Teen.  So, today I have an awesome interview for everyone, sooooo...LET'S GET  STARTED!!!


All the Broken Pieces
by Cindi Madsen
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Release Date: December 11, 2012
by Entangled Teen

Goodreads / Purchase
What if your life wasn’t your own?

Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.

Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?


~Interview~
1. Why did you decide to become a writer?
I've always had stories in my head, I just didn't think about writing them down until after I had my first baby. Once I started, I was hooked, and I knew that I wanted to try to make a career of it.


2. Who were your biggest influences?
I love Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth George Speare, Mary Shelley, and LM Montgomery


3. Where do you like to write?
Usually I write at home, but when I'm on a tight deadline, I'll go to Panera (they have Mountain Dew & giant cookies) or the UCCS library, because it's dead silent.


4. Do you have a special routine you like to do before you write?
I check my email & twitter & get distracted, then finally force myself to focus. I do a couple hours in the morning, a couple hours after lunch, and then, if I'm really motivated, another hour after dinner.


5. When and how did you get the idea for ALL THE BROKEN PIECES?
I wanted to do something different and I was thinking of something that hadn't been done. I was also thinking about some classic storylines and I got this idea of (spoilery bit goes here) So I went about plotting how this girl would deal with waking up from a coma with no memory of what happened, all while having these two voices in her head that argued with each other.


6. Is there another book in the works? If so, what can we expect?
I've got a few adult romances coming out this year (Falling for Her Fiance just came out in January, and Cinderella Screwed Me Over comes out in Oct) I've got some YA books in the works as well, and as soon as I have contracts and more set dates, I'll definitely announce them.


THIS OR THAT
1. Jelly or peanut butter?  Or both?
Both. Or PB & choc, like a Reese's cup

2. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Milk chocolate

3. Cats or dogs?
Cats


4. Hardcover/ paperbacks or ebooks?
Ebooks


~Get to know Cindi Madsen~


Bio:
Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#50): Taken

This is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlites upcoming new releases that we're highly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is.

Taken by Erin Bowman


Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 16, 2013

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?



What are you guys waiting on this week?
Link me up!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: Article 5

Article 5
by Kristen Simmons
Series: Article 5 #1
Pages: 362
Release Date: January 31, 2012
by Tor Teen

Goodreads / Purchase
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard for her to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It's hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.

*A copy was provided by Tor Teen for review purposes*

Dystopian has become very popular lately, and I can’t help but notice that most of the books in this genre all kind of have the same world structure. Article 5, however, is different. Yes, it has the basic similarities to other dystopian books – such as the government taking over and castes and such – but Article 5 took the scariness a bit farther. In this book, the government is really messed up and extremely violent, and that was pretty freaky. I liked how Simmons explained the situation and the setting. Her writing was kind of hard to follow, and the story line was kind of stop and start action, but other than that I think this book is a decent book. There was awesome staging, and the story got going from page 1, and it was a really well set-up story.

I really like it when a book has really strong characters, and both Chase and Ember fit this description. Chase was messed up, yes, but he realized it and tried to fix it. He was tough, fierce, strong, and nice in his own way. Really, I loved the guy! Ember was a pretty strong character too. My favorite part of the book was when Ember took everything upon herself and broke out of…somewhere. Don’t want to give you guys any spoilers. But I really did like her. She was tough, smart, kind of annoying at times, but a solid character.

This book wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t horrible either, and sometimes it’s good to read an average book. I really did enjoy this book and the story line and characters, I just wasn’t wowed, and that is totally okay. Can’t wait to read the next book.


3 pink flowers

Monday, January 21, 2013

Nobody But Us Blog Tour Stop

 Heeellooooo evverryoneeee!  How has your day been?  Mine's been awesome because I have the awesome debut author Kristin Halbrook stopping by the blog today.  Later on this week I will be doing a review of her book (as well as a giveaway), and I can tell you guys what...this is a book you must read!  So, today I have a simple promotional post as well as a tour-hosted giveaway, so go check it out! :D


Nobody But Us
by Kristin Halbrook
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
Release Date: January 29, 2013
by HarperTeen

Goodreads / Pre-Order
Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr


~Giveaway~

a Rafflecopter giveaway


~Follow the Tour~
January 21 Bittersweet Enchantment *Interview & author playlist
Step Into Fiction *Review & Favorite quote (blogger's choice)
Emily's Crammed Bookshelf *Excerpt (blogger's choice)
MajiBookshelf *Review



January 22 Nick's Book Blog *Review & Author Bio
The reader lines *Review & Excerpt (blogger's choice)
The-Society *Review & Playlist (blogger's choice)



January 23 The Girl in a Cafe *Guest post as Will
Aripi pentru a visa *Review & Author Bio
Moosubi Reviews! *Review & Favorite quote (blogger's choice)
YA Bookmark *Review & Dream cast (blogger's choice)



January 24 Enticed by Books *Interview
For The Love Of Film And Novels *Review & Excerpt (blogger's choice)
WinterHaven Books *Review & Author Bio
I Talk Books! *Review



January 25 The Readers Den *Review & Author Bio
The Book Life *Review & Playlist (blogger's choice)
Tater's Tall Tails *Review & Excerpt (blogger's choice)



January 26 I Have Lived a Thousand Lives *Guest post as Zoe
Just Books and Books *Review & Favorite quote (blogger's choice)
Love of Books *Review & Author Bio



January 27 Catching Books *Review & Dream cast (blogger's choice)
Falling For YA *Review & playlist (blogger's choice)



January 28 Jump Into Books *Guest post
The Book Parade *Review & Author Bio
Rampant Readers *Review & Favorite quote (blogger's choice)
Nawanda Files *Review
BookNook *Review
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