Monday, December 30, 2013

What we liked in 2013 [as far as books are concerned]

Now, 2013 wasn't all bad, amidst all the misses there have been some really great hits.  Such as the books listed below:
Double Vision: Code Name 711 by F.T. Bradley
The Rithmatist by BrandonSanderson
Ink by Amanda Sun
Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
Midnight Frost & Spartan Frost by Jennifer Estep
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban
This is what Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman
A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris
Blurred by Tara Fuller
The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy
Pivot Point by Kasie West
Hiding out at the Pancake Palace by Nan Marino
The Collector by Victoria Scott
Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
The Seven Swords by Nils Johnson-Shelton
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
I'm sure I missed a few, but you get the point.  So, what were your favorite books of 2013?

End of the Year Post 2013 Edition

Blogging made me realize some things…

     Well would you look at that, 2013 is all but over already.  It’s been a blast doing the blog this year, but I’ve come across a few things.  And for the most part, I’ve realized that I wouldn’t have figured these things out if I hadn’t started blogging.  I used to be one of those people who would buy anything, as long as the synopsis sounded good, and it had a nice cover.  Because I used to love reading, I really did.  But I can’t say I love it as much anymore. 

    As you can see things have been pretty slow around Our Thoughts Precisely as of late—*Cricket Chirping*—but it’s not without reason.  I really just haven’t found much that I actually wanted to read.  As far as 2013 has gone, it’s been a pretty dismal year on the book end for me.  I started getting so many bad books that it had gotten to the point where I didn’t even want to give any new authors a chance.  Many times I found myself questioning why I’m still blogging when all I felt like I was doing was wasting my time and sometimes my money.  

     Sometimes I’ve bought books thinking I’m getting one thing, and then when I actually get to the reading part, I find that the synopsis was misleading.  Book covers are book covers.  You can make it look as pretty as you want, but at the end of the day, it comes down to what’s inside of a book.  A book cover isn’t going to make me like a book, sorry.  Many times I’ve seen other bloggers/readers gush about a book, and I fully expect to love it too.  But that’s not the case.  And some of these books that I’m talking about never even made it to the review stage, and probably never will.

     Moving on, this year I found myself unwilling to promote certain books—I won’t name names.  And that was because of one thing.  It’s an issue with comfort, some things I’m just not comfortable reading, and never will be.  While things that bother me might not bother others, the blog is just an expression of our opinions, no one else’s.  But that being said we are not, in any way looking for books with the following content: child abuse, excessive drug/alcohol use, older men interested in underage girls/vice-versa, lack of consequences for actions, and woman being mistreated/ disrespected in ways that crossed—overshot it actually—the line of ok into straight vulgarity.  If the book has gone into that vulgar territory, then I’m not obligated to say a thing about it.  Because I won’t, and will not ever recommend something that I wouldn’t even show my own mother.  Oh, I forgot one on that list, too much sexual content, to the point where the plot suffers a great deal because of it.

     I want to read to be entertained, to be immersed in a world that I could get lost in.  I don’t want to feel frustrated at the end of a book because the shock value overshadowed the plot.  I would love to see more books with strong female leads who are independent, resilient, and don't need a boyfriend to justify their existence.  I just don’t want to feel like I want the hours I lost back. 

     Maybe 2014 will be better, or maybe it won’t.  No one can say for sure until the new batch of books start rolling in.  Needless to say, I’ve moved away from YA.  I’ve mostly been sticking with Middle Grade, or just General Fiction books.  I don’t know, maybe I just haven’t been finding the right books.  Was your year of books better than mine?  If you want, leave your answer in the comments.  Anyway, have a happy holiday’s everyone! 

*And hey, the Go-Go bar/brothel scenes do nothing for books, I’m just saying.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review: Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2)Title: Curtsies & Conspiracies (Click title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Won, Hardback
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Novermber 5, 2013 Little Brown Books for Young Readers
My Thoughts:

Curtsies & Conspiracies (C&C) by Gail Carriger was an interesting read—one that I happened to enjoy considering the lack of enthusiasm I’ve had for reading lately.  I found the overall writing style and plot refreshing.  It was nice to see an alternative-history based book targeted at a YA audience.  I wasn't familiar with the characaters because I didn't read the first book prior to diving into C&C.  But, I didn’t have any trouble following along with Sophronia’s adventures.  As a main character, Sophronia was alright, and I liked seeing the relationships she developed with the people around her.  She had a habit of being a bit nosey, but she did it with good intentions.  There were a whole host of characters, but to avoid spoiling anything, I won’t go into them.  Now as for the school, well, it’s one I’d like to attend after all it is in a dirigible. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing School was a creative take on the boarding school concept sometimes found in YA.  My only problem with C&C is that all the action, albeit brief as it was, happened at the very end of the book.  And at times, the pacing seemed to slow down.  But that didn’t hamper my overall enjoyment of the C&C.  To sum it up, I liked Curtsies & Conspiracies, and I’m even more curious now than ever to see how the whole series started. 
 
Check out the Trailer for the book below!
 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

MOVIE, BOOK, OR BOTH? The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Directed by Peter Jackson Review

So there's an occasional thing we like to do on Our Thoughts Precisely. We'll go see a movie and then read the book after to see if there are any differences, if it's more detailed and whatnot. All to see if we like the Movie, the Book, or Both. So it's only fitting that we call it: Movie, Book, or Both?  Now before I get to my thoughts on The Hobbit:  The Desolation of Smaug, take a look at the awesome trailer!



 
Title:The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Director: Peter Jackson
Screenwriter(s): Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens & Guillermo del Toro
Rating: PG-13
Official Site: Click Here
Release Date: December 13, 2013
My Thoughts:

Thanks to 760 AM KFMB,  I attended an Advanced Screening of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I usually like to indicate if I liked the movie, book, or both. I haven’t read the book, so for now let me just say that The Desolation of Smaug is one of my favorite movies of 2013.
Although, I enjoyed The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It was fairly slow paced and some of the scenes were drawn-out, so I was unsure of what to expect from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Was it slow paced? Absolutely not. The Desolation of Smaug was action packed early on. The battle scenes were epic and  somewhat graphic with disturbing images as indicated in the movies ratings; yet, skillfully depicted.  I don’t usually like to watch movies in 3D, but this was the perfect effect for this movie. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I found myself jumping off the seat during a couple of the unpredictable action sequences. The movie kept me glued to the screen. I was so captivated by the movie that I lost track of time. And just right smack at the height of the action, there’s a turning point—and then the end that left me saying, “Noooooo, you just can’t end the movie like this. A big cliffhanger??? Really???” Oh well, other than leaving me on the edge wanting answers, The Desolation of Smaug is an awesome must see movie.

*On a side note: Although I give all of the crew kudos, I should have known Guillermo del Toro had a hand in the creation of this movie because I loved it just as much as Pacific Rim, in which he was a director/producer/screenwriter.
     

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Release Day Launch & Excerpt: Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L. Armentrout


 
Jennifer L. Armentrout's amazing novella in her new The Dark Elements Series, BITTER SWEET LOVE, is out and we are excited to join in the release day launch for it. BITTER SWEET LOVE is the Prequel Novella for The Dark Elements Series and is full of Wardens, fantasy, and romance. The first novel in the series, WHITE HOT KISS, will be released February 25, 2014. Check out what we have for you today! There's also a fantastic excerpt for you to check out below!

EXCERPT:

Moving lightning fast, Dez shifted and I was suddenly underneath him. His arms were on either side of my head, caging me in. Our bodies didn’t touch, but I felt him to the tips of my toes anyway.
 
                The teasing grin disappeared when I dragged in a deep breath and my chest brushed his. Everything changed in an instant. The playful mood faded, replaced by primal heaviness. Our gazes collided and locked. Neither of us moved. His closeness sent a series of shivers skittering across my skin and made it hard to take slow, even breaths. My body tensed when his gaze dropped to my mouth.
 
                He tilted his head to the side. “I… I honestly have no idea what we were talking about.”
 
                “Good. Neither do I.”
 
                He shifted his weight onto one arm, bring him closer. “Have you enjoyed your trip so far?”
 
                “Yes.” I felt as if I couldn’t get enough air into my lungs.
 
                “Good.” He lowered his head. His breath was minty as it moved across my cheek and then my lips. “I’m glad.”
 
                I wasn’t really following the conversation and I wasn’t sure that he was fully aware of what was coming out of his mouth. I searched my hazy brain for something to say and wet my lips. I-
 
                The sound that came out of Dez’s chest rumbled through me. A stuttered heartbeat passed and then his lips were on mine. There was nothing slow about this kiss. It scorched my skin and caused my body to stretch tight like a bowstring. The kiss deepened, spinning my senses. I shuddered when his hand curved over my shoulder and drifted down to my waist, his long fingers spreading out under the hem of my shirt, grazing the bare skin of my stomach.
 
                I gasped, floored by the raw sensations pounding through my blood. My skin felt as if I was about to phase. Maybe I was.

                “Jasmine,” he whispered, the word falling against my lips, and then his body was pressing mine into the mattress, heavy, sweet and hard.
 





ABOUT BITTER SWEET LOVE (The Dark Elements #.5):

 
In a sizzling prequel novella to her new series The Dark Elements, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons.

Dez wasn't just Jasmine's crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining the balance between good and evil. He was her everything…right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn't help that Jas's father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he's back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn't taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again…

Don't miss White Hot Kiss, book one in Jennifer L. Armentrout's The Dark Elements series from Harlequin TEEN!


About Jennifer L. Armentrout:
 
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

Links:


WHITE HOT KISS Buy Links:
 
AMAZON     BARNES AND NOBLE     iTunes


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Double Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway: The Legend of Me & The Winter People by Rebekah Purdy

Today Rebekah Purdy and Entangled Teen are revealing the covers for LEGEND OF ME, releasing in early 2014. And THE WINTER PEOPLE, releasing July 1, 2014! Check out the gorgeous covers, exclusive excerpts, and enter to win an eARC of each!

On to the reveals!


About the Book
LEGEND OF ME
Author: Rebekah Purdy
Release Date: Early 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Sixteen-year-old Brielle has grown up hearing tales of a beast that kills humans, leaving behind only a scattering of bones and limbs. Or so the village elders say. She thinks it’s just their way of keeping children in line, though it doesn’t explain her grisly premonitions of blood, claws, and severed heads.

When Lord Kenrick, Knight of the Crowhurst Order, shows up asking questions about the legendary monster and Brielle finds a mangled body in the woods, she begins to wonder if the grim stories are true. Her attraction to the handsome knight grows as she spends time with him searching for clues to the creature’s existence, and she becomes even more determined to help him discover the beast’s location.

But as her seventeenth birthday approaches, her nightmares worsen. If Brielle doesn’t figure out the connection between Kenrick, the monster, and visions of a ghostly woman in the woods soon, more people could die. Including those closest to her…

Exclusive Excerpt!

Brambles scratched my legs, snagging my skirt. Gnarled trees bent in gruesome forms, while thick shadows splayed out beneath them. A heavy gloom settled over the woodland as wisps of fog slithered like snakes against the ground. I shivered.
 
Don’t think. I picked an animal trail to follow, stepping over dead branches and forest debris. Blood pounded in my ears and the hair on the back of my neck prickled. I twisted around to glance behind me.
 
Nothing there. Only the trees. Urgency gripped hold of me and I picked up my pace once more. As I scrambled through the thicket, an overwhelming scent of rotten meat made me gag. I covered my mouth with my hand and stopped running when a bright red piece of fabric caught my eye. With hesitant steps, I moved toward it.
“Oh God.” I stumbled. There, sticking out from beneath a barberry bush was a severed arm, its finger pointed at me in accusation. My breath came in gasps as I scanned the rest of the clearing.

My foot nudged against something and I looked down in horror to find the head of Liam Gatekeeper staring up at me.
I screamed, backing away as fast as I could. All around me were pieces of his body scattered like breadcrumbs. I shielded my eyes with my hands, until I bumped into something else.
With another scream, I whipped around only to find myself faced with an oak tree covered in dried blood and deep claw marks. My vision darkened and I prayed I wouldn’t faint, that I wouldn’t be stuck in the woods. Because somewhere out here, a monster lurked. If I didn’t believe it before, I did now. The beast was real.


About the Book
THE WINTER PEOPLE
Author: Rebekah Purdy
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1622663682

An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.
Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to "stay away." For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the "special gifts" that must be left at the back of the property.
Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.

Exclusive Excerpt!
The sky darkened with ominous storm clouds. Giant flakes fell onto my face, sticking to my eyelashes and cheeks. Snow blew unhindered across the yard into what looked like small tornadoes.
Oh God. It’s happening again. The frigid air. The creaking of the treetops beneath the wind. Even the way the snow blew across the yard.
I only had one more feeder. Just needed to toss the seeds in then I could leave. Be safe.
 
The pond water rippled, while the trees bent beneath the strong gusts. Soon, everything became so white I couldn’t see the house. In the distance a strange tinkling sounded, like dozens of wind chimes.

What had the shrink told me to do?
Ten, nine, eight. Breathe. Seven, six, five. Shit!
Panic stole my thoughts. I backed away from the pond as the flurries swirled toward me. Chasing me.
Then, I bumped into something—something that felt quite human. A firm chest, arms, hands. Not something, someone. A shriek tumbled from my lips and I spun around to face my captor.
“It’s okay. I won’t hurt you,” a soft masculine voice said, pale hands clinging to my arms as he kept me from falling.
 
My gaze followed those long fingers, up black leather sleeves, to the most gorgeous face I’d ever seen. My breath caught in my throat. I’m gawking. But I couldn’t help it. His raven hair shot with strands of blue, his face pale and perfect, like an ice sculptor had chiseled it into existence. His eyes—oh God, his eyes. They were the palest blue I’d ever seen. Glacial. He had to be over six feet tall, muscles evident through the tight shirt he wore beneath an unzipped jacket.

His mouth turned up at the corners as if enjoying my scrutiny. A cocky grin that made my cheeks warm.

“You’re trespassing.” I tried to keep the tremble from my voice. “This is private property, or can’t you read the signs?” Bravo, that’s right, scare him off with your bitchiness.
He chuckled. And it sounded like the low song of the chimes. “Doris doesn’t mind me coming around. In fact, I’ve met you before, Salome.”
My name on his lips made my knees go buttery. I groaned inwardly.
“You know my grandma?” I fidgeted with the bucket still in hand.
He gave a nod. “Yeah, I’ve known her for years. But I haven’t seen you since you were a child.”
Warning bells went off in my mind, but I pushed them aside. If he knew my grandma, then he must be okay. “Funny, I don’t remember you at all.”
“Don’t you, Salome?” Strands of my hair blew about my face. He reached a hand out as if to touch them then stopped, dropping his arms back to his side.
“No. Grandma’s never mentioned you.”
He gave me another cocky grin. “Well then, maybe we should be reacquainted.”
“Or maybe not.” I snorted. “I’m not sure how you got on the property, Grandma keeps all the gates locked.”
 
He produced an antique-looking skeleton key. “She gave me this. Like I said, Doris has known me for a long time.”
“I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be a jerk or anything, it’s just my grandma never mentioned I’d have visitors.” In fact, I wondered why she didn’t ask this guy to watch her house instead of me.
The arrogance left his face and he stared at me. “Perhaps, we can try this again.” He held his hand out to me. “I’m Nevin.”

About Rebekah: 
Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan (just look for the mitten-shaped state on the map). She’s lived there most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army.  At which time she got a chance to experience MO, KS, SC, and CA.
She works full time for the court system and in her free time she writes YA stories. Pretty much any genre within the YA realm is game for her, but her favorites are fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, thrillers, light sci-fi, and some time travel.
She also has a big family–she like to considers them the modern day Brady Bunch. When her hubby and her met and got married, he had 3 children from a previous marriage, she had 2 and  have 1 together. It’s a lot of fun though.
And she can’t forget her other family members–yep, they’ve got some pets: 4 dogs, 3 cats,  and 1 turtle. Everyone in the family has one…she won’t bore you all with their names (unless you really want to know). Okay, you talked her into it! Jack, Pearl, Grr…(yes that’s her dog’s name), Callie, Shadow, Mooshoo, Grouchy, and Sorbert. Other than writing some of her other hobbies include: reading (mostly YA of course), singing, swimming, football, soccer, running, camping, sledding, church, hanging with her kids, and traveling.
She belong to a fabulous writing group called YA Fiction Fantatics (YAFF) and you guessed it they all write YA! REPPED by Jennifer Mishler and Frances Black of Literary Counsel. And that’s her in a big ‘ol nutshell.


Giveaway!
Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter Widget to be entered to win an eARC of LEGEND OF ME & eARC of THE WINTER PEOPLE (International)
 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Entangled Teen November Release Day Party

Today we're celebrating the release of Entangled Teen's November books! Read about them and enter to win the giveaway below! 


Infinity (The Chronicles of Nerissette, #3)

Infinity (The Chronicles of Nerissette #3)
by Andria Buchanan 
Publication: November 5th, 2013 by Entangled Teen

Although she’s still stuck in the magical world of Nerissette, Queen Allie is finally ready to build a relationship with the half hottie, half dragon next door, Winston. But all isn’t really fair in love and war.

Unrest is quickly forming at the borders and soon Allie realizes that the Fate Maker wasn’t the only one who wanted her crown. When her trusted aunt Bavasama sends her troops into Nerissette on a campaign of murder and mass destruction, Allie has a tough decision to make.

She can’t take the chance of letting more people die or letting those she’s lost disappear from memory, but there is more at stake than even she knows. Still, Allie has to do something. And in the process she’ll discover what she’s truly made of when faced with a series of options…each more horrible than the last.






In the Blood

In the Blood 
by Sara Hantz
Publication: November 5th, 2013 by Entangled Teen

For seventeen years Jed Franklin’s life was normal. Then his father was charged with the abuse and murder of four young boys and normal became a nightmare.

His mom’s practically a walking zombie, he’s lost most of his friends, and the press camps out on his lawn. The only things that keep him sane are his little sis; his best friend and dream girl, Summer; and the alcohol he stashes in his room. But after Jed wakes up from a total blackout to discover a local kid has gone missing—a kid he was last seen talking to—he’s forced to face his greatest fear: that he could somehow be responsible.

In a life that’s spiraled out of control, Jed must decide if he chooses his own destiny with Summer by his side or if the violent urges that plagued his father are truly in the blood…




Spring Moon (Indiana Teller)
by HRH Princess Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian
Publication: November 5th, 2013 by Entangled Teen 

Amid the expansive plains of Montana, the Lykos Ranch stretches for miles. The inhabitants who live in near isolation from the outside world are members of the most powerful clan of werewolves in North America. Among them lives just one human: Indiana Teller.

Grandson of the clan’s leader and offspring of a werewolf father and a mysterious yet human mother, Indiana is rejected by his peers and heads to the University of Montana to find a normal life. Despite warnings from his grandparents, he falls in love with a beautiful human, Katerina.

Before too long, he is the victim of an accident that would have killed him had he not miraculously vanished at the moment of impact. Are these strange occurrences just chance or the machinations of a hidden enemy out to destroy him? Facing his destiny, Indiana will have to choose who to believe, and who to love.





Olivia Twisted

Olivia Twisted
by Vivi Barnes
Publication: November 5th, 2013 by Entangled Teen 

Olivia
He tilts my chin up so my eyes meet his, his thumb brushing lightly across my lips. I close my eyes. I know Z is trouble. I know that being with him is going to get me into trouble. I don’t care.
At least at this moment, I don’t care.

Tossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite—break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Olivia might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Olivia and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv…

Z
I can picture Liv’s face: wide-eyed, trusting. Her smooth lips that taste like strawberry Fanta.
It was just a kiss. That’s all. She’s just like any other girl.
Except that she’s not.
Thanks to Z, Olivia’s about to get twisted.






To celebrate the launch of these books, Entangled Teen is giving away three ebooks. Check out the Rafflecopter giveaway down below for more information!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)Title: The Dream Thieves(Click Title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Borrowed from library, Hardcover
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Scholastic Press, September 17, 2013




My Thoughts:

     Books and hype just don’t seem to be my cup of tea as of late.  It’s like a bad combination of food.  Like, would you ever eat tuna on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with cheese?  I don’t think so—that sounds gross even in writing. 

     I honestly wanted to give Maggie Stiefvater another chance, since sometimes sequels happen to be better than the first book in the series.  After reading The Raven Boys I thought that the series was relatively ok, and I was curious to know more about Ronan.  So I gave the Raven Cycle Series another try.  And I have to say I’m disappointed, I was expecting something I didn’t really get.  Since this is a DNF post, it shouldn’t be hard to guess that I didn’t finish The Dream Thieves.  While the ideas surrounding the events in the book were interesting enough, I had a hard time getting into the story.  While the writing wasn’t the worst I’ve read this year, some of the sentences left me a little perplexed—some just didn’t really fit at all.  And some of the scenes could have been left out altogether.  So in the end, will I be continuing this series?  No, sorry.  This book just didn’t fit for me, but if you want to give it a go, be my guest.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway: Scintillate by Tracy Clark

Today Tracy Clark and Entangled Teen  are revealing the cover for book 1 in The Key of Light Trilogy, SCINTILLATE. Coming out February 2014!  Now, on to the reveal!


 
Wow, it has been some time since I used these arrows. I think they've gone a little rusty from disuse!  Anyway, keep scrolling you're almost to the cover....
 
 



About the Book
SCINTILLATE
Author: Tracy Clark
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1622661459
Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and living in Ireland. Since then, Dad has been more than overprotective and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she is suddenly seeing around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.

Troubled by these strange flickerings and fearing she is being stalked, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.

There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—a conspiracy that could end her life and change mankind forever.

Scintillate is the first book in this lush and exciting new trilogy, full of romance, adventure and metaphysical mystery.

                                      Exclusive Excerpt 

Finn began to play. Voices descended into a respectful hush. Soft strums of the guitar lifted and fell on shafts of daylight from the windows. A small patch of sun warmed my exposed neck as I listened. The orange beads of his bracelet flashed as he plucked the strings with slender fingers. His head hung over the guitar in reverent concentration.
His playing was amazing, sweet and peaceful. For a while I let go of how bizarre my life had become. I was entranced long before Finn closed his eyes and opened his mouth to sing. His voice was rich, smooth suede, perfectly suited for the blues: soulful and vulnerable. The kind of voice that reaches inside and squeezes what’s tender.
When he sang an Irish bar song called “The Wild Rover,” he got the entire crowd to join in on the chorus. A couple of times during his performance, his gaze fell on me and lingered as if he sang directly to me. I rested my chin on my hand, hiding my smile behind my fingers. The last song was in a language I didn’t understand, but my soul spoke that language. Deep inside, something cracked open so that a bit of my truest self could peek out. His music was bluesy and mournful, eerily familiar, and it opened my heart in locked places. A tear landed on my wrist.
When the final chord of the last song reverberated through the coffeehouse, the audience jumped to its feet and applauded wildly. The force of energy from the crowd knocked the breath out of me, making me dizzy. I dared a look at the people in the room. The colors were unbelievable! Such power. It rolled toward Finn in a wave, a tsunami in slow motion. I had the impulse to leap in front of him, to protect him from it.
My body jerked in response to the thought, and I squeezed the sides of the wooden chair, willing myself to sit still. I couldn’t trust myself and the strong urge to protect him. But from what? The big, bad colors I could see but that were invisible to everyone else? He’d think I was crazy.
Maybe I was.
A chill spidered up my spine. The man with the crazy eyes and pure white aura leaned against the brick wall a couple feet away, staring intently at me. Icy fear spiked through me, making my fingers tingle and my breath come in quick bursts. The sounds of the room fell away. My heart sped and my aura sparked as I saw the roiling ball of the crowd’s energy pass over the man and collide with Finn. But rather than crush him, the energy crashed and blended with his own bright aura, making it grow and pulse fiercely. He seemed to absorb the light until the room grew dim to my eyes.
Untouched by the energy, the strange man moved closer and closer to me. I called out to Dun, but he couldn’t hear me over the shouts and clapping. I was so small in my chair amid the standing crowd. The man and his dark eyes were all I could see. I tried to leap up to run, to grab Dun’s arm, to call for help, but my chest jerked toward the stranger as if I’d been punched in the spine. I couldn’t draw breath, couldn’t move through the thick ice of my draining energy and rising panic. I was hit in the face with a blast of air. Then, a sudden flash of white.
The world tilted sideways, and I slid off.


About Tracy:

Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they're going through, they aren't alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self.
She grew up a "valley girl" in Southern California but now resides in her home state of Nevada with her daughter and son. She's an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat. She is the recipient of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant and a two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program.
Her debut novel, SCINTILLATE, was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.


Below you'll find a rafflecopter giveaway for 1 ebook copy of SCINTILLATE & a charm key US Only, and 1 eBook copy for International readers.  Now, go forth, enter away, because just look at that key, it's gorgeous!  You know you want it....

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ARC Review: Double Vision: Code Name 711 by F.T. Bradley

Double Vision: Code Name 711Title: Double Vision: Code Name 711 (Click Title for Synopsis)
Author: F.T. Bradley
Source/ Format: From Author, Bound ARC
Age Range: Middle Grade
Publisher/ Publication Date: HarperCollins, October 15, 2013
Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble


My Thoughts:

     F.T. Bradley has done it again, presenting us with yet another thrilling Linc Baker adventure!  This is one of those cases where the sequel lives up to the hype of the first book. With the perfect blend of mystery, spies, and a plot so big you’ll have a hard time figuring out who-is-who.  Double Vision: Code Name 711 is definitely one of my favorite books this year.

     Linc, Lincoln, Baker is back for his second mission from Pandora.  This time, he’s headed for D.C. to uncover a plot that has higher stakes than the one from the previous book.  Of course, Benjamin Green is back, sticking his nose into Linc’s plans, or what he thought was his.  One of my favorite characters was also back, Henry, the tech guy and his wacky, but useful inventions.  Henry is always a great addition to Linc’s adventures, and some of his antics in Code Name 711 had me laughing out loud.  Along the way, Linc met some interesting characters, who essentially proved vital to uncovering Dagger’s plot.

    It shouldn’t be hard to guess that I absolutely loved the way the story was executed.  In my eyes, this book had something about it—an appeal almost—that’s sure to grab the attention of children of all ages.  From nearly the first page, we were immediately given the details—that were a little sketchy—of Linc’s newest mission.  As the story progressed, we also found out a little more about Pandora and its iffy origins.  And by the time the book ended, there were still questions lingering in the air.  Needless to say I need the next book.  So five birdcages because not only did I absolutely love it, I also recommend this one to everyone!


ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ARC Review: Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman

Sky Jumpers (Sky Jumpers, #1)Title:  Sky Jumpers (Sky Jumpers #1)
Author:  Peggy Eddleman
Publisher/Publication Date: Random House Children's, September 24, 2014
Format/Source:  E-ARC, Publisher/NetGalley
Age Range:  8-12
Amazon     Barnes & Noble

Summary  From Goodreads

What happens when you can’t do the one thing that matters most?
12-year-old Hope lives in White Rock, a town struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. The bombs destroyed almost everything that came before, so the skill that matters most in White Rock—sometimes it feels like the only thing that matters—is the ability to invent so that the world can regain some of what it’s lost. Read More
My Thoughts
Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman is a post-apocalyptic debut novel that’s full of awesomeness, action, and adventure and is sure to captivate readers. 
Since I was unfamiliar with this author’s work, I was unsure of what to expect from Sky Jumpers. The synopsis piqued my interest. The first thing that caught my attention was the 12 year old female protagonist, trying to find her place in a post-apocalyptic society in which inventing is the most important skill; yet, it’s the very thing that Hope is bad at.
Sky Jumpers is a new family favorite. After I read the first few pages, I was so excited about the storyline that I had to share it with my middle grade (MG) reader. My MG reader enjoyed the book and indicated that, “The book had perfect pacing and kept me interested.” From my point of view, Sky Jumpers is a must read. It will keep you on the edge of your seat as Hope and her friends race against time and set out on a dangerous journey in an effort to save the townspeople. We are definitely looking forward to the second book in the series.

I received an E-ARC of Sky Jumpers from the Publisher/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, Thank you.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)Title:The Raven Boys (Click Title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Purchased, Paperback
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Scholastic, September 18, 2012




My Thoughts:

     It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’ve been in a pretty bad reading slump as of late, which is evident in the lack of reviews showing up on the blog.  So, I’ve been searching around for a book to get me interested in reading again.  In the end I decided to give something that a lot of people seemed to love, a try.  That’s how I ended up buying The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.

     The Raven Boys, for me, teetered on the edge between just ok and absolutely spectacular, but just couldn’t tip the scales in its favor.  Don’t get me wrong.  The Raven Boys by far is not the worst book I’ve read this year, but it just didn’t wow me.  I liked it well enough, but the first half of the story felt a little slow and the descriptions just weren’t there for me.  I had a hard time visualizing what was going on and where it was happening. 

     Now on to what I did like about The Raven Boys.  Stiefvater did a nice job with the characterization, and I was immediately interested in finding out more about Gansey and his friends.  Noah was mysterious to say the least, Ronan was just angry about something we seemingly know nothing about yet, and Adam, well his life is less than exultant.  Blue’s family was also a nice addition to the story, and I liked seeing the way they conducted themselves…as psychics.  But by far, my favorite character in the story was Chainsaw, she was adorable.

     There were a few twists, but nothing that I wasn’t already suspicious of.  I think the overall idea surrounding the events in The Raven Boys was ok.  Would I read the sequel The Dream Thieves?  Hmm I’m not sure, possibly, but only because I want to know more about Ronan and how Chainsaw fits into all of this. {Actual rating is 3.5}
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