I HAVE RETURNED

Long lost book friends, HELLO!  Lots of changes have happened in my life since the summer.  I am happily in my new job, here in SF!  I would like to get back into the book blogging world…. so get ready for more fun reviews AND gifs.  

 

Looking forward to reconnecting with you!

Weekly Roundup #10, 7/14/13

Hi friends!

WOW, it’s just been too long since I’ve been on here to just gush about books I’ve gotten!  I just got through my company’s busy season, and coming off of a few trips (no complaints on the trips, obviously!)  I’ll just throw out some great finds that I’ve gotten recently 🙂

Let’s get started!

NetGalley:

17340050

Losing Hope (Hopeless #2) by Colleen Hoover

SUCH AN AMAZING BOOK.  REVIEW TO COME!

15839315

Being Me (Inside Out Trilogy, #2) by Lisa Renee Jones

9781480095533

The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1) by J.A. Redmerski

This one has been highly recommended by one of my book besties!

Edelweiss:

5158Rwc0iaL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-46,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Carrie’s Run: A Homeland Novel by Andrew Kaplan

Homeland is one of my favorite new shows, so I was so excited to hear more about Carrie.

51hF1MJRYvL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-48,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

The Fairest of them All by Carolyn Turgeon

Purchased/Library:

200px-LivingDeadInDallas

Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, #2) by Charlaine Harris

Impatiently waiting for Vampire Eric to be more of a presence.

13125234

Twice Tempted (Night Prince #2) by Jeaniene Frost

$1.99 Kindle Sale!

enders-game

Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga, #1) by Orson Scott Card

Gotta finish this before the movie comes out in November!

Flat-Out-Love-2805911

Flat Out Love (Flat Out Love, #1) by Jessica Park

chamber of secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) by J.K. Rowling

I’m so glad that I’ve started reading HP!

5790111688_e4ae1883f5-1

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

July’s book club book!

strongcurvesfrontcovers

Strong Curves by Bret Contreras

Who doesn’t want a nice, new booty??…. haha

 

Hope you have all been wonderful and have been enjoying the summertime!  Hope to get back in the swing of things with blogging 🙂

 

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

 

Book: The Sea of Tranquilitythe-sea-of-tranquility-by-katja-millay-cover

Author: Katja Millay

Published: November 13, 2012

ebook, 448 pages

B.O.S.SF Review: largelargelargelargelarge

 

*****

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

*****

The Sea of Tranquility has been my favorite book of 2013 so far.  It’s one of those books that I immediately wanted to re-read after I finished (so I bought the audiobook…).  Luckily, I selected it for my first book club, so I got to discuss with some of my San Fran girlfriends over gourmet pizza and wine (there were cupcakes, too….. are you jealous?)  I’ve been putting this review off, because I’m not sure how to begin.  If you like contemporary new adult fiction, you will love this book.

The Sea of Tranquility had all of the makings for a typical new adult novel.  A troubled young girl, set in her self destructive ways.  A young boy who comes into her life and changes her (and his) perception on life, love and everything in between.  There was no insta-love connection between the two of them.  In fact, they were both content being invisible in school.  We got to hear from both Nastya and Josh, so we know what their back story was.  Since I was a psychological major, I really enjoyed getting to take a look at where their heads were at.

 
Our poor Nastya 😦  We know bits and pieces of Nastya’s shattered life.  She was on her way to being a premiere pianist, and after a brutal attack, she was never the same.  Being a prodigy was her identity, and when that was taken away from her, she hated her life.  She hated everything.  She thought she deserved to be the freak that girls would sneer at and the skank that men would come on to.  Nastya cracked me up – she would throw in snarky and hilarious comments from time to time that continued to keep those who knew her on their toes.
And Josh… he’s such a different kind of main character.  His life is too sad to even imagine.  Being a high school senior with every one of your family member’s, dying.  Instead of being instantly attracted to Nastya, he doesn’t want anything to do with her.  Sure, he feels bad for her and he notices that she stands out, but he just wants to continue his life in solitude.  While Josh showed some of the elitist behavior (like he thought he was above most people in high school), I would imagine that his feelings are validated.  How could someone who has lost so much felt like they could connect with his peers when they talked about girls or sports?
The slow love story between Nastya and Josh warmed my heart.  At times it did get too cheesey, but I can forgive that.  I had several a-ha moments, times when I laughed out loud, cried, and also, I would have loved to have yelled at the characters.
Drew (and his family) was one of my favorite parts in TSOT.  His character offered us some of the more unexpected moments, and I appreciated that.  He sort of seemed like a typical side kick character, but he gave me some laughs and had some complexities that were interesting to learn about.
Word to the wise: READ THIS BOOK (if you like NA).  And that ending….I fucking love it.

Arrow of the Mist Blog Tour!

 
ArrowintheMistTourBanner
 
Book & Author details:
 
Arrow of the Mist by Christina Mercer
Publication date: March 21st 2013 
Genre: YA Fantasy
ArrowoftheMist
 
Synopsis:
Terror strikes the Celtic inspired kingdom of Nemetona when barbed roots breach the veil of a forbidden land and poison woodsmen, including 15-year-old Lia’s beloved father. Lia and three others embark on a quest to the forbidden land of Brume to gather ingredients for the cure. But after her elder kinsman is attacked and poisoned, she and her cousin, Wynn, are forced to finish the quest on their own.

Lia relies on her powerful herbal wisdom and the memorized pages of her late grandmother’s Grimoire for guidance through a land of soul-hungry shades, trickster creatures, and uncovered truths about the origin of Brume and her family’s unexpected ties to it. The deeper they trek into the land, the stronger Lia’s untapped gift as a tree mage unfolds. When she discovers the enchanted root’s maker, it forces her to question everything about who she is and what is her destiny. Ultimately she must make a terrible choice: keep fighting to save her father and the people of the lands or join with the power behind the deadly roots to help nature start anew.

 
 
Purchase: 
 
 
Book Trailer:
 

EXCLUSIVE BOOK TOUR EXCERPT!  

 

Granda Luis halted and turned Dobbin to face his troop. The chilled air tugged at his cloak and swept through his winter white hair. His eyes shone from his face and the young trio drew their horses back a few steps.

 

“We’ve a straight and narrow trail ahead. We’ll go in single file—”

 

“A narrow trail?” Lia cut in. “But, I thought it’d be some kind of, well, secret passage or something. How is it that only you and Grandma made it through the fog safely? Why didn’t others just follow behind, track your steps?”

 

“There were many who tried.” His voice turned morose. “Even after all m’warnings. Men hovering in the wooded outskirts, creeping in the grasses, waiting till I was snug enough within the fog before charging in behind me, their lives over before I could utter a word. Because you see, as with most gates, there are guards.”

 

Lia’s eyes widened. She cast a glance at Wynn, whose jaw hung, and at Kelven whose face was like stone. 

 

Granda Luis added, “But not to worry, our passage was assured long ago.”

 

Lia opened her mouth, but held her tongue as Granda turned Dobbin around and headed him toward the perilous boundary. Guards? How is that possible? The notion of it chilled her like an icy deluge. Then the words from the Grimoire echoed inside her head: 

 

Fogged, bogged gates of Brume, barrier to my home;

Timeless, faceless watchers loom, but I am allowed to roam.

 

“Come on, Dobbin. ’Tis all right, boy, steady now,” Granda Luis cajoled. Dobbin snorted and flipped his head up and down. “I was afraid o’this. He’s strong as a bull, but nervous as a cat, nothing like his fearless sire who’d brazen out the fog without a wink. Come on, boy, walk!” He struggled to move Dobbin forward, but the animal reared and the other horses backed away.

 

Kelven rode up and neared the anxious horse. “Luis, sir, I think I can help.” He dismounted Koby and commanded him with a mere nod, and his mount stood stock-still.

 

Kelven approached Dobbin and whispered words that Lia couldn’t make out. He placed one hand on Dobbin’s muzzle and used his other to caress the sorrel-colored mane. Dobbin settled, finally stilled, and whinnied softly. Lia reveled in Kelven’s poise, her fears ebbing like a receding tide.

 

Kelven reached into his leather jerkin and brought out a carrot, feeding it to the calmed animal while he stroked his coat. “If you’ll allow me to lead as we go through this fog, we could pull him through to the other side. He’d feel better, I think, following another horse in.”

 

With his brow knitted, Granda Luis replied, “All right, but listen to me carefully; you must stay to the trail, keep your eyes to it at all times, as that’s the only way to ensure we don’t get lost in the mists. I’ll be stopping us mid-way to leave a few offerings.”

 

Well, that might explain the separate pack of ale and bread, Lia surmised. Then she shuddered to think about what sort of creature could subsist in the fog.

 

Ropes connected the small band, led by Kelven astride his horse Koby, with Wynn and his dapple-gray Nolan bringing up the rear. The procession eased into the mists, and the air turned frigid, like the breath of a cave.

 

Merrie’s ears twitched and she snorted. Light dimmed to mere shadows and Lia barely made out Dobbin’s tail swishing in front of her. She pulled her cloak tighter, leaving only her face exposed to the chill. The wall of fog enveloped them, with only the horse’s rhythmic hoof beats to break its eerie silence. 

 

No turning back now, Lia thought.  

 
AUTHOR BIO
Christina Mercer writes fiction in addition to mothering two young adults, a pack of large dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees. Her varied interests prompted her to study creative writing, earn her official degree in Accounting, become a CPA, acquire a certificate in Herbal Studies, and keep honeybees. She took Writer’s Best in Show at the 2012 SCBWI CA North/Central Regional Conference and was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakout Novel Award Contest. You can find her at www.christinamercer.com or working as the Reviews Director at www.indie-visible.com 
head+shot+2-195x300
Author Links:
 
 
 

Weekly Roundup #9: 6/23/13

Hi everyone!  As stated in my earlier post, life has just gotten in the way of my blogging, and I am sorry for taking my 10 day break!  I am back and ready for reading and fun!

 

I have been requesting fewer and fewer books on NetGalley and Edelweiss, because I have lots to keep me busy with ARCs, reading for fun, and sadly reading for an insurance exam coming up in the near future.

 

I had a fun trip to the San Francisco Mission Bay library… I lurrrrrve it so much.  It’s actually one of my favorite parts of living in San Fran!

Library:

01 original

The Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1) by Richelle Mead

Nerd Alert…. I am the VERY FIRST PERSON TO CHECK OUT MY COPY OF GofG from the SF library!  Don’t people know how amazing Richelle Mead is!?  Well, OK, this book has mediocre reviews so far, but I’ll give one of my fav authors, RM, a chance!

If I Should Die jkt des4.indd

If I Should Die (Revenants #3) by Amy Plum

Yep… another one.  FIRST PERSON TO CHECK THIS COPY OUT!  I want to jump into this trilogy as soon as I finish Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris.

03

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton

04

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1) by Bethany Griffin

I received the ARC for the Dance of the Red Death, so I want to get into this series soon!

05

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

This is my book club’s July book – I’ve heard it’s amazing.  It’ll be a nice departure from my YA/NA/PN/UF lineup.

06

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling

Can you believe that as obsessed as I am with reading, that I’ve never read HP!?  Or seen the movies?  I’m goin’ for it, and I’m so excited.

Purchased!

OBSESSION-final cover

Obsession by Jennifer Armentrout

Love, love, love the Lux series by JLa, and I love that she wrote another book from the Luxen world.  Obsession follows the ‘bad’ guys… I can’t wait to read it (and I got it for a great deal at $.99!)

07

Sactum (Guards of the Shadowlands #1) by Sarah Fine

One of my book besties, Dani, has been raving about this book… I will always follow her guidance, so of course I bought it!

08

Dark House (Experiment in Terror #1) by Karina Halle

Dani and my other book bestie, Angela, has been raving about the Experiment in Terror series by Karina Halle.  Dark House is FREE on Amazon, so check it out.

09

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

One of my fellow YA fiction lovers at work has been raving about the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, so I took the plunge and purchased the first two installments.

10

Days of Blood and Starlight (The Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor

11

Elixir (Covenant #3.5) by Jennifer Armentrout

I officially own all of the Covenant series!  The last novel comes out later this year.  I’m excited to get into this series.  Some people like it better than Lux… so it’s gotta be amazing!

12

Apollyon (Covenant #4) by Jennifer Armentrout

 

As you can see, I’ve been a busy bee with my library trips and Amazon/Barnes & Noble purchases.  What can I say?  It’s my hobby =)

 

What did you all get?  Hope you all are enjoying summer!

Faking It (Losing It #2) by Cora Carmack

Book: Faking It (Losing It #2) faking_it

Author: Cara Carmack

ebook: 304 pages

Published: June 4, 2013

B.O.S.SF Review: largelargelargelarge

From Goodreads: Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

*****

I received Faking It in exchange for an honest review via Edelweiss.  THANK YOU! 🙂

While I liked Losing It, I REALLY liked Faking It!  It’s been a few weeks since I finished Faking It, and it still gives me that happy feeling when I think back on it.  We get to hear from both Cade and Max’s point of view.  Both Cade and Max were both delightful in Faking It – I really liked Cade in Losing It, even if he was a sorry excuse for the love triangle… because we all knew that just wasn’t going.to.happen.  Carmack’s character development was awesome  – both main characters were complex and dealing with issues from their past, and I really enjoyed seeing the two of them learn to overcome their obstacles and open themselves up for love 🙂  (hehe, corny, but true!)

ANYWAY, back to Cade in Faking It – he was just perfect.  Swoonworthy, sweet, loyal, and he’s just a darn good person.  We got to hear more about his upbringing (he had a harder than average life…), but despite that all, Cade was such a positive person.  He was down in the dumps when we first meet him in Philadelphia.  He’s heart broken and lost, but after being forced into Max’s life, we get to see the charismatic Cade return.

Max was a multilayered main character – just how I like them.  She was a passionate, functional adult with a strong, unique personality.  While she did a few things that made me want to shake her shoulders and tell her to stop being so cold, I still liked her.  Max felt very real to me.  You’d think she’s untouchable and wouldn’t put up with anyone’s crap, but she’s a broken young woman on the inside.

The chemistry between Max and Cade was hot – although there was an initial attraction, there was no insta-love (THANKFULLY), but their budding romance went from appreciating each other’s good looks to knowing how to be there for one another.  I fell in love with the two of them during their first scene together in the coffee shop, and the two shared some hilariously awkward/hot/sweet/hilarious moments through Faking It.  I will go as far to say I liked Cade + Max > Bliss + Garrick.  I’d love to see what everyone else feels about that!

While Faking It does have some of the heavy New Adult trends, it still had enough of the breezy humor, sexual tension, and adorable moments (without being nauseating..).  Faking It is one of my favorite New Adult books that I’ve read, and consider me being a big CC fan!