Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fool for Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

Up for grabs, your choice of either of these...

(Awaken won't be out for another couple of months, but I just finished it and it was AWESOME!)

This giveaway closes at midnight on April 2. Open to readers 13 and older and yes, it's International!

Check out the other blogs participating here

Fill out this form to enter...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
By: Ransom Riggs
Published by: Quirk Books
Publication date: June 7, 2011
352 pages, YA

From Goodreads....

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

I am SO intrigued by the sound of this it's got vintage photos, love the idea of that!! Especially if they are anything like the one on the cover =)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Monday, March 21, 2011

ARC Review: Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Night Road
By: Kristin Hannah
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: March 22, 2011
400 pages
5 Stars!!!!
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review

From Amazon...

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach—are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.

Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way. It has always been easy-- until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them.

On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.

Ok, this is the first book of the year to make me cry like a baby. Twice. Kristin Hannah managed to tear me apart and then put me back together again with this one and it won't be soon forgotten.

At the start of Night Road, we are introduced to Lexi Baill, a foster kid who has just found out she has an aunt who is willing to take her in. Lexi's life has been hard, but it hasn't hardened her heart. While she's afraid of being hurt, she still manages to hold on to hope and stay open to the possibility of good things in her life. She's bent, but she's not broken. On her first day at a new school, she bites the bullet, puts herself out there and introduces herself to a girl she finds sitting alone reading a book. That girl is Mia Farraday and the girls end up becoming best friends. Mia is a central character as well. Under the shadow of her popular twin brother Zach, Mia has never been able to shine and suffers from shyness and self doubt, but Lexi and Mia's friendship brings out something special, beautiful and fragile in them both and over the years Mia blossoms and starts coming into her own.

Along the way Lexi and Zach fall in love. Afraid to hurt Mia's feelings, they keep their relationship secret for as long as they can....not just from Mia but from Zach and Mia's mom, Jude. It was a long journey for Jude to have kids so she is fiercely protective of them and, what some might call over-involved in their lives. But she is never an unlikeable character. If anything I identified with her character the most. Maybe because I'm a mom of a high school age daughter and I could relate to her feelings of fear and loss as she watched her kids grow up and get closer to the time when they would be adults and leave home. When your kids are little, you're afraid of so many little things but you never realize how much harder it is when they are older and not constantly under your watchful eye. So while Jude may have seemed overprotective at times, I could so easily understand her distress. It's not easy to hand your kid the car keys and watch them drive away from you.

Senior year finds all the kids planning for their future. Mia wants to study acting at UCLA and the plan is for Zach to attend medical school there. Jude is practically obsessed with all the applications and deadlines and making sure her twins go to school together. But things are different for Lexi. Her aunt is poor so Lexi's only option is community college and Zach is finding the idea of leaving her behind for school harder and harder to swallow and this causes serious conflict in the Farraday family.

Take all that pressure on the kids, throw in a senior party where alcohol is present and you have the recipe for tragedy. I won't reveal exactly what happens but it is heartbreaking and changes everyone's lives in huge, dramatic ways. And by the time it happened, I was so invested in these characters I felt like it was happening to people I knew. Seriously you guys, not since Katniss, Peeta and Gale have I had characters crawl into my heart and take up residence like these did.

There is SO much more that happens but to discuss any of it would be to give too much away. Suffice it to say I am confident recommending this book to everyone...from my 17 year old daughter to my 40 year old bestie (who I just loaned it to because I HAVE to get someone's else's reaction to this book!) Read it and prepare to have your emotions hijacked and taken for a ride down Night Road.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Guest Post by Deborah Cooke, author of Flying Blind (Dragons!!)

Why Dragons?

By Deborah Cooke

People often ask me why I write about dragon shapeshifters. Why not other kinds of shapeshifters? they ask. Why not vampires?

Why NOT dragons? I can’t think of another creature more fascinating. I like how dragons look. I like how ferocious and protective they are. I like to imagine them fighting each other, maybe in a night sky filled with stars. I love that they are fond of solving riddles – dragons aren’t fools, usually – and that they are known to be particularly perceptive. I think it’s amazing that they breathe flames, and yet, it’s awesome that they can fly.

I read THE LORD OF THE RINGS repeatedly as a teenager – “obsessively” might be a better choice of word – and one of the characters who most intrigued me was Smaug. Smaug was the only reason I read THE HOBBIT at all, and the pages that feature that dragon were the most worn ones in my copy. I doodled Smaug on my notebooks. I loved the Tolkien calendars illustrated by the Brothers Hildebrandt - when Smaug was the illustration of the month, the page tended to not be turned on time. So, you could say that Smaug started me on a journey, hunting dragon lore and reading stories about dragons wherever I could find them.

There are lots of stories about dragons and I’ve always liked that they had such extensive roots in mythology. We humans have been talking about dragons for a long time. I can imagine that that’s because we’ve known actual dragons, that they’ve been amongst us before and now they’re just a bit more reticent. Maybe they’re dragon shapeshifters, and they mingle with us in human form, while we remain unaware of their secret lives. The idea of a secret world of dragon shapeshifters is behind my Dragonfire series of paranormal romances.

In my Dragonfire world, there is only ever one female dragon shapeshifter. She’s called the Wyvern and has special powers – besides being enigmatic and elusive. The Dragon Diaries evolved organically as a separate YA series when I realized that the little girl who was rumoured to be the new Wyvern would have to come into her powers one day, and that day would come when she was a teenager. This June will bring Zoë Sorensson and the first book on her journey to mastering her dragon and Wyvern powers with FLYING BLIND. I’m really enjoying this series, maybe because I often dreamed of becoming a dragon myself when I was a teenager – one who could match wits or compete in flame-throwing contests with my hero Smaug.

Or just fly through a midnight sky. Like Zoë, I would have yearned to become mysterious, and to be able to see the future (as the Wyvern is supposed to be able to do.) And like Zoë, I probably would have kept the current update of my Incinerate Now list at the tips of my talons.

If you could be any creature – mythical or real – what would you choose to be? Why?

Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke releases June 7, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

The Sequel to Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton which I absolutely loved!!!!
Available November 19, 2011
I know it's a long way off but this is my most wanted this week!

From Amazon...

Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man's forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Tea’s goblin cousins show up at her school, sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive once awoken. Soon she will belong to Fear Doirich and join them. In the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Tea’s family and friends.
Teagan knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her. But as long as she can hold on, she’s still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting. The disease that’s destroying her—that’s destroying them all—has a name: Fear Doirich.
And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.

~And don't forget to enter my current giveaway here ~

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bitch, Please! Megan Munroe Guest Post and Giveaway!

Bitch, Please!
By: Megan Munroe
Published by: Turner Publishing
Publication date: March 21, 2011
236 pages

Ok, How much do you love that title???

Megan Munroe, author of Bitch, Please is dropping by to talk about nice girls in popular fiction and has kindly offered up two copies of her book for you! Stick around til the end of the post for your chance to win. And now, here's Megan....

Well Behaved Women Rarely Make Antagonists:

Lessons from Fiction’s Most Famous “Nice Girls”

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures,” and as the founder of The Nice Girls Rule Movement and author of “Bitch? Please! How Nice Girls Can Succeed in a Bitch’s World”, I wonder if Mr. Emerson would agree that the “nice girl” heroine in fiction doesn’t get the kudos she deserves in real life.

Fables promote nice girls finishing first and praise them for morality and valiance, but reality applauds the opposite. In fiction, like Cinderella, we see the good girl getting the man, the castle, and the sexy glass heels, but the reality of our culture’s current climate is that the evil stepsister seems to be getting what the nice girl deserves.

If Ralph was right and fiction does reveal truth, then let’s celebrate some of fiction’s most famous nice girls and encourage each other to believe that the beauty of behaving well does have a happy ending.

Jane Bennet | Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is the classic tale of unsuspecting love and fairytale endings. And despite the wide variety of lovable and intricate characters, the “nice girl” among them would have to be Jane Bennet. While her mild temperament and sweet-to-a-fault disposition almost cost her the love of Mr. Bingley, we were never happier for her when he finally did pop the question. Without conniving or gold digging, Jane Bennet reveals that you can have it all while keeping your heart in the right place.

Anne Shirley | Anne of Green Gables

Anne Shirley isn’t your typical nice girl. An orphan who grew up in a world where she was considered daft, Anne was often overlooked and misunderstood. A spirited redhead with a temper to match, she gets into trouble at school, irks her adoptive mother, and of course butts heads with her ultimate love, Gilbert Blythe. But her fiery attitude isn’t rooted in meanness. She desperately wants to be “angelically good,” but her vivid imagination always gets the better of her. An academic whiz, bosom friend, and kindred spirit, Anne Shirley is a model nice girl who teaches us you don’t have to be like everyone else to follow your dreams.

Lily Owens | The Secret Life of Bees

She may have accidentally killed her mother at the age of four, but that doesn’t mean that her dark past has any bearing on her bright future. In this story a fourteen-year-old white girl begins pondering the prevalent racism in rural South Carolina and progressively learns that love transcends skin color. Instead of smoking cigarettes behind the outhouse or judging others based upon appearances, Lily blossoms into a graceful young woman, who can teach all nice girls a thing or two about accepting those who are different than you.

Nancy Drew | The Nancy Drew Series

Most young girls read a Nancy Drew mystery novel at one point in their lives. Ms. Drew is a squeaky-clean sleuth with a penchant for unveiling secrets and setting things straight. Motivated by exposing the truth, Nancy teaches us to trust our instincts and to never second-guess our intuition, even when it seems that no one takes us seriously.

Georgia Walker | The Friday Night Knitting Club

Georgia Walker proves to all nice girls that second chances are the ultimate saving grace. Founder of a knitting club and single mother to her daughter Dakota, Georgia invites and inspires women in her community to become active members of each other’s lives and promotes a sense of sisterhood that is rarely found among women in our culture. Backbiting, jealousy, and covetousness are nowhere to be found, and instead, a bond of women is formed while each character grows and learns from each other. Georgia, in the end, discovers that even when you think your world is falling apart you are really just beginning to truly live.

Bella Swan | The Twilight Series

Bella is an unlikely nice girl. A moody, withdrawn type who doesn’t play super nice with those whose blood doesn’t run cold, she still has certain attributes that lend themselves to the nice-girl lifestyle. First, she doesn’t sleep with her high school boyfriend. (A feat in today’s sexually charged culture.) Second, she doesn’t cuss or wear revealing clothing. Third, she doesn’t run around boasting about Edward’s undying love for her or his super-sweet set of wheels. She’s humble, to the point of self-deprecation, and endearingly awkward. She’s proof that you don’t have to party, sleep with the football team, or wear sexy duds to get the guy or to possess eternal love.

Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan | The Help

Returning home is never easy, but when you are an unmarried woman “along in years” returning to Jackson, Mississippi, in the early 1960’s it is borderline taboo. But Skeeter Phelan is a nice girl who isn’t afraid to talk about taboos. In this beautifuly written story, Skeeter embarks on a journey to unveil truths about an often-overlooked society of women who are treated unfairly by their racist employers. She teaches nice girls that even when you are met with resistance, doing the right thing is worth the uphill climb.

Laura Ingalls | Little House on the Prairie

The wild frontier’s ultimate nice girl, Laura Ingalls took “honor thy father and mother” quite literally. Quick to help and never one to willingly disobey “ma” and “pa”, Laura’s actions have us asking is she a little too nice for reality? Her nice girl status shines through as she deals with her own share of troubles with a certain big B, Nellie Oleson. Their interaction in three of the Prairie books teaches all nice girls that exercising grace in the midst of even the meanest girls can help you rise above even the lowest of punches.

Katherine | The Taming of the Shrew

At first glance Katherine may seem like the biggest B on the block, but we discover as the story unfolds that even mean girls have a nice girl underneath if they are willing to dig deep enough for it. Unhappiness rules Katherine, so she turns to a sharp tongue and ill temper to keep people away. This is the exact type of insecurity that every B suffers from. This mean-girl-gone-good teaches nice girls everywhere that you shouldn’t jump to conclusions about a shrew in your life, and instead try to peel back some of her prickly layers one page at a time.

Hester Prynne | The Scarlet Letter

I know, I know. How did Hester Prynne make the list? She committed adultery and was the object of scorn and shame in her community. Well, nice girls don’t always get it right the first time. Nice girls make mistakes too, but Hester learned how to love the lowly in spirit through her experience and spent her free time caring for the poor and bringing them food and clothing. In the end, she becomes a hero to the women in her community and a confidant for other women who have suffered similar injustices.

There are so many wonderful examples of nice girls in literature, but these are just a few of my favorites. I encourage you to value and uplift the protagonist nice girl in your own life and to stay true to your own storyline, no matter what antagonist may be standing in your way.

Megan Munroe is the author of Bitch, Please! How Nice Girls Can Succeed in a Bitch’s World, and founder of the Nice Girls Rule Movement. For more ideas on becoming the Nice Girl in your cast of characters visit: or

And now, for your chance to win, please leave a comment telling me who your favorite fictional nice girl is. My fave has got to be Evie from Paranormalcy ~ such a sweetheart and I just ADORED everything about her!
The contest will run until March 31, two winners will be chosen at random and the books will be mailed directly from the publisher. Open to US residents 13 and older. Good luck!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New on My Shelf


Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.


Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice.

But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.

The Weird Sisters

The three Andreas sisters grew up in the cloistered household dominated by their Shakespearean professor father, a prominent, eccentric academic whose reverence for the Bard left its imprint on his daughters' names: Rosalind (As You Like It), Bianca (The Taming of the Shrew), and Cordelia (King Lear). The siblings eventually left home and escaped their ponderous monikers with nicknames, but their mother's medical maladies brings them back. Before long, their unwelcome reunion reveals that they all have problems: Rose is force-feeding a troubled relationship; Bean is entangled in a big city case of embezzlement; and unmarried Cordy is pregnant. Eleanor Brown's first fiction has justly won praise as "thought-provoking... poignant... sparkling and devourable."

Night Road

Jude Farraday is a happily married, stay-at-home mom who puts everyone’s needs above her own. Her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill enters their lives, no one is more supportive than Jude. A former foster child with a dark past, Lexi quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable. But senior year of high school brings unexpected dangers and one night, Jude’s worst fears are confirmed: there is an accident. In an instant, her idyllic life is shattered and her close-knit community is torn apart. People—and Jude—demand justice, and when the finger of blame is pointed, it lands solely on eighteen-year-old Lexi Baill. In a heartbeat, their love for each other will be shattered, the family broken. Lexi gives up everything that matters to her—the boy she loves, her place in the family, the best friend she ever had—while Jude loses even more.

When Lexi returns, older and wiser, she demands a reckoning. Long buried feelings will rise again, and Jude will finally have to face the woman she has become. She must decide whether to remain broken or try to forgive both Lexi…and herself.

The Source of All Things

Tracy Ross never knew another dad. Her biological father died when she was just seven months old, so the arrival of a stepfather four years later seemed to fill an empty spot in her life. For years, she thrived on his presence and the trips the family took in the unspoiled mountain wilderness of Idaho. All that changed suddenly when she was eight. As if awakening into a nightmare, she experienced the first of dozens of sexual attacks by the man she most trusted. This piercing memoir recalls those nighttime visits, but stretches far beyond those loathsome moments, recounting the emotional struggles that Tracy experienced even into her adult years. In a poignant section, she recreates the recent meeting in which she confronted her betrayer. An unforgettable memoir of a brave woman's recovery.

For Review
Night Road
The Source of All Things
Gifted for Kindle
The Weird Sisters

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Review: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Falling Under
By: Gwen Hayes
Published by: NAL Trade
Publication date: March 1, 2011
336 pages
Young Adult
I bought this book

From Goodreads....

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

Wow!! Falling Under was unlike anything I have ever read before. You know what I loved best about it?? The dangerous boy ACTUALLY FELT DANGEROUS!! I get a little annoyed when books try to present a bad boy and he ends up being as harmless as a teddy bear. Definitely not the case here and I love that Hayes was willing to let Haden have a dark side.

You know what else I loved? The imagination and creativity that went into creating some truly eerie dreamscapes. The "Under" world was populated with nightmarish creatures and scenery. I've been waiting for a book like this, one that has the opportunity to create a richly detailed otherworld where anything goes and Falling Under definitely delivers.

I like the characters of Theia and Haden (and let me just say I adore the names in this book...Theia ~ Greek for Goddess, Haden ~ a play on Hades, Mara ~ nightmare) and while I thought their intense feelings for each other kinda came outta nowhere, I was still able to buy into their relationship. The supporting characters were some of my favorites of recent YA reads. There's sweet, naive and somewhat insecure Amelia along with her polar opposite Donatella, the brash, says-it-like-it-is, naughy, super confident girl. I absolutely adored these characters and their respective boys (Donnie's boy was amazing =)

I found Falling Under very hard to put down. I have a fondness for tales dark and goth and if you do as well, pick this one and fall under its spell.

By the way, I couldn't get the song 'Going Under" by Evanescence out of my mind while I was reading this one.....
I'm going under (going under)
Drowning in you (drowning in you)
I'm falling forever (falling forever)
I've got to break through

Check out the book trailer, it's what actually convinced me to pick this one up (first time a trailer has done that.) I fell in love with the imagery and was so happy that it reflected the feel of the book so perfectly.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (3/4-3/7)

Book Blogger Hop

Time for the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books. This week's question:

Who's your all-time favorite book villain?

"The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed"

And so we are introduced to Randall Flagg, the ultimate embodiment of evil from Stephen King's Gunslinger series (and numerous other King works.) I started reading this series when book one first came out back in 1982 and stayed with it til the final chapter in 2004. My favorite book series of all time!