Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

A Little Something Different
Author: Sandy Hall
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Goodreads ♥ Amazon ♥ BookOutlet

Review:
I love that squiggly feeling you get in your stomach when you’re reading or watching a romantic comedy. A part of you is rooting for the characters to get together, but you’re also worried they might not be able to work out their differences. That’s what reading A Little Something Different felt like; nervous squigglies and desperate hope.

A Little Something Different follows the budding relationship between Gabe and Lea, who everyone knows should get together but for some reason haven’t yet. It tells the story from the perspective of fourteen different people. The Delivery Guy, their creative writing teacher, the bus driver, everyone knows Lea and Gabe are perfect for each other and we get to see an entire community shipping them. It was a lot of fun to read about!

Hall did a fabulous job giving every viewpoint a unique and different voice. Lea’s best friend read nothing like the bench on campus (thank goodness). These shifting viewpoints made the story a very quick read. You’re always excited to see what is going to happen in the relationship next and it was nice to have that sense of urgency in a book that occurs over the course of a year.

Overall, A Little Something Different was a perfect romantic. It gave my heart the flutters and put a smile on my face. Definitely add this to your summer before college, or beach read, pile!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Cinderella Moment by Jennifer Kloester Book Blitz + Giveaway

The-Cinderella-Moment-Banner
Welcome to this week’s Swoon Romance YA Wednesdays!

The-Cinderella-Moment-Cover
I adored this book. It made me think of Sabrina meets Anna and the French Kiss.” – Amanda

If you love a good male lead, and you love fairy-tale style re-tellings then this is the book for you!” — Claire

This one played out in my head like a movie.” — Michelle, Novels on the Run

So nice to see a clean, old-fashioned romantic coming of age story. I can see Disney knocking on Ms. Kloester’s door soon. A very charming read. I will recommend to my students this fall.” —MaryAnn E.

I just loved this book! So not was I was expecting. Clean, romantic and the fashion is to die for!” — K. Mendez


Let the masquerade begin!

Angel Moncoeur has always wanted to be a fashion designer, but without money or connections, it’s going to be a challenge. When an opportunity to leave her home in New York and head to Paris appears, Angel grabs it – even if it means masquerading as her best friend Lily. That can’t be too hard, can it? But when she falls in love with her very own Prince Charming who thinks she’s someone else, Angel embarks on a plan to secure her happy ever after.

THE CINDERELLA MOMENT is a fabulously fun story about high society, mistaken identity, love, betrayal, friendship – and great clothes!

THE CINDERELLA MOMENT is a contemporary twist on the Cinderella fairytale. There are no fantasy or magical elements. This is NOT a paranormal or fantasy novel! This is a clean contemporary coming of age story that readers can be conformtable recommending to daughters, nieces, students and friends who enjoy teen romance reads. Originally published in Austalia by Penguin. Available in the U.S. in both print and eBook from Swoon Romance.
add to goodreads
The Cinderella Moment
by Jennifer Kloester
Publication Date: December 2013
Publisher: Swoon Romance

Amazon | B&N


Jennifer KloesterAbout-the-Author
I was born in Melbourne, Australia, but have lived and worked in Papua New Guinea and the Middle East and travelled to more than thirty countries. During my time abroad I studied as an off-campus student with Deakin University and achieved my BA (Hons) while raising my three children. After graduating with a PhD in history from the University of Melbourne, I had my first two books: 'Georgette Heyer's Regency World' and 'Georgette Heyer' (the biography) published in both the UK and the USA. I've had lots of fun giving talks around the world on Georgette Heyer and the Regency, and am a passionate advocate for women writers, books and reading. My first novel, 'The Cinderella Moment', was published by Penguin Australia and Swoon Romance in 2013 and will be followed by the sequel, The Rapunzel Dilemma in 2014. I love writing and spending time with my family, gardening, reading and going to the beach. I have a black belt in karate and am love having adventures. One of my favourite things is experiencing new cultures, meeting new people and trying out different languages. Particular interests include Georgette Heyer first editions, and after a glorious visit to South Korea in 2012, Korean language and culture.

Giveaway

Chapter-by-Chapter-blog-tour-button

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ten Books I Plan On Having In My Beach Bag This Summer


1 The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
2 Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark 
3 The Duff by Kody Keplinger

4 The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy
5 Joyride by Anna Banks

6 The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine
7 Oblivion by Kelly Creagh
8 Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

9 To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
10  99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Monday, May 25, 2015

Charlie Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel Blog Tour + Giveaway


Charlie, Presumed Dead
Author: Anne Heltzel
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication Date: June 2, 2015

Synopsis:
In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own.

No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.

Interview
What inspired you to write Charlie, Presumed Dead?
This question is never easy to answer, no many how many times someone asks. The truth is, I once dated a guy who had a secret girlfriend on the side.

But the real story is less about the guy and more about the way his girlfriend and I communicated when the secret came out. She’d been suspicious for a while; and one night in a bar, she snooped in his phone and found an email from him to me discussing his plans to visit me for Memorial Day weekend. (She attended law school with him in North Carolina and I lived in New York.) She emailed me, and from there we swapped maybe a dozen more messages in which we unraveled his lies by comparing notes. It was appalling how dishonest he’d been; but much more noteworthy was the way we bolstered each other over the course of a few days and a handful of emails. That’s why Lena and Aubrey’s friendship took the course it did. I became very curious about a girl friendship born from a scenario that could have caused animosity.
Who are your writing influences?
There are so many writers whom I admire—in particular Alice Munro and Rohinton Mistry on the adult side. But my biggest inspirations are my YA/middle grade writer friends here in New York. They all juggle multiple demanding responsibilities (families, novels, second careers). They are determined, ambitious, and supportive of one another. I’m lucky to be surrounded by so many strong, talented women.
If Charlie, Presumed Dead had a theme song what would it be?
“Elastic Heart” –Sia

What was the last book you read and loved?
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
That ending was crazy, can you share any plans (or maybe an excerpt) from the sequel?
No plans for a sequel yet! But I do have a lot of ideas floating around. When I wrote the novel, I thought I knew exactly how Lena and Aubrey’s story would end. Now I’m not so sure….

Emily: Whoa! That can not be the end we definitely need more story!

About the Author
Anne Heltzel is a children's book editor and author from New York City. She has also lived in Paris and India, both of which inspired scenes from her new novel, CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD (HMH/June 2, 2015).

Goodreads ♥ Website ♥ Twitter ♥ Instagram  ♥ Tumblr

Giveaway
3 winners will receive a finished copy of CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD and a Gold Rose Necklace - Antique Gold Pewter Rose Charm on a Delicate 18 Inch Gold Plated Cable Chain. US Only. 

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Stacking The Shelves 141

Week in Review
New on the Shelf
Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
Wings by Aprilynne Pike

A Curious Tale of the In Between by Lauren DeStefano (Thanks Bloomsbury!)
Killer Within by S.E. Green (Thanks Simon Pulse!)
Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer (Thanks Sallie for the trade!)

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone ARC, Use Your Words note pad and inspirational magnets (Thanks so much Big Honcho Media & Disney-Hyperion!)

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Goodreads ♥ Amazon ♥ BookOutlet

Review:
We have officially entered the Gone Girl era of novels. The mysteries are crazier, the murders more gruesome, and the psychological suspense has been ramped up to the max!

The Girl on the Train follows Rachel a 30-something divorcee. Her ex-husband left her for another woman and she is struggling to cope with a divorce that happened a couple years ago. Every day Rachel rides the train past her and her ex-husbands house and slowly she becomes engrossed in the lives of a woman and her husband who live down the street from her former home. Rachel makes up a happy life and names, Jess and Jason, for the people who share the house. But when Jess turns up missing Rachel knows she has to help find her.

I struggled to get through the first 80 pages of this book and it was because I didn’t like Rachel. She was a drunk and I, much like her flatmate, just wanted Rachel to get her life together. But, as the novel progressed and I got to know Rachel better I really came to like her. I loved learning more about her past and how it has effected her present. I also loved the fact that she was an unreliable narrator it made the mystery that much better.

Overall, The Girl on the Train was a psychological thriller at its finest. After a little bit of a stumble the mystery drew me in and I had to know what was going to happen next. I’m already looking forward to reading whatever Paula Hawkins writes next.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Summer of Swoon Seattle Tour Recap + Giveaway


On Friday May 15th (ya this recap is a few days late, don't judge) the wonderful Swoon Reads authors visited Seattle!

I've been to signings before but this was the first time I've had the opportunity to interview authors in person and, honestly, I'm glad these were my first live in-person authors because they were warm, welcoming, and all around awesome!

We sat at the back of the UW Bookstore in Bellevue and they let me ask some questions.

Interview
How do you combat writers block?
Sandy Hall: I ask myself what happens next and if that dosen't work I ask myself what couldn't happen next. I also leave myself on a cliffhanger so that I always want to start the next part of the project!

Katie Van Ark- I re-read stuff I've loved before or I jump from my current project to another project.

Temple West- Ditto. I most often get writer's block when I have other stuff on my mind so I take care of business and then get to work!

Kim Karalius- I watch inspirational material that's relevant to the project I'm working on. For Love Fortunes I watched Pushing Daisies.

If you weren't an author what would you be doing?
 Sandy- I was a youth librarian so I would probably be doing that. I love that!

Temple- My dayjob is screenwriting so I'm always doing something writing related.

Kim- I think I would want to be a cartoonist. When I was a kid that was what I really wanted to do and it still sounds awesome.

Katie- I come from a writing family so I would probably be teaching writing. I was a teacher in my past life.

Sandy Hall, Me, Kim Karalius

What has been the biggest challenge/reward of being a debut author?
Temple- The biggest challenge and reward is getting public reviews. It is both awesome and kind of hard.

If you novel had a theme song what would it be?
Sandy: Bleeker and Sixth by Jesse Rubens

Kim: Heart That's Pounding by Sally Saltman

Katie: I listened to the characters music that they were skating to. So my playlist was a lot of actual skating music.

What was the last book you read and loved?

Sandy and Katie: Kim's Book (Love Fortunes and Other Disasters)

Temple: I've been reading and enjoyed An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.

Sandy: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli is also really good.


Thanks ladies for taking the time and letting me interview you!

Signing
After the interview the authors did a panel with author Carly Anne West ( The Murmurings) who moderated. Following the Q&A the authors opened it up for questions, had a signing, and posed for photos!
Katie Van Ark, Me, Temple West
I was also able to get this awesome group shot with all the authors and fellow blogger Rachel from Beauty and the Bookshelf! It was my first time meeting her even though we've known each other on the interwebs for ages.

Overall, The Summer of Swoon was a great event. I am so happy they stopped in Seattle and hope they plan on hitting the road again next year =)
Giveaway
*US Only

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon Blog Tour + Giveaway


Illusionarium
Author: Heather Dixon
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: May 19, 2015

Synopsis:
What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if there is more than one world? From Heather Dixon, author of the acclaimed Entwined, comes a brilliantly conceived adventure that sweeps us from the inner workings of our souls to the far reaches of our imaginations.
Jonathan is perfectly ordinary. But then—as every good adventure begins—the king swoops into port, and Jonathan and his father are enlisted to find the cure to a deadly plague. Jonathan discovers that he's a prodigy at working with a new chemical called fantillium, which creates shared hallucinations—or illusions. And just like that, Jonathan is knocked off his path. Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that calls to mind The Night Circus and Pixar movies, but is wholly its own.

Review
Illusiunarium was instantly on my radar. I tend to enjoy books that are hard to sum up and if you’ve read the synopsis for Illusionarium then you know this book doesn’t easily fit in to a box. It is one part alternate history, another part parallel world story, and a third part steampunk-esque sweeping, stand alone, novel. 

My favorite thing about this novel was the world building. This story had a lot of moving parts but Heather Dixon managed to make the world building easy to understand while also giving the world a rich history. 

I really liked that this book was written from a male point of view. There are not nearly enough male POV books in YA so I always get really excited when I stumble across one. 

Jonathan, the main character, really made the story for me. He lived in a morally grey area and his father continuously pushed him to only do the right thing. Jonathan though could see the other side of the story. There were times while reading Illusionarium where I felt like I was watching the rise of a villain. It wasn’t until near the end of the story when Jonathan finally decided where he landed on the moral issues raised in Illusionarium. 

Overall, Illusionarium was an interesting and original read. I enjoyed the moral grey area the main character occupied and the original world building. If you enjoyed Illusions of Fate by Keirsten White then you should definitely check out Illusionarium!

About the Author

Heather Dixon grew up in a large family with four brothers and six sisters. She is a storyboard artist as well as a writer, and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Viennese waltz is her dance of choice. She is the author of the novel Entwined.

Website  Tumblr  Instagram ♥ Pinterest  Goodreads

Giveaway
1 winner will receive a finished copy of ILLUSIONARIUM plus an ARC of THE UNQUIET by Mikaela Everett. US Only.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Stacking The Shelves 140


The Last 2 Weeks
Ten Books I Will Probably Never Read
Review: Velvet by Temple West
The Wrath and the Dawn Release Day Blitz + Giveaway
Twelve Steps Book Blitz + Giveaway
Review: Ensnared by AG Howard
New on the Shelf
Mosquitoland by David Arnold
Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay 
(Thanks Brittany for the trade!)
Netgalley & Edelweiss
Nowhere But here by Katie McGarry
Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines
The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton & Brenna Yovanoff

Stand-Off by Andrew Smith
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

Consent by Nancy Ohlin
Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul