Sunday, November 22, 2015

Stacking The Shelves 154

New on the Shelf
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
Stormbringers by Philippa Gregory
Ironskin by Tina Connolly

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
Dead to You by Lisa McMann
The Weight of Souls by Byrony Pearce 

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How To Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras Blog Tour & Giveaway!

How to be Brave
Author: E. Katherine Kottaras
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: November 3, 2015

An emotional contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and having the courage to chase the life you truly want.
Reeling from her mother's death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave - all the things she's wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she's always been afraid to do - including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn't always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most - and you learn that you're stronger and braver than you ever imagined.

About the Author 
E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, but now she writes and teaches in the Los Angeles area. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. She is at her happiest when she is either 1) at the playground with her husband and daughter and their wonderful community of friends, 2) breathing deeply in a full handstand, or 3) writing

Kathy’s Year of Living Bravely! 
Georgia isn’t the only one with a bravery to-do list. As a debut novelist, Kathy has declared 2015 the year of living bravely and is tackling many of her own fears. She’s chronicling her adventures on her website and encouraging readers to share their own experiences using #HowToBeBrave.

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Calvin by Martine Leavitt

Author: Martine Leavitt
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux
Publication Date: November 17, 2015 

This year there seems to be a trend regarding books about schizophrenia. In 2015 alone I’ve read four books featuring schizophrenic main characters. I don’t think this is a bad thing, quite the opposite. I think for too long mental illness has been largely ignored, by both society and in fiction. I’m glad that publishers are filling this void and publishing wonderful books like Calvin by Martine Leavitt.

Calvin follows the story of seventeen year old Calvin who shares a lot of similarities with the famous Calvin & Hobbes comic strip. Both have best friends name Susie, and both have companions named Hobbes…although Calvin’s Hobbes may not be entirely real. In order to cure himself Calvin sets off on a winter trek across Lake Erie to track down the author of the comic Bill Watterson. 

I loved Calvin. He came across as such a real person to me. He understood that what is happening to him, and his thoughts, are not real but he can’t stop his delusions from taking over. He was a character you really wanted to be ok. I also liked how much he cared about Susie and Hobbes. 

Part of the reason I loved Calvin so much was because of how the author handled Calvin’s schizophrenia. Martine really took the time to explain how this mental illness changed Calvin’s life. I especially enjoyed how she explained things as being either real or true because, with the disease, Calvin is never really sure if he just thinks something is real or if it is a true thing.

This novel was written in a unique writing style. It was almost like a cross between a letter and a screenplay. It gave the novel immediacy and made the read really quick.

Overall, I really enjoyed Calvin. The author handled Calvin’s schizophrenia in an honest and forthright manner. The writing style made it a unique and quick read. This novel has made me a Martine Leavitt fan and I can’t wait to read her other works!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Space Between Heartbeats Blog Tour + Giveaway

The Space Between Heartbeats
Author: Melissa Pearl
Publisher: Spark Point 
Publication Date: September 8, 2015


Nicole Tepper has it all—beauty, popularity, and the perfect boyfriend. But after a party she can’t remember, she wakes up in a ghostly state, trapped between life and death. Nicole’s injured body is lying in a wooded area, but she has no idea where—or how long she has left to live.
Only one person can hear her now: Dale Finnegan, a loner classmate that Nicole has relentlessly bullied. Dale’s the last person in school who would want to help her, but he sets their tangled history aside to try to save her life. As they dig into what happened at the party, they discover her boyfriend isn’t as perfect as he seems—and neither are her friends. With the clock ticking down and her life slipping away, Nicole must face a hard truth: Was what happened to her a terrible accident? Or does someone want her dead?

About the Author
Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan... not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. "Best. Year. Ever!!" She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of books. Recently she signed with Evatopia Press and her first Evatopia book is coming out in February 2014 - True Colors, The Masks Series #1. She is very excited to be trying out new things this year while continuing to publish under her own name as well. She has six books planned for 2014 and is excited about writing each and every one of them.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Da Vinci's Tiger by L.M. Elliott

Da Vinci's Tiger
Author: L.M. Elliott
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: November 10, 2015

I knew I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw that it mentioned Da Vinci. Don’t judge but I have had a minor obsession with that guy since I read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. I know that novel isn’t historically accurate, and that its fiction, but it started my interest in the inventor and artist. Da Vinci’s Tiger took a more historically accurate route to get to know this famous historical figure and, if I’m honest, I kind of wished it had been a little more fantastical.

My biggest issue with this novel was that it was slow. I think this is my issue with most historically set novels. For some reason when authors write historical fiction, especially in the YA genre, they feel they have to focus on the research they did to build the world. I love good world building but if you keep harping on what the pigeons are doing in ancient Florence I just don’t care. That was this books problem it was historically accurate to a fault.

The characters in this novel were subdued. They didn’t fly off the page and demand to be heard. They were a slow burn which I can appreciate, unfortunately this book was short. At 304 pages your characters have to fly off the page to make me notice them. There just isn’t the space for a slow burn. I did find Ginevra to be a nice narrator. The relationship between her, her husband, and the Venetian ambassador Bernardo Bembo was rather strange. This novel dealt with the concept of Platonic muses, which is something I wasn’t familiar with and I think there is a lot more about that history that the author chose not to include.

I will mention again that this novel is well researched. It blends art, history, and fiction seamlessly. Still, I think authors have a tendency to write the past as bland and I felt that way with this book. There just wasn’t anything that made me go “wow”.

Overall, this was a slow but historically accurate novel. There was nothing technically wrong with it just let me feeling meh. If you have a love of historical fiction, or Florence, Italy I would definitely give this try.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Elementals by Michelle Madow Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows
Series: (Elementals #1)
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Dreamscape
Publication Date: January 26, 2016

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.

About the Author
Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook

Connect with Michelle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Friday, November 6, 2015

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken Giveaway!

Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: January 5, 2016

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

Download the e-book sampler here: AMAZON | NOOK | iBooks

About the Author
Alexandra Bracken is the New York Times bestsellingauthor of The Darkest Minds and Never Fade. Born and raised in Arizona, she moved east to study history and English at the College of William&Mary in Virginia. Alex now lives in New York City, where you can find her hard at work on her next novel in a charming little apartment that's perpetually overflowing with books. Visit her online at and on Twitter @alexbracken.

Learn more at | Visit | Follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter and Instagram | Follow Alex Bracken on Twitter and Instagram | #Passenger 

Through The Dark (A Darkest Minds Collection)
While waiting for PASSENGER to hit shelves, be sure to check out the newly released Darkest Minds collection: THROUGH THE DARK.

Don't miss this breathtaking collection of stories set in the world of the New York Times best-selling Darkest Minds trilogy. Featuring ebook original novellas In Time and Sparks Rise, available in print for the first time, and a gripping, brand-new novella, Through the Dark is a must-have for fans of the Darkest Minds. This collection contains three novellas: In Time, Sparks Rise, and Beyond the Night, as well as a sneak peek at the first novel in Alexandra Bracken's new series, Passenger.  
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*Prizes will be provided by Disney-Hyperion

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Diamonds Are Forever by Michelle Madow Blog Tour + Giveaway

Diamonds are Forever
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 27, 2015

It's cold outside, but the drama is hot!
The Diamond sisters jet to the mountains for spring break, and Savannah's flirt-mance with an international pop star heats up as her pursuit of stardom succeeds. But is this romance meant to be, or has the right guy been in front of her all along? Meanwhile, Courtney takes the next step with her secret boyfriend—and future stepbrother—and as their parents' wedding approaches, the pressure's on to reveal their relationship.
Peyton's figuring out a plan for her future, but she still feels guilty about getting her former bodyguard fired and wonders if she can get over him in the arms of someone else. But the biggest bombshell will change everything once again, because Madison's ready to tell the huge secret she's uncovered. And with the boy who betrayed her but who could be the love of her life fighting for his own life, she might need the Diamond sisters more than ever.

Author Interview

Who was your favorite character to write?
My favorite character to write was Madison Lockhart! She had so much development throughout the series. In The Secret Diamond Sisters, she was such a snobby mean girl. Then, in Diamonds are Forever, she discovered a secret that changed everything she thought she knew about her life. Discovering this secret changed her so much, and she struggled a lot during Diamonds in the Rough. Now, in Diamonds are Forever, readers will get to see a changed version of Madison, after everything she went through in the series. I hope they end up loving her as much as I do!

How did writing this series differ from writing your earlier books?
The main difference is the way the story is told! My first series, The Transcend Time Saga, was told from first person point of view, all through the eyes of the main character, Lizzie. (Except for the short story Vengeance, which is told from Chelsea’s point of view.) The Secret Diamond Sisters series is told in third person, from the rotating points of view of four main characters. I had to work a lot harder to make sure the four characters had distinct voices, so writing The Secret Diamond Sisters series was much more of a challenge for me!

If this novel had a theme song what would it be?
“Waking Up in Vegas” by Katy Perry!

Is there any chance you will return to Las Vegas and the Diamond Sisters stories?
At this point, I’m not sure. There’s definitely potential for a spin-off, and I hinted at it at the end of the series. But right now, I have lots of new, different projects that I’m really excited to share with you soon! My first series, The Transcend Time Saga, had a fantasy twist to it, and I’m going to be returning to stories like that for a while. But there’s definitely another story to be told in the world of Vegas that I created, and there’s always a chance that I’ll write it in the future!

Are you working on anything new, can you tell us about it?
Yes! I have a new series called Elementals, and the first book, The Prophecy of Shadows, will be releasing on January 26, 2016. The cover and blurb are being revealed on November 8th. All I can say about it right now is that it involves Greek mythology and witchcraft, and that fans of Percy Jackson will love it! You can add it to your to-read list HERE ON GOODREADS.

What does your writing space look like?
I write in my room, reclining on my bed! Right now I’m sitting cross-legged on my bed with my laptop on the bed in front of me—that’s how I normally sit when I write. I get really uncomfortable working at a desk! All through high school and college, I did my homework sitting on my bed, and this habit has continued until now. I can’t have any distractions when I write, so I can’t write in public, and I can’t even have music on while writing! I even keep my windows closed. I suppose it’s literally a “writing cave.” 

About the Author
Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in The Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. Michelle's latest YA series, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner, was published in March 2014 by Harlequin Teen. The second book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, released in November 2014, and the third book, Diamonds are Forever, will be coming out in November 2015. Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. 

Michelle lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling the world, shopping, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and loves talking with fans on Facebook (/MichelleMadow), Twitter (@MichelleMadow), and Instagram (@MichelleMadow). 

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge - November Review Link-Up

Welcome to the November Review Link Up for the 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge. Before linking your reviews make sure you are signed up for the challenge here.
  • When submitting a review please do it in this format: Title of Reviewed Book (Name of Blog). Author names are not necessary. 
  • This link up will be open until November 30th
  • If you have and questions feel free to ask in the comments, email, or tweet me @FallingForYA
November Review Link Up