Thursday, January 31, 2013

Indigo Awakening Blog Tour


Welcome to my stop on the Indigo Awakening Blog Tour hosted by YA Bound. Click here to see the rest of the blog tour schedule!

Synopsis:
Because of what you are, the Believers will hunt you down.
Voices told Lucas Darby to run. Voices no one else can hear. He’s warned his sister not to look for him, but Rayne refuses to let her troubled brother vanish on the streets of LA. In her desperate search, she meets Gabriel Stewart, a runaway with mysterious powers and far too many secrets. Rayne can’t explain her crazy need to trust the strange yet compelling boy—to touch him—to protect him even though he scares her.
A fanatical church secretly hunts psychic kids—gifted “Indigo” teens feared to be the next evolution of mankind—for reasons only “the Believers” know. Now Rayne’s only hope is Gabe, who is haunted by an awakening power—a force darker than either of them imagine—that could doom them all.




Guest Post:
Indigo Awakening - Psychic Powers
The real phenomenon of Indigo children drove my Indigo Awakening plot (Book #1 in the HUNTED series), but I super-sized their psychic abilities and wanted them to evolve into more than one simple power per kid. With Indigos sharing a “hive mind,” I thought it might be possible for their abilities to grow and change once they came in contact with each other. So below is a list of psychic abilities that I drew from initially. Imagine what it might feel like to have any one of these abilities.
Since the idea of man’s evolution is a key concept to my story, I wanted some of the powers to start simply, but get complicated as the kids develop to their full potential. Gabriel Stewart is my central character for this metamorphosis, but here is more about the powers I use in the book.

Indigo Children/Indigo Warriors - In my story, for the purposes of fiction, I make Indigo kids more plentiful, with the status of a Crystal child more unique and powerful. Indigos are highly intelligent intuitive teens who “feel” their way through life, trust their instincts above all else, and can often see angels and the dead. Indigos tend to be warriors. They have a fierce fighting spirit and a rebellious nature. They don’t accept things the way they are. They see how things can be. Indigo warriors can also be a little older than teens, those who have come before to pave the way and protect the Indigos who will follow. Gabe’s mother and his uncle Reginald are examples of early Indigo warriors.

Crystal Children Crystal children are a higher level of power and attainment in the collective than Indigo kids. Only Lucas Darby and Gabriel Stewart reach Crystal child status in Indigo Awakening. They are the elite. Since Lucas is only fifteen-years old when he reaches this level, he becomes the obsession of the Believers. These church fanatics believe his “mutation” is more dangerous. He “turns” too early, so they think that Indigos are evolving more rapidly than they first suspected. They want to get their hands on the boy, to “study” him. Gabriel is eighteen and has been hiding in secret, off the grid, but he is far more powerful than even he imagines. Once he links to the “others” of his kind, he transforms into something amazing. He will be the most dangerous among these kids. In Gabriel, the Believers truly have something to fear.

Individual Indigo Powers – by Character

The Effin brothers are Indigo twins with the ability to attack the hypothalamus gland within the human brain. This gland affects the Four F’s – to feed, to flee, to fear, and to…hook up. As you might imagine, they can make anyone do anything with this ability, even though the twins think of their gift as a funny game. These boys are younger and very peculiar, even among Indigos. They only communicate telepathically, within their immediate hive, and they are most powerful when they are together.

Kendra Walker is an Indigo who is similar to a modern day Joan of Arc. She’s strong and rebellious, driven to protect the Indigos right to live. She has the ability to connect with other indigos, to draw them to her and track them, but only with a limited range and often with one-way communication from her to them. She is a healer and uses herbs and her garden to not only feed her street family, but she also hears the voices of “the others” through her plants, especially as she tends her garden.

Lucas Darby is an evolving Crystal child who has been stunted by his time locked up in a mental hospital. Drugs were used to control him and have taken a toll. His potential is similar to the gifts that Gabriel Stewart has, but Lucas also shows the ability to read other people’s memories. This psychic gift is called Retro-cognition. Crystal children tend to be more benevolent and peace loving by nature and Lucas is no exception. He’s at odds with Kendra’s warrior nature to protect her kind. Once he sees how far the Believers will go to destroy innocent lives, Lucas will be forced to take a stand he’s not prepared for.

Rafael Santana is a street kid who communes with the dead and easily connects into the spirit world. He’s the heart and soul of Kendra’s Indigo family, a simple guy so desperate to have a real family of his own, that he takes on the role of big brother to an abused homeless kid, ten-year old Benny. Although Benny isn’t psychic, these two are inseparable kindred spirits. Rafe is beyond wishing anything for himself, but he doesn’t wallow in self-pity over how his life turned out. Instead he takes on the responsibility of caring for a young boy and no one comes between Rafe and Benny, not even Rafe’s beloved Kendra and her Indigo rebellion.

Gabriel Stewart is the most powerful Crystal child. He thought he was an Indigo, like his British mother, but after he meets Lucas’s sister, Rayne, and links to the collective hive mind through Lucas (another Crystal child), he is gripped by a metamorphosis that he can’t stop. He can connect his consciousness through animals and the dead, but his powers evolve into much more. I can’t say too much about his abilities without giving away strong elements to the story, but Gabe is seriously cool.

Hellboy is featured on the cover of Indigo Awakening and is Gabe Stewart’s ghost dog. He’s a portal to the “other side,” or is he?

In book #2 of the Hunted series – Crystal Fire – more Indigo kids and their powers will be revealed. There is a dark side to having these powers and the Believers tamper with science and human nature to battle something they should respect.

1.) If you could have a secret Indigo power, what would that be? 

If I could have a secret Indigo Power it would probably be Mediumship or Channeling and communicating with spirits! Whenever I see Mediums on TV I always find the entire concept really interesting and I think it would be a pretty cool power to have! (I wouldn't want to be be like that Long Island Medium lady though...she kind of creeps me out lol!)

2.) Have you ever experienced a psychic moment or do you know anyone who is a real psychic?

I have never had a psychic moment and I don't know any real psychics although I totally believe in real psychics and the beyond! My Mom and I also have a long standing joke that she is only psychic on the weekends lol Catch her on a weekday and unfortunately she can't read your mind! 


Author Bio:
Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty romantic thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She also pens young-adult novels for Harlequin Teen. Formerly an energy sales manager, she now writes full time. Jordan and her husband share their Texas residence with two cats of highborn lineage and two lucky rescue dogs.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Since You Asked


Since You Asked
Author: Maurene Goo
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: July 2013


Synopsis:A humorous, debut novel about a Korean-American teenager who accidentally lands her own column in her high school newspaper, and proceeds to rant her way through the school year while struggling to reconcile the traditional Korean values of her parents with contemporary American culture.

My Thoughts: 
I love cross-cultural books and I recently started loving contemporaries so I feel like, Since You Asked, is going to be the perfect intersection between two of my favorite things! Also I'm pretty much in love with this cover it cracks me up, and I think I have those glasses lol!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Prodigy by Marie Lu

5/5 Stars

Prodigy by Marie Lu
Publisher: 
Publication Date: January 29, 2013
GoodreadsAmazon

Review:
In my Trial Techniques class we have been learning about power words, words that when you hear them illicit an emotion or memory that jurors can then connect to the theme of the trial. Some examples of power words would be Jealousy, Integrity, Hope, and I will now be adding Prodigy to that list. Not only is the title a power word but it connects the entire story together in such a way that I was absolutely mesmerized.

Prodigy begins where Legend left off. Day and June have just escaped Los Angeles and are on a train to Las Vegas. Immediately upon getting to Las Vegas Elector Primo dies and needing help June and Day seek out the Patriots. In exchange for their help June and Day must assassinate the new Elector, Anden. Only Anden isn’t the man his father was and lines begin to blur on who exactly the bad guys and good guys are.

I loved Legend and the sequel Prodigy took the series to another level. The alternating perspective was once again well done but I noticed that in this novel I was more excited to read about June then about Day. It wasn’t that I disliked Day’s perspective I was just more intrigued with June’s journey. I loved learning more about the society. For those who were not happy with the world building in Legend, the society is further fleshed out in Prodigy and I finally feel I have a good grasp on why the Elector’s regime took hold and why there is a war going on.

I also enjoyed the character development in Prodigy. June and Day have always felt like adults to me. They were both too smart and always one step ahead of any plans or traps other characters set for them. It was interesting in this novel, to watch them riddle out the puzzle of who exactly to trust and about Anden’s motives in Prodigy. Seeing that June and Day could be tricked and trust the wrong people made them feel like real flawed people.

My one gripe with Prodigy is that Marie Lu threw in a love square, I assume, to make things a little more interesting and complicated. Well, it definitely made things more complicated but it also rubbed me the wrong way. Both Day and June have been through so much that watching them second guess themselves as well as each other just hurt to read about.

Overall, I really enjoyed Prodigy I was on the edge of my seat the entire novel, the action never stopped. I must warn you though the ending was not what I was expecting and wrenched my heart. Needless to say I can not wait for the final book in this trilogy, 2014 has never felt so far away!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Fallen Stars Cover Reveal

The Fallen Stars (Star Child #2)
Author: Stephanie Keyes
Publisher: Inkspell
Expected Publication: April 12, 2013


Synopsis:
When all is lost, he will have to make the ultimate decision. Kellen St. James was just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, until he eighty-sixed the Lord of Faerie and proposed to a Celtic goddess. Now everything in Kellen’s life gets turned upside-down when Calienta, Kellen, and friend, Gabriel Stewart, find themselves on the run from a seriously irritated group of faeries. The worst part? They have zero idea why. Suddenly, Kellen finds himself stuck in the middle of another prophecy that questions everything about him including where his loyalties lie. Plus, Calienta’s more than a bit different; she’s making choices that he doesn’t understand. And Gabe, his best friend? He’s started doing all sorts of freaky things that make Kellen question who he really is.Kellen and Calienta will fight to stay together and keep the hidden part of the prophecy from becoming reality.
 When the ultimate power is within reach, which side will he choose?

Author Bio:
Stephanie Keyes has been addicted to Fantasy since she discovered T.H. White as a child and started drumming up incredible journeys in her head. Today, she’s still doing the same thing, except now she puts those ideas down on paper.

When she’s not writing Stephanie is also a graphic designer, presenter, teacher, musician, avid reader, and Mom to two little boys who constantly keep her on her toes. In addition, she’s best friend to her incredible husband of eleven years.

Keyes is the author of The Star Child YA Fantasy series, which currently includes The Star Child and The Fallen Stars. She is currently hard at work on the third book in the trilogy.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Nobody But Us Blog Tour



Nobody But Us 
Author: Kristin Halbrook
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: Jan 29, 2013


 Synopsis:
Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.
They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.
Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....
When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.
Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.



Playlist:
Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift & The Civil Wars
Running Up That Hill by Placebo
Time is Running Out by Muse
If I Die Young by The Band Perry
Time After Time by Quietdrive
'03 Bonnie & Clyde by Beyonce & Jay-Z
Love Story by Taylor Swift

*Click on the titles of the songs to see the video on Youtube

I usually don't listen to Taylor Swift very much but the book cover totally reminds me of a Taylor Swift style album cover so while reading this book I ended up listening to her music and found a couple of the songs really related to the story!

I would explain why I picked each of the songs and the scene they corresponded to but I don't want to give too much away, just suffice to say that when listened to as a whole they give a good gauge of how the story made me feel.

Review:
Nobody But Us is a contemporary that tackles some very tough issues. When I first began the novel, based on the cover, I expected a light hearted romance what I got was something completely different. The two main characters Zoe and Will have been through entirely too much in their lives. Zoe’s mother died in a tragic accident and her drunken father beats her, the entire town knows about this but does nothing to help her. Will was abandoned as a child and has been in and out of foster and group homes his entire life, upon turning 18 he was going to be kicked out of the group home, with this in mind Will and Zoe decide to leave their small North Dakota town and head to Las Vegas. Nobody But Us follows this road trip.

The novel alternates perspectives between Zoe and Will and it took me a little while to get used to Will’s voice. As I have said many times I am not a fan of dialects in writing so Will’s uneducated dialect initially bothered me but as I got used to it I came to really like Will. I felt like I understood his actions at the end of the novel a lot better because I got to see his perspective so clearly.

My one qualm about this book is not really a qualm at all but more of a personal problem. Because I am a law student I spend all day reading law books and with my course load this term I spend a lot of time reading criminal law cases. When I was reading Nobody But Us I couldn’t separate the fiction from my legal reading. Every time Zoe and Will made a decision all I could think of was what crime I would charge them with if I was the prosecutor in their case. It made my reading go somewhat like this “Crossing state lines with a minor, charge kidnapping. Stole money, charge with theft I. Hit a guy without a weapon, charge with simple assault.” From there it got even more interesting when I put myself in defense counsel’s shoes and thought about how I would defend these two. I think if I had been able to separate the fiction from the law I would have really loved this book.

Overall, Nobody But Us was a good and very emotional read. It tackled some tough issues and the affect they had on Zoe and Will’s lives. I feel like while the ending had me in tears it was my favorite part of the novel because it was the only realistic way I could see the story ending. I recommend this book to anyone looking for an emotional, contemporary read. 

Author Bio:
Kristin Halbrook is a Seattleite who loves good coffee, good food, good music, good sports, good causes, and good reads. She’s both intense and a goofball, introverted and gregarious. Nobody But Us is her debut novel.

Website GoodreadsTwitter

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 44


Won/Bought:
The Essence by Kimberly Derting (Thanks Essence Blog Tour!)
Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison (Thanks ARCycling!)
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Netgalley:
The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

4/5 Stars

Poison Princess by Kresely Cole
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: Oct 2, 2012
Goodreads Amazon

Review:
Poison Princess takes a very common theme and makes it truly original. Just when I was starting to get a little tired of post-apocalyptic stories Kresley Cole breaths new life in to the genre. The story follows Evie who is The Empress card in the Tarot Major Arcana as she meets other teenagers who represent the other Tarot cards to gear up for an ultimate battle.

While I loved this idea for the story the prologue almost turned me off it completely, it really had almost nothing to do with the rest of the novel and just made for a confusing and jumpy start. I’m glad that I didn’t give up though because after things settled down a bit I really came to the story.

Evangeline “Evie” and I got off to a rocky start. I can’t pinpoint why but she initially got on my nerves. I couldn’t figure out why she hated Jack and his group of Cajun friends so quickly. I felt like she hated what they represented rather then giving an actual reason for her hate. Throughout the novel she always believes her first opinions or gut instincts about people rather then getting to know them and their motivations. I guess as a reader I had a hard time taking her word on things and that detracted from the story a bit.

My favorite thing about Poison Princess was probably Jackson or ‘ole Jack as he sometimes refers to himself. Even though the relationship between him and Evie was beyond back and forth hot/cold, he was still my favorite character. Usually I am not a fan of regional dialects in writing. But I LOVED the way Jack’s Cajun voice was written and the addition of French/Cajun sayings in the writing. This small attention to detail made Jack all the more real to me.

Overall, I really enjoyed Poison Princess and highly recommend it! The idea was very original and I had fun getting to know the Tarot and Major Arcana set to the back drop of a post-apocalyptic world. I do warn you though the cliff hanger that Poison Princess leaves you on will have you aching for the next novel, and with a release date of October 2013 it is going to be a long wait! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: The Dark Between


The Dark Between
Author: Sonia Gensler
Publisher: Knopf Books
Publication Date: August 27, 2013

Synopsis:A supernatural romance about the powers that lie in the shadows of the mind, perfect for fans of Sarah Rees Brennan, Alyxandra Harvey, and Libba Bray.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Spiritualism and séances are all the rage—even in the scholarly town of Cambridge, England. While mediums dupe the grief-stricken, a group of local fringe scientists seeks to bridge the gap to the spirit world by investigating the dark corners of the human mind.
Each running from a shadowed past, Kate, Asher, and Elsie take refuge within the walls of Summerfield College. But their peace is soon shattered by the discovery of a dead body nearby. Is this the work of a flesh-and-blood villain, or is something otherworldly at play? This unlikely trio must illuminate what the scientists have not, and open a window to secrets taken to the grave—or risk joining the spirit world themselves.
My Thoughts:
You had me at Sarah Rees Brennan! Sarah is one of my favorite authors and any blurb that mentions her is going to get my notice. Add in a seances, a creepy college, and bridging the gap between this world and the beyond and you have my attention. I am now not so patiently waiting on The Dark Between!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Reaper Blog Tour




There's no way sixteen year old Quincy Amarante will become the fifth grim reaper. None. Not over her shiny blue Mustang. Her Jimmy Choos. Or her dead body.
She’s supposed to enjoy her sophomore year, not learn about some freaky future Destiny says she has no choice but to fulfill.
It doesn’t take long for Quincy to realize the only way out of the game is to play along especially since Death can find her anyway, anywhere, anytime. And does.
Like when she’s reassuring her friends she wants nothing to do with former best friend Ben Moorland, who’s returned from god-knows-where, and fails. Miserably.
Instead of maintaining her coveted popularity status, Quincy’s goes down like the Titanic.
Maybe ... just maybe ... that’s okay.
It seems, perhaps, becoming a grim reaper isn’t just about the dead but more about a much needed shift in Quincy’s priorities—from who she thinks she wants to be to who she really is.
Interview with LS Murphy:

Q: What made you decide to become a writer?
I love telling stories. Even as a child, I would share my misadventures with my family and friends. If I was really bored, I’d often tell the stories to the cows. J
Q: Was there anyone in particular that reminds you of Quincy? or Was Quincy's character influence by anyone you know?
Quincy is an accumulation of the popular girl stereotype. She’s a mixture of attitudes I witnessed in high school and see now with my nieces and nephews, but she is not based upon anybody in particular.
Q: What inspired you to write about Reapers?
I chose reapers because of what they represent. Typical grim reaper images are gruesome and meant to terrify. It makes death scary, when it is simply a part of life.
Q: How long did it take for you to write and then publish Reaper?
From initial concept to actual publication… about six years. Take into consideration that I didn’t actual work on it for six years though. I’ll get an idea, throw it in the file, and come back to it when its ready. After I write it, I will put it away for a month or two. In the case of Reaper, I wrote the outline about two years after the initial concept. A year later I wrote the first draft longhand, etc. It took me another two years before I actually typed it out and started revising. By that time, I had wisely joined a critique group. Reaper wouldn’t have happened without them.
Q: Are there any plans for a sequel?
Hehehehe. No comment. J

Review:
Reaper and me got off on a rocky start at times I was a little bit confused about what was going on and I had a hard time relating to Quincy but as the novel progressed I really can to enjoy the story and am so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour.

Quincy Amarante is the quintessential mean popular girl she also happens to come from a long line of Reapers. At first I couldn’t stand Quincy she was rude, didn’t care about those around her, and only cared what the “it” crowd was doing. Luckily Quincy does a TON of growing throughout the novel. She practically becomes a completely different person as the novel unfolds. I loved the transition Quincy took from mean girl to willing to sacrifice everything for her friends.

I also really liked the relationship between Ben and Quincy. Ben was the sweet boy next door type and it was obvious how much he cared about Quincy even though she had really changed from the person he grew up with. I liked how constant he was throughout the story. With how much Quincy was changing it was great to have been there to keep the story steady.

Overall, Reaper started off a little bit slow but by the end I was totally rooting for the characters and really wanted them all to get a happy ending. I fully admit to having tears in my eyes as I finished this novel. The story became so much then what it started as and really surprised me in the best ways possible.


Author Bio:
L.S. Murphy lives in the Greater St. Louis area where she watches Cardinals baseball, reads every book she can find, and weaves tales for teens and adults. When not doing all of the above, she tends to The Bean (aka her daughter), her husband and a menagerie of pets.

She is a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the St. Louis Writer’s Guild.

Giveaway:
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Salvation Blog Tour


A smart, unexpected romance from an award-winning author.Salvador Resendez--Salva to his friends--appears to have it all. His Mexican immigrant family has high expectations, and Salva intends to fulfill them. He's student body president, quarterback of the football team, and has a near-perfect GPA. Everyone loves him.Especially Beth Courant, AKA the walking disaster area. Dreamy and shy, Beth is used to blending into the background. But she's also smart, and she has serious plans for her future. Popular guy and bookish girl--the two have almost nothing in common. Until fate throws them together and the attraction is irresistible. Soon Beth is pushing Salva to set his sights higher than ever--because she knows he has more to offer, more than even he realizes. Then tragedy strikes--and threatens to destroy everything that Salva has worked for. Will Beth's love be enough to save him? Thoughtful and romantic, this is a beautifully written story about following your heart and fulfilling your potential

Interview w/Anne Osterlund:
Q: What was different or similar about writing Salvation than writing your other novels, Academy 7, Aurelia, and Exile?
Although all of my books have alternating points of view, this is the first book in which the guy’s story defines the action. It required a great deal of tossing and catching of objects: footballs, oranges, keys. Ultimately, though, the challenge remained the same. Digging as deeply into the character’s head—and heart—as possible, and allowing the reader to see the world from that character’s perspective.

Q: How did you get the idea for Salvation?
I first met Salva and Beth in the middle of a collision. Papers, pencils, the contents of Beth’s backpack, and point of view everywhere! I didn’t realize there was an entire book coming, though, until Salva’s best friend, Pepe, shoved him into the prologue

Q: Salva and Beth were so different and yet so similar to each other. Are they based on anyone in particular?
Salva and Beth are very much themselves. They have their own desires, quirks, fears, and personalities. My job is to listen. To help bring those traits, thoughts, and emotions across to the reader. And to make discoveries even the characters don’t realize about themselves. Salva likes order. Beth likes chaos. But they both need the opposite. And that’s the joy of being an author.

Salva's struggles to stay true to himself while also pleasing his immigrant father were so vivid. Did you have to deal with something similar growing up? Or have you had students who were dealing with these high parental expectations?
I think the struggle to find one’s own path is a universal part of the senior year experience. Along with that rush of knowing the year is going to end, friends are going to move on, and that no matter what choice you make, life is going to change dramatically. Salva has plenty of his own problems without me pawning mine off on him. His sense of responsibility is heightened, both by his role as an older sibling in an immigrant family and as one in which a parent has died.

I just loved Salva and Beth! Are there any plans for a sequel or spinoff novel?
Salvation is a standalone novel; and unlike my earlier books—Aurelia, Exile, and Academy 7—it was conceived that way. Though, of course, anything is possible!

Thank you, Emily, for hosting Salva, Beth, and I on our tour! You and your visitors are all welcome to come visit us any time on:


Review:
My favorite thing about the novel was that the ending came out of nowhere. It was not at all what I was expecting and just as I was getting to know the characters and what to expect Osterlund changed the game and made me reevaluate everything. It is writing like this that takes me completely by surprise that I fall in love with and I think that is why I loved Salvation so much, it took me by surprise.

The book centers around Beth described as the “walking disaster area” and Salvador “Salva” who is class president, captain of the football team, and has a perfect GPA. He really is Mr. Right, and I was nervous beginning this novel that he might be too perfect. Salva though definitely has his faults, and that made him all the more likable.

One of the main themes of this novel is the pressure to do better then your parents did and to go to college. It was told through Salva’s perspective, so the perspective of a first generation Mexican-American, but a lot of it rang true for me. I remember how much pressure my parents put on me to do better then they did and to excel in school. Although, they were supportive when I was in high school and undergrad, I never really felt like they were truly proud of me until I began Law School. Despite Salva and I being from very different backgrounds I could relate him in a lot of ways.

I also enjoyed the relationship between Beth and Salva. It was a little bit formulaic in the fact that they are paired for a school project and then come to realize they have feelings for each other but this didn’t stop me from rooting for the two of them. Beth and Salva have both been through so much that above all I wanted them both to be happy and they were happy together.

Overall, I really enjoyed Salvation. The novel took me by surprise and had me rooting for the characters. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys contemporary novels and liked Pushing the Limits, or Perfect Chemistry.

Author Bio:
Anne Osterlund grew up in the sunshine of Eastern Oregon and graduated from Whitworth College. She lives in a cute little yellow house with her new feline friend, Charlotte, and her own library of young adult books. She also teaches sixth grade and enjoys immersing her students in language, literature, and imagination. Anne has written three novels, Aurelia, Academy 7, and Exile, all published by Penguin Books, and is polishing a fourth.

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 43


I had a pretty great week this week I was really excited to be approved for Dare You To on Netgalley and I also received some pretty fabulous books through trades. Thanks to all the wonderful ladies I traded with this week and YA Book Exchange for facilitating the trades! 

Trades:

Prophecy by Ellen Oh (Thanks Felicia @ Readers Corner!)
Renegade by J.A. Souders (Thanks Kirsten!)
The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington (Thanks Kristina @ Gone Pecan!)

Netgalley:
Dare You To by Katie McGarry

E-books:
The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter
Crash by Nicole Williams

From The Author:
Torched by Andrea Lynn Colt
Entanglement by Dan Rix

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cover Reveal: Fire Country

Fire Country
Author: David Estes
Publisher: ShareARead
Publication Date: February 1st, 2013


Synopsis:In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer's even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.
Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.
Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with.
As the desert sands run out on her life's hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun

Author Bio:
David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010. He´s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Acid


Acid
Author: Emma Pass
Publisher Random House Children's
Expected Publication: April 25, 2013

Synopsis:
ACID - the most brutal police force in history.
They rule with an iron fist.
They see everything. They know everything.
They locked me away for life.

My crime?
They say I murdered my parents.
I was fifteen years old.

My name is Jenna Strong.

My Thoughts:
I saw this on Down The Rabbit Hole's Waiting On Wednesday post about a month ago and at first I wasn't sure if it was something I wanted to read but now I am eagerly awaiting the release of this book. I cover is absolutely amazing (no frilly dresses here!) and I can't wait to read more about ACID.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bewitched Cover Reveal

Bewitched 
Author: Mark Harris
Publisher: Inkspell Publshing
Expected Publication: March 1, 2013


Synopsis: 
Is it love or is it witchcraft? He’ll never find out if he kills her first.
The first time Darren saw Samantha, she was floating above his high school gymnasium during a basketball game, invisible to everyone but him. Next time he sees her, she's sitting in front of him in class, wowing his friends and causing unexplainable things to happen that only he seems to notice. But things really get strange (and complicated) when his dying grandfather tells him that he is part of an ancient order, the “Pessum Ire,” whose duty is to destroy witches. What does he do now, since he’s almost positive Samantha is a witch…and he’s crushing on her pretty hard?

"Bewitched is spell-binding! A highly-unique page-turner that hooks you from the first paragraph. With complex characters and unexpected twists and turns, Harris delivers and leaves you hoping for more!" - Stephanie Keyes, author, The Star Child series


Author Bio:
Mark Harris lives in Smithfield Utah, a small town located in a beautiful valley in Northern Utah. His wife, Shaundale, and he have four terrific children, two girls and two boys and a fifth one due to arrive in November of 2012. Mark has taught English and Special Education and currently works from home teaching English to people from all over the world. Writing has always been his true passion since he was a grade schooler writing about mushrooms. "Bewitched" will be his debut novel. He has two others underway and will soon start on the sequel to "Bewitched," called "The Return of the Familiar." He hopes you enjoy his work because he is working on several series geared toward younger audiences.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd


4/5 Stars

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Publisher:
Publication: January 29, 2013

Review:
Without a doubt, The Madman’s Daughter, is one of the creepiest books I have ever read. From the first page I was immersed in this gothic thriller. The descriptions were so vivid and dark I truly felt I was in ye olden London. When the setting changed to the Island, Shepherd, seamless brought the same dark creepy vibe from London and transposed it onto an Island in the South Pacific. I loved the writing style. Every detail was gradually revealed and by the end I was just shaking my head realizing I should have seen the foreshadowing but completely missed all the little details adding up to make the big picture.

The characters in The Madman’s Daughter were all amazing in their own rights. I really liked Juliet Moreau, her father abandoned her after a scandal, her mother passed away, and she was left destitute in London. Instead of letting this get the better of her she gets a job, works hard, and is strong and independent in a time when women were told to rely on men for their every need. I also really liked Montgomery who was the Moreau’s servant that went with Dr. Moreau into exile. Montgomery has lived on the island since he was young and has watched the Doctors experiments becoming his assistant. I liked how much growing Montgomery did throughout the book and his steady feelings for Juliet. Then there was Edward who was found after his ship crashed and was taken to the island along with Juliet and Montgomery, his past is mysterious and while Juliet has always loved Montgomery she is also drawn to Edward.

It was actually the romance in this book that made me rate it less then 5 Stars. The love triangle of sorts felt out of place and I wanted Juliet to make up her mind, pick a love interest, and let the story unfold. I was so captivated by the island and what was going on that the romance detracted from rather then adding to the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Madman’s Daughter and the last page had me clicking my e-reader not believing that could be the end! While reading I thought this novel was a stand alone story so I was all the more stunned that it could just end like that. I recently found out that this is a planned trilogy (thank goodness) and I can not wait to get my hands on the second book. If you are looking for a good gothic thriller/romance/something amazingly creepy you will definitely enjoy The Madman’s Daughter. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 42


I had a pretty lucky week I won a $20 Amazon GC from the 99 Authors, 99 ebooks, 99 Cents event and a couple other contests. I also bought a ton of great ebooks all on sale! Make sure to leave links in the comments so I can see all your new goodies 

Won:
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Thanks Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Reviews!)
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole (Thanks Minday @ Magical Urban Fantasy Reads!)

Red Glove by Holly Black
Forgiven by Jana Oliver (Thanks YA Book Exchange!)

E-Books:
Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines (On Sale for 99cents!)
The Eslites by CM Doporto

Jane by April Lindner
The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett (Netgalley)

The Assassin and the Desert by Sarah J. Maas
The Assassin and the Underworld by Sarah J. Maas
The Assassin and the Empire by Sarah J. Maas

Also if you haven't already make sure to enter my New Years Giveaway!


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