Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: The Wrong Side of Right

The Wrong Side of Right
Author: Jenn Marie Thorne
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: March 17, 2015

Fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries.
Kate Quinn’s mom died unexpectedly last year, leaving Kate grasping. But when the totally unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Moving in with a politically powerful family she never knew she had, joining a presidential campaign in support of a man she barely knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives—this is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, Kate must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?
Set against a backdrop of politics and family conflict, this is a story of personal responsibility, delicious, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.
My Thoughts: This sounds really interesting. I enjoy following politics and I'm excited to see how the author handles all the ins and outs of a political race.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Thornhill by Kathleen Peacock

Author: Kathleen Peacock
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Goodreads ♥ Amazon

Thornhill lost me. I really enjoyed Peacock’s debut novel Hemlock. I thought it was a fresh and interesting take of the werewolf mythos. What if being a werewolf was really just a disease called lupine syndrome and the government got involved and started shipping those infected off to camps? Well, that is the premise of Hemlock.

In the first novel I liked Mac but in this novel she reminded me of a kid sister that kept trying to tag along with her older, more capable, siblings. She was just slowing things down. I found myself disliking her because she kept inserting herself in to situations clearly meant only for werewolves. You know, I think cats are adorable but I don’t walk around flopping on my belly asking for pets. At a certain point you need to throw in the towel and be happy with what you are rather then screwing things up for everyone.

I also found the love triangle in this installment to be markedly more bothersome. It isn’t that Mac’s affections are split, the opposite actually. She knows who she prefers, the problem is that I’m not convinced Kyle likes her. And while Kyle is busy pushing Mac away Jason is just there being a pretty decent guy.

My other qualm with this book is that Mac is still being haunted by the ghost of her dead friend whose murder she solved in the first book. What I thought was a cool part of the story became rather weird in the second book. Amy didn’t really have a place in Thornhill. I had kind of assumed her story arc was completed.

Overall, Thornhill wasn’t a bad book. It was well written and engaging but there were too many issues with characters and plot took away from the story. At this point I’m not sure if I will be continuing the series but if I see some positive reviews I’ll be willing to give it a try.

Read Thornhill while listening to
Kathleen kindly put out a playlist for this novel and here are a couple songs I'd like to add

Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes (White Panda Reboot) - This is also on Kathleen's playlist it reminds me of all the werewolf packs that we are introduced to in this novel and the party scene. I'm recommending the White Panda reboot because it's a little bit faster and also because I love White Panda.

Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash- The majority of this novel is set in a werewolf prison camp and this song just feels appropriate for that situation. Also, Johnny Cash. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Cover Reveal: Fire In The Woods by Jennifer Eaton & Giveaway


Fire in the Woods 
Publication date: September 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Jennifer M. Eaton

When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally. But David’s not here to find a girlfriend. He’s from another planet, and if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel.
But her father runs their house like an army barracks, and with an alien on the loose, Major Dad isn’t too keen on the idea of Jess going anywhere. Ever. So how the heck is she supposed to help the sweetest, strangest, and cutest guy she’s ever met?
Hiding him in her room probably isn’t the best idea. Especially since her Dad is in charge of the squadron searching for David. That doesn’t mean she won’t do it. It just means she can't get caught.
Helping David get home while protecting her heart—that’s gonna be the hard part. After all, she can't really fall for a guy who’s not exactly from here.
As they race through the woods with Major Dad and most of the U.S. military one breath behind them, Jess and David grow closer than either of them anticipated. But all is not what it seems. David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs as alien warships are positioning themselves around the globe. Time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she's to save the boy she cares about without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it.
add to goodreads
Jennifer M. Eaton
About The Author
Corporate Team Leader by day, and Ranting Writer by night. Jennifer M. Eaton calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle. Jennifer hosts an informational blog “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers (or Learn from My Mistakes)” aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be. Beyond writing and motivating others, she also enjoys teaching her dog to jump through hoops—literally. Jennifer’s perfect day includes long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but her greatest joy is using her over-active imagination constructively… creating new worlds for everyone to enjoy.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
(Winners will receive their book on release day)


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: The Cure for Dreaming

The Cure for Dreaming
Author: Cat Winters
Publisher: Amulet Books
Expected Publication: October 14, 2014

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

My Thoughts: In the Shadow of Blackbirds was one of my favorite novels last year and I can not wait to start reading Cat Winters newest novel The Cure for Dreaming!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

The Vanishing Season
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Goodreads Amazon

Do you ever start a book and know that it’s a you kind of book? It has all the things you’re in to or look for in a story conveniently packed in to a single book. Well, The Vanishing Season is a very Emily book. It had a fixer upper house, rich/poor dichotomy, ghosts, a body of water, and heartbreak. The only thing that could have made it more Emily would be if it had had obnoxiously beautiful cars.

The Vanishing Season begins when Maggie moves to a Lake House in Door County after her mother loses her high powered Chicago Banker job. As the synopsis hints there is a murderer on the loose in Door County, although, that is a very small part of the story. The Vanishing Season really deals with the subtle nuances between people, and friendship.

Almost immediately after moving to town Maggie meets Pauline who is the heiress to a tea fortune. Pauline is gorgeous, rich, and because of this doors open for her. Despite this Pauline is still a real person who always lives in the moment. Maggie also befriends Liam who has been crushing on Pauline since forever. A love triangle does develop between the three of them and it was one of those love triangles that is done right. It broke my heart.

Throughout the novel there are sections written from the perspective of a ghost who lives in Maggie’s House and around Door County. I liked these sections because they revealed a little more of the mystery surrounding the girls disappearances and reflected on how the deceased become a part of history. These sections were very well written and reminded me why I love Anderson’s prose. It is always so pretty.

Then came the ending, I should have seen it coming but I guess I lied to myself because when it happened I couldn’t stop a few tears from falling. Anderson knows the exact buttons to press to both wound and mend my heart and she definitely did one a little more than the other in The Vanishing Season.

Overall, this was a very well written, character driven novel. Jodi Lynn Anderson is a fabulous writer and I will definitely be reading whatever she writes next!

Read The Vanishing Season while listening to
You are the Moon by The Hush Sound - This song perfectly captures the melancholy feeling this story has. The piano reminds me of the winter in Door County and snow falling. 

Wondering by Jaymes Young - Maggie is a very introspective character and she does a lot of thinking about the bigger questions in life. This song reminded me a lot of her character. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stacking The Shelves 112

Week In Review
Top 5 Favorite TV Shows & Movies
Waiting On Wednesday: One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin
This Summer by Katlyn Duncan Blog Tour + Giveaway
Review: Tempest by Julie Cross
New On The Shelf
Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien (Thanks MacMillian!)

Special Shout Out

I want to wish my sister Bethany a very happy 21st birthday! You can visit her on Twitter, or her DIY Blog!

Dynamic Diamond DIY

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tempest by Julie Cross

Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 17, 2012

I listened to the audiobook of Tempest on a very long drive from South Dakota to Washington at the beginning of the summer. I have to pause this review and tell you a funny story. I don’t know why but the audiobook narrator, Matthew Brown, put my cat to sleep. Marco loathed being in the car so he was crying like crazy. The meows were driving me insane so I finally turned on the audiobook. As soon as Matthew started talking the cat stopped crying and when it came time to switch discs he would start crying again until I put the next disc in. If I tried to listen to music more crying would ensue. So thanks Matthew for making my drive more bearable!

The story of Tempest was interesting enough. Jackson can jump through time and everything is all fun and games until his girlfriend, Holly, is shot and Jackson ends up stuck in 2007. The story revolves around Jackson trying to jump back to 2009.

It felt fresh to have a book written from a male perspective. I liked Jackson although at times his voice didn’t feel truly male to me. Jackson’s dialogue and thoughts could have been thought by anyone. There wasn’t that level of authenticity I look for from characters. That being said I did like Jackson’s steadfast loyalty to Holly.

We see very little of Holly and Jackson’s relationship before Holly is shot and Jackson is sent to 2007. Instead their relationship is slowly revealed through flashbacks and we learn a lot about Holly’s personality from her 2007 self. I liked that the story was written this way because it made me want to root for both of the characters.

Overall, Tempest had an original premise and likable characters. After I finished I couldn’t believe where Cross left the story. I had begun Tempest thinking it was a standalone novel and it ends on a bittersweet note. I have since found out it is a part of a series and whenever my TBR list gets a little more manageable I plan on picking up the sequel.

Listen to this while reading
What Goes Around Comes Around - Justin Timberlake- One of the most popular songs in 2007 Timberlakes song about things coming back oddly matches up with the time travel theme in Tempest.

You Found Me - The Fray - A popular hit in 2009 this song reminded me of how Jackson felt when Holly was shot and the guilt he carried with him.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This Summer by Katyln Duncan Blog Tour

This Summer

Author: Katlyn Duncan
Publisher: Carina UK

Release date: July 9, 2014

Before college, before responsibilities, Hadley Beauman and best friend Lily are determined to have a summer to remember. There will be all the usual dramas - ex-boyfriends who don't seem to know what 'ex' means, pesky younger brothers with unrequited crushes, but what Hadley didn't anticipate was the out-of-the-blue return of the seriously hot boy-next-door, Will Carson. The boy who broke her heart when he skipped town two years ago.
Will may have shot up a foot and filled out (oh yes), but inside he carries the weight of guilt - for leaving, for coming back... Now he's just passing through to tie up loose ends but it's clear the old chemistry still crackles between him and Hadley. Trouble is, it's built on two years of lies...
This summer might just be the best time of their lives, but is Hadley ready for everything to change - again?

Celebrity Look Alike's for Characters
I usually do a Pinterest board ( for my characters prior and during writing depending on when exactly I’m able to visualize my characters. Here are a few from the board:

Hadley was the first character that I visualized, and her celeb look-a-like is Candace Accola. Hadley is a blonde girl who is spunky and has a heart of gold and Candace fit the bill from the start. And this particular picture reminds me of the park that Hadley works in.

Then came Lily. I knew Lily had brown hair and when I saw this picture of Victoria Justice I knew I’d found my celeb-muse! She’s gorgeous and quirky, just like Lily!

Hadley’s seventeen year old brother was next. Ethan is an interesting younger brother type. Since they are so close in age, they have a much different dynamic than most siblings. While Ethan still annoys Hadley and vice versa, their relationship is very close especially when one needs comfort. And how cute is Logan Lerman?!

A Southern red-head with strong ideas for her future with a certain guy who comes into the story with no regrets and no backing down. And even though there aren’t any vampires or werewolves in This Summer, Savannah came fully formed for me in the shape of Deborah Ann Woll. 

Even though Will is a main character, his face didn’t take shape for a while. I knew he had brown hair and hazel eyes but in my mind his features weren’t clearly anyone else’s. And I’m not sure where I found Brenton Thwaites (I was just so excited to find this picture!) but he fit the bill for me, rounding out my visualization board for this novel.
About Katlyn Duncan

Before college, before responsibilities, Hadley Beauman and best friend Lily are determined to have a summer to remember. There will be all the usual dramas - ex-boyfriends who don't seem to know what 'ex' means, pesky younger brothers with unrequited crushes, but what Hadley didn't anticipate was the out-of-the-blue return of the seriously hot boy-next-door, Will Carson. The boy who broke her heart when he skipped town two years ago.

Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them. Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: One Of The Guys

One Of The Guys
Author: Lisa Aldin
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Expected Publication: February 2015

Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She'll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures any day. So Toni is horrified when she's sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a "lady" while the guys move on without her.
Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date to make Emma's ex jealous. Soon word spreads of Toni’s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine’s Rent-A-Gent Service.
But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends—the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she's built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.
My Thoughts: I think this sounds super cute. A total romantic-comedy kind of read which is exactly what I'm in the mood for. I just wish I could read this right now and didn't have to wait until February! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Top 5 Favorite Movies & TV Shows

I gotta tell you, I've never been complimented on my taste in movies or TV shows. I'm want to chock this up to no one "getting" me but in reality I think I just like terrible things. It took everything in me not to add Talladega Nights to my favorite movies, just saying. Well, hopefully this list makes you laugh and you don't judge me too much!
Top 5 Movies
1 Zoolander (2001)

2 Hot Fuzz (2007)

3 Pride & Prejudice (2005)

 4 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

5 The Mummy (1999)

Top 5 TV Shows
1 Veronica Mars (2004-2007)

2 Archer (2009-Present)

3 How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014)

4 Supernatural (2005-Present)

5 Jeopardy (1984-Present)