Tuesday, April 30, 2013

TEXTS & TALKING TUESDAYS: TSoT EDITION


I had the joy...ahem...job of NOT answering Courtney's spoiler pleas as she read The Sea of Tranquility for the first time. Payback, Court, payback. You see, I'm always trying to get Courtney to spoil books for me and she NEVER gives in (hard ass!)...which is why I truly adore her (because she knows I don't really want to know).

WARNING: There may be spoilers...

S: How's the reading?
C: Good! I need you to tell me what the hell's going on!!!!!
S: Ok. You got questions, I got answers...unless it spoils something :)
C: Ok, why doesn't she talk?
S: She'll give details. But it IS messed up that she doesn't. ...This not revealing stuff is hard.
C: bah humbug!

....

C: Drew good? Love triangle?
S: I like Drew. You will too.
C: So far he seems great, friends? Anything...I'm not letting up on this!
S: He's really good to her/for her.
C: Buuutttt we have Josh's POV...I'm dying. LOL

Later....

C: What's up with him (Josh) defending her and then telling her he won't do it again...how he's all bad ass??!!
S: HMMMM
C: SHELLEY!!!!
C: *pouts*
S: I can't. You'll love me for it later.
C: I wanna know, but then I don't because I think it'll make me cry. 
S: This is one (book) that I actually did cry for. In a good way. But it was good and worth it. I can't reveal my reasons.
C: Great!...NOT!...Ugh...I am in a false state of security
C: Deep breaths. That's what I need!
S: Yoga breathing
C: :) too bad I've never been good at that. lol
...
C: Holy eff...she spoke...
S: Eeep!!!!

The next day...

C: So am I right in thinking they changed her name?
S: Hmmm 
S: :)
C: emoticon of flipping me the bird
S: heh heh heh
C: Lol

... Proof that I'm powerless to Courtney wearing me down...

C: Is Drew ever gonna come over to find them hanging out?
S: Do you really want to know?
C: Yes
S: Yes. 
C: Soon?!?
S: Maybe in the 40%'s

...

The next morning:

C: ...so I sort of stayed up until 2:30 and finished TSoT and then was awake til almost 3 processing it...Sorry!
S: OMG. Are you a zombie? What did you think?
S: Oh! And...Cheater!!! LOL I'm ratting you out to the twitter universe.
C: Yeah I know! I was going to confess, I took the read along out...but I freaking loved it! That last line!!!! O.M.G.! ...I wasn't tired and I was fretting about the tornado watch, which never amounted to anything thank goodness, and wanted to know and by then it was 1 AM and I was at like 75% and I dunno what happened! Lol.
S: I forgive you because you used the word fretting and ...that is awesome!
S: The last line...mind blowing. It's so good and I love it just as much this time around!
C: HAHAHAHA. And it's a crazy feeling to feel complete with the story yet wanting more all at the same time.

In the midst of all of this we were tweeting our reactions to this too. Alessandra Torre read along with us; it was a lot of fun! And, Katja Millay was there to hold our hands through it all! Thanks, Katja!

Monday, April 29, 2013

COVER REVEAL: UNTIL I BREAK BY M. LEIGHTON

 photo UNTILIBREAK4-8_zps46e186f3.jpg


Title: Until I Break (A Twisted Novel) 
Author: M. Leighton
Publisher: M. Leighton
Release date: May 14, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours
 photo goodreads-badge-add-plus_zpsa971cb04.png  

 Laura Drake is an author. She writes bestselling paranormal romances that continue to top the charts. She is sharp. She is confident. She is in control. And she doesn’t exist. Samantha Jansen is the woman behind the wig, the woman most of the world doesn’t know exists. She is shy. She is insecure. She is nothing like her main character or her alter ego. She is scarred—deeply scarred—by a past she can’t let go of and a present she can’t make peace with. Samantha’s dreams are consumed by one man, the broken hero from her books. Mason Strait is both her wildest fantasy and her most terrifying nightmare. When Samantha meets Alec Brand, a corporate consultant, it is as though Mason has come to life. Alec is handsome to a fault, as elegant as he is arrogant, and more intense than any man has a right to be. Samantha is soon sucked into a world that mirrors the fiction she writes. Just like her main character, Daire Kirby, Samantha finds herself unable to resist the forbidden lure of Alec. And just like Daire, she also finds that she is faced with taking a chance on a man who could either set her free or destroy her. The scale tilts toward destruction when Samantha finds out that Alec is as much a work of fiction as Mason. And he has scars of his own, scars that could ruin them both.  

 photo MLeightonatdesk_zps84b82fec.jpg  About the Author 
  New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, M. Leighton, is a native of Ohio. She relocated to the warmer climates of the South, where she can be near the water all summer and miss the snow all winter. Possessed of an overactive imagination from early in her childhood, Michelle finally found an acceptable outlet for her fantastical visions: literary fiction. Having written over a dozen novels, these days Michelle enjoys letting her mind wander to more romantic settings with sexy Southern guys, much like the one she married and the ones you'll find in her latest books. When her thoughts aren't roaming in that direction, she'll be riding wild horses, skiing the slopes of Aspen or scuba diving with a hot rock star, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

SUNDAY FUNDAY #1: FAVORITE BOOK BOYFRIENDS

Welcome to MustReadBooksOrDie's Sunday Funday. We'll see if we can come up with something for this every week, but this week we have a special treat in the form of our FAVORITE BOOK BOYFRIENDS! We had to narrow it down to each of our top 5's, but there are so many more you can find just by typing Book Boyfriends on Pinterest (Which is where we found these photos, we do not own them)! We do not see this as a bad thing! So keep scrolling and feast your eyes on the hotties that people of the internet have picked as a fantasy cast of guys to represent our favs! 


Andrew Parrish from The Edge of Never
by J. A. Redmerski

Find it Here:
Amazon
GoodReads
Barnes & Noble

Andrew is of course hot, sensitive, a musician, running from something, a little tortured, and a lot hot. Oh I said that already? Oops.

Dean Holder from Hopeless
by Colleen Hoover

Find it Here:
Amazon
GoodReads
Barnes & Noble

Read this to find out why people think this beautiful bad boy was in juvi, and what does that Hopeless tattoo on his arm mean? Hhhmm...you won't regret it! This was a first in a long string of new books last year that blew me away!

Lucas Brooks from Trying to Score
by Toni Aleo

Find it Here:
Amazon
GoodReads
Barnes & Noble

Lucas is known as the bad boy of hockey, and he brings all that to Nashville which happens to be where his long lost love Fallon lives. A guy that literally has guns tattooed at his hips is sure to bring some steam to our pages, and he does not disappoint. The only thing I was disappointed in was that the new cover guy lacked tattoos! What's up with that!


Rush Finlay from The Too Far Series
by Abbi Glines

Find it Here:
Amazon
GoodReads
Barnes & Noble

Son of a rock star, lots of money & attitude in a small town: Rush is hard to resist. He has good reason to keep his distance at first, but when the gloves come off...watch out! This series will practically melt your e-reader, so be prepared.

Remington Tate from Real
by Katy Evans

Underground boxer, tortured soul, works out 8-9+ hours a day, conveys his emotions better through music than any other way. Yeah, heavy swooning going on with this guy. Remy's story will break your heart and make you want to console this big tough fighter.



Courtney there are just TOO MANY delicious book boyfriends to choose from--we are most definitely going to have to do this again. Today's selections are:

Simon Parker from Wallbanger
by Alice Clayton.
Find it here: 

Simon is a hot photographer who travels the world. He loves baked goods of all kinds and is good with his hands.Caroline and Simon's story is, well, bangin.


Kai White from Documentary
By A.J. Sand
Find it here:

Kai is a rock star, a lover, and a fighter.He's got a tender heart and is an amazing friend to have in your corner. The love story of Dylan and Kai is amazeballs.

Jared Valentine from Give Me Love
by Kate McCarthy.
Find it here:

Jared is dreamy. He's an Aussie hunk who works in security. He's overprotective in the best way. The courtship of Evie and Jared is hilarious and hot. 



Lee Nightingale from Rock Chick
by Kristen Ashley
Find it here:
Amazon
Goodreads
Barnes&Noble

Lee Nightingale is the silent, strong type. He hunts down criminals and isn't afraid to bend the rules to get the bad guy. He and Indy's story will have alternately swooning and laughing out loud.


Rush Finley from Fallen Too Far
by Abbi Glines
Find it here:
Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

Rush Finley comes off bad...but really he is good. And he's tattooed deliciousness. And the way he resists and then pursues Blaire is hot and sweet and worth a read!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

REVIEW: WALLBANGER BY ALICE CLAYTON


Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O.

Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and–was that a meow?–punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.

Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick…

In her third novel, Alice Clayton returns to dish her trademark mix of silly and steamy. Banter, barbs, and strutting pussycats, plus the sexiest apple pie ever made, are dunked in a hot tub and set against the gorgeous San Francisco skyline in this hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight. 


Paperback, 300 pages
Published November 27th 2012 by Omnific Publishing

Where to Find Wallbanger: 
Where to Find Alice Clayton: 
GoodReads | Blog | Twitter | Facebook



*** 5 Stars***

As mentioned in the final The Sea of Tranquility post, I don't usually have the time to re-read books for pleasure during the school year due to all of the reading I do with my students. I've made a few exceptions and this book was one. I may even read it AGAIN for funsies this summer. Here's why:

1) Caroline Reynolds. This woman is fun and funny. She has the best job ever, with the best boss ever, a fantastic bunch of girlfriends, a hot new neighbor who drives her up the wall (teehee), and, of course, Clive. I fell in love with Caroline because she's not a helpless heroine. She's smart and independent and fairly content with her life (with the exception of her missing O), and does not come off as needy or annoying at all. Can I please be her? Please? Pretty please?

2) Simon Parker. Oh my effing god. Oh geez. Be still my rapidly beating heart. This guy. He's smooth. He's got a harem of women who don't seem to mind that he has a harem of women. He travels around the world as a photographer. He's funny and smart and kind. Oh and he's hot. He bangs Caroline's walls and he stole my heart. Since in my fantasy life I'm going to be Caroline, it's only natural that I have Simon too, right? I WANT SIMON. 

3) Their story. I loved the build up to their first meeting. Her frustration, his seeming obliviousness. Her quest to find her O and her breaking point--in the hallway, in the pink nightie. And then, I loved their run in at the party. Oh and then the awkward hallway run ins, the ensuing friendship, the movie night, the food, the sexual tension, the disastrous hot tub incident, and then their trip to Spain.  The magical trip to Spain. When I become Caroline and Simon falls in love with me, I want that trip to Spain, dammit. But, even better than the trip to Spain was what comes after. Sigh. 

4) Clive. Alice Clayton, you did cats everywhere justice with Clive. Every description of that cat and his shenanigans? Exactly my experience with every cat, ever. I loved that cat. 

5). The humor. I loved all of the quips, the banter, awkward situations and the general hilarity found on almost every page. The comedic timing was perfect. I was almost scared that I wouldn't find it as funny the second time I read it. Guess what? Still funny. I think I even woke up my husband a few times because of my late night giggling or bed-shaking whole body tremors of laughter. 

 If you haven't read Wallbanger, it's a must read. I'll also recommend her Redheaded series (and will be rereading those in anticipation of her Christmas Eve release of the third book in that series). I cannot, CANNOT wait to see what Alice Clayton's got coming next. I can honestly say that I'd pre-order, sight unseen, anything Alice Clayton publishes because that's how much I've come to love her books.



***5 Stars***
So I have to say Wallbanger is the only book I have recommended that made it to almost as many people in the office I work in as 50 Shades of Grey...and let me tell you EVERYONE read that. I think the men I work with really would like to kill all of us for gushing about imaginary people a lot of the time! I did have quite the embarrassing conversation recently because I had Wallbanger on my desk to lend to a co-worker with not only the doctor I work with but also the resident with us for the day. To say I was mortified was an understatement, but lucky for me they didn't give me too much crap, but made one of those "that's what the 20-something girls are into these days, huh?" comments. Again cue me blushing the color of a coca-cola can! 
This too will be one I re-read and am so excited with the possible movie news.

1) Caroline. Alice Clayton hit a homerun with all of these characters, but especially Caroline. She was fun, confident, learning to love life with or without a man in it, and like you said Shel, that is much appreciated. I seriously almost fell off the couch laughing so hard reading the first night in her apartment when the picture falls off the wall and hits her head. And thank goodness the laughs did not stop there. She takes the loss of her 'O' really hard, and works really, really, really, really hard to get it back. Chaos ensues but she has a hilarious and fun team behind her along the way. 

2) Simon. My oh my, Simon. This is how book boyfriends should be all the time. He's gorgeous, successful, confident, not a womanizer...well...that could be debatable, but he's not in the sense where he lies to women to get them home with him. His arrangement is bizarre to someone like me, but whatever works for him I guess. With his three women, we get to enjoy the hilarious nicknames that Caroline comes up with for them. Just! Epic! I fell in love him even more because of his developing friendship with her. Nooking is another favorite new term thanks to Alice Clayton. (Not dirty, geez get your minds out of the gutter! haha) 

3) The story was fantastic. I didn't want it to end, and yes Wallbanger and Pink Nightie Girl and well all of the nicknames in general were hilarious. The tension building in this was also epic (new word of the week) and kudos to Alice again for making us not want to stop but also throw the book at the wall since they kept putting off the inevitable. I liked that it never tried too hard, and was funny, but had some serious moments too. Well rounded rom/coms are my kryptonite (unless I didn't properly use that word.)

4) Who knew really that Clive the Cat would end up as one of the most enjoyable and memorable characters. His love for Purina, while unrequited, was hilarious and I will remember it forever! hehe. 

5) The humor. I don't think we've said enough how funny Wallbanger is. It is one of the funniest books I have ever read, and trust me those are a lot harder to come by than one would think. It wasn't forced or obnoxious, so I had a really good time reading it. When my husband tells his friends on x-box live "Oh ignore Court, she's just reading perverted books again." at my giggling, we know I have a problem. 

So yes, my advice is buy this book! Let's help bring it to the big screen. And Shel, thanks for the reminder that I need (but have til December!) to read the Redhead series! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

REVIEW: THE BET BY RACHEL VAN DYKEN

"I have a proposition for you..."
Kacey should have run the minute those words left Seattle millionaire Jake Titus's mouth. Instead, she made a deal with the devil in hopes of putting her past behind her once and for all.
Four days.
She could do four days!
But she wasn't counting on Jake’s older brother Travis being there to witness their farce of an engagement.
One thing is for certain.
One brother is right for her.
One wants a lifetime.
And one is in league with the devil.
She should have gotten Jake’s signature in blood.


Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published March 26th 2013


Where to Find The Bet: 

Where to Find Rachel Van Dyken: 

***3.5 Stars***

This is the perfect book to read after you've experienced what Courtney and I call a "book hangover" (those books that linger with you and won't let you go)...here's why:

1) The grandmother. She's is hilarious. I've established on almost every review, I think, that I'm a huge fan of strong female leads. In this book, she's it. She has the wisdom of her years, she has no problem saying what's on her mind, and she's not afraid to manipulate situations to her benefit. She totally steals every scene she's in and I found myself eagerly waiting for her to show up and give her two cents on things.

2) The brothers. Their sibling rivalry was not quite what I expected--in a good way. There was the resentment that most siblings feel toward each other...you know, the one where you see the shortcomings of your sibling but you feel like no one else does?. It wasn't too intense, almost a friendly sibling rivalry if that even makes sense. It was this rivalry that started the race to when over Kacey's affections, and thus the bet, to begin with. They were funny and warm and evenly matched in their jabs at each other.

3) Kacey. She seemed like the perfect girl next door heroine. She had no idea how beautiful she is, no idea that she's the object of Travis's affections, she's also hard working, insecure about relationships, and in need of some help--hence her need to the situation she agrees to with Jake, the guy who jilted her and her former best friend. In addition to all of this, she was funny. I loved her interior running commentary about all of the things going on around her. 

If you need a funny, light read to erase a 'book hangover', I promise you this is a superb choice!



**4 Stars**

After reading the blurb for The Bet I honestly had no idea what to expect, but being a huge Rachel Van Dyken fan I knew I had to read it ASAP! Never in a million years did I expect it to be a romantic comedy. And trust me, Shelley is right, we definitely were in need of something to pull us out of our book hangover, and this came at exactly the perfect moment! 

1) Grandma Nadine. She was a freaking hoot. You never knew what was going to come out of her mouth and the scenes with her going over to the neighbors house just made me laugh so hard. If there is anything grandchildren do not want to know, it's that their 70+ grandparent is still "active." Their mortification was priceless. On the other hand though, she totally played them. Jake, Travis, and Kacey all thought that they were forging their path and having to go it alone a lot of the time, but really Grandma was always one step ahead of them. She is now the official reason I recommend this book. I hope I have as much spunk as her when I am her age! 

2) Travis and Jake. Having read Rachel's Seaside series (I LOVE IT, GO READ IT!) I had a feel for how she does love triangles involving siblings. This was nowhere near as heavy as Alec and Dimitri's issues, but it was still a lot of fun seeing them rediscover their relationship with each other as well as navigating their feelings for Kacey. Jake...oh how I wanted to smack him upside his beautiful blonde head. He definitely had some growing up to do, and needed Grandma to re-teach him a lesson on how to treat women, but that journey as well as navigating where he went wrong with Kacey was a sweet thing to read. Travis...poor guy. He started out as a little boy having a crush on Kacey doing that "I'm mean to you because I like you" thing. Problem was that she never got the memo that he didn't hate her. His part of this story was a lot different than Jake's but, well, I was 90% rooting for him. When you get to the scene with the eggs...you will probably laugh yourself silly like I did. 

3) Kacey. Poor girl has not had an easy few years. And Jake hasn't made them any easier, whatsoever. That she agreed to his hair-brained scheme at all was a miracle, but doing it for Grandma made it an offer she couldn't refuse. I thoroughly enjoyed her giving the guys hell, but also liked her journey to finding herself and what she really wanted. She never wanted to be away from the only "family" she had left, and circumstances, ahem* Jake, made her think that she couldn't. She was funny, and her insecurities were not a turnoff for this story, which was nice. Her character felt genuine. 

The Bet is perfect for a vacation or lazy day read, or like we've said, pulling you out of that love/hate relationship we all have with book hangovers. It was fun, quick, and made me laugh. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

READ ALONG: THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY BY KATJA MILLAY PT.2 AND FINAL THOUGHTS


Where to Find TSoT: 

Where to Find Katja Millay:

This post will be dedicated to the last 50% of The Sea of Tranquility Read Along. Our post on the first 50% can be found here. 

WARNING: Most likely there will be SPOILERS as you scroll down.




***5 Stars***

As I mentioned in our first post on TSoT, I read this book many months ago but had absolutely no problem rereading it. Let me say...it was just as good the second time I read it. 

The last 50% of this novel moved swiftly. We see the relationship between Nastya and Josh bloom. And wither. And bloom again. I loved his reaction to her when she first spoke to him. I loved that he was the first person she trusted enough to speak to. I loved that they didn't just jump each other's bones right after that momentous occasion and that their relationship was allowed to progress slowly and naturally. There are so many scenes I loved between them--the pennies at the fountain, the ice cream date(s), the nights in the garage--all so perfectly crafted and sweet. 

But! Of course it couldn't stay sweet forever. Both Nastya and Josh had too many hard edges to smooth out and so this last 50% contained the bumps and scrapes borne out of the hardships of the burdens they were living with. The break up was agonizing to read. The pain and hurt and self destruction. It still hurts and I KNOW it ends up okay. That's how good the writing in this book is!

In addition to the love story of Nastya and Josh, we also learn more about Drew and Tierney and why those two have a love/hate, love to hate relationship. I wish THAT could be explored in a book (HINT, HINT Katja!). Clay also shows up and it's through a day with him that Nastya begins the roller-coaster ride to healing. 

Here's how I came up with my 5 stars:

1) The writing was phenomenal. PHEN-OM-ENAL. I re-read so many novels with my students during the school year that it says something, I think, that I would willingly re-read this novel just a few months after I'd first read it. I knew that the writing was good. I enjoyed it the first time and the second time, it was just as sharp. The pacing, the character development, the dialogue, and the plot were all puzzle pieces that fit together so well you couldn't see the individual pieces--just the resulting product. The first time I read this novel I did the silent cry. The streams of tears. I don't do that often...like never. I did for this novel. 

2) Nastya and Josh. They were broken but the were able to rebuild themselves. They were still rebuilding themselves at the end and I liked that they weren't perfect. I liked the mess and the hope that they could start finding themselves together and the promise of what that held for them. I also liked that it was so open at the end...no epilogue 5 years later, no bow on the package...just a hope and desire (on my part) that they would find a way to navigate the world together.

3) The story. It wasn't just a romance. It wasn't just about self-discovery. It wasn't just about the mystery of Nastya. It wasn't just about the power of friends and family. It was all of things, plus some. It explored ideas about forgiveness and trust and hope and grief and love. 

4) The final line:: "your garage" . It gets me. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Perfection. The hints about this line were given on Nastya's first run when she finds herself standing there. I remember thinking...why is she so hung up on this garage. Why the niggling thought that kept pestering her? Well, Katja Millay, you blew me away with the answer. 



***5 Stars***

Girl....how in the heck do you expect me to follow that!! So I'll say...What she said...*Throws down the mic*...

Just kidding! But really...

The last half of this book did go so fast. Which would explain why I stayed up half the night to finish it because I just could not stop. The pacing was incredible. Like you said they didn't rush things physically, and really didn't rush things emotionally either. When she spoke I think I about had a heart attack along with Josh. My favorite moments are Josh's thoughts while he's trying to figure out why Nastya sits in his garage every night. He tries really, really hard to get her out of there for sure. All of the examples you just gave with the pennies, ice cream, sitting in his garage are all reasons why no one would be able to help falling in love with Josh. But this story is not as simple as that. At all. 

Then omigah! Bring. On. The. Angst. Not that it isn't fairly angsty from the get go, but it really fires up. Nastya does her usual pushing everyone else away thing, which sets other events in motion. I really, really wanted to be mad at Josh. But then I  remembered that it was all Nastya's freaking fault that things went down the tube. Fantasies of shaking her like a rag doll to "wake up" and see what is in front of her instead of behind her ensued. I hated myself for it. Yeah. 

Drew and Josh and Clay, a little bit Tierney, and a lot Drew's Mom really help Nastya along her journey. They are great friends, but like all normal teenagers they make mistakes and have to learn from and live with them. The secondary parts of the story were just as intriguing as the main one and made me laugh and even cry and pray that Katja might someday give us a few more scenes from maybe their point of view. 

Okay...I gave this story 5 stars, and it has made it's way onto my "favorite books in my entire life" list. I don't do that easily, and trust me I have read and loved a LOT of books, but there was something about this one that was utterly breathtaking, moving, tragic, yet again so beautiful I haven't been able to stop thinking about it for days. I really just fell in love with this broken boy (Josh) who had to accept the cruelty of fate at such an early age. I hated how everyone regarded him (avoided him) but thought it was amazing how both he and Nastya are mature enough to realize the power of their words. Josh mentions several times that Nastya doesn't ever waste her words. I hadn't thought about this much before and haven't been able to stop since. Her physical wounds (that we figure out from all of her slow, subtle clues and know something bad happened to her) pass away, but the power of words can change things forever. She is holding in her words, but to what end and what cost? I admired how they would rather uphold an uncomfortable silence than say something they don't mean or push through said awkward silence with the hard questions that most people don't really want the answer to and aren't brave enough to ask. I really cannot follow up Shelley's "official" review any better than she did, so I will just stop here! My one final thought is now that it is over, I finally see all of the clues that led us to that final line. And it blew. my. mind. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY #4


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't wait to read" selections are:

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
Expected Release Date: June 25th, 2013

From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses”—innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them.


Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that a devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. More troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister, and truths about herself she’s long tried to deny.




Why I Picked It:


This book popped up on a Summer Reading book list and the title and cover were the first two things that piqued my interest. What can I say? I'm a visual person.  As I read the blurb, though, I became even more interested. Psychic sisters, divergent paths, earthquakes, and possible reconciliation? Hmmm. I will definitely have to put this on my TBR list.



Coming SUMMER 2013 

A second chance at first love. 


There are a few things worth risking everything for - even your life. For Camden McQueen, this is one of them.


Shooting Scars is the second book in The Artists Trilogy and is told from the dual POV of Camden and Ellie.


(So there's not much of a blurb yet, but if you check out Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy #1) you can get  a pretty good idea where book 2 is headed!)  






Why I Picked It: 

I picked this book for several reasons. First, I have a girl crush on Karina Halle. I absolutely adore her writing and love her eff you attitude. Trust me, you could love her too, and with 6 Experiment in Terror Books + 4 Novellas + The Devil's Metal #1 + Sins & Needles already out there is PLENTY to get you through until her next book is released. 

Anyways, Camden & Ellie were intriguing in book 1 (yes, I overuse that word) and crazy and crazy about each other, but crazy and out to screw each other over all at the same time. I am hoping that book 2 picks up exactly where book 1 left off, and it will be a thrill ride like all Karina Halle novels should be known for. 

BOOK BLAST: SAVE MY SOUL BY ELLEY ARDEN

Today's book blast event is hosted by IMR Blog Tours! We have some fun teasers and a Giveaway hosted by Elley Arden, author of Save My Soul. Check it out!! 

Psychotherapist Maggie Collins has always been a little off the proverbial wall, but now she’s also knee deep in a delayed quarter-life crisis. With her meager paychecks devoured by student loan debt, a car payment and rent for office space, living at home with a flighty, folk-singing mother seemed like a good idea…at first. Now Maggie’s not so sure. She wants space to sort things out and launch a life of her own, but she needs a cushion of cash to get there. When an unexpected phone call brings an offer Maggie can’t refuse, she’s one deal with the devil away from moving out of her mother’s house.
The devil of contract negotiations, baseball agent Jordon Kemmons, has a problem the usual experts can’t fix…his star pitcher is too depressed to throw strikes. Even worse, Jordon’s post-divorce grudge against women is turning him into a raging mess. If desperate times call for desperate measures, then cynical Jordon has made the most desperate move of all. He’s hoping sexy psychotherapist Maggie Collins is the answer to all his rusty prayers.

Soon Maggie and Jordon are fighting an attraction that threatens everything they’ve ever believed. If it’s not just physical attraction…if it’s something more, maybe two wrongs can make a right.

Teaser #1


“The other thing? You mean the sex. I’m transferring feelings of love to you from my childhood because we have hot, sweaty sex—the best sex I’ve ever had?”
The woman dropped the tube, and Jordon walked toward her. “Let me get that for you, ma’am.”  He bent down, and handed the toothpaste to the gaping woman, who wandered aimlessly down the aisle until she disappeared, forgetting her cart.
“That was uncalled for.” Maggie shook her head and bit back a laugh.
Jordon didn’t stop at the end of the cart. He came around and grabbed her by the hips. “We’re done with this conversation. I’m not going to let you push me away because of your misguided notions and over analysis.”
Her mouth opened at his absurd insults. Before she could say a word, his fingers rested on her chin and he closed her jaw.
“Maggie, transference is bull shit. Freud was a flake. You shrinks like to wield power over weak-minded patients. I’m not weak, and I’m not your patient.” He slid his thumb across her bottom lip. “I do…feel exactly the way I said I do, but I won’t say it again until I’m damn sure you’re going to say it back. Until then, keep your shrink wrap away from my head. There’s enough going on in there without you digging around.”
Despite the hypnotic sensation of his thumb stroking her lip, she couldn’t keep quiet anymore. “I find you offensive.”
“No you don’t.”
Jordon leaned his face closer, and she swallowed. Her tongue reflexively brushed over her lip, tasting the tip of his thumb. He stepped into her, and she swallowed again, knowing his mouth would be covering hers in the middle of a busy supermarket. But the minute his arm wound around her waist, she didn’t care where they were. She wanted him to take what he wanted and leave her begging for more.
He stopped inches from her mouth, his smiling eyes locked with hers. “Not here. This is not an appropriate place.”
Her jaw dropped again. “That’s what I said.”
Lifting his head, Jordon set his broad shoulders. “Bread aisle. I need rolls.”
Maggie gripped the cart with shaking hands. “You need a lobotomy. Something is not right with you.”  Her heart was racing. She didn’t know whether to push the cart away as fast as she could or grab a handful of dental floss and pitch it at his gorgeous, gloating face.
“What?” He feigned innocence. His eyes wide, his brows high on his head. He even had the audacity to shrug and lift his palms. “What did I do?”
Trying to steady her breath, Maggie clamped her teeth together before she spoke. “Your negotiation tactics are suspect.”
He winked. “Never. Now move your cute little ass to the bread aisle because next time, I’ll make you beg with more than your eyes.”



Teaser #2

“As a mental health professional I’m obligated to intervene when a client is a risk to self or others.”

Jordon’s nose twitched but otherwise he remained the picture of calm. “Carlos is not at risk, unless you consider obsessively watching HGTV and reruns of American Idol harmful to one’s health.”

Where to Find Save My Soul


About the Author: 

Elley Arden is a born and bred Pennsylvanian who has lived as far west as Utah and as far north as Wisconsin. She drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness.

Elley has been reading romance novels since she was a sixteen-year-old babysitter, sneaking Judith McNaught and Danielle Steele novels off the bookshelves of the women who employed her. She started her first manuscript when she was twenty-five, writing during babies’ naps. A total of three children and ten years later, the manuscript was complete. Little did she know, her journey to publication was only beginning…
Elley writes provocative contemporary romances for Crimson Romance.


Where to Find Elley: 



Elley is Hosting a Giveaway:

Elley is offering a bracelet (picture is attached) that was made for her book.
She is offering this through the $50 Amazon Gift Card.
All that she ask is that the winner use the GC to purchase the necklace and her book (:

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COVER REVEAL: BLUE LINES BY TONI ALEO

Check out the new cover for the 4th novel in the Assassins Series by Toni Aleo. Courtney LOVES this series, so she is using this opportunity to get it on Shelley's TBR list! Today's cover reveal is hosted by IMR Blog Tours!



Opposites do more than just attract in Tony Aleo’s latest Nashville Assassins novel about a very bad boy and the good girl he can’t resist.

The instant Piper Allen sees Erik Titov, she wants him—wants his rock-hard body, sure, but the strength and mystery that lie behind that superstar hockey jock demeanor, too. So when he sidles up to her at a bar and slinks his arm around her waist, she’s lost. What follows is the wildest night of her life . . . followed by inevitable heartbreak the next morning. And then, a few weeks later, a very big surprise: two blue lines on a pregnancy test.

Only a check to the head could make Erik fall for a nice girl like Piper. But since their crazy-sexy night together, he’s been trying to forget about her alluring body by falling into bed with every woman in Nashville, and it’s not working. So when Piper shows up at his house with a baby-bomb to drop, it doesn’t take much for Erik to suggest the nuclear option: marriage. While it’s supposed to be all for show, the second they say “I do,” the ice between them starts to melt into sizzling steam.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, and Empty Net.

Blue Lines (Assassins #4) by Toni Aleo
Expected Publication Date: 8/13/2013
Genre: Romance

Pre-OrderBook Link:


About the Author



Toni Aleo is the author of the Nasvhille Assassins series: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, Empty Net, Falling for the Backup, & Blue Lines. 

When not rooting for her beloved Nashville Predators, she’s going to her husband’s and son’s hockey games and her daughter’s dance competitions, or reading the latest romance novel. 

Where to Find Toni



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

TEXTS & TALKING TUESDAYS: REAL EDITION


REAL EDITION: 


Where to Find It: 


After seeing mentions of  Real by Katy Evans blow up our twitter feeds, Courtney and I decided to give it a read. Courtney started reading it first:

Courtney: I started reading Real & Remy is soooooo hotttttttt
Shelley: You like it so far?
C: Yeah! He's very mysterious...
C: I am dying over Remy & he hardly says a word 
C: Remy is finally talking & I think I may just cry...53% in

If you notice...I was pretty silent on all of this. I was in the midst of a road trip from south Louisiana to North Louisiana and back but had noted that Courtney was consuming this book very quickly. Her texts about this book were necessitating that I speed read what I was currently reading to see what all of this hotness was about. So when I finally got home...

S: I am buying that one tonight!
C: Ok! He's so emotionally damaged!!!

So my book soulmate just tells me that the male lead is emotionally damaged...shouldn't I run? I do...right to the book.

But, before I begin reading it I have a delayed reaction to something Courtney said:

S: So the main guy in Real doesn't speak until 53%? And it's still good? Wow
C: Haha. Okay, he speaks, just not a lot....doesn't really talk about himself. You'll see
C: NOW he's talking about himself
S: CanNOT wait.

Later that night...

S: Holy Sh*t. Remy ran out of the ring for her??? Hawt.
C: Yes!! Hot tamale
S: Wow
C: Just wait!!!
S: Seriously? It's already steamy!!!!!
C: She's (Katy Evans) one of those tension builders though, you'll wait a whilllleeee
S: Great...NOT!
C: Yup. It's worth it though :)
S: Did you finish it?
C: at 76% in

After my girls went to sleep....

S: I see sexual tension for lots of pages ahead of me :)
C: Yeah & right now I want to effing die.
S: Uh oh. I'm scared now
C: It hurts so good!
S: It's the hurt part that concerns me. NOOOOOO hurt. Just HEA. Lol.
C: I cried a bit.
S: Uh ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
S: Dang it.
S: Cry in a good way? Please tell me in a good way.
C: Um...
C: I don't wanna spoil it but it's not over yet
C: That's all I can say
S: Ah Sh*t. I like them together...
C: OMG. I love him
S: Redemption? You had me sweating for a minute.
C: He's so tortured.
S: It's gonna be hard to stop reading tonight, I can already tell.

The next morning...and many expletives and lack of sleep later...

S: This damn book. I'm gonna kill Katy Evans. Why won't he (Remy)  just TELL her whatever it is??!! Agony over here!
C: Hahahahaa. Ugh. I know. Broke my heart when he told her...

A little later...

S: OMG. Is that much sex in one night even possible? Holy cow.
C: But it's hot!

Towards the end of my reading...and even more cursing on my part....

S: Ugh Court, I don't know if I can take it.
C: You can!!! Fine. It's a beautiful ending, you just have to get there.
S: ....EEEEP
S: Done. :)
C: Yay!!!
S: Inappropriately still on a Real high.
C: Gosh I loved that book. I'm pimping it to my people.

The end. Epic texting on Real. And I didn't even share all of them.

Bonus text I sent to two friends about this book:

S: If you want your sex organs to explode from the sexual tension in a book...read Real by Katy Evans. Sh*t. I'm only 38% in and I want to lock them in a room until they screw already. Sh*t.

Their responses:

---Bahahaha
---Good morning to you, too, Shelley.

S: Well. Just thought you should know. ...since every Monday should start with a text like that.

The End. For Real this time.

TEASER & GIVEAWAYS: DAMAGED BY H.M. WARD

Today we are sharing a teaser and hosting an eBook giveaway to celebrate the release Damaged by H.M. Ward. It's easy to sign up, and you can also sign up for a huge prize pack courtesy of H.M. Enjoy the teaser and swoon over that cover!!

Damaged by H.M. Ward

Life sucks. And, as soon as Sidney picks up the pieces something always knocks her back onto her butt. It's never pretty, but this time is different. This time pretty isn't even the right word.

Peter is the personification of perfection. It's like he fell off his angel perch in purgatory, because let's face it--any guy that hot has got to be naughty. He was probably sent here to ruin her life.

Peter is beyond beautiful with his sexy blue eyes, dark hair, and toned body. Add in his charming wit and Peter is everything Sidney ever wanted in a man, but when things get hot and heavy Peter shows her the door. Sidney takes the walk of shame and leaves. It's the end of the worst blind date ever. Her life couldn't possibly reach higher levels of suckage, but it does.

The next morning everything comes crashing down. The insanely hot guy from last night, the one that saw her half naked, is teaching at the front of the class room.


Publisher: Laree Bailey Press
Release date: April 6, 2013
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Event organized by: AToMR Tours

Teaser

He watches me as I try to crank the engine. It doesn’t start. It doesn’t catch. I look at the little gauges and notice the battery.  He’s standing next to me now. “So, you’re a mechanic?”

I shake my head, “I just pretend to be. It makes for more interesting evenings.” I grin at him, not sure what’s come over me. I never talk random guys, but it’s not like he’s random anymore, right? Hot guy’s face falls and I realize that he believes me. “I’m just kidding. I know a little about cars. For instance, I know this one isn’t going anywhere tonight.”

“And why’s that?”

“Your alternator’s dead. Either that or you shoved a hamster up the tailpipe—” My face falls. I wonder if he did something stupid. Guys do all sorts of stupid things to talk to girls. I get out of his car and slam the door. Then, I tilt my head and cross my arms over my chest. “Tell me that that isn’t the reason the car won’t start.”

He laughs and presses his hand to his chest, shocked that I’d say such a thing. “No, I didn’t do anything like that! And correct me if I’m wrong, but you were the one who came onto me first. I didn’t get here early and sabotage my own car just so I could meet a girl, who I didn’t know was coming.” The way he smiles is contagious. He runs his hands through his dark hair, like he wishes he could say more, but he doesn’t. The corners of his mouth curve and he gives me a look that makes tingles slip over my skin.

I step toward him, smiling too wide. “I did not come onto you!”

“You did. Right back in there.” He points toward the restaurant. His face is serious, all smooth features and big blue eyes. “You sat at my table and made me very uncomfortable. I haven’t had such a beautiful woman overtly hit on my like that before. It was quite embarrassing.”

My smile is making it hard for my mouth to hang open in shock. It keeps opening and then my grin snaps my lips shut. “I did not!” I know he’s teasing me, but I can’t stop. I don’t want it to stop and I realize that I’m actually laughing.

His arms are folded over his chest. He taps a finger to his lip like he’s remembering. “You did. You ordered wine and just assumed that I’d put out. Really Sidney, you’ll have to learn to control yourself a little better from now on.” He looks at me out of the corner of his eye, as he glances at his car.

I know he’s baiting me, but I can’t ignore him. I can’t walk away and I don’t want to. He smiles at me with those wicked lips. It makes me want to kiss him, hard. I change tactics. I want to throw him so far off balance that he falls over. I step in front of him and look up at him from under my lashes. “Okay, you caught me. I like you. I want you. I can’t keep my hands off of you. But tell me this, beautiful man; why should I bother controlling myself when I can tell that you want me so much?” Slowly, I step closer to him. Our bodies are a breath apart as I look up into his eyes.

He’s smiling and manages to say, “You shouldn’t.”  He watches me, waiting to see what I’ll do. I feel my heart pounding. His eyes drift to my lips and back to my eyes. Every inch of my body flickers to life. I want to feel his hands on me. I want his lips on my mouth. From that look in his eye, I know he wants it too.

I lean in closer, teasing him. I feel his breath on my lips. His scent fills my head and I breath him in. “Are you always this irresistible?”

“Are you always this coy? Do you just flirt, leaving your lips way too close to a man that desperately wants to kiss you?”


About the Author
NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY Bestselling author H.M. Ward is a native New Yorker living in Texas. Ward was featured in the Washington Post for her debut novel Demon Kissed. Romance series by H.M. Ward include Secrets, Scandalous, The Arrangement, and The Secret Life of Trystan Scott.


Where to Find H.M. Ward

Where to find Damaged



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Monday, April 22, 2013

COVER REVEAL + GIVEAWAY! ALL MY LIFE BY RUCY BAN


Recently, new writer Rucy Ban got in touch with us about her first novel: All My Life. Before we reveal the cover, here's a little about her first novel:

Seventeen-year-old Kari meets Neil Mars. “Neil as in Armstrong and Mars…as in Bruno.” A boy who beats every vampire, werewolf, highlander fantasy Kari has ever had. But she knows can’t get close to him. Not ever. Because that would mean telling him everything. Coming clean. And Kari can’t bear the idea of changing the way Neil looks at her. Like she’s the only girl in the world. His reverence is something too precious to lose. Perhaps even at the cost of losing him. 

But Kari doesn't know why Neil calls her his ‘Angel’ and when she finds out, she realizes what love is all about. Boundless joy, unending longing and a fuckload of heartache. 

Full length New Adult Contemporary Romance: 
HEA ending. 
Expected publication: May






As if the cover isn't tantalizing enough, Rucy shared some teasers! 


Teaser #1

“I can take care of myself,” I tell him. 
His lips twitch in response. “Oh, I’m sure you can, little shrub.”
“You are warned!” I take my voice down a notch and point my ring at him, “I’ll tunnel your leathery knighthood right out of this galaxy!” 
Neil suddenly halts in his tracks and pins me down with eyes. “Batman vs. Green Lantern? Batman wins. Every. Single. Time.”
“Ohmygod! So not true. In the…”
He cuts me. “One word…yellow.” I stare at him with my mouth half-open. 
“‘Nuff said,” he says smugly and then tugs on my hand.



Teaser #2

Maybe I’ll forget this feeling someday. Maybe it’ll just be reduced to a memory made up of a flickering gas heater, the salty dew of his skin and the love in his dark, inky eyes. This feeling of pure unadulterated joy. Of reaching a high so potent that your spirit feels like it’s soaring across the universe…and falling from that glorious peak only to find yourself enveloped in someone’s warm caring hands. When you feel like you’ve just died or been born, right at the same time. 

It could be that I’ll forget this feeling someday. But I’m sure it won’t be anytime soon. Maybe when I’m a hundred and looking forward to my lunch of mashed bread. Not one single day before. 

About the Author: 



Rucy Ban was born in 1978 and still continues to thrive. Ever since she first met Francine (the protagonist of her favorite novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), Rucy fell in love with the written word. Rucy has a B-school degree in Marketing which she now puts to good use teaching lovable rowdy rogues and negotiating with her equally belligerent adolescent. In her previous avatar, she handled corporate communications for companies. At present, Rucy lives in Sao Paulo, travels often, speaks decent, if not quite fluent, Portuguese and really hates talking about herself in third person.







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