Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop!

This is the first giveaway hop that I'm participating in hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. Assuming this post goes live (because at the time I'm writing this before the 21st of December, so the world would still end), you can enter to win The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington! Enter to win below! While you're here, you can check out my Blogoversary Giveaway where I have lots more books up for grabs!

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Second Chance Summer

Author: Morgan Matson
Goodreads Rating: 4.17
Pages: 468
Format: ARC from ARCycle 

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.
Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.
As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Such A Rush

Author: Jennifer Echols
Goodreads Rating: 4.15 Stars
My Rating: 5 Stars
Pages: 320
Reviewed By: Nicole

A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.
High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.    
But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business — until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers — and the consequences could be deadly.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Author: Lisa McMann
Goodreads Rating: 4.34
Pages: 233
Format: ARC

If what you see is what you get, Jules is in serious trouble. The suspenseful first of four books from the New York Timesbestselling author of the Wake trilogy.
Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.
What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode...and nine body bags in the snow.
The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.
In this riveting start to a gripping series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, Jules has to act—and act fast—to keep her vision from becoming reality.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thirteen Reasons Why

Author: Jay Asher
Goodreads Rating: 4.06
My Rating: 5 Stars
Pages: 288
Reviewed by: Nicole
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Black City

Author: Elizabeth Richards
Goodreads Rating: 4.05
Pages: 384
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.
When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Eldest (Inheritance #2)

Author: Christopher Paolini
Goodreads Rating: 3.88
My Rating: 3 Stars
Pages: 679
Reviewed By: Nicole

Darkness falls ...Despair abounds ...Evil reigns ...Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in magic and swordsmanship, the vital skills of the Dragon Rider.
It is the journey of a lifetime, filled with awe-inspiring new places and people, each day a fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and Eragon isn't sure whom he can trust. Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle back home in Carvahall - one that puts Eragon in even graver danger. Will the king's dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Beautiful Lies

Author: Jessica Warman
Goodreads Rating: 3.73
My Rating: 3.75 Stars
Pages: 422
Reviewed by: Nicole

Rachel and Alice are an extremely rare kind of identical twins-so identical that even their aunt and uncle, whom they've lived with since their parents passed away, can't tell them apart. But the sisters are connected in a way that goes well beyond their surfaces: when one experiences pain, the other exhibits the exact same signs of distress. So when one twin mysteriously disappears, the other immediately knows something is wrong-especially when she starts experiencing serious physical traumas, despite the fact that nobody has touched her. As the search commences to find her sister, the twin left behind must rely on their intense bond to uncover the truth. But is there anyone around her she can trust, when everyone could be a suspect? And ultimately, can she even trust herself?
Master storyteller Jessica Warman will keep readers guessing when everything they see-and everything they are told-suddenly becomes unreliable in this page-turning literary thriller.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Summer Knight (The Dresden Files #4)

Author: Jim Butcher
Goodreads rating: 4.27/5
Pages: 446

Harry Dresden's faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. All par for the course for Chicago's only professional wizard.
But in all Harry's years of supernatural sleuthing, he's never faced anything like this: the spirit world's gone completely postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble-and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly.
Someone-or something-is stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn't figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Author: Jennifer Rush
Goodreads Rating: 4.17
Pages: 323
Format: ARC from BEA12

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?
Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them. 
Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.
Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blog-O-Versay Excitement and Giveaway!

I have been so at a loss for words as to what to talk about in this post. I can hardly believe that I've been blogging for an entire year, that fact in itself just seems so surreal to me. I had always hoped that I would be able to go on this long, but the fact that I did just seems so fabulous.

So much has happened in the last year. I finished college, I got a real job, got a professional degree. So much has happened, and it has been such an amazing journey and I just wanted to say thank you to all of my 202 followers and new friends that have joined me on this journey. I never thought that I would be able to take it this far, but right now I am still going strong until at least March!

I have been offered so many different opportunities, and made so many new friends I entirely loved it! I got to go to New York Comic Con and Book Expo America which was really great. At both events I met new friends and made connections that I never thought possible.

In the last year I have gotten 208 followers, and I love every last one of them. I love everyone that has checked my blog and has helped Paperback Princess grow.

I have made some of the best friends that a girl can make in the last year, most of them from the last few months. If I haven't mentioned you its not because I love you its because I am so absent minded and have no idea what to say in this post!

I met her by chance because she happened to live close to me. From there our relationship has grown, I loan her books, she loans me books, its really great because then we get people that are close to us to share our love of books. I can honestly say that she is like a little sister to me as far as books and life. She's the star over at Lili Reflects.

If Lili is my little sister, then Lexie is my big sister. When I was trying to navigate the murky waters of BEA, she was my guiding light, she showed me what was what and helped me to navigate the floor and how to make my schedule. When I decided I wanted to go to NYCC, I told her, and she's the reason that I stuck with it and went anyway. And man did we have a blast. She's the chief blogger over at Poisoned Rationality.

I met Julie randomly at Books of Wonder and since then we've been getting together for various events including NYCC and with a plan for BEA. We had a ton of fun, and I'm looking forward to a lot more events together. Her blog is located over at Bloggers[heart]Books.

To complete my Blogger friend family is Kristan. She and I also bonded over BEA and our love of The Walking Dead and also being relatively close. We both worked through BEA together coming together with a plan and a great new friendship and a plan for BEA next year. Her blog is Lost Amongst The Shelves.

The more I think about what I want to say about my 208 followers, and my 12k page views, the harder it becomes to put pen to paper. I think about all the great experiences that I had with BEa, and getting to talk to some of my favorite authors like Sarah J. Maas on Twitter, and getting to know Susan Elia Macneal, and meeting Taherah Mafi and talking to Mindee Arnett and Carmen Rodrigues, and Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman and Susan Dennard. All of these women I admire and when I see them do things like Retweet me, or respond to a tweet I posted, it makes my heart soar with so much appreciation and that goes for all of my friends and I just can't even express words.

So here is to another really great year with all of my really great new friends.


Now for my super awesome giveaway! I've been holding on to these books from NYCC for my NYCC giveaway, but then it never worked out that way so now I'm holding it for my Blog-o-versary. You are entering to win a giant bag of swag from BEA including pins, bookmarks and other stuff. But also four really great books, two of which are 2013 releases, one is a finished copy and one is a SIGNED ARC. You've got Code by Kathy Reichs, Prodigy by Marie Lu, The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, and The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken.

BUT WAIT! There's more!

If I get to 300 Followers, 400 Followers, and 500 followers, I have 3 more books to add in. We have Dualed by Elsie Chapman, The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist, and False Sight by Dan Krokos (Which doesn't come out until August!) to add into the mix. But I have to hit 300-500 followers for those books to be an option! Think you can do that? I think you can, and I think that you all have the proper motivation.

Update: We added Dualed by Elsie Chapman! So close to The Different Girl!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Time Between Us

Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Goodreads Rating: 4.15
My Rating: 5 Stars
Pages: 384
Reviewed By: Nicole
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.
As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Friday Society

Author: Adrienne Kress
Goodreads Rating: 3.87
Pages: 440
Format: ARC from NYCC12

An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns –and the heroines who use them all 
Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.
It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.
Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Super Late NYCC Recap!

This was going to by my New York Comic Con Re-cap and giveaway, but since the requirement I set for the giveaway was hitting 200 followers, and I never hit it, I instead turned it into my super gigantic Blogoversay giveaway instead.

I sent to NYCC this year with a three day pass. This was the first year that I got to go. I had thought about it a few times over the last few years, but this was the first time that I actually went out and got a ticket. I have Miss Lexie to thank for that because on a whim I offered to let her stay with me, and she accepted so I got stuck going.
As for my adventures there? Well, I was so excited because I got to spend all three days with Julie from  Bloggers [Heart] Books. Out of all the people that I went with, I spent most of my time with her, while running into Lexie and Danielle through out the day. My three days were spent mostly at the Publisher booths making friends and snagging awesome new books.

Day One:

I got to meet Dan Krokos and Alexandra Bracken while signing their wonderful books, False Sight and The Darkest Minds. I read False Memory not too long ago, and loved it, so getting my hands on the second one so soon was a godsend. (Note: At the time of this publishing, I already read False Sight and it was just as great!) Julie and I loitered around Penguin and Harper basically all day, but we did manage to make some friends at Disney's booth as well. The first book of the day was Dualed though because I went straight for Random House so that I could be happy and so could Elsie.
I also met EC Meyers, and felt bad that I couldn't go to his signing because I didn't have his book with me, and wasn't willing to buy it for what Barnes and Noble was selling it for. (Full Price only Hardcovers, which I refused on principle that they didn't have any paperbacks) It was a total bummer, but WE SHALL MEET AGAIN! We also went to the panel on Passion, Powers and Paranormals where Dan told us that nothing steamy will happen in his books because he writes for Disney. (But you can change that!) It was a really great day.

Also totally random note for day one, I wound up running into one my by fellow sorority alumni while waiting in line to get Kate Locke's God Save The Queen. It was completely random but goes to show you that you never know who will be at NYCC.

Day Two:

Got up at an insane hour to try to get tickets to The Walking Dead autographing. Let me clue you in, it didn't happen which was a total bummer. Because we got there so early and it was the busier day, they let us in a half hour earlier and because of that I got to hang out with Tahereh Mafi for a little while. I totally love her. She, Julie, May Anne and I got to hang out and talk about the awesomeness that is Tahereh, and how excited we all are for Unravel Me. (Which we all are, lets be honest). After having waited for that book, we headed over to the Disney booth to once again commander it while waiting for Victoria Schwab to come and sign The Archived. I got a beautiful Narwhal in my book along with lots of swag and the best tote bag ever.
True story: I actually wanted to be an archivist, of the book kind, not the people kind. This day I also managed to meet Bumblebee and Beth Revis, who I messengered a book from to Victoria after going back to get a book for Lizzy. I then got The Archived from Victoria for one of the girls in the Penguin booth. I was a busy bee. After that, Julie and I decided that we needed to explore more while in between author events, and so we hit up the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tunnel where she bought a Belle and we both bought a Captain America. While there I saw Effie, which totally made my day.

We also got the second Shades of London book signed by Maureen Johnson where we did not start a line. We were asked not to, and so we didn't, and then all of the sudden there was a line. Like what? But no big deal, we got the books anyway, which was wonderful. I spent a lot of that day charging my phone because the Javits Center just drains your battery like no other. But charging my battery was pretty great because we got to see lots of fun stuff like the Ghostbusters, and others.
Lexie and I then took the ferry back home were we got to eat and be greeted by my sister and the small children. Another really awesome sight was The Walking Dead Trailer outside while we were leaving. I totally loved getting to see that! It was a total bummer that we didn't get the tickets to meet them and we didn't even try to get into the panel. (Note: The Trailer was minus the dead walker eaten Jimmy.)

Day Three:

So, the third day was bound to be a little different. This particular day, I made the decision to bring my older sister and my mom with me. Oh yeah and the babies. That was my big mistake that day. I wish that I had realized that they would just create stress and agony, but alas, all my good ideas must fail. Either way we had a great time, We didn't get there super early, but we got there early enough to hit up all the publishers again and say hi, which was good for both my mom and my sister since Jenn is an English Teacher and mom does sell books.

I was able to get my sister to do the one thing that she really wanted and that was meet Nick Brendon from Buffy (Xander, my nephews namesake for those of you who don't know). I was glad that I was able to help make that happen after all of my other birthday christmas presents that were Buffy related totally failed. This one was almost a disaster too, but I learned for next year. I got the last of all the books that I needed to including a copy of Paper Valentine thanks to Danielle.

On our way out, there was a group of lady superhero's that were stopped by a camera crew to take pictures in some pretty swanky cars which was great. I also went to the YA Preview with Julie where they gave out books (we didn't win) and talked about a lot of the upcoming releases. If I could find my notes, I would tell you all about it, but alas, I don't know where my fancy little notebook is, so I shall direct you to Julie's post about it Here. She was a lot more thorough then I would have been, so for sure check out what she has to say about the wonderful books.

Oh, and I met Castiel as we were leaving. Greatest person ever.

In Summary:

There were a lot of things that I wish that I had taken the time to see, but at the same time, I was glad that I saw what I did. I'm not the type of person who feels claustrophobic, and this place made me feel so many different levels of anxiety. This is not a good place if you have problems with lots of people and the like. Having gone once, I feel like I can safely say that I came, I saw, I conquered, but chances are, Lili, Julie and Kristan are going to drag my sorry butt there again next year. Maybe if I'm living in the city like I plan, it won't be that much of a hassle. I still want my sister to come next year, maybe just the two of us without my mom, and definitely lots of books. I also plan on checking out the Artists Alley which was something that I waited way too long to check out. (I will admit because I didn't want to go, but Julie dragged me and I'm so glad that she did.)

And so I leave you with this:

Myself and Castiel, best angel ever.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dual Review: Eragon

Author: Christopher Paolini
Goodreads Rating: 3.67
My Rating: 4 Stars/3.5 Stars
Pages: 503
Reviewed by: Nicole and Amy

When young Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his adopted family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of inescapable destiny, magical forces, and powerful people. With only an ancient sword and the instruction of an old,mysterious, hermit storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a Emperor whose evil and power knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands….

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Last Lecture

Author: Randy Pausch
Goodreads Rating: 4.19
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pages: 5 Disks
Reviewed By: Nicole

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."— Randy PauschA lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was aboutliving.In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rise (Nighshade Prequel #2)

Author: Andrea Cremer
Goodreads Rating: 4.37
Pages: 390
Format: ARC from NYCC12

The sequel to Rift and the prequel to the New York Times bestselling novel Nightshade.
Everything Conatus stands for is at risk. Hoping to gather enough resistance to save their order, Ember and Barrow attempt a desperate escape. But fate offers little mercy. When their mission is exposed, the  couple face relentless pursuit by the supernatural horrors that act on the commands of Eira’s ally: the mysterious Bosque Mar. A shocking revelation forces Ember out of hiding, sending her back into the heart of dark magic at Tearmunn keep, where she must convince her old friend Alistair of her love or face dire consequences. Ember’s deception offers the only chance for the resistance to succeed, but what she discovers in the shadows beneath the keep will shatter her world and bring about the Witches’ War.
Richly sensual and full of magic, action and danger, Andrea Cremer's fifth book set in the Nightshade world is an edge-of-your-seat page turner.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Heat Rises (Nikki Heat #3)

Author: Richard Castle
Goodreads Rating: 3.85
My Rating: 3 Stars
Pages: 269
Reviewed by: Nicole

"Richard Castle proves as adept at writing thrillers as he is at solving crimes. HEAT rises to the occasion."-Dennis Lehane, bestselling author Fast-paced and full of intrigue, Heat Rises pairs the tough and sexy NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat with hotshot reporter Jameson Rook in New York Times bestselling author Richard Castle's most thrilling mystery yet. 
The bizarre murder of a parish priest at a New York bondage club opens Nikki Heat's most thrilling and dangerous case so far, pitting her against New York's most vicious drug lord, an arrogant CIA contractor, and a shadowy death squad out to gun her down. And that is just the tip of an iceberg that leads to a dark conspiracy reaching all the way to the highest level of the NYPD. 
But when she gets too close to the truth, Nikki finds herself disgraced, stripped of her badge, and out on her own as a target for killers, with nobody she can trust. Except maybe the one man in her life who's not a cop: reporter Jameson Rook. 
In the midst of New York's coldest winter in a hundred years, there's one thing Nikki is determined to prove: Heat Rises. This ebook includes an alternate cover created by one of Richard Castle's biggest fans.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Desire Path Spotlight

Author: Jan Shapin
Goodreads Rating: 3.00
Pages: 264

What makes women fall for men who are tied to political causes? “It’s called a desire path,” she said, indicating a trace of beaten earth that disappeared into the woods. “A landscaping term my mother used. Not ‘shortcut’ — that implies convenience. Desire is rarely a convenience.” Set in the Depression and WWIIs aftermath, A Desire Path traces a love affair between Ilse, a New England housewife, and Andy, an itinerant union organizer who has grown disillusioned by the infighting in the nation’s capital. Ilse’s husband, Leo, a powerful Washington lawyer, retaliates by destroying Andy’s livelihood. Still in love with him, AnnaMae, a journalist friend of Andy’s, returns from Moscow to tend an increasingly senile father only to confront the horrific past that first prompted her escape to the Soviet Union. Over the years Ilse witnesses Anna Mae’s flailing adherence to Communist doctrine, even as she comes to see her own marriage as so much empty dogma. She rediscovers her love for Andy and the tension builds as she attempts to break free of Leo’s domination.

This spotlight was brought to you by TLC Book Tours.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Raven's Heart Author Spotlight and Giveaway

Author: Jesse Blackadder
Goodreads Rating: 3.61
Pages: 464

Scotland, 1561, and a ship comes across the North Sea carrying home Mary, the young, charismatic Queen of Scots, returning after thirteen years in the French court to wrest back control of her throne.
The Blackadder family has long awaited for the Queen's return to bring them justice. Alison Blackadder, disguised as a boy from childhood to protect her from the murderous clan that stole their lands, must learn to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, building a web of dependence and reward.
Just as the Queen can trust nobody, Alison discovers lies, danger, and treachery at every turn.
This sweeping, imaginative, and original tale of political intrigue, misplaced loyalty, secret passion, and implacable revenge is based on real characters and events from the reign of Mary Queen of Scots.
The Raven's Heart is a breathtaking epic from a bold, fresh voice. Winner of the Varuna HarperCollins Manuscript Development Award, The Raven's Heart was published in Australia in 2011.

Born in Sydney, Jesse now lives near Byron Bay. She is an award-winning short-story writer and freelance journalist, fascinated by landscapes and belonging. Her first novel was After the Party (2005), which was voted onto the Australian Book Review’s list of all time favourite Australian novels in February 2010. She is writing her next novel about the first woman to reach Antarctica.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sanctum: Malachi's Journal Day 7

So about two weeks ago, I reviewed Sanctum on the blog, but long before that I read the book and got invited to do a mini blog tour of sorts for some bonus features of the book. I thank Lili and Sarah for inviting me to join this adventure. This special feature includes snippets of the scary guard leader, Malachi's, life before he devoted himself to stopping the Mazikin. Even if you haven't read Sanctum, none of these clips will spoil the goodness that is this book.

"My plan: Get into the city. Get Nadia. Find a way out. Simple."
A week ago, seventeen-year-old Lela Santos’s best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance – hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures. But Lela isn’t just anyone – she’s determined to save her best friend’s soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife.As Lela struggles to find Nadia, she’s captured by the Guards, enormous, not-quite-human creatures that patrol the dark city’s endless streets. Their all-too human leader, Malachi, is unlike them in every way except one: his deadly efficiency. When he meets Lela, Malachi forms his own plan: get her out of the city, even if it means she must leave Nadia behind. Malachi knows something Lela doesn’t – the dark city isn’t the worst place Lela could end up, and he will stop at nothing to keep her from that fate.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken
Goodreads Rating: 4.26
Pages: 488
Format: ARC from BEA12, Signed at NYCC12

When Ruby wakes up on her tenth birthday, something about her has changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control. 
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. 
When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she's on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her--East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. 
When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Waiting on Wednesday #10

Waiting on Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme gives bloggers the chance to talk about a book that may not be coming out for a few months, but that they are still excited about. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Lincoln Conspiracy Review

Author: Timothy L. O'Brien
Goodreads Rating: 3.52
Pages: 349
Format: Finished copy for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

A nation shattered by its president’s murder. Two diaries that reveal the true scope of an American conspiracy. A detective determined to bring the truth to light, no matter what it costs him
From award-winning journalist Timothy L. O’Brien comes a gripping historical thriller that poses a provocative question: What if the plot to assassinate President Lincoln was wider and more sinister than we ever imagined?
In late spring of 1865, as America mourns the death of its leader, Washington, D.C., police detective Temple McFadden makes a startling discovery. Strapped to the body of a dead man at the B&O Railroad station are two diaries, two documents that together reveal the true depth of the Lincoln conspiracy. Securing the diaries will put Temple’s life in jeopardy—and will endanger the fragile peace of a nation still torn by war.
Temple’s quest to bring the conspirators to justice takes him on a perilous journey through the gaslit streets of the Civil War–era capital, into bawdy houses and back alleys where ruthless enemies await him in every shadowed corner. Aided by an underground network of friends—and by his wife, Fiona, a nurse who possesses a formidable arsenal of medicinal potions—Temple must stay one step ahead of Lafayette Baker, head of the Union Army’s spy service. Along the way, he’ll run from or rely on Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s fearsome secretary of war; the legendary Scottish spymaster Allan Pinkerton; abolitionist Sojourner Truth; the photographer Alexander Gardner; and many others.
Bristling with twists and building to a climax that will leave readers gasping, The Lincoln Conspiracy offers a riveting new account of what truly motivated the assassination of one of America’s most beloved presidents—and who participated in the plot to derail the train of liberty that Lincoln set in motion.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author: Laini Taylor
Goodreads Rating: 4.11
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Pages: 417
Reviewed by: Nicole

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Farm

Author: Emily McKay
Goodreads Rating: 4.0 (My rating)
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pages: 420
Reviewed by: Nicole

Life was different in the Before: before the Ticks began devouring humans in a deadly swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined “for their own protection.” These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…
And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.
Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…
Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race.


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