Wednesday, July 31, 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 15 Who are your book blogging mentors?

I read about this challenge yesterday on various book blogs that I stalk read and I decided to join in. The challenge  was created by April @ Good Books, Good Wine and I think it's a very good and interesting idea. So here I am :) If you want to do this too, go to her Day 1 page to learn how :D

Want to see past topics? Click on the links below to see them:

       Day 1            Day 6            Day 11
       Day 2            Day 7            Day 12
       Day 3            Day 8            Day 13
       Day 4            Day 9            Day 14
       Day 5            Day 10

Day 15 Who are your book blogging mentors?

First let me take a moment to say how sad I am this challenge has come to an end. I had so much fun doing it and reading everyone's opinions, thoughts and rants. Also I got to read about some interesting books and I got some great advice about blogging and that's always a good thing.

My book blogging mentors. To be honest, I look up to a lot of people. They either give great advice, tips, tricks, tutorials, or they just make me want to become a better blogger myself.
That's just to name a few. 

What about you? Who are your blogging mentors?

Book Blitz: All In by Marta Brown & Giveaway

All In
Release Date: 05/28/13

Summary from Goodreads:

On the picturesque island of Martha's Vineyard, there are two kinds of residents. Locals and Stays.

Local boy, Lane McCarthy, plans on spending his summer working at the country club to save money for college in the fall, while summer stay, Ashley Whitmore, and her elite group of friends are only there to play.

As the summer heat goes up on the island, so does the ante, when both Lane and Ashley must decide what they’re willing to wager in order to follow their dreams… and their hearts.

With stakes as high as the surf, and hopes as high as the midday sun, will they risk everything and go all in?

Available from:
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Excerpt #2:
His head is down as he crosses the private section of the beach, staying close to the water’s edge but avoiding the moving tide.
“Lane,” I call out over the noise of the party and the waves, but he doesn’t seem to hear me, so I call his name again, this time louder. “Hey, Lane.” He glances up and scans the party, squinting before finally seeing me. A smile flashes across his face. I smile back as I approach him, my flip flops kicking up sand behind me.
“Hi,” I say. My drink, mostly untouched, sloshes and spills over the lip of the cup when I stop in front of him.
“Looks like you’re having fun.” He nods at my drink and then up at the party.
“I actually just got here. I’m glad you came.” I feel my cheeks heat up, and I’m relieved it’s dark enough that he can’t see. “I think Andrew’s around here somewhere.” I look over my shoulder to point Lane in the right direction.
“Ah, no thanks. I think I’ll steer clear of your kind of parties,” he says, shoving his hands in the pockets of his cargo shorts.
“What do you mean my kind of parties?”
“Nothing, never mind.” He kicks at the sand and looks uncomfortable.
“Oh no.” I cover my mouth with my hand. “Did you get in trouble last night when the cops showed up?”
“Yeah, thanks to your boyfriend,” he says with a sneer that makes me take a step back.
My boyfriend?
“I’m not sure what his deal is, but he’s a serious dick.” Lane’s jaw is tight, and there’s not a hint of joking in his tone.
“Gregory?” I ask wide eyed. Why would he think Gregory is my boyfriend? I have a flash of Greg and I at lunch together looking very much like a couple and then again at the bluffs when he gave me his coat, something a boyfriend would do. Oh.
“He is definitely not my boyfriend,” I say seriously. “He’s my ex, if you can even call it that. We dated for like a second, but it was never very serious.” Why am I telling him all this? Stop rambling, Ashley. I dig my toes into the sand. “But you’re right about one thing. He is a dick.” I give Lane a playful grin and watch the light from the bonfire bounce off his features as his jaw loosens and a tentative smile spreads across his face.
From a distance, I hear Gregory’s voice, and when I glance over my shoulder, he’s stumbling our direction, obviously drunk and completely uninvited.
“Speak of the devil.” I roll my eyes and that makes Lane smile bigger.
“The rest of the staff is over there,” Gregory slurs, pointing to the tent where the cater waiters are busy putting out more hors d'oeuvres. Lane ignores his snide remark, never taking his eyes off of me.
“It was nice seeing you again, but I gotta go,” Lane says, and I’m immediately disappointed that he’s leaving.
“Are you sure?” I look down at my feet and try to garner enough nerve to ask him not to go. “Stay,” I say so softly it comes out as more of a whisper when I look back up at him.
He peers over his shoulder across the small peninsula to the lighthouse then back at me. “I’m sorry, I can’t…I…I have to work.” He looks genuinely disappointed, and I wonder if he knows I am too. “But hopefully I’ll see you around, okay?” He gives me a smile that makes my knees go weak before taking off down the beach. In the faint light coming off of the fire, I see him glance back at me before he cuts across the sandy peninsula and disappears into the shadows of tall sea grass.

He’s not her boyfriend.
I shake my head to clear my mind before I steal one last glance over my shoulder at her as I walk away, but it’s on a loop, and it’s all I can think. He’s not her boyfriend.
I shake my head again, this time to snap myself out of it. There’s no way a girl like that would go for a guy like me anyway. Would she? I shut my eyes and replay the way she looked at me through her long dark lashes, softly asking me to stay, causing my stomach to knot.
“He’s not her boyfriend,” I say out loud at the door of the lighthouse. I pull my keys from my pocket as the sounds of the party float through the otherwise quiet night, and I feel a stupid grin spread across my face despite the rude remarks I just got from that ass-hat Gregory. Seriously, when will the ‘help’ jokes get old?
“Let go. You’re hurting me,” a girl yelps from down the beach. I spin around and from the light coming off the bonfire I can see Gregory’s hand is wrapped around Ashley’s arm, and she’s wincing in pain.
Without a thought, I drop my keys to the ground and take off running, reaching them in seconds. “Let her go,” I yell. My fists ball tight, ready to make him if I have to.
“Mind your own business, loser,” Gregory snarls back as he jerks Ashley by the arm eliciting another cry.
“Lane,” Ashley says, struggling against his grip, fear on her face.
I lunge forward and grab Gregory’s arm, yanking him away from her with a force that surprises even me. “I said Let. Her. Go.”
Ashley falls to the ground when Gregory releases his hold, rubbing her arm in pain. I kneel down and brush the hair from her face, searching for any other signs of injury as adrenaline pounds in my veins.
 “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. I promise,” she says, our eyes locked with one another. “Thank you.”
“Come to save the damsel in distress,” Gregory says in a patronizing tone, looking down his nose at me. Convinced Ashley’s alright; I jump up and face him. He’s poised and ready for a fight, and that makes two of us. “You do know the peasant doesn’t get the girl, right? The prince does.”
I can’t stop the laugh that comes out of me. “Are you serious right now?” Who does this guy think he is? “Dude, when a girl’s screaming to be let go, it’s a pretty good indicator that she doesn’t want you, prince or not.”
I hear a light snickering from behind me before I see that a small crowd has gathered around and is watching us intently. I’m surprised they haven’t all started chanting ‘fight’ by the way they look on like we’re simply the entertainment for the evening.
 “You know what? She can slum it all she wants with you. She’s nothing but an uptight frigid tease anyway. Good luck getting into her pants,” Gregory says, wearing an arrogant smirk, his arms crossed leisurely across his chest like he’s just landed a fatal blow.

My vision goes red. He’s about to find out exactly how a real blow feels. To the face.
About the Author
Marta Brown grew up in the Pacific Northwest and was a teenager when Doc Martens, Pearl Jam and flannel were the norm and Dylan loved Kelly forever. (Beverly Hills 90210 shout out) 

She still lives just outside Seattle, now with her husband and cat, and loves the rain.

When she’s not writing about cute boys, first kisses and the magic and wonder of being seventeen, she’s watching The CW. And she sleeps in. Late.

Author Links:
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1 signed copy of All In (open US only) and 10 e-books copies of All In (open internationally)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz hosted by:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review: A Time Of Dying by Hailey Edwards

Author: Hailey Edwards
Series: Araneae Nation #3
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: July 30th 2013
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: Review copy offered by author in exchange for an honest review
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Once the future Segestriidae maven, Kaidi lived a privileged life. Now she spends her nights haunting cities ravaged by the plague. Spade in hand, she stalks rows of freshly dug graves for corpses...and then she takes their heads.

Her new life is caked in blood and spattered with gore, but it's hers. At least until-to her fury-she's caught napping.

A plague survivor by the skin of his teeth, Murdoch risks his neck to solve the mysteries left in its wake. Bodies have gone missing. Guards have left their posts and never returned home.

When he rouses a female dozing among the dead, he's unprepared for the violence of her response. Or his. Beneath the grime, she's lovely. Too bad the blood under her fingernails belongs to his clansmen.

He has no choice but to follow this alluring creature deeper into her world of winged beasts and flesh-eating monsters. She holds the knowledge he craves, but the price is high-and they may both pay for it with their lives.

Warning: This book contains one heroine in desperate need of a bath and one hero willing to wash away her sins. Expect threats, swears and general cursing. Love is a slippery slope, and these two are sliding.

There are so many good things happening in this book, I don't even know where to start. You have a very sexy hero, a surprising heroine, a huge thing happening that will affect everyone in this world, old characters coming back and more.

Let's start with the heroine, Kaidi. At first, I didn't know what to think about her. She clearly has some big secrets she's desperately trying to keep hidden. And she's doing some strange things, even though it's quite obvious she's not doing them because she enjoys them or because she tries to hurt anyone. Then we learn she was supposed to be maven and that is surprising and made me want to learn more about her. She's had some nasty things happen to her in the past and my heart broke a little when she was talking about some of those things.

Murdoch is... breathtaking. He's really quiet at first, dark and mysterious but once he starts knowing Kaidi more and more he sort of opens up and we get to see what kind of male he really is. He's very loyal and very protective. And I liked that he'd go to great lengths to protect those who need protecting. He can be a little too stubborn at times, but I like a stubborn character.

Like I said before, something really big happens in this book. I have a feeling this will change a lot of things in this world, for new and old characters. And it's something a little more than just scary, it's dark and it was completely unexpected. I definitely want to know what happens next.

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ARC August & Beat The Heat Readathon

Since I have some free time on my hands, I decided August was going to be a "read only from the review pile" month. I have a little bit of guilt when I look at those books. Okay, a lot of guilt. So I thought what better way to do this than join a readathon or two?

ARC August is hosted by the wonderful Octavia @ Read.Sleep.Repeat. We're supposed to read all those beautiful ARCs and the pretty books we received for review. And let me tell you, there are a lot of books in my pile. *buries head in sand*

Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads and Reanna @ Phantasmatic Reads are hosting the Beat The Heat Readathon. Read as much as you can, participate in some of the mini-challenges and have fun. You can join on either Jessi or Reanna's websites.

I haven't yet decided how many books I want to read during these two events. I'll try to read as much as I can and I'll review as much as I can (for the books that are released months from now I'll hold the review until neat the release date though).

Have you joined the fun?

Monday, July 29, 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 14: Tell us your dealbreakers

I read about this challenge yesterday on various book blogs that I stalk read and I decided to join in. The challenge  was created by April @ Good Books, Good Wine and I think it's a very good and interesting idea. So here I am :) If you want to do this too, go to her Day 1 page to learn how :D

Want to see past topics? Click on the links below to see them:

       Day 1            Day 6            Day 11
       Day 2            Day 7            Day 12
       Day 3            Day 8            Day 13
       Day 4            Day 9
       Day 5            Day 10

Day 14: Tell us your dealbreakers

Before I list my bookish dealbreakers, let me tell you something. In school I hated most of the books we had to read for the literature class. When I say most of them, I say about 90% of them. Classics bore me to death and they never helped me find my passion for reading. There were few classic books that I read and enjoyed, but we never studied those *bummer* So when I graduated high school I promised myself I would never force myself to read a book. If I honestly don't enjoy reading it, I'll put it down and never pick it up again. This is also why you'll probably never see a review with less than 3 cups on here. I really do have a lot more books to read and potentially love than to read something that I don't even mildly like.

So my dealbreakers. Well, they're quite a few:

  1. Grammar - look, I don't pretend to know a lot of grammar, I make mistakes all the time and I know it. Everyone makes small mistakes. But huge ones will pull me out of the story.
  2. Name changing characters - am I reading about Michelle or Elizabeth? For that matter is it really a she or is it a he? I like to know who I'm reading about, who's head am I in. I hate being so confused by a character that keeps using different names, unless it has something to do with the story: he/she is a spy or a thief or undercover cop or something like that. If it's an error, I'll know and I'll hate it.
  3. Silly phrases -"My inner goddess" anyone?? It's phrases like this that make me laugh and not in a good way. You want me to laugh because of what your character is doing, right? (PS: No, I haven't read that book. No, I will not read that book. I think everyone knows about this inner goddess thingie, though :P )
  4. Typos - too many typos really ruin it for me.
  5. Characters that annoy me - I'm talking about those books where the main character makes you want to break something. The type of character you can't stand and this is especially difficult to deal with when it's a main character, at least to me.
  6. Dictionary, stay beside me - have I mentioned English is not my fist language? Even so, I do believe I have a pretty big vocabulary in this language, so why should I read a book that forces me to use a dictionary every five, six sentences? Is it a non-fiction cleverly disguised as fiction?
  7. A story that goes nowhere - Plot, pacing, development, character building, world building. I want it all and more. I want to read about a book that leads somewhere, otherwise I'll stare at the tree outside my window hoping to see a leaf fall.
  8. Repetition - You know, I might have a memory as big as a regular goldfish sometime, but I'm not exactly an idiot. I'm fine with reminding me certain things, especially in long series, but to repeat the same thing over and over and over again AND using the same words will pretty much mean I'll be very reluctant to read another book by that author. 
These are my bookish dealbreakers. Though even if I find myself reading a book that sometimes has one of these 8 points, it takes quite a lot to pull me out of the story. Though once I'm out, I can't get back in. Which sucks, because at times I realize that the book I'm reading might even be a good one.

What about you? What are your dealbreakers?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Book Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #2
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: April 30th 2013
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: NetGalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):

In Allison Sekemoto's world, there is one one rule left: Blood Calls to blood.
Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire, Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie's birthplace in New Covington, what she finds there will the change the world forever - and possibly end human and vampire existence.

There's a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago - deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries. If Allie can get to him in time...

I read this book a few months ago and I have to say I'm still amazed by it! It took me this much to write a review for it, because I wanted my review to be more than just "ooohs" and "aaahs".

I love Allie so much. She's such a badass character. I'm always amazed by how much she's grown from the struggling human to a very powerful vampire. If there's something that needs to be done, she does it. She is very loyal to her friends, even though sometimes those so-called friends don't deserve it. And she can be very scary despite her age (both as a human and as a vampire).

Something happened in this book that I didn't expect. And his name is Jackal. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to hate him for what he did to Allie and Zeke in the first book or if I should just give up and love the guy. Seriously! One minute he's on the good side, he's very loyal to everyone, he helps and rescues and does stuff that you don't expect and the next he does something so bad and wrong that I wanted to get inside the book and smack the guy. And then again he surprises everyone by showing his true intentions, so to speak. I can't figure him out, but I do hope he won't die in the next book.

We also get some big surprises along the way. We see an old character that I never thought I'd ever see again. There's Kanin in all his hotness, there's Zeke who makes me like him with every page and every scene. I can't really imagine not liking this book, honestly.

The ending of this book broke my heart. Just when I thought things were looking better something happened. I won't lie to you, I was expecting it. But the way in which everything happened was so sudden and so out of the blue, it was a bit of a shock. It was very tragic and I am starting to loose my mind waiting for the next book.

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