Wednesday, February 24, 2016

WWW Wednesdays #7: Cecelia Ahern, Inger Iversen, Cassandra Clare

WWW Wednesdays
Hosted by: Taking on a World of Words
(formerly hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading)
Description: WWW Wednesday is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next.

1. I'm currently reading Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern with Bibliophile Academy.
2. I recently finished reading Running in the Dark by Inger Iversen. Read my review here. It's the best book!!
3. I think I'll read City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare next. With the Shadowhunters TV show on air on Freeform now, I think it's time I finish the last TMI book.

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What books are on your WWW Wednesdays list this week? Leave comments below.


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Monday, February 22, 2016

Making Up for Monday #1: Banned Book: PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER



Making Up For Monday
Hosted by: An Avid Reader; A Wannabe Writer
Description: Each week I will have a book-related theme or game, or something fun to do that week. And you can play along! All you have to do is find the question for that week, go to your own blog, write a post that day based on that question, and link your post to this one using the link up tool at the bottom of the post.

This week's banned book I found on ala.org was Perks of Being a Wallflower, which was astounding. I'd never thought that a touching, moving book about PTSD and mental illness would be banned. Ridiculous!!

What banned books have you come across? Leave them in the comments below.


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Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Finds: LOVE, ROSIE by Cecelia Ahern + Join Bibliophile Academy on Goodreads!


Friday Finds
Hosted by: MizB at A Daily Rhythm
Description: Friday Finds showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

This week, I added Love, Rosie (Where Rainbows End) by Cecelia Ahern. I'm reading this book and seeing the movie for the Goodreads book group, Bibliophile Academy. I encourage you guys to join us, the group is so much fun, and the people there are so nice!

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What books did you add to your Friday Finds? Let me know in the comments. 


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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Book Review + Blitz + Giveaway: RUNNING IN THE DARK by Inger Iversen





Book & Author Details:

Running in the Dark by Inger Iversen 
(Running in the Dark #1) 
Publication date: February 8th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis:
He is known only as Trace—because he leaves no trace of his victims behind.

A deadly Russian slayer, Trace’s life has always revolved around death. Death, and preventing humankind from learning about the legendary creatures of the night. But now his position as a Watcher has become a prison, and dealing death for the Vampire Nation isn’t as prestigious as he once believed it to be.

College dropout Bessina Darrow has witnessed things she isn’t permitted to see, a simple case of wrong place at the wrong time putting her life in danger. When Bessina becomes his new mark, Trace is prepared to eliminate her—until he discovers a way out for them both.

Protecting Bessina means defying the leaders of the Nation, an act that has them both running for their lives. The more Trace fights to disappear from danger, the more he unravels the secrets crafting his world—secrets he must unveil in order to finally save a life, instead of destroy it. 
Okay , I can do that.

goodreads

Purchase:
Will be found here come release day: amazon




AUTHOR BIO:
Inger Iversen was born in 1982 to Anne and Kaii Iversen. She lives in Virginia Beach with her overweight lap cat, Max and her tree hugging boyfriend Joshua. She spends 90 percent of her time in Barnes and Noble and the other ten pretending not to want to be in Barnes and Noble.

Author links:

My Review

This book was so good! I liked how the main protagonist, Bessina, was a headstrong African American young woman, someone I could relate to. I don't get to read a whole lot of urban fantasies with AA women in them as the main character, so this was a nice change of things.

I also liked how Bessina and Trace's relationship was a slow burn. It wasn't one of those insta-love types that just start out of nowhere. Also, Bessina didn't want to be around Trace very much, but it was only after he had saved her twice that she'd started to let her guard down. Trace was also very kind and sweet when he'd explained how their world governed, and that by getting married would help protect her. Trace even understood why Bessina had dropped out of college from a sexual assault and believed her, after only one day of meeting her. Their first time was very much like natural sex. It didn't have to be a whole 3-hour orgy, just something that happens when two people are sexually attracted to each other. It felt real and authentic.

I wanted to know more about how the Nation and the Sect worked; Trace gave a blanket explanation, but I was hoping to know more, especially after they got married. Bessina's relationship with her uptight and almost-cruel father made it hard to relate to why she wanted to save him from being killed by Trace. But if her mother had been kind and generous enough to keep him around, then that was more of an okay for me, I guess. We didn't get to know much of Bessina's aunt Terry until nearly the end of the book. Since Bessina had spoken so highly of her, it was suspected that she would be more of a contributing factor, but not really, which was unfortunate.

But in general, this book was great. I had lost sleep from thinking about it so much last week, and I couldn't wait to review it today. There's not much word of a sequel, but I hope that Inger makes it happen one day.

Rating: 4/5 stars
Giveaway (US only):

$25 Amazon Gift Card, a signed copy of Running in the Dark, + a Diary String Key Retro Vintage Classic Leather Bound Notebook Dark Coffee

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Book Blitz, Giveaway + Interview with MENDING HEARTSTRINGS Author Aria Glazki



Cover design by: Christa Holland at paperandsage.com 
Publication date: February 9, 2016 
goodreads 

Book blurb: Kane’s a country singer who’s tangled with too many deceitful women. He’s learned his lesson: girls are for flirting and fun; emotions are for his music. But after spending a night with an earnest woman unlike any he’s known, he can’t force her out of his mind. So he goes in search of the woman he knows only as “Elle.” 

 On her last night in Nashville, the staunchly pragmatic Sabella found herself in a situation more suited to a romance novel than reality. Swept away, she ignored her rigidly self-imposed rules, succumbing to the fantasy just this once. But she knows real-world relationships have nothing in common with their fictionalized portrayals. When Kane unexpectedly shows up at her Portland apartment, she must choose between the practical truths she has learned and the desire for a passionate love she has struggled to suppress. 

 Despite the distance, Kane’s tour schedule, and their meddling friends, both are drawn to the chance for a romance neither quite believes is possible. 

 Buy Links: Amazon 








Author bio: Aria’s writing story started when her seventh-grade English teacher encouraged her to submit a class assignment for publication. That piece was printed, and let’s just say, she was hooked!

 Since then, Aria has run a literary magazine, earned her degree in Creative Writing (as well as in French and Russian literatures), and been published here and there. Though her first kiss technically came from a bear cub, and no fairytale transformation followed, Aria still believes magic can happen when the right people come together—if they don’t get in their own way, that is. 

 Other than all things literary, Aria loves spending time with her family, including her two unbearably adorable nieces. She also dabbles in painting, dancing, playing violin, and, given the opportunity, Epicureanism. 

 Social media links: 

Interview


Tell us about Mending Heartstrings. 

  Mending Heartstrings is really about two people who both have reasons to avoid relationships, especially spontaneous ones, who still can’t deny the connection they feel during one lovely night together. But of course, they have to reconcile that interest with obstacles like living thousands of miles away and with their own trepidation, their pasts. So they each have to make the choice—do they even try, do they put in the effort, or do they simply give in to reality, to being practical? And this is a choice many of us have to make when we first meet someone who interests us: are they worth the effort, and the potential of ending up hurt? 

  When did you start writing? 

 In a sense, I began writing short stories and poems back in elementary school. I actually had quite a few creative writing assignments throughout my education, which I think was lucky. I really started studying writing, though, in high school, working with writing prompts and pushing my boundaries. The first time I started a novel was during an independent study writing course my senior year, and then Creative Writing became one of my majors in University. 

  What inspires you to continue writing when you lose your focus? 

 Taking a break and allowing my subconscious to do the hard work of filtering ideas or breaking through writer’s block often does the trick for me, bringing the persistent voices of the characters and vivid moments which beg to be written to the forefront. If that doesn’t work, my writing group encouragingly badgers me into it. 

  If you could choose to write from anywhere in the world, where would that be? 

 I would love to live and write in a flat in Paris—dashing out for fresh pastries (a.k.a. inspiration) and soaking in the creative legacy of the city, with incredible art, culture, and history from all over Europe at most a few hours away. 

  As a romance writer, how do you decide how hot or not your book is going to be? 

The level of heat in my books is decided by the characters—sexually confident and adventurous characters demand more explicit, unabashed heat, whereas more timid or reserved characters are likely to keep their intimacy behind closed doors. Characters with different approaches to sexuality may bounce from one extreme to the other while finding the sweet spot for themselves as a couple. And of course, some characters’ relationships develop through their physical intimacy, in which case you’ll see those moments as that happens. 

  Any tips for new writers? 

 Take courses or workshops, and join writing groups with more experienced writers. Really pay attention to what other people are saying—but then sort through the pieces that ring true for you in your writing. After graduating with a Creative Writing degree, I was entirely demoralized with regards to writing. I sincerely thought I could never be an author, but a couple years later, a story idea wouldn’t let me go, and now here Mending Heartstrings is. So don’t allow the opinions of even “experts” to discourage you from writing if that’s your goal, just ensure you’re learning everything you can from their perspective and advice. 

  Any tips for old writers? 

 Break out of your genre! Constantly writing in the same genre can easily become formulaic, even across story lines, and while this can be quite successful commercially, it doesn’t allow for any growth as a writer. Eventually, writing essentially the same thing with different faces must get old, so try creating something that can’t possibly follow the path you’re used to and see what you can learn from the experience.

 Giveaway: 

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

WWW Wednesdays #6: Inger Iversen, Ryan Ringbloom, KM Bergstrom & KL Campbell

WWW Wednesdays
Hosted by: Taking on a World of Words
(formerly hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading)
Description: WWW Wednesday is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next.

1. I'm currently reading Running in the Dark by Inger Iversen. 
2. I recently finished reading Books, Blogs and Reality by Ryan Ringbloom.
3. I think I'll read Inside the Journey by KM Bergstrom and KL Campbell. 

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Teaser Tuesday #4: RUNNING IN THE DARK by Inger Iversen

TeaserTuesday-ADailyRhythm3

Hosted by MizB from adailyrhythm.com, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme where you share two (2) “teaser” sentences from your current read to try to entice others to want to seek it out.

This week's teaser:

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'Running in the Dark' by Inger Iversen

She’d seen Eli’s eyes as he hurt her, he’d enjoyed it. Those were his actions and no one else’s. “I told my father I couldn’t go to college for something I didn’t truly believe in. I wanted to study something else, anything other than that.” 

“And he said?” Trace asked. 

She placed her hand over her cheek remembering the sting and the taste of blood. “He didn’t say anything, he backhanded me.” 

Trace stared at her, anger lacing his narrowed gaze. “What kind of man would put his hands on you?” 

Bessina had never told anyone that her father had hit her. She was too ashamed. “And then he said my mother’s tainted blood had taken over, that I needed to be cleansed.” 

Trace took his hand off the steering wheel and placed it atop hers. She smiled at his kind gesture. “Tainted blood? No, don’t tell me anymore. I’m too pissed, and I don’t want you feeling like shit because of it.” 

She smiled at his attempt to shield her from her father’s antics. He was a good person deep down, whether he believed it or not.



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Monday, February 1, 2016

Book Blitz: BURNING BRIGHT by Chanda Stafford



Burning Bright
by Chanda Stafford
Release Date: January 25th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Three years ago, Samantha Gray killed her parents.

Haunted by their deaths, she hides her scars behind sarcasm and vintage t-shirts, counting the days until she can escape her foster home in Alegria, Arizona. Then she meets Ben, a California boy whose filmmaker parents constructed a big cat sanctuary outside of town. She's hesitant to get close, terrified he'll learn her secret.

When Ben introduces Sam to Solomon, a Bengal tiger on borrowed time whose gruesome history eerily mirrors her own, she must decide whether she’s strong enough to overcome her past and save not only Solomon’s life, but her own. And to do that, she'll need to tell Ben the truth.

Buy Links:

About the Author

Chanda Stafford teaches middle and high school English. She loves traveling and currently lives in Michigan with her husband and a menagerie of rescued dogs and cats.

When she’s not reading or writing, Chanda enjoys old zombie movies, authentic Italian food, and comic books.

Author Links:
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Teaser
“I didn’t think you’d come.” A low voice murmurs over my shoulder, and I spin around. Ben leans against the wall, dressed in all black, from his button up shirt to his dress slacks. He’s slicked his hair back in a ponytail at the nape of his neck and a shiny black Batman mask fails at obscuring his identity. He appraises my dress silently, his eyes darkening with some emotion I imagine is reflected in my own. Gently, he reaches out and runs his fingers along the shawl’s feathery edges.

“Some disguise, huh?”

He leans closer, tugging a stray curl fanning the side of my face. “It doesn’t matter. I’d know it was you anywhere.” 

A nervous giggle bubbles up from my lips. His proximity unnerves me, makes me want to both collapse into his arms and run away at the same time. I scan the room for his parents and when I don’t see them, I shove my mask up on top of my head, like a feathery pair of sunglasses.

“Yeah well, I still don’t want to get arrested.” I tighten the shawl around my shoulders. 

He reaches up and caresses my cheek, his hand lingering on the side of my neck. “I’m glad you decided it was worth the risk.”


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