Saturday, November 30, 2013

My trip

 Why yes, I am one of the most lucky people ever and I am visiting Disney again. We're broke or I would have held another giveaway, but I just wanted to give an explanation for my commenting absence in the blogosphere. I have posts scheduled, and will be back in action on Friday Dec 6th. Leave me comment love still, and I will make sure to visit when I am back.

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin

I use Grammarly for proofreading because another little piece of my heart breaks when I post errors. Another Little Piece of My Heart
Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin
What if your devastating break-up became this summer’s hit single? In this rock-and-roll retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, music can either bring you together or tear you apart.
At her dying mother’s request, Claire dumps Jared, the only boy she’s ever loved. Left with a broken family and a broken heart, Claire is furious when she discovers that her biggest regret became Jared’s big break. While Jared is catapulted into rock-star status, another piece of Claire’s heart crumbles every time his song plays on the radio.
The summer after her senior year, it’s been months since the big break-up, and Claire is just trying to keep her head down and make it through a tense trip to the beach with her family. But when Jared shows up, and old feelings reignite, can Claire and Jared let go of the past? Or will they be stuck singing the same old refrain?


publishes:  December 1st 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA/NA contemp
Source: Harlequin Teen via Netgalley
Series? No

Buy it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Harlequin

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter

    I tore through this one. The mix of light and a sarcastic main character to the emotions dealing with the break up and sudden face to face as well as her family issues was just what I needed. 
    I chose to read Another Little Piece of my heart because the synopsis sounded like something I would like. I love stories with musicians, and they didn't disappoint, they had a true love for playing and hearing music, and I could relate with it. I was never good on any instrument, but have loved listening to it, and enjoyed my time dating a musician (he played classical and rock, and was amazing on a guitar). 
   Jared is a good guy when he dated Claire, and though I can understand his hurt, I also totally get hers at his popularity being based on a song that is not true. She dumped him at the wish of her dying mom, and I think that he should have understood that and stuck by because I know they could have ended up working it out. But I also know that it can't be easy for Claire to have chosen her mom, who clearly disliked him and disapproved of their relationship over him, whether she was dying or not. 
    But I loved how fate brought them back together, even though it was so hard that she decided to play like she didn't know him so that it didn't get out the song was about her. But he is dating her cousin, and there is all sorts of angst surrounding that. But I loved their secret jokes that ended up coming out and just the unresolved tension between the two, it was delicious. 
   She is also dating a guy named Zach, who while he seems nice enough, I knew where her heart was, and Claire and Zach didn't have the chemistry that I craved. 
    Claire herself was a lot of fun to be in her head. She was strong and funny, and no matter how different she felt from her family, at the end of the day she loved and valued them. 
     I think that the ending worked well for this book and it left it open that I can imagine what happens next while wrapping up enough of the story threads that I wasn't frustrated. 

Bottom Line: Cute but emotional at times story of second chances.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever been in a band?
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Review: Countdown by Michelle Rowen

Countdown by Michelle Rowen
3 seconds left to live. Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped.
2 pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game.
Kira Jordan survived her family's murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis.
1 reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though both their lives depend on it.
Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira's psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan's secrets prove evermore deadly, Kira's only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can't escape.


Publishes in US: October 1st 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: Dystopia
Source: Harlequin Teen
Series? No.

Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Chapters | Indiebound | Walmart | Harlequin

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook

    Countdown is a fast paced, action oriented read that kept me flipping the pages. This is mostly plot and action driven, and was just what I needed after an emotional whopper of a last book. 
    Kira is paired with murderer Rogan, who is handsome, mysterious and she has to begin wondering what if there is more to the story, what if he didn't do it, what if he did. Kira's family was murdered in this violent, cruel and chilling dystopian society and she is forced to the street before she ends up fighting alongside Rogan against the countdown, for her life.  
    I didn't think I would enjoy the romance as much as I did, but it was a nice addition to the action and the story.   
   While this isn't anything earth shakingly unique in the dystopia genre, it was well written, and the characters had enough depth to them that they didn't seem like accessories to the plot. It all flowed well, and I am glad that I took a chance and requested on netgalley and got around to it because the twists were nice, and I did like the computer aspects that were added into this one. 
    I thought that the ending was really going to let me down, but it managed to give me what I needed as a wrap up and still fit the story. 

Bottom Line: Quick and action packed with romance I enjoyed

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Could you kill to stay alive?
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. I also feature books that may have already released, but I am anxiously waiting to read.

This week, I'm featuring:
The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never, #2)

Releases: November 5th 2013 by Forever Romance

What are you waiting on?

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Cover Love (and a beloved series you should check out) The Light of Asteria by Elizabeth Isaacs

The Light of Asteria by Elizabeth Isaacs
If Nora Johnson hadn't been on campus that day she would have never known her true destiny. Helping her friends move into the dorm that she wanted to call home, Nora accidentally collides with mysterious stranger, Gavin Frey. His very first touch sends flames through her heart. The world seems different-something within her has changed. She tries to resume her mundane life, but she is now consumed with the one whose very presence ignited her soul, the one with eyes of emerald. Nora soon learns that an energy buried deep within has been unleashed. She now wields unimaginable power and has become Gavin's source, his strength. Her newfound joy is shaken when she discovers that Gavin is not who he appears to be and she has been thrust in the middle of a war of mythical proportions. Negativity allows all things evil to flourish, the earth is under siege. The fate of creation hinges on the power within her heart. Will she be strong enough to survive? A gripping tale of unbounded love and ancient power, The Light of Asteria will take you on an epic adventure filled with war, treachery, and demons, as well as unimaginable delights.


Publishes in US: March 20th 2010
Genre: YA fantasy
Series? Yes. Kailmeyra #1 2nd is out, 3rd coming soon!

Buy it: Amazon  Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook ~blog ~trailer

perf5.500x8.500.indd The Secret of the Keepers
Equally amazing, see my review here


Everyone should pick up a copy of this novel, and read it, then poke Elizabeth to write and get the next one released sooner :D

This is a truly lyrical novel. The words flow over the page and the pacing is wonderful. It also keeps me guessing, feeding me a little information at a time, enough to keep me hungry for more. It provoked many emotions from me, making me laugh, tear up, feel joy, sorrow, and everything else in between.
This is another of the love at first sight, and touch but it has a paranormal element, so that makes it a little better for me. They both have “gifts” and these gifts are amplified concerning one another. I like though that it feels like a pure relationship, there is just something different (good) about the way their interactions are written, be it dialogue or actions.
The love that Nora and Gavin have and develop is something that I long for and that I hope that my own daughter, like Elizabeth's, finds one day. It makes me ache for the purity and the strength of their love even through trials.
The characters are beautifully conveyed. Nora is a great protagonist, she narrates beautifully and she is easy to relate to. Her strength, love and ability to understand and forgive all make her lovely.  Gavin is a heart-throb and going on my top 10 literary crushes. He is not a bad boy- he communicates and is emotionally real. He helps Nora to learn that she is valuable- for who she is not what she does and who she is to others. This is a wonderful message and I wish that all women could learn this lesson and have someone so awesome to help teach it to them. They built each other up and help to highlight the best in the other, and encouraged the bettering of themselves too.,
As far as secondary characters, they were amazing as well. Rena is a wonderful addition; funny and the type of best friend that I could only hope to have. Edna is a pleasant surprise, being a strong presence in Nora's life, whereas many YA novels have conveniently absent parents. The way that she cares for and took in Nora is commendable, and I love seeing their relationship played out and the sacrifices they will make for each other & I don’t quite understand the purpose of Holly and Kate unless just a way to meet Gavin, but it seems there would be another way. With as close as it made them out to be, they are absent; however the friendship between Nora and Rena that develops is sweet, and completely makes up for it.
Elizabeth writes so that her fantasy world just seems so real to me, and the characters feel so alive. I feel like I am taking part in this awesome story.
I love her message that even though there may be a bit of dark in us all, it is all about how we chose to respond, and how we can love and live and overcome, letting the light shine through. I also appreciate that fighting this darkness is a constant struggle, as it is in real life, but that the struggle itself does not make you bad, the fight can help to make you stronger.
The story has it all- an amazing love story, friendship, the moral that love prevails, good vs evil, magic, and mystery.

I have been thinking about this book ever since I put it down, and I recommend this to anyone and everyone!!

Bottom line: Absolutely amazing, recommend it to all.

Here's my video review:

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Review: The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

The Lucy Variations
 The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr
Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.
That was all before she turned fourteen.
Now, at sixteen, it's over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano -- on her own terms. But when you're used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?
National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr takes readers inside the exclusive world of privileged San Francisco families, top junior music competitions, and intense mentorships. The Lucy Variations is a story of one girl's struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. It's about finding joy again, even when things don't go according to plan. Because life isn't a performance, and everyone deserves the chance to make a few mistakes along the way.
Publishes in US:  May 7th 2013 by Little, Brown BFYR
Genre: YA Contemp
Source: library
Series? No.

Buy it:  Amazon IndieBound Book Depository

Author stalk away: website 

    I liked Lucy Variations, but I will say that it is not quite what I expected. I did like that there was depth to the secondary characters and I saw a lot of different ways the story could have went, that ultimately I probably would have liked better. 
    But I did like Lucy, I saw that she grew a lot and figured out how to stand up for herself, that her family couldn't dictate what she loves and what she can do. She went through some hard times to figure that out, but the journey was worth it in the end. Her best friend Reyna wasn't perfect, but I think it gives a good portrayal of what it really means to have a friend in high school, you will not always see eye to eye on every issue, and they might be annoying with their issues sometimes, but news flash, so are you. I also liked Carson. I think that there was a bit of build up there, and I wish that it would have went there romantically instead of going the bad choice route again, but I see the reasons why Ms. Zarr wrote it how she did. 
    Family is a big issue in this one, and it is one of the main focuses besides music of course. They are not ideal in some aspects, but they are together, and they are willing to (eventually) learn from their mistakes, and work things out together. My favorite was the relationship with Lucy and Gus, her little brother. The protectiveness, loyalty, understanding and playfulness all drew me in and I wanted another scene with them. They bicker and ultimately have a big argument, but they still love each other, and at the end of the day are bro and sis. I also liked their dad, he wasn't traditional to speak of, and he is the only non-musical in the family, but he can also see things in a way that the others can't because it wasn't always a way of life for him. 
    It was well paced and kept my attention, and although I did feel the ending was a little rushed, I liked where it ultimately went and the place it left Lucy in. The writing was powerful and it all tied together to make a beautifully crafted story. Even with my wishes for her to fall for a different character, I still can't deny the draw of the story as is, and how a romantic interest within reach could have really set her eyes of what she wants to do now with her life. 

Bottom Line: Like the concept and most of the execution, do wish it would have taken another path romantically.

Books similar to :(links go to my review) Rival, Sing Me to Sleep, Sea of Tranquility

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you ever wish you were great at something?
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Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Crash into You by Katie McGarry

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)
Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry
From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.
Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.
But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other


Publishes in US: November 26th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA contemp
Source: Harlequin Teen via Netgalley
Series? Yes. Pushing the Limits #3 (click for info)
 publishes May 20th 2014 by Harlequin TEEN

Buy it:  Amazon  Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository

Author stalk away: ~site   twitter   facebook

    Wow. Hot, emotional and powerful. That is my immediate reaction to Crash Into You. 
     Of course we know of Isaiah, but we really get to know him and what makes him tick in this book. He is more layered and deep than I suspected. We go into his world of cars, debt, streetracing and the impossible of falling in love as well as him facing some other unexpected characters. 
    We also get to meet Rachel, who is a perfect blend of fragile and strong. She has to put on a face to keep her mom and family happy as well as harboring a huge secret. Well, several, actually, Isaiah being one, and something to do with her health being another. She finds a place and meets a few people where she can actually be herself, not the Rachel that she has pretended to be for the world. So it is hard for me when she has to go back under the veil of secrecy when she is at home. But her relationship with her brothers is layered, and I know there is love there, but also it has a lot of protectiveness, a dash of selfishness because they just want her to put on the face to make their mom happy. And the twin connection with her and Ethan was neat to have, although I do think that there could have been more there. Watching Rachel grow, learn to stand up for herself and actually explore her passions was a great journey to watch as her character learned and blossomed under the love and support of Isaiah. 
    But could secrets and one guy that seems bent on their failure ruin it all? Well, we find out in this one, and as you know, Katie McGarry doesn't make it easy on them. They see their share of problems, obstacles and even danger that threatens to tear them apart and test their young love. 
    I loved the scenes where they were falling for each other. They were intense and they have a chemistry that left me with a shiver and a smile. 
    As far as side characters, we get to see Noah, Echo, Beth and Ryan but it is from a new vantage point. We really get to see the hurt that Isaiah feels from Beth, and I kept hoping they could patch it up and just be friends because of all their past, they should have each other's backs and glad to see the other happy. We also get to know Logan better, and I am hoping that one day he might get his own story. We know that Rachel's brother West is next, but the person whose book I REALLY want to see and will beg for is the side character of Abby. She is so tough and I want to know what has led her to the choices she is making. I know that I already love her because of how she befriends Rachel, but I want more from her. 
     I liked where it ended their story, with that promise of hope and expectations yet to meet, but with the main plots of this story wrapped up.  

Bottom Line: Intense look at a character I already loved and more that worked their way into my heart.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever driven over 90?
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Giveaway: $10 Amazon Giftcard and Sia by Josh Grayson

Sia by Josh Grayson
When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.
interview with Blkosiner's Book Blog

What inspired you to write this story? 
Initially? Oprah. (laughs). I saw an interview she did on a man with fugue amnesia that impacted me. Fugue amnesia occurs when someone, usually in response to excessive stress, takes off on some unexpected travel. And during the travels, that person assumes either a partial or complete new identity. I found it both fascinating and frightening to think that stress alone can cause the human brain to demand a reset like that. I often wonder why I haven’t gotten fugue amnesia yet!
Have you worked with an editor on this book?
Sia has been professionally edited several times, as I want to give my readers the highest quality book possible. There is nothing wrong with a second set of eyes—or a third, fourth, or fifth—when it comes to getting a story just right.
What qualities do you share with your main character?
Sia—beneath her pre-amnesia plastic shell—is optimistic, compassionate, and has a strong desire to help others and make a positive difference in the world. I’d like to think these are the qualities she shares with the author who invented her.
Who will like your book?
If you enjoy anti-bully themed stories from the likes of Jay Asher and Lauren Oliver or romantic dramas from Sarah Dessen and Miranda Kenneally, you will probably like my book.
Why did you decide to write a YA (teen) novel?
Oh, I didn’t. It just so happened that my main characters appeared to me as teens. Also, I absolutely love YA fiction—it has always been my favorite genre. I think it’s because those stories carry universal themes we can all relate to and the characters are more intriguing and real and raw.
Why did you decide to self-publish this book?
I wanted to control the project in every way, from the editing, to the cover design, to the book trailer. Time was another factor, as traditional publishing can often take years from submission to publication, and I wanted Sia to be available to readers much quicker than that.
When will readers be able to buy your book?
November 20, 2013, is the projected release date.
Is it true you wrote the screenplay adaptation as well?
Yes! I wrote it as soon as the book was finished. I’m about to hire a seasoned Hollywood screenwriter to polish it. When it is up to industry standards, we’ll submit it to film companies and cross our fingers. I think Sia would translate wonderfully to film.
Will your book be available in both digital and printed formats?
Absolutely. I want it to be available to everyone.
What advice would you give other aspiring writers?
Follow your dreams, even if you’re afraid. And don’t be afraid to dream big.

Blkosiner's Book Blog Giveaway
-$10 Amazon Giftcard and Sia by Josh Grayson
-Fill out Rafflecopter to enter
-Ends on 12/22/2013 11:59 pm EST
-If you win a review on your blog and/or amazon is appreciated but not required.

*If, for whatever reason, the Rafflecopter widget does not appear, you can click on the link where it says rafflecopter giveaway and it will show up, sorry for the inconvenience.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves, The Sunday Post

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews,  check it out and sign up  here
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

What I read/am reading:
Chosen at Nightfall (Shadow Falls, #5)
Source: library
Feminine Appeal
source: bought
Seeing Cinderella
source: traded
source: bought

Last Week on the blog:
Sentinel (Covenant, #5)
Source: bought
Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles, #1)
Source: library
Allegiant (Divergent, #3)
Source: library

Dance of Shadows (Dance of Shadows, #1)
Source: library

My week: It's been pretty good, we decorated the house early for christmas because we will be traveling after Thanksgiving.

What are you reading? Any of my books new to you or have you read any of my books? If so, what did you think?
Also, feel free to link up your blog and mailbox post.
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