Wednesday, March 04, 2015

For Vesper Grey, there is the Before and the After. The Before is devastatingly boring; teacups and girdles, and an overbearing Aunt who makes life hell. The After is Corrick and the uncovered truth about a magical necklace. It is the Wild West, and it is an adventure that could very well change everything.

Or, read the entire web-comic HERE for free!

Why I Can't Wait To Read This
I started reading the web-comic recently, and am really enjoying it! I really love the artwork, and I'm excited to think that I can finally own a tangible copy of the series in my hands!!! Not to mention, all of the cool perks that will most likely come with it:

What's cool is that if you don't have  volume one, you can get it through one of your pledges! Now the real issue is deciding between hardcover or paperback editions...

What do you think?

And if you haven't done so already, feel free to join in by linking-up to your own Waiting on Wednesday post over at Breaking The Spine.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Dark Secrets: Edge of Evil by Shea Berkley (Dark Secrets #2) 
Publication Date: March 3rd 2015
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance

What if nightmares, best kept in the dark, refuse to stay hidden?

Dr. Maya Kelbeck believes no matter how unusual her patients’ delusions, she can help. When billionaire Alden Caldwell seeks her counsel to escape a controlling relationship, she’s intrigued by his unusual diagnosis, lycanthropy—her patient actually believes he is over 400 years old and a werewolf.

Alden Caldwell’s life is not his own and hasn’t been since the middle ages, not since he was transformed into a werewolf. The once noble knight now finds himself no more than a slave to a female vampire who is without morals, without conscious, without a soul.

Maya promises Alden she can help him, and at first it looks like she can, until the supernatural world in which he lives wants him back. Can Alden convince Maya his delusions are real in time to save her, or has he just sentenced a woman who cares for him despite his past transgressions to a fate worse than death?

Purchase Book 1:

Shea Berkley started out writing nonfiction (not so fun) and quickly moved into fiction (totally fun), and knew she'd found her calling. (Her family was thrilled she'd found friends to play with even if they weren't technically real.) She's still pleasantly surprised people are willing to pay to read her stories. Besides writing, her many diversions include kickboxing, reading awesome books and hanging out with her loud and rambunctious family. With five kids (all girls), her biggest job is to make sure the little darlings don't harass the neighbors and then play dumb when the cops come knocking on her door.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Amazon | B&N | Book DepositoryIndieBound
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common.

But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

I was so excited to find a YA fictional novel that was set in El Paso that I didn't even bother much with the synopsis beforehand - and I'm glad I read it, too, as this is such a beautiful story! As the synopsis describes, this is a novel about the growing friendship between two teenage boys who have always felt like outcasts.

One of the main themes of the novel is the heritage struggle - both Aristotle and Dante come from Mexican-American families, and grew up on the border, but neither feel that they truly fit in with their cultures. Dante doesn't speak Spanish, and doesn't consider himself to be a "real Mexican." He feels alienated from both his family and his culture - part of which is because he has light skin, and the majority of his extended family doesn't speak English. But Aristotle is dark-skinned, speaks Spanish, and still feels the same alienation towards his family and his culture that Dante feels.

Personally, I felt that I could really relate to Dante, because I, too, am a Hispanic El Pasoan who doesn't speak Spanish. It may not seem like a big deal, but growing up on the border I have often felt alienated because of the language barrier, especially since I, too, have family on my mother's side that I can't communicate with unless my mother acts as a translator. 

I especially enjoyed reading about the camaraderie between Aristotle and Dante, however. It was great to see two "outcasts" with totally different personalities (Aristotle was more quiet and reserved, while Dante could charm the hell out of complete strangers) gain so much understanding of each other. I don't want to give any spoilers, but this novel is categorized as a coming-of-age LGBT novel, so I feel I can at least say that it was also very heartwarming to read about their growing relationship, in addition to their growing friendship, without really giving anything away.

I haven't read anything that was set in my hometown before, and it was a nice surprise that the first book I came across with an El Paso setting ended being so touching. This was truly a beautifully written novel and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!

Monday, February 09, 2015

2nd Annual Love For Books Read-A-Thon

Monday, February 09, 2015 with 5 comments

So the 2nd annual Love for Books Read-a-thon starts today, and I thought I'd sign up and give it a go. Granted, I've recently started reading Outlander for a challenge I'm a part of (HERE), so my real goal is just to finish it as it's pretty long (but very good!). Still, I'm hoping that reading it for this read-a-thon will help me focus on it more, and get through it with enough time in the month to read some of my library books, before starting on book two, Dragonfly In Amber, in March.

I am reading Outlander on my Kindle, since it was free on Amazon once upon a time. At the start of this challenge, I was already 35% through it. My goal is just to finish the book, as it's pretty long.

I pre-ordered a hardcover edition of The Ruby Circle on Amazon immediately after I finished the series last year. I'd like to finish Outlander before starting this one, but I shall make no promises. Also, I haven't yet decided if I'm going to re-read the series before starting this one, since I read them at the end of last year & might not really need the re-fresher, but I haven't decided. This book is acting as my back-up goal, since I'm not even sure if I'll finish Outlander by the time this event ends. I'm crossing my fingers, though!

2/09 Monday
Currently Reading: Outltander by Diana Gabaldon
Percentage Read: 45% (only 10% progress, as I was 35% through it at the start of the event)
Memorable Scene: Spoiler, highlight to read: When Jamie beat his Claire for disobeying him. This is a great story, but guys, that is NOT okay!!! *End*

2/10 Tuesday
Currently Reading: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Percentage Read: 47%  (too much work today left me with hardly any time to read)
Memorable Scene: Bedbugs!

2/11 Wednesday
Currently Reading: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Percentage Read: 49% (see why I only chose Outlander as my initial goal?! Only 2% today!)
Memorable Scene: The sex, of course. What else?

2/12 Thursday
Currently Reading: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Percentage Read: 49% - No reading today.
Memorable Scene: None - I didn't read today.

2/13 Friday 
Currently Reading: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead - I put Outlander on hold, as I really don't want to wait much longer to start reading The Ruby Circle. (This is a re-read.)
Percentage Read: 15% - I was too sleepy!
Memorable Scene: The alchemist meeting at the beginning of the novel is really what stuck with me - they really seem like a cult.

2/14 Saturday
Currently Reading: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Percentage Read: 70%
Memorable Scene: Sydney's developing friendship Adrian. Basically any Sydney/Adrian scene is most memorable for me. I love them all!!!

2/15 Sunday
Currently Reading: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead (This is also a re-read.)
Percentage Read: 65% 
Memorable Scene: Adrian's reaction to Sydney's dress at the Halloween dance.

If any of you are participating, please let me know in the comments so I can cheer you on!


Monday, February 02, 2015

I am so thrilled to help Melissa Landers with her release week launch party for INVADED! See a note from Melissa below and make sure to enter the giveaway!

Hey, fiction lovers. I’m Melissa Landers, author of the Alienated series (YA sci-fi from Disney-Hyperion), and today I’m bouncing with excitement because THE SEQUEL IS FINALLY HERE!

It’s been a year since we left Aelyx and Cara onboard the intergalactic transport, and INVADED begins with an emotional goodbye as they part ways—Aelyx returning to Earth to salvage the alliance, and Cara continuing to L’eihr to serve out her part of the student exchange. While they’re apart, our star-crossed lovers will face assassination attempts, betrayal, crippling self-doubt, and a sadistic alien Phys Ed class. (Because there’s no escaping PE, even in another galaxy.) When Aelyx and Cara finally reunite…well, let’s just say it’s combustive. ;-)

What do reviewers think? I’m glad you asked!

“Readers will love the seamless blend of suspense, humor, and romance set against an interstellar landscape. Dual narratives and a tightly plotted mystery keep the suspense running high, and the chemistry between Aelyx and Cara smolders.” –Booklist

“Excellent character development and integration between modern reality and science fiction. Teens will be rooting for the galactic couple while enjoying the action and suspense that runs through the two volumes.” –School Library Journal

“The protagonists' forced separation gives greater depth to their romance. Each learns to turn a critical eye upon the flaws of their native societies while confronting genuine obstacles to a future together. These complications only underscore the growing sense of menace that propels the narrative to an action-packed climax.” –Kirkus

I hope you’ll make tracks to the nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of INVADED! If you’re snowed in, here are some easy links to bring the sequel right to you:

Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information, or just to say hello, visit

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble and an autographed swag pack, complete with mini posters of BOTH books! This giveaway is open internationally, and due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I am so excited that A COLD LEGACY by Megan Shepherd releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an excerpt from the book!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Megan Shepherd, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blast also includes a giveaway for a signed copy of the book and swag courtesy of Megan and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Author: Megan Shepherd
Pub. Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins
Pages: 400
After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love—even our own humanity.

Montgomery stopped the horses outside a tavern. He came to the carriage door, opening it just a crack to keep the rain from drenching us. “I’m going to ask directions. We can’t be far now.”

We watched him saunter over the muddy street as though he didn’t even feel the bite of freezing rain. A face appeared in the tavern window. The door opened and he spoke to a woman in a wool dress for a few moments, then stomped back through the mud. “This village is called Quick,” he told us. “The manor’s only five miles from here.”

“Did you hear that?” Lucy murmured to Edward, still stroking his hair. “We’re almost there. Just hold on. Everything will be all right once we arrive.”

Montgomery’s eyes shifted to me. Neither of us wanted to remind Lucy that the prospect of Edward’s fever breaking—and the Beast’s reappearance—was almost more frightening than the fever itself. Delirious, he was less of a threat.

“Let’s go then,” I whispered to Montgomery. “And quickly.”

He closed the door and in another moment we were moving again, passing through the rest of Quick. Then all too soon the village was nothing but fading lights. The storm grew and the road became rougher, and all the while Edward’s eyes rolled back and forth beneath shuttered lids.

Thunder struck close by, and Lucy shrieked. Montgomery whipped the horses harder, pulling us along the uneven road impossibly fast, trying to outrun the storm. I twisted in the seat to look out the back window at the pelting rain. A stone fence ran alongside us.

“We must be getting close,” I said.

“Not soon enough,” Lucy breathed. “We’re going to crash if he keeps driving like this!”

The road widened, straightening, letting us travel even faster. Lightning struck close by, blinding me. The horses bolted. Lucy screamed and covered her eyes, but I couldn’t tear mine away. The lightning had struck an enormous oak tree, twisted from centuries of wind. The oak took flame, blazing despite the rain. A smoking gash ran down the trunk—the lightning’s death mark. I watched until the rain put out most of the flames, but it still smoldered, billowing hot ash into the night.

The horses pawed the earth, and I grabbed the window to steady myself. At this wild speed, just hitting a single rock at the wrong angle would send the carriage shattering to the ground. It was madness to go so fast. Couldn’t Montgomery calm the horses?

Just when I feared the carriage would careen out of control, it stopped short, throwing me against the opposite wall. I tangled in Lucy’s limbs as the chains around Edward’s body clinked. Balthazar grunted, jerking awake at last. We scrambled in the bottom of the carriage until the door flew open.
Montgomery stood in the pelting rain. I feared he’d say we’d broken another strut or the horses had gone lame or we’d have to spend the night in the harsh storm.

But then I saw the lights behind him, and the night took shape into a turreted stone manor with bright lamps blazing and gargoyles on the roof vomiting rain into a stone courtyard.

Montgomery’s eyes met mine beneath the low brim of his hat.

“We’ve arrived,” he said.


I’ve been many things, like a professional exchange student, park ranger in Montana, and LOST enthusiast, but what I am now is a writer.

I think it’s fair to say I was born into it. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, raised behind the counter of my parents’ independent bookstore, 
Highland Books in Brevard. Ah, so many free books. But I never thought being a writer could be a real career. After college I thought I’d end up as a foreign service officer somewhere dashing and exotic, like Canada. I studied French, Spanish, German, and Russian and still speak a few of those. Then I joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Senegal, where I learned a few more languages I’ll never speak again and lived in a mud hut with no electricity or running water. You can probably imagine how that experience went, but if you’re curious, here are the dirty details

It wasn't until a chance aquaintance read something I wrote and said, "have you ever considered being a writer?" that something clicked and I realized it was possible. My husband encouraged me, and I quickly fell head-over-heels in love with writing and children's literature in particular. I started out writing articles, which have appeared in Faces, Appleseeds, and Calliope magazines, and stories for younger children. I soon realized I wasn’t sweet enough to write fiction for that age and found myself writing young adult literature instead, which doesn’t require nearly as many tender moments and includes a lot more cursing.

When I'm not writing, I can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. I love to hear from readers, so please drop me a line!

I am represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.
Author Photo by Kristi Hedberg Photography

1 winner will receive a signed copy of A COLD LEGACY and swag! 
US Only. Ends on February 6th at Midnight EST!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Finds

Friday, January 23, 2015 with 6 comments
A Meme By Should Be Reading

I've added a lot of interesting books to my TBR list recently (as always). My problem is that I always seem to add books faster than I take them off by reading them. Here's what I added to the this week:
Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides.
Where I found it: Noticed the cover on my feed - it came from Gizmo's Reviews.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Where I found it: It was the recommended read from today's issue of theSkimm.

Andrew Brawley was supposed to die that night. His parents did, and so did his sister, but he survived.

Now he lives in the hospital. He serves food in the cafeteria, he hangs out with the nurses, and he sleeps in a forgotten supply closet. Drew blends in to near invisibility, hiding from his past, his guilt, and those who are trying to find him.

Then one night Rusty is wheeled into the ER, burned on half his body by hateful classmates. His agony calls out to Drew like a beacon, pulling them both together through all their pain and grief. In Rusty, Drew sees hope, happiness, and a future for both of them. A future outside the hospital, and away from their pasts.

But Drew knows that life is never that simple. Death roams the hospital, searching for Drew, and now Rusty. Drew lost his family, but he refuses to lose Rusty, too, so he’s determined to make things right. He’s determined to bargain, and to settle his debts once and for all.

But Death is not easily placated, and Drew’s life will have to get worse before there is any chance for things to get better.
Where I found it: The latest Fresh Batch on Xpresso Reads.

Of the three books above, I think I'm most excited to read The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson. I was drawn in by the cover and title, but I think the synopsis sounds like something I'd really enjoy - I can already tell that it will probably make me cry.

What books have you recently added to your TBR?