Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That Made it to My TBR Pile

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I am so excited for this weeks Top-Ten Tuesday as hosted by The Broke and Bookish because I have a horribly long TBR pile. Really, it is out of hand. Part of the problem is that I get books from numerous sources, ARCs, egalleys, Libraries, Stores, Friends, etc. and I try to read them according to who gave them to me. What ends up happening is that I buy a ton of books I read a year and a half after I’ve purchased them, which is sad. This all simply encompasses my physical TBR pile, my Goodreads pile is even more out of control. 

So for this week I decided to focus on the TBR books I just added to my list. I have no idea when I’m going to actually read them but I’m excited to start. 


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A Game of Thrones (Clash of Kings): Loved the first one which prompted me to watch the first season of the show. With Summer coming up and thus freeing up a little of my time, I’m planning to tackle the next installment.

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   Hold Me Like a Breath, Tiffany Schmidt: I’ve heard nothing but good noise on this one, so I’m excited to read

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Scoring Wilder, R.S. Grey: Good friend of mine just read this and raved. I know I need to get on it, I mean look            at that guys abs.

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Exquisite Captive, Heather Demetrios: It’s embarrassing how long I have owned this; my goal is to read it by             Summer.                                      

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Magnolia, Krisit Cook:  I always like to have an uplifting romance on standby so that once I go on a depressing YA binge I can still see hope.

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Ghost House, Alexandra Adornetto :  Love, Love, Love the premise but I have not heard great things so I’ve been a little hesitant, anyone out there have advice?

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Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer:   I’m really excited to start this one soon!

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Loop, Karen Atkins: Stumbled upon this at the bookstore and decided to grab it. I like the premise but we shall see; time travel is a hard one to do.

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The Orphan Queen, Jodi Meadows: Excited! Heard great things about this one.  

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A Girl of Fire and Thorns, Rae Carson: JUST picked this one up because as usual I am LATE.


So that’s my little listy and let me tell you it was surprisingly hard to put together. What books are on your TBR list, or which ones do I absolutely have to add to mine? 

Excerpt and Giveaway: Fall with Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout

 FALL WITH ME!! FALL WITH ME is a New Adult Contemporary Romance and is a part of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Wait For You Series, published by Avon Romance. We love this series and can’t wait to start reading Roxy and Reece’s story!

 

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Gahhhh! I love Jennifer L. Armentrout and I especially love the “Wait for You” series. I’m so beyond excited to share the cover and some excerpt with everyone! If possible, I think I am more excited to read this next installment than I was to read the last. Something about the description of Roxy makes me feel like she could be a great heroine. I hope you all are as excited as I am!

Synopsis:

Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.

Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.

But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.

 

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble **iBooks ** Kobo

 

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Author PhotoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Novel Goodreads ** Author Goodreads

 

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Review: The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

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Title: The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Genre: Young Adult (YA) Suspense (?)

Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Synopsis (from ma’ brain): Avery West has grown up without a father and constantly on the move with a military contractor mother. She’s never really had a family; never stayed in one place very long. Naturally, she longs for companionship. Enter, Jack–the new British kid at her school. Avery decided to be rebellious, but it turns out that Jack brought with him a whole host of problems. Now, Avery finds herself running through Europe as she begins to unravel the mysteries of her family and her destiny. Rating: 3.5/5


 

So when I originally came across this book I decided to pass on it. I was offered the chance to review it as an e-galley but I didn’t think it would be for me. The synopsis did not do a great job of pulling me in here. The cover is super pretty but I just thought “meh, I don’t really want to take this away from someone who wants it just to say I read it early.” The reason I mention any of this is (a.) I don’t think the synopsis does a great job of selling the book (b.) to show how crucial book/promotional tours can be to authors. Recently, I attended the NoVa Teen Book Festival where I had the chance to hear Maggie Hall speak about this book. When she described it with such vigor and excitement, talking about the research she did and the process she engaged in, I knew I needed to pick it up. So I did. Added bonus, she signed it and was so nice and sweet! So see, events do help sell some books. I’m proof. Now, on to my review: 

What I liked: Let’s start with the thing I liked the most and work my way to the things I liked and hated because I had really strong mixed feelings about a lot of thing here. That sounds really negative so let me preface this by saying I enjoyed the book, I just enjoyed it more as it progressed.

The research. Holy cow. This book is crazy convoluted, in a crazy good way. Hall clearly spent hours upon hours doing historical research, archaeological research, researching the etymology of words, and simply just going research crazy. As a deep lover of History, I love books that are able to engage with me in that way without it being a second thought, or it being trite. Hall manages to avoid all of this. She interweaves her facts with her fiction so seamlessly that sometimes I forgot that her version of events didn’t actually take place (as far as I know). Where there some parts that were confusing, sure. Did they slow down the book, no. To put it simply, I was blown away by this. I’ve never read a book where every word, action, and even landscape has a larger meaning to the main story–in this case The Circle of 12 and the mystery surrounding the mandate.

The action. After the initial introduction of the characters and first few kind of slow chapters, Hall jumps right into the action. The great thing about this is that she does this without explaining the back story of her character, villains, or the Circle of Twelve which though confusing, keeps the pace of the book going. The plot unfolded organically with Avery discovering more after each excursion. Hall’s story is very complication and I personally am glad she took this approach. If she had explained everything in the beginning I’m not sure I would have continued to read.

Stellan and Jack. Yes, they are hot. Jack has some hot scenes with Avery and they are both just badass. What I like most about the two male characters are that they both crave family. I feel like I rarely see men (or boys) in Young Adult books who openly crave familial ties the way these two do. That’s not to say we don’t have a typical love triangle brewing here, but still, nice to see a softer side.

What I didn’t like: Avery. Okay, let me explain that. I didn’t like Avery through most of the book. I do begin to enjoy her more towards the end, but through a majority of the book I wanted to smack some sense into her. I mean really girl who runs off to Paris with a guy she doesn’t know who wields a knife at her prom. Unless you are Liam Neeson’s daughter, this is not ending well for you. With Avery, I just failed to connect. It’s not until the end when she refuses to abandon Stellan to a terrible fate to save those she loves do I kind of start to come around on her.

Overall confusion. This book requires a careful read and even then I kept being all “whaaaa.” My main issues where with Keepers. I totally felt their role was under-explained. I needed that information kind of first thing.

Overall, I did enjoy this book and I’m glad I picked it up. The synopsis does not do it justice. If you are looking for a light read to blast through, this is not it. “The Conspiracy of Us,” requires and deserves your full attention. 3.5/5

Giveaway and Excerpt: Royal Date by Sarah Wilson

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Title: Royal Date by Sarah Wilson

Publication Date: March 15, 2015

Buy Link: Amazon (use code ScoutOne for 50% off)

Genre: Adult/New Adult. There are adult situations so not suitable for youngsters

Goodreads: Goodreads

Synopsis: 

This Cinderella didn’t plan on a prince . . .

Kat MacTaggart is a girl who has a plan for everything—including her holiday ski trip to Monterra with her best friend. Everything is going according to plan until she finds herself careening out of control down a mountainside and being rescued by a guy who looks like Superman’s hotter Italian cousin.

HRH Prince Nico is intrigued by the woman he saved on the slopes and her refusal to date him. He offers Kat a deal—let him show her his country and he’ll pay her to write articles that will help Monterra’s tourism industry. Kat agrees, but given her past and lingering distrust of men, she has one condition—absolutely no kissing.

Thanks to the claims of a jealous British noblewoman and the schemes of a meddling paparazzo, Kat’s rule doesn’t seem to be a problem at first. But the more Kat gets to know Nico and the people around him, the harder it is to remember her keep-your-distance plan. Should she stick to it or risk everything for a chance at happily ever after?

                                                         Giveaway: 

                                                         Enter below to win a $50 Amazon Giftcard

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Geeeeee I love a good Royal story. I blame it on my desire to wear a tiara and coat dresses. I recently read this book and the story is so adorable. I love Kat and Nico and hope you will consider picking it up. It’s a fun read. Check out the excerpt and giveaway below!

Excerpt: 

Now his fingers were playing with the few tendrils that had escaped my bun. I went still and forgot to breathe. “There is something I’ve wondered since the moment I met you.”

“What?” My voice sounded breathy and weird.

“What this would be like.”

He was going to kiss me, and I was going to let him. My heart started trying to pound its way out of my chest.

I should have stopped him. I should have been afraid. But I wasn’t.

His kiss was feathery light, barely touching me. His lips were warm, soft, and strong. If I’d realized earlier they’d feel like this against my own, I probably would have spent a lot more time studying them. My eyes drifted shut as my stomach went completely hollow, and a warm thickness started spreading through all of my limbs. He kissed me again, gentle and persuasive.

“Relax, bella,” he murmured against my lips, running his fingers along my jawbone. I realized that I was clenching his shirtfront with my fists. I loosened my grip. He continued to plant sweet and soft kisses on my lips. “This works better if you kiss me back,” he said with a smile as he leaned back slightly to look at me, his eyes glittery and intense. He ran his thumb along my lower lip, which made all sorts of unmentionable things happen to my insides.

Leave it to me to mess something up as basic as kissing. Fortunately, I wasn’t a total idiot. I could do what he was doing. Scared as I was, I managed to give myself a pep talk. I was twenty-four years old. I was the oldest person on the planet who had never been kissed. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect setting, or a more perfect man. So gathering up every bit of courage I possessed, I leaned in to kiss him. Just a small peck. A little smooch. It was all I could manage.

I pulled back to see a delighted and appreciative look in his eyes.

“That wasn’t as bad as I expected.”

“Not as bad as you expected? Katerina, I can do much better than ‘not as bad as you expected.’”

I hadn’t meant to issue a challenge, but he accepted it anyway. I thought I heard him growl before he pressed our lips together more firmly, his hands framing and holding my head in place as he kissed me over and over. It was all I could do to keep up. Electricity exploded everywhere he touched and kissed me.

Was it possible to die from a kiss?

My hands moved from his shirt to his wrists, and I felt like I was clinging on for dear life. His kisses started to escalate in intensity until he suddenly stopped. He leaned his forehead against mine, and we were both breathing fast.

“I think . . . I think it’s time for me to return you to your room.”

I nodded, unable to think.

He could have said, “I think it’s time for us to get on a spaceship and fly to the moon,” and I would have agreed to that, too.

 


About the Author: 

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Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters–which is why she writes romance. She has published five happily ever after stories. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).
                                                Author links:
                                                                         https://twitter.com/sariahwilson
                                                                           http://www.sariahwilson.com/
                                                          https://www.facebook.com/sariahwilsonauthor
                                       https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6471623.Sariah_Wilson

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books from My Childhood

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So this is my first time doing a Top Ten Tuesday, as hosted by The Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is Top 10 Books to revisit from childhood. I’m super pumped about this one, since I was literally just talking to someone about the change in YA from when I was a teen, till now. So onto the list….

 

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1. Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal aka the books that sustained me. Sweet Valley High made being a teen seem cool and dramatic, which I soon learned it wasn’t but they were just awesome. I didn’t read the grown-up version that came out a few years ago, but I would love to find some of these around and revisit.

2. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I think this one speaks for itself. Whenever I get stressed I grab an HP book and travel back to Hogwarts.

 

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3. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. Recently, I met Rachel Hawkins and her infectiously funny personality reminded me that I need to grab this one again.

4. Grimm Fairy Tales. This may be a weird one but the Grimm brother’s always knew how to spark my imagination. Now, as a writer, I love reconnecting with their slightly (a lot) disturbing characters.

 

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5. Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr. I was on the tail end of my “childhood,” for this one, but I’m counting it. First and only time I’ve read a book about fairy’s and not wanted to throw it. Plus, with a movie coming out sometime in the future, this definitely warrants a revisit.

6. Gossip Girl, by Cecily Von Ziegesar. So trashy. So good.

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7. Anything V.C. Andrews Clearly, my parent’s did not monitor my reading habits–God Bless them for that. Love these books; original soap opera romances.

8. The Princess Diaries, by Meg Cabot. Yes, Yes, Yes. I cannot wait to revisit these with the whole royal wedding book coming out. Being told I’m actually a Princess, is my life-long dream.

 

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9. Anything by Lois Duncan. She was the original writer of teen thrillers and these books were beyond convoluted. To this day, Lois Duncan remains an all-time favorite for her ability to make my heart race.

10. Daughter’s of The Moon, by Lynn Ewing. Teen me LOVED this series. Unfortunately, I kind of aged out of it and missed the last two books. I’m going to have to grab those off Amazon and find out how it ended.

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So that concludes my list. What books do you want to revisit? 

 

 

Throwback Thursday: Unhinged (Splintered Series #2) by A.G. Howard

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Title: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Publication Date: January 7, 2014

Genre: YA, Paranormal, Re-telling (kind of)

Synopsis (from ma’ brain): It’s been a year since Alyssa traveled down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. For the most part the year has been normal (re: boring), with minimal netherling interaction–minus, of course, Morpheus. Suddenly, netherling things start to invade the ‘normal’ world. Seems that Alyssa’s fight with Red is far from over, and if she doesn’t kick it into gear soon she risks both her worlds.

Rating: 3.5/5


So, I’m back with a throwback. But, I’m only throwing it kinda back. A few months ago, I discovered the “Splintered” series by A.G. Howard and totally fell in love. Majorly. I loved Alyssa, the anti-heroine; the romance hit the spot; and despite being a re-telling I felt a fresh excitement every time I turned the page. Needless to say, I was eager to pick up the next installments. After finishing “Unhinged,” I wasn’t exactly sure how to feel. There were defintely parts I loved–lots of them; yet, this next installment felt like a bridge between two books. I feel as though it set things up to be wrapped up and while I can appreciate this, I did wish for a few more things. Let me break it down:

What I liked: As I said, this series has so, so many strengths. Howard’s writing is poetically descriptive. Sometimes I don’t even care if I know all the rules to her world because she’s trapped me inside with her imagery. There were honestly times were I drifted off daydreaming because of the lushness of her descriptions. God, it was so good! Her world is full of alternatives (realities, characters, rules) and I don’t think another writer would have been successful in bringing this world to life. Howard’s pen is mighty. Now that I’m done being jealous as heck, let’s move to my main man Morpheus. Morpheus is not the typical male lead I’d usually go for but boy is he so well written that I just go to swoonville everytime he and Alyssa interact. Literally, half of my booknotes say “Morpheus=swoon.” What I love most about him is that he’s multi-dimensional without it being totally obvious that he’s multi-dimensional. We know he loves Alyssa and Wonderland, but we really struggle to understand what motivates him to do some of the crap he does. Is it love? Lust? Loneliness? Power? What is your deal Morpheus?? While that’s not totally answered, I felt like the second book begins to flush him out a little. This book is definitely about peeling back Morpheus for us readers.

What I didn’t like: I have to be a little vague on this as not to spoil anything for anyone, but I‘m starting to feel like everyone in this book is in someway connected to Wonderland. I’m going to be disappointed if this takes a “Vampire Diaries/Heroes” turn and we all end up with magic. I also found myself disappointed by the ending. It all just feels kind of busy. Too many villains, too many netherlings, too much confusion for me.

Overall, this was a strong sequel if you loved “Splintered.” The ending starts to get muddles but seeing as how the third book is out all of that can be worked out in a timely manner (I assume lol). I’ll be reading the conclusion ASAP.

 

Review: Made for You by Melissa Marr

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Title: Made for You by Melissa Marr

Publication Date: September 16, 2014

Buy Links: Amazon; Barnes and Noble; iBooks

Genre: YA, Suspense-Thriller

Synopsis (mine): Eva Tilling is a reluctant Southern sweetheart, until someone decided to mow her down with their car. Now, Eva’s life is turning upside down. She discovers her boyfriend is shady (no surprise), her former best-friend and crush is actually not as totally screwed up as she thought (surprise), and oh yea, there’s a killer on the loose. That coupled with a new gift for seeing how people will die is enough to make anyone crazy, but when its revealed the killer is fixated on Eva she decides to put her crazy time aside and focus her new gift on helping to stop him.

Rating: 4/5 


Gah! I love a suspenseful YA. Give me a psychopathic killer, some mystery, a dash of romance, and a heroine with an unusual gift any day of the week. Couple all those things with my absolute adoration of Melissa Marr and you have something I’ll want to sit down and read.

Suspenseful YA is hard to write right (haha). I’ve read a lot of books recently which tote themselves as the next “Body Finder,” series and they have yet to live up to my expectations. I loved “Made for You,” because while it does have similarities to ‘The Body Finder,” I didn’t feel like it was trying to BE “The Body Finder.” I found myself able to engage in the plot without comparing the two at every turn.

One thing I will suggest is not reading ahead. I have a bad habit of doing this and I happened to open my “read ahead” page right where the identity of the killer is revealed. #badamanda.

Let’s break down this down here:

What I liked: There seems to be a reoccurring theme lately of the “popular girl” being a fringe character.  As a community, YA is moving away from the mousy, quiet, geek girl and towards a more realistic female. While I’m a fan of this movement because there is nothing more I like than reading about a girl who can be feminine and still kick butt; I still feel that some authors aren’t sure how to do this. Marr is not one. Eva may be ‘Miss Popularity’ but she’s a normal teenage girl trying to figure it all out. The standout moment for me was when Eva wakes up with a scared face from her ‘accident,’ and immediately worries that she’ll never be pretty again. That’s a totally normal human response. Yea, you may be happy to be alive, but worrying about possible disfigurement is not outside the realm of possible concerns. I don’t even think it’s incredibly vain; I do think it is an incredibly human moment, which I feel like we do not get enough of in Young Adult.

So, now that I’ve discussed Eva, I have to go onto NATE. Again, he’s a flawed guy with some familial issues, but he’s also exceedingly kind. I want a Nate. Where can I find one. As far as romantic leads go, he was a good one. The phrase “You are worth it Eva,” left me in swoon city. Now, I could go on-and-on about how strong this novel was as a suspenseful YA, but I’ll focus on just one more thing here.

The ending. I have a love/hate relationship with this ending. But, what I loved the most is that the boy doesn’t really save the day. I mean, he helps, but Eva definitely takes no prisoners. She may be a Southern Belle but even on crutches she’s totally got this.

What I didn’t like: I wanted to know more about the background of the killer. Maybe that speaks to America’s fascination with the depraved, but I felt like Marr dropped some hints that definitely peaked my interest. Aside from this whole situation, I wasn’t crazy about the ending. Up until the time the killer pops into Eva’s house waving around his crime photos I was totally on board, but after that things deteriorated for me. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy them, I just didn’t feel like the ending held the same strength as the rest of the book.

Overall, if you like suspenseful YA than pick this up. If that’s not your thing, you should still give this a try. 4/5