Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases of 2016


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish! Each week they select a new topic. This week's topic is Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016. Here's my list!
The Year We Turned Forty
April 26th

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January 5th

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January 19th

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February 2nd

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June 14th

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June 28th

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March 29th

February 16th

What books are you looking forward to in early 2016?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Bout of Books 15 Sign up!

Bout of Books

It's that time again!!! Bout of Books 15 is next week!! Bout of Books is my absolute favorite reading event. I was just counting back how many I've participated in and this will be my SIXTH Bout of Books!!  I love this event so much mainly because of the opportunity to connect with other readers and bloggers. You don't have to have a blog to sign up--you can use any social media platform to participate. Here's the official blurb:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


 What are my goals and what's on my TBR? Watch for my goals and TBR Post this Sunday, January 3!

There's still time to sign up!

Review: Saint Anything

23009402Title: Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
417 pages, published May 2015
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Source: Library

From Goodreads:

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.


My Review:

Wow! This is hands down my favorite Sarah Dessen book!  She's one of my favorite YA authors--I love her fun, coming of age romances. But Saint Anything is another level--it's much deeper than her other novels. The book deals with some serious issues--drunk driving and drug abuse to name a few--and Dessen handles  these issues perfectly through her characters. Sydney was my favorite.  Through Peyton's struggles, Sydney feels increasingly left out, unimportant, sad, and even guilty for her brother's actions.  Once she meets the Chathams, she finally finds people who understand her, and only then does she begin to work through her feelings.  I loved her journey. This book perfectly captures why I love the YA genre so much.

As usual with Dessen, the writing was fantastic.  The story reads fast and sucks you in from the first chapter. I read this book during some time off for Winter Break and flew through this book in less than 24 hours. This book is totally worth the read--and make you want to eat pizza!

Overall rating for "Saint Anything": 5 stars

Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Review: Winter

13206900Title: Winter (Lunar Chronicles, #4)
Author: Marissa Meyer
824 pages, published November 2015
Genre: YA fantasy, sci-fi
Source: Library

From Goodreads:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
 


My Review:

Wow. This was a LONG book. Over 800 pages. It was daunting. It was heavy--as in the physical book. It just kept going. But...it was worth it! The author perfectly wrapped up this series with a satisfying ending.  You get answers to so many questions,  and learn what happens to all your favorite characters from the series.  Cinder is my favorite--I loved following her journey through this book (don't worry, I won't tell any spoilers)! The ending of this series was really everything I hoped it would be!

While reading this book, I was really glad I'd read Fairest.  It gave a lot of background information about Levana that made you understand her more. If you've been looking for a great series to get into, The Lunar Chronicles are amazing! The reason for my 4.5 star rating instead of 5; the length. This is a personal preference of mine--I felt it was a bit too long and wordy, but I prefer concise to wordy any day. So that's just me--most readers won't have a problem with the length, I don't think.

Overall rating for "Winter": 4.5 stars

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Top Ten Books I'd Like Santa to Bring Me This Year!


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish! Each week they select a new topic. This week's topic is Top Ten Books We Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under Our Tree This Year! Always a fun topic! Here's my list:

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11235712
A physical copy of the Lunar Chronicles series--I borrowed from the library!

3

I don't have physical copies of the HP series either!

Book Cover for "Red Queen" by Victoria Aveyard

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18304322

24903909
Love her!

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Have the e-book...would love a physical copy!


What's on your list this year? Merry Christmas! :)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Review: The Cranes Dance

Title: The Cranes Dance
Author: Meg Howrey
12975068373 pages, published May 2012
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Library

From Goodreads:

 I threw my neck out in the middle of Swan Lake last night. 
So begins the tale of Kate Crane, a soloist in a celebrated New York City ballet company who is struggling to keep her place in a very demanding world. At every turn she is haunted by her close relationship with her younger sister, Gwen, a fellow company dancer whose career quickly surpassed Kate’s, but who has recently suffered a breakdown and returned home. 
 
Alone for the first time in her life, Kate is anxious and full of guilt about the role she may have played in her sister’s collapse.  As we follow her on an insider tour of rehearsals, performances, and partners onstage and off, she confronts the tangle of love, jealousy, pride, and obsession that are beginning to fracture her own sanity. Funny, dark, intimate, and unflinchingly honest, The Cranes Dance is a book that pulls back the curtains to reveal the private lives of dancers and explores the complicated bond between sisters.


My Review:

Let me start this reviewing by giving a disclaimer: I've taken all types of dance classes for the majority of my life, so the fact that this is a dance book means I'm almost guaranteed to love it and be a bit biased. You've been warned! I absolutely LOVED This book!!!! It was hard to put down and I was sad when it was over. 

What I loved most about this book was how accurate it was. The author CLEARLY knows a lot about dance! For example, there was a part in the book where Kate describes in detail the beginning/warm up part of a ballet class. No matter where you take class and what level you are, you ALWAYS start with plies at the barre, followed by tendus, degages, etc. She explained the intricacies of the dance world with such clarity and it was so spot on. Now, if you're not a dancer like me, this wouldn't matter as much to you, but to me, it was so refreshing to read a book about dance that was so accurate.

I also really loved Kate as a main character. Perhaps it was because of my dance background I related to her so well. Or because I too am always anxious. Whatever the reason, I loved reading her story.

If you're a dancer like me and looking for a great dance fiction book--read this one NOW. And if you know of any other dance books that are this accurate and wonderful, let me know! Even those who aren't dancers will love this book too. Such a great read!

Overall rating for "The Cranes Dance": 5 stars

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Top Ten Books I've Read in 2015


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Books I've Read in 2015! It can be new releases, any books, etc. I've chosen to go with Top Ten Books (any year release) I've Read in 2015! Here's the list:

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18692431
23492736

The Sweetness of Forgetting

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11008107

20170404

11235712

Wild Blue Yonder (Ceruleans #3)

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It's been a great reading year for me!! Looking forward to 2016! What are the best books you've read this year?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Book Beginnings: Winter


Book Beginnings Fridays is a weekly event hosted by fellow Oregon blogger Gilion at Rose City Reader.  The purpose is to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

Just yesterday I was THRILLED to find out that my turn on the library hold list for Winter had arrived! Thanks to Mel at Double Stacked Bookshelves, I fell in love with this series! Here's the first bit (and isn't that cover GORGEOUS?!)

"Winter's toes had become ice cubes. They were as cold as space. As cold as the dark side of Luna."

13206900Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?


Happy Friday, my fellow readers!


RABT: Five Days on Ballyboy Beach




Five Days on Ballyboy Beach
By David J. O'Brien
205 pages, published September 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Note: I received this book from the publisher to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble 


A startling revelation - the long-time friend you never viewed romantically is actually the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life. 



But what do you do about it? 


For Derek, a laid-back graduate camping with college friends on Ireland's west coast in the summer of 1996, the answer is … absolutely nothing. 

Never the proactive one of the group - he's more than happy to watch his friends surf, canoe and scuba-dive from the shore - Derek adopts a wait and see attitude. Acting on his emotional discovery is further hindered by the fact he's currently seeing someone else - and she's coming to join him for the weekend. 

As their five days on the beach pass, and there are more revelations, Derek soon realizes that to get what he desires, he'll have to take it. Events conspire to push him to the forefront of the group, and, as unexpected sorrow begins to surround him and his friends, Derek grasps his chance at happiness. After all, isn’t life too short to just wait and see?

My Review:

It took me awhile to get into this book but it was definitely a good quick read.  Once the plot got moving I really ended up enjoying the book.  It is well written, easy to follow, and an engaging story. I look forward to reading more from this author!

About the Author:

David J O'Brien was born and raised in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. He studied environmental biology and later studied deer biology for his PhD, at University College Dublin. Instead of pursuing his life-long interest in wolves and predator-prey interactions, after completing his doctorate, he taught English in Madrid, Spain, for four years while his girlfriend finished her doctorate in molecular biology. They married and moved to Boston, USA, so his wife could pursue her career and David decided that teaching was a vocation he was happy to continue. After seven great years teaching Biology at Boston's Cathedral High School and Zoology at Bridgewater State College, he returned to Spain three years ago so his wife could set up her new research group in her hometown of Pamplona shortly before their daughter was born. He currently teaches English and science in Pamplona, while looking after his daughter and writing.

David has loved writing since his teens. He began with poetry and had one of his first poems published in Cadenza, a small Dublin poetry magazine at the age of fourteen. Since then several more have been published in journals and anthologies such as Albatross, The Tennessee State Poetry League, Poems of Nature and various anthologies of Forward Press imprint in Britain. He began writing fiction soon after and wrote the novella that would later become his first published book,Leaving The Pack at the age of seventeen. Though his academic writing took precedence for a number of years, and he is still involved in deer biology and management, he kept writing other things in his spare time and has always dreamt of one day being able to do it full time. While living in Madrid, he wrote some non-fiction articles for the Magazine Hot English and while in Boston for the newspaper Dig.

An avid wildlife enthusiast and ecologist, much of David's non-academic writing, especially poetry, is inspired by wildlife and science, and he sometimes seeks to describe the science behind the supernatural. His second and third novels, Five days on Ballyboy Beach and The Ecology of Lonesomeness were also published by Tirgearr Publishing, and his Young Adult paranormal novel The Soul of Adam Short was published in October 2015 by MuseitUp Publishing. His children's book,Peter and the Little People will be published early in 2016.
Under the pseudonym JD Martins, he has published two erotic romance novellas, One Night in Madrid and One Night in Pamplona.
David is currently working on the two sequels to Leaving the Pack to complete the Silver Nights Trilogy. He is also plugging away at a long novel set in the pre-Columbian Caribbean, and a non-fiction book about the sociology of hunting.
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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Promo Blitz: Riverview Series


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YA Clean Romance
“A Healing Heart” – Riverview Series Book 1 – Updated 7/4/2015 (orig publish 2012)

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On a bitter cold winter night Bailey Walsh’s family was killed in a traffic accident. Two years later as she lives with her aunt and uncle in Southern California, Bailey is still plagued by the nightmares of that terrible night. Everywhere around her are reminders of what she lost. Even her aunt, in a cruel twist of fate, is not just her mom’s sister, but her identical twin.

Babysitting Riley, a spunky two-year old, is a sweet distraction and one constant light in her life. One day as she takes Riley to the park she meets Collin McKenna, a senior at her high school and her life is changed forever as he helps her find herself and realize her life is worth living.

As the romance between them grows her broken heart begins to heal. However, still nagging in the back of her conscious is the fear that her new found happiness could come crashing down and she could lose everything she loves, yet again.

Outside forces begin to tear them apart and Bailey must learn to trust in herself and realize that she is worthy of happiness. That sometimes love and healing comes in unexpected forms.

A story about first love, life’s unexpected tragedies, and the miracles that make it possible to move forward.

A Healing Heart Buy Links:

Also available as paperbacks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository


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YA Clean Romance / New Adult
“A Healing Spirit” – Riverview Series Book 2 – 8/16/2015

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A freak ski accident brings nineteen-year old Mia Kinney within minutes of death. Hurt and scared, Mia is calmed by the southern drawl and clear green eyes of her rescuer. 

Twenty-one year old Dylan Blackburn is one of the first Ski Patrol members on the scene. As his patient is airlifted to the local trauma center, he can’t shake her from his thoughts.

As Mia fights for her life, Dylan, is haunted by the blonde hair beauty, and knows he needs to make sure she’s going to be okay.

With a troubled past Dylan has vowed never to completely open himself up to another girl, but Mia continues to knock down every wall he’s constructed. When his past arrives at his front door and threatens once again someone that he loves, will Dylan be able to save Mia yet again? Or will he be too late this time?

A story of love, friendship, and the determination to turn a horrible experience into something worthwhile

A Healing Spirit Buy Links

Also available as paperbacks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository


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About the Author

Melissa A. Hanson lives in Southern California with her husband and two sons. Growing up in Southern California, inspiration for the city of “Riverview” is based on her hometown. Melissa enjoys scrapbooking and reading when time permits.

A Healing Heart was her first completed novel, and is book 1 of the Riverview Series. It is Bailey & Collin's story.

A Healing Spirit, book 2 has now been released and is book 2 of the Riverview Series. It is Mia & Dylan's story.

Each book is a stand-alone novel.

Book 3 of the Riverview Series is in the early stages and will be Natasha's story.

Contact Links

instagram:@mahwriting
twitter: @mahwriting

Giveaway
Choice of either e-book set or paperback set



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