Monday, February 29, 2016

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

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This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. You should join in, too!


 Happy Leap Day! I've been sick with a cold this week, so I haven't gotten as much reading done as I'd like! Here's what I'm reading this week:

Just Finished:

25712281

I love her books! Review to come closer to the publication date (March 29)

Currently Reading:

11559200

Still working my way through this one. It's dense, so reading it while sick is a bit challenging.

25817032

Got this one from the library (was on hold) and just started it last night!

Up Next:

25573977

Or this:

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What are you reading this week? Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

TBR Thursday: I'll Give You the Sun

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Kimberly @ Kimberlyfaye Reads started a new weekly feature! You should join in the fun, too!

The purpose of the feature is to spotlight a title from your shelf or eReader to see what others think about it. Have you read it? Should I read it or put it back on the shelf? It’s a way to dust off those older books that have been sitting on our TBR and decide if they’re worth reading or just need removed from the list!

20820994 

Published September 2014

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author ofThe Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

Has anyone read this one? I've had it on my TBR pretty much since it came out, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

TLC Book Tours: The Rain Sparrow

Title: The Rain Sparrow
Author: Linda Goodnight
25897464384 pages, published February 23, 2016
Genre: Fiction, Romance

Note: I received this book from TLC Book Tours to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own. Thanks TLC!

Purchase Links

Amazon  Barnes and Noble  Books A Million

From Goodreads:

Famous yet anonymous, thriller writer Hayden Winters lives a life colored by lies. Deeply ashamed of his past, his hunger for an honest relationship and dreams of starting a family remain unsatisfied, and he can trust no one with his secrets. He's determined to outrun his personal demons, but the charming old Peach Orchard Inn and a woman whose presence is as gentle as a sparrow's song stops him in his tracks.

Carrie Riley is afraid of everything from flying to thunderstorms, and pretty much of life itself. But meeting the enigmatic writer staying at the inn emboldens her to learn everything about him. When they discover a fragile boy hiding at the inn, Hayden is honor-bound to help Carrie protect him. Soon they're led to a centuries-old mystery that haunts Hayden's sleep, and his only safe haven is Carrie. As the secrets of the past and present force their lives to become entwined, all that's left to come to light is love—if the grim truth doesn't tear them apart first.
 




What a great read! I loved the author's writing style--the words flow effortlessly and make this book hard to put down. I love the blend of romance but still dealing with deeper life issues. The book had more depth than your typical romance.  I loved the characters! Especially Carrie--maybe because she's a librarian!  I also loved how the author blended the two time periods--the present and Hayden's Civil War era dreams--to connect the story together. It was very well done and flowed well.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I haven't read the first book in the series (this is the second one) but reading this one on its own still made sense. 

My rating: 3.5 stars


About the Author:

91J7edudMgL._UX250_.pngNew York Times and USA Today Bestseller, Linda Goodnight is the winner of the RITA and other highly acclaimed awards for her emotional fiction. Active in orphan ministry, this former nurse and teacher enjoys writing fiction that carries a message of hope and light in a sometimes dark world. A country girl, she lives in Oklahoma. 
Connect with Linda:

To see the full TLC Book Tour Schedule, click here!



Blog Tour: Loving Daniel

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51ixGZaExcL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_Loving Daniel by Stacy Ford

Genre: Contemporary Romance Publication Date: February 1, 2016 Pages: 184
BUY NOW
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When Kenzie Hart's boyfriend dumped her and broke her heart, she didn't let it stop her from living life. Kenzie went out and made a great life for herself. She has a loving husband, two kids, and even a thriving career. She is living the life of a modern day fairy tale. But if Kenzie should have learned anything, it's fairy tales are a work of fiction. There are not happily ever after's. When tragedy strikes, she moves back to her hometown to start over with friends and family at her side. Daniel Roberts has always regretted the way things ended with Kenzie. There has not been a day in the last twenty years he has not wished he could go back in time and change what happened. Now she is coming home after the loss of her husband. He is determine to show her he can be the man she and her children need. Will Kenzie be able to forgive Daniel? Could he give her a second chance at a happily ever after?
 

 
Final crying teaser
It's not my fault I was drawn this way_ I say with a laugh I walk away from him with a purposeful swing to my hips (2) family tree  

Stacy Ford

I am an Indie Contemporary Romance author. I live in Texas with my husband and daughter. I decided to take a hiatus in my career to stay home with my daughter, but I can't sit still for long. Once she got into school I decided to fulfill my dream of writing a book. If I am not at home on the computer writing, or my nose glued to my kindle, I can be found at my other job as an under-paid taxi service for a seven-year old princess.
 
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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Review: Losing the Light

25814509Title: Losing the Light
Author: Andrea Dunlop
336 pages, published February 23, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

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

From Goodreads:

When thirty-year-old Brooke Thompson unexpectedly runs into a man from her past, she’s plunged headlong into memories she’s long tried to forget about the year she spent in France following a disastrous affair with a professor.

As a newly arrived exchange student in the picturesque city of Nantes, young Brooke develops a deep and complicated friendship with Sophie, a fellow American and stunning blonde, whose golden girl fa├žade hides a precarious emotional fragility. Sophie and Brooke soon become inseparable and find themselves intoxicated by their new surroundings—and each other.

But their lives are forever changed when they meet a sly, stylish French student, Veronique, and her impossibly sexy older cousin, Alex. The cousins draw Sophie and Brooke into an irresistible world of art, money, decadence, and ultimately, a disastrous love triangle that consumes them both. And of the two of them, only one will make it home.





What drew me to this book was the beautiful cover! Once I read it was set in France, I knew I had to read it! I took several years of French in school, and was lucky enough to travel to France, but only for a short ten days.  So this book was perfect for me!  I absolutely loved it.  Brooke was such a great character, and I loved viewing France through her eyes.  There are several times in the book where French words and phrases are used. The context generally explains what was said, but I was definitely thankful I knew French when reading it. I'm not saying it's necessary you know French to read the book, but if you do know French, you may appreciate those parts of the book more. 

Sophie was an interesting character--misunderstood, perhaps. As much as I normally dislike this in books, I would've loved some chapters from her perspective, just to learn more about her and what she was thinking at times. I often found my self frustrated with her, but by the end felt like she was just so misunderstood.

As you got further into the book and the love triangle, the book got more and more emotional and hard to put down!  You HAVE to know what happens! The ending is shocking, unexpected, and makes you think. The book is extremely well written, entertaining,  and a great representation of French culture.  If you love French language and culture as much as I do, you will love this book! I definitely look forward to future books by this author!

Overall rating for "Losing the Light": 4.5 stars

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 22, 2016

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

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This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. You should join in, too!


 Here's what I'm reading this week:

Just Finished:

25814509

Love this one!! Review on the blog tomorrow!

16096824

Finished this one but didn't end up liking it....full review on the blog soon!

Currently Reading:

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25897464

Review for TLC Book Tours on the blog Wednesday

Up Next:

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What are you reading this week?


Thursday, February 18, 2016

BBAW: Staying Connected

CommunityConnection

This week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week, hosted by The Estella Society! Today's topic:

How do you stay connected to the community? Examples: social media, regular commenting, participation in blog events, etc. Tell us your faves!

I have been fortunate to meet and connect with some awesome book bloggers! One of my "blogger BFFs" is Brandie from Brandie is a Book Junkie, and I met her through my favorite way of connecting with other bloggers and readers, which is Bout of Books! It's an AWESOME week long readathon, with so many awesome participants, twitter chats, daily challenges, and all around fun. If you haven't gotten involved yet, I HIGHLY suggest you do so! The next Bout of Books is coming up May 9-15, 2016.

I also use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I have the most success connecting with others through Twitter and Instagram, from my experience. I also connect with other bloggers and get book recommendations through Goodreads. I also try to read other blogger's posts and comment on their posts to show support. I know how much work blogging takes and I enjoy reading others' posts so much and learning about new books, and other people's perspectives on books.

I also participate in Weekly Memes--most often Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, Book Beginnings Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by The Book Date.

What about you? How do you stay connected in the blogging world?

Review: Darkly, Deeply Beautifully

28468307Title: Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully
Author: Megan Tayte
313 pages, published February 16, 2016
Genre: YA Paranormal, Romance

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

Purchase on Amazon

From Goodreads:

DARKNESS HAS FALLEN, AND SHE ALONE WILL SEE THE LIGHT.

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint?

With her mother’s life hanging in the balance, Scarlett is devastated – and done with being in the dark. She wants answers, all of them.

But when was her pursuit of the truth ever straightforward?

Pulling a single thread impels a great unravelling. And each revelation will force Scarlett to rethink what she thought she knew about the Ceruleans, the Fallen, her family – herself.

All that came before was a mere prelude to this, the last journey. From London to Twycombe to Hollythwaite to Cerulea, Scarlett will be stalked by the ghosts of what has been, what may have been and what may come to pass. Until she reaches the place where it all began, and it all must end.

But in the final reckoning, none will survive unscathed. And some will not survive at all.

In this explosive conclusion to The Ceruleans series, all must be defined by their actions: sinner, saint… or something more beautiful entirely?





It's finally here!! I am both super excited that this is the conclusion to the Ceruleans series and super sad that it's over! This book was fantastic and everything I hoped the conclusion to this series would be!! I flew through it because I couldn't put it down--I literally read 3/4 of it in one day.

So many answers were given in this book! What's the real story behind the Fallen?  What is going on with Sienna? What happened to her mother? You learn all these answers and more in this book. What I loved is that there was still so many surprises--this series and this book have not been predictable like so many other books. That alone kept me from putting the book down. The ending was perfect--I won't say anymore so I don't give away anything.

If you're looking for a new series to get into, I HIGHLY recommend the Ceruleans series.  It's absolutely fantastic.  Imaginative, original, creative, and so well written! I can't wait to read what Megan Tayte writes next!

Overall rating for "Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully": 5 stars

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review: A Discovery of Witches

Title: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls #1)
8667848Author: Deborah Harkness
579 pages, published February 2011
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
Source: Borrowed from a friend

From Goodreads:

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell. 

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.



A few weeks ago, a friend told me she'd just finished a book I HAD to re ad.  She let me borrow the book and once I started it, I immediately became immersed in the beautiful writing, setting, and story of the All Souls Trilogy.  I've heard this book described as Twilight for intellectuals--this is spot-on.  It has the vampires and romance part of Twilight, but with better writing, characters with PhD's, and set in legendary libraries, in addition to witches and daemons.  If you liked Twilight (don't be afraid to admit it!) even a little, you will LOVE this book.

I'm not going to lie--the 579 pages with small print was very intimidating.  Don't let it scare you--I was sucked into the story from the first page.  Frequently in books that long I feel weighed down by endless descriptions and lack of plot advancement. Not so with this book! The plot moves along consistently, keeps you entertained, and makes it hard to put down.  It takes awhile to get through but is worth every minute you spend on it. The author's writing is so eloquent and the characters are so intriguing. You are asking so many questions throughout the book, and many of them are answered, but some of them are left for the second book. The ending leaves you eager to read the second book, Shadow of Night. I loved this book so much that rather than borrowing the rest of the series from my friend, I ordered a copy of each book in the trilogy for myself--I knew they were ones I had to own.

I'll finish my review with a favorite quote from the book, on page 86. When I read this, I literally stopped and had to re-read and write down this quote because I loved it so much:

""Normal' is a bedtime story--a fable--that humans tell themselves to feel better when faced with overwhelming evidence that most of what's happening around them is not 'normal' at all."

Overall rating for "A Discovery of Witches": 5 stars

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Release Day Party! Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully (Ceruleans #5) GIVEAWAY!

Happy Release Day to Megan Tayte--who releases her fifth book in the Ceruleans series today--Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully! If you've been a reader of my blog you know I LOVE this author and this series.  This series is the reason why I love being a book blogger--Megan emailed me asking me to review the first book in the series over a year ago and I decided to go for it because I loved the premise of the story. I'm so thankful that I did because I have loved the books so much--books I may have missed otherwise that I now get to share with my readers!! Thanks Megan!! 

Also: my review will be posted on Thursday!!

Here are the details on the new release:

28468307DARKNESS HAS FALLEN, AND SHE ALONE WILL SEE THE LIGHT.

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint?

With her mother’s life hanging in the balance, Scarlett is devastated – and done with being in the dark. She wants answers, all of them.

But when was her pursuit of the truth ever straightforward?

Pulling a single thread impels a great unravelling. And each revelation will force Scarlett to rethink what she thought she knew about the Ceruleans, the Fallen, her family – herself.

All that came before was a mere prelude to this, the last journey. From London to Twycombe to Hollythwaite to Cerulea, Scarlett will be stalked by the ghosts of what has been, what may have been and what may come to pass. Until she reaches the place where it all began, and it all must end.

But in the final reckoning, none will survive unscathed. And some will not survive at all.

In this explosive conclusion to The Ceruleans series, all must be defined by their actions: si
nner, saint… or something more beautiful entirely?

In this explosive conclusion to The Ceruleans series, all must be defined by their actions: sinner, saint… or something more beautiful entirely? 

Purchase on Amazon




Excerpt
I kissed Luke then. I kissed him. Like I hadn’t kissed him in more than a week – since before London, since before Hollythwaite, since Barcelona: when we’d been just a regular couple on a city break, wrapped up in each other. Through the kiss I heard his sigh, the release of emotion. And then he pulled me to him, onto his lap, and I kissed his lips, his jaw, his collarbone, his shoulder, and he kissed my lips, my earlobe, my neck, my –
‘No!’
My robe had slipped, exposing my back, and I struggled off him and wrestled with the fabric entangled at my waist.
He stood up. Put his hands on my shoulders. Said my name with so much tenderness that I had to stop. Had to look at him. The room was steamy, the glass doors occluded. No one could see. Only him.
‘Trust me,’ he said.
I did.
Slowly, he turned me. I steeled myself as he took it in, the brand I now wore. Non Serviam. I will not serve. Emblazoned on my back in the form of angry, jagged scar tissue.
When I felt his lips on the nape of my neck, I jerked in shock. But his hands on my hips held me still as he traced the path of the scar, one kiss at a time, from its very top to its termination just above my bikini bottoms.
‘Beautiful,’ he said.
I turned to him. He smiled up at me.
Sinking down so that we were both kneeling, I said, ‘How could you…?’
‘How could I not?’ was his answer. ‘I was there, Scarlett. I saw what you did for your mother. That scar: it’s beautiful.’
‘But it’s a punishment, Luke. Because I sinned. That’s not beautiful. It’s dark. Wrong.’
‘No! Don’t you say that. Trying to save your mother – that could never be wrong. If I’d had the chance, I’d have done it. My mum, my dad, Cara… I’d have saved them all. And you. I would always save you.’
His eyes were glistening, and I lunged for him and hugged him hard.
‘So stop hiding it from me,’ he finished, his voice muffled in my hair. ‘Please. Because I love that scar on you so goddam much.’
I nodded into his shoulder and he squeezed me.
It was calm in our little haven. Still. Warm. Nothing existed but Luke and me. We held each other for a long time, drifting in the haze.
And then Luke sat back and said, ‘So, you and me. We’re good?’
‘We’re good,’ I told him. Then I frowned and added: ‘For now. You know, Gabe, the Fallen: I have no idea what we’re getting into.’

‘Me either.’ He reached out a finger and drew, in the condensation on the glass door, a little lightbulb. ‘But whatever lies ahead,’ he said, ‘it has to be better than living in the dark.’

About Megan Tayte:Displaying Megan Tayte author pic.jpgDisplaying Megan Tayte author pic.jpg
Displaying Megan Tayte author pic.jpg
Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. ‘Write, Megan,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Megan is a professional writer and published author by day, and an indie novelist by night. Her fiction – young adult romance with soul – recently earned her the SPR’s Independent Woman Author of the Year award.

Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in Robin Hood's county, Nottinghamshire. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a palaeontologist; and her baby daughter, a keen pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she's not writing, you'll find her walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Displaying Megan Tayte author pic.jpg
Displaying Ceruleans series poster.jpg
Displaying Ceruleans series poster.jpg

Monday, February 15, 2016

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

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This is a weekly meme now hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. You should join in, too!


 Here's what I'm reading this week:

Just Finished:

8667848

LOVED IT. Ordered the whole trilogy for myself (I'd borrowed this from a friend). Can't wait to read Book 2! Review will post in the near future.


Currently Reading:

16096824

Having trouble getting into this one, sadly. Convince me that it's worth it? 

25814509

Got this one from NetGalley. LOVING IT!

Up Next:

11559200

What are you reading this week??

BBAW: Introduce Yourself!

Day OneIntroduce yourself


This week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week hosted by The Estella Society! Today's topic is to introduce yourself, and list five books that represent your interests/lifestyle. Easier said than done, but here's my list!

3273

I have a love affair with Hawaii. It's my happy place. I love the culture, and the relaxed lifestyle. I also LOVE reading historical fiction, and this book is GOREGOUS. Absolutely brilliant.

210204

My undergraduate degree was in Psychology, and my graduate degree was in Health Education. I spent a few years teaching a Freshman Year Experience seminar until the program was cut. I absolutely love learning about the brain, and this is one of my favorite books I read in grad school!  Yes, I am a nerd :)

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This book is about an animal behaviorist, and represents both my love of psychology and my love for animals! I have a Black Lab and four cats, and I am a huge animal lover!


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Though I'm not a hard core hiker or anything, I do love the outdoors and live  in the beautiful state of Oregon, which allows for so many fun activities! 


5139

I LOVE this book. It's one  I can re-read over and over again. If I'm feeling too stressed out about work, this makes me feel better :)

I look forward to chatting with other BBAW participants at the Twitter Parties!