Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to the Books Hop

Thanks so much to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Buried In Books, for hosting another epic giveaway! I love this time of year- the start of the school year. In fact, I used to believe that the beginning of the calendar year started in September, instead of January, as you can guess I wasn't the quickest of students haha just kidding!

Anyways, I used to always look forward to the end of August because it brought my birthday and BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING, I used to LOVE going and getting school supplies. Nothing better than a brand new binder and a set of fresh pens! Haha am I right?

So to celebrate this time of year, I offer up another giveaway, and it's INTERNATIONAL!!!

Please be sure to READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS at the bottom of the Rafflecopter form.

Good luck to all!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Gravity by Melissa West

This debut from Entangled Publishing looks amazing!

Gravity by Melissa West
Release Date: October 16th/12.
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway: Widow's Web by Jennifer Estep

Widow's Web by Jennifer Estep
Now Available!!! Order Here
Publisher: Pocket Books
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
I used to murder people for money, but these days it’s more of a survival technique.

Once an assassin, always an assassin. So much for being plain old Gin Blanco. With every lowlife in Ashland gunning for me, I don’t need another problem, but a new one has come to town. 

Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but she’s really a dangerous enemy whose water elemental magic can go head-to-head with my own Ice and Stone power. Salina also has an intimate history with my lover, Owen Grayson, and now that she’s back in town, she thinks he’s hers for the taking. 

Salina’s playing a mysterious game that involves a shady local casino owner with a surprising connection to Owen. But they call me the Spider for a reason. I’m going to untangle her deadly scheme, even if it leaves my love affair hanging by a thread.

My Thoughts:

Estep has done it again! I can't believe how exciting she keeps the Elemental Assassin series!

Gin has been through a lot, she's finally taken down her arch nemesis, Mab, and found closer with her old flame, Donovan. Everything should be smooth sailing now right? Wrong.

There's a new nemesis on the block and she wants Gin's man! 

Owen fans be prepared, an old flame is back, and it's not pretty, but through it all, I just fell in love with him more. His and Gin's relationship and trust are definitely put to the test with Estep's latest installment. 

But like with all her Elemental Assassin books, Estep doesn't shy away from putting Gin through some difficult loops. Gin is forced to make a really hard decision in this instalment, and like all her others, she doesn't think twice about it and makes no apology for it. But it puts her most important relationship at risk, leaving the question of whether or not they're strong enough to survive it. (I apologize if I seem very vague with this, but I don't want to get to spoilery in this review :)).

One thing I really appreciated about Widow's Web, was the depth that we get to see from Owen. He's always been Gin's rock and not judged her " lifestyle choices" and we get to see why and what exactly lead him to be the successful man he is today.

I love that Estep never goes to cliche with her characters, especially Gin. In the real world, not everyone would be as accepting of the assassin lifestyle, and Estep has done a great job of showcasing this through Donovan. But, it's refreshing to see that her heroine, Gin, makes no apologies for who she is and what she does, she's not trying to make excuses for her choices, that's just who she is!  

This is an Urban Fantasy series that just seems to get better as it continues. The growth of the characters and the new enemies Gin must face, keep this series fresh and relevant with it's readers. Estep knows when to end a story arc, and continue a new one. I can't wait to see where she takes Gin next in Deadly Sting (Elemental Assassin #9).

After reading the ending to Widow's Web, I definitely need Deadly Sting. Typical Estep, always leaving you thirsty for more! :)

I would recommend this series for all Urban Fantasy fans, who enjoy a kick-ass, sarcastic heroine, a confidently sexy hero, comic relief side-kicks, and action within the pages of their read. If you're already a fan of this series, you won't be disappointed and if you haven't read it yet, well what are you waiting for?!

Happy Reading!!!

Please join me, in welcoming Jennifer to the blog today!!!
Which character from your Elemental Assassin series do you relate to the most?

JE: Hmm. That’s a tough one, and it changes given my mood and what’s going on, but right now, I’ll say Finn. He’s often the comic relief in the books and tries to make Gin and the other characters laugh at his antics, and I enjoy making folks laugh and smile in real life.

Do you have a preference over writing Adult Urban Fantasy vs. Young Adult? Is one easier than the other?

JE: I don’t really have a preference, and one isn’t any easier than the other. Both genres have their challenges (writing any book in any genre is always a challenge), and so far I’ve been having a lot of fun writing in both genres.

Many of my books have a lot of the same elements – a strong, sassy heroine, magic, romance, and lots of action/fight scenes. I would just say that I’m telling a little more of a coming-of-age story with my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy books versus my Elemental Assassin adult urban fantasy books.

You have taken Gin on some wild rides, in her personal and "professional" life, did you have the whole series mapped ahead of time, or do stories come to you with each installment?

JE: I usually know the big things that I want to happen as the series goes along, like Bria coming back to town and Gin’s showdown with Mab. But I’m a panster, which means that I don’t do a lot of detailed outlines or things like that before I start writing, although I usually have the general story idea and the big turning points in mind.

But some of my best ideas and characters have come to me as I’ve been writing. So it’s part plotting and part discovery along the way. Hopefully, folks are enjoying reading Gin’s adventures as much as I am writing them.

If you could describe Widow's Web in three words, what would they be?

JE: Intense. Action-packed. Heartbreaking.

 Some series can grow stale after the first few books, how do you keep Elemental Assassin so fresh and exciting?!

JE: I always enjoy coming up with new villains for Gin to face down. I like to think about what I haven’t done before in terms of magic, villains, and sticky situations, and then figure out how Gin would react, how she would overcome those villains with her own wits and magic, and how those things would affect her and the other characters. Then I just sort of go from there.

What do Elemental Assassin fans (and Gin) have to look forward to, in the installments to come?

JE: Deadly Sting, the eighth book in the series, is set to be published in April 2013. I can’t say too much about that book, but Gin will once again find herself in a dangerous situation and facing down some bad guys, as well as dealing with the aftermath of some of the things that take place in Widow’s Web. There will be at least two more books in the series after Deadly Sting. Folks can visit my website at for more information. Happy reading, everyone!

Haven't read the ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series yet? Why the heck not?! Here's the first 6 books in the series!

For synopsis' and excerpts visit Estep's website here.

Follow Jennifer:
Twitter: @Jennifer_Estep

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!!! Jennifer has generously donated a copy of Widow's Web for giveaway! To enter fill out the rafflecopter below, but PLEASE READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FORM!

Good luck to all!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 27, 2012

ARC Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Release Date: September 25th/12.
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish.

My thoughts:
Definitely judge this book by its cover :)

Alice is a kick-ass heroine! She speaks her mind, without apologies- very refreshing! She has to be one of the most sarcastic protagonists I've ever read. Very quick with the come-backs and uses humour as a deflect.

Cole is a sexy, bad boy, black knight (total hero material). He's got a certain mystery to him that you just want to uncover. 

This first installment does a great job of building up lots of sexual tension between these two. There are a couple scenes that had me questioning whether or not it was a YA haha. Gena does a great job of adding a satisfying level of steam to her YA,  that only a truly seasoned Romance writer can accomplish.

Alice in Zombieland is filled with nitty-grittt zombie fight scenes- they're pretty brutal! Showalter has put a unique twist on the popular Zombie genre. They fight zombies as an "out of body experience". Of course, there's also a certain mystery that centres around Alice and her heritage, that keeps the pacing of the plot exciting.

One more thing I need to add to this review, is Alice's relationship with her grandparents  - I loved it! It was nice to see real parenting with these two. It was a refreshing change from all the absentee parental figures surrounding YA. Also, loved how hip her Grandparents tried to be, for example her Grandma referred to a boy as a "douche purse" instead of a douche bag- hilarious. They added a nice comedic relief between all the action-packed fight scenes, and the steamy romance.

Cannot recommend this one enough. Even if Zombies aren't your thing, you should give this book a try, because Gena has penned a great story with lots of action, amazing characters and a romance that'll leave you NEEDING MORE!

I demand more Cole-time, right now!

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Sever by Lauren DeStefano

I can't wait to finish this series- I need to know who she'll end up with! :)

Sever by Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: Feb. 12th/13.
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

What titles are you waiting on, this week?

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Box of ARCs Giveaway: Summer Edition

Hey Everyone! Sooooooooo I meant to post this giveaway earlier today, but the day kind of got away from me (It being my birthday and all haha)

But I give to you folks, A BOX OF ARCs GIVEAWAY!!!

Open to U.S./Canada residents (I'm sorry International followers, but look for an International giveaway next month!)

Please read the terms and conditions, carefully, at the bottom of the Rafflecopter!

Good Luck to you all!

ARCs to Choose from

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading

Happy Tuesday Everyone! This week's teaser is brought to you by Mara Dyer #2 - The Evolution of Mara Dyer  which releases Oct. 23rd/12!


"Kiss me," I said. My voice was sure.
Noah's eyes opened, but he didn't move. He was considering me. Trying to gauge whether or not I meant it. He didn't want to push me before I was ready.
So I had to show him that I was.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer, p. 239
Happy Reading!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

ARC Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Pre-Order here)
Release Date: September 18th/12.
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Source: ARC from Publisher
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

My thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this book! Warning! I will be gushing from here on out, through the rest of this review, because there was only ONE thing I didn't like about this book and that was that it ENDED   :(

Armentrout has made quite a name for herself in the book blogsphere in the past year, or so, and it is well deserved- she manages to write continuously entertaining heroines and steamy chemistry in a continuous manner. We as readers can appreciate the speed with which she writes, because we, than, don't have to wait as long for her next work to come out, right? Haha. Anyway the point I'm trying to make is that while her Lux and Covenant series are great, Cursed is BY FAR, my favourite read of hers, to date. My only hope is that this title gets pushed and approved for a series.

Why do I love Cursed so much, you ask? Well let's start off with the character, Ember McWilliams who, in my humble opinion, is Armentrout's most complex heroine. While Alex and Cat don't lead the easiest of lives, they no nothing of pain and loss like Ember. Imagine living in a world where you're forced to love and experience everything from a distance at the risk of hurting those near and dear to you. Ember's touch is lethal, literally. Now imagine being a high school senior and being the prime care-giver of a little sister, you can't hug, and a mother who doesn't even acknowledge your existence. This is a lot of baggage for anyone to take, let alone a teenager, but the heat-break doesn't stop there. Now imagine COMPLETE STRANGERS kidnapping said family you've been caring and providing for for the past year, and telling you "It's ok, we've got if from here. You're no longer needed, nor wanted." I'm completely paraphrasing, but I'm sure you get the gist. 

Ember is so incredibly strong, she loses everything and everyone, but she doesn't give up on herself and the hope that she can control this "Curse" she's been dealt. I think one difference to note between Ember and Alex/Cat, is that Ember is a bigger sister, so she has a maternal instinct and compassion that is missing from both Alex and Cat. There is one scene in this book that had me bawling and running for kleenex. I actually stopped reading to tweet Jennifer, commending her on this scene. I can't make the guarantee that everyone is going to have the same reaction as me, but I truly felt for Ember in that moment when she had truly lost EVERYTHING she knew and loved. I'm almost tearing up thinking about it right now- Gosh, I'm a suck haha.

But don't fear too much for Ember, because she does have one stepping stone through all of this, Hayden. While I'm not thrilled that his name is so close to my own (:)) I did still fall hard for him. He's not arrogant or mean, he's thoughtful and compassionate, and completely crazy for Ember. But he to, has some skeletons in his closet that he needs to deal with. I loved the interaction, steamy chemistry and sexual tension between him and Ember- knowing that Ember can kill with one touch,  makes kissing and such a little more of a battle. I really hope that I get to read more of these two in the near future.

The plot was great! It had an X-Men feel to it, but the writing is definitely more targeted to fans of Armentrout's previous works. If you like a little supernatural and a sweet romance in your YA, read Cursed and than go and tell Armentrout to continue writing more installments for this series haha!

Happy Reading!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

I bought quite a bit of books! :)
Bound by Erica O'Rourke
Endlessly by Kiersten White
On the Island by Tracey Graves
Tales of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong
Legacy of Tril: Soulbound by Heather Brewer
Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
Afterlife by Claudia Gray
The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Wildfire by Karsten Knight
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Blood Before Sunrise by Amanda Bonilla
Siren by Tricia Rayburn
Undercurrent by Tricia Rayburn
Dark Waters by Tricia Rayburn
Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
Temptation by Alisa Valdes
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lanini Taylor
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas

O and one more 
Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

That's all for me this week, not sure when I'll find the time to read all of these but, heck, I'll make the time! 

What are you stacking your shelves with this week?

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I need this one like yesterday! I can't wait to see where book 2 takes this trilogy! :)

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: Oct. 23rd/12.
Publisher: Simon Pulse
 Click here, to read an excerpt from book 2- BUT BE WARNED, it contains spoilers for those who haven't yet read, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer :)
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
The truth about Mara Dyer’s dangerous and mysterious abilities continues to unravel in this gripping sequel to the thrilling The Unbecoming of Mara DyerOne week after Mara walked into a police station in Miami at the close of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, she has been committed to psychiatric treatment for what her parents believe was a mental breakdown. But what seems like a hallucination to everyone else is a chilling reality for Mara. Someone from her past has discovered her strange, deeply disturbing secret and that someone wants her to pay. But when no one believes the truth, Mara is totally helpless. The only person on her side is Noah Shaw, as sexy and handsome as he is loyal and cunning. Noah is the only person who can help Mara—as long as he doesn’t get himself killed in the process.

What titles are you waiting on this week? 

Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

Let me just start off by saying that this book is full golden quotes, but here's one that I'll share with you.
Enjoy and Happy Tuesday!
"Damn it."
"What?" I looked out the back glass as an eighteen-wheeler bore down on us, so close that all I could see was its chrome grille. The steep grade of the canyon made it difficult for trucks to maneuver through its twists and turns.
"Nothing like a rectal exam by an eighteen-wheeler."

Happy Reading!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Authors are Rockstars Blog Tour: Ann Redisch Stampler Review, Deleted Scene + Giveaway

I'm so excited to be participating in the first Authors are Rockstars Blog Tour, hosted by Fiktshun & Two Chicks On Books. I'm even more excited to be hosting AUTHOR ROCKSTAR EXTRAORDINAIRE, ANN REDISCH STAMPLER!!!

Why is Stampler a Rockstar?
She writes contemporary YA that, while adults are sure to enjoy, teens can all relate to. She's not afraid to sway away from the happily-ever-after endings, and keep her stories realistic. And she manages to do all this and write amazing and thought-provoking stories. How does she do it? 
Contact Ann:

where it began by  Ann Redisch Stampler
Now Available!!!  Purchase
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Purchased finish copy
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Sometimes the end is just the beginning.

Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving—and without a single memory of the accident that landed her there. But what she can recall, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the crash.

As Gabby describes her transformation from Invisible Girl to Trendy Girl Who Dates Billy Nash (aka Most Desirable Boy Ever), she is left wondering: Why is Billy suddenly distancing himself from her? What do her classmates know that Gabby does not? Who exactly was in the car that night? And why has Gabby been left to take the fall?

As she peels back the layers of her life, Gabby begins to realize that her climb up the status ladder has been as intoxicating as it has been morally complex... and that nothing about her life is what she has imagined it to be.
My Thoughts:
I think every teen should read this book, especially girls.

While the cover of this book is gorgeous, the story inside is dark and emotional- Just goes to show you, don't judge a book by its cover, which happens to be one the many strong themes portrayed through Stampler's debut. 

Gabby is a complex heroine. She's lost, her parents aren't real authority figures (her mother being concerned only with appearances and social ranking). So she never feels truly loved at home, enter Billy Nash. High school golden boy, and everything Gabby and her mom have dreamed of. But, once again, appearances can be deceiving. 

While not all readers may agree with her decisions and actions, many will sympathize with Gabby's insecurities. Struggling to find your identity while surviving high school, I think many of us know this. The important thing to remember is your independence. Gabby let a boy define her whole life, and it almost ruined it. You're not beautiful because somebody says you are- YOU have to believe you are. That's the moral I took from this debut.

where it began opens up with Gabby waking up in a wreck and can't remember the last few hours of her life. Even her name is complicated, this sets up a great mystery, that readers will enjoy solving. As well, Stampler does a great job of writing Gabby's first person/present tense narration, which in turn, keeps the pacing of the book relevant and exciting.

Definitely pick up this contemporary YA debut! 

And be sure to add her next book, Afterparty, to your to-read list.
Releases: May 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Here's a little treat from Stampler herself, a deleted scene from where it began. Enjoy!

When I write novels, I tend to write way too much and then trim.  Or more accurately, given the amount of prose that have to go, hack.

            And one of the things I realize I do before paring back to the bones --looking at what I’ve hacked from both Where It Began and the new novel, Afterparty --  is to create entirely unrealistic scenes that make characters who have suffered supremely, unrealistically happy.  Such as giving them international art prizes for which they never even applied. 

            Even though my books have strong elements of parody, I try to keep the character’s emotional and internal experiences real.  I shy away from bright, blinding epiphanies after which the character is suddenly transformed, from unrealistic change, and from the attainment of anything vaguely resembling perfection.  And handing Gabby perfect bliss through artistic recognition definitely falls into that category of things.  Not to mention, it takes the recurring issue of Gabby’s life being determined by things that other people want and actions other people take, way too far over the top.

            And yet, I still want to give her the prize.

            For those of you who have read Where It Began, this deleted scene takes place just after the scene in which Gabby and Lisa are barricaded in the school lavatory, where Gabby is removing her make-up and facing some hard truths.

            For those of you who haven’t read the book, Lisa is one of Gabby’s two best friends, and Miss Cornish and Mr. Rosen are her art teachers, both of whom play a significant, positive role in Gabby’s life.  Mr. Piersol is her school’s headmaster, who is not at all fond of her. (In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I will leave out what he’s done to her up to this point.)

            Note that in the final version of Where It Began, the prose are in the present tense, and that Mr. Rosen’s accent is not such a distracting, big deal.  

            Here’s the scene:

            When we got to Miss Cornish’s art room, Mr. Rosen was sitting there with a highly discombobulated-looking Mr. Piersol and Miss Cornish standing over him, all gazing at a piece of paper as if it were God’s grocery list.  My natural tendency was to think: Now what?  And feel ever so slightly more doomed than I usually felt because Mr. Piersol was in the room. But by now Lisa was hopping around like a crazed bunny rabbit and I got the sense that whatever this was about, it was more than slightly good. 
            Lisa whispered, “You are not going to believe this!  This is so amazing!  You’re going to die!”  Holding my arm in a death grip to prove it.
            “What?  Tell me what.”
            “Gartenberg,” she whispered.
            Hearing this, Mr. Rosen and Miss Cornish looked up grinning like happy fools and Mr. Piersol looked as if he’d swallowed tainted meat and was smiling despite a strong need to projectile vomit.
            Mr. Rosen said, “Sooo-prize!” and stared at me through his little round glasses.  The novel sight of him smiling while looking at me and not just peering at my work through those little round glasses or yelling at me about eating gold fish was more than slightly unnerving.  He waved the paper in front of me as if it were a flag he was about to plant on the moon.  “Gartenberg!” he said.
            “It’s a prize,” Lisa whispered.  Coming from a family that made big flow charts of top 50 universtities with a list of every possible honor, award, and extracurricular activity that could help someone get into all these places, Lisa could rattle off the top prizes for anything like an idiot savant who knows everybody’s batting average going back to 1923. 
            I said something approximating, “Huh?”
            “This is a very big deal,” she hissed into my ear.  “You’re an Art Goddess.”
            Miss Cornish handed me the letter. 
I didn’t win the actual prize, it turned out, which was going to some seventy-five year old artist in Japan for his “body of work,” which had this little ironic word play thing going on because the Gartenberg pamphlet had a picture of his iconic work and apparently the old guy had a thing for bodies, elongated marble corpses arranged in heaps to look like mounds of seasonal fruits and ripe vegetables.  I was the honorable mention in the youth division, along with some Swiss kid named Hans. But to Cornish and Rosen and apparently everybody else on earth, this was still hot.
            “How did I win this?”
            “I have sent them color photographs of your pots and of your mandatory still life,” Mr. Rosen said, very proud of himself.  “One bowl, one fruit, one object of choice from list.”
            “No way!” I said.
            “Way!” said Mr. Rosen.  Only it was more like “Vay!”
            Miss Cornish, who was now looking somewhat distressed in the midst of all this good cheer, said, “Um, Werner, did Gabby know about this at all?”
            “Sooo-prise,” he said, pleased as a turkey sitting in front of enough grain to eat itself to death.
            “But Werner,” she said.  “How did she fill out the application and the Gartenberg statement of purpose when she made the finals if she didn’t know about it?  Gabby has a lot to say for herself.  She has a lot of feelings and pure raw emotion to express.”
            Kill me now.
            “Let her express with paint,” said Mr. Rosen.  “I quote her.  Very blunt.  They like this in American candidates.  Not so much in European.”
            Lisa, it turned out, had nothing on Miss Cornish in the eye-rolling department.  “OK,” she said.  “OK, Werner.  What reason did she give for wanting to create?”
            “’Everything else sucks,’” Mr. Werner said proudly, only it was more like “zucks.”
            “Jesus Christ, Mr. Rosen!” I said.  “Sorry Lisa.  I never said that to you!  I’m not a complete ditz who would say that in front of a teacher, are you kidding me?”
            “You said to Lisa,” Mr. Rosen said.
            “You did!” said Lisa, hopping around, “You said, ‘Why the hell not paint the damned still life?  Everything else sucks.’”
            “I just make you say, ‘Why not?” Mr. Rosen shrugged, just like a goofy little kid, all proud of himself for having pretended to be me for long enough for me to enter the contest with little Swiss Hans, who probably filled out his own application and was yodeling a pretty happy tune right about now.
            I probably should be yodeling a pretty happy tune right about now, too.
            Then it hit me: I was an Art Goddess. 
I won something for my art and it was really a big deal. 
Mr. Piersol was speechless.  No doubt we were both thinking of me marching across the stage on Awards Day in front of the parents and the entire student body and how embarrassed he was going to be because, as thrilled as he pretended he was to embrace a reformed screw-up like me and, probably, he shouldn’t suspend me under the circumstances, not suspending me was somehow different from having to stick out his arm and give me a prize for doing something that was actually worthwhile, and how this absolutely miserable look on his face would be the cherry on my happiness. 
I was absolutely happy.
Thank you so much for this treat Ann! But wait she still has more for you - A GIVEAWAY AND IT'S INTERNATIONAL!
Good Luck to all!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see all the other awesome Rockstars and Groupies touring this month go here.

Happy Reading!!!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: In which McCoy makes a cameo...

Hello Everyone! Hope you all had a great week, I want to apologize for the lack of quality in this week's photos, I've just gotten back from a friend's wedding in which I was a Bridesmaid, and am so exhausted- Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Worley!!! :)

Here are the goods (McCoy makes a cameo in this week's post :))

From Publisher:
Envy by Gregg Olsen (Splinter) - Now Available!!!
Betrayal by Gregg Olsen (Splinter) - Sept'12
Traded with Damaris from Good Choice Reading:
Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon (HarperTeen) - Aug'12
Fang Girl by Helen Keeble (HarperTeen) - Aug'12
Entice by Jessica Shirvington (Source Books Fire) - Sept'12

Thanks to Damaris and Splinter for a great STS this week! What are you stacking your shelves with this week?

Happy Reading!!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Indie Review: Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens

Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens
Now Available!!!
Self-Published eBook
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
For almost two years now, Kiera's boyfriend, Denny, has been everything she's ever wanted: loving, tender and endlessly devoted to her. When they head off to a new city to start their lives together, Denny at his dream job and Kiera at a top-notch university, everything seems perfect. Then an unforeseen obligation forces the happy couple apart.

Feeling lonely, confused, and in need of comfort, Kiera turns to an unexpected source – a local rock star named Kellan Kyle. At first, he's purely a friend that she can lean on, but as her loneliness grows, so does their relationship. And then one night everything changes...and none of them will ever be the same.

My thoughts:

I have a love hate relationship with this book. I loved the story/plot and I loved the "Love" interests, Kellan and Denny, but I'm torn with Kiera.

I actually grew to dislike Kiera the more I read her narrative. She gives a whole new meaning to "Having your cake and eating it to." I thought she was incredibly unfair to both these wonderful and thoughtful guys and I, personally, didn't think she deserved them. I honestly think she got off WAY to easy with both men. With this said, I still couldn't stop reading Thoughtless, and this is a healthy read, almost 600 pages! I'm honestly not that used to reading self-pubs this long, and I felt there were a lot of parts that could have been deleted because they just felt to repetitive and I just wanted to slap Kiera in the face because I thought she was being so selfish, but Stephens does a great job of writing the emotions of these characters- I really felt the tension and connection between Kiera and Kellan. Their chemistry kept me turning the pages.

My favourite thing about this read I'll sum up in two words- Kellan Kyle, what a sexy name right? He's a sex God, romantic, generous and thoughtful. I honestly couldn't get enough of him and while I loved Denny, it was Kellan I was truly rooting for throughout this book.

The ending was nice and thoughtful and I will be continuing on to its sequel, Effortless. Overall, I would recommend this series to fans of 50 Shades of Grey, because there's a lot more going on with these characters than the synopsis will lead you to believe, and it's a much meatier read as well!

Happy Reading!!!