Monday, September 30, 2013

Forever Innocent Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway

Today, I'm happy to be one of the blog stops on the Forever Innocent Blog Tour!

Forever Innocent
By Deanna Roy
Release Date: October 1st/13.
Forever Innocent on Goodreads here.
“Our baby died on prom night, and nothing was ever the same again.”

Corabelle doesn’t feel like any of the other college girls. On what should have been one of the happiest nights of her life, she and her boyfriend Gavin watched a nurse disconnect the ventilator from their seven-day-old baby. During the funeral two days later, Gavin walked out and never returned.

Since then, her life has been a spiral of disasters. The only thing that has helped is her ability to black out whenever the pain gets too hard to bear, a habit that has become an addiction.

When Gavin shows up in her astronomy class four years later, he is hell-bent on getting her back, insisting she forgive him. Corabelle knows she can’t resist the touch that fills the empty ache that has haunted her since he left. But if he learns what she has done, if he follows the trail back through her past, her secrets will destroy their love completely. And once again, she’ll lose the only person who always believed she was innocent.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

My Thoughts:
Loved it!!!

Forever Innocent was exactly the kind of read I needed right now. All the drama and angst New Adult is built on can be found in this book, but I wouldn't label this book so much as a romance, but more, a story of forgiveness, that is completely character and story driven. This is a very heavy read and both our hero and heroine have their own demons they continue to fight after the loss of their week-old baby.

I enjoyed reading from the duel perspectives of Corabelle and Gavin, and because I was able to get into both their heads, I completely sympathized with both characters (however, I was not a fan of Gavin in the beginning) but I did love his passion, and he did have me in swoon-mode while he tried to win back Corabelle's affections. I was desperate for these two to work out their hang-ups, and just learn to forgive themselves for something that was out of their control (no matter what they think).

I'm thrilled that Deanna isn't done with these two, because once I reached the end, I really didn't feel their story was quite over either. Luckily you're not left with a cliffhanger ending that will have you losing sleep wondering what will happen next. I enjoy a good series, but it's always nice to have some closure at the end of each instalment. ;) I will be continuing on to Forever Loved.

If you enjoy New Adult with a complicated, angst-filled love story, than you should give Forever Innocent a try!

Happy Reading!!!

About the Author:

Deanna Roy is a sucker for romance and drama and dumps hefty amounts of both in her novels. She is also a powerful advocate for baby loss moms and has founded multiple support groups for women, from teens on up, who endure this impossible heartache. Her other novels include Baby Dust and Stella & Dane: A Honky Tonk Romance.

Connect with Deanna:

Giveaway time!!! Deanna has an awesome giveaway for her fans- a $50 gift card to any store and a lovely butterfly necklace with a USB loaded with Forever Innocent! Open internationally!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Special thanks to Deanna and Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to participate in this tour!
Happy Reading!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Announcing Avery's Designs! Announcement and Giveaway!

I am so pleased to announce that the awesome, Avery from Avery's Book Nook has opened up her own Design Business!!! And if you're like me, in need of a serious design re-haul, you have to check out AVERY'S DESIGNS, for gorgeous and affordable blog designs!

Congrats. Avery!!! :)

Avery's Designs, a design service run by fellow blogger Avery of Avery's Book Nook (and whose goal is to make blog design easy and affordable- with blog packages, including a header, button, and avatar, for $25), is having is having a grand opening celebration and you are invited! Enter to win one of two complete blog makeovers (including winner's choice of her premade designs and installation of said design- $35 in value)! 

This is the perfect opportunity for those who have always wanted to start a blog, but have yet to do so, or for those seasoned bloggers who feel like their blog could use a facelift! Make your blog stand out with her one-of-a-kind, professional designs!

Avery's Designs

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading!!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Mini Review & Author Guest Post: Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl by Emily Pohl-Weary

Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl
by: Emily Pohl-Weary
Now Available!!!
Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl on Goodreads here.
Sometimes Living in the Big Apple Really Bites!

Eighteen-year-old rock star Sam Lee isn't like other girls. She's the super-talented bass player and songwriter for an all-girl indie band and an incurable loner. Then one night after a concert in Central Park, she's attacked by a wild dog. 

Suddenly, this long-time vegetarian is craving meat--the bloodier, the better. Sam finds herself with an unbelievable secret and no one she trusts to share it. And so begin the endless lies to cover up the hairy truth... 

When a new girl gang appears in the city--with claws and paws--Sam suspects there's a connection to her own inner beast. Trapped in a tug-of-war between her animal and human selves, forced to choose between the guy who sparked her carnal appetite and the one who makes her feel like a normal teenage girl, Sam has to unravel the mysteries of the werewolf world before her bandmates, her mother, and the media catch up to her.

My Thoughts:
Rock and Roll and werewolves!

There ain't no damsels in distress in this New Adult fantasy!

NOT YOUR ORDINARY WOLF GIRL is a fresh take on the popular werewolf genre that fans of Kelley Armstrong are sure to enjoy- Weary has created a strong-willed and minded heroine reminiscent of Elena in BITTEN, with a sexy romance and a persistent, Alpha male hero, NOT YOUR ORDINARY WOLF GIRL is sure to satisfy.

Happy Reading!!!

Please join me in welcoming Emily to the blog today!

Tips on writing a strong heroine.

Make her flawed. Value her personality quirks. Pick the best traits in yourself (or the ones you aspire to having) and give her a few of them—just make sure they’re realistic! Have her make lots of mistakes, but be okay with that. Endow her with resilience in the face of adversity. Give her diverse, unique friends and a support network that look like your own (though don’t borrow too much from the lives of people you care about or they’ll get pissed). Push her to feel a range of feelings and don’t skim over them. Do not ignore her sex drive (otherwise you’re lying, because girls that age are often walking hormones). Above all, make sure your story passes the Bechdel Test!

Connect with Emily:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ARC Review: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

Ten Tiny Breaths
by: K.A. Tucker
Releases Today!!!
Source: ARC from Publisher
Ten Tiny Breaths on Goodreads here.
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.

My Thoughts:
Fresh New Adult pick (and I LOVE the revised cover art :))

Kacey is a very strong heroine and I loved how protective she was over her younger sister, Livie. The sibling dynamic between these two was very believable and reminded me of how close and protective my older sister and I are (although we have been fortunate enough to not have to deal with the same domestic issues as these two). As I said before, Kacey is a very strong character, however, there were times when I felt like she was a little to physical/violent, I just had a harder time relating to Kacey's need for self-defense/kick-boxing, although she did have valid reasons.

Now let's get to my favourite part (as with most books) our hero, Trent. Loved him, he's definitely damaged and is carrying around an enormous weight on his shoulders and my heart went out to him. O how I would love to have a neighbour like him! ;) I melted during a lot of scenes between him and Kacey and even though he was emotionally distant through a large portion of the story, I never doubted his true feelings for her.

Tucker does a great job with the pacing and manages to throw in a few plot curveballs that had me saying "NO WAY!" I do plan to continue this series with Tucker's next release, ONE TINY LIE.

If you enjoy angsty New Adult filled with sexual tension and a handsome next-door-neighbour, definitely give TEN TINY BREATHS a go!

Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thornhill Blog Tour: Review & Guest Post

Today, I'm thrilled to be the next stop on the THORNHILL BLOG TOUR!

THORNHILL (Hemlock #2)
by: Kathleen Peacock
Releases Today!!!
Thornhill on Goodreads here.
Order yourself a copy here.
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Mac can’t lose another friend. Even if he doesn’t want to be found.

The ripple effect caused by Mac’s best friend Amy’s murder has driven Mac’s new love, Kyle, to leave Hemlock and disappear from her life forever. But Mac knows that Kyle plans to enroll in a rehabilitation camp, where he can live with other werewolves. She refuses to accept his decision, especially since the camps are rumored to be tortuous. So she sets out in search of Kyle with a barely sober Jason—and Amy’s all-seeing ghost—in tow.

Clues lead Mac to find Kyle in a werewolf den in Colorado—but their reunion is cut short by a Tracker raid. Now Mac and Kyle are trapped inside the electric fences of Thornhill, a camp for young werewolves. As she devises an escape plan, Mac uncovers dangerous secrets buried within the walls of Thornhill—and realizes that the risk to the people she loves is greater than ever before.

My Thoughts:
Werewolves, Trackers and an amazing love-trianlge, OH MY!

Amazing sequel! Can I have book #3 now, please?!

Hemlock was a great debut, but I have to say, I loved Thornhill even more! It doesn't hurt that I have a weakness for werewolf stories, but it's non-stop action from the first chapter, speaking of which- Kathleen you tease, you had me going back to ensure I remembered the end of Hemlock correctly! Haha, for those who haven't read Thornhill yet, trust me you'll understand once you've read the first few pages ;).

Mac continues to be a strong, take-charge heroine. I absolutely love reading from her point of view. She's incredibly brave in this sequel and puts herself in harms way more times than I can even remember, but it's all to save those near and dear to her. 

The love triangle only seems to be heating up in this sequel as well. Kyle fans be prepared cause Jason isn't backing down any time soon, and Jason fans, you can rejoice in this! Mac gets many sexy, tender and heart-pounding moments with both boys that left me green with envy. Seriously, I can't pick between these two, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to pick, we have another Adam and Warner situation on our hands here guys. Both boys are in love with Mac and don't leave her guessing this fact, but both boys come with their own drama. Kyle has wild beast to tame and doesn't feel like he deserves Mac, he makes a lot of decisions in this book that left me both sad and angry for Mac. Jason, well that boy has a serious rage problem mixed in with a drinking problem (not a great combo) but I still find him so charming, and he's always good at serving as the comic relief. 

Serena was a great secondary character in this instalment, and I think she's a terrific friend to Mac.

I've said it before but I'll say it again, the action is non-stop in this sequel. You never know where Kathleen is going to take you, with the introduction of a few new characters and the return of older characters. You never what or whom's going to be waiting for Mac around the next corner/chapter.

I think the only complaint I have with this series as a whole, would be Amy, but only because I'm not sure I like her as a character, she just seems like the polar opposite of Mac and I don't care for the way she treated Jason.

Overall I'm giving this sequel TWO HUGE THUMBS UP, if I had more to give, I would. Fans of Hemlock will not be disappointed, I wasn't! If you haven't read Hemlock yet, get on it!

Happy Reading!!!
Please join me in welcoming Kathleen to the blog today!

Author Guest Post: How to write a tempting Love Triangle in YA

Love triangles. Horrible in real life. Delicious in fiction—especially when all three characters have more than just one thing to lose.

When it came to writing the love triangle in Hemlock, I wanted it to be about more than Kyle and Jason's individual feelings for Mackenzie. I wanted each boy to draw out different aspects of her character—different needs, desires, and potential futures—but I also wanted all three characters to have more at stake than a romantic relationship.

I wanted the three of them to be friends first and for each of them to fear the loss of that friendship.

That fear is why it takes both boys so long to tell Mackenzie how they really feel and why Mac misses hints and clues that would have been obvious to anyone looking in. It's the reason Mac hates the situation: she doesn't want to cause either boy pain and hates the thought of ever coming between them.

I wanted the stakes to be high. For me, that meant tangling their lives and feelings so badly that, in Thornhill, Mac starts to wonder if the ties holding them together are slowly choking them.

So what's my own checklist for writing or reading satisfying love triangles?

1) Even if a love interest is sometimes unlikeable (*cough* Jason Sheffield *cough* Edward Rochester *cough* every good Byronic hero) the reader should be able to understand why the main character likes them (even if they do not necessarily agree).

2) Each love interest should bring out different qualities, desires, and needs—beyond the physical—in the main character. A love triangle presents a choice of suitors, but that choice, in the end, should say something about the main character. Carrie Ryan (author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth) has a great blog post on the subject in which she says, "To me, a love triangle done right isn't about a *female* character's affections bouncing back and forth between two men, it's about her internal struggle within herself as she figures out who *she* wants to be and what's important to her."

3) If possible, both the love interest and the main character should have more to lose than just a romantic relationship.

4) Make it hard for each character to walk away. If it's easy for any one character to remove themselves from the situation, the whole triangle collapses.

And what are some of my favorite book/movie triangles?

Some Kind of Wonderful (screenplay by John Hughes, Directed by Howard Deutch)
Why: The feelings Watts has for Keith (and her fear/inability to tell him) are evident in the slightest of looks and the smallest of gestures. Mary Stuart Masterson's performance is incredible and it makes the movie.

This Dark Endeavor (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein #1) by Kenneth Oppel
Why: It's the rare triangle where even if someone wins, everyone loses.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Why: Incredibly complex relationships and motivations. Ruth's relationship with Tommy is as much about her fear of losing Kathy as her attraction/feelings for him.

About Kathleen:
Kathleen spent her teen years crushing on authors and writing short stories about
vampires. She put her writing dreams on hold while attending art school, but tripped over them when office life left her feeling restless.

Kathleen is Canadian and likely to perish in the first wave of the zombie apocalypse.

Connect with Kathleen:

Be sure to follow @HCCFrenzy on Twitter and hashtag #ThornhillBT, they have a giveaway going on all week- YOU COULD WIN A HEMLOCK/THORNHILL Prize pack, guys!

Good luck to you all!

Be sure to stop by the awesome blog hosts for the OFFICIAL THORNHILL BLOG TOUR

Sept. 9thJuhina from Maji Bookshelf 
Sept. 10thHayley from Booking It With Hayley G 
Sept. 11thGiselle from Xpresso Reads 
Sept.12thRebecca from OMFG books 
Sept. 13thLindsay from Me on Books 

Special thanks to HarperCollins Canada for allowing me to participate in this blog tour!

Happy Reading!!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

What's the Story McCoy/Stacking the Shelves/IMM

Hey guys! So I had some technical difficulties with my last WTSM post (clearly I need some more practice with setting my videos from Private to Publish haha), so I've added the books from that post along with my newest finds this week!

Here are the beauties I received for Review:

Finished Copies:

I Bought:

I got A TON of awesome e-ARCs as well, but my e-reader isn't with me right now, so I'll be sure to mention all those awesome titles in my next WHAT'S THE STORY MCCOY? post.

That's my story this week, thanks so much to Simon and Schuster Canada, HarperCollins Canada, Penguin Canada, Random House Canada, Raincoast Books, HarlequinTEEN and Montana from The Book Belles, for making it so epic!

What's your story?

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Imperfectly Perfect Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway

Today, I'm happy to be one of the review stops for the Imperfectly Perfect Blog Tour!

Imperfectly Perfect
By: A.E. Woodward
Series: A Series of Imperfections #1
Now available!!!
Imperfectly Perfect on Goodreads here.
Emma, Tyler and Shane have been best friends since they were kids. Along with their college addition, Rob, the four friends have an exciting life in NYC. In fact, Emma Sloan appears to have it all.

Despite being happy with her current situation, a big family announcement leaves Emma questioning whether she is truly content with her life. With her thirtieth birthday fast approaching she vows to find her ‘perfect’ man any way she can. But Emma will soon discover that the path of true love never runs smoothly and that sometimes, instead of chasing love, you have to wait for love to find you…
Purchase Link: Amazon
My Thoughts:
Perfectly Perfect! (Sorry couldn’t help myself ;))

But seriously, I knew this was going to be a good a read from the beginning – I found Woodward’s prologue fresh and unique, and I absolutely loved her pacing, it was perfect and made IMPERFECTLY PERFECT a quick and very satisfying read.

It was so nice to be able to relate to a main, New Adult, character who was so close to my age and stage in life. Emma, our main character, is a very complicated, in her late 20s, she's more focused on professional success, than Romantic. If I’m being completely honest, I found her hard to like, especially in the beginning. She’s very confident in herself (a trait we don’t see in most New Adult heroines) but at times I thought her confidence bordered on conceit and she was a bit hypocritical towards Cheyenne considering her flippant attitude towards poor sweet Eric. (You’ll have to read the book to fully understand this last statement ;))

I really enjoyed the family dynamic between Emma and her Mom. There’s a huge disconnect between these two, a lack of understanding on both ends, but despite this they still share a deep love that only a mother and daughter can.

Now my favourite part, Shane- I loved this man! And I really enjoyed how up beat he was. He just seems like the kind of guy who can keep you blissfully happy and at the same time, grounded. I always enjoy the storyline of love blossoming from friendship!

I need to take a minute to mention just how jealous I was of Cheyenne's close relationship with all the men (and roommates) in her life, I've always thought it'd be fun to live with a bunch of boys, but my friend who did live with four men, assures me it is not all sunshine and roses, haha. 

IMPEFECTLY PERFECT was a great, fast read for me and it came to me at the "Perfect" time. I would recommend this to all New Adult fans who aren't afraid of a tad older main character.

Happy Reading!!!

About the Author:
A.E. Woodward lives in Vacationland with her husband and two children.  Between her day job and Imperfectly Perfect, will be the first book in A Series of Imperfections.
the pursuance of a master’s degree, she wrote her first novel.  Her novel 

 Author Links: Goodreads | Facebook

Giveaway time!!! Before you go, be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter below to be entered to win some awesome prizes!!! Good luck to all who enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Special thanks to Woodward and Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to participate in this blog tour!