Thursday, December 18, 2014

This Holiday Season, Give Joy, Donate a Book!

Help the Salvation Army reach 

by December 22nd, with

I have always loved this time of year. I was one of those kids that searched out for their unwrapped christmas presents around the house (until my Mom caught and started leaving them at friends and family's houses - I'm ashamed that I'm not even joking about this haha)

I would come home for lunch, with my sister, and sit by the Tree shaking the wrapped presents trying to guess what was in each. I'd wake up at 4-5am every Christmas morning eager to see what Santa left under the tree or in my stocking- I smile just thinking about it all now.

I remember my parents would always say, "Hayley, it's not about the presents, but the time spent with the ones you love" I remember I use to think "Yeah, ok Mom" while rolling my eyes.

Now that I'm an adult, I have to admit I owe my parents a HUGE apology and THANK YOU for always making every year a special one, I'm so grateful to have had such wonderful Christmases with you! 

I don't know if you've ever heard the song, "Grown-up Christmas wish" but I relate to it more and more every year, and so this Christmas I want to give back and what better way than WITH BOOKS!!!!

There are many charities to donate to at this time of year, but I decided to donate to TOY MOUNTAIN/The Salvation Army!

Toy Mountain is in need of donations geared towards teenage girls (13-15), and Young Adult books are a great way to spread holiday cheer!

Here's my donation:

Of course, I don't want to pressure anyone to feel they have to donate, but maybe there's an unread book on your shelf, where the spine hasn't even been cracked, of course you want to read it, but there just never seems to be any time with your ever growing TBR pile.

Why not donate that book now, and purchase it in paperback at a later date, when you have time to read it :) It's a great way to go through your book shelves and give back!

And if you don't want to part with your beloved books (which I completely understand) a Chapters/Indigo gift card, would make a terrific gift!

If you do decide to donate, or want more details, go to the TOY MOUNTAIN WEBSITE, they have separate sites for their TORONTO, OTTAWA, VANCOUVER and WINNIPEG locations and each site has dates and drop-off locations.

Or tweet them at @ToyMountain with any questions or a picture of your donation! :)

I hope you all have a wonderful BOOK-FILLED holiday season!

Happy Holiday Reading!!!

*All Toy Mountain and Salvation Army images in this post were taken from 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

Hello all! It's been awhile since I've posted a WOW post, but I received a teaser for this week's pick in the mail from Penguin Canada and now I'm dying to continue the story!

An Ember in the Ashes
by: Sabaa Tahir
Release date: April 28th/15 - So far away!!!
Add An Ember in the Ashes to your Goodreads To-Read list 
Cover image and synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

That's my WOW pick this week, what's yours? Let me know in the comments, I'm always looking to add to my daunting TBR pile HAHA!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Indie Review: One Song Away by Molli Moran

One Song Away
by: Molli Moran
Now Available!!!
Source: E-galley received from author
Purchase your copy: Amazon 
Cover image and synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
She needs a fill-in boyfriend. He needs a favor. It’s the perfect, no-strings arrangement until they both realize it’s too real…
Sophie-Claire Wright’s life is like a bad country song on repeat. She keeps running into her cheating ex, her songwriting career isn't taking off, and her roommate just kicked her out of their apartment. With nothing to lose, she decides to do the one thing she said she’d never do: she moves back home. She left her small Southern town with big dreams, but now she’s going home with empty pockets.

Life moves at a slower pace in Sophie’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hometown, but her well-meaning, matchmaking mama doesn't have a slow gear. Sophie invents a boyfriend to hold off her mother’s efforts, but she’s out of luck when her mom wants to meet him. Sophie panics until she runs into Jake Cooper. Her high school crush (and former best friend) is back in town, too, and when he asks her for a favor, she agrees...on one condition. He says he’ll be her fill-in boyfriend, so it should be simple: re-introduce him to her family and then “break up” with him after a few weeks.

Sophie is sure she’ll be able to resist Jake this time. Sure, she was in love with him years ago, but that was then. This is now, no matter how great he looks, or how she feels around him. But she didn't bargain for moments that feel all too genuine. Dates that don’t seem fake. Kisses that leave her shaken and wanting more. Sweet moments where she forgets they aren't really dating. And she didn't count on old feelings resurfacing and complicating their arrangement—which is starting to feel less like acting and more like the real deal.

Soon, Sophie can’t tell which kisses are real or fake, but she knows she’s in deep...and she thinks Jake is, too. When she gets a chance to go back to Nashville and chase her dreams again, she has a choice to make: stay or go? Continue hoping that the life she wants is one song away, or finally write her own song?

My Thoughts:
A light-hearted romance that can be read within one sitting!

I think fans of Hart of Dixie and Nashville, will enjoy Sophie's story, and the many characters that surround her. One Song Away is told completely from Sophie's first person point of view, and readers will find her narration relatable and easy to follow. She's in her mid-twenties but still struggling to find her "success" in the world, a struggle many New Adults can relate to in this day and age. But, with the help of family and friends, Sophie continues to stay positive. Of course it doesn't hurt to have the support of her childhood best-friend and first love.

Which brings us to Jake/Coop, he's a gorgeous man and the outside and inside, and I enjoyed his continued confidence and positivity. The romance between these two is very sweet, although after a while I kind of just wanted to clunk their heads together and say "Come on, we all know you're not "pretending" to be in love".

Although I thought the beginning seemed a bit rushed, I feel like a bit more time could have been given to the build-up of Sophie needing Jake as a "fake" boyfriend, I ultimately enjoyed the scenes, between these two, that followed as they got to get to know each other all over again.

There's not much action in this novel as it is character driven, with a large emphasis on the relationship between Sophie and Jake, but it's also about a young woman finding her place in the adult world.

If you enjoy a light romance with fun characters, give One Song Away a chance!

Happy Reading!!!
Q&A with Molli Moran
Connect with Molli on Twitter & Goodreads

Hi Hayley! Hi blog readers! *waves* Thanks so much to Hayley for having me here, and giving me the chance to talk a little about my upcoming New Adult contemporary romance, ONE SONG AWAY

 What three words would you use to describe One Song Away? 
Romantic, Heartwarming, Bravery

What can readers expect from One Song Away? 
Originally I wanted to write a fun story, and while I think ONE SONG AWAY has fun moments, it took on more meaning than I planned. So I think readers can expect a sort of Southern set romantic comedy but with a lot of heart, kissing, and country music. 

 What struggles did you face, while writing One Song Away or New Adult in general? Writing ONE SONG AWAY was easy for me, but I've struggled some since writing my first New Adult book, in that one of my goals is to bring more awareness of what New Adult really *is* versus what it isn't. There are still a great many misconceptions (mainly that New Adult books are just sex) that I want to work to change. 

Do you plan to continue Sophie's journey? Or could we see a spin-off novel, possible from "his" point of view :)? 
Right now, my only plans are for a book featuring Sloane, Sophie's best friend in ONE SONG AWAY, but I won't rule out possible novella or follow-up including Jake's point of view! 

Which character would you say you relate to the most? What about the least? Why? 
I think I relate to Sloane the most. Whereas Sophie-Claire tends to leap without thinking, Sloane and I both plan a bit more, and we're a bit more positive thinking. The least...hmm, probably Sophie's sister Cassidy. Cassidy is the classic "good girl," and I'm not *quite* that good. ;) 

If you could write a country song on your life, what would you title it? Why? 
HAHA, what a wonderful question. Oh man, I'd probably title it A Coffee Lover's Heartbreak, because I adore coffee, but despite how much I drink, I can never get ALL the things done.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 
Never give up, because it's one thing to become an author, but if you're a writer, it's in your blood. Keep reading everything, keep writing and growing. Make mistakes, write books you'll never publish. Just keep trying and learning, and never give up. 

Thank you, Molli, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Middle Grade Monday with Ava: Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura #1)
by: Jonathan Maberry
Now available!!!
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Purchased finished copy
Cover image and synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human. 

Purchase your copy: S & S Canada | Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

Ava's Thoughts:
Rot and Ruin is a book that takes place after First Night, a time when zombies invaded cities and infected people all over. Not the town of Mountainside, though. Not Benny and Tom Imura, though. Tom is known for being a closure specialist, someone who kills zombies peacefully. He journeys beyond Mountainside to quiet zombies, into a place called the Rot and Ruin.

Benny collects zombie cards along with his friends Morgie, Cong and Nix. He has a passion for listening to Charlie Pinkeye and the Motor City Hammer's outrageous zombie stories. That is, until Tom takes him out to the Rot and Ruin. And he gets a rare zombie card, about the Lost Girl.

Benny soon learns that friends become enemies if you have what they want.  And Charlie Pink-Eye wants the Lost Girl card. He is taking people to Gameland, a place where you are forced to fight zombies in a pit, sometimes without something to defend yourself. So Tom and Benny set out to destroy Gameland and quiet some zombies along the way...including two who are very close to the heart.  

I give this book an 8/10 because it was clearly intended for an older audience. Enjoy!

Ciao, Ava