Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Audio Book Giveaway: Reckoning by Kerry Wilkinson!

Boy do we have an amazing giveaway for you today!!
The wonderful Kerry Wilkinson has given us not one, not two, but FIVE audio codes to share with our followers to celebrate the release of his new audio book!!  These codes are for Reckoning which Tina read and loved!  You can find her review here.  
If you aren't familiar with Kerry's novel take a look...
Reckoning (Silver Blackthorn, #1)
 Reckoning (Silver Blackthorn, #1) by Kerry Wilkinson
Released on July 1, 2014 by St.Martins Press
One girl. One chance. One destiny.

In the village of Martindale, hundreds of miles north of the new English capital of Windsor, sixteen-year-old Silver Blackthorne takes the Reckoning. This coming-of- age test not only decides her place in society – Elite, Member, Inter or Trog – but also determines that Silver is to become an Offering for King Victor.But these are uncertain times and no one really knows what happens to the teenagers who disappear into Windsor Castle. Is being an Offering the privilege everyone assumes it to be, or do the walls of the castle have something to hide? Trapped in a maze of ancient corridors, Silver finds herself in a warped world of suspicion where it is difficult to know who to trust and who to fear. The one thing Silver does know is that she must find a way out . . . The heart-stopping first book in a new trilogy by UK author Kerry Wilkinson, Reckoning is the story of one girl's determination to escape the whims of a cruel king, and what she must do to survive against all odds.

For more information about the Silver Blackthorn series check out this website.. 
The next book, Renegade will be out in the UK, Australia, and Canada on May 7, 2015 and the US on July 7, 2015.

Sounds amazing right??!!  Now that we have your attention here's how the giveaway will work, I have five codes so there will be five winners and I will use Rafflecopter to pick the winners.  Just fill out the form below to enter!
Good Luck!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Review: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes
Publisher- Harper Teen
Published- March 24th 2015
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N

It all starts with one little lie…Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell lies to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts a business providing forged permission slips and cover stories for the students of Vista Palisades High. Liars, Inc. they call it. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.
My Thoughts:
Wow, I never saw that coming! Liars, Inc., is a very well done mystery laced with thrilling suspense of the whodunit variety. I've read Stokes, The Art of Lainey, and knew this was an author to look out for. She has a knack for telling her stories with sharp witty characters and an intriguing plot concept. I liked that she pushes the boundaries a little bit more then your average young adult novel. These characters are 18 years old, reckless and living large and Stokes really captures these moments boldly but tastefully.
The mystery surrounding Preston was very impressive and filled with all kinds of  twist and turns and while I predicted some, I didn't predict it all and was pretty surprised once we got the whole story. I liked that Stokes took her time crafting all the little details. It started out simple enough but then it went from complicated to deadly with only enough clues to keep us guessing and a lot of lingering doubt that made the experience even more fun to try to guess what was going on and who was behind it all.

I don't know why but I love reading from a male point of view. It's refreshing and interesting and I enjoyed seeing this story unfold through Max. He's got a great voice. True, he's a little rough around the edges, but he's still a really good guy. He was orphaned and on the streets for almost a year before he found a good family to adopt him, but Max never lost his street-smart-slacker-way-attitude that makes him want to bend the rules where he can. Starting Liars, Inc., wasn't exactly all his idea but he went along for the fun of it and hey, the profit didn't hurt. That is till one little lie created a whirlwind of suspicions, conspiracies and betrayal. He's not a very trusting person either, which I guess, he was kinda on the money about, but still, when push comes to shove, Max is a stand-up guy that has a lot of determination and heart.
Parvati was a little hard to like at the beginning. She doesn't do anything wrong exactly, but she has this cold interior that seemed to rattle me at times and she would say something that would rub me the wrong way. She's pretty and popular and rich and she seemed to be genuine  when she was with Max, but a little voice in the back of my head felt like something was off, missing or fake. I was right about a few things concerning Parvati's character and yet she still ended up surprising me the most.
At first I wasn't sure how to feel about Preston, we didn't get a lot of screen time with him to feel a huge connection before he went missing, but Stokes' crafty writing really made his mystery stand-out. I will say that the one thing all these characters do have in common is they all seem lost, like they don't know where they fit in, in their own lives. It makes what happens feel both understandable and messed up. I liked the romance, but it was kinda like background noise, it was always consistent, but never played lead to the plot. But what we did get was dame sexy.

All in all, I really enjoyed myself with this one. They mystery was unpredictable and smart, the writing has incredible energy and these characters will have you on your toes from the first moment till its riveting  conclusion. Well done! I can't wait to see what Stokes comes up with next.

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                              4 Snowflakes

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

The WinterHaven Team would like to wish our fellow readers and bloggy friends a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We hope you get a chance to enjoy some hot cocoa by the fireplace, curled up with a great book from Santa! Merry Christmas!
Copyright: vectomart / 123RF Stock Photo

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Teaser Tuesday, #80 Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays! Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! My Teaser Tuesday is for the following...

Tuck Everlasting Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Publisher: Square Fish
Originally Published: January 1st, 1975


Doomed to—or blessed with—eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing that it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

Teaser #1paperback page 12

Mae Tuck didn't need a mirror, though she had one propped up on the washstand. She knew very well what she would see in it; her reflection had long since ceased to interest her. For Mae Tuck, and her husband, and Miles and Jesse, too, had all looked exactly the same for eighty-seven years.

Teaser #2 page 14

"See?" said Winnie to the toad. "That's just what I mean. It's like that every minute. If I had a sister or brother, there'd be someone else for them to watch. But, as it is, there's only me. I'm tired of being looked at all the time. I want to be by myself for a change."

Natalie Babbitt has reached many readers with this fantastical story, but one question will always remain...."what would you do if you could live forever?"

I'd love to hear from you! What would you do if you could live forever? If you knew drinking from the spring in the wood would give you eternal life...would you drink from it?

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here if you don’t have a blog Thanks! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

WinterHaven 2014 Reading Wrap-up & Giveaway

Oh wow! This year has quickly come to a close and here at WinterHaven Books, we'd like to thank all of our bloggy friends that have visited and chatted with us here. As a wrap-up for the year, we wanted to share with you the wonderful reading adventures we've had throughout the year with our 2014 favorites. Enjoy!!

What was your favorite YA book in 2014?
Arlene: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins, Just One Night by Gayle Forman, A World Away by Nancy Grossman

Crystal: Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini, Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong, and Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Tina: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare, Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Loop by Karen Akins, Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Who was your favorite YA fictional male character in 2014?
Arlene: William De Ruiter - Just One Night by Gayle Forman

Crystal: Atticus O'Sullivan-Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Tina: James Mycroft- Every Breath by Ellie Marney, Lock- Firebug by Lish McBride, Braden- On the Fence by Kasie West, Jace- City of Heavenly Fie by Cassandra Clare

Who was your favorite YA fictional female character in 2014?
Arlene: Juliette - Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

Crystal: Fia-Perfect Lies by Kiersten White

Tina: Layla - White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Charlotte (aka Charlie)- On the Fence by Kasie West , Isla- Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins, Sydney- Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

What was your most anticipated YA book in 2014?
Arlene: The Young Elites by Marie Lu, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Crystal: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong,  Haze by Paula Weston, Don't You Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

Tina: The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey, City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare, Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

What is your reading challenge for 2014? (It could be number of books or anything book related)
Arlene: I've actually created a 2015 WinterHaven Reading Challenge that I can't wait to share with you… stay tuned!

Crystal: To complete the Reading Challenge my awesome roomie has created and to finish at least 4 series that I have started.

Tina: To finish as many purchased books on my at-home shelf that are currently collecting dust.

We hope you've enjoyed our 2014 Reading Wrap-up. And now for the fun stuff!! We are giving away the chance to win one of our favorite books that we've featured. The winner can either choose a paperback or eBook, not to exceed US$10 from US Amazon, US Barnes & Noble or The Book Depository.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher- Harper Teen
Published- Feb 24th 2015
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.
As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.
My Thoughts:
A Wicked Thing, is a really cool take on this retold fairy tale. We all know the story of Sleeping Beauty. She pricks her finger, falls into a deep sleep and awakens with true loves kiss. But, what happens after Princess Aurora wakes up? Well, in Rhiannon Thomas version, it ends up a little something more then happily ever after.

First off, I have got to say that I'm in love with Thomas's writing style. It's pitch perfect, crisp and beautifully enchanting. I love the dialogue- so quaint, formal and eloquent and the setting makes me want to reach in the pages and live in the story. I have loved fairy tales since I was a little girl and always thought the story of Sleeping Beauty was such a grand romantic idea of finding your one true love, but in A Wicked Thing, I was entertained with the idea that Aurora could possibly want something more. After all, she doesn't even know who Prince Rodric is and is mourning the lost of her family and adjusting to the fact that it's been a hundred years past. Overwhelming is an understatement. Thomas paints a beautifully imaginative world where our dear Princess dares to be something else then the role of smile-and-be-silent. Aurora has fire and magic in her veins. She's daring, adventurous and full of sass. My heart really goes out to her and the confusion that is her life. Being pulled in so many directions between Prince Rodric, Prince Finnegan, Tristan and the evil witch Celesine, it's no wonder Aurora is a very lost creature that is tangled in a political game with so much death and despair, and yet she still remains ever kind hearted and compassionate. 

All of these characters are so incredibly well written. Each with a voice and personality that blends wonderfully with the tone and setting of the entire length of the story.
Rodric is kind, caring, thoughtful and very sweet. He's awkward and maybe a little naive, but he is very loyal to his family and his kingdom and believes that fate will guide him through.
Finnegan is your typical charmer. Arrogant, overconfident and presumptuous, but it's his mischief nature that draws me to him the most.
But I think it was dear Tristan who surprised me the most and I'm not sure I liked the direction his character took. At first he seems so playful, enthusiastic and full of life, but at last, he wasn't who I though he was.
Now, don't let the list of boys fool you into thinking we have multiple love stories, each want something from Aurora, some motives pure, while others are not, but love was never a real big factor in this book, or at least not yet. However, I did have a great time learning about each character and what they brought into Aurora life and this beloved fairy tale.
~I think my only complaint would be that this was slightly repetitive and that nothing was resolved by the end of the story nor do we know which direction Aurora will go. Still, I enjoyed being introduced into this promising new world and knowing that there is still more to come given the ending we got. 

All in all, I had a lot of fun with this book. It's unique and probably one of the best done retold fairy tale books I've read. The writing is truly lovely and fantastic while these characters captivated me throughout the entire escape. A promising start, an amazing debut, I greatly look forward to seeing more.   

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                              4 Snowflakes

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

by Cynthia Hand
Publisher- Harper Teen
Released- Feb 10th 2015
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N

There's death all around us.We just don't pay attention.Until we do.The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.
My Thoughts:
Now, normally this is the kind of issue I would usually shy away from. There is a reason I don't read suicide or cancer/sickness reads. They just feel to real and my heart just isn't equipped to handle such sadness and despair, but being a huge fan of Hand's Unearthly series, I made an exception. And I'm glad I did.

First off, I think what hit me the hardest was Hand's dedication. This is a personal journey that must have been so very hard to express, but I applaud Hands bravery and courage for telling this story.

The Last Time We Say Goodbye, is an emotionally heartbreaking story about death, lost, grief and finding your own way to move on. After the death of her brother Ty, Lex wasn't in a good place. She broke up with her boyfriend, stopped being social and basically went with the motions of everyday life without her brother. So when her therapist recommended Lex to start writing in a journal about random thoughts and feelings and even about Tyler, Lex was skeptical it would work, but as she started to think about the first and last happy time she shared with her brother, Lex started to think about everything else and finally finds the strength she needed to move on.

This is such a beautiful story. Seriously. I'm not one to cry in books, but once in awhile a story will come along and just hit all the feels. I have a huge family and I couldn't see myself without any of them so this one really got to me. Given the issues in this book, know that there is no romance, no warm and fuzzy's, no real laughter and no really happy times. But what we do get are moments. Beautiful moments of good times and bad times and really ugly times. But it's through these moments where we see what Lex has been through. The dreams and memories is what really connected me the most to Ty. It broke my heart. It hurts to remember and it hurts to forget, but Lex found a way to beat down her demons, face her ghost and do the things that she would have thought Ty wanted. I also thought Lex was written very realistically. Her anger and confusion and her despair felt so real and while I know she wanted to give up, she didn't and she never let her mother give up either. She's remarkable. I also really loved Steven as well. Now here is a guy that you want by your side and I loved his never ending support, kindness and love.

All in all, this book was truly beautiful. It makes you think, and I mean really think about the people in your life. Old grudges, stupid fights, the what ifs, the last time you said I love you and all the unsaid things you wish you could have said. This is the kind of story that can touch anyone and everyone that has a heartbeat. Heartbreaking and heart lifting, this was a beautiful book that captures the pain of losing a loved one and finding a way to move on. Completely recommended.

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                              4 Snowflakes

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

Today on WinterHaven Books I am participating in the blog tour for Suspicion by Alexandra Monir.

SuspicionSuspicion by Alexandra Monir 
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: Dec 9, 2014
Purchase: Amazon
A modern-day twist on the classic thriller, Rebecca, with a dash of the supernatural, a powerful romance, and a deadly family mystery.

“There’s something hidden in the maze.”

Seventeen-year-old Imogen Rockford has never forgotten the last words her father said to her, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family’s English country manor.

For seven years, images of her parents’ death have haunted Imogen’s dreams. In an effort to escape the past, she leaves Rockford Manor and moves to New York City with her new guardians. But some attachments prove impossible to shake—including her love for her handsome neighbor Sebastian Stanhope.

Then a life-altering letter arrives that forces Imogen to return to the manor in England, where she quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind Rockford’s aristocratic exterior. At their center is Imogen herself—and Sebastian, the boy she never stopped loving.

Combining spine-tingling mystery, romance, and unforgettable characters, Suspicion is an action-packed thrill ride.
My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book.  It was very interesting and I found myself getting lost in the Wickersham estate with every description that I read.  Think Princess Diaries meets Rebecca.

The thing I loved the most about Suspicion is the creepiness that surrounded the storyline.  I love creepy and it seemed that every chapter had a sort of ghost feel to it.  In the beginning I thought this was going to be more about Imogens abilities, but really this book was about old family drama and I loved that.  I don't think the added paranormalish plotline was needed at all.  This story could have easily stood on its own without it.  While reading I really fell into the family history and I thought the author did a fantastic job at guiding the reader through a new caste system and really pulling you in to her world.  I kinda wish the author would have scrapped the added storyline and just made this about family ghosts and Imogen's new role as the Duchess.  I think it would have been a stronger story that way.

There were certain things that I felt could have been better like the pacing but, for the most part I really enjoyed this one.  I loved the world that Imogen moved into.  It was beautiful and somewhere I would have loved to visit.  I felt like Imogen did a pretty good job trying to fit into her new role.  It was an easy one, but she did her best. 

The romance was okay not great but okay.  I would have liked a bigger presence in the beginning and even though I know why it wasn't there in the beginning I think the story needed it.  Imogen goes so many years dreaming about Sebastian and when she finally gets to see him again it is very anti climatic.  I didn't need to hear time and time again that while she loved him she knew he would never love her back for various reasons.  It just got to be too much and then when certain things were revealed I just didn't buy it.  I think the author could have left the romance out.  I am really starting to believe that not every story needs a romance GASP!  I know this should feel wrong saying, but that's how I feel.  

If the romance and paranormal stuff had been left out the author could have focused on the creepy and this story would have been a huge 5 from me.  Well all those things are in it so I am going with a 3.  I felt the writing was really great and I really enjoyed the mystery murder plotline that was weaved into this story.  That part kept me glued and will make me pick up the next book by this author.

3 snowflakes

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Review: Top Ten Clues you're Clueless by Liz Czukas

Publisher- Harper Teen
Released- Dec 9th 2014
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N

Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.
My Thoughts: 
Ha! What a fun read. After reading Liz Czukas debut novel, Ask Again Later, I knew that I had to get my hands on this book as soon as I saw it was up for grabs on galley. Liz is rapidly becoming my go-to girl for when ever I'm in need of a fun light escape. Top Ten Clues You're Clueless, is another fun filled read with great banter, funny zingers and comedic mishaps along the way. But this also provides great insight to what it's like to work at a grocery store. The odd customers, grocery guesses and cart crashes. It reminded me of my teen days working at a restaurant during a blackout with nothing much to do besides hang out, goof around and start a food fight. Good times.

This may be in Chloe's point of view, but really, it was all of these characters together that stood out front and centre.
Chloe, Tyson, Gabe, Sammie, Micah and Zaina aren't what you would call friends, more like work acquaintances. But when your stuck in a grocery store after hours on Christmas Eve being accused of stealing from the charity donation box and have to come together to figure out who the culprit is to clear their names, the experience has its way of bonding them in unexpected ways. For me, it was these six characters that totally owned this. Chloe is super cute with her endless love of making lists. Tyson is just your average nice guy, quick to defend and help out. Gabe is your typical punk-fun loving guy with daddy issues, Sammie is all hard walls and attitude, Micah is your adorable loving geek and Zaina is beautiful, sweet and shy.  I loved each of their voices, their personalities and their infectious chemistry. They made a bad situation bearable in that cutesy teamwork way that made the whole night entertaining and incredibly worth while.
The writing is wonderful, but sometimes it did feel on the youngish side, but it never stopped me from enjoying the escape. I really enjoyed the ending and was even shocked about who actually stole the money and even though this doesn't have a ton of romance, it was those little moments that still made my heart all warm and giddy.

Bottom line, this was a completely charming and amusing whodunit contemporary that was nothing short of adorable. With it's Breakfast Club feels, cast of witty characters and terrific writing, Top Ten Clues You're Clueless, will be sure to put a smile on your face just in time for the holiday season. So cute!

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                                4 Snowflakes 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Review: A World Away by Nancy Grossman

A World Away by Nancy Grossman
Published: July 17, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
A summer of firsts

Sixteen-year-old Eliza Miller has never made a phone call, never tried on a pair of jeans, never sat in a darkened theater waiting for a movie to start. She’s never even talked to someone her age who isn’t Amish, like her.

A summer of good-byes

When she leaves her close-knit family to spend the summer as a nanny in suburban Chicago, a part of her can’t wait to leave behind everything she knows. She can’t imagine the secrets she will uncover, the friends she will make, the surprises and temptations of a way of life so different from her own.

A summer of impossible choice

Every minute Eliza spends with her new friend Josh feels as good as listening to music for the first time, and she wonders whether there might be a place for her in his world. But as summer wanes, she misses the people she has left behind, and the plain life she once took for granted. Eliza will have to decide for herself where she belongs. Whichever choice she makes, she knows she will lose someone she loves.
My Thoughts
Unique... Captivating... Engaging... 

Now that I was beginning to understand how to create the magic of this place, I wondered if I’d ever be able to get along without it.

Eliza Miller lives a completely different lifestyle than the normal sixteen year olds of today. In her world, there are no phones, computers, electronics of any sort, washing machines or modern day transportation. The people in her community come from what they refer to as the “Plain World” where their Amish beliefs mold the way they live and think. When Eliza decides to leave her family for her rumspringa, which is a time when Amish teenagers experience the “Fancy Word” for a period of time, Eliza can’t pack her new clothes fast enough.

Taking on a position as a nanny of two small children, Eliza begins to experience the excitement and wonders of this foreign world. She attends movies, concerts and even has the opportunity to date a “Yankee” who takes her to a homecoming and shares his love of music with her. In this new world, she also meets Beth, an aunt she never knew she had because she was shunned for choosing the modern world. During this time of discovery, Eliza not only falls in love with so many aspects of this new life, but also misses the close-knit community she left behind.

There wasn’t a trace of the girl who, only a week ago, had never gone out of the house without a bonnet, who had never stepped into a pair of trousers, who had never fastened an article of clothing with a button. The girl who stared back at me from the mirror was anything but plain.

As she struggles to decide whether to stay or head back home, she know the possibility of either life has its benefits and downfalls.

Overall, I loved the narrative of this story. Eliza’s journey and experiences were not only captivating, but exciting as I got to see through a fresh set of eye the wonders that we take for granted every day. I enjoyed how Eliza appreciated the comforts and luxuries of our modern society, but I also marveled at the type of community the Amish have built for themselves.

A World Away was unique, extremely well written and engaging as it offered me an opportunity to read about the Amish, which was a first for me. Truly an enjoyable experience!
5 Snowflakes

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blog Tour: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

Today on WinterHaven Books I am joining in the amazing blog tour for Madeleine Kuberick!  I read Kiss of Broken Glass and fell in love with her writing and characters from the get go!  When I was approached by the amazing blogger Hannah over at The Irish Banana about this tour I just couldn't say no!  This blog tour is one of the funnest I have even been apart of, there is an amazing surprise giveaway from the lovely people at HarperTeen and a fun quiz to keep you on your toes!  Each blog for this week has a unique question from the book so if you haven't read it yet what are you waiting for??!!  

Here's our tour stop question:
Which two Youtube sensations get a bloody brilliant mention in the book?

Kiss of Broken GlassKiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuberick
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 9th, 2014
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / TBD
In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment.

About the Author:
Madeleine Kuderick writes contemporary YA fiction and poetry. She is published in anthologies and magazines and has spoken at International Reading Association conferences and similar venues. Madeleine has a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and an MBA from Saint Leo University.

Giveaway Time!!
Blog Tour Schedule:
Dec. 1 - The Irish Banana Review
Dec. 2 - Paperback Princess
Dec. 3 - Winterhaven Books
Dec. 4 - The Book Addict's Guide
Dec. 5 - Alice Marvels


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Published: May 13th 2014 
Publisher: Delacorte Press
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE. 
My Thoughts
”...a novel should deliver a series of small astonishments…”
”We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.”

This story is a mixture of tragedy, privilege, mystery, and a series of surprises and twists. The writing is amazing, which makes up for the experience that is sometimes frustrating and obscure. I had my suspicions throughout. I caught the small clues and made the right conclusions, but the final catastrophic twist is a bit too tragic to digest, so I resorted to ignorant bliss.

An accident Cady Sinclair can’t remember anchors this story in many ways. As we unravel the layers of this story that involves a mysterious accident that has left Cady’s head broken in countless medically diagnosed ways, we travel with her as her world falls apart. She’s no longer going to college in the coming year, she no longer plays sports or participates in clubs. She’s high on Percocet half the time, but can’t remember the events of that evening that changed her life forever.

This book is about so many little things all at once. There’s so much that makes this novel complete, and E. Lockhart uses stories such as Wuthering Heights and fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty to weave her novel. She sprinkles in her own fairy tale of a king and his three daughters to share the petty, greedy and unkind ways of the aunties.

Then you have the patriarch Harris Sinclair that fuels the greed, pettiness and unkindness of his daughters… and the attempt of the Liars which are the cousins Cady, Johnny and Mirren with their friend Gat that make an attempt to re-create their sheltered world at Beachwood Island.

I am told that if asked how this story ends, I.AM.TO.LIE... We Were Liars ends happily ever after...

“We are Sinclairs. Beautiful. Privileged. Damaged. Liar. We live, least in the summertime, on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Perhaps that is all you need to know.”
4 Snowflakes

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Remember When Trilogy on Sale for $2.99!

Exciting News!! T. Torrest's Trilogy of Remember When is on sale for $2.99! Be sure to get a head start on your Black Friday shopping by getting this amazing series at the limited-time, low price!!

All three best-selling books of the Remember Trilogy in one bundle! 
(Including FOUR bonus chapters in Trip's POV, one of which has never before been released to the public!)
Remember When is the first story in an NA romance trilogy. It will take you back to that time before the real world kicked in, that limbo between adolescence and adulthood, that trial of hanging on to the past while figuring out where the future will lie.
With heart-shredding romance, steamy love scenes and hilarious eighties references, readers of all ages will find themselves rooting for Layla and dreaming about Trip for years to come. It's an endearing journey through the tumultuous world of friendship, family and high school…
…and the memory of that one incredible guy your heart just can't seem to forget.

Remember When 2 is the second story in an NA romance trilogy. It will bring you back to that exuberant and riotous time of life in your twenties when you struggled to figure out your place in the world and the person you were meant to be…
…and the person you were meant to be with.

Remember When 3 is the third and final book in the Remember Trilogy.
It’s a story about taking chances and following your heart…
and knowing that sometimes, you just have to learn when to let go.

***All books are intended for readers 18+ due to some questionable language, alcohol abuse, smokin' hot sexual situations, and 1980s flashbacks.***

Purchase Links

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz

The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz
Publisher- Harlequin Teen
Published- May 27th 2014
Purchase- Amazon / B & N

Paige Kelly is used to weird--in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn't fazed by Paige's propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she'll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that's overrun by demons-and she might never make it home.
My Thoughts:
After the accident that very much took her life, but was brought back, Paige Kelly's life hasn't been the same. For one thing her best friend, Dottie, is a ghost from the 50's and only Paige can see and talk to her. She may be considered the school freak and insane but soon Paige will find out just how sane she really is. With the help from Logan, a new transfer at school, Paige learns that she's actually a Traveler; a person with a type of energy who can open a portal to the human world and the Dark World and with an old-aged war brewing between the Demons and Warlocks for control over the throne, Paige is caught in a spiralling twist between the demons who want to kidnap her and the boy trying to protect her and hopefully find a way to come out of this alive.

The Dark World is a very fun ghostly paranormal that has everything I  like in an escape. Witty warm characters, funny dialogue, incredible writing and smart world building. Plus give me a book about Travelers, Demons, Slayers, Magic and Warlocks and I'm completely sold. I've read Shultz Spellbound series and already knew that I love the way this women writes, but I think she's stepped it up even more with this book. It's solid, intriguing and fascinating, and I had a great time learning along with Paige about the different demons and how they create havoc in the human world and what the role of a slayer and warlock entails. I also got a kick out of Paige's training sections. It was comical and enlightening and gave the perfect excuse for our two main leads to learn each others strengths and weaknesses and it doesn't hurt that the tension was very yummy indeed.

Paige is an amazing character. Despite being a freak in everyone's eyes, Paige doesn't take crap from anyone. I love her good natured humor, random liners and the ability to go with the flow. I also love that she's quick to do the right thing even to those who don't exactly deserve it. She resistant, brave and a good person. 
Logan is made of awesome. Skilled, confident and collected when in battle-mode but awkward and shy when it's just one on one. He may be a badass demonslayer with a magical sword but he still has his uncertainties and secrets that make him feel more real. 
Ajax, is another character that I just adored. Funny, sexy and a real charmer, he brought endless amusement and entertainment to the story. The romance was also very well done and set at a gradual pace but inevitable just the same. The moments between Paige and Logan are really very sweet and touching and has an all consuming touch that the sap in me can't seem to get enough of. I also liked the ending, not exactly a cliff hanger but enough to have me craving for more.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It's chalked full of non-stop demonic and magical action that kept the story moving at a quick and steady pace. The writing is very smart and these characters had me invested from minute one. A promising start to a new series I very much plan to continue. Well done!

Find the author:

Goodreads / Website                              4 Snowflakes

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)
Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Purchase: Amazon
The first novel in the Iron Druid Chronicles--introducing a cool, new, funny urban fantasy hero.
Atticus O'Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old--when in actuality, he's twenty-one "centuries" old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.
Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he's hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power--plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish--to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.
My Thoughts:
I loved this book!  I have really been on the look out for something different with no romance...Okay step away from the tomatoes.  I know this is weird and not the norm BUT hear me out before you leave stinky tomatoes all over the comments...

Romance for me has become predicable and when I read I like to be surprised.  The last three books I read the romance just got in the way of what could have been an amazing world with ridiculously awesome characters, but the romance dragged it down.  So I decided lets pick up something where the romance is either way nonexistent or way way WAY in the back ground.  Do you know how hard this was to find?!  My good friend and reading buddy Rachel at the Readers Den finally showed me where I could find this hidden gem and let me tell you I am officially addicted!  Hounded by Kevin Hearne is witty and showcases a gorgeous world filled with all things creepy, god like, and can seriously kill you at the point of a finger.  Yeah this definitely screamed my name.

Atticus is a Druid and has lived a very long time by learning to be well paranoid and cautious.  He knows exactly what to do when certain creatures walk into his book shop and he protects himself like with wards and bindings.  Atticus was the character I have been hoping to find.  He isn't sloppy and yes certain things did surprise him, but it was not because he was lacking in the intelligence department.  He did everything he possibly could to prevent certain situations and for once what happened was caused because of his lack of thinking.  I never once wanted to throw my book out the window because of something I could see that he couldn't.  We have all had those books and it can be so frustrating, but I'm telling you this book isn't one of those.  I was pleasantly surprised right along with Atticus and it was refreshing.  His character is flawed I'm sure, but for this first installment I can't think of a single thing that I didn't like about him.

Now the story was the truly shining thing for me and seeing as how I loved Atticus and the whole cast of characters this is saying something.  I love paranormal and this book incorporates everything and I mean everything!  We have fae, Thor, vampires, werewolves, druids, witches, and well just everything.  What was truly brilliant though was how the author wove all these random creatures into the story.  If someone told me about this I would automatically think the story would be too crowded and not focused.  This couldn't be farther from the truth though.  This story had direction and each character played a part whether small or big.  Even the little old lady across the street played a part and I loved it.  This world didn't feel crowed, it felt enormous and showed just how brilliant Kevin Hearne is.

This book has been a wonderful pallet cleanser for me and I think after a few more I will probably dip my toes back in the romance pool, but for now I am content to hang out with Atticus, Oberon ( you really have to meet this character.  He is hilarious!), and the wonderful cast of characters that make up this phenomenal world.

5 snowflakes

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
Publisher- Harper Teen
Published- Oct 21st 2014
Purchase- Amazon / B & N

It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp -- the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.
Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance -- and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.
This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.
My Thoughts:
After a huge fight with his sister, Phineas takes off into the forbidden swamp that stretch throughout the town. Scared and worried about her brother, Sterling waits for him to come back but instead of Phin, a girl named Lenora May, emerges from the swamp. She took over Phin's life and no one seems to remember him besides Sterling and what's worse is she's starting to have memories of the sister she's never had. Sterling will do anything to get back her brother, but she doesn't know if she has the heart to send Lenora May back to the one place she fears the most.

Truth? I had my doubts at first about this one, but it turned out that I really ended up enjoying this book a lot more then I thought. Beware the Wild isn't like most books I've read, it has a really unusual but fascinating plot, likeable and animated characters that piece the story out in a suspenseful, haunting and intense way and the writing has this irresistible pull that had me completely absorbed. If your gonna tell a swamp story? This is a nifty way to do it!

I really enjoyed the plot concept, it's definitely out there, but given this is a paranormal, it was easy to just go with the flow. My favorite part of the story was learning about the swamp and hearing the stories related to it and then later how it's connected to Sterling's family. The swamp was written so vividly that it was it's own main character. It's alive with evil forces and ghost of the victims consumed but it. Riddled with darkness and danger and magic that has the power to entice and repulse you at the same time. It's eerie and maddening and completely intriguing.

While the swamp was definitely it's own force, I have to hand it to these amazing characters that made it so worth the while.
Sterling is such a great character. I love her determination, strength and bravery. She's been through a lot in  her life with an abusive father but the bond that she has with her brother is unshakable. Phin was always there for her, protecting her and taking care of her and my heart really went out to Sterling for losing such an anchor.
I was a little surprised that I liked Lenora May has much as I did. By all rights the reader should have hated her for taking Phin's place, and yet I found myself sympathetic towards all she's been through. Parker really could have went either way with a character like this, but I'm really glad with the direction she went with. Lenora is a good person who was lost and wanted to taste life again. Like Sterling, it's hard to fault her for it, no matter the circumstances of how she came into her life.
I also really loved Heath. He's the only one who believed in Sterling when everyone else had no memory of who Phin was. He know she wasn't crazy since he's been through the same ordeal by losing his best friend to the swamp. Together they made a really sweet team. 

All in all, I had a lot of fun with this book. I love that Parker took her time and plays with the readers mind. I loved that this had such a creep-worthiness to it's tone and setting and that the characters never gave up hope even when all seemed so hopeless. A great entertaining escape.

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                              4 Snowflakes