Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Wickingham Way by S. R Grey

Wickingham Way by S. R Grey
Publisher- S. R. Grey
Released- Jan 19th 2014
Purchase- Amazon / B & N

When Maddy Fitch discovers there's a hit out on the love of her life--the handsome, but often secretive Adam Ward--she concludes life with such a powerful man may never be normal. But who wants normal? Not Maddy--mystery writer and sometimes-sleuth. The heart-stopping action begins immediately in Wickingham Way when an attempt is made on Adam's life, prompting the couple to seek refuge at a "safe house." Tucked away in a cabin deep in the heart of Maine, Maddy and Adam fall deeper in love. But their happiness is cut short when someone they care for deeply is kidnapped, by the same organization that wants Adam Ward dead. Adam and Maddy return to Harbour Falls, and a dangerous cat-and-mouse game ensues. Twists and turns abound, keeping Maddy and Adam on their toes. But will the consequences of the decisions they make prove deadly? Only time will tell.

*Warning. Mature themes, explicit/graphic sex and some violence. For mature readers only*

My Thoughts:
Wickingham Way starts off where Willow Point ended. Maddy just realized how dangerous her boyfriend, Adam Wards, life really is so they decide to go back to Fade Island, only once they get there all hell breaks loose when Adam gets targeted by an assassin. They decide the best thing for them is to hide themselves in a safe house, a secluded cabin deep in the snowy forest. And while this is suppose to be a safety precaution, Maddy and Adam don’t waste any time taking advantage of their cozy getaway, but the danger is still out there and their stay at the cabin abruptly ends when they get word that someone they care about has been taken by the same organization Adam was trying to take down. 

I love these books. S.R Grey has such a natural ability with writing the perfect blend of suspense, action and sizzling romance. This is the last book in the Harbour Falls series and I’m sad to see it go. I've grown so attached to controlling Adam Ward and curious Maddy Fitch, but ya know, I couldn't have asked for a better ending then what we got.

While the first two books in this series are more of a whodunit mystery, I would have to say this one is more action packed and suspenseful. But I don’t really mind since mystery is all about secrets and Adam and Maddy has had more then their share of those. I think in this book we finally get to really see Adam differently as we learn about the Wickingham Way project and his organization. And while we've always known Maddy to be a spunky girl who can take care of herself, it was really good to see that they both took care of each other in this installment. I also really loved the setting in this book. I've always been a huge sucker for tucked away cabins. There is just something so quaint and quiet about them that makes for a wonderful romantic atmosphere. It’s here that Adam and Maddy take the time to really fall more deeply in love. Those were my favorite moments, the talks, dinners and games (Naked Twister. Yum) and all the steamy sexy-times. These two have been through so many obstacles, so it was just really great to seeing them happy.

Adam and Maddy have really grown since we first meet them in Harbour falls, both as a couple and individually.
While I love nothing more then an intense, brooding and always in control Adam West, there was a newer side to Adam in this book that we get to see. He was more playful in a sexy-dangerous way but also tender and warm. I also love the way he’s so protective of Maddy and that he would do anything to keep her safe.
Maddy has always been a curious creature, but I love that she makes snooping look like an adorable art form. Maddy also likes to ask the big questions to get the bigger picture, which I love since she lets the reader into her world and gives us something to ponder and process as the story unfolds. I was also happy to see that she lets Adam lead in this book and while she’s worried about his safety she’s come to understand that he can take care of himself and trust to keep them safe.
Together Adam and Maddy have really grown as a couple. There’s a reason why there is less mystery and curiosity in this book and I think it’s because they finally reached a point in their relationship where they can trust one another with every aspect of their lives and be happy with who they are as a couple. But don’t worry, Adam and Maddy has always had a physical connection that is seductive, sexy and sweet and Grey really takes the intimacy and intensity to a whole new level. Swoon-worthy stuff my friends!

All in all, I really loved this book. I love the heart pounding energy and pace of the plot and the heartwarming moments in the romance. I’m so gong to miss all of these characters and this series. But Grey wrote a perfect ending that made me ready to let them go. Adam and Maddy leaves us with smiles and laughter and kisses and a bright new hope for their future. Fans of the Harbour Falls mystery will love this final installment. And I'm looking forward to reading Grey's next book, Never Doubt Me, the second book in the Judge Me Not series, which stars Chase. Can't wait!!

Special thanks to S. R Grey, congrats girl! These books have been a pleasure and a blast to escape with. Thanks for sharing your world, I’ll never forget them!  

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                              4.5 Snowflakes

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Avalon (Avalon, #1)Avalon by Mindee Arnett
Publisher: Balzar & Bray
Release Date: Jan 21, 2014
Purchase: Amazon / B&N
A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly
My Thoughts:
Sci-Fi books are always a challenge for me.  I usually like them, but picking them up is never easy for some reason.  I'm guessing it might be due to all the strange tech and worlds that always seem to be in each novel, but usually when I do pick one up I am quite satisfied and surprised at how much I truly do like this genre.  Avalon not only held true to this, but it turned out to be one of my favorites among all the other Sci-Fi books on my shelf.

Jeth is a thief, but he is one of the best thieves out there.  With his crew behind him he knows he can pull off any con.  Problem is that he works for Hammer, the crime lord that nobody every thinks to disobey.  Jeth is has to work for him only long enough to earn back his ship Avalon, which his drunken uncle lost in a card game a long time ago.  If Jeth can pull off enough cons he will have just the amount he needs and take his crew including his 13 year old sister with him far far away from Hammer and his reign of terror.  Unfortunately a huge kink gets thrown into his plans when he gets sent on his last job.  All he has to do is retrieve a spaceship that is lost in the Belgrave, don't board it no matter what, and bring it back to Hammer.  Easy right?  Wrong, when Jeth discovers that this ship isn't exactly empty he decides to disobey Hammer and in doing so he opens up a whole can of worms.

This has to be one of the funnest books I have ever read.  It totally kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time!  I absolutely loved that the author chose to make the tough situations real.  There wasn't any overpowering or eye rolling saves.  It all felt real and things didn't always go the way the characters wanted and I loved it.  Sometimes this genre can get a little too much and the heroines don't feel real at all.  Things just always work out for them, but Jeth and his band of misfits learned that things hardly ever go the way they need them too.  With this though they learned how to create opportunities and it was exciting to see them find a way to escape certain situations.  Like I said I was on the edge of my seat wondering how things would turn out and man was it an exciting ride!

The story is very believable which again I sometimes find not all books can pull off.  I could totally grasp the world that Ms.Arnett created and it all made sense.  I really enjoyed her twist thrown in the middle and even though I did guess what the culprit was behind things it was still thrilling to see the reveal.  I really love seeing the light bulb go off in a characters head and when Jeth learns the truth it was like BAM!  I relearned it too and it made it feel like I had never known to begin with.  Ms. Arnett is one talented author!

I think one of my favorite parts was the way the romance was woven in.  It wasn't in your face and it was a very nice spin on the story especially since this was told in Jeths POV.  I thought it was very sweet and took up enough of the story to where I knew it was there, but not enough to where I thought it took center stage. 

The true story is the why's behind the metatech and why Jeth is in the situation he is in.   I am really hoping that there will be a sequel to this and there definitely is enough unanswered questions to make one.  I have to say one more thing before I close out this review.  I will forever be haunted by the spider thingys that the author uses in this story *shudders* She describes them in such detail even down to the suction sounds that I am forever scared.  ICK!  But I have to say it was a brilliant addition to the story and I want to know more!!

5 Snowflakes

*A copy was provided for review by the publisher*

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Red Rising Release Day Blast & Giveaway!

Today WinterHaven Books is participating in the Release Day Fun for Red Rising by Pierce Brown hosted by Del Ray!  I have just started this book and I was hooked after just a few pages.  It truly is like nothing I have read before and so so good!  
So I hope everyone out there grabs a copy! 
AND don't forget to check the bottom of the post for a very special giveaway opportunity!

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Published by Del Ray-Random House
Hardcover: 978-0-345-53978-6
Ebook: 978-0-345-53979-3
See What the Buzz is all about on Goodreads
“Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow.”—Scott Sigler

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
BUY LINKS (print and ebook)
Amazon | B&N | iBookstore | Google Play | All other retailers

About Pierce Brown:
Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating from college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate campaign. Now he lives Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.
Connect with Pierce
Facebook / Twitter

 Giveaway time!!  To celebrate the release of this amazing book Dep Ray is hosting an awesome flash giveaway.  This giveaway will only last 24 hours and the winner will receive a signed copy of RED RISING and a Random House Publishing Group tote bag. The winner will be announced at 10AM EST on Wednesday, January 29
(US residents only)
Good Luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Also just a quick note if you are wanting even more awesomeness be sure to check out my review of Red Rising next week because I have a very special playlist to share with everyone that was created by Pierce Brown!

Teaser Tuesday, # 58 Pawn by Aimee Carter

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...

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)

Pawn by Aimee Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 26, 2013

Teasers from Pages 197

He'd drawn two stick figures standing on a beach, with waves and a sand castle nearby. Their little fingers were interlocked, and between them was a sideways figure eight--the symbol for eternity.

"I love you too," I whispered. I refolded the note and tucked it safely in my pocket. As long as we were both alive, I had to believe that everything would be okay.

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!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cover Reveal: Captivate Me by S.J. Pierce

Today WinterHaven Books is participating in the cover reveal for Captivate Me by S.J. Pierce!
Captivate Me by S.J. Pierce
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
“My mom had always told me – when you meet “the one”, you’ll know; they’ll captivate your heart the moment you lay eyes on them. I had always wondered, though, if my mom’s words of wisdom were finite – if they applied to everyone. Maybe those who had found their one great love were the lucky few, and maybe the rest of us would have to settle for less than earth-shattering.”

Seventeen-year-old Kat Walsh is a Gifted – a human with paranormal abilities. With her mom a former Angel and her dad a dream prophet, it’s always been in her genetic make-up to be extraordinary. Unfortunately for her, the world can’t handle the strange or unusual. So when she slips up and uses her powers at her high school in Ireland, the entire student body treats her like a freak – even the ones she thought were her closest friends.

Broken, but hopeful for a fresh start, she allows her parents to enroll her in a boarding school buried deep within the forests of a small Colorado town. At Midland Pines, School for the Gifted, she feels as though she can finally be herself; she makes new friends and even has the attention of the most popular guy in school – Levi. Everything feels normal again… or does it?

Not long after her arrival, weird dreams of an alluring boy whom she’s never met surface during the night, and the eerie, shadowy trees encircling their school seem to call to her. As these disturbing, yet enticing developments intensify, other bizarre occurrences happen – students and staff turn up missing, and mystery visitors leave gifts while she sleeps. With all of these other things vying for her attention, a desperate Levi has to fight even harder to keep her interest. But with the dreams of the attractive boy slowly captivating her heart, Kat has to make a choice – will she settle for ‘great’ Levi, or will she search for her elusive dream visitor, possibly stumbling across ‘amazing?’

From the author of the Alyx Rayer Chronicles, comes a refreshingly different Young Adult series with plenty of love, suspense, and a new take on the Paranormal.

Recommended for readers 16 and up due to mature content.
About the Author:
Susan James Pierce has a degree in Marketing Management, works for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, Georgia, and devotes her precious, spare time to writing Fantasy and Sci-fi novels. 

Even though her full-time career has nothing to do with books at all, she has always enjoyed complex storytelling with fascinating characters, and has had a penchant for the written word since grade school. As a matter of fact, her first publishing credit was a poem she wrote at the age of twelve. Why her love for writing never translated into a career, she can only attribute to 'life happens', but her wish is that she can redirect her career path into something that satisfies her creative inner-self.
Website / Goodreads / Facebook


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Review: Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

Secret by Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher- Kensington Teen
Released- Jan 28th 2014
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N

EARTH. FIRE. AIR. WATER.Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He's trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won't get in to college. He's trying to keep his brother's business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He's trying to keep the secret of where he's going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel - or he fears he'll lose his family. And he's trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his 'girlfriend's' partner.And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.SECRETS IN THE WIND. DANGER IN THE AIR
My Thoughts:
Secret, is the forth Elemental story and is told in Nick and Quinn’s perspective. I loved how easily Kemmerer entwined their stories together, witnessing the different struggles that these characters are facing and how they go about dealing with it. Nick’s story is more of a journey that he needs to take but fears at the same time. Acceptance is a scary word when you have a house full of brothers and Nick doesn't want to lose them. While Gabriel is complex, bad tempered and troubled, Nick is the good twin, kind and sweet but he’s also tormented by the secrets that are weighting him heavily down. Nick might finally know who is, but he’s scared to let everyone know it too. He’s torn between what he is and what his family will think. With that constant struggles also comes with the added pressures of the Guide who wants his family dead, school, the business and wielding elements they can’t always control. While Quinn is dealing with a very unstable family life and rather play the illusion as Nick’s girlfriend then deal with more rejection and turns to someone unexpectedly for comfort.

Wow, Kemmerer does not disappoint! While I love all the books in this series, I’d have to say this is my new favorite of the four. Secret, is the prefect name for this novel, since that’s exactly what this book is laced with, lots and lots of secrets. But when you’re holding something too tightly, eventually you have to let go and with it comes the fears and hopes of the outcome that will inevitable follow. I have to give high props to Kemmerer for writing this book and not shying away from hard subject matters like; self-discovery, sexuality and abuse. Kemmerer moves this story with gentleness and determination, carefully and cautiously going through each layered emotion and tender and terrifying moments. Secret may be the least action packed out of the series, but it’s also the most emotionally charged. And while I missed the trademark Merrick brother banter, this story still had enough laugh out moments, fun filled banter and sarcasm that made those heavy moments light and fun filled. I think that’s what I love about these books the most. They are just wonderfully addicting, fun, entertaining solid reads that have real characters with real problems who also just happen to have kickass powers that influence the elements as well, making each book standout in both action and heart.

Nick Merrick broke my heart in a million different pieces. His feelings throughout this novel were both so beautiful and painful to endure. I could really feel the agonizing emotions going through his mind and wanting to start a new life with new feelings and explore those moments freely without regret or doubts. I'm proud of a Nick for owning up to who he is but I could also understand his genuine paralyzing fear confessing his secrets to his brothers who may have their own issues but have always been solid and caring and close like a family should be. I can also see why it was so difficult to admit his secrets to his best friend and twin, Gabriel since they have a deeper connection then the rest of the boys. Gabriel has never made it easy on the readers to really fall heads over heals for him -a perfect example in this book-but when push comes to shove, Gabriel is still someone I’d want by side no matter what. 

Nick’s thoughts and feeling for Adam is really so adorable. I never really thought of Nick as an insecure guy, but when real feelings are behind real emotions it’s a whole new story. 
The relationship between Nick and Adam was tastefully done, but it was also pretty dame sexy and romantic. Kemmerer doesn't back down from the hot, heavy and intense and I was surprised by how far she took the intimacy. I loved every minute of it.
~Adam is an amazing character who is patient and kind and understands what Nick is going through. He has his own sad story and my heart broke even more hearing it, but it’s what made him stronger and comfortable enough to help Nick deal with his new found lifestyle. 
~I have very mixed feelings for Quinn and thought she was kinda all over the place. Most of the time she’s great, supportive and funny and I understand and sympathize with her horrific family life and that she’s tired of being lied to and used. But a lot of her decisions left a funny taste in my mouth since it tasted a whole lot like betrayal. She felt like such a hypocrite, tired and pissed off with everyone's secrets and yet she has enough of her own. 
~Then we have Tyler and in all honesty, I’m not sure how I feel about him. There is a lot of history and hatred between him and the Merrick boys and I’m not sure a couple good turns deserve redemption for all the crap he’s pulled. I guess I’ll have to see how I feel about him in the next book.

All in all, another Kemmerer hit! I love me these Merrick boys and I couldn't love a book more. Kemmerer is a fantastic storyteller who gives real depth to her characters who are easy to connect with, amazingly put together and extremely likable. Part contemporary, part paranormal and hundred percent consuming and addicting. Fans of this series will want this for gem for their must have collection. I can’t wait till the next installment and Michael's full length novel, Sacrifice!

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                               4.5 snowflakes 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Dream Boy by Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenburg

Today on WinterHaven Books we are excited to participate in the cover reveal for Dream Boy by Mary Crockett & Madelyn Rosenburg!  I absolutely love this cover!  It is so stunning and beautiful!  Take a look!
Dream Boy by Mary Crockett & Madelyn Rosenburg
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Annabelle Manning feels like she’s doing time at her high school in Chilton, Virginia. She has her friends at her lunchtime table of nobodies. What she doesn’t have are possibilities. Or a date for Homecoming. Things get more interesting at night, when she spends time with the boy of her dreams. But the blue-eyed boy with the fairytale smile is just that—a dream. Until the Friday afternoon he walks into her chemistry class.

One of friends suspects he’s an alien. Another is pretty sure it’s all one big case of deja vu. While Annabelle doesn’t know what to think, she’s willing to believe that the charming Martin Zirkle may just be her dream come true. But as Annabelle discovers the truth behind dreams—where they come from and what they mean—she is forced to face a dark reality she had not expected. More than just Martin has arrived in Chilton. As Annabelle learns, if dreams can come true, so can nightmares

A little bit from the authors:
Like the small southern town where it's set, Dream Boy is edged by wilderness, mysticism and mystery. The bottle tree on the cover perfectly captures the novel's mix of dream and nightmare.
So what is a bottle tree?
Simply put, it's an ancient folk-magic practice intended to capture evil spirits. Southerners adapted the tradition—outfitting tree limbs with colored bottles.
In Dream Boy, the bottle tree creates a connection point between the real world and what lies beyond.
“We were beyond excited with how the cover turned out,” says Mary Crockett. “It was a serious thrill to see something from our imaginations become real. And not only real, but gorgeous.”
Madelyn Rosenberg agrees, “We're lucky we had such excellent people working on it—with designer Eileen Carey and Sourcebooks creative services manager Adrienne Krogh at the top of the list.”

About the Authors:
Mary Crockett is author of several award-winning books of poetry and co-author of a history of Salem, Virginia, her hometown. Mary taught writing at Roanoke College and served as director of the Salem Museum. She now lives with her family in an old house along Virginia's Wilderness Road.

Madelyn Rosenberg grew up 32 miles away in Blacksburg, Va. She spent a decade as a newspaper reporter before she began writing fiction. Her books include The Schmutzy Family and Canary in the Coal Mine. She lives with her family in Arlington.

Mary and Madelyn first met about 15 years ago co-teaching a creative writing class for teens.

Follow Madeyln Rosenberg and Mary Crockett on Twitter!
@madrosenberg @MaryLovesBooks
Thanks to the wonderful people at Sourcebooks Fire we are able to give one lucky reader a Sourcebooks Fire Prize Pack!
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cover Reveal: Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison

Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison
Publication date: February 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving…

I've been making up stories since I was five years old, and now I'm thrilled to be able to do it as a full-time job. I have an obsession with dark fantasy, dystopian futures, and Pride and Prejudice-style love stories full of witty banter and sizzling, unspoken feelings. When I'm not writing, I'm creating digital art, reading funny blogs, or watching my favorite shows (which include TVD and BSG). I live with my geeky husband and our two bad cats in Atlanta, GA.

Author links

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Avalon Release Day!

Today on WinterHaven Books we are excited to join in the Release Day Launch Party for Avalon by Mindee Arnett!  This book looks fantastic and I know I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!  As part of the release fun we have an awesome except to share with you as well as a giveaway!  

Avalon (Avalon, #1) 
Avalon by Mindee Arnett
Published on January 21, 2014
Publisher: Balzar & Bray
Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of
light-years from First Earth—and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern
the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power
is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is
derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great
distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by
stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about
the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his
parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his
sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of
information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he
is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so

With pulse-pounding action, a captivating mystery, and even a bit of romance,
Avalon is the perfect read for hard-core sci-fi fans and non–sci-fi fans alike.

 About the Author:
Mindee Arnett is the author of one other book for teens,The Nightmare Affair. She lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. Her dream home, though, is aboard a spaceship.
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Tumblr / Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Teaser Tuesday: Captivate by Vanessa Garden

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...


Captivate by Vanessa Garden
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: January 1, 2014

Teasers from ebook pages: 40 & 166

"Perhaps my only way out of this crazy hell-hole was sleep. Maybe I could dream my way home."

"You drove me crazy the moment I met you, and not just because you didn't want me but because you make me question make me question everything about myself, about Marin. You make me want to be a better man." He closed the distance between us. "You, Miranda."

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!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review:The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant 
by Joanna Wiebe
Publisher-BenBella Books
Released- Jan 14th 2014
Purchase- Amazon/ B & N

So many secrets for such a small island. From the moment Anne Merchant arrives at Cania Christy, a boarding school for the world’s wealthiest teens, the hushed truths of this strange, unfamiliar land begin calling to her—sometimes as lulling drumbeats in the night, sometimes as piercing shrieks.One by one, unanswered questions rise. No one will tell her why a line is painted across the island or why she is forbidden to cross it. Her every move—even her performance at the school dance—is graded as part of a competition to become valedictorian, a title that brings rewards no one will talk about. And Anne discovers that the parents of her peers surrender million-dollar possessions to enroll their kids in Cania Christy, leaving her to wonder what her lowly funeral director father could have paid to get her in… and why.As a beautiful senior struggles to help Anne make sense of this cloak-and-dagger world without breaking the rules that bind him, she must summon the courage to face the impossible truth—and change it—before she and everyone she loves is destroyed by it.

My Thoughts: 
Wow, what a handful.
I don’t even know how many times I wanted to give up on this book, but as I kept reading, my pesky curiosity would keep me turning the pages till I figured out what the hell was going on. A big part of me was really glad I did since all the revelations turned out to be worth the frustration, exasperation and pure bewilderment of this novel, but man, what a freaken trip getting there.

Getting a fresh start at Cania Christy boarding school is just what Anne Merchant needs. After the death of her mother, Anne hasn’t been the same and having a mortician for a father doesn't usually pay the big bucks, but some how he got her in an expensive school on Wormwood IslandMaine, an Academy that only admits the best of the best. But once Anne gets to Cania Christy things go from strange to plain ol’crazy. Just exactly what kind of place did her father land her in...

... And that my friends, is the biggest question here and the biggest asset, The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant has to offer. The mystery of Wormwood Island. There is a lot to process here since this book has got to be one of the most evasive and intricately connected storylines I read in a very long time. The sheer mystery alone will have readers curious and hell bent to try to figure out what going on. Once the big reveal happened and our protagonist finally gets in on the big secrets, I could see why Wiebe chose to be so deceptive. It’s actually very clever once I go back and lock the pieces together and intertwine the island, the village, the school, the students, the tuition and the crazy-ass Headmaster. The twist and turns really made this book standout and demand attention.

But wait, there’s more. I can’t leave out the Big V and PT. It all starts off with the obsessive competition all the students are racing for, the Big V, which is to win Valedictorian. Each student has a Guardian to oversee their progress academically but mostly making sure they are using their PT selection to the fullest. Prosperitas Thema is a moral quality statement that marks your strength and success in order to win the Big V. Strangely enough, Anne first quality selected is Seduction, but she actually went with her alternative PT, which was, Looking Closer. Why the first was even mention is beyond me since it was never really applied to the storyline except as a sexual advance by another character. The parents of the students also play a big role into the story; asking how far would you go for your child? 
Now, given that we don’t learn anything till almost near the end gave this book a huge info-dump making the beginning of the story hard to get through but the end of the book hard to put down. The pacing and flow feels way off, but was actually intentionally off balance to throw the reader and our main protag into a frenzy of questions with endless possibilities. It was difficult at times to wrap my head around, but I ended up really liking the ideas, concept and the paranormal twist that Joanna Wiebe created.

I wish I could say the same thing about the characters though. They were driving me insane. The one character that I did like was Anne. I liked that she can total handle her own and that she’s not afraid to ask questions or stand up for herself, which sadly she had to do a lot in this book. She lives with a housemother who treats her like a business deal, the over played mean girls don’t waste anytime harassing her simple cause they can and the Headmaster’s idea of a warm welcome were insults and sexual innuendo’s and this pretty much happens within the first few chapters. So be warned, it starts off a bit ridiculous but it does get better.
As for the rest of the characters, Ben and Pilot, I liked but I didn't. Ben acts cold and cruel towards Anne almost through the entire novel, but since he was trying to protect her, he’s easy to forgive. And as for Pilot, well, he was a good friend, the only friend that Anne had, but not everything is as it seems in this book. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.
My biggest issue here was Teddy. This is one guy I just did not understand. His looks are less then desirable, and he has a creepy factor going on that makes me want to shutter just thinking about him. He’s pleasant and supportive one minute and hostile and demanding the next. I also didn't care for his ‘it would be an abuse of power’ comment, only to turn around and suggest otherwise. Sick. But what I don’t get the most about this guy is I'm still not sure if he's good or evil. Everything about him felt very inconsistent, damaged and wrong.
I also had a little issue with all the other sexual-attention used in this book, it was uncomfortable, tacky and gave the book an ick-factor that wasn't really necessary nor needed to get any points across.
And last but not least, the love story. I’m not sure if I can say there was any real romance in this book since the mystery pretty much took up the entire novel, but I will say that I loved the connection between Ben and Anne and who Ben turned out to be. I never saw that coming and thought it was a very sweet touch to the storyline and probably one of my favorite moments.

In a nut shell, I liked this book, but it was a struggle getting there. The writing is good, frustrating yes, but smart. The character drove me nuts, but even I have to admit, everything happens here for a reason and I liked that nothing is what it seems. The plot has a million twists and turns that made my head spin and made me feel like I was constantly missing something but when push comes to shove, this has a really great and creative story, and I’m curious enough to want to know what happens next. If you’re a fan of boarding school books, paranormal and crazy mystery then this may be a book you’d enjoy. It may not have always been easy to get through, but it was still worth the read.

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                                3.5 Snowflakes

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Pieces of Jade by Lani Woodland and Melonie Piper

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...

Pieces of Jade (Pirates of Orea #1)

Pieces of Jade by Lani Woodland and Melonie Piper
Published 2013
Goodreads / Amazon / B&N

Teasers from ebook pages: 157 & 160

"How's it possible that you can find a scarred man attractive, but I can't find an old woman pretty?"

"The mainland? Doctor, where exactly is he taking us?"
"To the underworld, for all I know. He's either a genius or a crackpot fool who's wasting his time."

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!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: Nil by Lynne Matson

Nil by Lynne Matson
Publisher- Henry Holt & Co
Released- March 4th 2014
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N

On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die.Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s naked in an empty rock field.Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that she has to find a way to beat the clock, and quickly.

My Thoughts:
When you go into any survival-type story you’re already prepared to go into it with an open mind and some kind of suspended belief and just accept the world building and explanations given. But for this book, there are no real explanations or reasons as to what Nil is, why it exists and for what real purpose it holds for the captured teens. This is the kind of fantasy that ‘just is’ so if that’s an element that will bother you, then this may not be a book for you. However, what lacks in plausible realism makes up for with driven characters, compelling writing and a romance worth fighting for.

Nil island is deceptively beautiful. Its lush scenery is wild and breathtaking but the twisted mysteries and impending dangers the island holds is anything but.
The workings of Nil are really very simple. No one really knows what Nil is, all the survivors know is that from the ages of 13 to 19 teenagers are thrown into a gate and land into Nil naked, randomly and from all over the world. There is only one way on or off the island. Through a portal or gate that shows up sporadically throughout the entire Island. Catch the gate and your home free, but here’s the glitch, you only have 365 days to do it or its game over.

Pretty cool concept huh? It’s like that reality T.V show, Survivor but dipped in crazy sauce with a side of twisted. Such a me book! Push aside the fact that, yes, I did want a little more explaining with the why’s and the how’s of Nil, I still had a lot of fun with this book. And since it’s never really been established properly, I’m gonna go on a theory about some whacked out goddess bored, out of her mind pulling a few teens out of their world and plop them down on an exotic island and see if they can dance. But yeah, it could be aliens too. Just saying. My point is, when push comes to shove, it doesn't seem to matter to me about how realistic this novel is, it was still dame entertaining. Lynne Matson's writing is quite addictive, once I started this book I was simply compelled to keep reading till I hit the last page.

Even though this is told in Charley and Thad’s perspective, all the characters were all pretty amazing. They each had different personalities that complemented their strengths or weaknesses but I love that they come together as a mini community. Working together to chase down their food, gather supplies and hunt for gates. They have each other’s back (or well most of them do) and they all feel genuinely loyal and dedicated to making sure the Priority survivor catches their gate.
It did feel a little strange how oddly calm everyone seems to be, given this is set in an alternative universe. They’re fully aware of the threats that may come at any moment but still have enough down time to enjoy ‘paradise living’.  When you hear survival story, you think of panic, outrage and desperation, but in this book mostly everyone was calm and collected with the occasionally visit to the darker side of reality or when nerves were hit like a live wire. I wouldn't use words like action packed, heart pounding or explosive to describe this book, but I would describe this as very moving, engaging and intriguing adventure that makes your pulse pound with pure hope for pretty much every single character in this book. It’s a new kind of exciting then you typically find in this kind of genre, which I loved.

But my favorite aspect about this book is the sweet bubbling romance between Charley and Thad. It may seem a little rushed to some, but I think it was perfectly paced. Nil is a place where there are no promises, where your days are being counted and your living your life in the moment. There may not even be a tomorrow, so make it count today, and Charley and Thad do just that. They give each other a reason to hope, a reason to fight and a reason to live. The connection between them sparked the minute they met but it never felt forced or fake. Charley and Thad are also both fiercely strong characters with a lot of passion and fire. I loved Thad’s natural leadership and Charley’s resourcefulness and kindness. They are both very protective of one another and I couldn't seem to get enough of those quiet tender moments when it was just the two of them before jumping back into the unpredictability of Nil. They made the story feel less ugly and more real in a very unreal world. They’re definitely a couple worth rooting for.

All in all, I kinda just loved this one. The story-line could have been a pushed a little tighter, but other then that, it has everything I like in a good survival fantasy story. Intense writing, likable compelling characters, mystery, adventure and romance. I also really loved the ending, but I do wish an epilogue was included to see what happened to the other characters on Nil. I grew quite fond of a couple of them and would have liked to see the outcome of their survival. I was also pretty surprised this was a standalone novel. It’s a refreshing concept since I rarely (if ever) see books with a single shot, especially for this type of genre and since the ending was satisfying it feels right to have just the one book. 
An excellent read and an impressive debut, I can’t wait to see what Matson comes out with next, she’s got a new fan! 

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                             4.5 Snowflakes

Friday, January 10, 2014

Review: Perfect Lies by Kiersten White

Perfect Lies (Mind Games, #2)Perfect Lies by Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 18, 2014
Purchase: Amazon / B&N
Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.

The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.

But Annie's visions of the future can't show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia's first love, Fia knows he's hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other - but that may not be enough to save them.

My Thoughts:
I loved this!  Not only was this book exactly what I needed to kick off 2014, but it totally got me out of a reading slump that I felt coming on.  Woot!!

Perfect Lies takes off where Mind Games left us.  Fia made a HUGE decision at the end of Mind Games and this is the aftermath.  We get to see both Fia and Annie's POVs again which I loved and this story in my opinion was so much more dark and twisted.  Fia is really broken, she is being used by everyone and she doesn't know who to trust.  For someone who has perfect instincts it sure makes things all complicated when she can't decide who is right and who is wrong.  It feels like everybody has their own agenda even James her love.  Annie on the flip side of this is trying to believe in the chaos that Fia has created and keep safe everyone she can.  Talk about a crazy ride!

This book showed just how broken Fia was.  She was not all together in the first book, but in this one she truly is completely broken.  I felt so bad for her and I just wanted to scream at everyone to leave her alone.  She needed to get away from everyone including James.  If the tapping got on your nerves in the first one then you will be happy to know that it is somewhat toned down in this one and we get an explanation for it that really blew my mind.  If the explanation was in the first one I didn't remember so it was a huge revelation to me in this one.  All her taping is still there, but to me it felt totally different and didn't take away from the storyline.  I think Fia is one of my favorite characters ever and she is one kickass girl.

I felt for Annie in this one, but not as much as I did in the first one.  Her part was a little different to me, she was trying to get in touch with Fia and at the same time she had this whole other storyline about her finding love.  It felt a little out of place and honestly I don't think the romance added to the story at all.  Fia and James was a romance with an agenda so it fit, but Annie's just didn't fit for me.  Her part in the story came alive in the end and I did see it coming which did disappoint me.  The major reason why I love these books is because of the shock factor and I felt let down that I figured out what would happen in the end.  I think if the author had toned down a certain scene then I wouldn't have guessed it, but I did and so it was kind of anticlimatic.

That being said though I still totally loved this book. The back and forth with the POVs and the timeline really screwed with me and I can see that annoying people, but for me it worked.  I liked seeing the overlapping and how one thing influenced another.  It was beyond mind twisty and just awesome.  I really hope that this author writes more in this style!

4.5 Snowflakes