Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Loop by Karen Akins

Loop by Karen Akins
Publisher-St. Martin's Griffin
Realeased- Oct 21st 2014
Pre-Order-Amazon / B & N

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her. Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.
My Thoughts:
To be perfectly honest, I almost gave up on this book within the first few chapters. For some reason I have the hardest time with time travel novels, I'm completely fascinated with them mind you, but the mind-spinning technology, time jumping from past, present and future and always feeling like I'm missing the bigger picture, makes me wonder if this particular genre is really for me. Loop was all of above, but still had me fascinatingly curious. So, I stuck it out. And you know what happened? It got interesting! So interesting that I couldn't put it down and before I knew it I was done and willing more pages to magically appear. Finally! I have a favourite time travel book and it's LOOP my friends! This is one helluva addicting ride.

There is so much I want to say about this riveting story and yet I don't think I can give it the justice it truly deserves. I can't believe this is Akins debut novel. The way she writes is absolutely outstanding. The time travel concept was so much more then just futuristic gadgets, lingo and terminology (which there was a lot of ) it was preciously detailed and mind-blowing to comprehend, but at the same time it was refreshing and blast to read. There were times I felt overwhelmed and even intimidated with just how big the story is since there was just so.much.happening. But it's such an unstoppable read that I needed the answers just as badly as the characters did. Which brings me to another factor. It's mysterious as hell. This is not one of those books that you can just skim through peeps, this is the kind of book that is so evasively written and enthusiastic with information overload without any real explanations as to the hows and whys, you literally are scrabbling for clues (past, present and future) to see if you can figure out the answers and who's behind everything. And once the revelation hit me, I was floored. It's thought provoking and frustrating and makes you crazy, but in the best way. I had so much fun trying to make rhyme or reason with any of it that I simple forgot to be unnerved. My experience was a dazed one, but in one of the most satisfying and entertaining ways possible.

With any kind of time travel novel, you have to take it with enough suspended belief for the book to seem somewhat plausible, but what I loved about this was, as the book started to unfold, it almost felt entirely possible. And that had a lot to do with all these amazingly well developed character who bring this outrageous story to life.
Bree Bennis is a feisty firecracker of a character, she always seems to be on a mission and not just the time travelling kind. I really loved her voice and what she was initially fighting for, but there are times where I waned to just shake her straight. For an intelligent time travel student who's a stickler for believing in protocol she doesn't seem to mind bending The Rules when it's on her own terms and she's not a very open minded creature when it comes to Finn's speculations. She constantly doubts and rejects anything he's suspicious of and I couldn't help hate how bitter and snappy she was with him. Now mind you, our girl is under a huge amount of stress and pressure and eventually she calms down long enough to finally see who's on her side, and who isn't. She's got great snark and I love that no matter what she did wrong, she faces the consequences and stops at nothing to fix it.
I absolutely adore Finn Masterson! This guy is so freaken adorable I just want to hug him to death. His comedic timing with futuristic things was absolutely hilarious. I loved his reactions and his go with the flow attitude, his confidence, his protective nature and how passionate he is about Bree. He's my new favourite guy! The romance in this is super freaken sweet. These two bicker and banter pretty much the entire length of the novel, but even their fighting has a playful energy that is irresistible. Still, I thought it was perfectly paced, not rushed but gradually bubbling till that inevitable moment. Definitely gush-worthy stuff that made my heart happy.  
There is a long list of secondary characters that I loved to pieces. They all brought in so much depth to this already complex story that I couldn't see any of this without them. But I will give a shout out to Mimi. She was so flippen cute!

Bottom line, I had such a blast reading this book. It's a futuristic time travel sci-fi adventure that will have your head spinning and heart pounding. It's sharp, smart and consuming from start to finish and it only left me begging for more. I can't wait to find out what happens next! Bring on TWIST!

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                                  5 Snowflakes 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's a NEW month! September! Time for another #NEW #Kindle #Fire HDX #Giveaway! US and INTL!

September $229 Giveaway
229 giveaway
  It’s time for September’s $229 Kindle Giveaway Hosted by I Am A Reader. We are giving away 2 great prizes both valued at $229. Winner’s choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash!   The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to those share this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter.  
Win a Kindle Fire HDX 7", Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
Each of these bloggers/authors paid to help sponsor this giveaway.   Sponsor List I Am A Reader Feed Your Reader A & E Kirk, Author Inspired Kathy Lori's Reading Corner Talia Jager, Author Mother Daughter Book Reviews Krysten Lindsay Hager Every Free Chance Books Romance Under Fire I Love to Read and Review Books :) Christine's Blog Elizabeth Isaacs Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton Pauline Creeden, Author Author - Cindy A Christiansen Mama Monkey Craftology MoreThanaReview My Devotional Thoughts Author Suzy Turner Jenn @ Bookreviewsandgiveaways Too-Clever Danielle @ Coffee and Characters Author D.E. Haggerty C Family of 6 Bella Street Weird Romance Bonnie Blythe's Pure Romance Sid Frost YA Author Fabio Bueno Read for your future Jennifer Laurens Author Laurie Here - Contemporary Fiction and MORE Reviews from a Bookworm Helen Smith (author) Author Deb Atwood Author Claudia Burgoa Start Publishing Elizabeth Isaacs True North Publishing Whiskey Creek Press Deanna Lynn Sletten, Author Luthando Coeur Bette Lee Crosby Against Idleness & Mischief (BOOKTUBE) BookBunnyPR Victoria Allred

Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here:   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). Ends 9/30/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blog Tour: Maid of Deception by Jennifer McGowan

Today on WinterHaven Books we are joining in the blog tour for Maid of Deception by Jennifer McGowan!
Elizabethan glamour and intrigue abound in this heart­pounding follow­up to MAID OF SECRETS, which Kirkus Reviews called “lively and fast­paced” with “plenty of action Want to get to know Jennifer better? Check out this exclusive interview!

Tour Wide Giveaway:
Prize: $25 Gift Card Amazon or B&N (winner’s choice) and a Grand Prize “Queen for a Day” Spa Kit!

About Maid of Deception:
Love may be the most dangerous weapon of all. 
Beatrice Knowles is a Maid of Honor, one of Queen Elizabeth I’s secret protectors.  Known for her uncanny ability to manipulate men’s hearts, Beatrice has proven herself to be a valuable asset in the Queen’s court—or so she thinks. It has been three weeks since the Maids thwarted a plot to overthrow the Queen, and Beatrice is preparing to wed her betrothed, Lord Cavanaugh. However, her plans come to a crashing halt as rumors of a brewing Scottish rebellion spread among the court.

Beatrice’s new assignment is to infiltrate the visiting Scottish delegation using her subtle arts in persuasion. The mission seems simple enough, until the Queen pairs Beatrice with the worst of the lot—Alasdair MacLeod. Beatrice cannot help but think that the Queen is purposefully setting her up for failure. But Alasdair could be the key to unlocking the truth about the rebellion...and her heart. Caught in a web of ever­more­twisting lies, Beatrice must rise up among the Maids of Honor and prove what she’s known all along: in a court filled with deception and danger, love may be the deadliest weapon of all.
Also in the Maids of Honor series: MAID OF SECRETS by Jennifer McGowan!

About Jennifer McGowan:
Jennifer McGowan was born in Ohio, grew up in Montana, and studied in Paris. She fell in love with the Elizabethan era as a college student and is now an unrepentant scholar of that period, happily splitting her time between the past and present. An RWA Golden and plot twists.”  Heart Award winner and multiple finalist, Jenn is the author of the Maids of Honor series, which currently includes Maid of Secrets (2013), the novella A Thief Before Christmas, and the forthcoming novel Maid of Deception (2014). She lives and writes in Ohio, and you can connect with her online at, find her on twitter via @Jenn_McGowan, or visit her Facebook page at

Excerpt Too Late:
Now I catalogued the gossip with rote disinterest, wishing once again that I was not Beatrice the court insider, but Meg with her fabulous memory and quick hands; Sophia with her powerful gifts; Anna with her intelligence; or Jane with her cruel knives.
I finally was set free well after midnight, the Queen realizing that I was not, in fact, one of her indentured servants, and sending me along to my bed. But I could not return yet to the maids’ quarters. There was no room in Windsor that could hold me this night, and I fled to the North Terrace, then stepped out into the chill wind that somehow did not cut through the rising tide of misery that flushed through me, thick and hot.
I moved all the way to the small balcony that overlooked the wide grassy plain leading to the Thames. And quite without expecting it, I found myself on my knees.
I was not a religious person, I tell you plain. I believed in God, of course, but the dictates as to the worship of that God I left to my monarchs to decide. But the tears that rose up within me and spilled out of my eyes were not a lamentation to the heavens. The heavens had no care for me. The tears were not even a cry to my family or my fellow maids, for whom I would sacrifice much and much again, and who had come to my aid when I’d needed them most. I did not cry to these; they could not heed my tears.
I cried to myself. And for myself.
For the little girl who’d stared adoringly at the father destined to leave for court and kings, and who’d stood by in fear and confusion as her mother had withdrawn inch by painful inch into a world hazed with drugs and despair. For the young innocent at court who’d learned too quickly how not to trust. For the bold and hopeful insider whose manipulations had landed her the most coveted role in the land—bride-to-be of the splendid Lord Cavanaugh.
And for the stupid, foolish girl who—whom no one loved at all.
But I loved. I loved with a strength and fervor that filled my very bones and blood. I loved so much, I could not breathe.

Blog Hop & Giveaway: Stuck in a Good Book

It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to join a blog hop, so I when saw “Stuck in a Good Book” hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Stuck in Books the perfect YA read came to mind! I thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase 
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.
I haven’t read much YA this year, which I’m slowly but surely getting back to. However, when I read Perkins’ latest YA novel, it reminded me why I love YA so much. So I’m excited to share my enthusiasm for this book by offering a giveaway of ISLA!
The winner can either choose an eBook from US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble OR a Paperback copy from The Book Depository. This giveaway is open to (1) whoever can receive an eBook from US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble, OR (2) whoever can receive a shipment from The Book Depository. Here’s the countries they ship to – COUNTRIES
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blog Tour: Revew Haze (The Rephaim #2) by Paula Weston

Today on WinterHaven Books I am excited to participate in the blog tour for Haze by Paula Weston!  I am a huge fan of Ms.Westons and I am honored to be on this tour!  For my stop I have my review to share with you and also a fun character badge!

Haze (The Rephaim, #2)Haze (The Rephaim #2) by Paula Weston
Publisher: Tundra Books
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Purchase: Amazon
"But what if we can’t find Jude?"
He leans closer. His breath is warm on my ear. "We will."
"How can you be so sure?" I want to believe him so badly, but this is Rafa. The guy who’s all action and no plan. His smile is tired, knowing. An echo of a shared past I don’t remember.
"Because I’m not smart enough to give up, and you don’t know how to."

Gaby Winters’ nightmares have stopped but she still can’t remember her old life. Still can’t quite believe she is one of the Rephaim—the wingless half-angels who can shift from place to place, country to country, in the blink of an eye. That she was once the Rephaim’s best fighter. That demons exist. That Rafa has stayed.

But most of all, she can’t quite believe that her twin brother, Jude, might be alive.

And Gaby can’t explain the hesitancy that sidetracks the search for him, infuriates Rafa, and sends them, again, into the darkest danger.
My Thoughts:
Haze was definitely one of my most anticipated sequels of 2014.  After reading Shadows I could not wait to get my hands on this book and see what would happen to Gaby.  Haze while leaving me with even more questions did not disappoint and has definitely left me wanting more.

Haze starts off pretty much where Shadows left off.  If you haven't read Shadows in awhile you might need to refresh your memory like I did because the story doesn't stop much to explain what is going on.  I actually appreciated this because I have found that most sequels spend the first few chapters rehashing what happened in the previous novel and honestly I feel like it's a waste of good pages.  In Haze we are thrown right into the intense storyline and I loved it.

Okay so I have to talk about all the unanswered questions.  Shadows left me with a lot of questions.  I mean we find out that Gaby is not who she thinks she is and everyone knows about her past, but won't tell her anything.  Plus we also learned that Jude might be alive.  When I picked this up I thought I would have at least a handful of my questions answered in the first half of the book, but well I was wrong.  Really only one question gets answered and it takes a long time to get that answer.  Now normally this would have bothered me, but this story was just too good!  Paula Weston managed to weave a very intricate story into an incredible world that totally left me breathless.  I didn't need answers I just wanted more words from her.  Now will this feeling last if the next book doesn't cough up some answers probably not because I will be frustrated, but for this sequel I was content enough to sit back and just read the amazing adventures and know that in time I will get my answers.

The characters also helped me forget my questions.  I love Rafa, Gaby, Maggie, and Jason.  They are just an awesome group of characters that have me in the palm of their hands.  I literally hang on their every word!  Rafa oh where do I begin!  I can't wait to really see him let loose on Gaby and I can't wait to see where they end up. I am almost terrified for them, but I can't wait to read that scene.  Mya and Daniel aren't on my favorite list but I am really curious to know what their storylines actually are.  Ms. Weston has crafted some beyond interesting characters that have me wanting to find my own crew just like them!

So this series is still my top favorite Angel series of all time.  It is unique and wonderful that hasn't let me go.  Haze ends in a cliffhanger that I won't lie is painful so I am dying to get my hands on the third book Shimmer!!!  If you are looking for angels look no further this book is for you!

4 snowflakes

As part of the tour each blogger filled out a character quiz and then were rewarded with a badge.  This badge shows us which character we are most alike!  I am thrilled to be Team Ez! She is a fierce fighter and I would love to be her anytime!

About the Author:

Waiting on Wednesday, #64

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.
Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Expected publication: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Poppy

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, 17-year-old Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

This book is my do-over story! If I could have one do-over, it would be this… to travel to Europe before or even after college and just traipse around Italy, Spain, and France. It would be so awesome to experience the culture, the people, the food and fall in love. Yes… Love, Lucy sounds like my perfect escape, and I want to jump on that red motor bike and have the time of my life. I can't wait to live vicariously through this story. 

Sooo, what book are you waiting on???

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Teaser Tuesday, #75 Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

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... 

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication Date: July 17, 2014

Blurb:  Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother - Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid - was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea's uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea's 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother's guard - each pledged to defend the queen to the death - arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding...

And so begins her journey back to her kingdom's heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother's legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea's story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance - it's about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive...

Quotes taken from chapter three: 

Teaser #1:

"Where's your handsome face today?"
"I'm home now," he replied easily. " No point in dressing up."

(In this short teaser above, a real connection finally had began to surface. I won't mention the male here, however, my interest piqued exponentially.)

Teaser #2:

"I don't understand how I'm supposed to make smart decisions without knowing everything."
"Why dwell on the past, Lady? You have the power to make your own future."
"What of my dolls and dresses?"
"I poked you with a stick to see if you'd fight back. And you did."
"What if I order you to tell me?"
"Order away, Lady, and see how far you get."

(This was another powerful conversation between the protagonist and one of the Queen's Guard. It took me a little time to warm up to him, but as I read further, and the lengths he would go to protect her, I developed respect for the man.)

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! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blog Tour: Interview & Review: Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo

Today on WinterHaven Books I am excited to be participating in the blog tour for Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo!  For my stop I have an amazing interview with Jennifer to share with you as well as my review!  

Welcome Jennifer!

1. Your book has been out in the wild for a little while now, how does it feel?
2. How did you celebrate on August 26th?
Having the book out in the wild is surreal, as I’m sure most debut authors would say.  As I type this, it’s been only two days so it’s still very new. On Pub day, a wonderful new Seattle writing friend took me out to all the best Indie bookstores in downtown Seattle we could hit in a single afternoon, and she snapped photos of me with the book at every store. It was hilarious and wonderful and so insane! People in the stores said they’d read it and loved it and I cried every time - why I bothered with eyeliner that day is a mystery. I was able to sign some stock and by the grace of the alphabet my book is snuggled quite close on the shelf to E. Lockart’s We Were Liars, which... that’s enough to make a person’s head fall off. I mean, come on!  The booksellers were all incredibly kind and funny and took pictures for me and I bought books for my daughter at every store, so everybody won that day! I love that when people ask now, “Where can I get your book? And when?” I can say, “Right now and everywhere!” Instead of, “Oh, in about two and a half years....”
On the evening of Pub day my husband and daughter and I went for Chinese food and they gave me an antique inkwell with the title and date engraved on the silver cap, which is now housed in a place of honor on my writing desk. I’m typically not a fan of things but that is a treasure. My daughter was most excite about the fact that it was also the pub date for the new Mine Craft book and I had bought it for her while signing copies of Six Feet Over It. I tell you what, that Mine Craft book is quite a compelling narrative about people digging really deep holes, and also there are glass windows and you can forge silver to make a sword. Eleven-years-olds. They are awesome.

3. I really enjoyed that your book strayed from the typical YA contemporary formula. In five words describe what readers can expect from Six Feet Over It since it is very different.
SIX FEET OVER IT in five words: Finding Death’s place in life.

4. Do you have any book tour information you can share? *crossing my fingers for Austin*
I do have some early tour info! I would LOVE to come to Austin, any booksellers interested! Call/email me! Currently, my schedule is as follows, and this is on my blog as well:

*Saturday, September 6th 1pm Barnes and Noble Booksellers on Arden Way in Sacramento, California (Reading/Signing)

*Sunday, September 14th at 3pm Launch Party at Island Books, Mercer Island Washington. (Reading, Signing, Cupcakes, Champagne)

*Saturday, October 4th at 10am I’m on a panel on writing YA at the Seattle Public Library (Books, Signing) in Seattle, Washington.

*Wednesday, October 8th at 7pm Reading for Suzy Vitello’s launch of her new book, The Empress Chronicles at Powells’ Books Cedar Hills Crosssing, Portland, Oregon.

*Thursday, October 9th (Time TBD) with Suzy again at Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle, Washington.

*Monday, October 13th 8pm, I’m a telling a story at Porchlight SF as part of Lit Quake San Francisco at the Verdi Club in San Francisco, California.

*Thursday, October 23rd I’m reading as part of Seattle’s Lit Crawl (Evening, Exact location and time TBD)

Um. I didn’t realize till I just wrote that how many events I’m doing with this book. That is awesome, and also OMG.

5. In all of the release date craziness what has been your favorite moment?
Release date craziness favorite moment: There is a book seller name Justus at Elliot Bay, and when I went in, she was kind enough to say she loved the book, really really loved it, and I got to sign a copy for her and I thought, “That’s it. That is the entire reason a person tells a story, writes a book, or a play – for even one person to love it this much.” I know what it is to finish a book, and to just think, Thank you, Author. Thank you so much for that. Maybe that’s what Justus thought, or some variation of that. And now as an author, I can say honestly, Thank you, Reader. Thank you so much for that. Also, a bonus type of moment – I kept randomly throughout the day bursting into ‘I cannot believe this is happening’ tears, and my dear friend and fellow writer Jet Harrington, who took me on this Seattle Pub Day tour (and to lunch and to Molly Moon’s ice cream OMG) would sense the meltdown coming before the tears came and would grab me and hug me so I wouldn’t fall apart. She made it a completely perfect day. Okay, see now I’m tearing up again. Launching a book really messes with a person’s emotions!

Jennifer thank you so much for stopping by! It has truly been a pleasure having you here! 
Thank you so much, this was wonderful! Another high point in the publishing journey for sure!
Must find a bookstore in Austin to add to your line up!  I'm totally making calls!!

Six Feet Over ItSix Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Purchase: Amazon
Darkly humorous and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Jennifer Longo’s YA debut about a girl stuck living in a cemetery will change the way you look at life, death, and love.

Leigh sells graves for her family-owned cemetery because her father is too lazy to look farther than the dinner table when searching for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she meets two kinds of customers:

Pre-Need: They know what’s up. They bought their graves a long time ago, before they needed them.

At Need: They are in shock, mourning a loved one’s unexpected death. Leigh avoids sponging their agony by focusing on things like guessing the headstone choice (mostly granite).

Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to stand up to her family and quit. But her world’s been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her grave digger. Surrounded by death, can Leigh move on, if moving on means it’s time to get a life?
My Thoughts:
I've talked before in previous reviews how contemporary is such a tough genre for me.  The only ones that tend to work for me are ones that don't include a love interest and instead focus on issues besides romance.  Six Feet Over It thankfully had a different focus.

This story is basically about a teenage girl trying to figure out where she fits in with her interesting family.  Between her older sister who is in remission, her crazy dad who just moved the whole family to run a cemetery, a mother is grows more and more distant, and a best friend who isn't there anymore Leigh isn't sure where she fits into all this craziness.

The first thing that struck me while reading this is how sad it was that Leigh felt so much guilt.  Every bad thing that happened to her she somehow felt like it was her fault. My heart just broke for her.  No one should every feel like that especially not a fifteen year old girl.  Things happen in life and well Leigh had to deal with more than her fair share.  She was a tough cookie though I have to give her that.  I hated that she pushed everybody away, but I understood why she did.  If everyone you loved left wouldn't you do the same?  Things change for her when Dario, the new gravedigger, starts working and working his way into her heart as a friend.  Leigh really needed him and I think he knew that.  Elanor was another friend that Leigh needed, but her role was different than Dario's.  Overall this cast really had a wonderful balance.

The one problem I had with this story were her parents.  If I could take out her parents involvement this read would have probably been a 5 star for me.  As it is though they are in it and man I just don't even know where to begin.  I said before that her family was crazy, but really they were neglectful.  Leighs' mom takes off more times than I can count to spend time in their old seaside home and her dad basically makes her run the office by herself.  This leaves her dealing with families who are in need of burial plots.  Not what a fifteen year old should be doing or expected to do. It gets so bad that by the end of the story she is running the office.  If she had wanted to do this on her own that's one thing, but her dad just makes her.  Her sister Kai isn't expected to do anything and I am guessing its because she is in remission.  Okay well that brings up a whole other topic actually.  Why in the world did their dad buy a cemetery when his daughter was on the brink of death.  I'm sure this wasn't the most positive climate for Kai.  I'm not quite sure what to make of that, but I'll move on.  Leigh's parents really needed to step up and be parents.  Both daughters were going through things and it was so heartbreaking to see each of them not have a mom or dad to lean on.

Aside from the parents I did really enjoy this story. I enjoyed seeing Leigh grow and accept certain things in her life.  I wish one thing would have been in this story though.  There is a particular situation that I think Leigh really needed closure on and after discovering certain things I think a great opportunity was lost within the story.  I would have really liked to have seen Leigh have just one conversation with a certain person.  I know that is vague, but if you read this then you will understand.  Again though aside from that I did enjoy living in Leigh's world and I am definitely going to keep my eye out for future novels from Ms. Longo.

4 Snowflakes


Waiting on Wednesday, #63

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.
Here's what I'm waiting on this week:
The Road by Jay McLean
Expected publication: January 2015

For four years I watched him roaming the halls of high school, always quiet, without a single clue of his A-list status. Then one night he ran into me, literally. He thought he saved me, but he had no idea how impossible that was. Now he wants to talk. Now he wants to get to know me. Now he thinks he's in love with me.
Stupid, stupid boy.


I wish I'd found her earlier, but she chose to stay invisible. I watched her take in the world one breath at a time, while living her life alone. I told her that I saved her that night, but I lied. I think she saved me. She wants to push me away and tell me I'm wrong, but it's too late. Now she's been noticed. Now she's a part of me. Now I'm in love with her.
Beautiful, beautiful girl.

I have yet to read anything by Jay McLean, and after coming across this book it's hard not to notice her More Series seems to be doing pretty well. The reviews look great and the series sounds intriguing. However, The Road, which is apparently a new novel, caught my attention first. Makes me assume there will be a road trip… awesome… sounds like it will be told in multiple POVs… fantastic… and it's a contemporary romance… perfect!  So while I wait for this one to hit the shelves I might give her other books a try, but The Road is definitely on my radar.

Sooo, what are you waiting on??? 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher-Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Realeased- Sept 2nd 2014
Purchase- Amazon / B & N

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
My Thoughts: 
Heir of Fire, is the third instalment in the Throne of Glass series and starts off where Crown of Midnight ends. I have to admit, I liked the first two books a little tiny bit more, but I think that's only because I'm an impatient reader and wanted to get back to certain storylines played out for my favourite characters and the on-hold was kinda killing me. But I understand that plots must be thickened, conflicts must endure and inevitable fate must be followed. So I sucked it up, let the story pull me along and was once again rewarded and left speechless and in awe of everything Maas brought to this epic high fantasy fantastical adventure.

Sarah J. Maas, continues to deliver complex emotion with pulse pounding action and unstoppable adventure. There is so much going on her plot wise, I wouldn't even know how to sum it up. Celaena is warped by grief and even though she was sent to Wendlyn, she has another agenda other then doing the Kings bidding, while Choal is still trying to survive the aftermath of everything he's learned. But that's only a little parts of what this book holds. This definitely felt different compared to the first two. It's more intense, dire, darker and grander. New characters are introduced who are all intriguing and brought something specifically unique into the storyline and how they impact are already established characters. There is magic, madness and monsters. There is evil. There is power. But there is also a lot of hope, friendship and love.

If there was one word I would use to describe Celaena Sardothien, it would be fearless, but we see a broken vulnerable side to her that shattered my heart. I never new the kind of pain, suffering and lost she endured. I may have suspected it, but never realized the depth of what she's been through. The scene with the Valg prince nearly undid me, and yet, Celaena still becomes an even more powerful force then I could have ever imagined. Her new-found powers makes me excited and thrilled for the anticipated ass-kicking she's going to inflict in future books. Bring it!
Choal was very conflicting in this book. He's haunted by the secrets of who and what Celaena is and what it means for the kingdoms and also torn with the knowledge of Dorian's secret as well. I can't say I cared for his distance, but I'm glad he remained loyal to his prince and the women he loves.
Dorian has always earned my respect, but after this instalment he's also earned my undying love. My heart is in pieces for what his sorry excuse of a king and father did to him at the end and I'm gutted for what will happen next and only pray for retribution. 
I really liked the new characters; Sorscha, Aedion, Manon and Rowan. Given that this is the third book in a planed six-book series, I was surprised how fast I was taken with the new cast, but they are a very welcoming addition none the less.
Aedion Ashryver, is Celaena cousin and I absolutely loved his fierce loyalty to his true queen. He's a riveting character and I predict he will be an essential asset and ally to this growing series.
Rowan is a warrior prince and bound to Maeve the Fae Queen. He's a total badass and by far my favourite part of this book. I love him so much. Yes, be beats the ever living crap out of Celaena. Constantly. But his 'don't put up with anything' attitude was both amazing and amusing. Still, I think this was exactly what Celaena needed, even if she didn't know it at the time. What they ended up meaning to each other was beautiful and moving. They are a united force that I am greatly looking forward to seeing in action.
Sorscha was an interesting character and I liked what she and Dorian shared, but to be honest, she felt more like a pawn to be used at the right moment to ensure a necessary reaction more then anything else, and I'm not sure how to feel about that.
Manon was the only character I didn't really care for. She's brilliant and vicious mind you, but her point of view felt out of place and while I though she and her clan will be more interesting and important for future books, I didn't find it necessary for this particular instalment.

Bottom line. Heir of Fire was another powerful addition to this extraordinary world. It's filled with the kind of epic you crave for in a high fantasy escape. It's filled with so much power, magic, suspense and chocked full of heart-stopping, jaw dropping action. The ending and my head and heart is still buzzing from everything that's happened. Apart of me wants to hold off till the rest of the series is done since I can't handle all these evil cliffhangers but the other part of me is screaming for MORE! An incredibly addicting as hell epic read! 

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                                4.5 Snowflakes

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #67

A weekly meme hosted by, Tynga's Reviews, that features the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted, and were given for review. 
It's been a few weeks so this weekly recap will include everything that's been posted since our last StS =)




What landed in our happy hands these past few weeks!
Trial by Fire (Worldwalker, #1) A Little Something Different
For Review:
Fiendish The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, #2)
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy--In Tina's neck of the woods this was released early and I am so jealous!!!

*Special thanks to Macmillan*

That's it for us!  I hope everyone had an amazing week as well!  Leave me a link so I can see all your pretties!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Blog Tour Interview, Giveaway, & Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Today on WinterHaven Books I am super excited to be participating in the blog tour for Josephine Angelini!!  I absolutely adored Trial by Fire and yes I am still squeeing over Josephine joining us today!!  I also have a very special giveaway to share with you at the end!!  First though check out her answers to my questions!  Love love love her answers!!!

Welcome Josie!!
1. The world you created was incredibly unique, how did you come up with the idea?
When I’m worldbuilding I always try to make it feel like it’s real, so everything has to be there for a logical reason. The parallel world that I created for the WorldWalker Trilogy was shaped mostly by the system of magic that I developed for that world. First I had to develop the magical system, and then I sat down and thought about what kind of world would be the result of people having that particular skill set.
For example, if magic made licorice out of nothing, than licorice would be a really cheap, and as a result, people would probably live in houses made of licorice, or their cars would run on licorice, or something like that. People make use of what’s around them, and economies, technology, governments, and architecture come out of that. That’s where I start when I create a world—on what’s handy. Simple and logical is always best, and strangely, it can also be a source of originality.

2. If you could be Lillian or Lily which would you chose and why?
Lily, for sure. I feel bad for Lillian. After all, she is the one who lost Rowan.

3. Tristan was a horrible best friend to boyfriend character! I honestly wanted to punch him for Lily! Does he serve a greater purpose in the sequel??
It’s so funny that you had such a strong negative reaction to him! When I finished the first draft I was so surprised when all of my beta readers loved him. They were all expecting Lily to be with Tristan and I couldn’t figure out why. I don’t think Tristan is a bad person, but he’s still immature in the first book. I think it has something to do with the “first guy” principle in YA.
Usually, the first guy we meet in a YA book is assumed to be the one the girl ends up with, but I rarely find that in life. Usually a girl’s first love is a disaster! I wanted to write something that was closer to life. And, to answer your question—yes. Tristan is very important throughout the series.

4. I could honestly gush about your book for days and days! What book have you gushed about recently?
Thank you so much! I’m so happy you enjoyed it that much! Recently I’ve been recommending Storm Siren by Mary Weber. It’s a really strong debut book, and I LOVE the heroine.

4. Can you tell us a little about the sequel? I'm dying to know something..anything!!
How to do this without giving anything away? I will say that in Trail of Tears we learn a lot more about Lillian, and maybe even come to agree with her. And the love story in the second book gets way steamier.
Thanks Josie for stopping by!
Find the Author:

I have to say that Josie's answer for my Tristan question really blew me away and made me love this book even more.  Such a unique and realistic way of writing a character!  I cannot wait to see what happens with him! 

Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy, #1)Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Purchase: Amazon
Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem - one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?
My Thoughts:
Macmillan has these books called Fierce Reads and for so long I just thought they were books that have fierce heroines, but now after reading Trial by Fire I understand what a Fierce Read actually is.  This book brought out the fierceness in me.  I wanted to fight for Lily and Rowan, I wanted to just jump right inside this book and fight with all the fierceness my bookies have.  So Fierce Reads aren't just talking about the books characters, which let me assure you Lily and Rowan were two of the fiercest characters ever, they are talking about bringing out the readers inner Fierce and pulling them into a story they will never forget.

Trail by Fire starts out..okay I am just going to say it bad.  Tristan is a horrible childhood BFF/crush ever!  I normally love the childhood friend turn to boyfriend angle but man this guy was just mean and I wanted to kick him out of this book!  Without his stupidity though Lily wouldn't have given in and decided to leave her world though so Tristan did serve a purpose even though I hate to admit it.  I'm glad to also say that his doppelganger was better, but I have a very real suspicion that he will still turn out to be a dirtbag.  When Lily suddenly turns around and finds herself in another version of her world she has no idea what to do.  Her life has always been a little crazy, but this was an all new brand of crazy for her.  She quickly learns that she will have to adapt to her new surroundings before she can find her way home. With doppelgangers, witch craft, multiple versions, and willstones this story is an adventure that takes Lily a girl who could barely keep herself alive to a girl who is one of the strongest witches and can change the world.

I loved this and I don't mean love as in think about the story a bit and then put it back up to never really think of again. No I mean I fiercely love this story to where I will buy a physical copy and pet it everyday and reread my favorite passages for years.  Yes I loved it that much.  It is such a unique spin on witchcraft and omg the world is just amazing!  This author weaves in science and really makes the reader think.  You find out later in the story the reason why Lilian (the original Lily in the new world) brings Lily into her new world and I get it.  We don't know everything because well this is the first book in the trilogy so there is a lot more to come, but we do know that Lily is there to right a wrong and that Lilian thinks she is right by killing everyone who practices science. See at first I was like that's so wrong, but the more you read you see that Lilian has a reason and while killing people is never the answer you do see her point.  I love books that make me think and this one not only does that it makes me really wonder which side I would want to be on.  The obvious one isn't always the answer and I think Lily may realize this sooner rather than later.

Rowan was *squee* amazing.  After hating Tristan with everything and wishing him a painful death it was such a fun ride to fall for Rowan.  Was he easy to like at first, no but he was no where near as bad as Tristan and you have to give him a little leeway too.  When he meets Lily he thinks she is Lilian and well he hates Lilian for various reasons so he can't trust Lily.  Their relationship grows and oh my what a story that was.  I loved every bit of their interaction and I almost swooned when she claimed him.  You will have to read the story to find out exactly what that means hehe.  Such a great pair!  And there is one scene that literally had me fanning myself!  Sorry had to throw that in there!

This was a book that I didn't want to put down, but at the same time I didn't want to finish it.  I kept reading a chapter and then walking away so that I could savor it. I haven't done that it a very long time, maybe not since Twilight so that should tell you how much I adored this story.  This is my first book by

Also don't forget to check out all the awesome tour stops that happened this week!  I promise you definitely want to check these out!  Click HERE!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Expected Publication Date: October 14, 2014
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

My Thoughts:
Snow like Ashes is unlike anything I’ve read in quite a while. It was engaging and unique. Meira was an infant when the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and enslaved. Meira and the other remaining survivors are on a mission to retrieve the ancient locket and restore Winter’s magic.
This was a wonderful concept utilizing the four seasons as Kingdoms as well as Rhythms, along with the magical elements woven into this story. 

We instantly get swept into the lives of the eight surviving members of the Winter Kingdom. Meira, who we learn quickly has a a crush on Mather, and an orphaned soldier-in-training. Mather, the future king. Sir, who trains and leads the group. Alysson, Sir's wife, who is gentle and loving. Greer, Finn, Henn, and Dendera. They live in tents in the Rania Plains which is barren, dry, and hot. It's a territory none of the eight kingdoms of Primoria wants to claim. And a great hiding spot for the eight. 

It's been sixteen years since King Angra Manu of Spring broke and destroyed Winter's conduit (which is a locket.)  The lockets are male or female-blooded conduit. And since Winter's is a female-blooded conduit, Mather struggles with the fact that he couldn't use it to help his people because he is male. 

"No matter what I want to do, no matter how well I lead or how hard I train, I won't be able to force life into frozen fields, or cure plagues, or feed strength into soldiers like if I could use the conduit. The Winterians would probably rather have a cruel queen than a king with good intentions, because with a queen, they at least have a chance that the magic can be used for them. It doesn't matter what I would do with magic, because leaders are valued for the wrong things."

That had been a struggle for Mather. Some of the group go on missions, following leads to restore the broken piece of their conduit. The problem is, the man, Angra who possesses it, keeps the precious half traveling around so it can't be restored, nor the Winter Kingdom.

Beneath the Season Kingdoms is a giant ball of magic. And somewhere in the Winter's Klaryn Mountains there was once an entrance to it. All the Season Kingdoms' lands are affected by the chasm. The Rhythm Kingdoms cycle through all four seasons.  

As confusing as this may sound, and as in depth the concept is...the story evens out and was easily to slip into once I got adjusted to the world. Another element I liked was that the Winterians had whitish hair, pale skin and blue eyes. Alysson was a mother figure to Mather and Meira. 

"You won't have to hide forever, sweetheart. Someday our features will blend in, not stand out."

While they search for the broken locket, Meira constantly struggles with proving her self to Sir, and is determined to do whatever it takes to be able to do so, and help procure the pieces. Over and over and over, Meira gets put on measly missions and she never understood why. 

They escape imprisonment, many obstacles, battles, and eventually Meira's life entwines with another love interest, Theron. 

I struggled with the romantic pulses between Meira and Mather, and then when Theron entered into the picture, I knew who I cheered for. Theron was the type of character that I wanted to see with Meira. He was kind, selfless, and his affections for her were real. Whether Meira ends up with Mather, or Theron...both exude male swoonworthyness and I could see her with either one. 

This story is complex, long, and every bit fantasy. My only complaint would be I think sometimes when a story is this complex, it's a bit more difficult to enjoy. Not that I didn't like it. I did! And I realize fantasy novels usually run a little longer as the world building is a vital importance. Overall, I really liked this novel, and I will most certainly read the second book. I'm looking forward to reading others opinions on the book itself and the love triangle between Meira, Mather, and Theron. 

Lastly, I'd like to share a final quote that I truly loved.

"And no matter what Angra might try to do, he will not stop me from washing away the ashes of this kingdom's past and filling our lives with the glorious icy peace of snow."

Quotes taken from an uncorrected proof