Monday, July 1, 2013

Precious Blood by Tonya Hurley Giveaway

Precious Blood by Tony Hurley Giveaway

Simon and Schuster has contacted me to ask if I wanted to host a giveaway on my blog. Of course I said yes, because I love giving you guys goodies! So I have 2 books to giveaway to 2 lucky US addresses! Check out a little about info about the book and enter to win below:

About the Book

What if martyrs and saints lived among us? And what if you were told you were one of them?

Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy are three lost girls—each with their own personal demons. These girls meet one night when they all end up in the same hospital…and each wake up with a token from a boy they’ve only just met. Sebastian is gorgeous, mysterious, and has a plan for all of them. As each girl gets wrapped up in finding out just who Sebastian is, they each discover their own strengths, and realize the only way to save themselves is to save each other.

The story begins in PRECIOUS BLOOD and continues in PASSIONARIES, available 1/7/14.

About the Author
Photo by Kevin Mazur
Tonya Hurley is the New York Times best-selling author of the highly acclaimed “ghostgirl“ book series; creator, writer and producer of animated and live action hit television series; writer and director of independent films; writer and director of commercials for Playstation, Gameboy and Warner Home Video; and creator of groundbreaking videogames. Her new young adult trilogy, THE BLESSED, begins with Precious Blood.

Praise for Precious Blood
“Our new favorite dark, sexy rock-n-roll thriller.” (
“Intriguing premise, fiery dialogue, and digs about celebrity-obsessed culture that moves at the speed of Twitter…” (Publishers Weekly)

"...Hurley brings her deadpan wit and blackest humor to the first tale in this trilogy about spirituality, sacrifice and supernatural romance." (MTV Hollywood Crush)

So now, make sure you enter to win you're own copy:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books about Traveling

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week, they post a subject and the goal is to answer the question with your top ten picks. Once you've done it, link back to The Broke and the Bookish and check out what other bloggers have to say!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books about Traveling

As I started to think about this topic, I realize that I don't read a lot of books about travel so this one is going to be small.

1) Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt- This was such a cute book and I loved that it was told in both perspectives. I hadn't read a roadtrip book before but it made me want to read more!

2) Eragon by Christopher Paolini- This is your typical fantasy quest book that invovled lots of travel over foreign lands but it gave me plenty of time to know the characters and we got to see loads of new places.

3) The Naming by Alison Croggon- This is another series where the main character has to leave home and venture to foreign lands to find herself and solve the riddle that is her life.

4) Fire Study by Maria V Snyder- While the first novel in this series was stationary, in this one poor Yelena is on the move and must journey to a city to solve a murder.

5) Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi- Perry and Aria must go through the dangerous world to get answers they seek.

6) Eve by Anna Carey- Set in a post apocalyptic world, Eve must cross through the barren wasteland to figure out a way to save her friends.

Making this list helped me realize that a lot of my traveling books are eiter dystopian or fantasy.

What made your list?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Happily Ever Endings: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Happily Ever Endings is a synopsis of the ending of a novel that is part of a series. It is so that you can refresh yourself as to what happened in the last book so that you can be ready to read the next in the series!

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.  
And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.
Click "Read More" to find out what happens at the end of The Assassin's Curse.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week, they post a subject and the goal is to answer the question with your top ten picks. Once you've done it, link back to The Broke and the Bookish and check out what other bloggers have to say!
Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects
At first, I thought I might not be able to participate this week because I don't read a lot of contemporaries which tackle heavy subject matter. But then I took a glance at my shelf and found a few I'd like to share in no particular order.

1) The Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott (Kidnapping/Rape/Child Abuse)- This is one of those books that will live in infamy. I read it once all the way through and was so horrified by what I read, I re-read it again right away. Told in first, second and third person view, you can't help but be drawn in to this awful situation.

2) Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (Eating Disorder)- I read this quite a long time ago and was horrified by the raw, emotionally destructive character I found between the pages. Both gorgeous and terrifying at the same time, this is one everyone needs to read.

3) Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf (Abuse)- I wasn't expecting to really fall for this book. I knew it was going to be a sad, emotional read but what I also found was the hope of new beginnings. It's one of the main reasons a book about relationship abuse still sticks with me.

4) Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler (Alcoholism)- All of the characters in this novel are guilty of some crime but alcohol is what ended up running Gabby's life. Watching her fall victim to all of the things people thought about her or wanted her to be was just as awful as learning about the car accident that changed her life. But the subject matter is handled beautifully.

5) Hold Sill by Nina LaCour (Suicide)- This novel really got to me. Combining the written word and drawings from the girl who committed suicide, it's hard not to become invested in Caitlin's plight to come to terms with the fact that her best friend is no longer around. A powerful and touching read.

6) 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Suicide)- This is the first contemporary I read in YA and it knocked my socks off. The unique use of the 13 tapes to connect all the little incidents that pushed Hannah toward her decision was just awful and gripping. I couldn't put the novel down.

7) The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Celicia Galante (Cults)- Told in alternate views from Honey, who can see how their religious cult leader is brainwashing everyone, and Agnes, who believes in her faith and their leader, this book is both powerful and horrifying. I've always found cults fascinating and repulsive so I knew this would be a good choice for me.

8) Hate List by Jennifer Brown (School Shootings)- I thought this book had a really unique premise. It's about the girlfriend of a school shooter living with the guilt after a shooting has occurred. Valerie helped her boyfriend make the list he would use to shoot the students at school and she has to live with that. Plus, she is still grieving over the boy she knew, the one that would never be capable of such a crime, while the whole world hates him. Such a touching read.

9) How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford (Outsider/Friendship/Missing)- Watching Robot Girl and Ghost Boy get to know each other through the radio show and learn to trust each other made me so happy. But when I realized Ghost Boy was serious about disappearing, it broke my heart. Definitely a great read!

Those are the books that tackle tough issues perfectly! Which ones did you include?

Monday, May 13, 2013

To Cancel or Not to Cancel: The Fate of T.V. Shows I Love

So the fall t.v. seasons are coming to an end one by one and as each one reaches it's finale, I stay tuned to see if some of my favorite characters will be coming back for another season. Quite a few are staying but I'm reading some sad news too. So stick around with me and see which of your favorite shows are making a return, which are in danger and which shows are getting their last call.

1) The Vampire Diaries (The CW)- I started watching TVD when it first premiered but stopped after the first few episodes. Then I found the first two seasons on Netflix and was hooked. The  season four final is fast approaching and good news for all of us, we'll be going back to Mystic Falls later this year for a fifth season of our favorite vampires, werewolves and witches (oh my!). This one is confirmed for another season. In fact, it's doing so well, The CW ordered a spin-off series with The Originals staring Klaus!

2) Beauty and the Beast (The CW)- This show debuted this year about the detective Catherine (Beauty) solving crimes with Vincent (the Beast) who has a bit of an angry issue thanks to a government experiment gone wrong. I flipflop with this show. I don't need to watch it every week but I have been keeping up and I'll be interested to see how they are going to shake things up in season 2. This show was on the fence for a little while but The CW ultimately picked it up.

3) The Carries Diaries (The CW)- I watched this prequel to Sex in the City every week and definitely got my fix of easy, breezy fun. However, I'd heard that ratings weren't great and this show didn't get picked back up by The CW right away,  Luckily, The CW believes in the show as much as I did because they've decided to renew it for another season. However, it is unknown just how many episodes have been ordered.

4) Cult (The CW)- I decided to watch Cult because I really liked Matthew Davis and thought the concept sounded really cool. Though I'll admit that they didn't take the time to develop the characters very well, I did enjoy the show and was sad to see when The CW pulled the remaining episodes from air. I do hope they put them out somewhere because this show was a lot of fun. It's just too bad others didn't see it. Cult has been canceled.

5) Supernatural (The CW)- A few years back, I started watching this show even among the rumors that season 5 would be the last season. However, Supernatural got renewed and is still going strong. The proof? It got renewed for a 9th season the same time as TVD.

6) Nashville (ABC)- I didn't mean to start watching Nashville. I told myself "no". But I took an overtime shift at work and my co-worker wanted to watch the first episode. I got hooked. Great music, a fun rivalry and loads of drama has kept me tuning in every week. Lucky for me, I'll be able to tune in for a season 2. It's been confirmed!

7) Once Upon a Time (ABC)- If you're anything like me, you were enchanted by Once Upon a Time season 1 and felt season 2 was a little lackluster. I liked the story line better after the second half but I felt like the spliting the family up should have been the second half of the season. However, we are definitely going to get a chance to see what the new world split will mean because Once Upon a Time has been renewed.

8) Smash (NBC)- Dueling divas, beautiful voices and fun, broadway music had me from the beginning. I think Smash's second season is even better. They did so much to try and save this show and in the end, it wasn't enough. Sadly, the two hour finale will be Smash's final curtain closing. Smash has been canceled.

9) Bates Motel (AMC)- I wasn't sure about this show. I love Freddie Highmore and Max Theriot so I decided to give it a whirl even though I've never seen Psycho and I am so glad I did. Creepy, well acted and so full of suspense, this show is gripping from start to finish. Happy to say the network agrees. The light on Bates Motel will stay on for another season. The renewal is confirmed!

Other shows I love coming to an end:

1) Dexter (Showtime)- Dexter really hasn't been canceled. Michael C. Hall and the producers have just decided to end the series on a highnote instead of dragging it on and killing it slowly (after all, Dexter does make his kills pretty kick). So season 8 will be Dexter's final season and I am terrified for the fate of America's Favorite Serial Killer.

2) How I Met Your Mother (CBS)- For years we've been waiting to meet Te'd wife, the mysterious lady that launched 8 seasons. The final season of the show has been announced and hopefully we finally will. Like with Dexter, this show still has good ratings and people still love it. They are just going to go out while people do instead of dragging it along. So prepare for one last season of fun and then get ready to say goodbye to Barney, Ted, Robin and Lily and Marshall (since those last two are one person).

So there you have the fate of some of my favorite shows. Anything you love that isn't going to be returning

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Writer's Voice Entry

I entered a contest called The Writer's Voice hosted by Cupid's Literary Connection, Brenda Drake, Monica of Love YA and Krista Van Dolzer of Mother. Write. (Repeat.).  It works a little like The Voice on television. Those four lovely ladies are dropping by our blogs and picking teams. So here is my query and first 250 words of my novel. Wish me luck!

The Query:

Dear Amazing Coaches,

Kidnapped from a life of royalty as a child, seventeen-year-old Rose knows how fragile life as a dancing Flower can be. Forced into the Garden, a burlesque troupe of slave girls, she has learned to see dangers everywhere when a wrong word could mean losing your tongue—or worse.

When the Garden is booked to perform for the lord of the kingdom and her slave master kills a fellow dancer to keep Rose in check, she decides to break free. Her plan is simple: grab a hostage and run like hell. What she didn't count on was her hostage being the leader of a rebellion against the current ruler, and she definitely never dreamed she’d end up joining. But with her old slave master threatening to kill off a dancer a day until she returns and the kingdom looking to stamp out the rebels, Rose quickly realizes that nowhere is really safe, especially since she’s the unwilling heir to the throne.

Caught between the family she’s created for herself in the rebellion and the title she’s never wanted, Rose must decide whether her birthright is a crown of petals or a crown of thorns. Only then will she be able to rescue the other Flowers she abandoned, unite the war-torn kingdom and maybe even save herself.

GARDEN OF THORNS is a 91,000 word young adult fantasy in the vein of Jodi Meadows’ Incarnate and C.J. Redwine’s Defiance. A completed manuscript is available upon request.

I graduated with a degree in Creative Writing at the University of South Florida, blog about all things YA at Down The Rabbit Hole and currently am employed as a 911 dispatcher for the city of Vero Beach.

The First 250:

My new shackles are lined with needle-thin spikes that bite into my chapped wrists and ankles. Their constant prickling is a reminder of what an attempt at freedom would cost me, a warning of what a failed break will mean. My carriage, cage really, jolts to a stop and I fly off the splintered bench, landing hard on my hands and knees in the dirty straw that lines the floor. Inching up until I'm sitting, I look up at the wooden roof. A crack of light spills into the cart, its weak rays like gentle fingers on my face. It gives the illusion of hope. I turn away from the sun before that seed can take root in my chest and grow.

From the outside, our traveling band looks a lot like the circus that used to visit my father’s land every spring. The brightly colored carriages portray the traveling 13 Dancing Flowers, but unlike the circus, we aren’t meant to entertain the children. The paintings on the sides of our carts are meant to tantalize. Each dress is brighter than the last, accentuating the curves and dips of our forms as we dance, forced to lose one petal at a time.

Sounds rise up from the crack in my wooden cage: men shouting orders, horses whinnying impatiently, cart doors being thrown back and the materials to make our temporary garden being dragged out of storage. I crawl towards the small hole in the edge of my cart and wait. The banging begins like clockwork.

Thanks coaches for taking a look!

Happily Ever Endings... Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Happily Ever Endings is a synopsis of the ending of a novel that is part of a series. It is so that you can refresh yourself as to what happened in the last book so that you can be ready to read the next in the series!

Defiance by C.J. Redwine
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her. 
At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared. 
As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.
To read the ending of Defiance, hit "Read More" but beware, there are many spoilers ahead!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Words/Topics that make me buy a book

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week, they post a subject and the goal is to answer the question with your top ten picks. Once you've done it, link back to The Broke and the Bookish and check out what other bloggers have to say!
Top Ten Words/Topics That Make Me Buy a Book
1) Sequel- If I love the first/second book in a series, I am always going to give the next one a try.

2) Circus- There is something about the combined creepiness and magic about a circus book that makes me want it.

3) Magic- Or magical. Anything that feels slightly out of this world.

4) A quote from an author I love- If an author I love likes a book enough to give it a quote, I will normally pick up what they blurb.

5) A contemporary that uses technology- I like contemporary novels that use technology to its fullest. Think the use of tapes in 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

This was a pretty tough topic for me because I buy a lot of different books for different reasons. I don't really have one topic I love to read about. If it sounds interesting, I'm going to pick it up!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Anna Silver, author of Otherborn, Interview

Today I have Anna Silver on the blog answering some of my burning questions. In case you missed it, I reviewed (and LOVED) her book over here. You should take the time to check it out, you won't be sorry.

Kay, did you? Are you back? I knew you would be!

Check out what Anna had to say about which character she identified most with and what three items she'd bring if she were stranded on an island.

1) Can you describe OTHERBORN in 140 characters?

Awakening under the sedated monotony of a reprocessed world, London and her friends must dream their way to a New hope.

2) If London had a best friend from another YA book, who would it be?

That’s tough. London’s edgy and she doesn’t make friends easily but she also doesn’t take her friends lightly. I recently read PURE by Julianna Baggott and I think London would have a lot of respect for a character like Pressia, because she’s a survivor and London admires strength in others and cultivates it in herself.

3) Can you share one of your favorite scenes or sentences you wrote and why?

“It wasn’t her first kiss, but it was the first one that mattered.”

This may be my favorite quote in the whole book. (Mine too. I read it twice!) It’s simple and poignant. And haven’t we all been there? How many of us married our first kiss? Very few, I’m willing to bet. For most people, those firsts aren’t the ones that stick. For most of us, we have to kiss a few frogs to reach our prince. But we all know the experience of that first kiss to really make us weak in the knees. And it was probably our third, or tenth, or twenty-seventh kiss. The point is, we know when it matters.

4) Have you read anything great lately?

Well, I mentioned PURE already, and it was great. Also, my daughter and I both just finished SLATED and loved it, by Teri Terry. I also just read THE FORETELLING by Alice Hoffman, which is several years old, and it was excellent and beautiful.

5) Does OTHERBORN have a playlist or a song that represents it to you?

I do have an OTHERBORN playlist which you can listen to here! Just scroll down for the link; it’s on the right hand side. But I think one song in particular represented OTHERBORN to me, and that’s Bastards of Young by The Replacements. The chorus reads, We are the sons of no one… And that’s really the predicament for London and her friends. They have families, but they are kind of forgotten and orphaned by society. Plus, as Otherborn, they come from somewhere else entirely, not really belonging to either world anymore.

6) What is your best piece of advice for aspiring writers?

Cultivate persistence! This is not an easy road, but it is a wonderful journey. Hang in there, keep writing, submit until your fingers bleed, and get out and mingle at conferences, conventions, and signings. Teach yourself to keep going in spite of the rejection.

7) The setting of OTHERBORN plays a huge role in the novel. What was the most fun discovery you made about your world while writing?

The Astral is such an interactive setting that it becomes almost like another character. I loved that.

8) Which character in OTHERBORN do you most identify with?

Probably London. I’m not nearly so brash as she is, but I get her. I get her vulnerability and her need to protect herself. And, coupled with Si’dah’s wisdom, I get the full circle of her character.

9) If you lived in the world you created what item would you most want to have to survive?

Books! Or a book, if I had to do just one, but I don’t know how I’d ever choose which one. I cannot imagine a life without books. To me, a world without books is the ultimate dystopia.

10) If you were stranded on an island and could only have three things, what would you want to have? 

My iPhone, a cell tower, and one electrical outlet. Because then I’d still have access to books, and music, and the web! But that’s cheating, isn’t it? (I allow cheating!) Okay, in all seriousness, one good book, one big box of matches, and duct tape. My son says you can survive anything with duct tape. ;o)

There you have it folks! And I'd like to encourage you to snap up a copy of Otherborn. I went out and bought one to support the author because the novel is really that good!

Here are the links:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happily Ever Endings: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Happily Ever Endings is a synopsis of the ending of a novel that is part of a series. It is so that you can refresh yourself as to what happened in the last book so that you can be ready to read the next in the series!

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past. 
She can’t. 
She used to think her problems were all in her head. 
They aren’t. 
She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets. 
She’s wrong. 
In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

Click "Read more" to read the ending of The Evolution of Mara Dyer so you'll be ready for the next installment of the series!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Thought I'd Like MORE/LESS Than I Did

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week, they post a subject and the goal is to answer the question with your top ten picks. Once you've done it, link back to The Broke and the Bookish and check out what other bloggers have to say!
Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like More/Less Than I Did
I thought I'd like these LESS than I did:  
1) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- When I first got this novel, it had been hyper up a lot (which is crazy because I got an advanced reader's copy and it was still all I was reading about). I thought that it couldn't possibly be as good as everyone was saying. Or maybe it was but I didn't think I was a fan of unreliable narrators so I probably wouldn't be too crazy about it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It was amazing from the first page to the last word.  
2) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- I jumped on this bandwagon after the second novel came out and I couldn't walk into a bookstore without seeing a huge display of the series. But it had a boring cover and all I knew was it was about a dsytopian world which was so not my thing. At the time, I wanted to read paranormal romance. But I had a coupon AND it was already on sale so  figured, why the heck not? Well, there went my next three nights. Addicted!  
3) Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling- I grew up seeing these books at every kid's house that I played at. But I wasn't much into reading and I really didn't think a book about a boy wizard was going to be very good so I ooked the other. Then the movie came out and I thought, what the hack? Yeah, it was epic. So I walked into the bookstore and being the idiot I was, I only bought the first novel...and finished it that night. At the time, I was 15 and couldn't drive so I had to wait the entire day for my mom to get home and drive me to get the next two. The fifth book was coming out at the end of the week and I knew I HAD to finish them so I could get. Been a fan ever since.  
4) 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher- It was really this book that made me realize that I loved all YA and not just YA fantasy/paranormal romance. I picked up because I couldn't get over the hook of the novel. But it was a contemporary and I didn't read them. I gave it a try anyway and was so touched by the story that I realized I'd been missing out on a world of possiblities.  
5) Across the Universe by Beth Revis- I keep saying this over and over again but I wasn't supposed to like this book because I've never been too in to sci-fi. That's the thing about these books, they made me break my rules and expand my reading horizons. Revis' book had the sci-fi thing against it and it was set on a spaceship which I really didn't like. Yet the moment I started, reading I couldn't stop. Beauty was bursting in every word and I was addicted. 

6) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs- A book filled with slightly unsettling to full on creepy pictures? Yeah, you've got the wrong blogger buddy because I...well look at that, this first chapter is pretty damn good. And the second one is even better. Yeah, I can't talk right now because I'm reading. It was creepy and eerie and not my thing and exactly what I wanted to be reading!

I thought I'd like MORE than I did:

1) Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer- I went back to the bookstore I used to work out and volunteered to host the release night party with my best friend because I loved those books so much. I was stoked to get behind the register and hand out a book to everyone that paid and couldn't wait to get home and start the book. I ended up being disappointed because I just didn't love where the story went.
2) City of Bones by Cassandra Clare-This book was super hyped up. Everyone loves it and loves the characters and the plot and the world. The problem was, I just didn't. I didn't feel drawn to the characters the way most people did and I didn't think the writing was that great. However, I always said they would make great movies and I do plan on reading the entire series. I just wasn't blown away by this one.  
3) The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda- Something was off about this novel. It had high stakes but it just felt so slow. I kept waiting for things to happen and they just never did for me. I really wanted to like this novel because it was so unique but it ended up not being for me.   Which books made your list?
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