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The Compulsive Reader: August 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Looking Ahead: Hilary Weisman Graham and Reunited!

Looking Ahead is a feature in which new upcoming books and their authors are featured! Take a minute to read the interview, get to know them, read about their book(s), and find them on the internet!

Up here today is Hilary Weisman Graham and her book, Reunited! I met Hilary at Book Blogger Con in May, and she made this one sound awesome!

TCR: How would you describe your book in 10 words or less?

HWG:

1 concert
2,000 miles
3 Ex-best friends

TCR: What surprised you the most about the publishing process?

HWG: My biggest shock was that publishing a book takes so damn long. For an impatient gal like me, this was undoubtedly the most challenging part of the process.

TCR: Where can we stay up to date with what's going on with you and your book?

HWG: First off, I’m proud to announce that I have a brand spanking new website: www.hilarygraham.com. So, between that and my blog https://hilarywgraham.wordpress.com/, my Twitter account @HilaryGraham, my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hilary-Weisman-Graham/206191882761224, and REUNITED's Goodreads page (phew) http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8535447-reunited it should only take out a couple of weeks until you’re completely sick of hearing about me and my book (REUNITED -coming June 2012, Simon & Schuster). ;)

But I should have an actual book cover soon-ish (see answer to Question #2) and I will certainly get the word out when I do.

This one hits stores on June 12th, 2012, which I know is a long ways off, but still. I'm excited! Road trip + ex-best friends + music = awesome, awesome, awesome! You'll definitely be hearing more about this one from me!

What do you all think? Sounds good, no?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sweet Venom 2 Title Hunt!

This blog is a part of Tera Lynn Childs's Sweet Venom 2 Title Hunt! My letter is...

T

Join the title hunt at teralynnchilds.blogspot.com! She's giving away some awesome prizes, like signed copies of Sweet Venom and $50 giftcards to bookstores! It's an international contest, so go visit her site for details, and be sure to grab a copy of Sweet Venom!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Reading Rants: Returning to the Classics

Something interesting I've noticed is the sudden influx of novels based off of classics famous authors. And while re-writing Pride and Prejudice in a contemporary setting isn't exactly groundbreaking, there are some pretty cute retellings out there that I've read recently. Do you guys like them? Or do you think they are just old? While I don't think any one could ever live up to the original classic, I think they're kind of fun. Here are some of those recent releases, plus a few others I am looking forward to reading.

Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

This one is a simple retelling of Pride and Prejudice, set at a boarding school with Lizzie and Jane as best friends and roommates. I thought this one was really cute and fun, and I liked the setting and the surprising musical influences quite a bit. The way Eulberg sets up the story isn't conventional, which I thought was fun. You can read my review here.

Jane by April Lindner

Okay, so Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books. She kicks some serious butt. And so I was of course very intrigued at how Lindner would pull off a retelling of the story because while Jane is quite modern for the mid-nineteenth century, certain aspects of her story wouldn't translate well into the twenty-first. However, I was pleasantly surprised! This was an absorbing, sexy, and suspenseful novel and I really enjoyed it! I'd definitely recommend it to any and all Jane Eyre fans. Read my review here.

Sass and Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler

Now, don't you just love that title? So cute! This is another Jane Austen retelling, this one of Sense and Sensibility! I just got this in the mail the other week and I'm excited to read it...however, it's been absolutely ages since I last read Sense and Sensibility, and I'd love to re-read that one before I dive into this book. Whenever I get to it (and hopefully it'll be soon), I know it will be delightful. Jennifer Ziegler is one fantastic and hilarious writer!

So Shelley by Ty Roth

This one is very intriguing to me...it's the story of high schoolers Gordon Byron, John Keats, and Michelle Shelley...contemporary "versions" of the famous poets. That gives this slightly depressing-sounding story a whole new edge and dimension that I think will make it very, very good. This is another one that I have that I still have not read, but definitely plan on doing so!

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

This is another Pride and Prejudice inspired book, and I am loving the title and the cover! So cute! I loaned this one out to Shanyn of chickloveslit.com, so I don't have it right now, but I'm eager to give it a try sometime. Has anyone read it? What did you think?

Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma

This one is a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet that I think sounds pretty cute. I know the Romeo and Juliet thing can be a bit tired, but I remember reading Scribbler of Dreams by Mary E. Pearson (she also wrote The Adoration of Jenna Fox), and really liking it, so I'm open for more books along those lines. Maybe I'll pick it up on my Kindle sometime.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

I recently found out about this one from Lenore Appelhans. It's a dystopia re-telling of Persuasion by Jane Austen. So. Unbelievably. Cool. You can go to Lenore's blog at presentinglenore.blogspot.com to read her interview with Diana about her new book. Unfortunately it doesn't come out until next summer, but now it is definitely on my radar! It's about as cool as sci-fi fairy tales.

What are some of your favorite classics revived? Know of any that I should know about? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Win an All These Things I've Done Audio Book!

One of the best books I read this summer was Gabrielle Zevin's All These Things I've Done. It's about a self-proclaimed "good Catholic girl" who lives in a futuristic New York City where chocolate and caffeine are banned, and her family's mob connections get her into a lot of trouble. It was gorgeously written and very imaginative, and I cannot wait for it to come out so you all can buy it and love it! Read my review here.

Thanks to the generosity of the publisher, I have one audio book to give away to a lucky reader! All you have to do is fill out the form below and you'll be entered to win!



Friday, August 26, 2011

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Gretchen and Ansel have been haunted by the disappearance of Gretchen's twin sister for years. They were with her in the deep, dense woods when a faceless attacker began chasing them, but no one believes Gretchen when she says she's sure that it was a witch who took her twin. Now eighteen and nineteen, Gretchen and Ansel have been kicked out of their step-mother's house, and they find themselves across the country, in a sleepy town called Live Oak, South Carolina. By chance they meet Sophia Kelly, a beautiful young chocolatier with a hidden past. The people of Live Oak either love her or hold her responsible for the mass exodus of young people from the town each summer. The longer the siblings stay with Sophia, the more Ansel falls for her and the more skeptical Gretchen becomes. Sophia Kelly is hiding something, and the answer lies with her annual chocolate festival...which is quickly approaching.

 Jackson Pearce's Sweetly is an engrossing, foreboding, and darkly sweet retelling of "Hansel and Gretel" with some unexpected twists. It is a companion to Pearce’s novel Sisters Red, a retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood," but it easily stands on its own, with a few details connecting the two. The setting of this book is what really makes it stand out—Sophia's home and the town of Live Oak in the middle of the summer is idyllic, charming, and even a little lazy, but in a bit of a foreboding manner, with dark things happening beneath the pretty facade. It's easy for the main characters to be lulled into a false sense of security here, but Gretchen's inability to let go of her twin's disappearance and her curiosity about the missing girls of Live Oak lead her to Samuel, who is certain that Sophia is hiding something, and her eyes are opened. She's preoccupied with the idea that she is simply a mirror image of her twin, bound to the same fate, but her time with Samuel and their budding relationship force her to stand on her own and see herself as a person. Sophia's character makes things certainly more complicated, and she'll be the perfect topic of debate as readers are forced to analyze her motivations and role in the disappearances, all the way up to the climactic ending. Sweetly is an entrancing new fairy tale about healing, letting go, taking back your power, forgiveness, and finding love.

Cover Comments: I am in love the this cover--it is so clever. The trees and the cottage and how they make up the witch's face is so brilliant and creepy, and the colors in the cover are absolutely perfect. I love it.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cover Talk: Ghost Flower by Michele Jaffe

I loved Michele Jaffe's thriller Rosebush, so I was very excited to stumble upon the cover for Ghost Flower on Amazon the other day. It's a very cool cover, and it sounds like an even cooler book. I like these mysteries with an edge, and I think this one sounds awesome. First, here's the cover:



And here's what it's about:

"Eve, a runaway, finds a new job at a coffee shop on the outskirts of Tuscon. When she’s approached by two wealthy teens who claim she bears an uncanny resemblance to their missing cousin Aurora, her life takes a turn for the dark and mysterious. Drawn into a scheme to win Aurora’s inheritance, Eve finds herself impersonating the girl, who disappeared three years ago on the night her best friend Elizabeth died. But when Liza’s ghost begins to haunt Eve, doing harm to the people close to her under the guise of “protecting” her, Eve finds herself in a nightmare maze of lies and deception that leads her to question even her own identity. She realizes her only chance is to uncover the truth about what happened the night Liza died, and to find Liza’s killer— before she’s next."
Sounds pretty mysterious/scary, right? Unfortunately, this one won't be available until April 12th, 2012, but I'm defintitely keeping it on my radar!

And if you haven't already, you should defintiely check out Rosebush! Another excellent thriller!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Looking Ahead: Cat Hellisen and When the Sea is Rising Red!

Looking Ahead is a feature in which new upcoming books and their authors are featured! Take a minute to read the interview, get to know them, read about their book(s), and find them on the internet!

Today I have Cat Hellisen here to talk about her new book, When the Sea is Rising Red! Isn't that an awesome title?

TCR: Can you describe your book in ten words or less?

CH: Magic. Revolution. Tea.

TCR: What has surprised you the most so far about the publication process?

CH: The cool stuff. I knew it was going to be neat to see a cover and get blurbs and watch the book take shape, but I never realised how utterly awesome it is to watch your simple little text document transmogrify into a real book and have people read it.

TCR: What was your reaction when you saw your cover for the first time?

CH: I had such a different image of what I wanted (I'm a sucker for really simplistic, graphic-designy covers) that at first I was totally unsure of it. It didn't take long for the darkness and creepiness to win me over. I've noticed recently it's getting a lot of buzz so it's a good thing this author is not a designer. It's a great cover.

TCR: Where can we stay up to date on you and your book?

CH: I blog about random stuff on Inarticulations - http://cathellisen.com and I tweet even more randomly over here: http://twitter.com/#!/hellioncat

Thanks so much, Cat! When the Sea is Rising Red will be out on February 28th, 2012! Here's the official summary:
"In sixteen-year-old Felicita’s world, magic is strictly controlled—or so those in power like to believe. After her dearest friend, Ilven, kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven’s death has called out of the sea a dangerous, wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg’s caste system, and the whole city along with it."
Sounds awesome, right? And that cover is to die for! I can't wait for this one to come out! What do you think?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Reading Rants: Road Trip Books

I love a good road trip, especially if I am the one driving. However, if I can't drive, I'll settle for a combination of staring out the window and reading good books about road trips, like I did a couple of days ago with Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson on the way to Indiana. That is a truly epic road trip book, and it got me thinking that I need to update my list of favorite YA road trip books. I swear I did a post on this at one point (or maybe a bad vlog? I can't remember), but here we go...

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy has to get her mom's car from California to their new home in Connecticut, accompanied by Roger, a guy she doesn't know. Her mom has a carefully laid (and very boring) route planned out for them, but as Amy and Roger quickly diverge from it for a little detour. This book is romantic and fun, but it also has some serious moments as Amy is still trying to get a handle on her role in the car accident that recently killed her father and the repercussions it has had on her family. Definitely do not miss this book!

Wish You Were Here by Catherine Clark

This is a very funny read about a girl stuck on a family vacation in a tour bus full of seniors. Naturally, the only other person her age is Andre, who makes the trip fun...but a lot more complicated. This is a really funny, really quirky read, and I loved it. Read my review here.

You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith

This one is a bit more serious, but still very, very good! Emma doesn't fit in among her family, and always feels like she is a kid sitting at the grown-up table. When she discovers that she had a twin bother who died when they were both infants, she and boy next door Peter take off for North Carolina to visit his grave. This is a great emotional and humorous read, and I love the cover--so road-trip-esque! Read my review here.

How to Be Bad by Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mlynowski, and E. Lockhart

Three girls who share one thing in common--a job at the Waffle House--take off for an impulsive road trip for entirely different reasons, and find a crazy adventure. This is a hilarious and fun book written by three dynamic and talented authors! Read my review here.

The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti

When Quinn discovers that certain objects in her father's home are actually items stolen from his former wives and girlfriends, she, her sister, half-sister, and one hot guy embark on a karmic quest to return every item he stole. As always with Deb Caletti, her books are funny and smart and so poignant. This is one of my favorites by her. Read my review here.

Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten

Ellie has been haunted by her sister's sudden disappearance for two years. When she finds a drawing done by Nina in a thrift shop out of the blue, Ellie realizes it is a clue and slowly begins to track down Nina's location. Before she knows it, she's on a cross-country trip with a guy she barely knows, following Nina's footsteps...but what will she find at the end of the trail? This is a humorous and poignant thriller, which sounds like a weird combination, but with Weingarten's amazing writing, it totally works. I loved this book. Read my review here.

Those are just a few of my favorites...what are your favorite road trip books?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Everyone thinks that because Luis Fuentes is smart and academically driven, he can avoid the gang problems that have plagued his older brothers. But that doesn't seem to be the case when Luis and his mother move back to Chicago to be closer to Alex and his family. As Luis settles back into his old neighborhood, it becomes evident that the Latino Blood want him working for them. But that certainly complicates Luis's relationship with Nikki, a Latina from the other side of town who has been teased her entire life for her lack of connection to her Mexican heritage. Luis will have to decide what's more important: staying with the gang and doing what everyone expects, or taking control of his life and having a relationship with Nikki. And Nikki will have to decide is she's willing to take a risk with love again...

Chain Reaction, the final book in the Perfect Chemistry trilogy, is just as steamy and deliciously complicated as its prequels. It bears a lot of similarities to Perfect Chemistry in its setting and Luis's situation with the gangs, but Elkeles does make this one a bit different in the way she starts the story, introducing the characters two years before Luis and his mother move back to Chicago. Once the novel moves back to more familiar territory, the story picks up quickly, bouncing back and forth between Luis, who is being led down a very dangerous path, and Nikki, whose dating issues stem from a relationship that ended very badly. Despite her adamant refusal to get involved with any guys that are Luis's "type," they are quickly drawn to each other, which leads to some swoon-worthy scenes. The book is peppered with great interactions with Alex and Brittany, now married with children, and Carlos, who is still dating Kiara, which is fun for fans of the previous two books and makes for some nice banter and family-centered messages. Perhaps the most frustrating part about this book is Luis's inane idea of inertia and the inability to claim his future as his own, despite all that he has witnessed his older brothers do. However, Chain Reaction does have a very satisfying ending...after plenty of drama and some edge-of-your-seat moments. The constant tension in this book makes it a quick, sexy, suspenseful novel that is a fantastic ending to this hot trilogy.

Cover Comments: Oh, this cover is possibly one of the most provocative. It took me a while to figure out that the couple are standing under one of those chemical showers that are found in labs, and once I realized that, the cover clicked and it was perfect. Very awesome.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Steal Alert: Some Inexpensive End-of-Summer Reading!

August is more than half-over, summer is winding down, and unfortunately some of us are spending a rather large amount of money on textbooks rather than novels. 'Tis the season, I suppose. 

BUT...if you want to take advantage of the last few free days before you have to head back to the classroom, check out these books on sale! They're good, engaging reads that hopefully won't force you to dip into your emergency funds, nor are they so pricey as to force my fellow college students to eat Ramen noodles for dinner.


I enjoyed this cool historical supernatural book quite a bit! It's all dark and twisty and moody, with some excellent drama and suspense! Read my review here!


I met Jana in May at BEA for a very brief moment in a signing line! She was pretty cool, and her book looks awesome. And that's probably the cheapest you'll find it at $2.99!


This is a steal! And, it comes with bonus material, an excerpt from the second book! I'm definitely picking this one up for my Kindle!


I enjoyed this one when it came out a few years ago, and I love the pretty sea glass cover! This is a great pick if you like Jenny Han's Summer trilogy, and the perfect way to soak up those last days of summer! Read my review here.


The first three books in the most excellent Parasol Protectorate are available in a three-in-one deal! I absolutely ADORE this series, and I think you will too, even though it is published as an adult series!

Still on sale from my last Steal Alert post:




And, on a side note...did you guys know that Lauren Barnhold, author of Sometimes It Happens and other good YA books, has self-published a series of novellas called The Witches of Santa Anna? The series is available for $0.99 if you want to check it out...I rarely read self-published work, but I loved Sometimes It Happens, so I'd be willing to give this one a shot if anyone else has read it and would recommend it. Let me know!

The Hunger Games Collector's Edition!

On November 30th, Scholastic will be releasing the collector's edition of the amazing book The Hunger Games. And, more importantly, Scholastic just revealed what this snazzy collector's edition will look like! Check it out:


Scholastic tells us that this book "features an elegant foil slipcase featuring all-new Mockingjay artwork, the bestselling original novel with a cloth cover, foil stamping, and deckled edges." Sounds very cool! And since it's coming out on the 30th of November, you can go ahead and put it on your Christmas wishlist!

What do you think? Do you think you will get the collector's edition when it comes out?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Looking Ahead: Julie Cross and Tempest!

Looking Ahead is a feature in which new upcoming books and their authors are featured! Take a minute to read the interview, get to know them, read about their book(s), and find them on the internet!

Today we have Julie Cross, author of Tempest, which has a kick-butt cover and it about time travel! Be still, my beating heart!

TCR: Can you describe your book in 10 words or less?

JC: Time Traveler's Wife meets Bourne Identity... but with teenagers.

TCR: What has surprised you the most so far about the publication process?

JC: The one thing that I've been the most surprised about throughout the publication process is how awesome publishing people are and how truly passionate they are about books and authors. It's just amazing and I was nervous at first, meeting some of the important St. Martin's people, but I really feel very comfortable talking with anyone in the industry now.

TCR: What was your reaction when you saw your book cover?

JC: I fell head over heels in love the TEMPEST cover the second I saw it. James Porto is the genius behind the photography and I've been a fan of his since Hush Hush was released.

TCR: Where can we stay up to date about you and your book?

JC: Probably "Liking" my facebook fanpage along with the St. Martin's fanpage set up for the TEMPEST SERIES is the best way to get updated information. I also tweet-- @Juliecross1980

http://www.facebook.com/FansOfJulieCross

https://www.facebook.com/TempestSeries

Also my personal blog:

http://juliecross.blogspot.com/

Tempest comes out from St. Martin's on January 3rd, 2012! Read on below for the official summary!
"The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun. 
That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future. 
Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities. 
But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him. 
Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world."
I'm super excited to read this one, and if you read this blog frequently, you know how much I love time travel fiction!  What do you all think about this one? (And that cover! LOVE that cover!)

Also, St. Martin's is holding a MASSIVE sweepstakes for 300 ARCs of Tempest! Check out the Facebook page or click here for more details on how to enter!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

When Sydney Sage is dragged out of her bed in the middle of the night by the Alchemists, she's certain it's because she's finally being punished for helping Rose Hathaway escape. She's surprised to find that the Alchemists—and the Moroi—have a more important problem. Jill Dragomir's life is in danger from her sister's political enemies, and the princess needs to disappear. So, Sydney finds herself in the most unlikely of places—a boarding school in Palm Springs, CA, masquerading as Jill's sister and roommate. There, Sydney not only has to help protect Jill, but prove her loyalty to the Alchemists, who no longer trust her...in between dealing with high school drama and uncovering some surprising secrets under Palm Springs' sunny facade.

Opening up Bloodlines is just as exciting and exhilarating as starting a new Vampire Academy book, despite the different characters and their new issues. Mead's writing is as inviting and as engrossing as ever, and she kicks off this new series with some good action and great insight into Sydney's life and character. Sydney is a very different narrator from Rose—she's an intellectual who isn't very social, is focused on strategy and subtleties, and likes to think things through. However, the two girls are very similar in that they are fiercely protective, driven, and loyal, and those are qualities that will endear Sydney to fans of the Vampire Academy books. Another familiar element is the boarding school setting, which, although different from St. Vladimir's, does offer all of the fun drama and tension that was a huge part of the appeal of the early books in the Vampire Academy series. There Mead sets up a lot of mysteries and dilemmas, mainly to do with some shady dealings involving Alchemist business and a possible new facet of the supernatural world, but there is also a lot of excellent character development as Sydney gets to know Adrian Ivashkov better. Fans of the tortured Moroi will especially love this aspect of the novel, as some of his deeper, truer feelings are finally revealed.

Though Bloodlines is less action-driven and is propelled along by more drama, mysteries, and conspiracies, this book isn't without some heart-stopping moments and close-calls. It's likely that the reader will be able to figure out the mysteries a bit sooner than Sydney and gang, but that doesn't keep Mead's latest from being an entertaining, breathless, and fast-paced book...and there are a few questions that go unanswered that will definitely have readers counting down until book two, The Golden Lily.

Cover Comments: I admit, I wasn't too crazy about this cover at first, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. The golden tattoo is very cool, and the cover is a little edgier and dangerous, which is cool. Plus, the finished copy is a GORGEOUS package.

This one hits shelves next week, on August 23rd, 2011!

ARC picked up at BEA.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Video Fun a la Daughter of Smoke and Bone!

So, I just finished a FABULOUS book the other day by Laini Taylor called Daughter of Smoke and Bone! This was a very popular book at BEA in May! The line for Laini's signing was quite long, which was awesome to see, and the bookmarks they gave out were VERY cool!

I'm still working on my review (and Little, Brown asked us not to share until September, which is HARD because I like this book SO MUCH), but here is a cool teaser trailer for the book to get you in the mood!


And if you feel like that one was a bit too enigmatic, then watch this trailer produced by the UK publisher:

It's a cool trailer, but I assure you the book is even more awesome! Seriously one of the best books I've read this year! You need to pre-order it now...and keep an eye on this blog for chances to win it!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

It's winter break in Ascension, Maine, and there's a lot going on. A social outcast attempts to commit suicide, parties are thrown, and three beautiful, mysterious girls arrive in town. These girls seem to come from nowhere, and they're bent on doling out vengeance to two people: Emily and Chase. Emily's mistake is obvious: not only did she fall for her best friend's boyfriend, but they got together while Gabby was on vacation. Chase's wrongdoings are less evident, but they still haunt him, and he'll go to great lengths to cover them up and forget they ever happened...but the Furies aren't letting either Chase or Emily off the hook. 

Elizabeth Miles has created a foreboding, atmospheric story that will make you think twice about your actions. Fury is told from the points of view of both transgressors, Em and Chase. Miles writes well from both perspectives, creating a well-rounded world in this tiny Maine town and keeping the plot moving at a good pace. Both characters are wonderfully complicated—Chase desires to be talented and successful, and is ashamed of his background, which drives him to do things he isn't always proud of. Emily loves her best friend Gabby, but is beginning to feel like she's living in her shadow, which propels her to make some bad decisions she quickly regrets. Chase remains somewhat of an enigma throughout the book, but Em is an open character whose renewed loyalty to her friends and curiosity force her to investigate these strange girls whose appearance have made her life difficult, and figure out what she can do about them. The alternating viewpoints, the surprising cruelty of the Furies, and the ever-present question of what their endgame is will keep this book moving quickly, and a surprising twist at the very end will keep readers wondering how this trilogy will continue in the second book, Envy. No matter what happens, one thing is certain...you really don't want to piss off the Furies.

Cover Comments: This cover is gorgeous. I love how her hair gives way into flames, and the dress she has on is just stunning. Beautiful.

This book will be released on August 30th, 2011! You can enter to win it here on the blog the entire month of August by simply commenting on any August post. Click here for details.

ARC picked up at Simon and Schuster event.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cover Talk: Spellbound by Rachel Hawkins

So, I've gotten a TON of emails lately asking me if I know what the third Hex Hall book is, and if there is a cover yet! I am happy to answer that Hex Hall 3 will be called Spellbound, and YES, there is a cover! Check it out:



Isn't it pretty? I love the purple in this cover, and I like the sword! The way the artist uses the reflections is just so awesome! I'm in love with these book covers. One of these days I'm going to give into the temptation of shelling out the money for finished copies!

And, here's what it's all about!

"Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident. Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?"

Unfortunately, it doesn't come out until March 13th! So sad! I guess we'll just have to keep staring at that cover...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Looking Ahead: Emma Carlson Berne and Still Waters

Looking Ahead is a feature in which new upcoming books and their authors are featured! Take a minute to read the interview, get to know them, read about their book(s), and find them on the internet!

Today's guest author is Emma Carlson Berne, with her new thriller, Still Waters!

TCR: Can you describe your book in ten words or less?

ECB: A dark thriller about secrets at an isolated lake house.

TCR: What has surprised you the most about the publication process so far?

ECB: I always thought I'd be so confident about my writing career once my first thriller was accepted for publication. But I'm still as anxiety-ridden as always. I've even had a second thriller accepted too (CLOSER will be out in Fall 2012) and still, I worry that I'll never publish anything again.

TCR: How did you react when you first saw your book cover?

ECB: My first thought was that the girl on the front reminded me of Ophelia. I love the balance of romance and darkness the cover conveys, since that's a big part of the book. And I love the way you can't tell if the girl is just floating with her eyes closed or if she's. . .dead.

TCR: Where can we stay up to date on you and your book?

ECB: I have a new web site, emmacarlsonberne.com, where I'll post book news and random bloggy things, and I'm also on Twitter (@emmabernay) and on Facebook. Send me a friend request!

Still Waters is going to available on December 20th, 2011! Read on below for more about the book!
"Hannah can't wait to sneak off for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend, Colin. He’s leaving for college soon, and Hannah wants their trip to the lake house to be one they’ll never forget. 
But once Hannah and Colin get there, things start to seem a bit...off. They can't find the town on any map. The house they are staying in looks as if someone's been living there, even though it's been deserted for years. And Colin doesn’t seem quite himself. As he grows more unstable, Hannah worries about Colin’s dark side, and her own safety. 
Nothing is as perfect as it seems, and what lies beneath may haunt her forever."
What do you all think? Doesn't this one sound fantastic?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bloodlines Party!

I've received some pretty interesting things in the mail before, but I think that the package that came via UPS this morning beats them all...


That is a rose, a finished copy of Bloodlines, a tote bag, and A COOKIE CAKE.

Pretty crazy! I was so surprised when I saw it. And also alarmed at how big it is--I wish all of you lovely readers and Richelle Mead fans could come over and share it! We would have a Bloodlines party, because I also got some fun swag along with with this package--Bloodlines temporary tattoos! Not golden lilies, unfortunately, but they are awesome!

Anyway, I did finish Bloodlines the other day, and I have to say, it was awesome! Same awesome writing as the Vampire Academy series, but it's suspenseful and full of action in different ways. I was always a Dimitri girl before, but after Bloodlines, I really like Adrian a lot--I think you really get to know him a lot better in this book...so, that's something Adrian fans have to be happy about!

What about you guys? Looking forward to Bloodlines? Are you all for Dimitri, Adrian, or are you undecided?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Gearing Up for Beautiful Chaos With a Giveaway!

Hey all,

So, who is excited for Beautiful Chaos, the third book in Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's awesome series? I know I am. I was just thinking the other day that I might have to re-read Beautiful Darkness before it comes out in October. For those of you who have been keeping up with the series, you can get "Dream Dark", an exclusive short story set between Beautiful Darkness and Beautiful Chaos, to help you wait. But, if you haven't read the first two books yet, or don't have your own copies, I have a chance for you to win the first two books!

But first...here's what they're all about!



Beautiful Creatures

(Read my review here.)
"Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them."
Beautiful Darkness

(Read my review here.)
"Together Ethan Wates and Lena Duchannes can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems."
Annnd....

Beautiful Chaos
"Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending. Ethan and Lena’s mesmerizing romance continues in the highly anticipated new Beautiful Creatures novel, coming October 18th."
For more things Beautiful, visit http://beautifulcreaturesnovels.com/.

And finally, the contest! One winner will win copies of the first two books to get ready for the release of Beautiful Chaos! Just fill out this form!



Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Header

I've been wanting to get a blog header that is memorable and hopefully represents the personality of this blog a bit better for quite a while now, and I think that this one is awesome! It's designed by Katie Dahlberg, fellow blogger and kick-butt designer. I stayed with her at the blogger house during BEA, and she's done some headers for other friends, so I knew she was talented. I am just thrilled with what she created for my blog! You can check out her work at kdcreates.com...she also makes some pretty awesome (and shiny) business cards! And her prices are excellent!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Life has never been easy for Anya Balanchine. Living in the year 2083, she's the orphaned daughter of New York City's most infamous crime boss, who made his fortune on the illegal production of chocolate, which, along with caffeine, has been outlawed. She and her siblings get by—just barely—by staying out of the family business that has wreaked so much havoc on their immediate family, but Anya is dragged into it when her ex-boyfriend is poisoned by one of her family's chocolate bars. Suddenly, her family's dealings are unavoidable, and Anya is forced to make some decisions to keep her family safe that don't always put her on the right side of the law—an especially complicated thing when she's falling for her new classmate, Win Delacroix...who just happens to be the assistant D.A.'s son.

All These Things I've Done is a spectacular, incisive novel with an unforgettable narrator. Anya Balanchine is a very passionate, strong, and driven person. She's taken care of her siblings and her grandmother for years, and she's willing to do nearly anything for them. One of the sources of conflict here is Anya's adamant denial of her place in the family's business, even as she is slowly dragged into its dealings in order to protect the interests of her siblings. Another is her relationship with Win Delacroix, whose personality and quirks are pretty irresistible, but whose background complicates things considerably. Anya finds it hard to deny her attraction to him, but holds back on getting involved with him out of loyalty to her best friend, the vibrant Scarlett, and Win's father's position as assistant D.A. All of this drama plays out in a crumbling city riddled with underground nightclubs and coffee speakeasies in what were once museums and other points of interest, where danger is everywhere. All These Things I've Done can be pretty intense at times as Anya is taken through the corrupt court system and has a few close calls in her elaborate schemes, but those elements give this story an alluring and suspenseful edge. All in all, this is a wonderful novel, written in precise, affecting prose with a narrator that is sophisticated, yet relatable. All These Things I’ve Done is one of the best books of 2011.

Cover Comments: I love the chocolate covered heart, the layout of this cover, and the way the title is formatted in a list. So. Perfect.

This one will be available on September 27th, 2011.

ARC provided by publisher.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cover Talk: The Next Terra Elan McVoy Book!

So, if you follow me regularly, you probably know that I am a huge Terra Elan McVoy fan girl. I just adore her books. So far, she's released Pure, After the Kiss, and The Summer of Firsts and Lasts. When I met her at BEA, she slipped me some hints about her next book, due out in the spring, and now she's revealed it (and the cover) on her blog!

Being Friends With Boys!


Don't you just love the title? Here's what it's about:
"Charlotte and Oliver have been friends forever. She knows that he, Abe, and Trip consider her to be one of the guys, and that’s how she likes it. She likes being the one who keeps them all together. Likes offering a girl’s perspective on their love lives. Likes being the behind-the-scenes wordsmith who writes all the lyrics for their band. Char has a house full of stepsisters and a past full of backstabbing (female) ex-best friends, so for her, being friends with boys is refreshingly drama-free . . . until it isn’t any more. 
When a new boy enters the scene (hotly) and makes Char feel like, well, a total girl . . . and two of the other guys have a falling out that may or may not be related to one of them maybe wanting to be more than friends with Char . . . being friends with all these boys suddenly feels a lot more complicated."
I cannot tell you how excited I am for this one! It seems like whenever I read the summary of a new book by Terra, it just speaks to me! This one does because I know what it's like being surrounded by boys all the time. I grew up with four brothers (no sisters, unfortunately), and I went to a private school where I was the only girl in my class. So...bring on Charlotte and her story, please!

I also am in love with the cover! Simon and Schuster does such an excellent job with with these ones. I like how they all look similar, and there is always something edible on the cover--plus, the heart in the foam--too cute!

What do you all think?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Looking Ahead: Marissa Meyer and Cinder!

Looking Ahead is a feature in which new upcoming books and their authors are featured! Take a minute to read the interview, get to know them, read about their book(s), and find them on the internet!

First up, we have Marissa Meyer and her book, Cinder!

TCR: Can you describe your book in 10 words or less?

MM: A futuristic fairy tale in which Cinderella is a cyborg.

TCR: What surprised you the most about the publishing process?

MM: How bipolar it is! (For lack of a better word.) There have been months that are crazy busy and exciting, with news and reveals and foreign rights sales and interviews and my head will be spinning . . . and then there will be months during which absolutely. nothing. happens. It's bizarre!

TCR: How did you react when you first saw your book cover?

MM: I LOVE my cover! I think it's absolutely gorgeous and so eye-catching. I was really surprised by the red shoe (spoiler alert: there are no red shoes in the book . . . or glass ones, for that matter), but it captures the concept of the book perfectly and I can't wait to see it on the shelves.

TCR: Where can we stay up to date on what's going on with you and your book?

MM: I blog at http://marissameyer.livejournal.com, and I hope to reveal a spiffy web site (marissameyer.com) this fall.

Cinder will be on shelves January 3rd, 2012, but you can pre-order it!

More about Marissa:

Marissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her fiancé and their two cats. She's a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, color-coordinating her bookshelf...) and will take any excuse to put on a costume. Cinder is the first in a four-part series called The Lunar Chronicles.

I'm excited for Cinder, and the other books in the series! How about you?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dream Dark Out Today!

Have you snagged your copy (version? What's the correct terminology here?) of the new short story by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, "Dream Dark"? It's only $1.99, and it's set between Beautiful Darkness (read my review here) and Beautiful Chaos. Here's what it's about:
"When Link joined his best friend, Ethan Wate, on a quest through a mysterious network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, he knew the journey would be dangerous. But returning home to Gatlin, South Carolina was just the beginning...

Wounded during a climactic battle, Link discovers that tending his injuries won't be as simple as visiting a doctor and that healing his arm should be the least of his worries. For being bitten by a Supernatural does more than break the skin -- it changes a person, inside and out, turning Link into someone more and more like the dark creature who injured him."
PLUS, it includes the first five chapters of Beautiful Chaos! So, it's totally worth $1.99, in my opinion! And, it's available starting today!

Now, if only I could get my mother to relinquish my Kindle so that I could read it myself...
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Monday, August 1, 2011

Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

It is Lacey Anne Byer's ambition to play Abortion Girl this year in her church's annual Hell House production. It's a part she's sure she can nail, and she knows that Hell House will be an amazing ministry to her community. But just about the time that she snags the role, things start to get complicated in Lacey's life. She discovers that her best friend's older sister is pregnant, her other best friend Dean is being bullied--and no one is doing a thing about it, and a childhood friend, Ty Davis, returns to town with some secrets of his own. As the practices for Hell House heat up and Lacey gets closer and closer to Ty, Lacey's doubts build up, forcing her to grapple with her faith for the first time in her life.

Melissa Walker offers a very interesting perspective on an Evangelical community in Small Town Sinners. She does an excellent job at portraying Lacey and her friends in a way that makes them realistic and normal, just more religious and connected to their church community than the teenagers that dominate the YA genre. Of course, faith and uncertainty and questioning what you believe in are all major themes in this book as situations unfold that touch Lacey personally, and the reactions (and sometimes hypocrisy) of her friends, parents, and other members of the community force her to realize that right and wrong aren't so simple, and black and white don't exist in this gray world. Readers can empathize with Lacey on this, especially as she struggles to do what she has always been taught was right while at the same time figuring out what that really is. This novel represents just one denomination of Christianity whose viewpoints and utilization of the Hell House as a "ministry" are very extreme (and wrong) in this reviewer's opinion, but the important message in Small Town Sinners is that we all sin, and are all in need of forgiveness. The events of this story are eye-opening, for both Lacey and for the reader.

Cover Comments: I love this cover so much! The girl hiding her face, the symbolism of the apple and the choice associated with it, the heart-shaped bite, the font...this is just a fabulous cover!

ARC provided by publisher.
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Congratulations to...

...Alex from A Girl, Books, and Other Things for winning July's Monthly Commenter Contest! You get a copy of Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt!

Thank you to everyone for reading, and be sure to check out this month's Monthly Commenter Contest! The books up for grabs is Fury by Elizabeth Miles!

Monthly Commenter Contest!

This month I have an awesome new release up for grabs here: Fury by Elizabeth Miles. I heard Elizabeth speak back in May and read aloud from Fury, and she was marvelous! I know that is a book that you're not going to want to miss, so I'm giving you lovely readers many chances to win a copy the entire month of August!

How to win: Every time you post a significant comment that contributes to the conversation, I give you an entry into the contest! The more you comment, the more you entries you get! Only comments on posts from August 2011 are eligible, so keep coming back for more posts and more chances to comment. For all of the details, click here. Fury comes out on August 30th, 2011, so if you win, you'll be one of the first people to get it!

About Fury:


"Sometimes sorry isn't enough.... 
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems... 
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend. 
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed. 
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay."
Isn't that cover awesome?