Thursday, March 29, 2012

Book Review: Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark (+ giveaway)

Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark
Publisher: KinStone Publishing, LLC
Publish Date: December 3, 2011
Paperback, 308 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
 ISBN:  978-1463732318

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
My Review:
My first delving into the fantasy genre was back when I was a teenager and I read The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King.  Though I absolutely loved the book, I never really picked up on more of the fantasy genre until reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy in my late 20s (coinciding with the movies coming out).  Now in the last few years since I started blogging I have been reading more and more of the fantasy genre, particularly YA fantasy and falling in love with it.  Cobbogoth and Hannah L. Clark has given me even more to fall in love with.

What to start with?  Norah.  Norah is a great character, that we as the readers get to learn about little by little during the book.  I don't want to give away much about her because I want you to learn about her the way I did.  But suffice it to say she is an interesting character who makes a wonderful main character.  She has growth during the book and she has great inner strength and such a wonderful moral center that's there but not blatant, she's just good at heart and knows right from wrong.  I love her.  The other characters that surround her are remarkable too.  James is intriguing and I enjoyed learning about him as the book went along as well.  The bad guys are suitably scary and bad and fit the story well.

The story, wow, what a story.  I was transfixed from the beginning.  What was happening to Norah and who was with her and who was against her.  It was intriguing, exciting and it kept me turning pages.  Ms. Clark brought alive the world of the Cobbogoths to me and I loved the descriptions she used in the book.  I also appreciated the drawings that went along with the chapters in the book.  Ms. Clark does an excellent job describing the creatures and various places in the book, but having the drawings enhances the reading experience.  I also enjoyed the fact that the Cobbogoths existed in parallel to the human world.  I love that kind of story, it fascinates me.  I think Ms. Clark did an excellent job of setting up that part of the story so it was completely believable.

Cobbogoth ends perfectly but leaves me wanting for the next book.  Ms. Clark has done an amazing job with this book, setting up the world, creating interesting creatures and a society that fascinated me.  I look forward to learning more about this world in the next book and seeing more of Norah.  If you love fantasy or haven't tried it and want to, this is the book for you.  Cobbogoth is beautifully written, thoroughly entertaining and has me wanting for the next in this wonderful series.  Write faster Ms. Clark!

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

Parental guidance: This book is clean, just some minor kissing between James and Norah.  I would suggest this book for anyone 10+ that wants to read this kind of book.

About the Book:
To seventeen-year-old Norah Lukens, the Cobbogothians were just a myth. But after her archeologist uncle's brutal murder, and being asked to translate one of his old research journals for evidence, she begins a journey to discover the truth for herself.

Chasing the myth her uncle was obsessed with, Norah learns that his murder was a cover up for something far more sinister. If she hopes to save others from suffering the same fate he did--including the peculiarly magnetic James Riley--she must head to Iceland in order to find out the truth once and for all.

If she succeeds, she'll gain the one thing she's always longed for.

But if she fails, not even the gods can help her.

Author Links: 

I have one signed copy to giveaway courtesy of the author.  Open to US/Canada (I'm mailing).  Nothing is required, the main entry below is a free entry, just click enter on the Rafflecopter.  Ends March 5, 2012. Trust me, you want this book!  I gave one away a few months ago, so this is the second copy, it's read once by me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FTC Information: I received this book through Teen Book Scene for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository and B&, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.

eBookSwag Kindle Fire Giveaway + Free eBooks!

Scott Nicholson and buddies are doing it again.  This time they have a new site called eBookSwag.  If you are a blogger, make sure and check it out because they have some great opportunities for bloggers coming up. 

Right now though, they have a great giveaway going for several Kindle Fires and daily giveaways for Amazon Gift Cards.  So go to eBookSwag and enter daily.  And while you are there, check out the free books available today.  Below I have a listing of what's available today and tomorrow with links.  There are some great ones, so grab them up!

Free books Thursday, March 29
Scott Nicholson Library Vol. 3

The Red Church

Creative Spirit

The Harvest

As I Die Lying

Crime Beat


These Things Happened

Ghost Soldier

Vampire Waltz

Free books Friday, March 30
Scott Nicholson Library Vol. 3

The Red Church

Creative Spirit

The Harvest

As I Die Lying

Vampire Waltz


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book Spotlight: Moon Over Alcatraz by Patricia Yager Delagrange

Moon Over Alcatraz
Patricia Yager Delagrange

About the Book:

Following the death of their baby during a difficult birth, Brandy and Weston Chambers are grief-stricken and withdraw from each other, both seeking solace outside of their marriage;  however, they vow to work through their painful disloyalty. But when the man Brandy slept with moves back to their hometown, three lives are forever changed by his return.


Three days later we were standing at the edge of a hole in
the ground at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Hayward, the
silence so thick, the insides of my ears buzzed like a distant
swarm of angry bees. Mr. Peralta and another gentleman
stood off to the side while Weston and I held hands next
to the tiny casket.

Weston had chosen a simple mahogany box with gold handles, a bouquet of white lilies graced the top of the small box. I knelt down and laid a kiss on the smooth wood then wiped off the tears that had fallen on the wood. Weston joined me and placed a single red rose in the middle of the lilies.

He helped me up and we stood side-by-side in silence, my guilt over her death like a stone in my empty belly. I missed everything I’d dreamed would be happening right now, yearned for all that could have been.

Weston nodded at the man standing next to Mr. Peralta and our baby was slowly lowered into the
gaping maw. She reached the bottom, and a bird landed on the rich brown dirt piled next to the grave. It pecked around, chirping a little song, then flew off - as if saying goodbye. My heart squeezed inside my chest.

I picked up a small handful of soft dirt. “Goodbye, Christine,” I whispered, throwing it on top of her casket.

Weston wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me in close to his side. Why her? Why my baby?  Was this supposed to make sense? And, if so, to whom?

We drove home in silence. No words existed to express my grief.

About the Author:

Fascinated by broken-hearted couples and atypical families, Patricia weaves engaging tales of men and women who create cohesive families where love reigns supreme. She sprinkles her books with intriguing characters who struggle to find balance in life after tragedy. Whether an unwed teenager, desperate widow, abandoned father, or a couple who stray from their marital vows, her characters form relationships impacted by their desire to create a family.

Aside from writing, her favorite things to do include riding her Friesian horse, Maximus, dot-to-dot for adults, and watching Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington movies. She spends a majority of her days writing while her two very large Chocolate Labs lounge on the couch cuddled next to her and her MacBook.

She writes a blog every Wednesday, so if you're interested, sign up to be on the mailing list and she'll notify you after she posts her blog on this website. Or just drop by Wednesday mornings and leave a comment.

Website / Facebook

Waiting On Wednesday (19)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I saw this in Shelf Awareness and after reading Where She Went I really want more suspense YA and this looks like it will give it to me, plus I like the historical aspect of it.  What do you think?

Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn
Publish Date: 4/17/2012
Based on an actual crime in 1955, this YA novel is at once a mystery and a coming-ofage story. The brutal murder of two teenage girls on the last day of Nora Cunningham’s junior year in high school throws Nora into turmoil. Her certainties—friendships, religion, her prudence, her resolve to find a boyfriend taller than she is—are shaken or cast off altogether. Most people in Elmgrove, Maryland, share the comforting conviction that Buddy Novak, who had every reason to want his ex-girlfriend dead, is responsible for the killings. Nora agrees at first, then begins to doubt Buddy’s guilt, and finally comes to believe him innocent—the lone dissenting voice in Elmgrove. Told from several different perspectives, including that of the murderer, Mister Death’s Blue-Eyed Girls is a suspenseful page-turner with a powerful human drama at its core.
So what are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week's prompt is Top Ten Books (on my shelf) I'd Play Hooky With.  You can go to The Broke and the Bookish to see their list and to join in the meme this week.

I would love to take a day, sit in the nice warm sun, play hooky and read the day away.  In fact I need it, but I have to save up my leave for a girls' weekend in May (which will be fun as well).  So here's my list: 
  1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (I bought this for my Kindle when it came out and still haven't read it)
  2. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (I think this is on everyone's list)
  3. Legend by Marie Lu (another one I bought when it came out)
  4. Crossed by Ally Condie (same as above)
  5. My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent (love this series)
  6. My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent
  7. The Night Season by Chelsea Cain (I need my Chelsea Cain fix)
  8. Capital Murder by Phillip Margolin (some more suspense is needed)
  9. A Perfect Storm by Lori Foster (yummy, hot heroes)
  10. One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf (okay not technically on my shelf yet, but should be in the next few days, I love this author and can't wait to read this book)
So if you are participating in the meme leave me a link.  If you aren't, what one book would you love to play hooky and read right now?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (15)


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!
After we started hanging out last summer, James found out I'd never been on a date before and insisted on being my first. Gram's cancer made it so we couldn't actually go out, but that didn't stop him.  He spent all week convincing Uncle Jack that he was trustworthy enough and on the big night, he dressed up, got into his car, drove the short distance between our houses to pick me up, then zipped back down the drive and into his garage where he'd planned our "date" of watching a movie and cooking dinner together.
From Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark

Isn't that sweet?  I'm not too far into the book yet, but I'm enjoying what I have read so far.

About Cobbogoth
To seventeen-year-old Norah Lukens, the Cobbogothians were just a myth. But after her archeologist uncle's brutal murder, and being asked to translate one of his old research journals for evidence, she begins a journey to discover the truth for herself.

Chasing the myth her uncle was obsessed with, Norah learns that his murder was a cover up for something far more sinister. If she hopes to save others from suffering the same fate he did--including the peculiarly magnetic James Riley--she must head to Iceland in order to find out the truth once and for all.

If she succeeds, she'll gain the one thing she's always longed for.

But if she fails, not even the gods can help her.

Book Review: Just Down the Road by Jodi Thomas

Just Down the Road by Jodi Thomas
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: April 3, 2012
Paperback, 318 pages
Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction
 ISBN: 978-0425246924
Harmony, Texas #4

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
My Review:
Four books in the series and not a one has disappointed yet.  I eagerly await each new installment, usually read the whole book within a day and then lament the fact that I have at least 6 months before the next one comes out and I get my copy a little early so I can participate in a promotional blog tour.  But I still like to whine because I love being a part of Harmony, Texas for a little over 300 pages every 6 months or so and I am so glad that Jodi includes me in her world.  You can be a part of that world too, on April 3rd and I encourage you to.  You don't have to start at the beginning.  Yes there is some history running through the books, especially with two of the ongoing stories in the book, but Ms. Thomas lays down enough backstory that if you pick up this book you will be fine.  Each book stands nicely on it's on, but the series is wonderful together giving a full picture of the town and it's inhabitants.

Tinch and Addison are the stars of Just Down the Road, but as with the other books, there are many stories to follow as there are in any town.  But the focus is on Tinch and Addison.  Tinch can't seem to get over the loss of his wife and Addison is on the run from something.  When little Jamie is thrust into Tinch and Addison's life he changes everything and makes both of them see that there is much more to life than they thought.  I loved Jamie, the little boy.  He is such a perfect little boy, so full of wonder and questions.  I love how he fits into their life as well.  I also liked how Ms. Thomas didn't sugarcoat how life with a child was like.  She shows that Tinch's life changed, he couldn't just go about things the way he did.  I really like that she keeps things real in her books.  The growth in Tinch and Addison's characters is a wonder to watch.  It's subtle but it's there and I enjoyed that.

The plot is great.  There is some mystery to it and that kept me turning the pages as well as the romance and character development did.  I also loved that Ms. Thomas kept going back and forth between the various characters' stories.  Focusing on Tinch and Addison, Reagan and Noah, Biggs and his brother and also the undertaker and his lady.  A lot was tied up in this one and I really hope it's not the end of the series.  I will honestly cry when I find out there are no more Harmony books.  I love this town and the characters and want more stories about more of them that I don't even know because I will learn more about the ones I do know as well.  I have a feeling there are more, but this one did tie up several story lines that have been going on for awhile.

A great Sunday afternoon read.  It's exciting and relaxing all at the same time.  It's like settling in at home with your favorite people, ones you know will do anything for you.  I can't quit gushing about how much I like these books and Just Down the Road may just be my favorite in the series so far.  Romance, friendship, mystery, guys acting crazy when a woman goes into labor, a great child, a rodeo champ, his best girl, and a town that will do anything to protect their own.  That's what Just Down the Road has, plus so much more. 

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

Be sure to check out Jodi's Guest Blog and giveaway for Just Down the Road.

The Welcome to Harmony Series (with links to my reviews):
Welcome to Harmony
Somewhere Along the Way
The Comforts of Home
Just Down the Road

About the Book:
When Tinch Turner lost his wife, he gave up on living. Now he spends his nights brooding, boozing and brawling. When one of his escapades lands him in the ER, he finds himself staring up at the beautiful new doctor in town. For the first time in years, he feels a spark, but Addison Spencer wants nothing to do with the unruly rancher—or any man for that matter. She’s only in Harmony four months, long enough for the trouble she left behind to be over. But then a vulnerable little boy barrels into both of their lives, forcing them out of the past —and into a future where love is just down the road…

About the Author (from 
Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of 34 novels and 11 short story collections. In June 2011, WELCOME TO HARMONY won a RITA, the highest award for women’s fiction. Jodi currently serves as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.


FTC Information: I received this book from the author for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository and B&, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.

Guest Blog: Jodi Thomas (Just Down the Road) + Giveaway

Today I welcome back one of my favorite authors, Jodi Thomas.  I have been a reviewer for her Harmony, Texas series since book #1 and Just Down the Road which releases April 3, is the fourth book.  I love the feeling of home I get from reading from these novels.  Jodi is a master story-teller and I love the chance to read her books and having her on my blog.  So please enjoy her guest blog and be sure and enter the giveaway for a copy of Just Down the Road as well and be sure and check back later today for my review.

The question I always fear the most when I’m traveling on book tour is , “Where do your ideas come from?”  
In truth, I often want to say, “Where did yours go?” because for the most part I don’t know where ideas some from.  For the most part it’s not an idea, but a person who jumps into my mind first.  He, or she, walks in, sits down and begins to tell me a story I have to follow.
When that happens, as it did in JUST DOWN THE ROAD I grab my computer and start hoping I can hang on to wherever the story takes me.

Tinch Turner was one of those rare characters who came to me fully developed.  When I met him he was sitting outside the emergency room in Harmony, Texas, counting the roughnecks piling out of a pick-up and heading in for treatment.  He was hurt and bleeding, but he’d wait until they were treated before he went in.  After all, it was the least he could do, he was the one who sent them to the hospital.
As soon as I had Tinch down on paper I knew he’d have to meet a woman who could be his match.  For a while I looked for another fighter, but the doctor who stepped in his path was a frightened woman who’d been broken once and only thought of running when trouble came.  She’d have to give him a reason to live and he’d have to show her how to be strong.
Tinch and Addison were born, then in my mind, they took the story and made it their own.

I’m never sure what to say when people ask me what I do for a living.  I daydream.  I play.  I imagine.  I create.  I scrub the rough worlds clean.  I’m not a writer for a living, I’m simply a writer.
In JUST DOWN THE ROAD all my work, and skill and that spark of talent seemed to come together.  The people I created breathed.  I’m very proud of this book and I hope it makes you laugh, and cry and fall in love with the people who live in Harmony.

Enjoy the story, 

Jodi Thomas

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Jodi Thomas is pleased to present JUST DOWN THE ROAD, the fourth novel in her award-winning Harmony series.

When Tinch Turner lost his wife, he gave up on living. Now he spends his nights brooding, boozing and brawling. When one of his escapades lands him in the ER, he finds himself staring up at the beautiful new doctor in town. For the first time in years, he feels a spark, but Addison Spencer wants nothing to do with the unruly rancher—or any man for that matter. She’s only in Harmony four months, long enough for the trouble she left behind to be over. But then a vulnerable little boy barrels into both of their lives, forcing them out of the past —and into a future where love is just down the road…

Sell date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN: 978-0425246924
Retail price: USA $ 7.99

“Extremely powerful and gripping writing...full of passionate moments, hidden secrets, and likable characters.
~ Roundtable Reviews

“ Even for readers new to the series, the intricate relationships between these affable men and ec-centric women are easy to follow and even easier to love. “
~Publishers Weekly

Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of 34 novels and 11 short story collections. In June 2011, WELCOME TO HARMONY won a RITA, the highest award for women’s fiction. Jodi currently serves as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

Thanks to Jodi and her publisher, I have one copy of Just Down the Road to giveaway to one lucky entrant in the US/Canada.  Simply enter using the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (19)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren. To see this weeks list of participants go here.

I had a great week, here is what I received in the mail and through Netgalley:

One Moment by Kristina McBride
Teen Book Scene Tour, release: June 26, 2012

This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it's the one she'd do anything to forget.

Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below – dead?

As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

The Red House by Mark Haddon
From Doubleday, release: 6/19/2012

An dazzlingly inventive novel about modern family, from the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
The set-up of Mark Haddon's brilliant new novel is simple: Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just re-married and inherited a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. The stage is set for seven days of resentment and guilt, a staple of family gatherings the world over.

But because of Haddon's extraordinary narrative technique, the stories of these eight people are anything but simple. Told through the alternating viewpoints of each character, The Red House becomes a symphony of long-held grudges, fading dreams and rising hopes, tightly-guarded secrets and illicit desires, all adding up to a portrait of contemporary family life that is bittersweet, comic, and deeply felt. As we come to know each character they become profoundly real to us. We understand them, even as we come to realize they will never fully understand each other, which is the tragicomedy of every family.

The Red House is a literary tour-de-force that illuminates the puzzle of family in a profoundly empathetic manner -- a novel sure to entrance the millions of readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Discovery by Dan Walsh
From Publisher, release: 4/1/2012

Gerard Warner was not only a literary giant whose suspense novels sold in the millions, he was also a man devoted to his family, especially his wife of nearly 60 years. When he dies he leaves his Charleston estate to his grandson, Michael, an aspiring writer himself. Michael settles in to write his own first novel and discovers an unpublished manuscript his grandfather had written, something he'd kept hidden from everyone but clearly intended Michael to find. Michael begins to read an exciting tale about Nazi spies and sabotage, but something about this story is different from all of Gerard Warner's other books. It's actually a love story. 

As Michael delves deeper into the story he discovers something that has the power to change not only his future but his past as well. Laced with suspense and intrigue, "The Discovery" is a richly woven novel that explores the incredible sacrifices that must be made to forge the love of a lifetime. Author Dan Walsh delivers yet another unique and heartfelt story that will stick with readers long after they turn the last page.

Blood Avengenged by Gabrielle Bisset
Won from Author

Vasilije is vampire who answers to no one and does as he pleases. This produces one of his own to be killed. On a quest for revenge in New Orleans, Vasilije, crosses path with Sasa, who could be his downfall.

What did you get in your mailbox this week?  Make sure you leave me a link and I will be sure and stop by your blog.

 Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors by Molly Harper
From Simon & Schuster

Just as Jane Jameson’s unlife seems to be stabilizing, fate sinks its fangs firmly into her butt. Despite her near-phobia of all things marital, her no-frills nighttime nuptials to her sexy boyfriend Gabriel are coming along smoothly. But the road to wedded bliss gets bumpy when a teenage acquaintance is fatally wounded in front of Jane’s shop and she turns him to save his life. The Council pronounces Jane responsible for the newborn vamp until he can control his thirst.

Jane’s kitchen at River Oaks barely holds enough Faux Type O to satiate the cute teen’s appetite and maintain Gabriel’s jealous streak at a slow simmer. As if keeping her hyperactive childe from sucking the blood out of the entire neighborhood isn’t enough to deal with, the persnickety ghost of Jane’s newly deceased Grandma Ruthie has declared a war on the fanged residents of River Oaks. Suddenly,
choosing monogrammed cocktail napkins and a cake that she can’t eat seems downright relaxing in comparison.

Tensions inside the house are growing…and outside, a sinister force is aiming a stake straight for the center of Gabriel’s heart. Most brides just have to worry about choosing the right dress, but Jane fears that at this rate, she’ll never make it down the aisle for the wedding all nice girls dream of…

A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang
Simon & Schuster

The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.

Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

A Sliver of Shadow by Allison Pang
From Simon & Schuster

Just when her new life as a TouchStone — a mortal bound to help OtherFolk cross between Faery and human worlds — seems to be settling down, Abby Sinclair is left in charge when the Protectorate, Moira, leaves for the Faery Court. And when the Protectorate’s away…let’s just say things spiral out of control when a spell on Abby backfires and the Faery Queen declares the Doors between their worlds officially closed.

The results are disastrous for both sides: OtherFolk trapped in the mortal world are beginning to fade, while Faerie is on the brink of war with the daemons of Hell. Along with her brooding elven prince Talivar and sexy incubus Brystion, Abby ventures to the CrossRoads in an attempt to override the Queen’s magic. But nothing in this beautiful, dangerous realm will compare to the discoveries she’s making about her past, her destiny, and what she will sacrifice for those she loves.

 Barefoot in the Sand by Roxanne St. Claire
Grand Central Publishing

When all you hold dear is taken away . . .

When a hurricane roars through Lacey Armstrong's home on the coast of Barefoot Bay, she decides all that remains in the rubble is opportunity. A new hotel is just what Mimosa Key needs, and Lacey and her teenage daughter are due for a fresh start. And nothing, especially not a hot, younger architect, is going to distract Lacey from finally making her dreams a reality.

A second chance is the only thing you have left.

Love has already cost Clay Walker everything. And if he's going to have any chance of picking up the pieces of his life, he needs the job as Lacey Armstrong's architect. What's not in the plans is falling for the headstrong beauty. Her vision of the future is more appealing than anything he could have ever drafted for himself. Will Clay's designs on Lacey's heart be more than she can handle, or will she trust him to build something that will last forever?

After the Fog by Kathleen Shoop
From the publicist, egalley

The sins of the mother... In the steel mill town of Donora, Pennsylvania, site of the infamous 1948 "killing smog," headstrong nurse Rose Pavlesic tends to her family and neighbors. Controlling and demanding, she's created a life that reflects everything she missed growing up as an orphan. She's even managed to keep her painful secrets hidden from her loving husband, dutiful children, and large extended family.When a stagnant weather pattern traps poisonous mill gasses in the valley, neighbors grow sicker and Rose's nursing obligations thrust her into conflict she never could have fathomed. Consequences from her past collide with her present life, making her once clear decisions as gray as the suffocating smog. As pressure mounts, Rose finds she's not the only one harboring lies. When the deadly fog finally clears, the loss of trust and faith leaves the Pavlesic family-and the whole town-splintered and shocked. With her new perspective, can Rose finally forgive herself and let her family's healing begin?

The Selection by Kiera Cass
egalley, HarperTeen

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

 The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson
HarperCollins Children's Books, egalley


The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy. But global climate change is not something new in the Earth’s history.

No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race—a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process.

Now it is Owen’s turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry…and that less-than-ordinary can evolve into extraordinary.

 Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
HarperTeen, egalley

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

 Destined by Aprilynne Pike
HarperTeen, egalley

Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful—and deadly—of all, and she is working with Klea to conquer and destroy Avalon. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares for a fight she never thought she would have to face.

Filled with heart-pounding action, sweeping romance, and higher stakes at every turn, Destined is the series conclusion that readers have been clamoring for—with a twist that will leave them breathless.

Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to touch her hair behind her ear. He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn't kiss her, just held her face to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching.

She hated how much it felt like good-bye.

 Fall from Grace by Charles Benoit
HarperCollins, egalley

Grace always has a plan. There’s her plan to get famous, her plan to get rich, and—above all—her plan to have fun.

Sawyer has plenty of plans too. Plans made for him by his mother, his father, his girlfriend. Maybe they aren’t his plans, but they are plans.

When Sawyer meets Grace, he wonders if he should come up with a few plans himself. Plans about what he actually wants to be, plans to speak his own mind for a change, plans to maybe help Grace with a little art theft.

Wait a minute—plans to what?

What did you receive this week?  Leave me a link in the comments because I love seeing what others receive and I will get by and visit your post as well! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cover Reveal: Girl Three by Tracy March

In June, Entangled Publishing (which I have a great fondness for) will release it's very first single title Romantic Thriller. I for one am very excited and here is a first glimpse at the upcoming cover and the synopsis.  Stay tuned closer to release date because I'm hoping to get a chance to review this exciting new novel.

Girl Three by Tracy March

Bioethicist Jessica Croft, estranged daughter of a federal judge, has avoided the players, power, and passions of Washington, DC. But when her sister Sam’s suspicious death is classified as natural, Jessie resolves to expose Sam’s murderer. Pursuing elite suspects on both sides of the stem-cell-research debate leads her to security consultant Michael Gillette, who seems to know more about Sam than he’s let on.
Michael has a vested interest in Jessie’s plight. Her sister died on his watch—while he wasn’t watching. His plan to find her murderer becomes complicated when Jessie’s father hires him to protect Jessie, and his interest turns from professional…to romantic.

Together Jessie and Michael must unravel a mystery rife with political agendas and deceit. When confidential papers reveal a fertility scandal surrounding the enigmatic Girl Three, the two realize the danger of exposing the truth. Who is Girl Three? And will the murderer kill again to keep a secret?

Follow Tracy to stay up to date on all the news about Girl Three, including the upcoming buy links!

Connect with Tracy:

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Add Girl Three to your TBR pile on Goodreads!

Meet Tracy March! 

TRACY MARCH writes about ethical dilemmas in unethical times. As a former pharmaceutical sales executive, her inspiration comes from her experiences in the medical field and her fascination with science and politics.
Tracy also had a career in the tourism industry and enjoys traveling—especially to Washington, D.C., to catch Nationals baseball games. She likes reading, golf, fitness, and Saturday date nights (that include pizza and Dairy Queen Blizzards!).

Tracy is a graduate of the University of Richmond and George Washington University. She lives in Yorktown, Virginia, with her superhero husband who works for NASA. They recently experienced two years living in Washington, D.C, where they discovered enough drama to inspire a lifetime of stories.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Review: Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom by Brendan Halpin & Emily Franklin

Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Brendan Halpin & Emily Franklin
Publisher: Walker and Company
Publish Date: March 27, 2012
Hardcover, 257 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
 ISBN: 978-1937293147

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
My Review:
I loved this book.  I am glad that this one intrigued me though because it is well-worth the read for anyone and everyone.  Gay, straight, pink purple, blue, whatever ;-)

I picked this one out from the Edelweiss books because I loved Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance by these authors.  It was cute and fun.  They were able to do the same with this book while dealing with a very serious subject and while doing that they didn't downplay the seriousness of the subject either.  They were just able to make a light-hearted book that was more about the two main characters and their friendship than it was about Tessa being gay.

The story is told from alternating points-of-view, Lucas' and Tessa's.  I'm not alone as a reviewer in enjoying Lucas' point-of-view the most.  He's funny, he's more socially with it and easy to get along with.  Tessa seems a little more awkward, but yet that's understandable since she's trying to figure herself out.  Well she seems to have known about herself for awhile, but letting others know and being out in the open is different and she's dealing with that and dealing with the loss of her best friend at the same time.

And while Tessa and Lucas' friendship has suffered, a few ill-timed words has stirred the town up to a fever-pitch and that's when things start to get crazy.  It all had the feel of Footloose to me.  Everyone cranked up about a dance.  Granted it was over two very different things, but go with me here.  Midwest town, check, conservative, check, boy who can't figure out what the fuss is about, check, prom right in the middle of things, check.  It all seems about the same.  But it doesn't feel rehashed, that's not what I'm saying.  I just said it felt like Footloose.  It's like Footloose with the 2000's spin and new issues.  The extremist religious groups use to go after dancing (I say extremist because I'm Methodist and we don't seem to mind dancing) now it's homosexuals.

One thing I liked is even though it is religious groups that are picketing and going after Tessa in the book, the authors never really call names.  It's not an agenda book.  It's fiction with a point yes, but it's not calling out any specific group.  Bravo to them for that.  And also by doing this they keep the focus of the story on Tessa and Lucas.

I love how the story progresses.  Yes there are people I want to strangle throughout and sometimes it was Lucas.  Oh, I can't forget to mention how much I love Lucas' mom.  She is awesome!  You have to read the book just for when she appears.  She's honest and helpful and a great mom to Lucas.  Also Tessa's parents are great as well.

The characters shine in this book and the plot moves the story along.  Again this is a light-hearted book with a message, there is something to be learned, but the main message is about friendship.  I enjoyed this book and think if you enjoy YA contemps, then this is one you will enjoy as well.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

Parental guidance: Some language, some references (only references) to sex, drinking and drugs, mainly in reference to what a prom is normally like.  Tessa is gay, but this is handled in a mature way for the most part, only a few crude jokes are tossed about.  I would say 12+ for this one.  There is nothing in here that I would feel my 11-year-old could not read.

About the Book:
Lucas and Tessa’s friendship is the stuff of legend in their small Midwestern town. So it’s no surprise when Lucas finally realizes his feelings for Tessa are more than friendship and he asks her to prom. What no one expected, especially Lucas, was for Tessa to come out as a lesbian instead of accepting his heartfelt invitation. Humiliated and confused, Lucas also feels betrayed that his best friend kept such an important secret from him.

What’s worse is Tessa’s decision to wear a tastefully tailored tuxedo to escort her female crush, sparking a firestorm of controversy. Lucas must decide if he should stand on the sidelines or if he should stand by his friend to make sure that Tessa Masterson will go to prom.

About Brendan Halpin (from 
I grew up in Cincinnati, went to college in Philadelphia, and also lived in Taipei and Edinburgh along the way. I've lived in Boston since 1991.

I became a professional writer in 2000, writing about my late wife Kirsten's breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Kirsten died in 2003, leaving me and our daughter Rowen. I married Suzanne in 2005 and got her kids Casey and Kylie in the deal too. Bargain! Suzanne and I live with our three kids and dog in the shadow of Franklin Park in Jamaica Plain, best neighborhood on earth.


About Emily Franklin (from
Growing up, Emily Franklin wanted to be “a singing, tap-dancing doctor who writes books.”

Having learned early on that she has little to no dancing ability, she left the tap world behind, studied at Oxford University, and received an undergraduate degree concentrating in writing and neuroscience from Sarah Lawrence College. Though she gave serious thought to a career in medicine, eventually that career followed her dancing dreams.

After extensive travel, some “character-building” relationships, and a stint as a chef, Emily went back to school at Dartmouth where she skied (or fished, depending on the season) daily, wrote a few screenplays, and earned her Master’s Degree in writing and media studies.

While editing medical texts and dreaming about writing a novel, Emily went to Martha’s Vineyard on a whim and met her future husband who is, of course, a doctor. And a pianist. He plays. They sing. They get married. He finishes medical school, they have a child, she writes a novel. Emily’s dreams are realized. She writes books.

Emily Franklin is the author of two adult novels, The Girls' Almanac and Liner Notes and more than a dozen books for young adults including the critically-acclaimed seven book fiction series for teens, The Principles of Love. Other young adult books include The Other Half of Me the Chalet Girls series, and At Face Value, a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac (coming in September 2008).

She edited the anthologies It's a Wonderful Lie: 26 Truths about Life in Your Twenties and How to Spell Chanukah: 18 Writers Celebrate 8 Nights of Lights. She is co-editor of Before: Short Stories about Pregnancy from Our Top Writers.

Her book of essays and recipes, Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, 102 New Recipes ~ A Memoir of Tasting, Testing, and Discovery in the Kitchen will be published by Hyperion.


FTC Information: I received this book through the publisher for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository and B&, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.