ATTENTION: WE MOVED

Posted on Sunday, April 19, 2015 12:00 AM


ATTENTION LOVELY FOLLOWERS:


 We have made the move and feel that us switching would be the most beneficial for us and the blog. We hope guys stick with us and check us out over at Novel Ink Blog :) 

We do want you guys to know that it definitely is a work in process. Christy and I are quite confused with the new layout of WordPress, but we promise you guys we will be getting our hands dirty and finding out how to give you guys the best of everything. We love you guys and our top priority is to make you guys happy. That is the main reason we made the move. We know the WordPress will allow us to flourish beyond what we though our possibilities could be, and in the end give you the best experience out there.

There is going to be a lot of more magnificent stuff that Christy and I will be adding to the blog to give us more spark. But, we will also be continuing other features we have now. Trivia Tuesday's will be the main feature that sticks because we love how much you guys participate. We will still be doing STS, Recommendations, our newly Hidden Treasures and we will be busting out with Usher by continuing our Confession posts.

We hope you guys will stick behind Christy and I through this move because we were quite nervous about it. We hope that you guys give us feedback. Let us know what we could add or...take away. If there's something you would like to be featured or anything that doesn't make you smile. Let us know and we will definitely look into it. Like I said, we're new to this whole WordPress thing so all the feedback would be the most helpful.

We love you guys and can't wait to hear what you guy think of our new look and blog.


PLUS: If you head over to the blog and leave us a comment with feedback, you'll be entered into a drawing for an e-book (under $5.00).



ARC Review | Rafe by Jo Raven

Posted on Friday, April 17, 2015 12:00 AM
Format: e-ARC
Source: via Author
Publication: April 13, 2015
Genre: Romance, NA
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


His name is Rafaele Vestri, Rafe to his friends.

He’s tall, strong, handsome. Distant. He often comes to the café where I work, but we don’t talk much. He looks at me, though. Stares at me, his gaze heated, and I can’t help but stare back. I want him, I won’t deny it. I’ve never seen anyone that beautiful, anyone that powerful, in my life.

But he’s growing more withdrawn by the day. Something’s up, and he won’t tell. I know about his past – the murder of his family when he was fifteen. I can imagine what it must have cost him. So much violence contained in that strong body, waiting to be unleashed. What is he seeking? What is he training so hard for? Why is looking at me like he’s dying to touch me, but won’t dare?

Even as I try to stop thinking about him, get interested in other boys, I realize I can’t. I’m caught, body and soul, just like that. And I tell myself, Megan, girl… What have you gotten yourself into this time?

Standalone novel. No cliffhanger. *Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and violence. Mature readers only. Not intended for young readers.*

My Review 

I was so excited to start reading this book, the synopsis just brought me in and I was in need of a steamy read. I haven't had a lot of romantic reads lately and this one definitely hit the spot. 

Rafe is going through a lot in his life--his past is haunting and has stayed with him for the past few years. Each day is a new beginning, though he can't seem to start fresh with everything and every day coming closer to what he wants to avoid. He just wants to live a normal life. But, he wants to do one thing before he even thinks about moving on, and that thing might kill him. Thankfully, we have a wonderful character named Megan who sweeps Rafe off his feet. They have been lusting over one another for some time now, but both have pasts that they want to avoid...so they avoid each other as well. Though, that ends soon and the steaminess begins. 

Megan is Rafe's safe haven, whether either of them see it that way or not, they both are each other's steeping stones in life--which is so beautiful. This story shows us that growing is something needed in life and we need to see ourselves through other people's eyes to be able to see the beauty within us. I know this sounds sappy for what's supposed to be a steamy read, but there is so much more to this story, which is beyond my ability of words right now.

You see struggle through the characters, and not just the two focal ones. Everyone has a tie in with this book, especially the boys from the other books in the Inked Brotherhood series. You see friendships unwind, come together and bloom. You see love in ways you never thought could happen and you see people grow into people that they had underneath them all along. 

This book is thought provoking, heart-shattering, and of course...sexy! I highly recommend this read if you want to fall for two amazing characters and you need a little spark in your reading life.

INKED | Author Mark Cathcart

Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2015 12:00 AM

Guys, join me in welcoming, Mark Cathcart to the blog today.

Name: M. K. Cathcart 
 
 
Tell us a little about yourself: I'm a 29 year old living in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. At the moment I work in a call centre but I'm in my last year of an Electrical Installation apprenticeship. I've also worked as a debt collector, tattoo artist, teddy bear (children's entertainer) and various other things. I have a cockapoo called Ruby and I have tattoos from the top of my head to the top of my toes...and I like Sci-Fi.






When did you get your first tattoo? I got my first tattoo 10 years ago. A Descendents (band) tattoo on my leg. Still one of my favourites.

When did you get your last tattoo?  I got my last tattoo about a year ago (back piece outlined)...and it hurt like hell so I'm putting it on hold for a while. I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone. 
 
Is there a special meaning behind any of your tattoos? I tried to have at least half a story behind most of my tattoos but the one with the 'most special meaning' would a penguin that I got tattoo'd for my wife (she likes penguins).

Are you planning to get anymore? I have a full chest, stomach, back, arms, half my head (which my hair hides well) and patches of my leg, so the only real room I have left is my ribs and they'll be done soon enough, I'm sure.

 
 

 
Tell us a little about your books/blog: The Fugazi of Room 39. Here's the blurb (because it's easier): A second, recondite Korea War has killed millions and left a billion others in a fate far worse. Oblivious to this all, Jesse Nolan wakes up to yet another unremarkable day as a Detective in the famously crime free, Los Angeles Police Department. However, that’s all about to change. As the first murder in living memory is thrust upon him to investigate, inconceivable events lead to previously unimaginable actions, as this futurist utopia quickly erodes in front of him to reveal something much more sinister; Room 39.

Anything else that you would like to add? Thanks, Mark.
 
 
Thanks for stopping by today, Mark! We enjoyed seeing your ink! I cannot wait to get to reading The Fugazi of Room 39 - so you guys, keep an eye out for my review to be coming soon!
 
 If you are an author or blogger with a tattoo and are interested in being our guest on INKED, you can find all of the information HERE.

When Reason Breaks Blog Tour | Guest Post & Giveaway

Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 12:00 AM
 
 
 
Welcome to our stop on the blog tour for When Reason Breaks!  Erica and I were very excited to be a part of this tour!  Erica read the book a little while ago and loved it
 
 
 

About the Book: 







13 Reasons Why meets the poetry of Emily Dickinson in this gripping debut novel perfect for fans of Sara Zarr or Jennifer Brown.

A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls grappling with demons beyond their control.




Guest Post:

When I thought about the topic “books that saved my life,” my immediate response was: All of them. The first Chicago neighborhood I remember living in was rough. The abandoned house to the right of us was bulldozed after it was set on fire multiple times. The one on the other side was also bulldozed when the resident died and the city deemed it unlivable for anyone else. We went to the public library often, and I always left with piles of books. We moved out of that neighborhood after my dad graduated college and got a better job, so I think the message I learned early on from my parents was, yes, books can save your life and change your life. I was an early reader and have always loved to read. It was hard to choose only a few that have affected me deeply. I narrowed my options to children’s books, and it was still hard, but I did it. Here’s my short list:

 
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. This was the first book I remember falling in love with in middle school. I read it multiple times, and when the movie came out, although it was different (of course), I could hardly contain myself. My friends and I saw the movie so many times, we could recite every line. It was one of the first real young adult novels I read with teen protagonists and serious issues, like classism, family dynamics, and gang life. More than anything, it had heart, and I connected with Ponyboy because I was a book lover who had lived in tough neighborhood.

 
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Ah, Harry. What can I say? You have given so many of us years of pure reading joy. When I was working on my teaching certification, one of the instructors said, “If you’re going to teach middle school, you have to read this book.” It was love at first read, and it reignited pleasure reading for me. For many years, I had been reading books required for school. Even Harry Potter was handed to me as something I had to read, but it was more than a book needed to keep up with popular culture. It was fun and reminded me how much I loved and missed children’s literature.  My nephew and I went to the movies with lightning bolt scars on our foreheads, and I attended midnight releases of future books. I can’t wait to read them again with my daughter.

 
Speak and Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Each of these novels affected me separately in different ways, but together, they remind me of what the best of realistic fiction can do. These are great examples of quiet stories, meaning there are no governments toppling, no explosions every other chapter, but still, I was glued to the pages as I read them. Anderson and Forman are masters of portraying a character’s depth of emotion, both internally and how it plays out in relationships. These books have stayed with me long after reading them.
 
 
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. This series of vignettes about Esperanza, a Latina growing up in Chicago, is alternately heartbreaking and hopeful. The writing is beautiful and sparse. Every word matters. They are powerful individually and collectively. I return to her work often, using some of the vignettes for lessons in class, and each time, I am impressed by the images and emotions Cisneros can evoke with so few words.

 
Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant. My dog, Rusty, who came home from the shelter at six months old, died 15 years later in September 2013. It was a few weeks after school started, and I took him to the veterinarian for what I thought would be just another appointment. When he didn’t come home, I was devastated and had no idea how I was going to pick up my daughter from school and explain what happened in a healthy way. Several friends suggested Dog Heaven. When we read it that night, I was a sloppy, crying mess, and so was she. At the time, I wasn’t sure if I handled his death well at all. To this day, though, whenever my daughter is sad because she’s thinking about Rusty, we talk about him running off-leash in heaven and chasing squirrels without getting into trouble. And, yes, we still shed tears (I’m even crying typing this), but it helps every time.

 
For me, each of these books struck me at a certain time for certain reasons. This is the power of books, that words on a page can provide us with characters, places, and stories that linger in our minds and provide us with a laugh or cry when we need it most.
 
 
 

About the Author:



 
 
 
 
Cindy L. Rodriguez is a former newspaper reporter turned public school teacher. She now teaches as a reading specialist at a Connecticut middle school but previously worked for the Hartford Courant and the Boston Globe. She and her young daughter live in Plainville, Connecticut. This is her debut novel. Visit her on Twitter @RodriguezCindyL.
 
 

Giveaway:  

 
This giveaway is US only for entrants aged 13 and older.

Follow the Tour:

April 6th à Write All the Words!
April 7th à The YA Kitten
April 8th à  YA Romantics
April 10th àItching for Books
April 13th à Fic Fare
April 14th à The Book Belles
April 15th à Novel Ink
April 17th à YAdult Review



ARC Book Review | 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Posted on 12:00 AM
Format: e-ARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: April 21, 2014
My Rating: 3 stars


Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.


Review

I was really excited to read 99 Days, I had already been seeing tons of good reviews so I couldn't wait to read it.  However, this is one that disappointed me tremendously.  I still enjoyed it, but I felt like it could have been so much more.
 
First, I want to say that I loved the first part of this book.  When I wasn't reading it, I was constantly thinking about it and I couldn't wait to pick it back up.  I was fully expecting for it to be a 5 star read, and if I was rating on the first 40-50%, it would be.  But that 2nd half KILLED me. 
 
Let me explain.  During the first half, Molly has come home from boarding school that she ran to for her senior year after the whole cheating scandal broke.  She seems remorseful and it really seems like she's trying to get her life back together.  She reaches out to an old friend, gets a job, she starts hanging out with Gabe (Who I LOVE) and things seem to be looking a little better for her.  She knows what she did was wrong and she seems to have learned from her mistakes.  I thought this showed tremendous character growth. 
 
BUT, Patrick comes back to town and things change.  I don't want to go into too much detail because I don't want to give anything away, but lets just say that I was constantly frustrated with her and her actions.  I'm not going to sit here and say that I've never made mistakes, because I have.  I done some things when I was her age that I'm not proud of either, but the difference is, I learned from them.  But with Molly, it was like she forgot everything she had been through, not only that, she knew that what she was doing wasn't okay, but of course that didn't stop her.  That's what bothered me.  I know that this may not bother most people who read this book, but it's just a personal thing with me so it hindered my enjoyment of the book.
 
Overall, 99 Days is a book that I was expecting great things from, but in the end, frustration with the main character kept me from completely loving it.

Trivia Tuesday (20)

Posted on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 10:00 AM

Reminder:

We are going to do a giveaway connected with this feature!! This is how it's going to work. Please be sure to read all of the below rules!


  • The first person to guess ALL 3 answers correctly will be entered to win a surprise book off of their wishlist
  • Their will be 2 giveaways a year, one at the end of June and one at the end of December
  • This will be INT (as long as The Book Depository ships to you)
  • Everyone is welcome to play each week, no matter if you've won the week before.  However, since this is the case, the winner will no longer be able to generate a question for the next week, but they will receive a shout out on Social Media
  • The entries are simple, the first person to guess all three answers correctly will get their name in the drawing TWICE.  The 2nd person to guess all three answers correctly will get their name in the drawing ONCE.  This will happen each week.
  • At the end of June and then again at the end of December, Erica and I will add up all the entries and draw randomly.  The winner will then need to provide us a link to their wishlist (on Goodreads, Amazon, etc) along with their address and we will surprise them with one book from their list.
  • If you have any questions please let us know!



Last Week's Winners Were...
Lily @ Chapters Pages Words will be getting two entries in the wishlist giveaway!
Eileen @ Book Cat Pin will be getting two entries in the wishlist giveaway!


Here are the answers to last week's questions


 
Question One (What Book Am I?): I may be a hard one to Find, but on the Brightside, I'll give you some hints.  I was released in March and on my cover you will find: a sunset and an ocean[YA, Contemporary] Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark
 
Question Two (Summary Snippet): A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other [YA, Contemporary] Joyride by Anna Banks

Questions Three (Book Quote): “Sometimes the person we think we’ll become is the person we already are, and the person we truly become is the person we least expect.”   [NA, Contemporary] Addicted for Now by Krista Ritchie

 

This Weeks' Questions

Question One (Series Ender): Fallout [YA, Poetry].

Question Two (Tagline): Get lost. Get found. [YA, Contemporary]

Question Three (Who said it?): "Come over here so I can examine your face with my hands and see deeper into your soul than a sighted person ever could." [YA, Contemporary] 


Guess away, my lovelies :)

ARC Book Review | The Remedy by Suzanne Young

Posted on Monday, April 13, 2015 12:00 AM
Format: e-ARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
My Rating: 5 Stars

In a world before The Program…

Quinlan McKee is a closer. Since the age of seven, Quinn has held the responsibility of providing closure to grieving families with a special skill—she can “become” anyone.

Recommended by grief counselors, Quinn is hired by families to take on the short-term role of a deceased loved one between the ages of fifteen and twenty. She’s not an exact copy, of course, but she wears their clothes and changes her hair, studies them through pictures and videos, and soon, Quinn can act like them, smell like them, and be them for all intents and purposes. But to do her job successfully, she can’t get attached.

Now seventeen, Quinn is deft at recreating herself, sometimes confusing her own past with those of the people she’s portrayed. When she’s given her longest assignment, playing the role of Catalina Barnes, Quinn begins to bond with the deceased girl’s boyfriend. But that’s only the beginning of the complications, especially when Quinn finds out the truth about Catalina’s death. And the epidemic it could start.


Review


As a huge fan of The Program books, I was extremely excited when I saw that there would be another book set in that world and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on The Remedy.  I wanted to see how everything began, and what happened before The Program and The Remedy lets us see all of that and more.
Quinlan McKee has been a closer since she was 7 years old.  A closer is someone who can ‘become’ anyone to give closure to grieving families who have lost a loved one, and Quinlan is the best.  Quinn is given her longest assignment yet, and quite possibly the hardest, because the person she’s to become, Catalina Barnes, has a boyfriend and that boyfriend is part of Quinn’s assignment.  Will Quinn be able to give Catalina’s family and boyfriend the closure they need without getting too attached?  You’ll have to read it to find out.
I really, really liked Quinn as our MC.  She was smart and loyal, and although many people judge her for being a closer, she tried not to let it bother her because she knew the reason she was doing it, to help people.  While I’m not sure how I would feel about someone coming in and taking on the role of a deceased loved one, I can understand how it could help some people.  They have the opportunity to say everything that they didn’t get a chance to, and I can see how that would be beneficial in the grieving process. 
I also really loved the other characters as well.  Deacon and Aaron were really great.  They were both there anytime Quinn needed a reminder of who she was and they seemed to always sense exactly what she needed without her having to say the words, or ask for help.
Now, let’s talk about that ending.  It REALLY left me wanting more.  I don’t know if there will be another book, BUT OH MY GOSH I HOPE SO.  You can’t end a book like that and not give me more, I can’t take it.  I NEED MORE.
The Remedy was such an amazing addition to The Program series.  As usual, Young’s writing is flawless and the story is fascinating.

ARC Book Review | Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier

Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2015 12:00 AM
Format: e-ARC
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
My Rating: 3 Stars


Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yep, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially this one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys perform dark magic rituals.

The really weird thing is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where’s she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But they seem to know things about her in real life that they couldn’t possibly know, which is mystifying. Then again, Liv could never resist a good mystery. . . .

Stacking the Shelves (74)

Posted on Saturday, April 11, 2015 12:00 AM



Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that allows us to show the books that we received the previous week.


Christy's Haul

Okay, I got quite a few books this week that I'm so excited for!  Some were from giveaways and others I bought.

Won/Bought



*Won


Kindle Books




*Recommended by my amazing friend Gen!

**Already read and LOVED!

For Review








 Erica's Haul


Bought


*My John Green collection is now complete, though LFA is an e-book.

Kindle Books



Last to Know - Gen and her amazing recs.

I also won so many books from the YA Spring Fling Giveaway Blitz. So a big thank you to all the authors who contributed their books and a HUGE thank you to Sarah Dalton for setting it up!

For Review





There will Twitter chats, mini-challenges and tons of GIVEAWAYS :)

http://novel-ink.blogspot.com/2015/04/booking-into-spring-read-thon-sign-ups.html


Book Review | Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Posted on Friday, April 10, 2015 12:00 AM
Format: Paperback
Source: Barnes and Noble/My Bookshelf
Publisher: Puffin
Publication: October 22, 1999 - this edition: April 1, 2001
Pages: 208
Genre: Realistic Fiction, YA
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

My Review

This book was full of strong subjects and I knew that before getting into it. Honestly, that's the reason I picked it up. I heard so many great things and heard it was like When Reason Breaks a book I read and loved (actually, the person said Speak was better than it). But, I beg to differ. I was really excited to read this book especially after reading When Reason Breaks, but it did not live up to my expectations. 

Melinda is a great character, I really enjoyed her, even though at times I was confused with why she was doing what she was doing. But, who I am to judge when I have never went through something she did, not even close. I believe that she handled everything well, more than well, honestly. I would have broken down way before she did. It was hard seeing her struggles and I just wanted something fantastic to happen to her. She deserved happiness. 

The reason that I gave this book three stars, even though I enjoyed the main character, was that it was so predictable. I knew what was coming, I knew why she was acting the way she did, I knew everything from the moment I started. It didn't take long for me to see how everything would work out. With that being said, even with me not enjoying this book as much, I would love to see this book have a sequel. I think going on with Melinda's story and learning more about her would be wonderful. 

Even with her tough issues and her aching, she held on and showed so much fight and that was something so inspirational. This book, without a doubt, is inspirational in more ways than one and that is why I recommend it to everyone. This has tough issues and makes you upset while reading it, but it makes you believe in something more. Melinda makes you believe. 
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