Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tumble & Fall, by Alexandra Coutts

Barnes & Noble

A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings

The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.

Alexandra Coutts's Tumble & Fall is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world.

Let's just look at the cover for a moment, shall we?  It's gorgeous!  I love the font, the cover models, and the bokeh lights.

Sadly, that's the best part of the book.  Awesome premise.  Poor execution.  What kind of father hires a prostitute for his son?  Disgusting.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

Barnes & Noble

In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister Wren ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from the fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t I stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

I couldn't do it.  I couldn't rush through this book, even though I wanted to devour it the moment I received it (many, many, MANY thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press).  Eleanor & Park is one of my favorite books, and I knew that I was going to love Fangirl just as much.

And I was right.

Rainbow Rowell writes the most amazing characters!  They are so real and perfectly flawed.  Cath isn't the prettiest freshman and Levi isn't the hottest guy on campus, but they are beautiful together.

I am going to purchase both the ebook and hardback copies for my shelves.  And probably the audiobook version.  Okay, definitely the audiobook version. 

Maybe I'll start my own little shrine to Rainbow Rowell in my home library.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, September 13, 2013

(Blog Tour Teasers): Jenny's Blue Velvet, by Angela Carlie

Barnes & Noble

Jenny's stuck.

She's tried just about every occupation she can think of and will be digging out of student debt for a very long time, but has nothing to show for it. Her everyday routine feels like a prison. And her marriage? Well, let's just say it's been a little one-sided lately and the money she threw down on the toys from Lover's Erotic Store was well worth it and then some.

Jenny decides her next big step is to become a romance writer. Romance books are flying off the virtual shelves, after all. This will be her big break, her escape from the prison, and a way to freedom. Self-publishing is all the rage these days. She'll be a best seller in no time.

When Jenny makes friends with a woman named Cassandra from the gym, she instantly decides that her new friend will make a perfect main character in her upcoming book. After the first chapter, real life begins to resemble the fiction she's writing. Her friendship blossoms, sex with her husband turns into a daily feast, and her job gets more interesting with each chapter written.

Out of the blue, a person who is a close friend with her husband and who is dating Cassandra disappears. As the mystery behind the missing person unfolds, Jenny wonders if she might be responsible for his possible death. And if she is, what will be the consequence? What has this writing business gotten her into?

Jenny's Blue Velvet is a dark, humorous, romantic thriller for adults only.

Welcome to my stop on the Jenny's Blue Velvet blog tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. 

Ready for some fun Teasers?
I’m going to write a romance novel. I’ve never really read one, but they seem to be selling like bonbons to housewives on a hot summer day. My romance novel is going to be a bestseller. Once I figure out what it’s going to be about.
It does seem like everyone is writing a romance novel these days, doesn't it?
Leo brushed blond strands from her face. His breathing felt warm on her cheek. She could lose herself in those soft blue eyes for an eternity. They held this moment for several heartbeats, just them, alone, staring at each other as though they only now discovered how wonderful it felt to be so close. If they were to move, the world would melt around them.
My life should be filled with blooming flowers, singing birds, and the music of the crashing waves on the shore. I’m meant to be in a place surrounded by these things. Hawaii, to be precise. Not in a vacuum that’s sucking my soul away.
Agreed! Let's hop on a plane and go.
There’s something to say for people who have patience. What that may be, I don’t know because I don’t have it.
Oh, shit. Is she talking about me?


I’ve lived in the state of Washington my entire life. Sure, it rains a lot, but that’s what makes it so beautiful here. I’d like to say it’s the most beautiful place on the planet, but I have yet to travel the world. Someday I’ll know for sure.

I write fiction involving young people. Mainstream publishing would label my writing as YA or middle grade. Since I’m an indie author, I can skip over the labels and tell you that each one of my stories is unique, can be read and enjoyed by all ages, and almost always has a young person as the protagonist. Authors write what they know and I don’t know old yet. I may someday write about older people, but that’s so far in the future that I can’t see it yet.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #17: Breathless: An American Girl in Paris, by Nancy K. Miller

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that highlights soon-to-be-published books.  This week's selection is...

Breathless: An American Girl in Paris, by Nancy K. Miller
Publication date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Seal Press
Barnes & Noble

In the early 1960s, most middle-class American women in their twenties were preparing for marriage, children, and life in the suburbs.
Breathless is the story of a girl who represents those who rebelled against conventional expectations. Paris was a magnet for those eager to resist domesticity, and Nancy K. Miller was enamored of everything French. After graduating from Barnard College in 1961, Miller set out for a year in Paris, with a plan to take classes at the Sorbonne and live out a great romantic life inspired by the movies.

After a string of sexual misadventures, she gave up her short-lived freedom and married an American expatriate who promised her a lifetime of three-star meals and five-star hotels. But her husband turned out to be a con man whose promises were lies, and she had to leave Paris behind. In an era of Vietnam anti-war protests, student unrest, and sexual liberation, Miller returned to New York to become a new woman: autonomous and creative at a time when women were only expected to look pretty and smile.

This stunning memoir chronicles a young woman’s coming-of-age tale, and offers a glimpse into the intimate lives of girls before feminism.

I want!  I want!  I want! 

I love everything that this book represents: Paris; the French; la Sorbonne; and a strong woman defying social conventions.

What are you waiting on?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon: Goals!

I am participating in the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon, hosted by

Does your TBR pile keep growing?  Join the Read-a-thon fun!  The event began on September 8th and runs until September 21st.  You don't have to be a blogger to sign up!
Just use your Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr profile instead. 

Sign up here until September 16th!

My goals:
  1. Read eight books
  2. Finish the Nest Book Club's 2013 Summer Book Challenge (SuBC)
  3. Finish at least three ARCs and submit reviews to their respective publishers
  4. Limit the number of books I add to my TBR!

Now the hard part: What am I going to read?

Currently Reading: Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell and Flush, by Carl Hiassen

Munchkin Monday #9: Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type

A quick look at the new books I have read with Boy Child and Girl Child

Farmer Brown has a problem.

His cows like to type.

All day long he hears

Click, clack, MOO.

Click, clack, MOO.

Clickety, clack, MOO.

But Farmer Brown's problems REALLY begin when his cows start leaving him notes....

 Amazon          Barnes & Noble          Goodreads

We love this book!  It's cute and fun and silly and the kids crack up whenever we read it.

It's one book in our collection that I don't mind reading over and over and over.
And over.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #13

Stacking the Shelves is a book meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that allows book bloggers to share the books they have recently received.

Want to participate?  It's easy!
  • Create your own Stacking The Shelves post. You can use Tynga's official graphic or your own, but please link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun!
  • You can set your post any way you want: simple book list, covers, pictures, vlog.  The sky's the limit! 
  • Tynga's Reviews posts Stacking The Shelves on Saturdays, but feel free to post yours any day that fits you. 
  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on Saturday and add your link so others can visit you!
  • Visit other participants' links to find out what they added to their shelves!

This week, I received:

This is what happens when I have no home internet access for nearly a week.  Only two new books!

From the Publisher:

What did you add to your shelves this week?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Prozac Nation, by Elizabeth Wurtzel

Barnes & Noble

"Full of promise" is how anyone would have described Elizabeth Wurtzel at age ten, a bright-eyed little girl who painted, wrote stories, and excelled in every way. By twelve, she was cutting her legs in the girls' bathroom and listening to scratchy recordings of the Velvet Underground. 

College was marked by a series of breakdowns, suicide attempts, and hospitalizations before she was finally given Prozac in combination with other psychoactive drugs, all of which have worked sporadically as Elizabeth's mood swings rise and fall like the lines of a sad ballad.

This memoir, both harrowing and hilarious, gives voice to the high incidence of depression--especially among America's youth.

Prozac Nation is a collective cry for help, a generational status report on today's young people, who have come of age fully entrenched in the culture of divorce, economic instability, and AIDS. 

"This private world of loony bins and weird people which I always felt I occupied and hid in," writes Elizabeth, "had suddenly turned inside out so that it seemed like this was one big Prozac Nation, one big mess of malaise. Perhaps the next time half a million people gather for a protest march on the White House green it will not be for abortion rights or gay liberation, but because we're all so bummed out." 

Writing with a vengeance (Nirvana, Joni Mitchell, and Dorothy Parker all rolled into one), Elizabeth Wurtzel will not go gentle into that good night. She wants off medication, she wants a family, and most definitely, a life worth living.

My Thoughts Prior to Reading Prozac Nation
I don't understand why this book gets such low reviews.  I bet those reviewers have never suffered from Depression and think it's all made-up.

My Thoughts as I Started to Read
Oh, wow.  She GETS me.  I wish I had read this book twenty years ago.

My Thoughts Halfway Through
The title is Prozac Nation.  Where's all of the talk about Prozac itself?

My Thoughts as I Neared the End
Oh, for the love of all that's holy.  This woman is so full of herself.

My Thoughts after Finishing Prozac Nation
Elizabeth Wurtzel is so annoying!  No wonder there are so many neutral and negative reviews.  I can't believe I ever had this at the top of my TBR.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

(Book Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!) Silver Heart, by Victoria Green


There comes a moment in everyone’s life when they must decide which road leads to personal happiness. For Dylan Silver, this is that moment…

For the past twenty-two-years, Dylan has been living in her parents' carefully crafted world, always putting her own dreams on hold to play the role of a dutiful daughter.

So when her best friend coaxes her into a winter getaway to a mountain cabin, she sees it as a chance to forget about the responsibilities waiting for her at home. At least for a little while.

But then her past catches up to her—in the form of sexy snowboarder, Sawyer Carter.

Six years ago, Dylan bid goodbye to the only boy she ever truly loved. Now he's standing right in front of her, bringing up bittersweet memories and igniting suppressed desires as he dares her to be the person she has always wanted to be.

Dylan and Sawyer’s unexpected meeting is a second chance, but will a girl who doesn't believe in fate and taking risks be able to overcome her fears of losing control and finally embrace the life she desperately wants?

Only one thing is certain: after a week in Whistler, Dylan's world will never be the same.

*Please note that this novel contains mature subject matter, including strong language and sexual situations that may not be suitable for all readers. Reader/buyer discretion is advised.*


“I wish I could just crawl into your brain and erase away the past,” I told him, trying to smile through the pain in my heart.

My words seemed to shock him. He placed his fingers under my chin, gently lifting it so that our eyes could meet. “Don’t ever say that again. I wouldn’t let anyone to take away my past—no matter how bad some parts of it had been.” He pulled my face closer to his, resting his head against mine. “Because that would mean getting rid of you, Silver.”

We stayed frozen in place for a while, our foreheads touching lightly. Sawyer closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, breathing me in. Overwhelmed by his proximity and his icy scent, my head began to spin.

“But if we didn’t know each other you wouldn’t have to worry about having the worst snowboarding student in all of Whistler,” I finally said, breaking the tension.

His head rocked against mine as he chuckled. “Shut up. You were great today.” Then he pulled away and reached for the sushi container. “And you’ll be even better once we get some food in you.”

“Food?” I blurted out, unable to hide my disappointment. It washed over me like a bucket of ice cold water. I had been hoping for a different type of comfort. One which was less food-related and more Sawyer-based. My body was still tingling with the memory of what his skilled hands had done to me the night before. As the images flooded my mind, my breathing quickened and my nipples hardened, mounting under the fabric of the kimono.

I crossed my arms over my chest and took a deep breath. “Let’s take the sushi to the living room and find a good thriller to watch,” I suggested in an attempt to calm the excitement coursing through me. Guns and explosions would keep my thoughts in check. If my body was going to tingle, it may as well be from the thrill of a chase scene. Not Sawyer’s panty-dropping gaze. “I saw a couple of new releases in the DVD collection. I imagine action flicks are still your poison, right?”

“They are.” The right side of his lip quirked up in a slow, crooked half-grin. “Though I’m surprised you’re not championing The Notebook.”

“I only made you watch that with me because Maddie was away the summer it came out,” I said defensively.

He chuckled. “The first time. But what about all those other times I had to sit through it?”

“Cut me some slack. I was a thirteen-year-old girl.” In like with a guy I wasn’t even supposed to be hanging out with. Subconsciously, I may have related to the star-crossed lovers portrayed in the film.

“And I was a fifteen-year-old guy,” he retorted. “You should’ve known that blood and guts were much more important for my development than kisses and love stories.”

“Well it’s a good thing that I’m going to find a movie with enough blood and guts to make up for all those times I made you watch a chick flick,” I shot back.

He shook his head in feigned displeasure. “It’s too late now.”

“Oh? Why is that?”

“Because now...” His hands slid to the side of my stool and dragged me closer to him so that his mouth was an inch away from mine. “…I happen to enjoy kissing.”

My eyes dropped to his lips. “Is that so? You like kissing girls?”

“I like kissing a girl.”

“Lucky girl.”

“Very lucky girl,” he replied as his eyes darkened. “Especially since I want to do a lot more than just kiss her.” His tongue snaked over his bottom lip in a predatory manner, causing my own lips to part in response.

Though he wasn’t actually touching me, I could feel the heat emanating from his body. It drew me in like a moth to a flame. I wanted to dive into his fire, surrender myself to whatever pleasures he was promising.

But then he doused that blaze by saying, “I’ll wash the cherries, you get the sushi, and let’s get started on that movie.”

What? No, no, no! I wanted to get back to the kissing talk.

“I’m not that hungry.” I ran my fingers through my hair in an attempt to regain my composure.

“Why do you look so disappointed?”

“It’s just that…”

Why was I feeling let down? And so freaking turned on?

“Were you expecting me to say something else instead?” His fingers drifted to the side of my neck, as his thumb grazed over my bottom lip, tugging at the soft, plump flesh.

“Something along the lines of: ‘I’ll rip your clothes off, you kiss me with that pretty little mouth, and let’s fuck right here on top of this counter.’?” His grip tightened and he drew my mouth closer to his. “Is that what you want, Silver?”

A lustful ache spread between my thighs, ripping through my entire body. Excitement rocked the depths of my stomach, tearing into my chest, slipping past my lips in form of a small, pleading moan.

“Is that a yes?” His breath teased my lips with each word.

Afraid that I would be unable to form a coherent sentence, I simply nodded. It was an eager, hungry nod, and my heart hammered against my ribcage in anticipation of his next move.

And that’s when he pulled away. He detached his hand from my face and took a step back, replacing the heat of his body with an empty coldness.

“First, I’m going to make you sit through two long hours of an action flick,” he said, smirking devilishly. “As payback for The Notebook.”

Grand prize giveaway.  Open internationally.  Prizes include:
  • Silver Heart Necklace
  • $30.00 Gift Card to Amazon/B&N/Kobo/Chapters/iTunes (winner’s choice)
  • Snow-Themed Essie Nail Polish (Color: Set in Stones)
  • 5 Sawyer’s Live-Ride Tattoos
  • 5 Silver Heart Bookmarks
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Freedom Maze, by Delia Sherman

Barnes & Noble

Set against the burgeoning Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and then just before the outbreak of the Civil War, The Freedom Maze explores both political and personal liberation, and how the two intertwine.

In 1960, thirteen-year-old Sophie isn’t happy about spending the summer at her grandmother’s old house in the Bayou. But the house has a maze Sophie can’t resist exploring once she finds it has a secretive and mischievous inhabitant.

When Sophie, bored and lonely, makes an impulsive wish, she slips back one hundred years into the past, to the year 1860. She hopes for a fantasy book adventure with herself as the heroine. Instead, she gets a real adventure in the race-haunted world of her family’s Louisiana sugar plantation in 1860, where she is mistaken for a slave.  

President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is still two years in the future. The Thirteen Amendment—abolishing and prohibiting slavery—will not be not passed until April 1864.

Muddy and bedraggled, Sophie obviously isn’t a young lady of good breeding. She must therefore be a slave. And she is.

This book feels a lot like Kindred for the Young Adult crowd: time travel; modern girl/woman turned slave; and two historical fiction books in one.

And it's SO good!

I've been trying to get my mother to read Kindred for over a year, but she has no interest in reading sad stories anymore, so she's sticking to Romance.  I think I could get her to read this one, though.  It's not as graphic as Octavia E. Butler's writing, and there's more of a happy ending.

There are definitely some creepy moments; you can't take a subject like slavery and make it all rainbows and unicorns.

This is the first book I've read by Delia Sherman; I will be sure to read more.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Munchkin Monday #8: The Night Before Kindergarten

A quick look at the new books I have read with Boy Child and Girl Child

'Twas the night before kindergarten,
and as they prepared,

kids were excited,
and a little bit scared.

It's the first day of school!

Join the kids as they prepare for kindergarten, packing school supplies, posing for pictures, and the hardest part of all—saying goodbye to Mom and Dad.
But maybe it won't be so hard once they discover just how much fun kindergarten really is!

Colorful illustrations illuminate this uplifting takeoff on the classic Clement C. Moore Christmas poem.

 Amazon          Barnes & Noble          Goodreads

Boy Child starts Kindergarten tomorrow.

I am not prepared.
I am not sure how I'll react on Tuesday.
(That's a lie.  I know I will be a blubbering mess.)

This book is perfectly suited for parents and kids.  The parents are the nervous ones.  The kids are excited!

We've been reading this book for two weeks and both kids demand it at least once a day.

Highly recommended for new Kindergarteners and their emotional parents.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

ARC August: Update #5 and Total

ARC August is a meme hosted by Octavia of Read. Sleep. Repeat.  The goal is simple: read and review as many of your ARCs as you can!  I love this challenge; I usually feel overwhelmed by the number of books I need to review, and this is helping me put them in order.  (I love order.)

My goals, prioritized:
  1. Read 10 15 ARCs
  2. That will be published in August
  3. Or September
  4. And also coincide with tasks from the Nest Book Club's Summer Book Challenge

I finished or flounced six ARCs this week:

 Four books were/will be published in August & September.  Two qualify for the Summer Book Challenge.

Total number of books read for ARC August: