{Blog Tour} Spotlight + Giveaway: The Agent's Daughter by Ron Corriveau

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Agent's Daughter
Title: The Agent's Daughter
Author: Ron Corriveau
Publisher: Geek Parade Books
Date of Publication: May 18, 2013

Melina has been preparing for a future career as a spy.

She just doesn’t know it.

Legendary spy Evan Roberts always knew that his fifteen-year-old daughter Melina also possessed the absolute lack of fear required of an agent. Without telling her his real profession or his intention, he began to guide her toward an eventual career as a spy. However, Melina’s world is shattered after her mom is involved in an accident that leaves her mysteriously unhurt but unresponsive. Her father’s plans on hold, Melina settles into life at a suburban high school, immersing herself in a world of schoolwork, her friends and a budding romance with Alex, the cute new guy in her class.

When Melina and her father uncover shocking new information about her mother’s accident, Melina is pulled deep into her father’s shadowy world. With Alex desperately trying to find her and only hours to go before it will be too late to save her mother, Melina and her father work together using their combined skills to find a way to reach her.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

About Ron Corriveau

Ron Corriveau is an electrical engineer and works designing custom integrated circuits. He started writing to prove to himself that he actually does have a right side to his brain. Originally from Southern California, he currently lives outside of Dallas with his lovely wife and two awesome kids. He has only recently come to terms with the fact that he is a geek, although he would like to stress that he doesn’t hold any kind of leadership role in the organization.

Website

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{Blog Tour} Guest Post + Playlist + Giveaway: Layers by Sigal Ehrlich

Monday, January 27, 2014

Layers (Stark, #1)
Title: Layers (Stark #1)
Author: Sigal Ehrlich
Date of Publication: October 10, 2013
Genre: contemporary adult romance

According to Hayley love is a subject of ridicule, a myth created by hopeless romantics.

When Hayley makes a resolution to declare her loose lifestyle era R.I.P, it’s all good in theory…

That is until she meets Daniel Stark, a well-respected, mid-thirties business man who is known for his short temper, lack of steady relationships as well as his strict preserve of his private life.

Opinionated, sharp tongued Hayley accidently steps into his office leaving Daniel resolved to put Hayley in her place and have her in his bed.

Both Hayley and Daniel can’t avoid the immediate instigation of the attraction between them.

In a unanimously agreed upon verdict by Hayley and her two best friends, Ian the gay self-absorbed, aspiring model and Natasha the witty, borderline neurotic soul mate, Daniel Stark is to be Hayley’s pure physical attraction, emotions aside era closure.

Will it indeed be a closure, or a beginning to something neither Hayley nor Daniel ever bargained for…

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

Guest Post

So I asked Sigal "What's the perfect date for both characters?" and not only did she answered but both Hayley and Daniel even dropped by the blog to answer my question themselves!

What would be the perfect date for both Hayley and Daniel?

I’ll start with Hayley, it’s her story after all...

Taking into account Hayley's strong, straightforward personality and her major dislike of anything schmaltz, a perfect date wouldn't involve anything over the top. She is definitely not a flowers and candy kind of gal, so anything too sweet in that regard would have her grasping for a sick bag. 

The location would be what mattered. A quiet place, somewhere you could really talk. Maybe a small, homey restaurant. A nice meal would be followed by a walk on the beach - one of her favorite places to be.

For Daniel, given his strict preservation of privacy, the location would be important too. I would say his choice would be somewhere out of the public eye, definitely not a busy, trendy place. Daniel, like Hayley, appreciates a no BS attitude, so he would much rather not try to woo, at least not in a traditional kind of way. A hike somewhere, an outdoorsy activity, would be top rank.

But frankly, what do I know, shall we just go to the source?

Hayley: Umm, a perfect date? That would be some quiet place, maybe even a picnic. A casual jeans and Tee kind of place. Or some sort of a sports event, ooh, a basketball game would be awesome. But nothing that would involve me suffering on high heels, eating miniscule food, and smiling too much….

Daniel: A perfect date, I had it, it was in Baja. Basically, at the beach, surfing together. Maybe a picnic or a bonfire. Somewhere you could really connect with the other person and the surrounding is just an easy background.

Playlist

So my mind's in a playlist frenzy so I decided to make one for LAYERS! Yay! My playlists don't have any genre or feel coherency because I go for the lyrics. That said, I hope you like my song picks (although I only got three) and do check these bands out!



So come on
We can trust
There's something in common
Between us

In my mind, this is the song Daniel sings when he gets intrigued by Hayley and asks her to hang out with him even though they got off to a wrong start.



I won't be including the lyrics to the song because this completely describes Hayley and narrates how she went from Miss Independent who's afraid of falling in love to falling headfirst with Daniel.





I got you, I got you babe
I held you and I lost you

If LAYERS is a movie, this would be the song playing in the last scene, which bleeds into the credits. Perfect for the last chapter of the book. This is Daniel's anthem into the sequel. The lyrics are spot on and it's just HIS song.

About Sigal Ehrlich

By teen age, Sigal already lived in three different continents where she had the luck to experience and visit varied places, meet unique people, which only helped fuel her overly developed imagination. Currently, Sigal calls Estonia home where she lives with her husband and three kids.

Not exactly sure where they will end up next…

When she is not hiding in her office, writing, she enjoys music, reading and taking care of her little clan.

With a great believe in "don’t wait for things to happen - make them happen," she enjoys anything exciting life has to offer.


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Review: My Name is Rapunzel by K.C. Hilton

Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Name is Rapunzel
Title: My Name is Rapunzel
Author: K.C. Hilton
Date of Publication: October 26, 2013

My tale has been told again and again, and I've heard each one. Except for my hair, I barely recognize the pitiful renditions. Muddled versions, crafted to entertain laughing children…but the children wouldn't have laughed if they’d known the real story. It wasn't their fault. They didn't know the truth. Nobody did.

My name is Rapunzel. I will tell you my story. I will tell you the truth.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

Review

My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Chyna of Lite-Rate-Ture Book Tours and to K.C. Hilton for the review copy. This in no way affected my views of the novel.

The downfall of this book was saddening and maddening. It felt like a four-star read at first but alas, even a three would have been too high. I can feel my irateness dripping from my words so I'll try to keep this short. The whole conflict of this novel was for null because the characters could have solved everything in a short amount of time instead of suffering for 200 years or so. Seriously, that ending made me mad because if that was what took to eradicate the conflict, how come they didn't do it earlier? I mean, sure, there would be no story but I felt like this book treated me, the reader, as unintelligent. Unthinking characters who'd rather not do something for centuries to change the course of their lives and then in an instant, whoosh, problem gone because the book is ending?

The writing was okay and I admit to wanting to know what happens although it wasn't that engaging. Albeit I did find the parts in the past not that authentic in its language and how the characters acted. But that can be forgiven (kind of) since it would have been hard to reconcile historical speak in a way that's understandable. While I liked that Rapunzel told us the story of her life and how all her loved ones died before her, the way she did it did not sit well with me. I did like reading this enough most of the time to read and trudge on but as the true conflict arose, all the loopholes and illogical actions and circumstances happened and I just couldn't deal with that. Dear Rapunzel. Why would you tell everything, all your secrets, to a stranger? How come you've never noticed anything around you? It truly made me pull-out-my-hair angry. I remember ranting about how I felt like I wasted my time with this book.

So no, I don't recommend this unless you're a HUGE fairytale fan and would probably enjoy anything in that genre. But if you hate kind of idiotic heroines (and heroes) and plots that don't hold much weight, stay away dear one!

About K.C. Hilton

Born and raised in Aurora, Illinois I spent my childhood climbing trees and playing street games with the neighborhood kids. I was a proud tomboy, until the day I didn't want to hike the land to an old graveyard. From that point forward I was considered a “girl”.

At the age of seventeen I moved to Kentucky and eventually began to raise a family of my own. Having worn several “hats” my life has been an adventure all on its own. Still, to this day, I yearns to be a mechanic and own a pink toolbox with pink tools.

I can usually be found updating my website, reading great books, watching awesome movies or creating videos for my YouTube channel. Most days I craves Diet Coke, pizza and chocolate, in no particular order.

I don’t read scary books or watch horror movies… I’m way too scared! Lol.

Spotlight + Giveaway: Weak for Him by Lyra Parish

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Weak for Him (Weakness, #1)
Title: Weak for Him (Weakness #1)
Author: Lyra Parish
Date of Publication: January 11, 2014
Genre: contemporary NA romance

Weak for him is a New Adult read with sexual content.

“Have you heard the saying, ‘sex sells’? Well, I’m the supplier.”

Finnley Felton sells sex.
Jennifer Downs is a virgin.
With the help of lady luck, the two meet.

Money. Bright lights. Sex.

Jennifer is made an offer: sell her virginity to the highest bidder and transform into one of Finnley’s girls. But she finds herself weak for him, and doesn’t fully realize what she’s agreed to until it’s too late.

Will she rise to the challenge and play by the rules in a land where money is king and love is prohibited? Or will she lose herself and values in the attempt?

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

About Lyra Parish

Lyra Parish loves to write, travel, and sing obnoxiously loud at the top of her lungs in the shower. Sweet love stories (along with the dirty ones) make her gush.

She is a firm believer that a person can never have too many cats, cups of coffee, or read to many happily ever after's. When she isn't busy writing, she can be found sipping various beverages from her non-alcoholic drink buffet, pimp slapping excel spreadsheets, or riding her bike.

Weak for Him (Weakness #1) is Lyra's debut novel. Weak Without Him (Weakness #2) will release Spring 2014. Lyra currently resides in Texas with her husband and black cat.


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Playlist: Crash into You by Katie McGarry

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)
Title: Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3)
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date of Publication: November 26, 2013

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


Playlist

My playlist is posted at one of my favorite blogs, Stay Bookish! Hazel has been so awesome to let me share my CRASH INTO YOU soundtrack in her blog. You can all check it out HERE. Clickie clickie!

Thank you!

About Katie McGarry

KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

{Blog Tour} Spotlight + Guest Post: The Dirt Diary by Anna Staniszewski

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I will be reviewing THE DIRT DIARY soon but for now, read on about Anna Staniszewski's middle school secrets!

The Dirt Diary
Title: The Dirt Diary
Author: Anna Staniszewski
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Date of Publication: January 7, 2014

WANTED: Maid for the most popular kids in 8th grade.

Cleaning up after the in-crowd gets Rachel all the best dirt.

Rachel can't believe she has to give up her Saturdays to scrubbing other people's toilets. So. Gross. But she kinda, sorta stole $287.22 from her college fund that she's got to pay back ASAP or her mom will ground her for life. Which is even worse than working for her mother's new cleaning business. Maybe. After all, becoming a maid is definitely not going to help her already loserish reputation.

But Rachel picks up more than smell socks on the job. As maid to some of the most popular kids in school, Rachel suddenly has all the dirt on the 8th grade in-crowd. Her formerly boring diary is now filled with juicy secrets. And when her crush offers to pay her to spy on his girlfriend, Rachel has to decide if she's willing to get her hands dirty...

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Trailer



Praise for The Dirt Diary

 “Holy fried onion rings! Fun from beginning to end.”  —Wendy Mass, New York Times bestselling author of 11 Birthdays and The Candymakers

“I LOVED it...sweet, sensitive, and delicious!” —Erin Dionne, author of Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies

Guest Post

What secrets would Anna Staniszewski's middle school diary have revealed?

It might not surprise you that the author of a book about a shy, awkward 8th grade girl was once a shy, awkward 8th grade girl. Unlike Rachel, I didn’t keep a diary full of secrets (mine and other people’s) but if I had, here are a few things that might have been in it.

1. The nerdy secret. I owned a pair of enormous purple glasses which I refused to wear because they were hideous. (And enormous.) That means I spent most of my time squinting and tripping over things. Anything was better than donning those purple monstrosities!

2. The embarrassing secret. Even though I was a self-proclaimed band and theater geek for most of middle and high school, I must admit that I often secretly wished I was one of the cheerleaders. They were pretty, popular, and seemed to have such easy lives. They definitely never had to worry about wearing ugly glasses!

3. The swoony secret. I had a crush on the same guy all through middle school—and no, I will not tell you his name! Of course, he didn’t know I existed. He probably still doesn’t. Don’t worry. I’m over it. :)

Okay, I’ve shared my middle school secrets. Now it’s your turn. What secrets would be in your middle school “dirt diary”?

About Anna Staniszewski

Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. She was named the 2006-2007 Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library and a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. She is the author of My Very UnFairy Tale Life series, published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Look for the first book in Anna’s next tween series, The Dirt Diary, in January 2014, and visit her at www.annastan.com.


Theme Song: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Monday, January 20, 2014

Two Boys Kissing
Title: Two Boys Kissing
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date of Publication: August 27, 2013
New York Times bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.
While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Even though I don't show it, I like pimping songs to people. Either by forcing them to go listen or well, that's my only modus operandi. And because I can't possibly make a playlist for every book I've ever read, I'm starting this theme song thing where I share a song that I think can be the duh, theme song to a book! First up is TWO BOYS KISSING by David Levithan! You can check out my review and read how much I gushed and cried about this book.
So my theme song for TWO BOYS KISSING is Young Blood by The Naked and Famous because just read the lyrics. I think TBK had that bittersweet feel of teenage love (not even the romantic kind only but also familial love, generational love, friendship, guidance, EVERYTHING) which is what I got  from Young Blood. The uncertainty, the fears and also the headstrong approach. I'm sure it can apply to so many books but TWO BOYS KISSING is special to me that I will be giving one of my favorite songs to it. YEAP. So, go listen to it and check out the lyrics!



We're only young and naive still
We require certain skills
The mood it changes like the wind
Hard to control when it begins

The bittersweet between my teeth
Trying to find the in-betweens
Fall back in love eventually
Yeah yeah yeah yeah

Can't help myself but count the flaws
Claw my way out through these walls
One temporary escape
Feel it start to permeate

We lie beneath the stars at night
Our hands gripping each other tight
You keep my secrets hope to die
Promises, swear them to the sky

The bittersweet between my teeth
Trying to find the in-betweens
Fall back in love eventually
Yeah yeah yeah yeah

As it withers
Brittle it shakes
Can you whisper
As it crumbles and breaks
As you shiver
Count up all your mistakes
Pair of forgivers
Let go before it's too late
Can you whisper
Can you whisper
Can you whisper
Can you whisper

The bittersweet between my teeth
Trying to find the in-betweens
Fall back in love eventually
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
The bittersweet between my teeth
Trying to find the in-betweens
Fall back in love eventually
Yeah yeah yeah yeah

About David Levithan
David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children's book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

Spotlight: Knowing Jack by Rachel Curtis

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Knowing Jack
Title: Knowing Jack
Author: Rachel Curtis
Date of Publication: January 17, 2014
Genre: contemporary NA romance

I am not a slut, although I’ve been called one often enough. Yeah, I spent three months screwing one of my college professors, but I was crazy about the guy. Then he broke up with me.

I am not a bitch, although people like to say I am. I kept our relationship secret. I’m not responsible for telling the university administrators about it, but a lot of students still blame me for getting their favorite professor fired.

I am not a drama queen, although everyone thinks I am now. When I got a few nasty messages, I just deleted them. When I got the threat, I assumed it was someone being stupid. I still think that’s all it was. My parents worry, though, so they hired me a bodyguard. Now Jack follows me around, intimidating everyone who approaches me and looking obnoxiously hot.

This is what I am. I’m Chloe. I’m a twenty-year-old art history major. Kind of shy, although I pretend not to be. Stubborn enough to stay here for my senior year, even though everyone hates me.

And I’m stuck with Jack.

He calls me “Princess,” but I’m not a princess either.

Knowing Jack is a New Adult contemporary romance and includes adult content and language. The plot of the book is fully resolved at the end, but the last page includes a hanging teaser for the next book in the series.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

Excerpt

“Now would you please get out of here?” I say, raising my voice to make sure it carries appropriate authority. “In case you haven’t noticed, I still have to get dressed, and I’m already running late.”

Let’s not forget that I’m still wearing nothing but my favorite bra and panty set—which I put on a few minutes earlier to give me courage to face the day.

“Yeah, I did notice that.”

There is no reason for such harmless words to make me flush so hotly. They do, though. I have fair skin, so I blush a lot. It can be very annoying.

Jack is big—tall with amazing broad shoulders, flat abs, and lean hips. He suddenly seems to fill up all the space in my bedroom. My whole body reacts to his presence. I can’t seem to think of anything else. Just him and his body and his hot blue eyes.

“Be careful of the broken glass,” he says, some sort of rough texture in his voice that makes me want to shiver. “You've got bare feet.”

“I know I have bare feet. Now get out.”

“All right. But first tell me this.”

“What?”

“Why do you have naked babies on your underwear?”

“They’re not naked babies! They’re cherubs. And if you weren't such a hulking Neanderthal you’d recognize Michelangelo when you saw it.”

I was absolutely thrilled earlier in the year when I found in a New York boutique this bra and panty set with details from the Sistine Chapel ceiling on them. They were absurdly expensive, as you might imagine, but I couldn't resist buying them anyway.

Jack stares down at my bra. “Michelangelo?” He sounds rather dazed.

“Yeah. From the Sistine Chapel. Look, here’s where God’s hand meets Adam’s. Everyone recognizes that much at least.”

He clears his throat. “Uh, princess, you might think you’re showing me a famous work of art, but what I’m seeing is…”

“What?”

“The most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

About Rachel Curtis

Rachel is a writer, a teacher, a romance reader, and a dog-mom. She loves animals and art and hot men with soft hearts under a tough exterior. She tries to write love stories that feel real, even in unlikely circumstances.

Spotlight: A Date of Godlike Proportions by Tellulah Darling

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Date of Godlike Proportions (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy, #2.5)
Title: A Date of Godlike Proportions (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy #2.5)
Author: Tellulah Darling
Publisher: Te Da Media
Date of Publication: December 20, 2013
Genre: comedy, YA, mythology

There’s bound to be pressure when it takes 2500 years to get to a second date. Which is exactly why Theo Rockman, a.k.a. Prometheus, would rather not go. With his best friend gravely injured and the fate of humanity still on the line, Theo has all sorts of creative excuses to avoid dating swoon-worthy god and love of his life, Hephaestus.

YA romantic comedy gets an epic mythological twist in the free (at select retailers) short story A Date of Godlike Proportions (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy Book 2.5). Being human hasn’t killed Theo, but this date just might.

Purchase from Amazon | iTunes | Kobo (It's FREE!!)

Excerpt

Great. The cavalry had arrived. I flicked my gaze over to my other best friend Hannah, staring at me incredulously from her position in the doorway, where she had joined Festos.

Festos patted Hannah on the shoulder affectionately before edging past her to leave. I reluctantly tore my eyes from his retreating figure to meet her bemused gaze.

Allies. That’s what I needed. “There’s too much at stake right now—like your future for example—for us to be going out on a—”

She flapped a hand at me. “Get dressed.”

I looked down at what I was wearing. Which was basically what I always wore. A long-sleeved black T-shirt and baggy black pants. “I’m dressed.”

Hannah rolled her eyes. “Pierce,” she called out.

Her boyfriend trotted into the room at her call. “Yeah, love?”

Hannah pointed to a spot in front of me. “Stand there and look pretty, so this idiot gets the picture.”

Pierce nodded. He got into position and, with a toss of his blond tousled head, adopted the most pouty model boy expression imaginable. He winked at me, obviously amused.

Hannah blinked at him. “Whoa. That’s pretty … pretty.”

“Down, Saul,” I said. “Besides, he’s the God of Love. I’m sure there’s some kind of inherent pretty built into his DNA. With me?” I cast a skeptical look down at myself. “Festos knows what he’s getting.”

Pierce pulled up a desk chair and turned it around to straddle it.

Hannah kicked my legs away so she could sit down on the bed next to Sophie. She picked her friend’s hand up to clasp between her own. Her lip quivered as she stared at her friend but she quickly replaced any concern with a determined glare my way.

She crossed her legs and leaned forward toward me. “Have you seen that boy’s room? It’s like a hurricane went off in there. He’s going nuts trying to find the perfect outfit for this special event and you can’t even get changed?” She tucked a strand of her blond hair behind her ear.

I swung my head in Sophie’s direction. “Did you not notice your bestie lying there unconscious?”

Her hand tightened on Sophie’s. “Don’t be an idiot. Or drag Soph into this. We’re here. Nothing else is going to happen to her. She needs to heal. And don’t pull any of that ‘fate of the universe’ crap either. It’s one night. So, next excuse. I’ll shoot that down too.”

I closed my eyes. There was silence for a blessed moment.

“You feel guilty, don’t you?” She spoke softly.

I shrugged, my eyes still closed.

I felt her make the sign of the cross over me. “I absolve you of guilt, Prometheus.”

I gave a faint smile. “I’m not Catholic.”

“Well, I have no idea how to absolve a Greek God.”

“Titan,” I murmured. “And I’m not even that anymore.”

About Tellulah Darling

Tellulah Darling
noun
1. YA Novelist
2. Alter ego of former screenwriter and instructor
3. Sassy minx

Geeks out over: cool tech.
Squees for: great storytelling.
Delights in: fabulous conversation.
Writes about: where love meets comedy. Awkwardness ensues.

{Blog Tour} Spotlight + Giveaway: The Moment Before by Suzy Vitello

Friday, January 17, 2014

I will review this book soon but for now, go check out the first YA contemporary from Diversion Books, THE MOMENT BEFORE by Suzy Vitello!

The Moment Before
Title: The Moment Before
Author: Suzy Vitello
Publisher: Diversion Books
Date of Publication: January 14, 2014

"Don't get me wrong. I loved my sister. I never, not once, wished her dead."

Brady and Sabine Wilson are sisters born eleven months apart, but they couldn't be more different. Popular Sabine, the head cheerleader dating the high school hunk, seems to have all the luck, while her younger, artsy sister "Brady Brooder" is a loner who prefers the sidelines to the limelight.

After Sabine dies in a horrific cheerleading accident, grief unravels Brady and her family. Once recognized for her artistic talent, 17-year-old Brady finds herself questioning the value of everything she once held dear. Her best friend betrays her. Her parents' marriage is crumbling. And the boy everyone blames for the accident seems to be her only ally in the search for answers in the wake of her sister's death. As an unlikely friendship emerges, Brady learns more about Sabine - and love - than she bargained for.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | The Book Depository

Trailer



About Suzy Vitello

As a founding member of what the Oregonian has dubbed Portland’s “hottest writing group” (members include Chuck Palahniuk, Chelsea Cain, Lidia Yuknavitch, Monica Drake and Cheryl Strayed), Suzy’s name has graced the acknowledgement pages of many a book. Her own award-winning writing has appeared in a bunch of journals and anthologies. She holds an MFA from Antioch Los Angeles, and when she’s not writing novels, does freelance copywriting and editing. The Moment Before is her debut novel. Suzy lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Kirk, and son, Carson.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

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{Blog Tour} Review + Giveaway: Chasing Forever Down by Nikki Godwin

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chasing Forever Down (Drenaline Surf, #1)
Title: Chasing Forever Down (Drenaline Surf #1)
Author: Nikki Godwin
Date of Publication: March 14, 2013
Genre: contemporary YA romance, sports

After seventeen-year-old Haley Sullivan meets a mysterious stranger who plays by his own rules, she's more than determined to learn every trick of the trade from the master himself. But her dream-chasing mentor disappears after that night, and according to the local newspapers, he's been dead for years. Knowing he's very much alive, Haley enlists best friend Linzi to join her on a scavenger-hunt-style road trip that ultimately lands them in the surf town of Crescent Cove, California. Mystery guy is no mystery here, though – he's Colby Taylor, the west coast's biggest professional surfer.

If Haley wants to talk to the wave rider again, she'll have to get past his four intimidating bodyguards who are highly skilled in the business of sending starstruck fangirls back to where they belong. Haley is up for the challenge if it means chasing her dreams and escaping the perfectly corporate future that's been planned for her. But dealing with these bodyguards isn't exactly what Haley imagined it'd be. Sure, being thrown off a jet ski sucks, but falling in love with one of them might just be worse.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

Review


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Thank you to Nikki Godwin for the review copy! This in no way affected my views of the novel.


So it comes to no surprise that I love Nikki Godwin and her novel AMERICAN GIRL ON SATURN. But honestly, I have been so afraid to read CHASING FOREVER DOWN resulting to me putting off reading it as long as I could. It's one thing to love AGoS because I generally love anything with a close-proximity trope. Or anything with celebrities. I guess being a fangirl makes my ultimate fantasy to be stuck somewhere with a star. But like what Nikki said and is afraid of, Chasing Forever Down is different from American Girl on Saturn. As much as she's afraid that people who loved AGoS won't like CFD, I'm also frightened that I won't love or gasp! even like CFD and I badly want to like/love it. Then I was reading this sci-fi book and I just couldn't get into it and decided that I should brave it and read CFD. I was so glad I did because all my fears were unfounded and I blazed through CFD in one night-midnight-morning. #eyebags


I know nothing about surfing and that's one of the reasons why I'm wary of reading CFD. But fear not everyone who's like me because there will be no surfing jargon. Our heroine, Haley, knows nothing about surfing as well. In fact, she only went to Crescent Cove, the home of surfer star Colby Taylor, not because she's a fan but because she wants to know how he escaped it all. Haley learns that the stranger he met on an epically boring social party was actually dead. Not the vampire or zombie type but that he vanished and was considered dead for three years. But she knows she didn't see a ghost so she goes on a roadtrip with no known location, trying to find this mystery guy who she thinks can be her mentor in escaping the future her parents planned for her. Like seriously goes on a clue-picking Nancy-Drew-esque roadtrip with her best friend. When she reaches Crescent Cove, she learns that simply meeting Colby Taylor is an almost impossible endeavor, what with his four bodyguards who are so different from each other. From here on, she sets out on winning these four guys to ultimately talk to Colby Taylor and ask him "How did you escape it all?".


Chasing Forever Down is a low-key novel but it is sometimes the low-key ones, those who are not making much noise, that just grabs you tight. I didn't realize how much time passed until I finished the book. You just get invested in the characters even more than you'll get at the story. CFD reads like a slice-of-life novel with no grand conflict. Haley has a goal and the mini-missions or obstacles just come to her when it's there. And surprisingly, you just read on. From the get go, there was no romance between Colby and Haley. She just wants to ask him how she can chase her dreams. And I love that. I love how Haley isn't in this insane mission just for a guy but because she truly believes he can teach her. I was even doubtful if there will be romance in this story because for the most part, there seems to be none. And I still dug it because this is not a romance novel. Not primarily that is. It's a coming-of-age story, learning the ropes, finding yourself and all that. So when an inkling of romance popped out, I admit to being excited. Coming-of-age with a love interest? I'm greedy for those. Then when Nikki surprised me with who the love interest is, I felt like she snatched my chair out from under me. But even though I was surprised at first, the pairing ultimately made sense and I was so into shipping them right away.


But seriously, it isn't really the romance that grabbed me. It's the characters. All of them. Even the smallest of the characters made an impact in me. I know nothing about the "surfer bum" life and until now, I don't actually understand it. But when Miles, one of the surfers, told Haley about getting surfing, understanding surfing, I was floored. I didn't know that's why some surfers surf. That it's a spiritual thing. To be with this formidable wave and just letting it all go, trusting the wave not to eat you up. Wow. In a way, Haley and I are the same in that we know nothing and CFD totally opened my eyes. I thought surfers were just a bunch of adrenaline junkies and nothing more and now, I know better.


The characters and their friendships, it totally got me reeled in. They didn't feel like friends, they were family. Truth be told though, I didn't relate much to Haley. I guess I just don't see myself going after a "dead" guy to ask him how to escape. And going on a roadtrip and doing all of the things she did. But maybe that's just because I'm not that free-spirited or maybe because I don't have the pressure that she experiences. I guess I really didn't buy how their parents just allowed them to go. And maybe that's a culture thing or I don't know. The logistics and how realistic the set-up is are what's keeping me from fully diving in to Haley's character and story. But even with that, I still loved the characters, even the smallest ones. They were such diverse people but surfing glued them tight. For the record, Topher is my favorite Hooligan and AJ is my favorite bodyguard.


This review has been so hard to write because I couldn't quite explain what made me into Chasing Forever Down. It is just great. It is what it is and it just is. And I love it. My review feels somber because that's how I felt while reading Chasing Forever Down. No, it's not sad but there's this sense of calm that I felt while reading it. As if somehow I'm reading about someone's spiritual journey. And it kinda is a spiritual journey. Haley learns and realizes a lot of things in this summer journey of hers with so many interesting people. I can't wait for Haley to come back in Crescent Cove and to read about everyone again. I am sure it will be another somber read that will bring out the side of me I don't usually see, the calm, thinking one.


About Nikki Godwin



Nikki Godwin is a Young Adult/New Adult author. She is a city girl who can't live without Mountain Dew, black eyeliner, Hawthorne Heights, and candles from Bath & Body Works. When not writing, she's not-so-secretly stalking her favorite bands. She may or may not completely love One Direction.

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