Tuesday, May 31, 2016

RELEASE DAY | EXCERPT | GIVEAWAY: The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter

TheDarkestTorment - RWB banner    
 
The Queen of Paranormal Romance, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gena Showalter, returns with THE DARKEST TORMENT, the eagerly anticipated twelfth novel in her Lords of the Underworld series, available now! Grab your copy today!
   
TheDarkestTorment - cover
 
New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with her most explosive Lords of the Underworld tale to date, about a fierce warrior on the brink of sanity who will stop at nothing to claim the exquisite human with the power to soothe the beast inside him… 

Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he’s back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he’s unable to withstand the touch of another…and he’s quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own.

Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she’s taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she’s plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.
But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she’ll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.

Get your copy of THE DARKEST TORMENT here!

 

EXCERPT:

Katarina wasn’t afraid of Baden. Not anymore.

He took a step to the side, intending to move around her. Oh, no. She flattened her hands on his shoulders, keeping him in place.

“I want to know what’s wrong with you.” She said. “Tell me.”

He snapped his teeth at her in a show of dominance. “You think you want to know my problem. You’re wrong.”

Her tone dry, she said, “I’m so glad you know my mind better than I do.”

“Very well. I need sex.” He threw the words at her as if they were weapons. “Badly.”

Whoa. Blindside!

Heart pounding, she jerked her hands away from him. “Sex...from me?”

“Yesss.” A hiss. “Only from you.”

Only. Amazing how one little word could send pleasure soaring through her, warming her. “You told me never to touch you.” Which she’d just done, she realized. My bad.

“I’ve changed my mind.” His gaze dropped, lingered on her lips.

Burning her... “But you and I...we’re a different species.” As if that mattered to her body. Gimme!

He took a step closer, invading her personal space.  “We’ll fit, I promise you.”


Tristo hrmenych! The raspy quality of his voice, all smoke and gravel...she shivered with longing. Must resist his allure.

But...but...why? Before she’d committed to Peter, she’d dated around, had made out in movie theaters, cars and on couches. She’d liked kissing and touching and “riding the belt buckle,” as her friends had called it. Then, after committing to Peter, she’d gifted him with her virginity. At first, he hadn’t known what to do with her—he’d been just as inexperienced—and she’d left each encounter disappointed. When finally she’d gathered the courage to tell him what she wanted, he’d satisfied her well.

She missed sex. But connection...intimacy...she thought she missed those more.

The dogs barked, jolting her from her thoughts. They’d cleaned their food bowls, and now wanted to play. She clasped Baden’s hand to lead him out of the kennel. He jerked away, severing contact.

One action. Tons of hurt.

“I’m allowed to touch you and you want to have sex with me, but you’re still disgusted by me.” She stomped outside the kennel, done with him. “Well, I’m leaving. Good riddance! Your do-what-I-say-or-else attitude was annoying, anyway.”

He darted in front of her, stopping her. Breath caught in her throat as sunlight streamed over him, paying his chiseled features absolute tribute, making his bronzed skin glimmer.

So beautiful. Too beautiful.

“I’m not disgusted by you. You need me. I’ve come to accept it,” he admitted, looking away from her. “But being skin-to-skin with another is painful for me. We’ll have to proceed carefully. And you’ll get over your annoyance.”

Another order!  She would show him the error of his ways.

 

    TheDarkestTorment - Available Now - teaser 2    
 

    Lords of the Underworld Series banner
 
And don’t miss the previous titles in the Lords of the Underworld Series!


    TheDarkestTorment - Available Now    


About Gena Showalter:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages. 

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfan

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads





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Saturday, May 28, 2016

AUDIOBOOK MINI REVIEWS

  *I received copies of these audiobooks from the publisher in exchange for honest reviews*


Series: (Ruined #1) 
Author:
Publication: May 3, 2016
By: Harper Audio
Amazon | Goodreads 

A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.



Audio: 4 Stars.

Story: 4 Stars. This was my first Amy Tintera book, but it won't be my last!

Fantasy is not my go-to genre, but I had heard good things about RUINED, and decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad I did!

I'm a huge fan of kissing and romance, so reading a YA fantasy with a focus on romance was refreshing. I really enjoyed Em and Cas, watching as they worked through getting to know each other, only to discover, circumstances (and people) are not always was they seem. And that ending was brutal, but it made me eager for the next installment!






Series: The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game #1) 
Author: Evelyn Skye, Narrator: Steve West
Publication: May 17, 2016
By: Balzar + Bray
Amazon | Goodreads 

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


Audio: Steve West is one of my favorite audiobook narrators, but not even his smexy voice was enough for me to keep going. DNF at 20%.

Monday, May 23, 2016

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3) by Rick Yancey

Series: The 5th Wave #3 
Author: Rick Yancey
Publication: May 24th 2016 
By: Listening Library (Audio), Phoebe Strole, Ben Yannette
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads 

The Last Star is the heart-stopping finale to the bestselling 5th Wave series by award-winning author, Rick Yancey. Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner.

'Wildly entertaining . . . I couldn't turn the pages fast enough' The New York Times

We’re here, then we’re gone, and that was true before they came. That’s always been true. The Others didn’t invent death; they just perfected it. Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us. It won’t end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart.

Master storyteller Rick Yancey invokes triumph, loss, and unrelenting action as the fate of the planet is decided in the conclusion to this epic series.


*Thank you Penguin Random House Audio for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review*

Audio: As with the first two books in the series, the narration is done really well. Multiple POVs read by only two voice actors don't always translate well, but both Phoebe and Ben did a good job giving each character their own unique sound. 

Story: There's a lot I could say about this one, all of which is spoilery, and I've been asked by the publisher not to spoil anything. But I will say this...As a reader, it's incredibly frustrating to invest years of your life in a story and it's characters, only to be let down in the end. 




 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

RELEASE DAY: The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER - RWB Banner      

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER - a young adult title about friendship, survival, and finding your voice. This incredible book is available today! Read more about this stunning new novel below and be sure to order your copy today to receive an amazing FREE fan pack while supplies last!

      THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER - cover


About THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a riveting new story about friendship, survival, and finding your voice.

For some people, silence is a weapon.

For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield.

Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.





Register your preorder of THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER by May 20th to receive a FREE fan pack! Includes inspirational wall art, a colorful poster, and flag-as-you-read stickers. You will also get immediate access to an extended excerpt from the book.


    THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER - RWB - Text Teaser    

 

Praise for THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER:

“The intensity between Mouse and Rider is palpably sizzling… romance aficionados [will] lose themselves in Mouse and Rider’s smoldering glances and steamy kisses.” –Kirkus

“Armentrout’s effort to gradually coax her protagonist from her shell via a supportive, loving community succeeds, and readers looking for an inspirational comeback story will find Mallory’s to be satisfying and hopeful” –Publishers Weekly

 

Prologue
 
    Dusty, empty shoe boxes, stacked taller and wider than her slim body, wobbled as she pressed her back against them, tucking her bony knees into her chest.
    Breathe. Just Breathe. Breathe.
    Wedged in the back of the dingy closet, she didn’t dare make a sound as she sucked her lower lip between her teeth. Focusing on forcing every grimy breath into her lungs, she felt tears well in her eyes.
    Oh gosh, she’d made such a big mistake, and Miss Becky was right. She was a bad girl.
    She’d reached for the dirty and stained cookie jar earlier, the one shaped like a teddy bear that hid cookies that tasted funny. She wasn’t supposed to get cookies or any food by herself, but she’d just been so hungry that her tummy hurt, and Miss Becky was sick again, napping on the couch. She hadn’t meant to knock the ashtray off the counter, shattering it into tiny pieces. Some were shaped like icicles that clung to the roof during the winter. Others were no bigger than chips.
    All she’d wanted was a cookie.
    Her slender shoulders jerked at the sound of the all cracking on the other side of the closet. She bit down harder on her lip. A metallic taste burst into her mouth. Tomorrow there would be a hold the size of Mr. Henry’s big hand in the plaster, and Miss Becky would cry and she’d get sick again.
    The soft creak of the closet door was like a crack of thunder to her ears.
    Oh no, no, no…
    He wasn’t supposed to find her in here. This was her safe place whenever Mr. Henry was angry or when he—
    She tensed, eyes peeling wide as a body taller and broader than hers slipped inside and then knelt in front of her. In the dark, she couldn’t make out much of his features, but she knew in her belly and her chest who it was.
    “I’m sorry,” she gasped.
    “I know.” A hand settled on her shoulder, the weight reassuring. He was the only person she felt okay with when he touched her. “I need you to stay in here, ‘kay?”
    Miss Becky had said once that he was only six months older than her six years, but he always seemed so much bigger, older than her, because in her eyes, he took up her entire world.
    She nodded.
    “Don’t come out,” he said, and then he pressed into her hands the redheaded doll she’d dropped in the kitchen after she broke the ashtray and rushed into the closet. Too frightened to retrieve her, she’d left Velvet where she had fallen, and she’d been so upset because the doll had been a gift from him many, many months before. She had no idea how he’d gotten Velvet, but one day he’d simply shown up with her, and she was hers, only hers.
    “You stay in here. No matter what.”
    Holding the doll close, clenched between her knees and chest, she nodded again.
    He shifted, stiffening as an angry shout rattled the walls around them. It was her name that dripped ice down her spine; her name that was shouted so furiously.
    A small whimper parted her lips and she whispered, “I just wanted a cookie.”
    “It’s okay. Remember? I promised I’d keep you safe forever. Just don’t make a sound.” He squeezed her shoulder. “Just stay quiet, and when I…when I get back, I’ll read to you, ‘kay? All about the stupid rabbit.”
    All she could do was nod again, because there had been times when she hadn’t stayed quiet and she’d never forgotten those consequences. But if she stayed quiet, she knew what was coming. He wouldn’t be able to read to her tonight. Tomorrow he would miss school and he wouldn’t be okay even though he would tell her he was.
    He lingered for a moment and then he eased out of the closet. The bedroom door shut with a smack, and she lifted the doll, pressing her tearstained face into it. A button on Velvet’s chest poked at her cheek.
    Don’t make a sound.
    Mr. Henry started to yell.
    Don’t make a sound.
    Footsteps punched down the hall.
    Don’t make a sound.
    Flesh smacked. Something hit the floor, and Miss Becky must have been feeling better, because she was suddenly shouting, but in the closet the only sound that mattered was the fleshy whack that came over and over. She opened her mouth, screaming silently into the doll.
    Don’t make a sound.
 
 
 

My Thoughts


I don't say this lightly, but I think this is Jennifer's best YA yet. It's definitely my new favorite of hers!

Talking about all of the things I loved about this book (setting, family, friendship, forgiveness, and love) and these characters: Mallory, Rider, Jayden, Hector, and Ainsley, without spoiling anything is HARD.

I can tell you The Problem with Forever is gritty, painful, and at times, utterly heartbreaking. Mallory is struggling to find her voice. Rider is just trying to survive. But weakness often masquerades as strength and your past doesn't have to define your future. More than anything, this is a story about hope.

Read. It.


About Jennifer L. Armentrout:
 # 1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

BLOG TOUR: The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Welcome to THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER Blog Tour!



LOVE

THIS

BOOK!


But first, a few important details....


Register your preorder of THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER by May 20th to receive a FREE fan pack! Includes inspirational wall art, a colorful poster, and flag-as-you-read stickers. You will also get immediate access to an extended excerpt from the book.
JUST FILL OUT THE FORM HERE> http://bit.ly/24awVFw





~ About THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER ~


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a riveting new story about friendship, survival, and finding your voice. 

For some people, silence is a weapon.

For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield.

Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

Praise for THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER:

“The intensity between Mouse and Rider is palpably sizzling… romance aficionados [will] lose themselves in Mouse and Rider’s smoldering glances and steamy kisses.” -Kirkus 
 
“Armentrout’s effort to gradually coax her protagonist from her shell via a supportive, loving community succeeds, and readers looking for an inspirational comeback story will find Mallory’s to be satisfying and hopeful” –Publishers Weekly





~ My Thoughts ~

I don't say this lightly, but I think this is Jennifer's best YA yet. It's definitely my new favorite of hers!

Talking about all of the things I loved about this book (setting, family, friendship, forgiveness, and love) and these characters: Mallory, Rider, Jayden, Hector, and Ainsley, without spoiling anything is HARD.

I can tell you The Problem with Forever is gritty, painful, and at times, utterly heartbreaking. Mallory is struggling to find her voice. Rider is just trying to survive. But weakness often masquerades as strength and your past doesn't have to define your future. More than anything, this is a story about hope.

Read. It.



~ About Jennifer L. Armentrout ~

# 1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.




The Problem With Forever Review Tour

May 9
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May 12
May 13
May 14
May 15
May 16




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Friday, May 13, 2016

#FierceReads Tour INTERVIEW + GIVEAWAY

  
Earlier this week I had the privilege to meet and interview the fantastic ladies of the
Fierce Reads Tour: Cecelia Ahern, Marie Rutkoski, Harriet Reuter Hapgood, and Kami Garcia.  
If you haven't read their books yet, do it!
If you get the opportunity to meet them in person, go! 
You won't regret it. 

 Also, a big THANK YOU to Brittany Pearlman at Macmillan for reaching out to me, and Politics and Prose for hosting another successful YA event at the Bethesda Library.

 

This was tour stop #7 of 8 for the authors, and I figured they'd probably been fielding a lot of the same questions, so I tried to switch it up a bit. Thanks to Brittany, I was able to read the books ahead of time and familiarize myself with the characters. 

 I came prepared with questions I hoped weren't too lame and Cookie Dough Cupcakes.




~ INTERVIEW~
(Kami joined us a little late, so she missed a few questions.)


1) This was the ice breaker...Captain America or Iron Man:  
Cecelia: Iron Man
Harriet: Captain America
Marie: Can we just talk about Hamilton? <--Yet another reason I love her.


2) Describe your book in 3 words:
Cecelia: Equality. Love. Self-discovery.
Harriet: Memory. Family. Grief.
Marie: Strategy. Love. Equality. War. Empire.  


3) Easiest character to write:
Cecelia: Celestine.
Harriet: Jason.
Marie: Roshar. He has a tiger, so he's also the coolest.
Kami: Marco. <--He's mine. I have proof. 

 


4) What is your writing process like? Do you plot everything out, or just write?
Cecelia: Concept comes first. I think about what kind of character would find themselves in that situation.
Marie: Concept. I wanted to write a story that would match the title, The Winner's Curse. The setting is reminiscent of the Roman empire taking over Greece.

Kami: I plot everything out like a screenplay or a house. The framework of the house is basic at first: plot, characters, and their arc. The second layer is more descriptive; characters mannerisms get added in and so on. 

5) Who is your first reader?
Cecelia: My agent. She gives me lots of encouragement during the first draft. <-- Love this!
 
Harriet: My agent was the first person to ever read The Square Root of Summer. I come from a magazine background. The feedback is immediate and harsh. Nobody really knew what I was writing.

Marie: My writing group.

Kami: My CPs and my agent.


6) How do you balance writing with everyday life?
All of the ladies were in agreement that you have to treat writing like a job. Cecelia, Harriet, and Kami write full-time now, but before, they wrote whenever they could: after work, on weekends, at night, etc. Marie teaches college classes two days a week and has summers off. They also agreed there is no magic formula to follow other than to write. When you're tired, sick, or just don't feel like it. Keep writing.

Thank you, ladies for taking the time to chat with me!

L-R: Back: Kami, Me, Cecelia. Front: Marie, Harriet


Click the author name to find out more about their books:
Cecelia Ahern
Marie Rutkoski

Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Kami Garcia



Fierce Reads is giving readers a chance to win all of the tour titles, be sure to click on the Big Fall Books graphic to enter. 


http://fiercereads.com/bea-bookcon/



~ GIVEAWAY ~
~ One Winner will receive a signed ARC of Kami Garcia's THE LOVELY RECKLESS
~ US Only
~ Must be 13 years old to enter


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