Monday, December 31, 2012

Remember That Time in 2012 When I...

1. Jumped out of an airplane.



2. Made a "dancing in public"  video and put it on the web.



3. Wrote a few poems.  

4. Read ALL THE BOOKS!


5. Attended three weddings and wore the SAME dress to all three because Bria Quinlan double dog dared me.




6. Went to my first book signing/book festival and met a bunch of fabulous authors.

 






















 














7. Had dinner on a farm with a potato chip eating rooster. (Btw, Napoleon, the chickens DO have large talons.)




8. Bought (and wore) combat boots.



9. Saw my favorite band Switchfoot play live twice and even got meet them!



10. Went to a land where everything is made of Lego's and behaved like a 5 year old.


















 
11. Made out with a llama? OK, not really but our conversation did go a little something like this...
Me: You're cute but if you spit at me, we will not be friends, m'kay? 
Llama: Let me love you. (By which he really meant) "Lady, if you aren't here to feed me, you better step away from my cage, m'kay?"








12. Did NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) but didn't tell anyone and ended up with a WIP? (Work In Progress). *sheepish grin*   PS, don't anybody get excited about this one because I'm almost positive that 97K sucks.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hooked by Liz Fichera

Front and back cover.


Author: Liz Fichera
Publication: January 31, 2013
By: Harlequin Teen
4 Stars

*schmexy cover*

Get hooked on a girl named Fred...

HE said: Fred Oday is a girl? Why is a girl taking my best friends spot on the boy's varsity golf team?

SHE said: Can I seriously do this? Can I join the boys' team? Everyone will hate me - especially Ryan Berenger.

HE said: Coach expects me to partner with Fred on the green? That is crazy bad. Fred's got to go - especially now that I can't get her out of my head. So not happening.

SHE said: Ryan can be nice, when he's not being a jerk. Like the time he carried my golf bag. But the girl from the rez and the spoiled rich boy from the suburbs? So not happening.

But there's no denying that things are happening as the girl with the killer swing takes on the boy with the killer smile...


Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for this ARC. 

When I saw the summary for this book, I was totally expecting it to be lighthearted and funny, but it isn't.  It took me a few chapters to get really into the story but once I did, I was hooked.  I enjoyed the alternating POV's and that it sheds a positive light on Native Americans.  It also shows the long held negative attitudes and stereotypes from both sides of the coin and neither is very flattering.    

Fred is a great role model for both girls as well as Native Americans and I liked that she wants more for herself than what's usually expected of the people living on the Rez.  Even her own mother doesn't expect Fred to do anything more than waitress after she graduates but her Dad is different. He's always encouraged Fred, knowing her only outlet is golf and that she's really good at it. When she gets the opportunity to play on the boys' team, he leaves the choice up to her even if it concerns him.  Everyone she knows warns her about the white boys but Fred refuses to give up even when things get ugly and dangerous for her.

Ryan is a stereotypical spoiled rich kid whose used to having everything handed to him but as Fred learns, things aren't always as they seem.  He struggles with anger issues and finds escape in partying it up with his BFF Seth and sometimes girlfriend, Gwyneth but it's obvious he's miserable.  Golf is his only source of happiness, or so he thinks, until Fred comes along and turns his life inside out.

They challenge each other not only on the golf course but off as well and together, they might even be able to break down social barriers if Ryan can keep from screwing it all up.

I liked that Ryan is given the chance to redeem himself, however, I felt like his anger and family issues that seemed so prominent in the beginning were never fully explained.  I also would've liked to have seen a little more of Fred and Ryan's story which is not to say I didn't enjoy the ending, because I did, it just seemed a little short to me.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Asunder (Newsoul #2) by Jodi Meadows

Asunder (Newsoul, #2)
Author: Jodi Meadows
Publication: January 29, 2013
By: HarperTeen/Katherine Tegen Books 
5 Stars!

This cover is beautiful AND the pages have roses on them!
 
DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

SHADOWS
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

LOVE
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.


Thank you YABC and Katherine Tegen Books for this ARC. *flails*
 
I really enjoyed Incarnate (especially Sam) and was so excited when I found out I would have the chance to read Asunder early. I made some tea, slipped on my fingerless "Ana" gloves that I asked a friend to knit for me, settled into my favorite reading spot and proceeded to get nervous. Why?  Well, I was afraid of the sophomore slump.  What if I didn't like it?  What if Sam gets eaten by a dragon or a Sylph sneezes and burns all of Heart down? 

I should've known I had nothing to worry about especially when Jodi Meadows didn't even make me wait 10 pages before the kissing began! *smiles REALLY big*  The pacing is perfect and the world building detailed. I laughed, I cried and I was completely freaked out by the temple and those creepy heartbeat walls. *thumpthump thumpthump*

I love how smart, strong and selfless Ana is and that she's willing to stand up for others no matter the cost and trust me, there is great sacrifice in this book. *cries* I also enjoy her reactions to new and unfamiliar things; one scene in particular had me laughing so hard I cried. 

"...someone would be in charge of shutting the door." pg. 83 (ARC)

I appreciate that Ana's relationship with Sam has been allowed to develop and grow in a way that feels realistic. He supports and encourages her but he's also patient. He knows how difficult her life has been and that it's not easy for her to love or allow herself to be loved. Sam has faith in Ana and believes she is capable of far more than anyone could've imagined.  Their relationship gets tested in ways that I thought would break my heart for sure. (I tend to get a little attached to fictional characters.) In one particularly heart-wrenching moment, where Ana really needs Sam to come through for her, I found myself walking away from Asunder until I was sure I would be able to handle the outcome. (Like I said, "attached".)  Sam always wants to do right by Ana and it's not hard to understand why everyone falls in love with him, I mean, I think there's only a handful of people in Heart who aren't in love with him. Clearly, they are the real nosouls. *winks*

Asunder really is a fabulous sequel and it reads like a beautiful orchestral piece. (OK, I realize that sentence and my fancy word usage may not make sense even though it does in my head, but I really did feel like I was reading a song, or listening to one of Dossam's masterpieces.)  Incarnate readers who were left wondering about slyph, the fate of newsouls or how the heck this whole reincarnation trend got started in the first place need not worry.  All of those questions (and then some) are answered but you probably want to make sure you have tissues handy.






Thursday, December 27, 2012

I Choose You (Friends & Lovers, Book 2)

Author: Bethany Lopez
Release date: Dec. 27, 2012
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: New Adult
Event organized by: AToMR Tours

Book Description:

Up until now, Nicole's life has been mapped out for her. She'd go to college, marry Jake and become the upstanding minister's wife. When she leaves that life to begin again in a small town in Texas, she finally has the freedom to live as she chooses. There, she meets Kent, a guy whose charm and passion make it hard to stick to her morals.
Dodging his father’s fists and protecting his twin sister made Kent into the man he is today. He learned by watching his mother stay by his father’s side that it’s better to keep relationships simple. Then he meets Nicole. Her sweet smile and genuine response to him land like punches to his resolve. After a lifetime of learning to protect his heart, can he finally let down his guard?



Book Trailer:



Excerpt: 
Kent stretched languidly as he drifted out of sleep the next morning. He’d gone out with Rich for a few more beers after they’d dropped off Roni’s stuff, but he didn’t feel any worse for it.
He slowly opened one eye, happy for the blackout curtains he’d hung in his bedroom.
He was not a morning person.
He glanced over at the clock, his forearm brushing against the empty sheets next to him,
and he wondered how long it had been since he’d had a woman in his bed.

Sh*t, at least since Roni had come to town and squatted in his house. Well, now that she
had moved out and he had his space back, he would have to remedy that.

His mind wandered to Briana, and he wondered how she was doing in Austin. He
couldn’t help but smile.

Although he was sad that she’d taken Colin back and had moved away, he couldn’t help
but be proud that she’d followed her dreams. He could think of her now without feeling sad. He knew that she’d never really been his to lose, but he’d still felt bereft when she’d told him she didn’t want to see him anymore.

He wasn’t naïve enough to think that he’d loved her, but he knew that he could have, if
she’d given him the chance.

“Oh, well,” he thought as he pushed himself up in the bed and threw his legs over the
side. “No use wishing for something that was never going to happen. Time to move on.”

He sat still for a moment, allowing himself time to wake up, before standing up and
heading into the bathroom to take a shower.


About the author:
Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult novel. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her contemporary Young Adult series, Stories About Melissa. Ta Ta for Now!, xoxoxo, and Ciao are available now. Bethany is currently working on a Contemporary Fantasy YA and a Contemporary New Adult Trilogy.

Author social media links


Buy



Giveaway
(1) eBook copy (Nook or Kindle) of I CHOOSE YOU. 
International
If you don't have an e-reader you can download the Kindle app for free to your
computer on Amazon.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best Of 2012 Blog Hop

 
Thanks for stopping by Jenuine Cupcakes!
2012 has been an epic reading year for me and while having to choose the BEST of anything is never easy, I present you with a sampling of my Best of 2012.
(You'll notice, I've made up a few of the categories to fit my needs but all of these books are fantastic.)



Best Fantasy
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Best Dystopian/Sequel/People Forgot The MC Was Grieving
Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

Best Sci-Fi/Action/Made Me Beat My Husband Up In My Sleep
False Memory (False Memory #1) by Dan Krokos 

Best Dystopian/Sci-Fi Mashup/I Saw The Other Hot Boy First
Defiance by C.J. Redwine 
  
 Best Psychological Thriller/This Book Might Kill Me Before It Ends
The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin

Best Scared The Jelly Belly's Out of Me (Because it could happen)
Ashen Winter (Ashfall #2) by Mike Mullins

Best Book Boy Surprise
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick (Team George. That is all.)
      
Best He May Or May Not Be A Villain But I'm On His Team Anyway
Warner from Destroy Me* by Tahereh Mafi  
The Darkling from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

  Best Contemporary
Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols

Best Self-Pub
Dante's Girl* by Courtney Cole

Best Alternating POV
Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi 

Best Sequel
Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire
Once (Eve #2) by Anna Carey

Best Not What I Expected At All And It Was Amazeballs
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa

Best Book Boy Who Looks Like Jared Leto
Slide (Slide #1) by Jill Hathaway   

Best Every Woman Should Read This
Easy by Tammara Webber 

Best Face Fanning
Deity (Covenant #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout 


Best Series Ending 
Finale (Hush Hush) by Becca Fitzpatrick

     Best Ripped My Heart Out/Made Me Choke Sob
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller 

Best Almost PMP From Laughing So Hard 
 Rockoholic by C.J. Skuse

Best So Realistic It's Scary
This Is Not A Drill by Beck McDowell

Best Male POV
Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

Best Novella
Elixir (Covenant #3.5)** by Jennifer L. Armentrout   


Best I Could Stare At This Cover All Day
Mystic City (Mystic City #1) by Theo Lawrence 


Best I'd Sell A Kidney To Be On This Cover
Sweet Evil (Sweet Evil #1) by Wendy Higgins
Opal (Lux #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Best I'd Want This MC On My Side If We Met In A Dark Alley
Toxic (Denazen #2) by Jus Accardo

Best Maybe I've Been Time Traveling When This Happens To Me
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone 

Best Inspirational Without Being Preachy So You Should Read It
Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole Quigley 

Best Sports Related
 Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Best Characters Who Tweet Me
Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready 


Best I Want This Character for Christmas
Stormdancer (The Lotus Wars #1) by Jay Kristoff
(I want a Buruu for Christmas!)

Best These E.T.'s Don't Need To Phone Home
Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Gravity (The Taking #1) by Melissa B. West

Best What The Cupcake Is Going On?!
All The Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen     

Best I Would Totally Be BFF's With The MC
Spark (Elemental #2) by Brigid Kemmerer


Giveaway Time!
Terms/Conditions
Must be 13 years or older.
International as long as The Book Depository delivers to your country.
1 copy of ONE of the books listed above, winners choice. 
Please note, if the book you choose is only available as an e-book, then that copy will be gifted either in kindle or nook version. 
**Elixir is available for free download at Spencer Hill Press


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


Of Triton (Of Poseidon #2) by Anna Banks
Publication: May 28, 2013
By:  Feiwel & Friends 

*stares at the sparkly cover*
 Of Triton (Of Poseidon, #2)
 From Goodreads:

In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.

As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?

Ohmysweetgoodness, May is a loooooooong way off! 

I just read Of Poseidon a few days ago and thought it was AMAZEFISH! 
I can't WAIT for this one! <>--<

What's your W.O.W.?

 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon #1) by Anna Banks

Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon, #1)
Author: Anna Banks
Publication: May 22, 2012
By: Feiwel & Friends
5 Stars!

Beautiful cover!

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen — literally, ouch! — both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.



I don't know WHY no one told me about this book sooner?!  I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a huge mythology fan HOWEVER, I'm SO VERY GLAD I read this book!  It's got action, adventure, humor and romance.  I mean, I barely made it to page 3 before I was laughing out loud, on a plane bound for Florida no less. This earned me several angry glares probably because the pilot had just announced that one of the air ducts was falling apart. I guess the other passengers thought I found the idea of all of us swimming with the fishes, hilarious. I didn't by the way, I was just choosing to look at the bright side, you know, maybe if we had gone on an unexpected swimming adventure we might've met Galen for reals. Maybe. *shrugs*

What I liked: Being able to see the story unfold from both Galen and Emma's POV's especially since they're so different was a nice touch. Emma was a fabulous MC!  She's snarky, strong-willed and very familiar with all things awkward. (*fist bumps* her) Galen is a nice blend of steam and swoon without going overboard and his desire to do what's in the best interest of his kind is admirable even if I did want shake the squid brain every now and then.

I thoroughly enjoyed the secondary characters of Chloe, Rayna and Toraf which doesn't always happen.  And the fact that the romance wasn't love at first manfish was a plus. 

What left me wanting more:  Can you ever really have enough of Galen Forza?  I mean, really?

Final verdict:  Ohmysweetgoodness that was AMAZEFISH! :D

Is it May yet? Because that's an awful long time to have to wait for "Of Triton"! 
 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

How I Feel About Becoming the Mother of A Teenager Today, in gifs

 


 He's really a teenager?!


 But that means, I'm getting older...


Which makes me want to do this...

And this...

And this...


 Then I remember what a blessing this kid is and I want to do this...


And some of this, which will most likey happen at LEGOLAND tomorrow...


And then he will do this...


Happy 13th Birthday P!
I love you!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum

Revolution 19
Author: Gregg Rosenblum
Publication: January 8, 2013
By: Harper Teen
5 STARS!

This cover is one of the coolest I've seen this year!
 
Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.

Only a few escaped the robot revolution of 2071. Kevin, Nick, and Cass are lucky —they live with their parents in a secret human community in the woods. Then their village is detected and wiped out. Hopeful that other survivors have been captured by bots, the teens risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world—by infiltrating a city controlled by their greatest enemies.

Revolution 19 is a cinematic thriller unlike anything else. With a dynamic cast of characters, this surefire blockbuster has everything teen readers want—action, drama, mystery, and romance. Written by debut novelist Gregg Rosenblum, this gripping story shouldn’t be missed.


Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins for this ARC. It was AMAZEBOTS!

What I loved: The synopsis was intriguing and I found myself sucked in from the prologue, THE PROLOGUE!  It's not often that a book simultaneously cracks me up and scares the crap out of me at the same time but this one did!

Nick, Cass and Kevin are all strong characters willing to risk their lives to rescue their parents and keep each other safe in the process. Their journey takes them from a peaceful life in the woods into a city run by robots where resistance means "re-education" or worse. 

It was refreshing to see that these teens don't back down when they realize the situation is larger than what concerns only them. They work together with their new friends in an effort to do the most good even if it costs them personally.  

The mystery surrounding the creator of the bots and the re-education process was interesting and creepy, especially with all the technology we have at our fingertips. 

What left me wanting more: Nothing, other than having to wait until Book 2 comes out. I can't wait to find out what happens next!

Favorite Quote:
"Piece of cake," said Kevin. "Nick was the muscle, I was the brains, and Cass played dodgeball."

Final verdict:  This is well written, fast paced, action packed and even has mystery and a little romance - something for every reader, including non sci-fi people like me. :D