Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Vivian Apple At The End Of The World by Katie Coyle

Vivian Apple at the End of the World (Vivian Apple, #1)Series: Vivian Apple #1
Author: Katie Coyle
Published: January 6, 2015
By: HMH Books for Young Readers
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads 
4 Stars

Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple never believed in the evangelical Church of America, unlike her recently devout parents. But when Vivian returns home the night after the supposed "Rapture," all that’s left of her parents are two holes in the roof. Suddenly, she doesn't know who or what to believe. 

With her best friend Harp and a mysterious ally, Peter, Vivian embarks on a desperate cross-country roadtrip through a paranoid and panic-stricken America to find answers. Because at the end of the world, Vivan Apple isn't looking for a savior. She's looking for the truth.


*ARC scored at the NCTE Convention in D.C. back in November* 

I'll be honest, I wasn't too sure what I was getting myself into when I picked this one up but the synopsis intrigued me. I was expecting a religious satire and while this does poke fun at the most extreme cases of religiosity and cults, overall, I found an unexpectedly refreshing story (that I read in one sitting) about family, friendship, respect and what it really means to have faith.

Not faith in the religious sense per say, because this isn't a preachy book at all, but Katie Coyle does address the issue that anything taken to the extreme: religion, faith, even anti-faith, is not healthy. Vivian and her friends learn some good lessons, the one that stood out the most to me, was respect.

This paragraph might be my favorite part of the whole book.
VAAtEoTW Page 203


My second favorite part was Harp, Vivian's BFF. Harp is a "Non-Believer" who is a little bit wild, a little irreverent and whole lot of fun! As far as I'm concerned, she stole the show and I would definitely want her on my team during the Apocalypse.

The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger but not a major one. I'm really curious to see where Vivian's journey takes her next!


~ Favorite Quotes ~

"Vivian Apple, what the hell? Are you trying to ascend? In the middle of my party?" ~ Harp

"Anyway, he had no good answers--like, not even rehearsed ones. When I asked them, he'd laugh nervously and then take his shirt off to distract me. And I'm sorry to say, that trick always worked." ~ Harp

"Maybe the hills are too steep and the Holy Spirit is too lazy to climb them," Harp says.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Winter Sea by Di Morressy

The Winter SeaAuthor: Di Morressy
Publication: December 30, 2014
By: St. Martin's Griffin 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
3 Stars

Escaping an unhappy marriage and an unsatisfactory job, Cassie Holloway moves to the little Australian coastal town of Whitby Point. There she meets the Aquino family, whose fishing business was founded by their ancestor, Giuseppe, an Italian immigrant, some ninety years before. 

Life for Cassie on the south west coast is sweet as she sets up a successful restaurant and falls in love with Giuseppe's great grandson Michael. But when the family patriarch dies, a devastating family secret is revealed which threatens to destroy her dreams. Cassie's future happiness now rests with her quest for the truth.



* I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review *

The cover is what initially caught my interest and this was my first Di Morrissey book.

Set against the backdrop of the Australian coast, THE WINTER SEA is part historical fiction, part modern romance with a dash of mystery and twist of fate.

It's fast-paced with intriguing characters like Cassie and Michael who have to navigate their way through family, love and the knowledge that their stories are more intertwined than either of them could ever imagine. It's a whirlwind for sure, and in the end, they'll both have to decide whether they're going to let it draw them closer or rip them apart.

Not necessarily the book for me, but Di Morrissey fans will not be disappointed.



~ About the Author ~

Di Morrissey (born 18 March 1948 in Wingham, New South Wales) is one of Australia's most popular female novelists. She grew up in the remote surrounds of Pittwater, north of Sydney, Australia.

Growing up she counted famous Australian actor Chips Rafferty as a close mentor and friend who helped provide for her and her mother after the death of her father as a child, sending them overseas to California to live with family.

In her later years, Di went on to become a journalist on London's Fleet Street, and worked for CBS in Honolulu, where she lived with her husband who was in the foreign service, and even had a small role in the series Hawaii Five-0, a guest role in season three, episode seven, 1970 starring as 'Alicia Anderson'.

After moving back to Australia, Di published her first book 'Heart of the Dreaming' which instantly became a bestseller. Since then Di has published another 17 bestsellers, her latest being 'The Silent Country'.


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads  

 

~ Giveaway ~ 

One Copy of THE WINTER SEA
U.S. Only 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 29, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Make It Last by Megan Erickson



Welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes, this is my stop on the Make It Last Blog Tour!


Title: Make it Last
Author: Megan Erickson
SeriesBowler University #3
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication: January 6th, 2014 by William Morrow Impulse
4 Stars!
After graduating from Bowler University, the last place Cam Ruiz ever expected to find himself is his hometown. A bad job as a bouncer and worry over his mom’s health make living in Paradise anything but. There’s only one thing that can make his return any harder—running into the only girl he’s ever loved.

Tate Ellison made a mistake when she was eighteen, one that cost her the best thing she’s ever had. She’s always hoped the regret of losing Cam would fade over time. Too bad it’s only grown. She took comfort in the fact she’d never have to face him again, so his presence in Paradise throws her for a loop.

The pull between them is instant and when the truth of what happened years ago tumbles out, they share a mind-blowing kiss...which leads to more. But the past has a way of repeating itself. When all the cards are on the table, Cam and Tate must decide what they are willing to do to make it last.


Purchase:



_____________________________________________________________

My Thoughts

Not gonna lie, this cover makes me blush. :D But it's okay, because the story inside put a big 'ole smile on my face, just like it's predecessors did. 

MAKE IT LAST is story about Second Chance Love, one of my all-time favorite tropes to read, but it's also about family, friendship and learning that it's okay to not have everything figured out even with a college diploma. 

I enjoyed my time spent on the Bowler Campus, but the change of scenery was nice too. Cam and Tate share a history, one that is both sweet and painful but they don't dwell on it. Choosing instead to address it and move on mainly because there is a lot going on in the present. Neither Cam nor Tate shy away from telling the other exactly how they feel whether in person or through virtual reality (think Sims) which creates for some pretty steamy discussions and make-ups. It was entertaining to watch them work through their issues and even MORE fun when the rest of the Bowler University gang makes a cameo. 

It's always sad when a series comes to an end, but I'm thankful it introduced me to Megan Erickson and her writing. I'm excited to see what she gives us next!

 
_____________________________________________________________

About Megan

Megan Erickson grew up in a family that averages 5’5” on a good day and started writing to create characters who could reach the top kitchen shelf.

She’s got a couple of tattoos, has a thing for gladiators and has been called a crazy cat lady. After working as a journalist for years, she decided she liked creating her own endings better and switched back to fiction.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. And no, she still can’t reach the stupid top shelf.



_____________________________________________________________

Giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway







Saturday, December 27, 2014

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Heir Of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)
Series: Throne Of Glass #3
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Narrator: Elizabeth Evans
Published: October 14, 2014
By: Brilliance Audio/Listening Library

Celaena Sardothien, heroine of theNew York Times bestselling series, rises from the ashes to burn even brighter than before.

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

The bestselling series that has captured readers and listeners all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Times bestselling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third audiobook will enthrall listeners from start to finish.


*I received this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Audiobook: 4 Stars! 
Another winner for Brilliance Audio and Elizabeth Evans!  

Story: 4.5 Stars!
My initial reaction upon finishing... 



If you have not started the THRONE OF GLASS series yet we can't be friends. 

I'm kidding. 

Maybe.

Seriously though, you are REALLY missing out on an amazing series, and this is coming from someone who doesn't even LIKE fantasy. 

Usually. 

Thanks to Sarah J. Maas' beautiful writing, amazing storytelling and engaging characters, I was once again pulled into a world of magic, mystery, romance and FEELINGS. 

SO.
MANY.
FEELINGS.

The relationships alone make this book worth reading. 
 
HEIR OF FIRE picks up where CROWN OF MIDNIGHT leaves off while still managing to be it's own book. Celaena, Chaol and Dorian get plenty of page time, but we're also introduced to new characters like Rowan, Sorcha, and Manon, all of whom I adored. And don't even get me started on the creatures, BUT leave it to Sarah J. Mass to make me want my very own wyvern for Christmas.
  
Sarah J. Maas is not afraid to put her characters or her readers through the emotional ringer. But that's what character growth it all about, and I'm happy to experience it all right alongside them, even if it hurts or stuns the heck out of me. Fans of this series will not be disappointed and I for one, CAN NOT wait to see what's going to happen next! 



Friday, December 26, 2014

Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes

Silver Bay: A Novel
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publication: August 26, 2014
By: Penguin Books
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads 
3 Stars


From the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You and One Plus One, a surprising and moving romance set in an old-fashioned seaside town on the verge of unwelcome change

Liza McCullen will never fully escape her past. But the unspoiled beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves—if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah. That is, until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt’s hotel.

The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and distracting eyes could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbors her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love—never deserve to love—again.

For his part, Mike Dormer is expecting just another business deal—an easy job kick-starting a resort in a small seaside town ripe for development. But he finds that he doesn’t quite know what to make of the eccentric inhabitants of the ramshackle Silver Bay Hotel, especially not enigmatic Liza McCullen, and their claim to the surrounding waters.

As the development begins to take on a momentum of its own, Mike’s and Liza’s worlds collide in this hugely affecting and irresistible tale full of Jojo Moyes’s signature humor and generosity.


*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*  

If Jojo Moyes writes it, I want to read it. 

She manages to create stories and characters that feel authentic and real, that suck me in and don't let go until I reach the end. SILVER BAY was no different, however, I didn't quiet connect with this one the way did with ME BEFORE YOU, THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND, or even ONE PLUS ONE . Having said that, the setting, the multiple POVs and how Moyes intertwines the lives of the characters together made for an interesting and entertaining read.  

I'm excited to see what Jojo Moyes comes up with next!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

ROAD TRIP: Breaking The Rules by Katie McGarry

Thanks for stopping by Jenuine Cupcakes! I'm excited to be a stop on the Breaking The Rules Road Trip Tour. 

A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry.
For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so . . . different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who's never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything--except the one thing Echo's just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo's constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants--even as foster kid Noah's search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn . . . seriously epic.






EXCERPT 

In BREAKING THE RULES, Echo and Noah share a moment in a bus station and, because of their crazy attraction, they definitely cause a scene


Bus station



Echo looks at me with those pleading green eyes. I twine my fingers into her curls. The first taste of her lips is sweet. The second makes me forget there’s a bus terminal full of people. The third causes me to lift her feet off the ground and deepen our kiss.

“Noah,” she whispers in reprimand as she breaks away. “We’re causing a scene.”

“Not my problem.” But I lower her to the ground anyhow. “Besides, it wasn’t my fault. You’re the one looking at me with take-me-to-bed eyes, and I felt you kissing me back. Once again, you’re the one getting us into trouble.”

Echo grins. “You are so impossible.”

“Damn straight, baby.”





And don’t forget to read the first books in the Pushing the Limits Series…










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, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.






Road Trip with Echo and Noah Schedule


December 15-Vilma’s Book Blog


December 17-KimberlyFaye Reads




December 21-K-Books

December 22-A Bookish Escape

December 23-Stuck in Books

December 24-Jenuine Cupcakes


 GIVEAWAY
~ 1 signed copy of PUSHING THE LIMITS
~ U.S./Canada Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Until Midnight by Melissa Landers

UNTIL MIDNIGHT is here…and it’s FREE!



Happy Holidays, everyone! I’m Melissa Landers, author of the Alienated series, and I have a present for you—a brand new e-short from Disney Hyperion!

UNTIL MIDNIGHT takes place onboard an intergalactic transport, soon after ALIENATED ends and before the sequel INVADED begins. The story details Aelyx and Cara’s last day together before he returns to Earth to mend the alliance and she continues to his home planet. It’s sweet and romantic, and as a bonus, it includes a four-chapter preview of the sequel, which releases February 3rd.

Oh, and did I mention the best part? IT’S FREE!

You can download UNTIL MIDNIGHT from the following e-tailers:

Kindle | Nook | iBooks |Kobo | Google Play

*If you live outside the USA, no worries. I’ve uploaded the story to Scribd for you. (The only downside is it doesn’t include the bonus preview chapters, due to technical reasons from the publisher.) Link: http://www.scribd.com/AuthorMelissaLanders





Melissa Landers writes romantic science fiction for teens and the young at heart. To learn more, or just to say hello, visit her at www.melissa-landers.com
 










  ~ GIVEAWAY ~

International 
To celebrate this new release, Melissa is offering TWO lucky winners an autographed swag pack complete with a personalized bookplate, mini-poster, bookmarks, and stickers—open internationally!  
 Best of luck, and happy reading!


REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Another Night, Another Day by Sarah Rayner

Another Night, Another Day
Author: Sarah Rayner
Publication: December 23, 2014
By: St. Martin's Griffin
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads 
3 Stars


Three people, each crying out for help.There’s Karen, about to lose her father; Abby, whose son has autism and needs constant care, and Michael, a family man on the verge of bankruptcy. As each sinks under the strain, they’re brought together at Moreland’s Clinic.Here, behind closed doors, they reveal their deepest secrets, confront and console one another, and share plenty of laughs. But how will they cope when a new crisis strikes? 

From the international bestselling author, Sarah Rayner, Another Night, Another Day is the emotional story of a group of strangers who come together to heal, creating lifelong friendships along the way.

* I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review *


~ My Thoughts ~


This was my first Sarah Rayner book, and while the third person present tense style took a little getting used to, the story itself is well-written, heartfelt and moving. 

Rayner uses alternating POVs to give readers a front row seat to the very real struggle Karen, Michael and Abby face while living with mental illness, in all it's varying degrees. This isn't a light read, but doesn't get weighed down with darkness either. And despite the tragedy that strikes, the story as a whole leaves you with a sense of healing and hope.  



~ About the Author ~

Sarah Rayner is the author of the international bestseller, 'One Moment, One Morning' (2010). Her two latest novels, 'The Two Week Wait' (2012) and 'Another Night, Another Day' (2014), are also set in Brighton, England, and feature some of the same characters.

As a novelist, Sarah is known for tackling difficult subjects such as bereavement, infertility and mental illness with empathy and insight, but her latest book is non-fiction. 'Making Friends with Anxiety' is a little self-help book which Sarah hopes will enable people who panic and worry a lot to regain confidence and control.

Sarah has also written two more light-hearted novels - 'The Other Half' and 'Getting Even'. Originally published in the early nineties, these have been fully revised and updated by the author and are now available on Amazon.



~ GIVEAWAY ~

1 Copy of ANOTHER NIGHT, ANOTHER DAY by Sarah Rayner
U.S. Only


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Few Of My Favorite 2014 Books

  I have a love/hate relationship with end of year posts like this because I read a lot. 

Like A LOT, A LOT.

A LOT.
 Asking me to narrow down the books I loved more than I love cupcakes is hard

REALLY HARD!
 
I'm bound to forget one. 
Then that book, those characters and their author will feel bad. 
And then I'll feel bad. 
 BUT, I love talking about books especially ones that resonated with me in one way or another. 

Here are some of the books that I read in 2014 that you should definitely check out. If you want to see all of the 230+ books I read this year, pop on over to my Goodreads page.

Notice I said "read" in 2014. Some are old, some current and some are yet to be published. I like to give you lots of options. Just like cupcake flavors.This one happens to be cookie dough.

Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes

 

Books I READ In 2014...

 

Young Adult 

Kiss, Kill,Vanish by Jessica Martinez

Uninvited  by Sophie Jordan 

Rites Of Passage by Joy Hensley 

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler 

Infinite by Jodi Meadows (The whole series is awesome)

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski (The second book, The Winner's Crime, ruined me for a good two weeks. I'm not kidding. Prepare yourself.)

The Kiss Of Deception by Mary Pearson (I'm reading Book 2 now and it's amazing!)

Storm Siren by Mary Weber 

The Superlatives (All 3 books) by Jennifer Echols (There's been a lot of talk about the need for diversity in YA books and this series does it and DOES IT WELL!)

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (Pre-order!)

The Beautiful And The Cursed (All 3 books) by Page Morgan 

Throne Of Glass (THE WHOLE FREAKING SERIES!) by Sarah. J. Maas

 Stone Cold Touch (Sequel to White Hot Kiss) by Jennifer L. Armentrout 

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally 

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens 

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel  

Off The Map Series by Lia Riley



How you end a trilogy LIKE A BOSS


Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins 

Deliverance  by C.J. Redwine 

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

Into The Still Blue by Veronica Rossi 

The Warrior by Victoria Scott

Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer

Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Isla And The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins





  New Adult 

The Law Of Moses by Amy Harmon

Make It Count (All 3 books are great!) by Megan Erickson 

Be With Me (All of the books in the series. Read them.) by J. Lynn/Jennifer L. Armentrout

All Broke Down (Do yourself a favor and read anything she writes.) by Cora Carmack 

Wild by Sophie Jordan (Steamy like whoa.) 

No Attachments by Tiffany King





Adult

Hereos Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

About That Night  by Julie James

The Duke And I by Julia Quinn

The Knight (Highland Guard #7.5) by Monica McCarty 

Landline by Rainbow Rowell 








Friday, December 19, 2014

After Us (Before & After #2) by Amber Hart

After Us (Before & After, #2)Series: Before & After #2
Author: Amber Hart
Publication: December 30, 2014
By: Kensington Teen (K-Teen)
Amazon | Goodreads
3 Stars

Sometimes secrets kill. Maybe slowly, maybe painfully. Maybe all at once.

Melissa smiles. She flirts. She jokes. But she never shows her scars. Eight months after tragedy ripped her from her closest friend, Melissa is broken. Plagued by grief, rage, and the painful memory of a single forbidden kiss.

Javier has scars of his own. Life in the States was supposed to be a new beginning, but a boy obsessed by vengeance has no time for the American dream. To honor his familia, Javier joins the gang who set up his cousin, Diego. The entrance price is blood. Death is the only escape.

Two broken souls could make each other whole again—or be shattered forever.

Our time will come. And we'll be ready.

 
*I received this eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


This is the second installment in the BEFORE & AFTER books and can be read as a companion or a stand alone.

I like the cover. It's crisp, clean and still allows readers to form their own opinion of what the characters look like. Dual POVs is a bonus too.

As with the first book, I had issues with the flowery prose and how easily the gang aspect was explained away, but, I guess that's why they call it fiction. I liked both Melissa and Javier, enjoyed seeing how their cultural differences play out with secondary characters and felt the overall story was fast-paced and entertaining. The prose had a poetic feel which added a lightness to the storytelling, but also made it seem rushed at times. (This has more to do with personal preference than anything else, I think.)

Hart does a good job of tying this one together with the first book. Fans of the series won't be disappointed. 




Monday, December 15, 2014

Bad Kitty: Puppy's Big Day by Nick Bruel

Bad Kitty: Puppy's Big DaySeries: Bad Kitty 
Publication: January 6, 2015
By: Roaring Book Press
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads 
5 Stars!

"This eight book in the popular Bad Kitty series features a day in the life of Kitty's ever-slobbering foe, Puppy"--















*I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


~ Review provided by the 10 year old ~


First Impression: Funny. Good. Hilarious.

What I Liked: I wanted to read this because I like cats. Once I started, I did want to stop until I was done. Bad Kitty is rude which I think is kind of funny. I also liked that it reads like a comic book. It was funny when Uncle Murray got yelled at by the police officer for not carrying a poop bag when he took Puppy for a walk.

I liked this book so much I started writing my own story about "Crazy Cat Mittens". 

Final Verdict: I can't wait for the next one!