Saturday, December 31, 2011

Giveaway: On A Dark Wing by Jordan Dane

On A Dark Wing
Jordan Dane
Release date: December 27th, 2011
by Harlequin Teen

Goodreads / Purchase
The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over. I would learn a lesson I wasn't prepared for. And Death would be my willing teacher.

Five years ago, Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her "lucky" break came at the expense of her mother's life and changed everything. After she crossed paths with Death—by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky—she would never be normal again.

Now she's the target of Death's ravens and an innocent boy's life is on the line. When Nate Holden—Abbey's secret crush—starts to climb Alaska's Denali, the Angel of Death stalks him because of her.
And Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets.


As part of the blog tour, Harlequin Teen is offering up a signed copy of On A Dark Wing to one of my readers. The winner will also receive a special secret gift (ooh mysterious!).

Since my tour stop is only a couple of days before the winner announcements, the giveaway is being posted a bit early to give you all a chance to enter. So make sure to drop by on January 2nd for the full tour stop!


Fresh Batch (Jan 1st-7th)

Exclusively titled for Xpresso Reads, Fresh Batch features the hottest releases of this upcoming week.

Flavour of the week:
The Alchemy of Forever
Avery Williams


People say ‘love never dies’… but love might be the death of Seraphina. Seraphina has been alive since the Middle Ages, when her boyfriend, Cyrus, managed to perfect a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. Sera ran away from Cyrus years ago, when she realized that what they were doing—taking the lives of innocent people—was wrong. She doesn’t want to die, so she finds young people who are on the brink of death, and inhabits their bodies. When we meet Sera, she has landed in the body of a girl named Kailey who was about to die in a car accident. For the first time, Sera falls in love with the life of the person she’s inhabiting. Sera also falls for the boy next door, Noah. And soon it’s clear the feelings are returned. Unfortunately, she can never kiss Noah, because for her to touch lips with a human would mean the human’s death. And she has even more to worry about: Cyrus is chasing her, and if she stays in one place for long, she puts herself—and the people she’s grown to care for—in danger.
Click here for an excerpt!



Avery's Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter 
Jessea Perry writes under the pen name Avery Williams. She was born the day after Halloween in Los Angeles, and has since lived in five different states due to her father’s job as a radio disc jockey (though she sometimes claims her parents were in the circus). Now she makes her home in Oakland with her husband and two dastardly kittens. She enjoys riding her bicycle around town and working on her hundred-year-old house. She is also a poet.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky
Veronica Rossi
Release date: January 3rd, 2012
by HarperCollins

Goodreads / Purchase
Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers abarbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY
*A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review purposes*

After reading the synopsis did your expression resemble this: o_O ? Because that was mine! So let me help. In a dystopian future, everyone lives "virtual lives" through an eyepiece. They go where they want and do what they wish - all virtually. It's actually pretty neat. Aria, however, gets expelled from this life and is forced to the outside world - the real world. Aria who has known nothing but a disease free virtual life where you can't be harmed, is now alone in a real forest full of dangers and death traps. She is not alone for long though. She soon meets Perry who has lived with his tribe in the real word his whole life. His nephew has been taken by Aria's people and he's left his tribe to try to find him - which is when he stumbles upon Aria and they team up. This is the gist of it!

As we're thrown into the story without any sense of what kind of world this is, it's pretty confusing and a tad hard to follow. On top of the excessive use of pronouns, there are a lot of terminologies and semantics that are thrown in for us to figure out. I had a bit of a hard time with this at first. It does take a good one third of the book to start making sense of it all. After that it gets more interesting and less imposing, but it still makes it hard to really get into the story because while the introductions were happening, I was pondering what I had just read. There is also a lack of explanation towards their present world and why it's evolved to where they are. Furthermore, why are there Outsiders? Why can't they join the pod of the virtual realms? It made it difficult to understand who the villains were and who/what we should be afraid of in this world.

Now onto the positives: I did find myself quite surprised with the addition of some paranormal elements within the story, which is seldom seen in dystopian novels. In this book's future, there are Aether storms that manifests from fire and water coming together in the sky and "shoots" down on earth (fun, huh!?). The appearance of the Aethers also brought some new genetic modifications that give heightened senses to some humans. Some can hear from miles away while others can feel emotions, for example. I found it really original and it added an extra fresh twist to the dystopian genre.

The POV in Under the Never Sky alternates between Aria's and Perry's so we get acquainted with both of them, which I really enjoyed. We've got Aria, strong-willed and perceptive, then Perry who's stubborn and reserved. They make quite the interesting pair. I found Aria's character very well written. You see her grow and evolve from this apprehensive girl oblivious to the new world she's thrown in, to a strong and resourceful young woman that could take on anything. I really admired her.

Even though it didn't blow my mind, I still enjoyed it and will certainly continue with the series. I'm curious where the story is going to take us from here and going by my assumptions, there's a pretty good chance that I will like book two much more.


3 Hot Espressos

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year Giveaway hop



Xpresso Reads is starting the new year with a bang! I'm taking part in the Happy New Year giveaway hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Babs Book Bistro with over 200 other blogs participating. Which means, you have tons of chances to walk away with some winnings!

Cover Reveal: Before I Wake

Before I Wake
(Soul Screamers, #6)
Rachel Vincent
Released July 2012
by Harlequin Teen

Add it to your Goodreads

Synopsis currently unavailable












The Soul Screamers series:


I'm a huge fan of all the covers in this series and this one does not disappoint! What do we all think?

Hushed Tour Stop


I have the pleasure of welcoming Kelley York as she stops by Xpresso Reads for an interview today as part of the Hushed Blog Tour, which is a book that I really enjoyed. Also, there is a chance to win a copy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cover Reveal: Unfurl, Black Dawn, Channeler's Choice & Spark

Unfurl
(Ripple, #3)
Cidney Swanson
Release date: December 25th, 2011
by Williams Press

Against all expectations, Samantha Ruiz has survived attacks by two of Helmann’s deadliest assassins. She’s alive, but she’s far from safe. Helmann is planning a second Holocaust and wants Sam to play a starring role. Will, meanwhile, separated from Sam by an ocean, seeks a way to prevent Helmann’s apocalypse. Along with Sir Walter and Mickie, Will plays a deadly game sneaking into Geneses’ facilities, discovering unsettling clues as to Helmann’s plans. The clock ticks down as Will and Sam discover just how much they must be willing to sacrifice to stop Helmann. UNFURL, the powerful conclusion to The Ripple Series, will leave fans breathless.
The Ripple series


Black Dawn
(The Mortganville Vampires, #12)
Rachel Caine
UK Cover
Release date: May 1st, 2012
by Allison and Busby

Add it to your Goodreads


Synopsis currently unavailable










US vs UK cover      


Channeler's Choice
(Channeler series, #2)
Heather McCorkle
Release date: February 27th, 2012
by Compass Press

With her parents’ murderer’s dead, Eren can finally concentrate on fitting in at Spruce Knoll High, not to mention figuring out what it means to be a channeler. If only it were that easy. It turns out she isn’t normal even among channelers - she may be a legendary warrior meant to protect the earth in a last great battle.

But Mayan prophecies are the least of her worries as she involuntarily starts to gather her own Society, another girl moves in on Aiden, her powers rage out of control, and worst of all, someone is stalking her. To top it all off, Eren discovers she doesn’t have to be a channeler after all - she has a choice.

As an old threat closes in and she risks ending up like her parents, she is forced to decide. Be a normal teenager and leave the legendary warrior stuff to someone else, or embrace a dark destiny?
The Channeler series:


Spark
(Sky Chasers, #2)
Amy Kathleen Ryan
Release date: July 17th, 2012
by St. Martin's Griffin

Waverly and Kieran are finally reunited on the Empyrean. Kieran has led the boys safely up to this point, and now that the girls are back, their mission seems slightly less impossible: to chase down the New Horizon, and save their parents from the enemy ship. But nothing is truly as it seems…Kieran’s leadership methods have raised Seth’s hackles— and Waverly’s suspicions. Is this really her fianc√©? The handsome, loving boy she was torn from just a short time before? More and more, she finds her thoughts aligned with Seth’s. But if Seth is Kieran’s Enemy No. 1, what does that make her?

In one night, a strange explosion rocks the Empyrean—shooting them off course and delaying their pursuit of the New Horizon—and Seth is mysteriously released from the brig. Seth is the most obvious suspect for the explosion, and Waverly the most obvious suspect for releasing him. As the tension reaches a boiling point, will Seth be able to find the true culprit before Kieran locks them both away—or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? With the balance of power precarious and the clock ticking, every decision counts… every step brings them closer to a new beginning, or a sudden end...
The Sky Chasers series:


I'm definitely loving all of these. I especially like the new look of the Sky Chasers series since I wasn't a huge fan of the original design. What are your thoughts on these covers?

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

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

My pick this week:
                                    Glitch
                                    Heather Anastasiu
                                    Release date: August 7th, 2012

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or "glitch"), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse

Dystopian + Telekinesis = Awesomenessly brilliant!

What are you waiting on this lovely Wednesday?
Link me up! =)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Jennifer E. Smith
Release date: January 2nd, 2012
by Poppy

Goodreads / Purchase
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
*A copy was provided by Hachette Book Group Canada for review purposes*

 Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Now this is what I call a plain ol' romantic love story that has everything you want and more. It's definitely perfect for this time of year when you can cuddle up near a fire and just let your heart be filled. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight will leave you breathless and just when you think you can't take any more sweetness, you find out the reason behind this mouthful of a title and you're swept off your feet yet again!

After missing her flight and sulking around the airport, Hadley meets this boy, Oliver, who has a handsome face and a charming personality. And guess what? They're on the same flight! Hadley's personality is perfect for this novel. She's upset by her father's wedding which makes her a bit irrational, but she's so loving and down to earth; It's effortless to simply adore her character. The same goes for Oliver. He has this attractive, comfortable quality about him that makes it really easy to warm up to him. I could completely understand Hadley's feelings towards him. Heck, I felt them too! The romance was invigorating, enchanting, and felt absolutely fresh. It was written beautifully with a sophisticated feel, but without being excessive or cheesy.

The story is a real roller coaster ride full of ups and down; fears and joys. There's something deeper than a simple love story as well, it's also about family coming together which is really heartfelt. I devoured every minute of it; I longed for more once it was over. Reading this is like chocolate, it's addictive, incredibly sweet and leaves you feeling simply blissful. 

5 Hot Espressos

Dusty Reads (14)

Dusty Reads is a weekly meme, hosted here, featuring a book that has been sitting unread on my home shelf for some time. To participate, add your link at the bottom. 
If you wish, you can grab the button and find more information here.

My pick this week:
Delirium
Lauren Oliver
Released February, 20011

Goodreads / Purchase
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love
.


I know!! Me: the lover of all dystopians, have NOT read this one yet! *gasp*
What did you think of Delirium? Yay or Nay?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

The Demon Lover
Juliet Dark
Release date: December 27th, 2011
by Random House Publishing Group

Goodreads / Purchase
I gasped . . . or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn’t draw breath. . . . His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked in my breath and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.

Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of writing her bestselling book, The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. After all, Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she finds herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.

But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: He’s not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the incubus, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this demon lover from her heart.
*A copy was provided by Random House for review purposes*

When I first started The Demon Lover I was really surprised that it was not a YA novel. Not In the least. I guess it's my fault for simply skimming the blurb and not taking in the "erotic dreams" part. Oops. Although it was fine by me since I was in need of an adult read soon. I seem to not be the only one surprised by this discovery as well. =) So this is my heads-up to you!

Even though I was never bored, once my surprise at it being an adult book wore off I started to wonder where the plot was heading. It takes quite a while for it to start moving along. However when it does, the multiple plot lines weaved together never ceases to captivate you. Although, it can get confusing at times, especially with the abundance of literary references which may even be overwhelming to some.

The Demon Lover brings out a really different paranormal being - the incubus. As my first book delving into this mythological creature, I was really intrigued by the legend of this peculiar demon. Consequently, the character both terrified and fascinated me. It was an entertaining plot brimming with great detail and obvious research, therefore giving us a wonderfully built world filled with all sorts of paranormal beings. The world building is by far the book's best aspect. The imagery used in the book is also excellent. It left my mind filled with detailed scenery so that I could clearly see the story taking place.

As a protagonist, Callie was not my favorite. She never saw what was clearly in front of her. All the plot twists were obvious to me but Callie saw right through them. I realize the incubus had a strange effect on her which may have put her in denial, but it still stopped me from being able to connect with her personality. I found the Demon Lover to be the better and most interesting character in the book. I felt his emotions, sadness and longing, that I never got from Callie. Almost like I was cut off from her emotionally. However, this undoubtedly made the romance in the book quite engrossing. One second I had faith that Callie would and could exercise this demon, but the next second I deeply wanted her to fall under his spell no matter the consequences.

The Demon Lover is a mystery-filled adult novel with excellent world building and fascinating folklore. If you're looking for something different, make sure to give this one a try!


3 Hot Espressos

Sunday, December 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (15)


"In My Mailbox" is a meme, created by Kristi at The Story Siren, that features books I have
received/ purchased/ borrowed during the week. 

Merry Christmas! Yep, it's Christmas and I'm posting an IMM. I figured I'd scheduled this post for anyone who is actually online. And thus will give you something to read! I won't be online today much but I'll surely pop in & out of twitter from my faithful Blackberry once in a while. I will catch up with all y'all's IMMs when I'm back and pooped from eating so much.

This week I got for review:

 

I want to thank CreateSpace, St. Martin's Press, HBG Canada and Omnific Publishing for the review copies.

I was gifted:

 

I was really excited to get a copy of Vengeance in the mail so I can finally read Chelsea's side of the story. I can't wait to dig into it! Thanks so much Michelle! xox


MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday! If you also have an IMM this weekend, link me up and I'll be sure to visit!

As my gift to you, here's a picture of my little devil, Alek, who is bound to make you smile! =)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cover Reveal: Shadows, Exposed, Dark Return & Unbreak My Heart

Shadows
(Lux, 0.5)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release date: February, 2012
by Entangled Publishing

The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane. Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in. Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence...and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

Exposed
Kimberly Marcy
Format: Paperback
Release date: February 28th, 2012
by Random House Children's Books

Add it to your Goodreads
In the dim light of the darkroom/I'm alone, but not for long.
As white turns to gray, Kate is with me.
background of the dance studio blurred,
so the focus is all on her--legs extended in a perfect soaring split.
The straight line to my squiggle, my forever-best friend.


Sixteen-year-old Liz is Photogirl—sharp, focused, and confident in what she sees through her camera lens, confident that she and Kate will be best friends forever. But everything changes in one blurry night. Suddenly, Kate is avoiding her and people are looking the other way she passes in the halls. As the aftershocks from a startling accusation rip through Liz's world, everything she thought she knew about photography, family, friendship, and herself shifts out of focus. What happens when the picture you see no longer makes sense? Told in breathtaking, searingly raw free verse, Kimberly Marcus's unforgettable debut will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Dark Return
(Seeker, #2)
Taryn Browning
Release date: 2012


Synopsis currently unavailable













Unbreak My Heart
Melissa Walker
Release date: May 22nd, 2012
by Bloomsbury

Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life.

Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now.

Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart?

Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.

Thoughts?

Fresh Batch (Dec 25th - 31st)

Exclusively titled for Xpresso Reads, Fresh Batch features the hottest releases of this upcoming week.

Flavour of the week:
Love & Leftovers
Sarah Tregay


My wish
is to fall
cranium over Converse
in dizzy, daydream-worthy
love.


When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father.

By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "vacation" has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up. But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? can you even know it until you've lost it?

Love and Leftovers is a beautifully written story of one girl’s journey navigating family, friends, and love, and a compelling and sexy read that teens will gobble up whole.
.



Sarah's Website / Goodreads / Facebook  
Raised without television, I started writing my own middle grade novels after I had read all of the ones in the library. I later discovered YA books, but never did make it to the adult section. When I'm not jotting down poems at stoplights, I can be found hanging out with my "little sister" from Big Brothers Big Sisters or stressing over performance classes at a model horse show.

  
Other books by Sarah (click on cover for Goodreads):