Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

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.
 Take Me On (Pushing The Limits #4) by Katie McGarry
Publication: May 27, 2014
By: HarlequinTEEN 

"Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means."

You had me at "Katie McGarry returns"!

 Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4)
Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.
Click the picture below to find out how to enter to win a copy of TAKE ME ON, and then make sure you join the party tonight!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Don't Call Me Baby + The Art of Goodbye by Gwendolyn Healsey

Don't Call Me BabyAuthor: Gwendolyn Heasley
Publication: April 22, 2014
By: Harper Teen
Amazon | Goodreads 

All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on THAT blog.

Imogene's mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. Hundreds of thousands of perfect strangers knew when Imogene had her first period. Imogene's crush saw her "before and after" orthodontia photos. But Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her, in gruesome detail, against her will.

When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online...until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she's been waiting for to tell the truth about her life under the virtual microscope and to define herself for the first time.

Don't Call Me Baby is a sharply observed and irrepressibly charming story about mothers and daughters, best friends and first crushes, and the surface-level identities we show the world online and the truth you can see only in real life.

*Thank you Katie from Little Bird Publicity for sending these in exchange for an honest review.* 

As a blogger myself, I was curious to see what these characters were like and where this story was headed. My first thought was that this reads like an upper MG or lower YA book which is great for those who enjoy a light-hearted, clean read. The other thing that stood out was all of the product placement. One of my friends is a Mommy Blogger and often gets asked to review and advertise various products on her blog, so seeing that aspect included in the story was entertaining for me. 

As for the characters themselves, I didn't enjoy the mother at all. I thought she was selfish and inconsiderate of everyone around her. I have a teen at home too and there's been a shift in the last year or so with what he will allow me to share online and what he won't. Almost every time I snap a picture of him and his younger brother, I'm met with questions, "Are you going to post that on your blog? Twitter? Instagram, Facebook? etc.?  My initial reaction is to tell him I'm the parent, it's my picture and I can do whatever I want to with it. (You know, because he's not the boss of me.) BUT then I remember it isn't JUST about me. Just because I may be proud of him and want to show him and his achievements off to the entire Internet doesn't mean HE wants that too. So, I could certainly appreciate Imogene's behavior toward her mother. She's a teenager who doesn't feel like she's had much say in her life at all. It's natural for her to fight back. However, I do think she and Sage could've used their class project in a more constructive way. 

Dylan was nice and their budding relationship provides Imogene with a listening ear as well as a glimpse of what it's like to have parents who've all but checked out of your life.

The story, like all of Heasley's books, ends well.

The Art of GoodbyeWhere I Belong Novella
Publication: March 14th, 2014
By: Harper Teen Impulse
Amazon | Goodreads 

The heroine of Where I Belong is back in The Art of Goodbye, a romantic digital original novella about first loves and second chances.

It's Corrinne Corcoran's last night in town before heading off to college, and she's determined it'll be the most epic night ever. She's planned every detail of each hour of the night, from what dresses she'll wear, to what parties she'll hit, to which of her best friends will be with her. But Corrinne's perfect plan for her last night in New York goes awry when she runs into a ghost from her past, and the boy she's never been able to forget—her ex-boyfriend, Bubby, from Broken Spoke. And Corrinne starts to wonder if her expertly planned goodbye to New York City was as perfect as it seemed. . . . Set over the twelve-hour period before Corrinne sets off for college, The Art of Goodbye will make you believe that true love can find you when you're least expecting it . . . again.

This was fast, flirty and fun.

If you haven't read Where I Belong or it's companion, A Long Way From You, then you probably will be lost. I was a little a lost myself because I kept wondering who this Benson dude was and where in the world was my Bubby?! Last I'd read, he and Corrine were about to ride off into the Broken Spoke sunset where they would live happily ever after (even if only in my imagination). But apparently not.

Corrine is back in NYC and she has big plans for her last night before she heads off to college. Plans that do not involve anyone else's .02 and especially not a chance run-in with Bubby. But one tinkle break leads to another and before she knows it, Corrine comes face to face with the guy she thought was in her future, not her past.

Over the course of the story, we find out exactly what happened between Bubby and Corrine and two things jumped out at me. 1) This was really too short. And by short, I mean, I WANTED MORE BUBBY! and 2) For being teens, they sure did have easy access to alcohol in public places. Not once did they get questioned or carded.

Overall, I think this was a good addition to the books. It's a clean read which was also refreshing, and fans of Bubbine will enjoy it.


Gwendolyn Heasley is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned her master’s degree in journalism. When she was a little girl, she desperately wanted to be the next Ann M. Martin- the author of the beloved The Baby-Sitter’s Club series. She’s incredibly grateful that the recession rendered her unemployed and made her chase her nearly forgotten dream. She lives in New York City, teaches college and eats entirely too much mac and cheese for an adult. She’s also currently at work on her third novel for Harper Collins.


1) What was your favorite part about writing DON'T CALL ME BABY?
The research. I loved reading mommy blogs :) I have my Master's in Journalism and love to research and learn about something  new for every novel :)

2) If Imogene had a theme song, what would it be and why? 
Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson. 

3) What is the best piece of writing advice you've ever been given?
Revise. Very few first drafts are amazing...but with revision, time and love, anything is possible :) 

4) What was the last book you read and loved? 
Something Real by Heather Demetrios, a friend and fellow VCFA student. 

5) I ask all of my blog guests this question...brownies, cupcakes, or pie?
What about a brownie pie with cupcake frosting? <-- LOVE THIS IDEA!
If I have to choose, it's brownies. Always brownies. I'm from the midwest. We love bars of anything, especially brownies. 


Monday, April 21, 2014

RELEASE BLITZ: My Not So Sweet Life by Rachel Harris


Cat Crawford just wants to be normal—or at least as normal as a daughter of Hollywood royalty can be. And it looks like fate is granting her wish: she’s got an amazing boyfriend, Lucas; her fabulous cousin, Alessandra, living with her; and her dad planning his second marriage to a great future stepmom. That is, until her prodigal mother reveals on national television that she has something important to tell her daughter…causing a media frenzy.

Lucas Capelli knows his fate is to be with Cat, and he’s worked hard to win her over once and for all. Unfortunately, Lucas has his own issues to deal with, including a scandal that could take him away from the first place he’s truly belonged.

As secrets are revealed, rumors explode, and the world watches, Cat and Lucas discover it’s not fate they have to fight if they want to stay together…this time, it’s their own insecurities.

Well, and the stalkerazzi.

MY NOT SO SUPER SWEET LIFE is a special digital only, fan requested addition to the series!

It's also told in DUAL POV. Woohoo!


Read the first chapter...


 Amazon † B&N † iTunes 

To celebrate the release author Rachel Harris is hosting a giveaway!

US - A Signed RARE paperback copy of MY NOT SO SUPER SWEET LIFE & SWAG PACK

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong families are a staple in each of her Rachel Harrisbooks…and kissing. Lots of kissing.

A Cajun cowgirl now living in Houston, she firmly believes life’s problems can be solved with a hot, sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations. She homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches way too much Food Network with her amazing husband.

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and losing herself in story. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

EARLY REVIEW: Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley

Rites of PassageAuthor: Joy Hensley
Publication: September 9, 2014
By: Harper Teen
Amazon | Goodreads 

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What’s she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

*I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.*

Now that we've cleared that up...

What I LOVED: Drill. The end. (Okay, so not really.) 
But maybe...considering I imagine he looks like this...

Rites of Passage is an empowering story, one that female AND male readers alike will appreciate and enjoy. (My 14 year old son read it and LOVED it!) Well-written, fast paced and action packed, once I started reading, I found it incredibly difficult to put down! When I finally did though, I felt the urge to do a hundred push-ups. I made it to twenty three before deciding it wasn't necessary to try and kill myself. Because, you know, push-ups suck. 

Sam McKenna is the perfect blend of fierce determination, vulnerability and feminine strength. (I could totally relate to her not ever turning down a dare. I too have been known to do crazy things just because someone dared me, although nothing quite like joining what is essentially a "boys only" club.) But I LOVE that Sam refuses to give up when things gets tough. She doesn't she allow those around her to break her spirit either, even when the people closest to her encourage her quit. 

Go home. 

Find a different way to prove herself. 

Sam just keeps going. 
(For the record, I would've gone AWOL the first time someone screamed for me to drop and give them twenty.)

And then there is Drill.

The romance in this story definitely kicked my heart rate into gear and had me fanning my face a few times, but it stays realistic and doesn't overshadow the more important themes of honor, courage and loyalty. Kudos to Joy Hensley for that because if it had been me, "PT" would have stood for, "Pucker-up Time." ;) 

What Left Me Wanting More: Nothing.

Final Verdict: Read it! 


Friday, April 18, 2014

Fast & Furious Friday

Fast & Furious Friday: The Summer Edition

Over here on the E.C., the weather this week has been, well...
In light of said schizo weather, I wrote a love note to winter...

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
All my flowers are dead, 
And I blame you.

So, Winter...

To help get us all in a summery mood, one that does not involve a dressing room, lycra or horrible lighting, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite summery reads. Take a peak and then let me know if you've read these OR what your favorite summer read is. :D

The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's Not Summer Without You and We'll Always Have Summer
Author: Jenny Han
The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy: The Summer I Turned Pretty; It's Not Summer Without You; We'll Always Have Summer
Belly has always lived for the summertime because it means all her favorite things: swimming, the beach and the Fisher boys, Conrad and Jeremiah. She has spent every summer with them at Cousins Beach for as long as she can remember. She has always been in love with Conrad and finally, one summer, it seems like he might have feelings for her too. But it turns out, so does Jeremiah.

As the summers go on, Belly has to choose between two brothers who love her as she comes to the realization that she will have to break one of their hearts.

The beach, Grape Fanta, and the only other Fisher boys to steal heart besides my own. ;)

Things I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks #3) 
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Things I Can't Forget
Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt--with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

Miranda Kenneally has the ability to make the reader see both sides of a situation and creates characters and stories that are realistic and completely relateable. Regardless of whether or not you agree with the choices being made, you're still able to empathize with what these characters are going through.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Matt Brown. He's smart, funny, artistic, and definitely not riding the ugly train especially with those biceps. *fans face* Matt is also grounded in his beliefs and he helps Kate see that nobody is perfect, he teaches her how to forgive and how to see good in others.

Such A Rush
Author: Jennifer Echols
Such a Rush
When I was fourteen, I made a decision. If I was doomed to live in a trailer park next to an airport, I could complain about the smell of the jet fuel like my mom, I could drink myself to death over the noise like everybody else, or I could learn to fly.

Heaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.

But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.

By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they’re determined to keep the banner planes flying.

Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.

I thoroughly enjoyed Leah! (To put it more bluntly, I LOVED HER SO HARD!) She's strong, fiercely independent and charming in her own unique way. Among her many talents is her ability to defend herself when necessary...

"If I ever see you again," I told her, "I will beat you like a dog." I was no more violent or tough than the next person, but talking big scared most people away as effectively as smacking them. (Leah p. 71)

All of these characters are flawed or broken in some way which is what makes them so relateable and lovable. What they're reminded of (as are we) is that we're all deserving of love - it shouldn't be something we have to earn nor should it depend on our social class.

Camp Boyfriend (Campboyfriend #1)
by J.K. Rock
Amazon | Goodreads
Camp Boyfriend (Camp Boyfriend, #1)
The summer of her dreams is about to get a reality check.

They said it couldn't be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren's nerves and she can't wait to return to summer camp where she's valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she's broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt. He doesn't even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.

But Matt isn't giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn't really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she's more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren's friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she's changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?

This was such a fun book to read! It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made wish I wasn't too old (and married) to go to summer camp!
I loved the characters, the witty writing and how J.K. Rock made Lauren the true hero of this story.
I came into CAMP BOYFRIEND rooting for one boy, fell in love with the other one and ended up waving my giant foam finger for Lauren!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

W.O.W. False Future (False Memory #3) by Dan Krokos

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.

False Future (False Memory #3) by Dan Krokos
Publication: August 19, 2014
By: Disney-Hyperion

False Future (False Memory, #3)
True Earth has returned during a massive snowstorm in Manhattan-and this time they have an army. Rhys, Noble, Sophia, and Peter know they don't stand a chance against the enemy without Miranda. And once they revive her, she's horrified to find her world in flames.

The enemy occupation is brutal, but the director promises to release her hold on the city if Mr. East is turned in, and Miranda and her team are determined to find him. With her grief over the losses she has suffered fueling her spirit, Miranda knows that this time the sacrifices have to be worth it.

Packed with suspense and deception, Dan Krokos brings Miranda's journey to a mind-bending conclusion as she risks losing everything in the fight for her future.
Mind-bending conclusion?
 And so do you. Click HERE to add it to your TBR list. Then tell me what book you're waiting on.

SNEAK PEEK: Tease (The Ivy Chronicles #2) by Sophie Jordan

Tease (Ivy Chronicles #2) Sophie Jordan
  Goes on Sale: May 27, 2014 
  By: William Morrow PB

Tease (The Ivy Chronicles, #2)
What happens when a girl who always calls the shots meets a guy who's too wild for even her?

A born flirt and good-time party girl, Emerson has never had a problem finding a willing guy. She's always chosen her hookups carefully, and she's never broken her three cardinal rules:

Never let them see the real you.Never fall in love. Always leave them begging for more.

Then Shaw comes along. A hottie from the wrong side of the tracks, he's immune to her flirtatious banter and come-hither smile. After rescuing her from a disastrous night at a biker bar, he doesn't even try to take her to bed--he calls her a tease and sends her home instead. Unable to resist a challenge, or forget the sexy, dark-eyed, bad-boy biker, she vows to bring him to his knees.

But instead of making Shaw beg, Emerson finds herself craving him. For the first time in her life, she's throwing out her rule book. Suddenly, she's the one panting for a guy she can't control--a guy who won't settle for anything less than the real Emerson and who forces her to do things she's never imagined, including facing a past she thought she'd buried.

A guy who just might leave her wanting more. . .

I've already told Sophie that Shaw is mine. I claim him. The rest of y'all can take a number and get in line. Don't worry though, there are cupcakes to keep you busy. ;)

TEASE is a Shawtastic addition to The Ivy Chronicles series! 

Want a sneak peek? (The correct answer is, YES) CLICK HERE -->