Tuesday, September 30, 2014

REVIEW + INTERVIEW: In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4)Series: Blue Heron #4
Author: Kristan Higgins
Publication: September 30, 2014
By: Harlequin HQN
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Goodreads
5 STARS!

Emmaline Neal needs a date. Just a date—someone to help her get through her ex-fiancĂ©'s wedding without losing her mind. But pickings are slim in Manningsport, New York, population 715. In fact, there's really only one option: local heartthrob Jack Holland. Everyone loves Jack, and he won't get the wrong idea…. After all, Jack Holland would never actually be interested in a woman like Em. Especially not with his beautiful ex-wife creeping around, angling to reunite ever since he rescued a group of teens and became a local hero.

But when the wedding festivities take an unexpectedly passionate turn, Em figures it was just one crazy night. Jack is too gorgeous, too popular, to ever end up with her. So why is she the one he can talk to about his deep, dark feelings? If Em is going to get her dream man, she'll have to start by believing in him…



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


Thank you Little Bird Publicity and Harlequin for this ARC! Kristan Higgins is on my short list of "AutoRead" authors and her Blue Heron Series is one of my favorites!

There are really only two things you need to know about this book:

1) Jack Holland
Who I imagine looks a little like this with his blue blue eyes.
Photo: Pinterest



2) And chocolate cake.
Photo: Jenuine Cupcakes

Okay, so maybe there are a few other things you should know...like how Kristan Higgins continues to give readers a relateable female MC and a compelling story about family, friendship and fresh starts, all while sprinkling in copious amounts of humor, face-fanning romance and tons of swoon.

 In Your Dreams is witty, romantic and so much fun! 

Read it.


~ AUTHOR INTERVIEW ~

I'm so glad you could join me today, Kristan! 

I'm a big fan of your books, especially your Blue Heron series, and IN YOUR DREAMS was fantastic! I may have baked and eaten some chocolate cupcakes after I finished reading it. :)
Thank you, Jen! I hear you, girlfriend. I ate more than my fair share of chocolate cake during this book myself.

 
How many books do you have planned in total for the series? 


I think I’m going to end it with five. 



How do you decide which character's story to tell and when? 

Ever since Colleen O’Rourke walked into the kitchen of her bar to annoy her twin brother, I’ve been wanting to write Connor’s book. <-- I would LOVE to read Connor's book!


What is your research process like, do you do a lot of it online or do you prefer to experience it first hand? For example, did you go to one of those health retreat places and subject yourself to no caffeine, sugar or chocolate?
Actually, I go to the retreat houses that have buffets of sugar, caffeine and chocolate. Those other places sound like prison, if you ask me.

I love to experience things firsthand and talk to people who have the same jobs as my characters. I visit every location I write about so I can pick up the local flavor, and I try to learn as much as I can about the different issues and subjects in my books. I’d never just slap out a doctor, for example, without really researching what that type of doctor does (Grey’s Anatomy, I’m looking at you. Since when does a plastic surgeon get to perform brain surgery?).


Of all of your Blue Heron characters, who has been your favorite to write and why? (My favorite is still Levi.)
Aw, thanks! Levi…yeah. He’s pretty great. It was fun to write a guy who was both wonderful and a pain the butt, too. I loved the bromance part of that book. But as I’m typing this, I really want to say Emmaline, the heroine of IN YOUR DREAMS. She’s had a lot of strikes against her—her stutter, her weird, hovering parents, being dumped by her fiancĂ©—but she’s made a great life for herself, and I admire her so much. She’s someone I’d want to hang out with, you know? And that scene at the pool during the wedding of the damned…I just loved her so much there!




What is the last book you read and could not put down?

Sherry Thomas’s My Beautiful Enemy. I read it on a plane and practically ordered the pilot to circle my airport till I was finished.

I ask all of my blog guests this one...brownies, cupcakes or pie? 


Yes, please! (It’s cupcakes! Of course it’s cupcakes!)

Thank you so much Kristan!
A pleasure! Thanks for having me!

Monday, September 29, 2014

My True Love Gave To Me by Stephanie Perkins (& Friends)

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Author(s): Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, David Levithan, Holly Black , Kelly Link, Gayle Forman, Myra McEntireKiersten White, Mathew de la Pena, Jenny Han, Ally Carter , Laini Taylor 




If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.








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

This was a really cute read that offered a good selection of diversity both in authors and short stories. It's a great palate cleanser, especially if you're in between books and puts you in the holiday spirit too!

I enjoyed quite a few of these stories; Rainbow Rowell's, Kiersten White's, Myra McEntire, and Stephanie Perkins'. But my favorite by far was, "Star of Bethlehem" by Ally Carter. I laughed out loud, got a little misty-eyed, and swooned, but I was wearing a big stupid grin on my face when it was over which is all that matters.


Favorite Quote(s): "Right!" I agreed. "Some places there are twelve, but where I live there are nine because...the other three died because they forgot their shoes." 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Stay With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes, this is my stop on the Stay With Me blog tour which is being hosted by Ink Slinger PR!



Stay with Me (Wait for You, #3)
Series: Wait For You #3
Publication: September 23, 2014
By: William Morrow PB 
5 Stars!

At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she'd left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.




Whenever I see one of Jennifer L. Armentrout's covers, I feel the urge to do this... 

Photo credit: Hannah McBride
And like STAY WITH ME, this maneuver involved a mystery (standing on a chair in the Harper Collins booth during BEA), thrills (I almost fell) and suspense (I was wearing a dress...). 
People stared, but it was totally worth it.

 It's no secret that I am a HUGE fan of the WAIT FOR YOU series. 

My lurve affair began with Cam, continued with my fictional cousin, Jase, and crazy but loveable, Ollie, and now Jax, has joined the others on my: JLA Book Boys Who Deserve Their Own Barbies Action Figures shelf.
(Seriously, somebody should get on that. I'm looking at you, William Morrow.)


Ten Reasons You Want To Read STAY WITH ME

1) Hot.Guy.Brigade.

2) Because I said so. 

3) No, really. If you like your romantic suspense with a side of mystery, a dash of thriller and a heaping dose of steam, then STAY WITH ME is the book for you. 

4) This one is unique in that it takes a detour off of the college campus. The change of setting was refreshing and showed another side to the "new adult" life.

5) The mystery/suspense element made it interesting and kept me turning the pages well into the night. 

6) Calla's strength. This girl has been through the ringer, y'all, with the scars to prove it. And while it would be easy (and understandable) if she was bitter and angry, she isn't. Any attempt to close herself off from the world around her gets blowns to bits when she meets Jax.

7) Once again, Armentrout gives a hero who is tall, dark and full of heart-melting, toe-curling, swoon-worthy goodness. Jax is a former Marine. (Yes, please!) He's protective, trustworthy and caring. But mess with his sleepy-time and he'll make you pay. 

(Mostly in kisses and cuddles.)

8) Katie. You never know what's going to come out of her mouth when she breezes into the bar, but you can bet it will be a little bit crazy and a whole lot entertaining. This girl CRACKED ME UP!

9) Cameos! I always enjoy seeing characters from previous books in a series and STAY WITH ME is no different. The tension between Roxie and Reece was intriguing and gives a glimpse of what's to come in the series. 

And last, but certainly not least...

10) Did I mention this guy was the inspiration for Jax? 







Jennifer L. Armentrout/J.Lynn Bio:

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

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. 
Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

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









Stay With Me Review Tour Schedule

September 16


September 17


September 18


September 19


September 20


September 21


September 22


September 23


September 24


September 25


September 26


September 27


September 28


September 29


September 30




Thursday, September 25, 2014

BLOG TOUR: The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato

Hello & welcome to THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER blog tour. I'm so thrilled to be on the tour. Check out today's post below & be sure to enter to win!


Published by: Harper Voyager
To Be Released on: September 16th, 2014
Add it to Goodreads
Get it From: Amazon | B&N


Book Blurb:
An extremely fun and very commercial fantasy debut, in the bestselling vein of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger. THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER is an enchanting fantasy debut about a young healer with incredible powers setting off on her first mission, when a series of strange occurrences (including murder) rock the airship she is traveling on. But the dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Dagger assassins, her cabin-mate hides secrets, and the conspiracy may reach the crown itself.

Praise for The Clockwork Dagger
“The Clockwork Dagger was just what I needed: A steampunk adventure with an uncommon heroine, a fascinating magic system, and a young gremlin! I’m hooked and can’t wait for more Octavia and Leaf!”
—New York Times bestselling author Kevin Hearne

About the Author:


Beth Cato resides in the outskirts of Phoenix, AZ. Her husband Jason, son Nicholas, and crazy cat keep her busy, but she still manages to squeeze in time for writing and other activities that help preserve her sanity. She is originally from Hanford, CA, a lovely city often pungent with cow manure.

Giveaway:


Enter to win a copy of THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER, complete with a gorgeous black-and-gold paper parasol, for your very own steampunk adventures and cosplays (seen above)!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BOOK PROMO + GIVEAWAY: Can't Let You Go by Jenny B. Jones

Can't Let You Go (Katie Parker Productions #4*) by Jenny B. Jones 

*This is part of a series BUT can be read as a stand alone. 
Published: September 20th 2014 
 By: Sweet Pea Productions 

Can't Let You Go (Katie Parker Productions, #4)
An old love whose kisses make her weak, but whose secrets threaten to destroy all she holds dear...
 
Fresh out of college, Katie Parker had it all—a charming romance, a role in a famous stage production, and an idyllic life in London. Until she found her boyfriend cheating and got herself fired from the play. Leaving everything behind, Katie hops a plane home, only to run into her first love, Charlie Benson. As the couple returns to In Between, Katie questions everything she ever thought she wanted—including a renewed romance with her high school flame.

 
While she attempts to rebuild her life, Katie's plan to manage the family’s theater meets a devastating obstacle, dragging her into a legal battle that will rock her small town. And the boy who once broke her heart seems to have the power to do it again. As Charlie’s secrets unravel, Katie must make a choice. Can she overcome her past and trust Charlie with her heart again?

 
~ What Are People Saying About Can't Let You Go?~
"It's the best book I've ever read."
-Jenny's Mom

"So good, I didn't want to yak on it."
-Jenny's cat

"I felt like the lead character hogged the show."
-Mad Maxine Dayberry


~Where Can I Get This Book?~
Amazon |BN.com| iTunes | Google Play


~ Follow Jenny B. Jones ~


  

~ GIVEAWAY ~ 

1 ebook (Nook or Kindle) copy of Can't Let You Go by Jenny B. Jones.
Must be 13 years old to enter.
 
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

RELEASE DAY: Stay With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout

SWM RDL Banner  

We are so pleased to bring you the Release Day Launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout's STAY WITH ME! STAY WITH ME is a New Adult contemporary romance being published by Avon (William Morrow), an imprint of HarperCollins, and is a part of Jennifer’s With You Saga!

  Stay With Me Cover
  From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You and Be with Me comes a daring tale that pushes boundaries . . . At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she'd left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess 
her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.
  



  ~ Trailer~

   


~ EXCERPT~

As I lay there, trying to swallow a loud, obnoxious yawn, I remembered something he’d said when we first met, about life being too short. I imagined he had firsthand experience with shortened lives while he was serving. That mentality came from experience. I got that now. Could even understand it, but there was something I didn’t understand.

“Why?” I asked.

There was a beat. “Why what?”

Jax sounded tired, and I should shut up or point out that I was now tired and could sleep, so he could leave. But I didn’t. “Why are you here? You don’t know me and . . .” I trailed off, because there really wasn’t anything left to say.

A minute went by, and he hadn’t answered my question, and then I think another minute ticked on, and I was okay with him not answering because maybe he didn’t even know. Or maybe he was just bored and that was why he was here.

But then he moved.

Jax pressed against my back, and the next breath I took got stuck in my throat. My eyes shot open. The sheet and blanket were between us, but they felt like nothing.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Getting comfortable.” He dropped an arm over my waist, and my entire body jerked against his. “It’s time to sleep I think.”

“But—”

“You can’t sleep when you talk,” he remarked.

“You don’t need to be all up on me,” I pointed out.

His answering chuckle stirred the hair along the back of my neck. “Honey, I’m not all up on you.”

I freaking begged to differ on that point. I started to wiggle away, but the arm around my waist tightened, holding me in place.

“You’re not going anywhere,” he announced casually, as if he wasn’t holding me prisoner in the bed.

Okay. The whole prisoner thing might be melodramatic, but he wasn’t letting me up. Not when he was getting all kinds of comfy behind me.

Oh my God, this was spooning. Total spooning. I was spooning with an honorary member of the Hot Guy Brigade. Did I wake up in a parallel universe?

“Sleep,” he demanded, as if the one word carried that much power. “Go to sleep, Calla.” This time his voice was softer, quieter.

“Yeah, it doesn’t work that way, Jax. You have a nice voice, but it doesn’t hold the power to make me sleep on your command.”

He chuckled.

I rolled my eyes, but the most ridiculous thing ever was the fact that after a couple of minutes, my eyes stayed shut. I . . . I actually settled in against him. With his front pressed to my back, his long legs cradling mine, and his arm snug around my waist, I actually did feel safe. More than that, I felt something else—something I hadn’t felt in years.

I felt cared for . . . cherished.


Which was the epitome of dumb, because I barely knew him, but feeling that, recognizing what the warm, buzzing feeling was, I fell right asleep.




  Stay With Me Teaser 2    





Jennifer L. Armentrout/J.Lynn Bio: # 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. 

When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. 

Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. 

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

   
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Monday, September 22, 2014

GUEST AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Nightmares by Jason Segel

20257591Author: Jason Segel
Read by: Kirsten Miller
Publication: September 9, 2014
By: Penguin Audio/Listening Library (Audio); Unabridged edition
Amazon | Goodreads

Jason Segel, multitalented actor, writer, and musician, teams up with New York Times bestselling author Kirsten Miller for the hilariously frightening middle-grade novel Nightmares!, the first book in a trilogy about a boy named Charlie and a group of kids who must face their fears to save their town. 


Sleeping has never been so scary. And now waking up is even worse!

Charlie Laird has several problems.

1. His dad married a woman he is sure moonlights as a witch.
2. He had to move into her purple mansion, which is NOT a place you want to find yourself after dark.
3.He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a nightmarish prospect. Like even a nap.

What Charlie doesn’t know is that his problems are about to get a whole lot more real. Nightmares can ruin a good night’s sleep, but when they start slipping out of your dreams and into the waking world—that’s a line that should never be crossed.

And when your worst nightmares start to come true . . . well, that’s something only Charlie can face. And he’s going to need all the help he can get, or it might just be lights-out for Charlie Laird. For good.



*Audiobook provided the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


~ Interview with my 9 almost 10 year old ~


Describe Nightmares in five words: Fun. Exciting. Adventures. Funny. Awesome.

Did you the like the audiobook? Yeah. The guy who wrote it did a good job reading it too. You should tell him. (Um, I don't know Jason Segel personally, but I'll let the publicist who gave us the audiobook know.)

What I Liked: The fact that Charlie and Jack are brothers. And the purple mansion they live in.


Was it scary? Only if you're Charlie. Regular kids who read it shouldn't be scared. 

What are some of the nightmares in the story? Clowns, cockroaches, the dark, grubs, man-eating rabbits, zombies, fitness exams (like, if you're not athletic at all), and failing regular tests.

Favorite character: Jack. He's Charlie's brother who always wears a Captain America costume. Their mom made for Charlie but then she died and he outgrew it so he gave it to Jack.

Did you learning anything? Not everything is as bad as we think. 

On a scale of 1-5, how many stars would give Nightmares? I would give it 7 stars and I'm excited for the next one!