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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nonna's Book of Mysteries Giveaway!

Nonna's Book of Mysteries by Mary A. Osborne
Publisher: Lake Street Press
Pub. Date: June 3rd, 2010
Pages: 352
Age Level: 13+

Synopsis via Goodreads

At age fourteen, all Emilia Serafini wants is to learn to paint so that she can become an artist. But painters’ apprenticeships for young women don’t exist in the Florence of Renaissance Italy. The odds appear stacked against her until she receives a fascinating book, A Manual to the Science of Alchemy. It was once her grandmother’s and Emilia turns again and again to the Manual for guidance.

When Emilia meets the wealthy, brooding Franco Villani, her life takes a thrilling, but dangerous turn. Franco will do anything to win a place in the court of the powerful Cosimo de’Medici. Well aware that Cosimo prizes ancient manuscripts above all, Franco realizes Emilia’s Manual would be invaluable to him in more ways than one.

Infused with the mysticism of Alchemy, Nonna’s Book of Mysteries is an exciting portrait of a young woman who defies convention to seek her destiny.


Contest Details

Thanks to Mary, two winners will receive a copy of Nonna's Book of Mysteries! US only!

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Cover Reveal Tour: Entice by Jessica Shirvington

Okay wow! I got to say, I liked the cover for Embrace but I absolutely love this one! Totally killer! Now catch a glimpse at what lies ahead for Violet:

“Two tutors and three students from the Grigori training center in New York were arriving in two days and I couldn’t be happier. I was going to be able to learn from the experts and have people my own age to train with, something I really needed. I was sure with their help I would be able to get over whatever it was that had been holding me back. 

Griffin had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the two senior Grigori –the intelligence, resources and backup they could provide was much needed. The Scripture that can decipher the identity of all Grigori, even those who have not yet embraced and are therefore defenseless, was at stake.

I would not stand by and watch it fall into the hands of exiles. If they found they key to destroying all Grigori and gained the upper hand, the slaughter would not stop until all the humans knelt before them, worshipping them as gods.”

Well well well. Looking forward to seeing how everything plays out in the next book!

Here’s the scoop!

Seventeen-year-old Violet Eden’s is back! With a destiny to protect humans from the vengeance of exiled angels it becomes clear that it won’t be easy as even her partner, Lincoln, is hiding something. And now she has to learn to live with her feelings for him while they work together to stay alive and stop the exiles from discovering the key to destroy all Grigori. It isn’t easy. Especially when the electricity between her and Phoenix ignites and she discovers his hold over her has become more dangerous than ever. Violet's power will be pushed to the extreme with a race halfway across the world to find the one artifact that could tilt the balance of power between Angels and Exiles. And the ultimate betrayal will be exposed.


Check out Jessica’s brand new video blog post where she sits down with a cup of coffee and invites us into her home. From her favorite chair to her love of befriending characters in a series, Jessica chats with us about her perfect setting for a good read! 

Exciting News!! Jessica Shirvington will be traveling to the U.S for a two-week national book tour for ENTICE starting September 18. Keep an eye on for more details.

Haven't read Embrace yet?
Buy It
Amazon / B&N / Kindle / Nook / Book Depository

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest Post: The Importance of Middle Grade Fiction

Author Bio:
Derek is an eleven-year-old ghost who haunts the classrooms and hallways of Scary School, writing down all the spine-tingling often hilarious things that go on there. Despite his ghostly state, Derek still enjoys reading comic books and hopes to one day become a master ninja. If that doesn’t work out, he will continue to share the fun of this very special, very secret school, so all kids can experience the scariest school on earth. Derek the Ghost communicates through the first-time ghost whisperer Derek Taylor Kent, who is a writer and performer in Los Angeles, California.


The Importance of Middle-Grade Fiction
Why Reading my Book Series Scary School is Guaranteed to Turn your Kid into a Well-adjusted, Ivy League-bound, World-beater Dynamo

By Derek the Ghost

Let’s start off with this question. Why is reading important for children? Wait. I have better question. Why is absorbing a story in the form of text considered a superior means of story-absorption as opposed to pictures and sound through a television or movie screen?

Back in the olden days before TV and movies, reading was the numero uno form of self-entertainment. However, like TV of today, using books to take in fictional stories was considered a highly frivolous activity. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only form of reading not considered frivolous was reading the bible.

So why did the cultural paradigm shift? Television and movies became the dominant form of story dispersion, and suddenly books became the underdog. When books became the underdog, they went from frivolous to intellectually elitist practically overnight. You could argue the same thing happened with theater.
So, are you actually smarter because you read, or is it just our culture’s perception of reading that merely makes you appear smarter?

Here’s the answer. You’re actually smarter.

It goes without saying that reading requires a basic education. But more importantly, it requires that the brain function in a heightened state of stimulation called Alpha Mode. During Alpha Mode there’s an innumerable amount of split-second decisions taking place. The brain is constantly deciphering letters and interpreting their meaning while at the same time forming imagery to correlate with each phrase. It requires a lot of sub-conscious brain energy and millions of electrical reactions.

Because reading requires so much brain energy, the brain becomes tired quickly and wants to switch to Beta Mode. Beta Mode is when you are spacing out, vegging out, or just hanging out. You are essentially on autopilot, just taking things in, but not actively participating. When you are driving a car, you are usually in Alpha Mode. But when you suddenly look up and realize you’ve driven ten miles past your freeway exit, that’s right… you switched over to Beta Mode, buster.

The good news is that reading is like running. When you first start running you can only run a short distance before getting tired. Reading is the same way. The more you read, the more “brain exercise” you’re getting, and staying in Alpha Mode for longer stretches without getting tired becomes much easier. This effect bleeds over into all facets of life. You’ll be able to study longer and more effectively, retain more information, and work more thoroughly and patiently for extended hours. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did this better than anyone.

Now let me ask you this: Why were kids who had never read anything longer than a 150-page Goosebumps book so eager to read a 750-page Harry Potter book? And why were they able to do it so effortlessly, when reading just one chapter of a schoolbook feels like a Herculean labor?

Because they loved it. Reading Harry Potter was as enjoyable to most kids (if not more so) than playing video games or watching cartoons. The pleasure of reading those books caused kids’ brains to squirt dopamine into their system, making them feel euphoric and self-confident. There’s something books provide that all their other forms of entertainment cannot – a deep, almost familial bond with the characters. Only books can create that on such a profound level. Remember Kathy Bates in Misery? That’s the dark side of it, but I don’t think anyone went bat-#$#@ crazy when Friends was cancelled.

The great thing about Harry Potter was the after-shock it created in the middle-grade and YA book market. Kids were addicted to the book. The pleasure they got from the suspense, humor, mystery, and triumph had shot buckets of dopamine into their systems and no other form of entertainment could match that natural high. So, the middle-grade and YA book market exploded with kids seeking their next fix. When the Harry Potter fans grew up, they were naturally attracted to edgier, more adult fare that reflected their changing selves, and the YA market skyrocketed, heralded by Twilight and now The Hunger Games.

Which brings me to my book series, Scary School. With these books, I had only one goal. I was not trying to write to the best middle-grade series ever. I wasn’t trying to win any Newberry medals for literature. All I wanted to do with the Scary School series was make kids laugh. That’s it.

With my background in comedy writing, I felt that I could maybe write the funniest (not the best) middle-grade book ever. Go big or go home, right? I wanted to have at least three laugh-out-loud moments on every page. Did I succeed? You’ll have to tell me, but the most often used words in the reviews of the book have been “hilarious” and “laugh-out-loud funny.” So far so good.

What will happen when your kids read Scary School will be something very magical. It may very well be the first chapter book your kid reads as well as the first chapter of a life of profound and meaningful achievement. It may also be something a reluctant reader gives a shot because it actually looks fun with that zombie skateboarding kid on the cover. Maybe the only reason your kid gets it is because I’m signing copies at the local bookstore, so you think it would be neat for your kid to have a signed book. Let’s play out that scenario:

I sign the inside jacket of Scary School Book One and write him or her a special message with a funny drawing. Your kid is much more excited to receive it than you thought he/she would be.

That night, you hear laughter from across the house late at night. Your kid is supposed to be asleep but is staying up in bed reading Scary School. You figure that’s okay, so you let him/her keep reading, and you keep hearing laughter until midnight. The laughter is forging an imprint on your kid’s brain that reading=fun.

After finishing Scary School, you child will seek out more books to try and recreate that boisterous experience.

In the process, the child will continuing growing up, always reading and seeking that next great story. While other kids are watching TV and living their lives in Beta Mode, your child’s brain will be in Alpha Mode 1,000% more often. The heightened brain stimulation for long hours will increase your child’s cognitive functioning far past his/her peers. Not only that, your child will be armed with amazing moral and practical lessons learned throughout the Scary School book series that helps him/her adjust to new situations, treat people with respect and kindness, and fuel him/her with a yearning to make the world a better place.

This leads your child into doing community service, building the next great invention, and becoming class president.

Harvard and Yale both offer your child full scholarships, but he/she chooses to cash in on his new invention money and attends Oxford because Scary School taught him/her the value of seeking adventure and meeting different kinds of people from all over the world.

You don’t miss him/her as you otherwise might have because in the future there’s holographic communication where it seems like you’re actually sitting and talking in the same room together.

After graduation, your child comes back home where he/she is probably a DA, a famous architect, a prodigious scientist, or CEO of that hot new startup. He/She comes over for dinner one night and puts a knapsack down on the sofa. It falls over, and amongst the futuristic gadgets, you notice an old, dusty copy of Scary School – that book your child read in one all-nighter back in middle school. That book purchased on a whim because the author happened to be signing at the store. You open it up, and read what is says where I signed the inside of the jacket:

Dear (your kid’s name), Have Fun at Scary School! – Derek the Ghost


For more info the Scary School series, fun and games, and even tour the school and meet the students and faculty, please visit Scary School #2 – Monsters on the March will be released June 26, 2012 online and in bookstores everywhere.


I hope you all enjoyed that guest post! And thank you, Derek, for contributing to my blog! And don't forget to check out Scary School for yourself!

Buy Scary School
Amazon / B&N / Kindle / Nook / Book Depository

Waiting on Wednesday: Ask the Passengers

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Ask the Passengers
A.S. King
Little Brown BFYR
October 23rd, 2012
Young Adult

Synopsis via Goodreads
Astrid Jones copes with her small town's gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she's sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. Maybe they'll know what to do with it. Maybe it'll make them happy. Maybe they'll need it. Her mother doesn't want it, her father's always stoned, her perfect sister's too busy trying to fit in, and the people in her small town would never allow her to love the person she really wants to: another girl named Dee. There's no one Astrid feels she can talk to about this deep secret or the profound questions that she's trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love--and asking the right questions--will affect the passengers' lives, and her own, for the better.

In this unmistakably original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's boxes and definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking and sharing real love.

Wow! This sounds like it is going to be one powerful punch of a book. Just stumbled across this one a few hours ago whilst searching for a book to do for Waiting on Wednesday. I found quite a few new and exciting reads but decided this one had to be today's. This one just has award wirtten all over it. I can not wait for it to release. :D

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Sunday Post (3)


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


Book News:

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr recently had its cover posted!

Synopsis via Goodreads
In a city of daimons, the Carnival of Souls hosts a deadly competition. Once in a generation, every citizen can fight to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures—if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

In our own world, Mallory knows that her father—and every other witch—fled the daimons’ city long ago. She trains to be lethal because it’s only a matter of time until the daimons catch up with them.

While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans there for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence that is the Carnival of Souls.

From Melissa Marr, bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series, comes a brand-new tale of secrets, love, and the struggle to forge one’s own destiny.

Book Haul (What I got last week) :

RAK Gift from Memrie
~Ruling Passion by Alexandra Harvey
Free for Kindle
~Witch Song by Amber Argyle
~Paranormal Public by Maddy Edwards
~Ward Against Death by Melanie Card (Kindle)
~Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
~Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan
~Wildefire by Karsten Knight
For Review from Random House
~Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
For Review from Laura
~Destiny Unveiled by Laura DeLuca
For Review from Coliloquy
~Dead Letter Office by Kira Snyder
~Arcania by Liz Maverick
~Witch's Brew by Heidi R. Kling

If you'd like to join The Sunday Post meme simply follow the link in the description to Kimba's blog. Hope you all got some good books this past week too. :D

Blogoversary Giveaway: Destiny Prize Pack!

Destiny by Laura DeLuca
Publisher: Free Focus Publishing
Pub. Date: January 10th, 2011
Pages: 278
Age Level: YA

Gabriella is a witch. The problem is, she doesn't remember. She repressed the memories of her powers years ago when her mother was murdered. Now, the warlock who was responsible for her mother's death has set his sights on Gabriella. He is determined to use her fear to turn her to the dark side of magick…even if it kills her. Her mother's spirit is reaching out to warn her, but even that she pushes away. Desperate to save her daughter, the spirit finds a male witch–one that just happens to be in love with Gabriella. Darron is more than willing to help but the two young witches will have way more to battle than just an evil warlock. There are overbearing jocks and petty rich girls who get tempers flaring and often set Gabrielle and Darron at odds.

There is more to the story than Gabrielle and Darron could even imagine. There are terrible secrets to be revealed, battles to be waged, and lives will be lost. Only after Gabrielle and Darron both come to terms with who they really are, and open themselves up to the true meaning of magick, can they have any hope of fulfilling their destiny.


Contest Details

Thanks to Laura, one lucky winner will receive the above Destiny prize pack! US only. Please be sure to read terms and conditions.

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Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda

Fracture by Megan Miranda
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Pub. Date: January 17th, 2012
Pages: 262
Age Level: 14+
Source: Won

Synopsis via Goodreads
Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.

Megan Miranda's debut YA novel, Fracture, was a chilling, dark, and somewhat disturbing story that hooked my attention completely, pulling me further and further down into the tale, like the freezing cold waters of the lake.

Fracture was full of characters that I really just wanted to whack upside the head. With a 2 x 4. This isn't necessarily to say that I didn't like them...well, okay...I didn't like a few of them. Really though, it was more that they just all frustrated me so much at times. Let's start with Delaney. She didn't exactly have the most stand out personality but there was something both unique and relatable about her. Her emotions and feelings were so palpable and keenly expressed and I loved that about her. She was strong as well, especially considering everything she went through and what she had in way of 'support'. I'd have probably gone insane and been found running up and down the road in my bra and panties, shouting about how purple tarantulas were invading the universe. That said, she could be a bit stubborn and oblivious when it came to situations regarding Decker, at which points I really just wanted to slap some bloody sense into her. The same goes for Decker. I liked his character pretty well to start with, but then when he wasn't there for Delaney when she needed him most, he kind of lost my affection. Though I must say, that wasn't entirely his fault either as she didn't always make it easy for him. As for Troy, he just gave me the willies and I found him to get creepier as the book progressed. Despite this, he was a pretty well-fleshed out supporting character and definitely contributed to the plot. There were also Delaney's parents, and I liked them okay but, for the most part, they just pissed me off for some reason. But hey, at least they were there and were an obvious part of Delaney's life.

There was something so enticing and alluring about the plot of Fracture and I can truly say it was unlike anything I've ever read before. There wasn't a great deal of serious action, but the pacing was still quick and suspenseful. For the most part, this story was unpredictable and constantly kept me guessing, which turned out to be a good and a bad thing. It was great because who doesn't love some good ole fashioned suspense and mystery? The bad is because there were elements that were never explained, questions that were never answered, and this bugged me a wee bit. True, for some things there just are no answers and at least, having read some reviews prior to delving into this one, I knew not to expect much in the way of answers. Another thing, the paranormal element is there but it isn't dominant and falls second to the more contemporary elements involving the complexities of Delaney's relationships with the people in her life. So if you are looking to get your 'things that go bump in the night' fix, this book probably won't get the job done for you.

The writing was beautiful and took on a dream-like quality in the way it wrapped itself around me, enveloping me completely in intoxicating prose. This is what really got me hooked when I first opened the book. While I didn't always like Delaney, I always loved reading from her perspective, and her voice and tone really helped make this book for me.

If you disregard my issue with unanswered questions, the ending was near perfect. It was shocking, intense, and concluded the story on a strong, yet resolved, note that left me relatively satisfied overall with how things were drawn to a close.  

All in all, while there were a few aspects that left me a little disappointed, Fracture was a fast-paced and imaginative read that I enjoyed rather well. I don't know that this book would be everyone's cup of tea and I really think this is one of those books more easily liked if you have a good idea of what you are getting into ahead of time. That said, it is a great book and I do recommend it. I look forward to seeing what else Miranda has to offer the YA literary world in the future.

Characters: C+
Writing: A-
Plot: B-
Ending: B+
Enjoyment/Likability: B-
Recommendable: C+

Overall: B-

Cover: A-

Buy Fracture:
Amazon / B&N / Kindle / Nook / Book Depository

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Few Great Kindle Deals!

For $0.99-$1.99

~ ~

For $2.99

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For $4.99

~ ~

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: 34 Pieces of You

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

34 Pieces of You
Carmen Rodrigues
Simon Pulse
September 4th, 2012
Young Adult

Synopsis via Goodreads
There was something about Ellie... Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance, and kept watch.

Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are 34 clues she left behind. 34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. 34 secrets of a brief and painful life.

Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they begin to confront the darkest truths about themselves, they will also find out what Ellie herself had been hiding all along....


I'm really looking forward to this one AND it is supposed to be at BEA so with any luck I'll have it in my hands within the next two weeks. *squee* What do you think? Does this sound like one you'd like to read?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Blogoversary Giveaway: Pretty in Purple Paranormal Prize Pack!

~PB of Possessions by Nancy Holder
~ARC of The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
~Signed HC of Elixir by Hilary Duff & Elise Allen


Please read full Terms and Conditions prior to entering. :D

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Sunday Post (2)


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


Book News:

Catherine by April Linder finally has a cover!

Synopsis via Goodreads
True love never dies in this modern retelling of one of literature's most haunting star-crossed romances, Wuthering Heights.

Catherine is tired of struggling musicians befriending her just so they can get a gig at her Dad's famous Manhattan club, The Underground. Then she meets mysterious Hence, an unbelievably passionate and talented musician on the brink of success. As their relationship grows, both are swept away in a fiery romance. But when their love is tested by a cruel whim of fate, will pride keep them apart?

Chelsea has always believed that her mom died of a brief illness, until she finds a letter her dad has kept from her for years--a letter from her mom, Catherine, who didn't die: She disappeared. Driven by unanswered questions, Chelsea sets out to look for her--starting with the return address on the letter: The Underground.

Told in two voices, twenty years apart, Catherine interweaves a timeless forbidden romance with a compelling modern mystery.

Blog News (Past) :

This past Friday was my blogoversary so I got a post up on that and a lot of giveaways, which I'm still posting. You can find all the giveaways currently going on here above this post in the Site Announcements Area. And here's a little, emphasis on little, post recap:

Waiting on Wednesday: Incarnation!
Noteworthy Passages: Graffiti Moon
It's My Three Year Blogoversary!

Blog News (Future) :

So I didn't get as much posted last week as planned but hoping to do better this week. I'm planning to get reviews up of The Immortal Rules and Fracture. And hopefully some other fun stuff as well.

Book Haul (What I got last week) :

Bought for Kindle
~Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini ($0.99)
~Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink ($2.99)
~The DUFF by Kody Keplinger ($2.99)

Free for Kindle
~Eden by Keary Taylor

~Divergent by Veronica Roth

RAK Gift from Shayna
~What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

Well that is what's coming up on my blog soon, news, and the wonderful books I got this past week. If you'd like to join The Sunday Post meme simply follow the link in the description to Kimba's blog. Hope you all got some good books this past week too. :D

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Blogoversary Giveaway: 3 Mystery Boxes!

Mystery Box Pictures, Images and Photos


Contest Details
So while I was away at my first year of college, I gained some perspective about how many books I have and how I need to be more selective know...I won't live forever. So when I got home, I did some serious and belated Spring Cleaning of my shelves. Most of my books I'm giving away for my blogoversary are from this cleaning. As are these. So I have three mystery boxes. The boxes will contain a mix of newer and older books, ARCs and finished copies, and there are 10 books to a box.

Please read the Terms and Conditions before entering!

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Blogoversary Giveaway: Summer Pre-orders!


Contest Details
So, of all the giveaways I'll be having, I wanted there to be at least one that EVERYONE could enter. And I wanted it to be good. Because I love y'all. So here it is. Above are 15 books coming out this summer: 5 from June, 5 from July, and 5 from August. There will be 3 winners total.

1st prize winner will get three books of their choice.
2nd prize winner will get two books of their choice.
3rd prize winner will get one book of their choice.

If there is a winner in the US, you'll get your prize ordered through Amazon. International winners will get their prize ordered through Book Depository. Must be 13 or older.

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About Me

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

My Partner in mean reading. :P

My Partner in mean reading. :P
Meet Rudy everyone!