Mar 28, 2013

Review: Legacy by Molly Cochran

Title: Legacy
Author: Molly Cochran
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 12.20.2011
Pages: 432
Genre: Paranormal
Series: Legacy #1
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: A

Summary (from Goodreads):
When her widowed father dumps 16-year-old Katy Jessevar in a boarding school in Whitfield, Massachusetts, she has no idea that fate has just opened the door to both her future and her past. Nearly everyone in Whitfield is a witch, as is Katy herself, although she has struggled all her life to hide her unusual talents. Stuck at a boarding school where her fellow students seem to despise her, Katy soon discovers that Whitfield is the place where her mother committed suicide under mysterious circumstances when Katy was just a small child. With dark forces converging on Whitfield, it's up to Katy to unravel her family's many secrets to save the boy she loves and the town itself from destruction.

This book was amazing.  I couldn't put it down. Although the plot seemed standard, I loved her version of it. By infusing the wiccan ways into it, it made it so much more exciting and suspensful.  Even if you aren't into reading about fictional witches, the underlying general meaning can be compariable to any life situation.  Even though there is magick in this book, remove it and your left with a family, love, and friendship.  The Darkness can be comparted to all wrong doing humanity has done, is doing, and will continue to do.  Silently waiting in the shadows to trap another into it's deceitful web. 

The characters were excellent.  You got see a glimpse of all their lives and who they are.  Even with the, intended I'm sure, secrecy of Peter, giving doubt to whether he was the bad guy or not, it gave it that spark of suspens and almost dreading that sweet Peter might actually be the bad guy.

I almost thought that there wasn't going to be a sequel.  It was a complete story, until the very end. I was extremely happy to know I would be getting more of Katy, Peter and all of Whitfield.  The only thing that I didn't like was how rushed it seemed in the beginning.  It almost seems as if you were thrown into the middle of an action scene and got caught up in it. 

Reviewer: Gabrielle

Mar 27, 2013

Meet the Co-Blogger

Several months ago I decided I wanted needed to attend BEA in 2013 (making it my second year). I also knew I wouldn't want to go it alone. If I learned nothing else my first year it was that a buddy was crucial for my own sanity. Unfortunately the awesome friend who went with me last year wasn't able to go again this year.

I sort of resigned myself to going alone (although my mother valiantly offer to accompany me, but I knew she simply wouldn't get why I was freaking out of a bunch of books), and then I had this .... epiphany and remembered my amazingly sweet cousin who I've watch grow up into a great woman and an avid young adult novel fanatic. We loved gushing about books together, and on a whim I decided to invite her.

She not only accepted, but blew me away with her enthusiasm for BEA, books, and everything a trip like this entailed. One thing led to another, one question bled into the next, and our conversations quickly switched from solely being about BEA to the nuances and details about blogging. I told her she should start her own, but she seemed hesitant. So I asked her if she wanted to write some reviews and help me out over here to get a feel for blogging (truth be told, I have more review copies than I can get to and I still have un-read BEA books from last year). She said sure and shortly after I asked if she would like to try co-blogging with me.

And that, my friends, is how my cousin came to be my newest (OK, and only) co-blogger here at The Irish Banana Review. So, without further adieu, I give you Gabrielle:

My name is Gabrielle. I am a 21 year old book lover.  My favorite genre is definitely Young Adult Sci-fi, although, I will be more then happy to read anything!   When I'm not completely and totaly emeresed in book, I work nights as a Manufacturing Coordinator at a manufacturing facilty.

Where You Can Find Gabrielle:

*BTW, today is her birthday, so make sure you give her a shout-out on twitter!**

Mar 26, 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Wasteland by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan

Recently I had the fun task of interviewing Laurence Klavan and Susan Kim about their new dystopian adventure, Wasteland, the first in a new triology.

1. Describe Wasteland in less than 15 words.
LAURENCE: In the future, life will end at 19. Esther must fight to get there.

2. How did the idea for Wasteland come about?
LAURENCE: The notion of a world where everyone only lives to nineteen seemed to have built-in drama and high stakes to it. Also, it could be a way to describe the teenage years themselves, which in their intensity are unique, self-contained, and never to be repeated in your life (some would say, good; others would say, too bad. I’m in the middle).

3. How difficult was it writing the novel with someone else?
SUSAN: Let me be diplomatic and put it this way: the easy parts were not only easy but fun, but the hard parts were hard. I mean, REALLY hard. Laurence and I had written two graphic novels together, which were basically screenplays; writing those was a breeze because most of the words were just descriptions of action (e.g. “she walks outside and accidentally falls on top of a dead baby space alien”) and didn’t even end up in the final book. But in a novel, everything counts – every comma, every paragraph break. So what we ended up doing was talking through the outline very carefully, writing it down and revising it until it made total sense. Then we wrote alternating chapters, handed them to the other person, and rewrote those. We kept going until the end of the book, each constantly rewriting the other person’s work. At the end, we sat down side by side and went through the entire book line by line. Every step of this, by the way, was like a root canal: you’d have to be a saint not to feel bad when you put your soul into a chapter and your partner basically deletes the whole thing. It also takes a lot longer than writing alone. But still, it’s the only way we know to write together, and the best. We couldn't do this unless we truly respected each other and the work we do.

4. What sets Wasteland apart from all the other YA dystopians currently on the market?
SUSAN: The whole premise is that since everyone dies so young, teenagers have to face   serious issues at a really early age: staying alive, partnering off, giving birth. Dying. Stuff like that. Wasteland takes place in a dangerous, filthy, and destroyed world, where kids are doing anything they can to stay alive. We decided to be as truthful to the situation as we could be in our tone, the situations, and the conflicts that come up, which means it definitely gets kind of grim. We were really intrigued to think of a world without adults and what that might mean, say, thirty years from now. What else would die off after one or two generations? Education, for one thing; virtually no one would read or know really basic stuff. And definitely authority, the kind you get from someone who’s had a lot of life experience. I don’t think we’ve seen many YA dystopians that really get into this kind of brutal innocence: our characters are almost like cavemen in terms of what they don’t know, and yet they’re drinking soda and wearing clothes from the Gap.

5. It seems like every YA book is now being optioned for a movie or TV show. In a perfect world, who would you cast for Esther and Caleb?
LAURENCE: Not being experts on this age group of actors, we had to get the opinions of knowledgeable others. They said Ariel Winter or Kiernan Shipka (when she gets older) for Esther and Logan Lerman or Landon Liboiron for Caleb. But you tell us!

6. What comes next in the series for Esther?
SUSAN: TONS of stuff. We don’t want to give too much away, but basically, the next book is about Esther and the people of Prin leaving on a long and dangerous journey to find a better life. Along the way, they meet some seriously menacing people and bad situations. There are huge changes in store for not only Esther and Caleb, but Skar, as well.  

Thanks Laurence & Susan for stopping by!

Make sure you check out all the other stops on the blog tour because we're giving away 3 copies of Wasteland for some lucky readers!

Monday, March 25th – SciFi Chick – guest post
Tuesday, March 26th – The Irish Banana – author interview
Wednesday, March 27th – IB BookBlogging - character profile/excerpt
Thursday, March 28th – The Nocturnal Library – guest post
Friday March 29th – Candace’s BookBlog – author interview

Monday, April 1st – The Book Swarm – this or that list
Tuesday, April 2nd – Supernatural Snark – character profile/excerpt
Wednesday, April 3rd – Alison Can Read – author interview
Thursday, April 4th – Bewitched Bookworms – guest post
Friday, April 5th – Alice Marvels – guest post

Welcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disease and brutal attacks by the Variants —- hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.

Barnes and Noble
Book Trailer 

Laurence Klavan Website:
Susan Kim -

Mar 25, 2013

Book Feature: Jack Templar Monster Hunter by Jeff Gunhus

Finalist for 2012 Book of the Year Award – Foreword Reviews

Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack’s fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it’s great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend “T-Rex” from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he’s the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he’s destined to be in the family business. Second, that there’s a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits…until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him.
As if that weren’t enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the “One?” Why do the monsters want him dead so badly?  Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.
For Middle Grade readers and higher
Fans of: Percy Jackson Series, Harry Potter and The Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Middle Grade / YA Fantasy
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Jeff Gunhus on Facebook & Twitter

Mar 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #13

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. This a new way to showcase all the books currently weighing down my shelves. 
*Quite possibly my most favorite haul this year!

For Review:

The Rules by Stacey Kade
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Goddess by Josephine Angelini
If I Should Die by Amy Plum
The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
Night School by C.J. Daugherty
Parrallel by Lauren Miller
Transparent by Natalie Whipple
Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting
Born of Illusion by Terri Brown
The End Games by T. Michael Martin
Rise by Anna Carey
September Girls by Bennett Madison
Wastleand by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan
Find Me by Romily Bernard
Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins
Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

*Many thanks to the awesome people at HarperCollins, HarperTeen, Balzer+Bray, Greenwillow, Katherine Tegan, St. Martin's Griffin, and Disney Hyperion*

Mar 22, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway: Liz Coley

Today I have the honor of having Liz Coley on the blog. Liz is the author of Pretty Girl-13, the emotionally turbulent book of a girl who is kidnapped at age 13 and one of my favorite books to come out this year. 

Scenes from a Life – First Kiss
By Liz Coley

“A kiss is just a kiss” the song goes, unless it’s that memorable First Kiss. I can only speak from the girl’s perspective. I don’t know whether boys whisper about whether they are ready, when it will happen, or whether they’re nervous.

Confession time. I was sweet fourteen and never been kissed when I decided to try out for the part of Liat in South Pacific. Liat’s mom, Bloody Mary, “gives” her virginal teenaged daughter to an American soldier for the night in hopes that he’ll like her and marry her and take her away to a better life. The part of Lt. Cable had already been cast—a super-cute, super-athletic junior with flowing seventies hair and a sweet tenor voice. Be still my teenaged heart. The audition was to play the arranged-seduction scene with him. Fortunately I only had to learn one line--in French, at that--because all I could think about was the part where he would tenderly lower me to the floor and kiss me.

Since the music room was being used by lower school classes, our director had reserved a large supply closet for auditions--large meaning, maybe six by eight feet, which was kind of cozy for four. Four? Yes, four. Did I mention Lt. Cable had a senior girl friend who was playing the Nellie, the star of the show, and helping our music teacher evaluate all the auditions?

For a week I popped breath mints and played the scene in my head, especially in Algebra II where he sat a couple desks away. The dreaded, longed-for day came. And then it happened. My first kiss, in the arms of the high school basketball star, on the floor of a supply closet, under the supervision of his girlfriend and the music director. It was warm and soft and strangely thoughtful, like he understood how awkward this whole set up was. And curiously, it was far more memorable in the long run than my first “real” kiss with a boyfriend a year later.

There are a lot of “first” kisses over a lifetime, but only one First Kiss, which holds a special place in the way we measure our growing up.

Thanks, Liz! Be sure to check out my review of Pretty Girl-13: Review Link

I also have a shiny new copy of Pretty Girl-13 to give away to one lucky reader from the US/Canada. Just fill out the Rafflecopter and good luck!

Mar 21, 2013

Blogger Tips: The Case of the Negative Review

Blogger Tips: The Case of the Negative Review

I noticed recently a ton of negative reviews on different blogs I follow as well as Goodreads. That being said, I’ve also noticed a lot of people lamenting having to write these negative reviews on twitter, facebook, forums, and a whole bunch of other places. That being said, here’s my stance on negative review and why they’re important:

1. It’s Not A Bad Review
Let’s clear one thing up first: A negative review is not a bad review. A bad review is someone who misspells every other word, has more grammatical errors than not, and/or flames an author or their work for the sake of being snarky (read: bitchy) or mean (read: asshole-y).

A negative review simply means you didn’t like the book. It’s not a criticism against the author as a person, against a genre, or anything else. But if you’re going to write a negative review you have an obligation to the author and your readers to back up why the book didn’t work for you.

2. DNF Is A Three-Letter Word
The dreaded “did not finish” stamp. It took me a long time to accept that this wasn’t me quitting or something bad. For years I operated under the belief that even if I skimmed every page, I had to finish a book. I’ve realized now that there are too many books out there to get caught up in the one that didn’t work for me.

Books are like shoes. Some fit, some don’t. Some make you feel like going out to a club and partying while other rub you the wrong way and give you blisters. We all have different likes and dislikes.

Some people think if you didn’t finish a book you have no right to review it fairly. Other say review it as is. I say do both.

If there is a reason why I didn’t finish a book that I feel is valid (bad plot, unbelievable characters, etc.) then I will review it if I think there are people out there that will glean something from my review. If I stop reading a book because we just didn’t click? Then I say let it go, no harm no foul.

3. Stand Your Ground … As Long As It Isn’t Quicksand
Don’t let other people make you feel bad about writing a negative review. But also don’t put yourself in a position where you look like an jerk for writing negative review.

It’s fine to not like something, but you have to back up why you didn’t like it. Don’t just say, “I didn’t like it. The character was stupid.” Give examples and be as specific as possible. You don’t need to lay out a one-hundred point essay on why it didn’t work, but touch on the main reasons to show you put some thought into this.

4. Objective vs. Opinion
I know the rule of thumb is that all reviews are supposed to be objective. I get this. Problem is, there’s no such thing as objective in this world. We are all tainted by our personal experiences, life events, and memories. Those forces are what drives us to either connect or not with a book. I’m not saying this is bad or wrong, but it simply is.

I grew up in a very Christian environment and I hold a lot of those beliefs to be very true. I can’t say I wouldn’t be offended if I picked up a book with a protagonist who burned crosses and set churches on fire. But that’s not to say someone else wouldn’t enjoy this book.

You have to make a choice: You review can be as unbiased as you can possibly make it, but then isn’t that more of a book report? Or you can stay true to yourself and state you opinion, but make it clear that this is your opinion and respect that others may have a different view than yours.

5. Against the Grain
Sometimes the hardest reviews to write are the ones for a book we didn’t like when everyone else is raving about it. I felt that way about several books. I was so excited to read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer because everyone RAVED about this book for months. I was so excited when I got my copy and then I felt like an idiot because it fell kinda flat for me.

I still wrote my review and I was surprised to find a lot of people coming out of the woodwork in support of my review. I promise you won’t be the only person who feels this way about a book.

6. Save the Catfights for the Club
A review is no place to air out your dirty laundry. If you have a problem with an author, or even a publisher, being a snarky wench in you review might earn a few giggles but it won’t earn you an ounce of respect. A blog is no place to show how easily you can cut someone with words. It’s petty and childish and just don’t. OK? Don't be an ass for the sake of trying to look cool. No on buys it and you look like a bigger ass.
7. Blogger Compromised
Raise your hand if you’re on twitter.
Raise your hand in you follow an author on twitter.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever chatted with a really sweet author on twitter .
Raise your hand if you read a book by a really sweet author on twitter and strongly disliked that book.

I’m pretty sure we all have our hands up right now, myself included.

One of the coolest things about social media is how accessible it has made authors. I love that I can tweet an author and they freaking respond back!!! But that only makes it all the more difficult when I read their book and I don’t like it.

There is no easy answer here. I wish I could tell you what to do, but I can only tell you what works for me. I will admit that I have simply not reviewed the book I didn’t like. I have also review that book as honestly as I was able and then buried it between a bunch of other posts, praying no one saw it. Mostly now I review the book honestly, and I’ll post extra links after my review to reviews that raved about the book to prove it’s just my opinion and there are plenty of other who did enjoy the book, even if I didn’t.

Ultimately my goal is to see authors succeed. I don’t want any author to fail. As a blogger it’s a duty and privilege to promote books and encourage people to read. I don’t ever want something I wrote in a review to discourage someone from picking up a book.

Mar 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (40)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly waiting to get into our hands.

This week I'm waiting on....

by: Rainbow Rowell


Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

Or will she just go on living inside somebody else’s fiction?

Why I Want It:
Confession time: I am a fan fiction writer. Yup. There you have it. I've written for a myriad of genres, fandoms, ships, and a whole other bunch of words most of you probably don't know. I too have gotten myself sucked into the online forums devoted to tv shows, couples, and other things, so an entire book written about this sounds eerily like it could be my biography.

Words cannot express how much I'm excited about this book. Anyone who is a fangirl! should take notice. 

Fangirl will be released 9.10.2013 from St. Martin's Press

Mar 19, 2013

Review: Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine

Title: Bitter Blood
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL
Publication Date: 11.6.2012
Pages: 404
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires, Romance
Series: Morganville Vampires #13
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: A-

Summary (from Goodreads):
For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville, Texas, have managed to co-exist in peace. But now that the threat to the vampires has been defeated, the human residents are learning that the gravest danger they face is the enemy within…

Thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. But college student Claire Danvers isn’t about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires. 

To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news… or worse.

Thirteen books into a series you would think the author would show signs of fatigue or plot repetition, but once again Rachel Caine blows me away. Bitter Blood is the most recent in the long-running Morganville Vampires series, and it is a series that is very near and dear to my heart. It’s remarkable to look back of the last thirteen books and see how much character growth everyone has endured under the masterful hand of Caine.

Claire is still our heroine but as the series has progressed we’ve gotten more narrators. It took me a while to adjust (I was happy just hearing Claire’s side of things), but I feel like Bitter Blood is where it finally started clicking for me. This whole book just kept ratcheting up the tension, making it thick and palpable, and setting up a climax that left me stunned and reeling.

13 books later and Caine still surprises the hell out of me.

I’ve always been a fan of Team Glass House (Claire, Michael, Eve, and Shane—oh, God, yes Shane), but this book really delved into Myrnin’s character as well and I loved learning more about him than the emotionally and psychologically damaged but brilliant vampire. Maybe Myrnin isn’t the holy terror I believed him to be.

This far into a series it’s so hard to discuss plot points without giving away a lot of back story that unfolded in previous books and there are a lot of plots twists that would be huge spoilers to people who haven’t read this series. Fans of paranormal novels (especially of the vampire variety) need to get on board with this series.

Mar 18, 2013

PreOrder Contest: The Program by Suzanne Young

Suzanne Young's The Program is one of those books I was desperate to get my hands on this year. With a cool, thrilling concept and a stark, teriffying cover, I wanted it. I wanted it to sit happily on my shelf with all my other pretty books. So I did what any other girl would do - I preordered myself a copy.

TheProgram 197x300 The Program Preorder Contest
In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.
Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Here's where it gets fun. Suzanne (with the assistance of the ever incredible Bailey from IB Book Blogging) is holding a contest for people who have preordered The Program. The prizes are pretty freaking awesome, too:

  • 3rd Prize- An ARC of Just Like Fate by Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick. These babies aren’t even being circulated by the publisher yet, so that’s a real treat if you win. icon smile The Program Preorder Contest

  • 2nd Prize- The Suzanne Young Collection (includes signed copies of A Need So Beautiful, A Want So Wicked, and an ARC of Just Like Fate)

  • 1st Prize- The Suzanne Young Collection + a yellow iPod shuffle with The Program playlist
  • Those are some fantastic prizes, right? And even if you don’t win, you will still be sent the poster, bookmarks, and a ring pop because you preordered the book!
    Got it so far? Here's how you enter:
    You must preorder The Program by April 22nd to be entered into the giveaway and to receive your gift package. Suzanne and I would love it if you preordered The Program from indie bookstore Changing Hands. She will sign all copies that are preordered from there. You can still preorder from any bookstore, but don’t you want that special signed copy? 
    Just follow this link HERE to preorder from Changing Hands.
    Keep in mind if you are a winner, you will need to be able to prove you ordered The Program in advance. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. It is U.S. only due to the cost of shipping. But if you are an international reader, you should definitely still preorder The Program because a great book is a great book.

    Blog Tour & Giveaway: Fight or Flight by Jamie Canosa

    Today I have the pleasure of hosting Jamie Canosa, author of Fight or Flight. Here she shares her own flight or flight experience and tells us a bit about her upcoming novel, plus has a giveway to go with it!

    The lovely Hannah has given me the chance to share with all of you today, so let me begin by thanking her for this opportunity. Thank you, Hannah! You rock! 

    Okay, now, moving on . . .

    The title of my book is Fight or Flight. Fight or flight are natural responses all creatures experience when faced with a perceived threat. Everyone has at least one moment in their life when their fight or flight response has taken over. When Hannah asked me to share one with you from my own life, I was a bit reluctant. Moments like that are usually traumatic and I wasn't sure there were any I was especially fond of revisiting. Nevertheless, I dug down deep, steeled myself, and put together something I'm willing to share with hundreds of strangers. Whew! Psyching myself there. Well, here goes nothing . . . 

    This all happened about two years ago and I still have nightmares. It was around nine PM and the house was already quiet, the kids all tucked in and the hubs wrapped up in some video game or another. I'm not a winter person. I hate the cold. I feel like all winter long it sinks into my bones and I can never get warm until spring comes around again and I thaw out, so I decided to hop in the shower to try and warm up a bit before bed.

    The hot water was starting to work. My body was beginning to defrost a bit. At least I could feel my fingers and toes again. That's when I saw him. I hadn't notice him before, too caught up in thoughts of the warm comforter that awaited me, but I saw him now. I couldn't stop seeing him.

    He was just standing there, staring at me. I froze. Water pouring over me, handful of shampoo in my palm, and my feet glued to the tub floor. I couldn't think. I couldn't react. Even my brain had frozen. My eyes stayed glued to his grotesque, hairy body as he took one step and then another toward me with those long, thin legs of his. At his approach, my heart kicked into overdrive, slamming against my ribs, which seemed to reset my brain. I threw myself out of the shower, grabbing a towel on my way out the door, and went screaming down the stairs like my hair was on fire instead of leaving a soaking wet path behind me. Flight may not always be the best option, but when an eight legged, hundred beady eyed intruder has you cornered in the shower, it's the ONLY option.

    Be smart.
    Keep your head down.
    And look out for number one.

    These are the rules Jay has lived by for the past two years. The rules of surviving life on the streets. But when Em comes bursting into his life, in all of her disastrous glory, the rules go right out the window.

    Flee what’s been left behind 
    And never look back.

    Em’s plan was simple. Though, it was easier said than done. The city streets are dangerous and unforgiving to a new arrival. Especially, a seventeen year old girl who’s never known anything but life in the suburbs. Sometimes, however, what’s lurking behind those white picket fences can be more frightening than any dark alley.

    Both of them made the same decision when life got overwhelming—to run from their demons. Brought together by fate or circumstance, Em and Jay find the kind of love neither of them ever expected. But when those demons come back to haunt them and their love is on the line, which instincts will they choose to follow this time . . .
    Fight or Flight?

    *Warning: This story includes mature language and themes, and is intended for mature audiences.

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    Author Bio: 
    Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Upstate NY with her husband, and their three crazy kids . . . plus the dog, the bird, and the rabbit.

    Her debut novel, Dissidence, was published in 2012 along with several novellas, including the first in her Heart and Soul series, ‘Temptation’.

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