Oct 28, 2014

Review: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

Title: All Broke Down
Author: Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 10.28.2014
Pages: 368
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports
Series: Rush University #2
Source: ARC from author

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she's probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He's in for a different kind of fighting. And though he's arrogant and infuriating, she can't help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it's trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He's met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn't think he's broken, and he definitely doesn't need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

OK, I love Cora Carmack. Not just because she’s awesome and fun to hang out with, but in ALL BROKE DOWN she did something that I freaking love when authors do – she made me love a character I used to dislike.

Silas was an ass in All Lined Up. The distaste Dallas still harbors for him was similar to how I felt going into this book, but Carmack does a fantastic job of humanizing him. In fact, Silas Moore is one of the more realistic fictional characters I’ve read in a long time. He’s not just one thing—yes, he’s loyal and protective and hot, but he’s also pretty messed up, jaded, and (at times) a jerkwad. I love that Carmack didn’t try to tame him or downplay his assiness from book one. That is what compelled me to him even more.

Dylan was a good balance for him. Sweet and soft where he was bitter and hard. While I’m not crazy about Silas looking to Dylan to “fix” him, I can see why he was so drawn to her.
This series is one of my favorite new adult series. Carmack is a Texas girl and it shows in every football scene she writes, in every landscape she describes, and every character she infuses life into. You just can’t replicate that genuineness.

Buy: All Broke Down

Oct 27, 2014

A Letter: Dear Newbie

Dear Newbie Blogger,

Welcome to the wild world of book blogging! I'm sure you're looking around wondering what you've gotten yourself into. If you haven't deleted all traces of a fledgling blog over the last 10 days, then you're a champ, in my opinion.

No one would blame you for walking (running) away. Twitter has exploded with hashtags ranging from #HaleNo to #AuthorYes to now #BloggerBlackout. I get it - book bloggers are an overwhelming group, especially when you whip us into a frenzy. And lately, there's been a lot of frenzy happening that's shone a big ole spotlight on our community. For better or for worse, we are a community and now you're part of it. Of us. 

Again, welcome.

Maybe you're just considering blogging and haven't made the plunge. Maybe you're halfway into a blog design and about you launch yourself into the interwebs. Maybe you've been blogging for a day. Maybe a month. Maybe you've been blogging for a few months and this latest online disaster is making you consider throwing in the towel.

Drama aside, I get it. Bloggers are a tough nut to crack. I spent a long time on the fringes of the blogging community, not really feeling accepted. I would make attempts to interact with better know bloggers and would be met with silence or quick, dismissive comments. Even now, after 3 years of this, I still sometimes walk into a conference or an event or a twitter conversation and wonder what I'm doing here. 

Book blogging seems like such a simple thing: I love to read, so why not share that love? But there is a never ending TBR, and posts to schedule, tours to sign up for, promo posts to tweak, rafflecopters taking off and landing everywhere you look ... There's trying to build a rapport with publicists and readers and other bloggers. It's exhausting and for every mountain climbed, there's another one right behind it; another blow up on the horizon.

So why do it? Why throw yourself into this chaotic fray of html and social media?

Because, every now and then, you find those moments that make it all worth it.

You find that book that you never would have discovered without blogging. 

You find your best friend in a goodreads forum. 

You meet an author who is even more awesome in person than online and actually knows you.

You connect with a group of bloggers living less than a mile from your home that you can laugh with and go to movies with and bring you cupcakes when you have a sick day.

You find a whole group of friends willing to entertain your crazy ideas and let you be you.

So yes, this community is big. It can be scary and overwhelming and flawed, sometimes with more drama than an episode of Days of Our Lives. But it's ours and you're part of it. So go out there and do your thing. 

We've been waiting for you and your voice to arrive.

All my love,

Review: The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts

Title: The Bodies We Wear
Author: Jeyn Roberts
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 9.23.2014
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Series: N/A
Source: ARC from ALA

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
People say when you take Heam, your body momentarily dies and you catch a glimpse of heaven. Faye was only eleven when dealers forced Heam on her and her best friend, Christian. But Faye didn’t glimpse heaven—she saw hell. And Christian died. 
Now Faye spends her days hiding her secret from the kids at school, and her nights training to take revenge on the men who destroyed her life and murdered her best friend. But life never goes the way we think it will. When a mysterious young man named Chael appears, Faye's plan suddenly gets a lot more complicated. Chael seems to know everything about her, including her past. But too many secrets start tearing her world apart: trouble at school, with the police, and with the people she thought might be her friends. Even Gazer, her guardian, fears she's become too obsessed with vengeance. Love and death. Will Faye overcome her desires, or will her quest for revenge consume her?


Heam, short for Heaven's Dream, allows you a glimpse of a beautiful place that many claim to be Heaven. So why wouldn't you want to try it? Even if you could die the first time. Faye can give plenty of reasons.

Faye is 17 but she seems so much older. What she has gone through and what she is working towards have aged her. It started when she was 11. Can you imagine keeping hate that long locked inside? When you finally learn why, you understand. It ruined more than just her life.

The world you get brought into is some depressing. Heam has completely changed it. Roberts has done an amazing job filling in the smallest details, yet important, to give you a world that justifies Faye's hate. Cue Chael and the light he brings with him.

Once Faye realizes who he is, everything in her little world goes upside down. The emotions she goes through are something anyone would feel. Roberts certainly knows how to carry those emotions out of the pages.

This is definitely one that I'll remember.

Buy: The Bodies We Wear

Oct 26, 2014

Blog Tour: Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout

It's no secret that YA is quickly taking over the world, including TV and movies. That being that, here's a dreamcast for the Dark Elements:

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout - she's not only an amazing writer, but also a fantastically witty and fun person to be around. That energy she lives with is infused into her books, her characters, and I think that's why people connect to well to them.

STONE COLD TOUCH picks up where White Hot Kiss left off. Layla is confused and grows more and more torn between Zayne and Roth. I typically establish my OTP ship in a series in book one and it doesn't change, but something about this trio has me unsure. I was firmly Team Roth going into this, but I can't deny the attraction with Zayne. There's a sweetness there and a vulnerability that I don't think Layla has with Roth.

By the end of the book I am completely at a loss for who I want Layla to end up with. So much has happened and been revealed, and truly either guy would complement her. But I guess I need to make up my mind soon since the choice of who Layla ends up with is in the hands of the reader.

In an unprecedented move, Armentrout has opened up the final book and is letting readers vote to determine the fate of Layla's heart. Good luck and choose wisely.

The choice is yours...

Beginning October 21st you’ll have 3 weeks to visit the series website, www.thedarkelementsseries.com, to take a poll and decide which guy Layla should ultimately choose in the final book in the trilogy, EVERY LAST BREATH.
At the end of 3 weeks, we will tally all the votes, and that’s when Jennifer L. Armentrout will start writing EVERY LAST BREATH. The guy who gets the most votes is the one Layla will pick.

To prevent early spoilers, we're not going to reveal who won the poll in advance…you’ll have to wait until EVERY LAST BREATH goes on sale on July 28th, 2015 to find out whether Zayne or Roth wins Layla in the end. We promise the book will be epic and definitely worth the wait!

Who do you want Layla to end up with? Go to www.thedarkelementsseries.com and vote for your choice! 


And don’t forget the previous books in The Dark Elements Series…



One signed print copy of STONE COLD TOUCH for each site to giveaway. US/Canada only Giveaway. Comment below to be entered to win.

Every touch has its price
Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden.  Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 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.


Oct 23, 2014

Review: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

Title: In a Handful of Dust
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: 9.23.2014
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Series: Not a Drop to Drink #2
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to 
Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.


Lucy has grown so much since Lynn first found her. She has grown accustomed to living like Lynn. She pulls her weight and helps with the sick. But she has a spark even if he doesn't know why.

She hasn't always lived like this. She came from the city. Or what was left it. She wants more and she will find a way. Lynn has been such a good mother to her and stands by her. Even if she doesn't think it's a good idea.

They embark on a journey that allows them both to learn more about themselves. And throughout the journey I almost died. It's so suspenseful and I was holding my breath. Like when you watch a scary movie and the music is playing and you're like oh no! I wanted the best for Lynn and Lucy.

When they i ally get to a town, you get that feeling like maybe this is it but there is that shadow of doubt once you meet the people. And I just want to say ew. Like I really can't believe what they have done. Mindy really gave you a surprise there. But it goes well with the hardness of the times and everyone's just trying to survive.

I got to the end and I let out a breathe that I forgot I was holding. I can only hope for just one more book that lets you know about their end journeys. Lynn is an amazing woman. Hardened by how she grew up and all that she has gone through. Softened only by the little Lucy. Lucy was so gentle and sweet but has learned from Lynn and has grown to understand what it means to live.

Oct 22, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Dove Arising

"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: Karen Bao

Phaet Theta has lived her whole life in a colony on the Moon. She’s barely spoken since her father died in an accident nine years ago. She cultivates the plants in Greenhouse 22, lets her best friend talk for her, and stays off the government’s radar.

Then her mother is arrested.

The only way to save her younger siblings from the degrading Shelter is by enlisting in the Militia, the faceless army that polices the Lunar bases and protects them from attacks by desperate Earth-dwellers. Training is brutal, but it’s where Phaet forms an uneasy but meaningful alliance with the preternaturally accomplished Wes, a fellow outsider.

Rank high, save her siblings, free her mom:  that’s the plan. Until Phaet’s logically ordered world begins to crumble...

Suspenseful, intelligent, and hauntingly prescient, Dove Arising stands on the shoulders of our greatest tales of the future to tell a story that is all too relevant today.

Why I Want It:
I was so bummed this was pushed back and wasn't at BEA or ALA, but February is coming soon and I will have this book soon! This book sounds just phenomenal.

Dove Arising will be released February 25, 2015 by Viking Juvenile

Oct 21, 2014

Review: Famous In Love by Rebecca Serle

Title: Famous In Love
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: 10.21.2014
Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Series: Famous In Love #1
Source: ARC from BEA

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
When seventeen-year-old Paige Townsen gets plucked from obscurity to star in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a bustling movie set on the shores of Maui, and she is spending quality time with her costar Rainer Devon, one of People's Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie's famous love triangle, Paige's crazy new life begins to resemble her character's. 

In this coming-of-age romance inspired by the kind of celeb hookups that get clever nicknames and a million page views, Paige must figure out who she is -- and who she wants -- while the whole world watches.

OK, Rebecca Serle, you are freaking brilliant. I just need to get that out of the way because Holy Moses, this story was awesome. The premise, the cast, the settings … FAMOUS IN LOVE was like getting a tantalizing glimpse of the life behind the tabloids and every single thing about it was just sheer perfection.

Does it sound like I’m fangirling a bit here? Because I am.

GAH! It’s been weeks since I read this gem of a book and I am still having a hard time expressing just why I love it so hard.

This is a fun book. A guilty pleasure, stay up late and miss work kind of book. It’s not overly heavy or dramatic despite it being set in the glitzy yet troubling world of teenage Hollywood, but this book is pure entertainment. Maybe because it’s a little bit like fantasy fulfillment. Don’t tell me you never imagine being plucked from obscurity and thrust into the spotlight where you meet an amazingly hot guy (or two)!

It’s just us girls (and guys?) here. You can tell me…

Look, FAMOUS IN LOVE is a feel-good book with extremely likeable characters. Paige is a great narrator and I actually loved that she was torn between these two guys. I can assure you the ending isn’t what you expect, but before you go freaking out like I did, there’s another book coming.

If it’s half as good as this one? Then I’ll love it, and so will you.
Buy Famous in Love

Oct 20, 2014

Review: Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Title: Not A Drop To Drink
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: 9.24.2013
Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Series: Not A Drop To Drink #1
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….


What a way to live! Some might like being cut off from society and the days filled with hard labor just so you can survive. It made me think of just how bad off we would be if something like this were to happen. How we are so dependent on modern technology that we would have no idea how to survive if we were cut off from it.

Lynn grew up this way. Cut off from the world and hardly knew what anything else was. Her mother can only teach her so much about a world that no longer is. She was so cut off from everything. She grew up fast, learning how to shoot and hunt just to make it by. She had a hard life. I really can't even imagine living in her world.

I love how she grows, and for the better. She takes in a little girl who becomes her life. She learns about love and it's unfortunate heart break in the meanest way. She keeps her old ways but grows a little more each day.

The events she goes are really amazing. I can only imagine being her or even with her. Growing up thinking that what you have is all you have and you have to protect it is hard to just turn your back on. She soon realized that maybe her mother was just a bit to hard or life and decides that people really aren't as bad as she feared.

Purchase: Not a Drop to Drink

Oct 18, 2014

Where In the World Is PRETTY GIRL 13?

Nearly two years ago, I fell hard for this unknown book, PRETTY GIRL-13. (Check out my review!) This book was brilliantly written and quickly became one of my favorite contemporaries of all time. While the book slowly slipped out of everyone's minds, it's been gaining traction globally. Liz Coley, author of Pretty Girl-13, is here today to talk about where her book is and what's been going on. She also comes bearing gifts, so be sure to check out the bottom of the post!

Where in the World is Pretty Girl-13?
One of the coolest surprises about my debut novel Pretty Girl-13 is the reception she’s received in foreign translations. My German publisher has just sent me this amazing cover image, revealed here!

At the moment, there are overseas editions in Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, France, the UK, Taiwan, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the Spanish speaking countries. Coming next year are Norway, Germany, and mainland China. A lot of people are curious about how the whole international publishing biz works, so here are some basic FAQs.

How did you find foreign publishers?
My literary agency in New York works with a foreign rights co-agent (also in New York) who specializes in this aspect of selling an author’s work. My foreign rights co-agent maintains relationships with literary agents in many other countries; she gets to know them and keeps tabs on the kind of work they like to represent. When she reads a property (manuscript) she think has international appeal, she will pitch it to her overseas literary agents to represent in their own countries, and if they agree with the potential, they will take it on and attempt to sell it. In this chain, with three agents ultimately involved in the sale, each one typically get 10% of advance and royalties for their work. You don’t have to publish in English first, but that’s the more usual path; the American or English publisher edits the manuscript to its final version with the author.

How did you find translators?
Foreign publishing houses read manuscripts in English and if they acquire rights for their territory, they hire their own preferred translators. There is no need or desire for the author to lift a finger, which is a good thing, since I only speak one of the translated languages of PG13, and at that, not well enough to read my own book!

Was it fun picking all the different covers?
It was fun SEEING all the different covers as the files were sent to me, well into the production process. Unlike the domestic editions where the author can intervene in cover design to some extent, the foreign covers are a “fait accompli” as they say—a done deal. I love seeing not only how each country has decided to package the story for its audience, but also how they have decided to title it (another fait accompli). The Taiwan edition (Sun Color) includes tear out trading cards of Angie’s alter personalities. You need to buy two copies to get the full set. Clever.

Do you get any input?
Several publishers have asked for a special author’s note or letter for their readers, which gives me a chance to personalize that edition just a bit. I wrote a brief note in French for the first French edition and a letter to readers about Dissociative Identity Disorder for the mainland Chinese edition.

Which is your favorite cover? 
Ha! Do you have a favorite child? I love different things about each one. The eyes of the girl on the Russian cover captivate me (yes, pun intended), as does the faraway expression on the Taiwan edition. The French title “Hear Us” is really smart—thank you my dear editeur Frédérique!. The two brilliant red covers—the UK snow globe girl and the German girl of shards—complement each other so well. The Swedish title “Bereft” emphasizes what is lost. The title “Return from Darkness” for the Czech and Slovakian editions emphasizes what is found. In a way, each new translation helps me understand my own work even more.


*US mailing address only. Winner must be over 13. The Irish Banana Review is not responsible for any lost/damaged/unsent prizes by a third party.*

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About Pretty Girl-13:
Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological thriller about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity and then piece together her own identity.

When thirteen-year-old Angela Gracie Chapman looks in the mirror, someone else looks back--a thin, pale stranger, a sixteen-year-old with haunted eyes. Angie has no memory of the past three years, years in which she was lost to the authorities, lost to her family and friends, lost even to herself. Where has she been, who has been living her life, and what is hiding behind the terrible blankness? There are secrets you can’t even tell yourself.

With a tremendous amount of courage and support from unexpected friends, Angie embarks on a journey into the darkest corners of her mind. As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: when you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the people responsible, or is there another way to feel whole again?

About Liz Coley:

Liz Coley writes fiction for teens and for the teen in you.

Her first published work was science fiction short stories, published in Cosmos magazine and several anthologies.

Self-published YA novel Out of Xibalba features a contemporary teenager thrown back to ancient Mayan times. 
The story starts when the world ends.

Pretty Girl-13 from HarperCollins will be released in at least ten languages on five continents, in print, ebook, and audiobook.
There are secrets you can't even tell yourself. 

Liz lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, her teenaged daughter, 18-year-old Tiger the cat, and kittens Pippin and Merry. When she's not involved in writing-related activities, she can be found sewing, baking, shooting photos, playing tennis, and singing.

Liz loves reading aloud.

Oct 16, 2014

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 9.2.2014
Pages: 556
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Romance
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Source: ARC from BEA

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. 

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?


I have grown so attached to Calaena that it was hard knowing this would be it for a while.  Maas has created such an in depth character that she, along with her adventures, feels real.

After CoM, I expected Calaena to be all put together with her mind set and a plan and all the good stuff. Well, she does, sort of. You can see her change of heart and how she is in complete denial, as if she hasn't been for the last ten years. As if she couldn't hate her current situation any more, in strolls Rowan. I like him. He is mine. The boundaries he pushes Calaena to are heartbreaking. He is perfect at what do does and his reasons for doing it.

The imagery is just jaw dropping. I wish this world, almost, existed. Maas certainly has a gift for describing something in such detail, and not overly so, that you get exactly what she wants you to see and there is this pretty, sometimes gruesome, picture of a world we can only imagine and would hope to see.

There is just so much in this book. Everything is coming together and you start to understand Calaena  and everything that has happened directly and indirectly to her.

Chaol, Dorian, and the newly met Aedion all have their stories. The plotting and secrecy and love and hate and it is all just amazing. It is nonstop action, breathtaking suspense and the best cliffhanger I have seen. I CANNOT believe the end. I was so surprised  that I let out a wonderful line of expletives at the King. He is yet another character whose thoughts and feelings become palatable in this story. I never knew a story could have so much feeling.

If you have followed Calaena's journey you can understand my love for her and all of her friends and foes. I cannot wait for Maas' next masterpiece.

Spotlight: New World Rising by Jennifer Wilson

Since witnessing her parents’ murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix’s only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother’s dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, “Join or die.” 

Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. Trusting no one, she lives as a rogue, fending only for herself. Then in a moment of rash judgment, she breaks all of her rules to save a child, and in that moment her life is turned upside down. When the rescue mission goes awry, Phoenix is captured by an underground group who claims no allegiance with either the Tribes nor The Sanctuary. She finds herself in the most dangerous game of survival she has ever played. 

In her captivity, only one person- the handsome and oddly sympathetic Triven- shows Phoenix something she has never before experienced: kindness. While warring with unfamiliar emotions and still skeptical of her captors' motives, Phoenix quickly realizes that these people may just hold the key to her lost memories. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself.

New World: Rising on Amazon

About Jennifer:

As a child Jennifer loved getting lost in the stories of others, but struggled greatly with reading. A notoriously slow reader who stumbled with words and spelling, Jennifer shied away from books, leaning heavily on musical theater and movies to get her inspirational fix.

It was not until in her mid-teens, when a persistent friend convinced her to read the Harry Potter series, that Jennifer found her love for the written word. J.K. Rowling’s books opened doors not only to the fascinating world of a young wizard, but to a life filled with a multitude of literary friends and fantastical worlds. Once a timid reader, Jennifer now devours books and loves getting lost in a new series.

Jennifer had wanted to write her own novel since her early twenties, but unfortunately inspiration doesn’t always strike on command. Her first book, The Chosen, was completed in 2013. But as most first attempts go, it was a flop. While looking through a multitude of rejection letters, inspiration struck again, putting Grace’s story got on hold as Phoenix’s began.

New World: Rising began to fill Jennifer’s brain, flowing like a fully opened valve from her fingertips. What was once such a struggle in her early years suddenly became a passion.

When Jennifer is not writing, she is enjoying life in Colorado, rock climbing, camping, exploring new foods, playing with her golden retriever, Duke, and sharing her life with her handsome and wonderful husband.

More details about Jennifer Wilson and New World: Rising can be found at:

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Oct 15, 2014

Caged In Winter Celebration!

CAGED IN WINTER is a November 2014 release from the amazingly talented Brighton Walsh. I actually read this story a few weeks ago and it has quickly skyrocketed into my new favorite new adult book. There's just something about these characters, this writing, that really resonates with me, and I think everyone will love it.

*Part of this excerpt has been hidden due to mature content. Simply highlight the text where indicated to read on.*

“Okay, now add the flour, but—” It’s too late, a puff of white exploding in Winter’s face before I can get the words out or reach to flip the switch. “You need to turn the mixer to low.”
She spins around, her cheeks covered in random white spots, some of the flour dusting her hair. “You couldn’t say that before, ‘Now add the flour’?” Her voice is low, her eyes narrowed, and I take a step back.
“Well, yeah, I guess I could’ve, but I just sort of figured you’d know enough not to add loose flour to a wildly spinning mixer.”
“Oh, you figured I’d know enough for that, huh? Even after I told you I’ve never made cookies before? Even then?”
She’s advancing on me now, and I shouldn’t be retreating like a scared animal. I have more than a foot on her, a hundred-plus pounds, but she looks pissed. And that glint in her eye tells me she’s up to something. I glance down at her hand, seeing a measuring cup half filled with flour, and I realize what she’s going to do a split-second before she does, but not soon enough to dodge it.
A cloud of white powder hits me straight in the face, and I cough as I inhale some. Wiping away the dust from my eyes, I say, “I can’t believe you did that.”
“Oh, well, I just figured you’d know enough to duck.” She shrugs and offers me a saccharine smile.
“I don’t think you want to start this with me, baby.”
“In case you missed the flour in your face a second ago, I already started it, baby.”
I stare her down, then reach over, grabbing the bowl of melted chocolate—my mom’s secret ingredient in her cookies—and dip my fingers into it. Winter narrows her eyes at me and takes a step back. “Don’t you dare.”
“Where you goin’? I thought you wanted to get messy.”
“No, I wanted you to get messy. I didn’t have a choice with this,” she says as she gestures to where the flour hit her. She darts her eyes down to the bowl of chocolate, then back up to my face. “Don’t, Cade. You’re going to get me dirty, and I have to be at work soon.”
“You maybe should’ve thought about that before you threw a scoop of flour in my face.” I don’t wait for her response before I smear the chocolate down her cheek to her jaw, then all the way down her neck and into the deep V of her shirt, stopping when I feel the swell of her breasts. “Whoops.”
“You did not just do that.”
“Looks like I did.” I shrug, putting the bowl back on the counter before I lick the chocolate from my fingers. She focuses on the act, her lips parted. I lean closer to her, drop my voice, and gesture to the spots of her skin that are covered. “You want me to clean you up, too?”
Glaring, she gives a jerky shake of her head, but a flush works its way up her chest to her neck—one of the tells she’s getting turned on.
I step closer, backing her into the corner until she’s pressed against the cabinets behind her. “Sure about that? It wouldn’t take much. Just a lick or two. Maybe a couple sucks. We’d probably have to take your shirt off, though, and your bra, too. I really got down in there.”
Her head’s tilted back as she stares up at me, her chest rising and falling in quick succession from her labored breathing.
I lean into her space, lick up a path from her neck to her ear. *Highlight now to continue*“I think you do. I think you want my tongue all over you, don’t you, baby? I got you all dirty. Seems only fair I clean you up.” Before she can respond, my mouth closes over her shoulder, my tongue tracing along the chocolate I smeared there. By the time I’ve dipped into the neckline of her shirt, my tongue in the valley of her breasts, her nipples are pressed tight against the material, and she’s got a white-knuckled grip on the countertop behind her.
“Want me to stop?”
I wait a second. Two. And when she gives the slightest shake of her head, I take. Gripping her face in my hands, my mouth covers hers, my tongue slipping inside. She groans into the kiss, her hands finally coming up to clutch my forearms.
“Wait.” She wrenches her mouth from mine, turning her head to the side. “Cade, wait. Your sister.”
I focus on licking every stray ounce of chocolate I can find, her hands a counterpoint to her words as she holds me close. “Not home. Gone till four.”
“Shit! Four. I have to be at work at four!”
“We’ve got time. Now stop talking.”
I peel her jeans and panties off, then lift her onto the counter, desperate to feel her around me. With one hand, I fumble with the button of my jeans, the other busy between Winter’s thighs, rubbing soft circles around her clit, getting her ready for me. She’s moaning, her head resting back on the cabinets, and the sight of her there, half naked in my kitchen, is too much. Too fucking much, and I can’t get my goddamn jeans off.

When she notices, her hands are there, opening my jeans and yanking my boxers down just far enough to pull me out. Her hands are around my cock, pumping slowly, and I need inside her now.

In this emotional and sexy New Adult debut from Brighton Walsh, the only thing more frightening than commitment is hope…

Aspiring chef Cade Maxwell is immediately, viscerally attracted to Winter Jacobson. But it’s not her mouthwatering curves he’s drawn to—it’s the strange emptiness in her eyes. When Cade saves her from a drunken customer with grabby hands, he’s shocked at her response…

Winter doesn’t need Cade’s help. After a lifetime of getting by on her own, she’s happy to rely on herself. She’s exactly seventy-six days away from graduating college, and if she can hold it together that long, she’ll finally be able to rise above the crappy hand she was dealt.

But now, every time she turns around, Cade is there, ready to push her, smile at her, distract her from her plans. Winter knows she can’t afford to open up—especially to a man she’s terrified to actually want…

Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with writing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children.

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