Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday

It's that time again.  Jill at Breaking The Spine hosts this fun weekly meme where we tell you what upcoming releases we cannot wait to read.  

Here are mine this week:

Sometimes the end is just the beginning.

Gabby lived under the radar until her makeover. Way under. But when she started her senior year as a blonder, better-dressed version of herself, she struck gold: Billy Nash believed she was a the flawless girl she was pretending to be. The next eight months with Billy were bliss...Until the night Gabby woke up on the ground next to the remains of his BMW without a single memory of how she got there.

And Billy's nowhere to be found.

All Gabby wants is to make everything perfect again. But getting her life back isn't difficult, it's impossible. Because nothing is the same, and Gabby's beginning to realize she's missed more than a few danger signs along the way.

It's time for Gabby to face the truth, even if it means everything changes.

Especially if it means everything changes.

Expected publication: March 6, 2012

I just got a copy of this book to review and I am SO excited!  I cannot wait to read it and post my review.  Thank you to the author and Lydia Finn at Simon and Schuster for allowing me this opportunity.  

And isn't the cover beautiful?

And my other can't-wait-to-read:

Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.

Expected publication: April 10, 2012

I love mysteries and this sounds like a good one.  I'm already anxious to know why Gabie was targeted and how she avoided disaster and poor Kayla didn't.

Okay, there are my picks.  Tell me what you're waiting on to read...


Monday, February 27, 2012


Yes, you read that right, WINNERS!  


There are two books of On The Island to give away!


The winners are...




Congratulations ladies!  

Thank you to all who entered and to Tracey for the fun prizes!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Abbi and her Vincent Boys

Who here is dying to read Abbi Glines The Vincent Boys and see the book cover?  What about the playlist for the book?  Wow, I see so many hands raised.  Well, wait no more my friends.  The time has come.  

Drum roll...

Introducing the summary of the book, the playlist, and the cover!  

He may have given her up without a fight, but Sawyer Vincent is far from over losing the girl he’s loved all of his life. Instead of giving up his best friend and the girl he thought he’d spend forever with, he gave Ashton and his brother Beau his blessing. However, adjusting to seeing Ashton wrapped up in Beau’s arms isn’t easy. Complicating everything even more, Ashton’s cousin Lana is in town for the summer. Sweet, kind, soft-spoken Lana, who gets under his skin. Just being near her makes him forget all about Ashton and his broken heart. Lana is everything he wanted Ashton to be except she isn’t Ashton. She lacks the backbone to stand up for herself and confidence that Ashton wears like a crown. 
Lana McDaniel  has lived her life in her cousin's shadow. While Lana struggled with her grades no matter how hard she tried, her mother praised Ashton's intelligence. She hadn’t been blessed with Ashton’s blond hair and flawless skin, but that didn't keep her mother from lamenting her naturally red hair and freckles. But none of that would have mattered if Ashton hadn’t always had Sawyer Vincent wrapped around her finger -- the only boy Lana wanted. Once Ashton let Sawyer go, Lana had been so sure that he’d move on. Determined to make Sawyer finally see her, she'd talked her mother into letting her spend the summer with Ashton. But Sawyer is still in love with Ashton, and Lana isn’t going to be anyone's rebound girl. No matter how yummy Sawyer Vincent’s kisses taste.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Oh but wait!  That's not all, oh no no.  She also has revealed her dream cast for the book!  I know right?

Try not to drool on your screen my friends.  

Mark your calendars for the release date: June 5, 2012


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.  I just discovered this meme and am excited to participate.  It spotlights upcoming releases that we can't wait to read.  Here are some of mine:

I love Emily Giffin and cannot wait to read her latest!  Here is Goodreads synopsis:

The author of five blockbuster novels, Emily Giffin, delivers an unforgettable story of two women, the families that make them who they are, and the longing, loyalty and love that binds them together  Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her. For the precocious and determined Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to re-evaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light. As the two women embark on a journey to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves—a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever.
Expected publication: July 31, 2012

On the very off chance that Ms. Giffin sees this post, may I beg and plead you to send me a copy so I can read and review?  Pretty please?

I love Mysteries and Dystopia so when I saw this, I was intrigued. 
 Goodreads synopsis:

In a dystopian future, sixteen-year-old Leah Munro has been sold to a rich woman in a crippling mansion. Soon Leah discovers that there is something mysterious going on around the home, and with the help of three other girls, she attempts to uncover what is truly happening... what lies beyond all of the plexiglass windows and the hideous screams in the middle of the night? Leah will soon find out. The first in a 2 book duo logy.
Expected Publication: August 14, 2012

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors!  So when I saw she has a new book coming out this year, I gave a little cheer!  She is a fantastic author. :)
Barnes and Noble synopsis:

A life hanging in the balance . . . a family torn apart. The #1 internationally bestselling author Jodi Picoult tells an unforgettable story about family secrets, love, and letting go.
In the wild, when a wolf knows its time is over, when it knows it is of no more use to its pack, it may sometimes choose to slip away. Dying apart from its family, it stays proud and true to its nature. Humans aren’t so lucky.
Luke Warren has spent his life researching wolves. He has written about them, studied their habits intensively, and even lived with them for extended periods of time. In many ways, Luke understands wolf dynamics better than those of his own family. His wife, Georgie, has left him, finally giving up on their lonely marriage. His son, Edward, twenty-four, fled six years ago, leaving behind a shattered relationship with his father. Edward understands that some things cannot be fixed, though memories of his domineering father still inflict pain. Then comes a frantic phone call: Luke has been gravely injured in a car accident with Edward’s younger sister, Cara.
Suddenly everything changes: Edward must return home to face the father he walked out on at age eighteen. He and Cara have to decide their father’s fate together. Though there’s no easy answer, questions abound: What secrets have Edward and his sister kept from each other? What hidden motives inform their need to let their father die . . . or to try to keep him alive? What would Luke himself want? How can any family member make such a decision in the face of guilt, pain, or both? And most importantly, to what extent have they all forgotten what a wolf never forgets: that each member of a pack needs the others, and that sometimes survival means sacrifice?
Another tour de force by Picoult, Lone Wolf brilliantly describes the nature of a family: the love, protection, and strength it can offer—and the price we might have to pay for those gifts. What happens when the hope that should sustain a family is the very thing tearing it apart?
Expected Publication: February 28, 2012

Those are three of the books I can't wait to get my hands on this year.  What are yours?  


Monday, February 20, 2012

Author Feature and Giveaway with Tracey Garvis-Graves

My author feature and giveaway today is with Tracey Garvis-Graves, author of the fabulous book, On The Island.  I reviewed this book two weeks ago, which you can read here.   Tracey is a gifted writer and a wonderful friend.  I have really enjoyed getting to know her and am grateful to her for all of her valuable insight into the world of writing.  If you aren't familiar with Tracey, you need to remedy that and visit her blog here.  I interviewed Tracey and am excited to share it with you.  So my friends, I give you...Tracey Garvis-Graves!

Laura: Tell me a little about your writing process.
Tracey: Well, I'm definitely an outliner and a plotter. I don't have to know everything that's going to happen, but I need to have a general idea of the beginning, middle, and end. I also like to let the story develop for a while in my head before I start writing.
Laura: How long did it take you to write On the Island?
Tracey: It took approximately 18 months by the time the book was written, edited, and polished.That doesn't include the 3-4 months where I was just thinking about the story.
Laura: What comes first, characters or plot?
Tracey: Definitely plot. It's how my characters react to the plot that helps me develop them fully.
Laura: What's your perfect writing environment?
Tracey: Total silence! Some authors can write with music playing, but I work best when there is no noise at all. When I'm drafting and the words are flowing I hate to be interrupted by sound of any kind, whether it's my kids, husband, the telephone, or the doorbell. I can, however, edit while one of my kids is in the same room watching SpongeBob SquarePants!  
Laura: How often do you write?
Tracey: I try to write every day, but I work full-time so sometimes I have to wait until the weekend to get a good long stretch in. I'm always up by 5:00 a.m. so I can sneak in some writing time before I have to get ready for work.
Laura: Let's talk about your dream cast. Did you have an actor and actress in mind as the perfect choice to play Anna and T.J. when you were writing On the Island?
Tracey: When I was writing the book I could see the characters in my head, but they weren't famous people or anyone I recognized. It was only after the book was released that people started asking me that question. Jesilea from Diary of a Bibliophile actually came up with Anne Hathaway as the perfect Anna. I totally agree even though Anne Hathaway doesn't have blue eyes; we'll just have to pretend she does, lol!. Actually, if Anne Hathaway had Courtney Cox's eyes, it would be exactly as I envisioned Anna. Anne Hathaway encompasses Anna's understated beauty wonderfully because in my mind I pictured Anna as someone who was very attractive, but not overtly so. She's classy as opposed to flashy, but she can rock a fancy dress when she wants to. 
As for T.J., I have to thank my friend Tina for the suggestion of Taylor Kitsch. Fans of Friday Night Lights will recognize him from that show. I have to say that he would be an absolutely perfect and swoon-worthy T.J., and I don't know that I'd mind being stranded on an island with him. He has a wonderful boyish charm, and I can totally picture him with a ponytail, dark suntan, and a lot of scruffy stubble. 
Laura: Tell me a little about what you're working on now.
Tracey: I've shifted genre slightly and I'm working on a novel that will probably be categorized as women's fiction although there are also strong romantic elements. It's called Covet and it's the story of Chris and Claire Canton, a couple whose marriage has unraveled after Chris loses his job during the height of the recession. When he finds another job after a year of unemployment, Chris thinks their problems have been solved. Unfortunately, he now has to travel extensively which leaves Claire more adrift than ever. Claire's chance meeting with Daniel Rush, a local police officer, sets in motion a series of events which will cause all three of the main characters to question their choices and deal with the aftermath of their decisions. It's an emotional read, and I think the issues this couple has to deal with will resonate with readers (or at least I hope so). 
The novel I'll be working on after Covet will be a return to straight-up contemporary romance. 
I think you'll agree with me how fabulous this lady is.  Let me just say that I cannot wait until Covet is released!  I will be the first one there to buy it.  It sounds sooo good.  
And now to the giveaway!  Ms. Garvis-Graves is giving one lucky winner a copy of On The Island with a few other surprise items that go along with it.  I'm thrilled she's doing this and am so excited for whoever wins!  
To enter, do any or all of the following:
*Like Tracey's Facebook page 
*Like Novel Magic Facebook page 
*Follow Tracey's blog 
*Follow Novel Magic blog
*Follow Tracey on Twitter 
*Follow Novel Magic on Twitter 
*Shout out this giveaway on Facebook and attach link in your comment
*Shout out this giveaway on Twitter and attach link in your comment 
There are plenty of ways to enter this contest.  Please leave me a comment under this post and let me know each way you entered this contest.  I will put the number of entries into random.org and that will choose the winner.  Contest closes on Sunday February 26 at 10:00 PM Mountain Time.  Good luck!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon: Mini Challenge #2

I am a brand spankin' new book blogger so when I saw Katelyn's LoveAThon I knew I wanted in.  What a great way to meet new bloggers and to get my blog out there.  For Mini Challenge #2, she has asked us to write about some of the new blogs we've found through this.  Here are a few of mine:

Of course Katelyn is my first new find.  When I saw her tweet about the LoveAThon, I immediately went to her blog to see what this was about.  Not only did I read about it, but I read more and more on her blog.  She is a fun girl with a fantastic blog!  So happy I found her.

Another fun find I have discovered is Jana at http://thatartsyreadergirl.blogspot.com/.  I had heard of her before through a friend so when I saw her on the LoveAThon list, I was thrilled.  Her blog is upbeat and fun.  I'm excited to get to know her better and read her posts.

I also just found the girls at http://tsloaar.com/ aka The Secret Life of an Avid Reader.  Just the title alone drew me in.  I consider myself an avid reader so what's not to like about this blog?  I found it to be a welcoming, informative, and fun blog to read.  

Alexa at http://www.alexalovesbooks.com/ is a fun new find for me.  I loved the look of her blog when I first saw it and after reading some posts, I loved her too.  She is very real and I find that very refreshing.

And last but not least is Rachel at http://rachelbrookswrites.blogspot.com/.  I was excited when I read that she's also an author.  I LOVE connecting with authors and hearing about how they started etc.  Her blog is super cute and fun to read.  

I definitely have more I'm finding and will do some more shout outs in the future.  I appreciate all of the support I'm receiving and cannot wait to share more reviews, guest posts, and giveaways with you.

Happy Friday!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Guest Book Review -- Melissa Perea

I am excited to start a feature of having guests on my blog.  I think it is so great to learn more and more about our tastes and favorite books, authors, etc.  Anything and everything book related.  I am so pleased to introduce you to my new friend Melissa Perea.  She too is a fellow book lover and I'm thrilled she agreed to guest review for me today. 

Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

I have always been someone that has enjoyed books. Literature of any type, for that matter, has always beguiled me whether it is magazines, children’s books, short stories’, 500+ page novels or poetry compilations. There is just something so enchanting when you become utterly consumed by a stack of bound paper.

With that being said, my reading obsession didn’t truly begin until I became another member of the “Twilight Bandwagon”. Which in truth, doesn’t even begin to grasp the empire that it has amounted too. Its following is probably greater then the population of a mid-sized country and I wouldn’t be surprised if its GDP surpassed that of even China. Especially, with the amount of money I know most people have spent indulging on books, movies, t-shirts, posters and other extravagant accouterments. I mean I am not a self-proclaimed twi-hard, but I have definitely read the series a few (probably 6 or so) times.

So obviously there is no real need to alert CNN that Stephanie Meyer is singlehandedly responsible for my newfound book “obsession” because it almost goes without saying that this has been the end-result for thousands of readers, if not millions. She sparked something inside of us all and it has spread like wildfire.

As it stands now, I read on average 2-4 books a week. Last year I managed to reach my Goodreads goal of 100 books! This year I have the same goal, but I would love to surpass it by leaps and bounds, which I am sitting pretty in February at having already read 19. But let’s get back to the point of this post and move-on from this rather lengthy introduction.


I almost feel that I can’t quite properly pronounce my feelings for this book. I would assimilate it to the shyness of someone in a foreign country, trying to communicate from a language translation dictionary. You know, where their speech is often full of long pauses, wrongfully appropriated words and awkward pensive staring.

Yes, that’s it. I am now re-entering this review as an English-speaking tourist surrounded by the Hadza speaking Tanzanian locals. You have been warned. 

I think I’ll begin with how the general population feels about Angelfall, because without telling you how I personally feel, almost anyone who has checked the book out on Amazon should know it’s worth taking a peep into its pages. It currently boasts 258 reviews of which 222 are of the 5-star variety. Only 1 person decided it was worth 1-star and her review was completely ludicrous, so we can ignore it and safely move-forward assuming that this women, quite possibly, is clinically insane*.

For some reason I always take personal offense to reviewers with nothing nice to say about books, especially the ones that I went all Bambi on and found myself relentlessly twitterpating over. It’s akin to someone telling you your child is ugly 2 seconds after being born. It just plain hurts.

So of course, since I am spending time writing this review, my personal opinion is of the 5-star variety. I did have my reservations in the beginning though. And they turned out to be completely irrational after finishing the book. However, if you must know, I wasn’t a fan of either of the main characters’ names. I have discussed this with several book aficionados and it’s well known that a name can either make or break a book for people. And I was one breath away from a compound fracture.

Susan Ee, the literary genius behind this piece of phenomenal fiction, does redeem herself and by the time I read “The End”, I had completely forgotten any of my previous qualms. Penryn - the vivacious, sarcastic and persistent female lead - and Raffe - the complex, lonely and god-like male lead - are now neatly filed away as two of my all-time favorite characters – names included.

I think one of Angelfall’s most alluring qualities, besides the penetrating plot and mind-blowing visualizations are the supporting characters. The book is set in a post-apocalyptic world and if moving around your city like a deranged sewer rat, while trying to prevent an untimely death by street gangs, along with scraping the bottom of trash cans for any visible morsel of edible food, all the while pushing your paraplegic little sister around in a wheel chair isn’t enough to put a damper on your life perspective, then let’s add-in a schizophrenic mother who “hears voices” and carries around rotten eggs like their the golden-ticket into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. If you think your having a bad day, think again.

The supporting cast is almost as intriguing as the post-apocalyptic world that encapsulates you like a warm blanket on a cold-snowy day, albeit a dark, dangerous and evil blanket. On the one-side you have the human race that are doing everything in their power to survive the impending doom. On the other side you have an infantry of Angels, both evil and righteous, who are at the forefront of ending civilization, as we know it. Malevolent plans have been set in motion and the once clear lines of good vs. evil are blending into one massive array of chaos.

Set-aside any preconceived notions you might have about books with Angels. For I can assure you Ms. Ee will knock your “imaginative” socks-off with her new take on a rather superfluous story line. The one thing that I was not prepared for in Angelfall was how truly dark this book is. It has such an otherworldly dimension that one can’t help to believe that this may exactly be how the world ends.

Overall though, this book left little to criticize. Sure, if your a pro you could pick on this and that since no book is ever perfect, but when you write something that has me up reading until the wee-hours of the morning then you've done good. Real good. Especially when you find yourself re-reading it only 30 seconds after its completion because you are just dying to experience it all over again.

So if you are looking for something new to sink your teeth in, I highly recommend Angelfall by Susan Ee and with a kindle price of $.99, what have you got to lose?

*To those reading this who are in fact clinically-insane, I mean no offense.

Book Review by: Melissa Perea - you can see more of Melissa's rants & raves at www.midcenturymodernhousewife.com & www.pinneditmadeit.com for all things craft related.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I recently discovered a fabulous book blogger, Katelyn at www.talesofbooksandbands.com, and she has come up with a great idea!  She is having a Love-A-Thon!  What is this you ask?  Here is what Katelyn said:

What: A Blogger Love-A-Thon! This will be a day full of commenting on blogs, following blogs, tweeting about blogs, thanking blogs, sharing the word about awesome blogs, telling another blogger how freaking awesome they are, the list goes on and on. Basically it will consist of fun posts, mini challenges, lots of commenting, and perhaps a giveaway or two! I do not have a full schedule completely detailed out yet but I will be e-mailing it to everyone who hopes to participate. Since I am a simple person and like to keep things that way, it will most likely be a fairly easy-to-follow schedule!
When: February 17th 2012 at 12:00 a.m. EST until February 18th 2012 at 12: a.m. EST. I understand that life gets in the way which is why I am not putting in major time restrictions on how long you have to actually be participating! If you can only do it for 12 hours, then do it for those 12 hours!
Where: Twitter, blogs, Facebook! All of your posts will be on your blog but OF COURSE links are welcomed on Twitter and Facebook!
Isn't this a fabulous idea??  
I am definitely going to participate, I hope you will too!


Monday, February 13, 2012

A Few of My Favorites

As it is now known, I love to read.  I mean, LOVE.  I love a little suspense/mystery, I love a little romance, a little history, and a little contemporary.  

Here are a few that blew me away:

This book is so good!  I don't cry much at books, movies, TV but I did cry at this book.  Ms. Hannah writes a beautiful story of friendship and all the wonderful yet difficult things that go along with it.

Beautiful Disaster is one of my favorites!  I could not put this book down until I found out what would happen.  Ms. McGuire has written a fierce yet beautiful love story with this book.  

I'm a huge Jodi Picoult fan and this one is my favorite of her books.  The topic is sensitive and to be honest I wasn't sure if I'd read it but Ms. Picoult really pulls it off.  She has a knack for really teaching you about her topics.  This book showed me a whole new level of its topic I'd never thought of before.

And last but not least, anything written by Harlan Coben.  This man is a master of mystery.  I was first introduced to him by my father and do a happy dance each time he releases a new book.  My top three favorites of his?

1.  Tell No One
2.  No Second Chance
3.  Just One Look

What are some of your favorite books?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Review -- On The Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

When I first read about what On The Island was about, I must admit I was a bit taken back.  I also thought that the author had guts, which I liked.  On The Island is about a teacher, Anna age 30,  and her student, TJ age 16, flying to an island in the Maldives to spend the summer with his family when their pilot suffers a heart attack and dies mid-flight.  They crash in the Indian Ocean and become stranded on an island.  Without giving away too much, they of course become close and deal with the obvious hardships being stranded on an island entails.  

So, you automatically think to all of the possibilities and that's where my being taken back comes in.  Wow, okay.  She's 30 and he's 16.  They're on the island a while so he obviously grows up, that's good.  But, so does she.  Hmm, yeah.  Well, I'm intrigued, I'm diving in.

Am I glad I did.  This book draws out so much emotion in you.  From fear to sorrow, to love and giddiness.  Reading the adventures of Anna and TJ definitely leave you wanting more.  

Obviously, as I was reading, I was wondering what I'd do if I were stranded on an island.  I really think I'd go insane.  The struggles we read of Anna and TJ dealing with it were written so raw and emotional.  The lack of food, hygiene, shelter to name a few.  They make do with what they have and do it well but it really showed me just how primitive you'd have to be.  We are very spoiled and take for granted so much, reading this book really brought that home for me.

Another thing is that at the time of the crash, TJ is three months into remission from cancer.  His parents had hired Anna to tutor him over the summer to help him catch up in school.  Anna jumped at the opportunity to help give her some time and space from her life to think things over, to decide which path she should take.  Little did they know...

As the days turn into months, then years, they both grow very close and dependent on one another.  They face many challenges like what I discussed above plus horrible tropical storms, creatures in the sea, bats, and a scary illness.  The whole time I thought, "Does his cancer come back?  What if it does, what will they do?"  You worry that if one of them dies, what will the other do?  They only have each other.  You know having the other one there with them helps their sanity.  What would happen if one of them died?

The only way to find out the answers to all of these questions is to read the book.  This is my first review and I'm so happy that it's one I really liked.  Ms. Garvis-Graves grabs you from the beginning and you don't want to put it down until you find out what happens.  Will they survive?  Do they ever get off the island?  Do they fall in love?  And if they do, what about their age difference?  All these things are answered in the book.  

So my recommendation?  Read On The Island.  It's captivating and fun.  It's definitely the book to pick up after a long day to escape to.  Once you do read it, I'd love to hear if you agree with me.  And if you don't, why not?

On another note, I'm really excited to announce that Tracey Garvis-Graves is my next author feature and giveaway!  Make sure to come back on Monday Feb 20th to see just what we have in store for you.  You won't be disappointed.  

To get to know Tracey and what she's up to, please visit her at:


Monday, February 6, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Congratulations to:
Kristen Schuster
You are the winner of Jessica Parks Giveaway!
Thank you to all who entered.  Stay tuned for my next author feature and giveaway the week of February 20th.