Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pic2Book Wednesday Challenge #72

Guess the Book Title

This is a weekly challenge where you guess the book title just by looking at the pictures. This game is inspired by the game Scene it? and it's one of my favorite challenges in it! If you want to participate and don't want any spoilers don't read the comments. I'll post the answer of this challenge in next week's post.

What's this book's title?

House Rules (Chicagoland Vampires #7) by Chloe Neill

House Rules (Chicagoland Vampires, #7)

Thanks to:  

For participating in last week's challenge!!! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski

The Edge of Never

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 
Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.
Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?

The Edge of Never's ending is what I'll remember forever. The book itself was good but the ending was fantastic. I didn't read this book in one sitting though. There was one little thing that made me put this book away and read something else. There were times in the book were Camryn would explain every single detail of what was happening around her. Maybe this is not a turn off for some people but it is for me. It took me 2 months to finish it. But there was always something calling me back to it, telling me to finish it. I think it was Andrew beckoning me to the light ;)

I'm glad I finished the book. It's so weird because once I decide to abandon a book, that's it. But like I said it was good except for the long monologues. So I kept going back. That's the only bad thing I can say about The Edge of Never. The chemistry between Camryn and Andrew was perfect. Their conversations entertaining. And the sexy times, Oh. My. God! Just the ending made this book worth the read. I was bawling my eyes out at 1 am and wanting to hug everyone I know and tell them how much I love them.

I recommend this book to anyone that likes romance and epic endings.

Amazon/Barnes and Noble
The Edge of Never

Here's a song that Andrew and Camryn sing together:

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Shade of Vampire Excerpt

A Shade of Vampire

On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake. A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood. She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine. An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains. Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince. Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night. Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?

I’d been walking along the sea shore for about an hour when I suddenly sensed that I wasn’t alone. Someone was approaching me from behind. My heart leapt. I was so sure it was Ben, that when a stranger showed up beside me, I couldn’t hide my disappointment. 

He must have noticed, because a smirk formed on his lips. “Were you expecting someone else, love?” 

I eyed him suspiciously, remembering how many times my father told me not to talk to strangers. I looked him over from head to foot, taking in his appearance. I held my breath. I couldn’t find words to describe how fine a man he was. He was almost beautiful. The first thing I took notice of was how his blue eyes were about three shades brighter than any I’d ever seen before. It was such a stark contrast to his pale – almost white – skin and his dark hair. I next noted how he was easily more than half a foot taller than I was. His height, broad shoulders and lean build reminded me of Ben, but he had a presence that was far more imposing than my best friend’s. 

My gaze settled on his face. 

I realized that he was inspecting me just as closely as I was him. His eyes on me suddenly made me feel uncomfortably vulnerable. I gave my father’s advice a second thought, but quickly canceled out all notions of heeding to his counsel when I reminded myself that he stopped caring a long time ago. I straightened to my full height and mustered all the courage I had to keep myself from running away from this stranger. 

Big mistake. 

The confident smirk didn’t leave his face for even a moment. “Like what you see?” 

I frowned, annoyed by his audacity. “A bit full of yourself, aren’t you?”

He stepped forward, closer to me, and leaned his head toward mine. “Don’t I have the right to be?”

He knew he looked good and wasn’t about to act like he didn’t. 

“Whatever,” was my oh-so-brilliant comeback. 

My shoulders sagged with defeat as I took a step back, overwhelmed by how close he was. I rolled my eyes and did a one-eighty, not quite in the mood to play whatever game this stranger was proposing. 

I would soon realize that I was about to play his game whether I liked it or not. He grabbed my arm and turned my body to face him. The motion alone made every single internal alarm I had go off in a frenzy. 

This man was danger and I knew it. I tried to wriggle away from his touch, but I was no match for his strength. 

“Tell me your name,” he commanded.

I was about to refuse, but was horrified to find myself blurting out my name in response. “Sofia Claremont.” 

He traced his thumb over my jaw line. “Hello, Sofia Claremont. You’re one stupid girl for taking a walk alone at this time of night. You never know what kind of evil a pretty little thing like you could happen to come by.” 

I found myself wondering exactly what kind of evil he was. But I was suddenly overcome by the sensations that were surrounding me. My senses took everything in at once. I heard the waves, felt the sand beneath my feet, smelled the ocean salt, tasted the flavor of cherry on my lips and saw the stranger’s manic appearance as he stuck a needle to my neck. The effect was instant. I was barely able to gasp, much less scream. I went from sensing everything to sensing absolutely nothing. 

My last conscious thought was that I may never see Ben again.

Buy A Shade of Vampire:

Amazon USA: paperbackeBook

Amazon UK: paperback, eBook

Connect with Bella

In My Mailbox #6

In My Mailbox (weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren)

For Review:

A Touch of Scarlet (Unbound #2) by Eve Marie Mont

A Touch of Scarlet 

Expected publication: March 26th 2013 by K-Teen

Add it to your Goodreads

Dualed (Dualed #1) by Elsie Chapman

Dualed (Dualed, #1)

Expected publication: February 26th 2013 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Add it to your Goodreads

Fuse (Pure #2) by Julianna Baggott

Fuse (Pure, #2)

Expected publication: February 19th 2013 by Grand Central Publishing

Add it to your Goodreads

Altered (Altered #1) by Jennifer Rush

Altered (Altered, #1)

Published January 1st 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Add it to your Goodreads


Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto

Before Ever After

Published August 2nd 2011 by Crown

Add it to your Goodreads

Scandalous (Scandalous #1) by H.M. Ward

Scandalous (Scandalous, #1)

Published May 1st 2012 by Laree Bailey Press

Add it to your Goodreads

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence #1) by Jessica Sorensen

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence, #1)

Published December 13th 2012

Add it to your Goodreads

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pic2Book Wednesday Challenge #71

Guess the Book Title

This is a daily challenge where you guess the book title just by looking at the pictures. This game is inspired by the game Scene it? and it's one of my favorite challenges in it! If you want to participate and don't want any spoilers don't read the comments. I'll post the answer of this challenge in tomorrow's post.

What's this book's title?

Last Challenge answer: 
A Wrinkle in Time (Time #1) by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time (Time, #1)

Thanks to:  

For participating in the last challenge!!! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stitch by Samantha Durante Excerpt and Giveaway!

Stitch (Stitch Trilogy, #1)

Excerpt from Stitch by Samantha Durante

She woke to the sound of heavy boot steps marching down the hall and the familiar pang in her hip bones wrought from too many nights on a rigid metal cot. The back of her throat ached from the icy air that’d ravaged her lungs all night; she could almost see her breath as she let out a weary sigh, resigned to another day in this hell.

What time was it? It was always difficult to tell from within her dim windowless cell. She listened as the footsteps approached, attuned to the jangle of the keys in the guard’s pocket and the soft clap of the rifle against his back. Then she heard something she hadn’t noticed before – a second set of footsteps, softer than the guard’s, following slightly behind.

She shot up with a quick gasp, adrenaline surging through her body and firmly shaking off the last wisps of her semi-peaceful slumber. The footsteps paused outside her door as she registered the soft whooshing of a lab coat and the gentle tapping of fingertips against a tablet. She was certain now that they had finally come to fulfill their grisly promise.

She had known this was a risk when she’d been briefed on her mission, and she had accepted it anyway. Now she cursed her own arrogance, and the sorry luck that had landed her here. She had failed in her mission, and now she was going to reap herrecompense.

She was only glad that he wasn’t close enough to hear her impending screams. One by one she had listened from within her own lonely chamber as the others cried out in agony, and she’d been unable to drown them out with nothing but her fingertips to plug her ears. After the riot they had staged early on, the guards had learned that it was necessary to separate her from him, and she hadn’t seen or heard from him for weeks, maybe months, so she knew for certain that he wasn’t nearby. That one small mercy almost made the ordeal ahead of her bearable. Almost.

As the heavy automatic locks on her cell door released with a tumultuous clang, she turned to face her captors. Thinking only of him, she steeled her resolve for whatever unspeakable nightmare awaited her.

This Giveaway is Intl and will end 1/31/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buy Stitch:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords 

Author bio
Photo of Samantha Durante, author of Stitch

Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. Stitch is her first novel. Learn more about Samantha at www.samanthadurante.com.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Taste by Kate Evangelista Blog Tour and Giveaway

A Date with Luka

As the title of this post already indicates, I’m here today to discuss a little bit about one of my favorite characters ever—Balthazar comes a very close second. Luka Visraya has always fascinated me from day one. Don’t tell my other characters or I’ll have a riot in my head. During the beginnings of Taste, I wasn’t quite sure if he was the villain or not. He certainly acted like one during earlier drafts, but as I got to know him better, he became more playful. I like playful Luka more than villain Luka. 

I believe Luka is one of the more complex characters I have in my head. He grew up feeling he isn’t fit for the responsibilities given to him, as you will see a lot of when you read Taste. He has issues with his father, and I think that’s why I want to give him a hug half the time. I’m drawn to his melancholy nature. The scene where he is sitting on a bench in the dead of winter staring up at the moon is one of my favorites.

Another reason why I appreciate Luka more than any other character, especially Demitri, is because he’s more relaxed where Demitri is more controlling. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a take charge character, and Luka can certainly lead with the best of them, but he’s less rigid about taking charge. He allows situations to happen within reason and takes things in stride.

I’ve always been asked: if I were to go on a date with one of my characters from Taste, who would it be? I guess, at this point, it’s pretty obvious. Luka would be a more fun date. He can be protective the way Demitri is, but less overbearing. I love the way Luka gives Phoenix her freedom and allows her to explore and satisfy her curiosity without really putting her in any danger. 

Many have been asking me if I will write a sequel to Taste. My answer is that Taste is a stand alone. But there are two companion novels coming out: Savor and Fervor. Because I love Luka so much, I thought he deserves more than one story. Watch out for Savor (a contemporary romance with paranormal elements) and Fervor (an urban fantasy paranormal romance) to be released later this year.

Thank you so much for hanging out with me today. It’s been a pleasure taking the time to reveal a little bit about my favorite character with all of you. If you haven’t grabbed your copy of Taste yet, please do so. Meet Luka. I dare you to break curfew!

Taste Blurb:

At Barinkoff Academy, there’s only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.
When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneathBarinkoffAcademy.Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

Author Bio: 

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master’s courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

Buy the book:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and The Book Depository 


Kate is not giving away a book at each stop, instead at the end of the tour she will give away 5 digital copies and one print copy. The winners will be selected using rafflecopter on January 17.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Top 10 Books of 2012

2012 was a great year for books, it was a great year for me and I made amazing memories that I will always cherish. Many of those memories were meeting authors. I got to meet Jennifer L. Armentrout, Colleen Hoover and Susan Ee. Books have change my life. I'm a better person because of them. To authors that made reading amazing books possible, to my husband and daughter for letting me read, to bloggers for writing reviews and to my followers I say thank you for an amazing year.  Here are my top 10 reads of 2012. They are not in a particular order.  

Fallen Too Far (Fallen Too Far, #1)

Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines

Every book that Abbi has written is amazing but this one was unexpected and beautiful. It was different and because of that I added it to my top ten.

Read my review for Fallen Too Far

Undeniable (Undeniable, #1)

Undeniable by Madeline Sheehan

I don't even know what to say about this one. It was raw, real and the writing was amazing. This book is not for everybody though. Thanks to Joy from Joyous Reads for recommending this one. 

Ask The Passengers

Ask The Passengers by A.S. King

This was such an amazing read. A.S. King is a genius. Her characters are always amazing, funny and so unforgettable. I will read anything that King writes, anything. I will even read a historical romance as long as is written by her. That's how much I love her.  

Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)

Sanctum by Sarah Fine

I will never thank Alexa from Collection enough for not only recommending this one but for sending me an ARC for me to read. GAH! This was sooooo good. I mean, God, it was so amazing and different. If you haven't  read this one yet, then go buy a copy. You'll thank Alexa and me later, promise

Read my review for Sanctum

Bared to You (Crossfire, #1)

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

This one made it to my top 10 because of Gideon Cross. That's it.

Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

I'm such a big fan of anything Cashore writes. And Bitterblue was no exception. This one was a little bit more complex than her other books but hey, my brain loves a challenging read. I can not wait to see what Kristin Cashore writes next. 

Torn Trilogy by Erica O'Rourke

I remember the feeling these books gave me. I was obsessed with the characters, the love triangle and everything in it. This Trilogy is a must read.

Read my review for Tangled and Bound

Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3)

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

This one was the end of my favorite series. It was what imagined it would be and more. Quintana of Charyn was a bit of a bittersweet read for me. When I read the last page I knew that was the end of the adventures for Finnikin and company but it was also their happily ever after. I will alway re-read it and if you love fantasy this is the series you should read. 

Colleen Hoover

Anything Colleen Hoover writes is fantastic. There's always something in her books that takes them to the next level. I recommend anything written by her! I also got to meet her. She was amazing! 

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)

Angelfall by Susan Ee

I read a review that Alexa (Collections) wrote and I had to buy it! It did not disappoint. This one was a terrifyingly beautiful read. And the sequel comes out in fall of 2013!! Who's exited? ME!

That's it for me. I read many books in 2012 but these are the ones that made my insides melt or made me feel something. If you wrote a best of 2012 post please post the link in the comments or just tell me what were your favorite books of 2012! Happy new year! 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard, #1)
Rating: 4/5 stars

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other.

Expected publication: February 12th 2013 by Gallery Books

Another Twilight fan fiction that doesn't read like Twilight at all. It's more of a 50 Shades of Grey fan fic than anything else, only better and shorter. I'm going to predict that labeling this book the next 50 Shades will bother a lot of people and will turn them off. Hell, this will probably be as big  as 50 Shades and I think it deserves the hype. Now with the review.

I have never read two characters that hated each other as much as these two do. Never. I think it was refreshing and interesting. I felt the hatred oozing out of them. It got to the point where I asked myself why would they keep working together if they were so miserable. And I'm just talking about the first chapter. Then something unexpected (sex) happened much sooner than I was expecting and changed the dynamic between these two. Then it got fun, then funner, then ok you two too much and then I just skipped through the last few steamy scenes.

The relationship between Chloe and Bennett, awesome manly name by the way, was bipolar and confusing at times... maybe all the time. But sometimes I could see a little glimmer of light at the of the tunnel. There were too many I hate yous, name calling and bird flipping for me to have any hope for our heroes. But somehow the authors made it work. Despite their tempers I still love Cloe and Mr. Ryan. They were funny and smart.

I liked the way the book ended but I really don't know what the next book will be about since there wasn't a lot to this one. I hope they write about a new couple because if not the second book will be as pointless as the 3rd book in the Fifty Shades trilogy. That does not mean I won't buy it and read it.   I miss Mr. Bennett Ryan already. Sigh.

At the end of the day this was a really enjoyable read. I could not put it down. Maybe a little too much "bedroom action" but still worth reading. And I LOVE the cover!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson

Wicked as They Come (Blud, #1)
Rating: 4.5/5

When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?

Ok. This was a very different read and I loved it! From page one I was hooked. The story is told from Tish Everett's point of view and she was a fantastic narrator. If you read the summary of the book you know that Tish is a nurse in our world and after she went to sleep we this locket she found at an estate sale she wakes up in a different world. Because Tish is new to this world we get to experience everything with her. So instead of the reader being introduced to a completely new world from page one we get to slowly learn more about this amazing world that is "Sang" as the book progresses.

I'm amazed I liked this book so much because I'm not a big fan of books that have a lot a world building in them. But "Sang" was so irresistible, beautiful, terrifying and steampunk-ish that Wicked as They Come wouldn't have been half as good without the world building. That doesn't mean that the book dragged or that there wasn't any action, it was just a perfect combination of everything good.

The characters were equally as interesting as "Sang". There's no words to describe them, really. There were so many of them and I couldn't get enough. I wanted more of these colorful and wicked creatures. As for Tish's gift that was a great twist I wasn't expecting. And then we have the clockwork creatures, oh my God, that was a little thing that made me love this book even more.

 I didn't give this book 5 stars because I did have a little problem with it. I felt like the whole journey Tish and Criminy took was, I don't want to say a waste of time because things did happen and it was exciting, but maybe a little unnecessary. They went from point "a" to point "b" and then they had to go to point "c" but the thing that they were looking for wasn't there so they had to go back to point "a" and so on. Maybe to others this will be a turn off because the characters have to go through so much to get what they want but I overlooked it because the writing was amazing and like I said the journey wasn't uneventful.

 Overall, I think I could not have picked a better book to start 2013.

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