Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday 89

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin

Amazon.com:

All new girl Raye Archer wants is a way into the in crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker picks her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means creating a fake Facebook identity so she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. It's a fun and dangerous thrill at first, but Raye hadn't counted on falling for Julian herself and igniting Ella's rage.

As Raye works to reconcile the temptress Elizabeth with her real-life self, Ella serves up her own revenge, creating an online smear campaign of nasty rumors and trashy photographs. Suddenly notorious, Raye has to find a way out of the web of deceit that she's helped to build, and back to the relationships that matter.

Adele Griffin's riveting novel explores the issues of generation Facebook: the desire to be someone else, real versus online friends, and the pitfalls and fallouts of posting your personal life online for all the world to judge.

Released August 26th 2010

Not really sure what's going on with the cover looks like they've taken this facebook fight into outerspace and the future a la the Fifth Element, but maybe the book will clue me in to what's happening there. Anyhow the book sounds great. I really like stories that deal with technology and how it can be used for good and for BAD. And mean girl stories are always interesting too!

What can't you wait for to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hardcover vs Paperback 87

Huge by Sasha Paley

Hardcover

Paperback

TV Show Tie-In Edition

Amazon.com:

TWO ROOMATES.
ONE GOAL.
BIG PROBLEM.

April's been saving all year to afford Wellness Canyon (aka Fat Camp) and she can't wait to start losing weight. Wil's wealthy health-nut parents are forcing her to go to the camp, but Wil is determined to get revenge by gaining weight. They're supposed to work together to meet their weight-loss goals. But Wil's leading April on "hikes" to 7-Eleven, April's relentless pep is driving Wil to hit her secret stash of Godiva, and soon they're both crushing on the same guy. With April as committed to the cause as Wil is determined to undermine the system, this summer's going to be about more than just counting calories....

As I've said before I'm usually much more attracted to a cover with a person and in this case that's true again. I mean I understand the hardcover and the paperback but they aren't really that exciting. I'm kinda excited to check out the tv show!

Hardcover or Paperback?

Have you spotted a Hardcover vs. Paperback you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Monday, June 28, 2010

BEA 2010: Day 2 - Thursday

Thursday started right on the BEA floor after a breakfast at a local diner where Gail and I were asked if we were high school students that went to J. John (dude, I so wish!).

While everyone raced off to get Clockwork Angel ( I went a bit later) I wandered around for a bit. And then started my day off with some signings at the Harlequin booth.

Other highlights of the day included:

Meeting three of the authors from Trickster a graphic novel of Native American tales.

Meeting Gretchen Rubin the author of the Happiness Project which I just adore!

Finally getting to meet Beth Kephart in person, she's just as sweet in person as she is online!

Also getting to meet Penelope Przekop for the first time in person as well, I really enjoyed her book Aberrations! It was a day of semi-reunions I guess!

Getting a Glee t-shirt promoting the upcoming book, which I've already posted about!

Here's what I picked up that day (click to enlarge):

Signed


Unsigned



After shipping our boxes from that day, Gail and I headed downstairs for the Book Blogger Convention Reception. It was a really fun event when I got to meet a lot of people for the first time including Lisa Roe the online publicist, Chelsey and Dina from Big Honcho Media, and author Maria Marnane who's book Perfect on Paper I LOVE! We chatted with a lot of authors and publicists and other industry professionals.

I was given the pictured books (below) by one of the authors there.



Leaving it was sad to see all the BEA signage going down but we went on our way. For dinner we had pizza with Erica from the Book Cellar! I literally had like 6 business cards left so Gail had the great idea for me to try and make some of my own which I did after we bought me some poster board and scissors. I didn't end up needing as many as I made for the next day but it was nice knowing I had some if I needed them. And of course since the trip was coming to an end we had to get Pinkberry one last time!

BLOG TOUR: Leaving Unknown by Kerry Reichs

Amazon.com:

Sweet Lips, Tennessee . . . Toad Suck, Arkansas . . . Okay, Oklahoma . . . Truth or Consequences, New Mexico . . .
Maeve Connelly's epic road trip is taking her through every colorfully named tiny town in America on her way to the far less imaginatively named Los Angeles, California. With her foulmouthed cockatiel, Oliver, her only companion, Maeve's heading way off the beaten track with little money and a load of painful baggage she wants to leave behind. But when her beloved rattletrap, "Elsie," breaks down outside Unknown, Arizona, she finds herself taking a much longer rest stop than she anticipated.

The only mechanic in the vicinity is on an indefinite walkabout, so Maeve's in for the long haul—and she'll need to find two jobs to pay for Elsie's eventual repair. But she's starting to feel strangely at home among the quirky denizens of Unknown—especially around her new bookstore owner boss—so Maeve is seriously considering saying good-bye to Hollywood for good . . . if she can keep her past troubles from coming to light.

From Kerry Reichs, author of The Best Day of Someone Else's Life, comes a poignant and very funny new novel about finding yourself after finding yourself in the middle of nowhere.


I could tell Leaving Unknown was going to be a fun and quirky book but I wasn't prepared for how spot-on it would be. Maeve is the type of person you just want to be around because she's fun, spunky and different! But what we (or at least I) didn't realize at first was that she was hiding something, something that had a big impact on her life but doesn't share with others. Other reviews talk about what it is she's hiding but I really liked reading it in the book and discovering it for myself, the hints all adding up!

I loved the little quirks about this book. Maeve's cockatiel Oliver, which had some hilarious phrases he shot out at the most horrible times and a set of little sculptures Maeve's mother made for her when she leaves on her journey. And just the way Maeve interacts with the other characters made her so endearing, she was such a caring person that tries her best but sometimes falls a little short, but definitely not for a lack of trying.

The secondary characters were fabulous, especially bookstore owner Noah, doctor Samuel and co-worker and friend Tuesday. The author cultivates this community not unlike one of my other favorites, Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls.

Every page was a pleasure to read, I laughed (a lot), worried for Maeve and wanted her to find her place in this world. I was very pleased to find out the author's first book, The Best Day of Someone Else's Life following Maeve's sister Vi, it's sure to be just as good!


Leaving Unknown was released on March 30th 2010
Genre: Chick Lit
4.5/5 Stars
Review copy provided by the publisher
Author's Website

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Flawless (Pretty Little Liars #2) by Sara Shepard

*SPOILERS FROM BOOK 1: Pretty Little Liars**

Amazon.com:

Spencer stole her sister's boyfriend. Aria is brokenhearted over her English teacher. Emily likes her new friend Maya . . . as much more than a friend. Hanna's obsession with looking flawless is making her sick. And their most horrible secret yet is so scandalous that the truth would ruin them forever.

And why shouldn't I tell? They deserve to lose it all. With every crumpled note, wicked IM, and vindictive text message I send, I'll be taking these pretty little liars down. Trust me, I've got enough dirt to bury them alive.

-A

After reading the series as a whole I can say that Flawless is one of my least favorite in the series, but isn't by any means un-enjoyable. It centers very much on two things, The Jenna Thing which I'm glad we FINALLY get to find out about and Foxy (a ritzy fundraiser event). I guess I was just hoping for more plots. I started to get sick of hearing about these two things.

As with the first book the 4 girls deal with their own personal problems but are still being threatened by A. In this book I found Emily's friendship with Toby (Jenna's brother) pretty interesting. Was he someone she could trust or not? This plot created some great suspense especially towards the end of the book.

While this book wasn't one of my favorites in the series it laid a lot of groundwork for the upcoming books.

Flawless was released on February 19th 2008
Genre: Young Adult
3.5/5 Stars
Purchased at Half Price Books

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This Week In Books or Say Hello to the Cuttlefish!


Monday:

Wanted by Sara Shepard

I had about 50 or so pages left in Heartless so I broke down and decided to get the hardcover of Wanted even though hardcovers are icky. Took me two stores to find it, I almost started to panic but then there it was and I was done with it by the next afternoon!

Tuesday:

Knitgrrl 2 by Shannon Okey

This sort of reminded me of my Crochet (Klutz) book, very simple so I thought it might be able to help me conquer knitting in the round!

The Care and Taming of a A Rogue by Suzanne Enoch
Never Resist Temptation by Miranda Neville

It Happened One Night by Various

Love's Legacy by Various

These were used from 2 different stores.

Rest of the week:

Ghostgirl: Lovesick by Tonya Hurley
Heart to Heart by Lurlene McDaniel

The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams

Wildwing by Emily Whitman

The White Horse Trick by Kate Thompson

The Goblin Gate by Hilari Bell

My Dangerous Duke by Gaelen Foley


For review, most surprises!

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

For an upcoming blog tour, boy is it LONG!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lookalikes 107

The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause


Sea by Heidi R. Kling


Halo by Alexandra Adornello


Fire Will Fall by Carol Plum-Ucci


Everlasting by Angie Frazier


The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller (old cover see the new one here)

So apparently there is a silhouetted couples trend on the rise. And I can't say I really like it. Silhouettes under the right circumstances can be beautiful but I think jamming it into a bookcover with a bunch of other stuff going on doesn't really work for me. It's weird some are tiny and some are giant! Some are very vague, others almost unrealistically specific. I think Halo would have to be my favorite, I do think a less swirly typeface might have looked better though.

Thanks to Khyrinthia and Yan helping with this lookalike!

Have you spotted a Lookalike you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

GIVEAWAY: Sea Change by Aimee Friedman Beach Reads Prize Pack!

Oooh this is a doozy of a prize! I'm jealous! Last year I reviewed Sea Change by Aimee Friedman and now it's out in paperback as of June 1st! To celebrate I have a great prize for you, but first a refresher on Sea Change!

Amazon.com:

Sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science. . .and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.

There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship. . .and reality.

Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?

The Prize Pack includes paperbacks of:

Sea Change
French Kiss
Hollywood Hills
South Beach
The Year My Sister Got Lucky

ALL by Aimee Friedman!

Here's how to enter to win the prize pack!

Fill out the giveaway entry form here.

The giveaway is open to addresses within the U.S. only.

The giveaway will end July 8th at 6:59 pm Central Time.

**Prize provided by marketing firm**

Author's website
Sea Change website

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday 88

Rich and Mad by William Nicholson

Amazon.com:


This is a compelling and beautifully written novel about first love, first sex, and everything in between. Maddy Fisher has decided to fall in love. And not just any sort of love: can't-eat can't-sleep crazy in love. Rich Ross is after the same thing. He's set his sights high, and he's going to make it happen. The problem is, in life's messy whirlwind of friends and lies and sex and porn, the real thing can be hard to fine. But there's always a first time for everything...

Released September 14th 2010

This sounds really good! I always prefer realistic stories of people just being people without wings or spells or fangs. It's just good and this sounds great!

What can't you wait for to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hardcover vs Paperback 86

The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper

Hardcover

Paperback

Amazon.com:

Kate Sanderson has been burned by love. From now on, she thinks, I will control my own destiny, and I will be reasoned and rational. But life has other things in store for Kate. Namely, a summer abroad studying Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in the very town where the star-crossed lovers met, Verona, Italy. Kate is thrown together with two other American teens and three Italians for a special seminar—and for volunteer duty at the Juliet Club, where they answer letters from the lovelorn around the world. Can Kate's cool logic withstand the most romantic summer ever? Especially when faced with the ever-so-charming Giacomo and his entrancing eyes . . . ?

Man this is HARD! The hardcover definitely reflects the theme of the book a lot better but I'm a sucker for faces on covers, they usually always get my attention more than an object. I just wish the paperback said Juliet more! I also prefer the type treatment on the paperback more than the hardcover.

Hardcover or Paperback?

Have you spotted a Hardcover vs. Paperback you would like to contribute? Send me an email!


Monday, June 21, 2010

"New girl who moved into dead girl's house..."

And we are back with a roundtable of Pretty Little Liars episode 2: The Jenna Thing! I have the first part this week so be sure to visit Carol and Khyrinthia for parts 2 and 3!

**WARNING SPOILERS**

SUMMARY:

Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily all thought that Ali was sending them those mysterious texts, but since Ali is found dead, now they're wondering who is threatening them with their secrets. It gets worse when the sudden appearance of Jenna causes them to remember what happened a year ago.

BEST & WORST SCENES:

Alea: My favorite scene was Ezra and picking up Aria in the rain. I thought it was beautifully shot and I loved how there was only music and no dialogue. It seemed like it was from a movie.

Khyrinthia: That scene creeped me out. He just happened to by driving by?

Carol: I agree with both of you. It was both creepy and hot at the same time.

Alea: Yeah, I guess maybe they both hang around the Hollis campus! I knew you would not like that one Khy!

Khyrinthia: And he was at the theater? STALKER.

Carol: Right, Khy! Maybe he put a tracking device on her or something so he can know where she is all the time.

Alea: Yeah that scene was kind of odd but I don't think he was really stalking them, it was very awkward though. Did you guys catch that scene, something about a Brad Pitt joke, that totally went over my head, did you get it?

Carol: I didn't get the Brad Pitt joke. It was so odd.

Khyrinthia: I saw that! that was weird. Who cares about Brad Pitt nowadays?

Carol: LOL. Only the orphans who want to be adopted!

Alea: Ok glad it wasn't just me! I don't even remember what scene it was from now!

Carol: Any scene Jenna was in was very awkward.

Khyrinthia: Yeah, they're trying to make her too creepy. And she was the main character in SPECTACULAR! so I was hoping she'd break out into song.

Carol: You and your musicals Khy. xD

Alea: I feel like she's watching them but she obviously can't be since she's blind! She was in Spectacular, oh that's too much!

Khyrinthia: Pretty Little Liars: The Musical would be interesting...

Carol: and funny



Alea: Did you notice Aria got a new phone, the others might have as well. It's one of the shows advertisers or something. I forget the name of the phone but it's a little square and the way the text messages pop up is sort of ugly, in those round bubbles.

Khyrinthia: The Kin? I hate those commercials. At least the product placement isn't as bad as Vampire Diaries!

Alea: Haha!

Carol: I fast-forwarded through all the commercials. Thank you whoever invented DVR's!

Khyrinthia: ALSO WORST SCENE:

Khyrinthia: The To Kill a Mockingbird scene completely distracted me. Isn't Ezra supposed to be a challenging teacher? These kids aren't freshmen, why are they reading TKAM?

Khyrinthia: And I'm pretty sure I answered the same innocence in TKAM question in 8th grade.

Alea: Yeah I think we read that a lot earlier than 11th grade too.

Carol: We never read it. My school wasn't the best.

Photos credit of ABCFamily.com

GIVEAWAY: Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

I've always enjoyed Jennifer Weiner's books (though I have to catch up on the latest few) and I was so excited to hear that she was releasing another book this summer, Fly Away Home (July 13th) and super excited to be able to share a copy with one of you! Also it looks like Jennifer is touring some touring this summer, see if she's coming near you here! Here's a bit about the book!

Amazon.com:

Sometimes all you can do is fly away home . . .

When Sylvie Serfer met Richard Woodruff in law school, she had wild curls, wide hips, and lots of opinions. Decades later, Sylvie has remade herself as the ideal politician’s wife—her hair dyed and straightened, her hippie-chick wardrobe replaced by tailored knit suits. At fifty-seven, she ruefully acknowledges that her job is staying twenty pounds thinner than she was in her twenties and tending to her husband, the senator.

Lizzie, the Woodruffs’ younger daughter, is at twenty-four a recovering addict, whose mantra HALT (Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?) helps her keep her life under control. Still, trouble always seems to find her. Her older sister, Diana, an emergency room physician, has everything Lizzie failed to achieve—a husband, a young son, the perfect home—and yet she’s trapped in a loveless marriage. With temptation waiting in one of the ER’s exam rooms, she finds herself craving more.

After Richard’s extramarital affair makes headlines, the three women are drawn into the painful glare of the national spotlight. Once the press conference is over, each is forced to reconsider her life, who she is and who she is meant to be.

Written with an irresistible blend of heartbreak and hilarity, Fly Away Home is an unforgettable story of a mother and two daughters who after a lifetime of distance finally learn to find refuge in one another.

Here's how to enter to win a final copy of Fly Away Home!

Fill out the giveaway entry form here.

The giveaway is open to addresses within the U.S. only.

The giveaway will end July 5th at 6:59 pm Central Time.

**Prize provided by public relations firm**

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Amazon.com:

Everyone has something to hide—especially high school juniors spencer, aria, emily, and hanna.

Spencer covets her sister's boyfriend. Aria's fantasizing about her English teacher. Emily's crushing on the new girl at school. Hanna uses some ugly tricks to stay beautiful.

But they've all kept an even bigger secret since their friend Alison vanished.

How do I know? Because I know everything about the bad girls they were, the naughty girls they are, and all the dirty secrets they've kept. And guess what? I'm telling.

-A

With the tv show coming out I decided it was finally time to read Pretty Little Liars! And boy am I glad I did! If nothing just the idea of the mystery had me going crazy trying to figure out what was going on!

I love how the book alternates from all 4 of the girl's perspectives. Right off the bat I found Spencer to be the most interesting, always competing with her sister for EVERYTHING, including boys and Hanna to be the least interesting, she's a bit of a shoplifter and has overgone a pretty physical and social makeover. Not sure why but she doesn't interest me as much as the others.

A lot of times in stories (and in life) of any kind people obsess about horrible things happening and then they never end up happening but in Pretty Little Liars they DO happen and it's really interesting seeing how the characters can go on from these massive blows. You don't usually get to read stories like this, at least I don't think so. It's also interesting how the story can stay together with these 4 girls not even being friends anymore really. You'd think it would make it harder to read, these 4 different totally separate storylines yet even though they aren't friendly they still need to depend on each other from time to time when it comes to A. Good balance of separate and together.

It seems from what I've been told the 8 books in this series add up to one really long story so I will be interested to see where it goes from here. Sidenote: It's about a week after I finished this book (when I'm writing this) and I've read through 4, these are addicting!

Pretty Little Liars was released on August 21st 2007.
Genre: Young Adult
4/5 Stars
ARC picked up via donation to school district summer program at independent bookstore like 4 years ago.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

This Week In Books or The Pretty Little Liars Obsession Continues....


Monday:

Say No to Joe? by Lori Foster
The Secret Duke by Jo Beverley


Stopped at the local library and these were on the sale rack.

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Presu

For review.

Tuesday:

Heartless by Sara Shepard

Yeah... I had to get #7 of the Pretty Little Liars series, but it was 40% off yay Borders coupons!

House of Dolls by Francesca Lia Block

For review. This looks really original, excited to find out more!

Wednesday: nothing

Thursday:

Grace by Elizabeth Scott
Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
Virals by Kathy Reichs


Some more surprises for review!

Rest of the week... coming later!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Double Blog Dare Tour!

Today I'm excited to be part of The Double Blog Dare Tour for Alison Dare! Alison Dare, always up for an adventure insisted on traveling to New York City and BEA with me last month, during our busy schedule we managed to snap a few pictures!

Here's Alison doing some sightseeing at St Thomas's Cathedral


She even got to meet some bloggers for dinner, Gail and Sharon!


Here's Alison at the start of the first day of BEA while waiting to enter the Childrens Breakfast she looks more confident than I felt!



And finally, if I can't take on my schedule she sure will. She came out fighting and was a real trooper!


If you want to share your own Alison Dare adventures and be entered to win a special Alison Dare Prize pack check out this post for all the details!

Now onto my reviews!


Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventure by J. Torres and J. Bone

Tundra Books:

Alison Dare: Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft in fabulous, graphic adventures.Alison Dare is not your typical twelve-year-old. She's the daughter of an archaeologist/adventurer and the masked hero known as the Blue Scarab. To top it off, she's also the niece of an international super-spy; it's no surprise that a craving for danger is in her blood! Unfortunately, her parents have locked her away at the prestigious St. Joan's Academy for Girls, hoping that this would lead to a more "normal" life for their daughter.

But despite all the strict rules at the school, Alison and her best pals - Wendy and Dot - somehow manage to find themselves involved in adventures that rival those of Alison's globetrotting, planet-saving relatives. Whether it's magic genies, super-powered bank robbers, or a dastardly baron bent on world domination, Alison Dare delivers the best thrills since Indiana Jones and more action than Lara Croft!


Let me start by saying even though this is Volume 1 of the set it really read like Volume 2. We are literally thrown into the action with pretty much no introduction. I found Volume 2 to seem more introductory but oh well.

Little Miss Adventures is a series of stories that range from Alison getting into trouble on one of her mother's dig sites, the story of how her parents met (my favorite!) her mother is a world-renowned archaeologist and her father is a masked superhero, the Blue Scarab, to Alison helping her parents fight bad guys at the museum.

I love, love LOVE the illustration style used in these graphic novels. So crisp and clean but also really detailed. It lacks nothing by being in black and white. While I didn't actually read comics as a kid, these certainly would have been the kind to catch my fancy and they still do today!

I think my favorite characters would have to be, Alison of course (she'd kill me if I said otherwise), her father the Blue Scarab (and also a librarian) and her Uncle the master of disguise Johnny Dare. He would show up at the most random times totally unrecognizable there to help Alison and her family fight the bad guys!

Overall a fun graphic novel adventure good for any age!

Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventures was released on May 11th 2010
Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel
3.5/5 Stars
Review copy provided by publisher

Alison Dare: The Heart of the Maiden by J. Torres and J. Bone

Tundra Books:

Alison Dare: Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft in fabulous, graphic adventures.Alison Dare is not your typical twelve-year-old. She's the daughter of an archaeologist/adventurer and the masked hero known as the Blue Scarab. To top it off, she's also the niece of an international super-spy; it's no surprise that a craving for danger is in her blood! Unfortunately, her parents have locked her away at the prestigious St. Joan's Academy for Girls, hoping that this would lead to a more "normal" life for their daughter.

But despite all the strict rules at the school, Alison and her best pals - Wendy and Dot - somehow manage to find themselves involved in adventures that rival those of Alison's globetrotting, planet-saving relatives. Whether it's magic genies, super-powered bank robbers, or a dastardly baron bent on world domination, Alison Dare delivers the best thrills since Indiana Jones and more action than Lara Croft!


I think that in Volume 2: The Heart of the Maiden, Alison really shines. These stories take place at Alison's boarding school with her two friends, Wendy and Dot. I like how the entire book contributes to one larger story unlike Volume 1: Little Miss Adventures. We still have all the same characters and Alison getting into trouble and being sneaky but it all ends up focusing on a mystery at Alison's school involving the nuns, the heart of the maiden, ninjas, and a other few hilarious things!

Again the illustrations are phenomenal and Uncle Johnny shows up at the craziest times to help. I hope we can expect this series to continue! I haven't gotten my fill yet!

Alison Dare: The Heart of the Madien was released on May 11th 2010
Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel
4/5 Stars
Review copy provided by publisher

Lookalikes 106

Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty


The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan



The Sky Always Hears Me by Kirstin Cronn-Mills


Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd

So here we have two exact lookalikes and two similar, all blonde. I think I like The Mermaid's Mirror the best. Dreaming of Amelia is almost too bright and the bottom two don't do a whole lot for me. I like The Mermaid's Mirror is the best balance.

Thanks to Alice, Mariah, Sandy, Amy, Alyssa, Sasha, and Karen for pointing out this lookalike!

Have you spotted a Lookalike you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

Sourcebooks Fire:

After getting dumped by her boyfriend, sixteen-year-old Mia Gordon is looking forward to spending a relaxing summer in the Hamptons with her glamorous cousins. But when she arrives, her cousins are distant, moody, and caught up with a fast crowd. Mia finds herself lonelier than ever.

That's when she meets her next-door-neighbor, Simon Ross. Simon isn't like the snobby party boys her cousins seem obsessed with; he's funny, artistic, and utterly adventurous. And from the very first time he encourages Mia to go skinny-dipping, she's caught up in a current impossible to resist.

Timeless in feel, The Summer of Skinny-Dipping is a poignant, literary read sure to dazzle tweens and teens alike.

The Summer of Skinning Dipping exudes summer and that I really liked that about it. You brush off (or try to) the school year and set off for a new adventure, summer. This summer Mia is met with some challenges and some surprises. In her cousin Corine she finds someone pretty different from who she remembers being attached to at the hip. It's something that is very hard to grasp when someone you thought you knew becomes a different person, a person that you don't relate so well to anymore. Do you just go along with it or do you do what you want to even in the face of laughter?

I really admired Mia's struggle to keep her cousin's friendship but stay true to herself, she's sensitive but honest in her journey. And in the midst of this Mia meets Simon who encourages her to just be herself and maybe even push the boundaries a little bit. I found their relationship to develop a lot more realistic than others I've seen.

There are a great mix of elements in this story that kept me interested and I few answers I was definitely reading for. What is going on with Mia's parents? Why is Corine so angry at her mother? It was a nice balance of light summery things and rather important things that can be learned about yourself and others over one summer.

I will say that the ending definitely took me by surprise and I haven't totally made my mind up about that, luckily the author has agreed to stop by later this summer to talk a bit more about that!

The Summer of Skinny Dipping was released on June 1st 2010!
Genre: Young Adult
4/5 Stars
ARC provided by the publisher

Sourcebooks Fire is holding a contest for copies of the book over in their ning! To enter you need to think up a original summer romance title and share a little bit about why you picked the title! The reasoning for this is because the author of The Summer of Skinny Dipping came up with her title before her story! Enter here!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday 87

A Girl, A Ghost, and the Hollywood Hills by Lizabeth Zindel

Amazon.com:

When Holly's mother dies unexpectedly, she thinks things can't get much worse. But then her dad starts dating again. And his new girlfriend is Holly's aunt and her mom's sister! Aunt Claudia is known in Hollywood as the Queen of B Movies. Horror films, zombie flicks, she's made them all. Holly never liked her aunt, but now she positively can't stand her. Especially once the ghost of her mother appears and tells Holly that Claudia was to blame for her death.

Inspired by Hamlet, this funny novel about the danger of family secrets is a modern comic take on a classic Shakespearean tragedy.


Released October 14th 2010

I'm so glad this says "comic take" in the summary cause Hamlet = not very light! I think this could be a lot of fun. Could totally see Holly trying to take down her aunt, I love that her aunt is the Queen of B Movies! I'm sure we'll get some great movie descriptions in the book!

What can't you wait for to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hardcover vs Paperback 85

Peace Love and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle

Hardcover

Paperback

Amazon.com:

Wealth. Privilege. Way too many pastel-tinted opinions. That is Carly’s life, and . . . It’s. Getting. On. Her. Nerves. Carly is ready to ditch the southern princess act and become real. The thing is, she’s always counted on her little sister, Anna, to love and support her—and tell her how right she is. But when Anna turns “hot” over the course of a single summer, everything goes weird. Suddenly Anna’s swimming in the deep end with the big girls while Carly watches from the kiddie pool, alone. Carly’s always relied on the constancy of her sister, but now everything is different, and she’s not so sure she likes it.

Well, I always thought the hardcover was clever and cute but it's also a little bit immature for the storyline. The paperback might be better at catching the attention of the right audience. We've got the peace and the baby ducks but I'm missing the love here on the paperback.

Hardcover or Paperback?

Have you spotted a Hardcover vs. Paperback you would like to contribute? Send me an email!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Pretty Little Liars Roundtable: "I'm still here bitches.”

Hey everyone! With not so much on tv this summer I'm all about Pretty Little Liars (and So You Think You Can Dance and True Blood ok maybe there is more tv then I thought...!). Khyrinthia of the Frenetic Reader and Carol of Booklover Carol were talking. We've all read or are in the process of reading the books from the Pretty Little Liars series and are going to watch the show, we thought it might be fun to do a weekly post about the show and it's different aspects and how it also relate to the book! We've split our discussion into 3 parts and this week I am the last section, check out Part 1 (Carol) and Part 2 (Khyrinthia) to see the rest of our chat! And please join in, we'd like to hear what you think too!


**WARNING SPOILERS**


MUSIC:



C: I love "Secret" by The Pierces and was I was glad that their song was featured in the episode, especially since the lyrics really go with the show.
"Got a secret
Can you keep it?
Swear this one you'll save
Better lock it, in your pocket
Taking this one to the grave
If I show you then I know you
Won't tell what I said
Cause two can keep a secret
If one of them is dead…"

A: I agree Carol, I think Secret by the Pierces was a great choice at the theme song. Speaking of the theme, I’m not sure if I’m digging the opening credits. I appreciate the idea but I don’t like the fact that it looks like they were dressing a doll almost until the very end. Maybe that was intentional but it was odd to me. I also really liked the song Suggestions by Orelia, what an interesting sound think I’m going to have to check out some more of her stuff.

K: Carol stole my answer! I agree with your thoughts on the credits, Alea. I like it until they get to the coffin part because some of the girls look kind of awkward standing there.

C: Yup, the credits are so weird and awkward. Maybe they'll change that later in the season.

See the full list of songs from the episode here.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

A: I was so wrapped up with seeing how it followed the books since I had finished Book 1 (Pretty Little Liars) the morning it aired that’s pretty much all I was watching for. Obviously compared to the book a lot less can happen in one episode so I’m interested in seeing how the rest of the plots from the book play out in the next few episodes along with plots from Book 2 (Flawless) since we’ve already passed the funeral and have reopened the investigation as murder!

K: I liked it! I don't like it as much as the book so far, because right now it's not as full of tension. I was really distracted by the acting and writing though- some lines were so cheesy and some of the girls overact. It's distracting! But I'm sure it will get better.

C: Yes it's very much like a soap opera, leaning to the overdramatic. But I am glad that it's not much different that the books! And Khy, I agree. There's not much tension yet. And I don't like the girl that plays Alison. She is not like Alison that is in book. She just doesn't capture book-Ali's essence.

NEXT WEEK: The Jenna Thing (Episode 2)



Photos credit of ABCFamily.com

Help! Or Something I Know Almost Nothing About: Vampires

With True Blood Season 3 starting vampires are BACK (yes I know they really didn't go anywhere... but back for me)! A friend mentioned she's really getting into vampire books and specifically vampire series. So far she's loved Twilight and the Sookie Stackhouse series.

I want to offer her some suggestions as to what to try next but I thought I would ask those who knew best first, you! What vampire series and other fantasy type series, which a bit of romance would you suggest, and what would you suggest staying away from? Thanks in advance for your help!

Giveaway: The Stud Club Trilogy by Tessa Dare

This morning I posted my review of the first book in The Stud Club trilogy by Tessa Dare, One Dance with a Duke, later this summer I will be reviewing the other two books in the trilogy. But for now, I'd love to give one of you a chance to read the trilogy yourself and perhaps come back here and tell me what you think of them!

Here is a bit about the books!

One Dance with a Duke

Amazon.com:

In One Dance with a Duke—the first novel in Tessa Dare’s delightful new trilogy—secrets and scandals tempt the irresistible rogues of the Stud Club to gamble everything for love.

A handsome and reclusive horse breeder, Spencer Dumarque, the fourth Duke of Morland, is a member of the exclusive Stud Club, an organization so select it has only ten members—yet membership is attainable to anyone with luck. And Spencer has plenty of it, along with an obsession with a prize horse, a dark secret, and, now, a reputation as the dashing “Duke of Midnight.” Each evening he selects one lady for a breathtaking midnight waltz. But none of the women catch his interest, and nobody ever bests the duke—until Lady Amelia d’Orsay tries her luck.

In a moment of desperation, the unconventional beauty claims the duke’s dance and unwittingly steals his heart. When Amelia demands that Spencer forgive her scapegrace brother’s debts, she never imagines that her game of wits and words will lead to breathless passion and a steamy proposal. Still, Spencer is a man of mystery, perhaps connected to the shocking murder of the Stud Club’s founder. Will Amelia lose her heart in this reckless wager or win everlasting love?


Twice Tempted by a Rogue

Amazon.com
:

The daring members of the Stud Club are reckless gamblers and no strangers to risk—until love raises the stakes in Twice Tempted by a Rogue.

Luck is a double-edged sword for brooding war hero Rhys St. Maur. His death wish went unanswered on the battlefield, while fate allowed the murder of his good friend in the elite gentlemen’s society known as the Stud Club. Out of options, Rhys returns to his ancestral home on the moors of Devonshire, expecting anything but a chance at redemption in the arms of a beautiful innkeeper who dares him to take on the demons of his past—and the sweet temptation of a woman’s love.

Meredith Maddox believes in hard work, not fate, and romance isn’t part of her plan. But when Rhys returns, battle-scarred, world-weary, and more dangerously attractive than ever, the lovely widow is torn between determination and desire. As a deep mystery and dangerous smugglers threaten much more than their passionate reckoning, Meredith discovers that she must trust everything to a wager her heart placed long ago.


Three Nights with a Scoundrel

Amazon.com:

In Tessa Dare’s dazzling new trilogy, the men of the Stud Club live and play by their own rules—until passion changes the game.

The bastard son of a nobleman, Julian Bellamy is now polished to perfection, enthralling the ton with wit and charm while clandestinely plotting to ruin the lords, ravish the ladies, and have the last laugh on a society that once spurned him. But after meeting Leo Chatwick, a decent man and founder of an elite gentlemen’s club, and Lily, Leo’s enchanting sister, Julian reconsiders his wild ways. And when Leo’s tragic murder demands that Julian hunt for justice, he vows to see the woman he secretly loves married to a man of her own class.

Lily, however, has a very different husband in mind. She’s loved Julian forever, adores the man beneath the rakish fa├žade, and wants to savor the delicious attraction they share—as his wife. His insistence on marrying her off only reinforces her intent to prove that he is the only man for her. Obsessed with catching a killer, Julian sinks back to the gutters of his youth, forcing Lily to reach out with a sweet, reckless passion Julian can’t resist. Can her desire for a scoundrel save them both—or will dangerous secrets threaten more than their tender love?

Here's how to enter to win The Stud Club Trilogy!

Fill out the giveaway entry form here.

The giveaway is open to addresses within the U.S. and Canada only.

The giveaway will end June 28th at 6:59 pm Central Time.

**Prize provided by the publisher**

Blog Tour: One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare

Welcome to the first of three blog tour stops for the Tessa Dare Stud Club Trilogy, check back for the final 2 later this summer! Today I have a guest post from the author, review, and a giveaway for the entire trilogy later this afternoon!

Here's a bit about the book:

Amazon.com:

In One Dance with a Duke—the first novel in Tessa Dare’s delightful new trilogy—secrets and scandals tempt the irresistible rogues of the Stud Club to gamble everything for love.

A handsome and reclusive horse breeder, Spencer Dumarque, the fourth Duke of Morland, is a member of the exclusive Stud Club, an organization so select it has only ten members—yet membership is attainable to anyone with luck. And Spencer has plenty of it, along with an obsession with a prize horse, a dark secret, and, now, a reputation as the dashing “Duke of Midnight.” Each evening he selects one lady for a breathtaking midnight waltz. But none of the women catch his interest, and nobody ever bests the duke—until Lady Amelia d’Orsay tries
her luck.

In a moment of desperation, the unconventional beauty claims the duke’s dance and unwittingly steals his heart. When Amelia demands that Spencer forgive her scapegrace brother’s debts, she never imagines that her game of wits and words will lead to breathless passion and a steamy proposal. Still, Spencer is a man of mystery, perhaps connected to the shocking murder of the Stud Club’s founder. Will Amelia lose her heart in this reckless wager or win everlasting love?


Let's start with a guest post from the author!

There’s a phrase I’d like to banish. Okay, not banish – because I really don’t believe in banishing phrases. But let’s just say, I wish I didn’t hear it quite so often. It’s this one:

“Guilty pleasure.”

A lot of romance readers use this phrase. I’ve heard endless variations on “Romance novels are my guilty pleasure.” In fact, I’m relatively sure I’ve said it before myself, but only lately has it started to make me cringe.

I get the “pleasure” part of it. Romances are fun, entertaining, enjoyable. For those who love the genre, a great romance is pure reading joy. But why the “guilty”? Is romance supposed to be like potato chips or chocolate--detrimental to our health if we consume too much?

I suspect the “guilty” factor has more to do with time. Unlike eating, or even watching television, reading demands our focused attention. It’s hard (but not impossible!) to multitask while reading a book. Reading time is time we take exclusively for ourselves. Romance readers are mostly women, and women have busy lives. If you’re a doctor, mother, teacher—or all three—with a lot of people demanding your attention, it can be hard to carve that “me-time” out of the day.

Amelia, the heroine of One Dance with a Duke, struggles with this. As the only woman in a family of five brothers, she finds herself always tending to their needs, putting others first. It’s a dilemma with which I can readily sympathize, after making my fifteenth PB&J of the week, meticulously removing all evidence of crust so it can pass preschooler muster.

But that’s exactly why I think we should strive to filter the term “guilty pleasure” from our vocabulary. We work hard! We deserve to enjoy life’s little pleasures where we find them, without an ounce of guilt…be they romance novels, long baths, rock climbing trips, or something else. In fact, I’m off to have a pedicure right after I finish this post.

What’s your favorite not-so-guilty pleasure?

Thanks Tessa! Onto my review!

In One Dance with a Duke, we are introduced to a trilogy based around a club of men who together own a horse, The Stud Club. The Stud Club takes the focus at the beginning and towards the end of the book with the middle being my favorite part, the boy meets girl part! Maybe a bit too much horse and murder talk for me. I will admit though, I love a good mystery!

Heroine Amelia is rather likable, she’s not too worried about the fact that she is unmarried and puts her family first. When making all of her decisions she always thinks about how it will affect her family. She comes to know Spencer through one of her brother’s gambling debts. And I love the scene when they meet, it really shows off both of their personalities and how they sometimes (a lot of the time) clash.

I found Spencer to be a bit rough and aggressive towards Amelia at some points to the point of unattractiveness, most of the time in the way he spoke to her in the bedroom, but when the narration was from his perspective I found him to be a lot more likable then when we were viewing him from Amelia's eyes.

While this book didn't burn as bright for me as some of the others in the genre I have read, I think this is an intriguing set up for a trilogy with the mystery spanning what appears to be all three books. Can’t wait to find out more about the quiet and mysterious Rhys in the next book, Twice Tempted by a Rogue.

One Dance with a Duke was released on May 25th 2010
Genre: Historical Romance
3/5 Stars
Review copy provided by the publisher

And here is the hilarious trailer you must watch!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kiss it by Erin Downing

Amazon.com:

A girl's gotta do who a girl's gotta do.

Chastity Bryan has never been shy about going after what she wants. And when sexy, mysterious, so-not-from-this-town Sebastian walks into Chaz's life, she knows in an instant that what she wants next is him. Chaz has no intention of playing for keeps—but she most definitely has intentions. Who needs true love when you've got true lust?

Sebastian has no idea what he's in for—but maybe neither does Chaz?

When I heard Kiss It described as raunchy and frank when it comes to female sexuality (also with a disclaimer that it’s not suggested for 14 and under by the author) I knew I had to check this out! After reading it I wouldn’t call the book raunchy exactly but I would definitely say it does deal with the sensitive and important issues of teen sexuality in a VERY open way, so be ready for that when reading this book.


Main character Chastity (what a name!) lives in a very small town that she realizes is not where she wants to live out her life, but while she’s waiting it out in high school there she wants to get some experience, in the sexuality department. The pickings are slim in her mind but she tests out the waters, never really finding the right person to go through this education with, until Sebastian comes into town. In Sebastian she sees something different and knows she wants to get to know him better.

What I liked about this book was besides a secondary story with her best friend (that I saw coming from a mile away) I wasn’t really sure where the story was going to go and I liked that. I also really liked the small town jokes, I recall snorting a few times I think! Nothing really crazy happens but sometimes that's ok. It was very realistic in the way everything is sort of open ended but personally I would have liked a few more plotlines tied up by the end of the book. I felt like we were going somewhere but we didn't quite get there.

It's definitely a coming of age story but deals with the idea of sex a lot more than other similar books I've read. I liked Chastity's voice and sarcastic tone but it was still missing something in the end, I haven't yet been able to put my finger on.

Kiss It will be released on June 15th
Genre: Young Adult
3.5/5 Stars
Review copy provided by the author

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Winner of Party

The winner of Party is Shanise, I have emailed you so please respond with your full name and mailing address by Wednesday June 16th to claim your book!

This Week In Books Or The Week I Paid 1 Cent for 2 Books


Monday:

Wicked by Sara Shepard
Killer by Sara Shepard

Since I'm reading the PLL series I decided to use my $15 Borders bucks to get a few more in the series, with those $15 and a 33% off coupon the total came to 1 cent! BEST DEAL EVER!

Twice Tempted by a Rogue by Tessa Dare

This is for an upcoming blog tour.

Tuesday:

Death Echo by Elizabeth Lowell
The Necromancer by Michael Scott

The Lighter Side of Life and Death by C.K. Kelly Martin


Surprise review books, definitely excited for C.K. Kelly Martin's book!

Wednesday: nothing

Thursday:

God is in the Pancakes by Robin Epstein
Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Give Up: 150 Demotivational Posters by Paul Koehorst and Ivor Jones


Review copies, Give Up looks hilarious, those motivational posters have always been hilariously stupid to me so this is a great twist!

Friday:

Magnolia Wednesdays by Wendy Wax
Just Like Me, Only Better by Carol Snow

The Keeper's Tattoo by Gill Arbuthnott

What's Your St@tus? by Katie Finn

Crash Test Love by Ted Michael

Review copies

Saturday: nothing

Friday, June 11, 2010

BEA 2010: Day 1 - Wednesday

First of all I'd like to say sorry for the lack of pictures, not sure why I didn't take that many! The first day of BEA was the day that Gail and I wanted to pick up tickets for some of the signings (Adriana Trigiani and Lemony Snicket-didn't end up meeting him, the line was outrageously long) so we were up bright and early!

After getting our tickets we did some chatting and decided to head over and get in line early for the Children's Breakfast (my first BEA breakfast event!)While waiting someone came over and offered us this little round promos for I Am Number Four, they had tons and they all were numbered. We were told to go over to Harper Collins to find out if we were winners of a signed copy of the book, and turns out we were! I do think it helped that I had number 4! Anyways back to the Children's Breakfast. Luckily since we got in line early we got seats towards the front of our section, which was the seating only section and we also got the speakers books which was nice! We also got to spend some time chatting with Julie from Booking Mama and Kathy from Bermuda Onion. Unfortunately the program started awfully late so we only stayed for Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York and Cory Doctorow because we had a lot packed into our day on the BEA floor. I think in the future I could take a pass on the breakfasts unless there was someone I really really really wanted to see speak.

Luckily for me, the day started off with my most anticipated event. The signing for the first 3 books in the True Vows series from HCI, the first Reality-Based Romance series. Unfortunately not all 3 of the authors were able to make it but I did get to meet 2 of them! I actually stood in line with Judith Arnold (one of the authors of the series) at another signing, I was kind of freaking out!

Other highlights of the day included:

Meeting Susan Mallery (three times actually over the course of BEA).

Seeing Adriana Trigiani again, what a sweet sweet lady! It's impossible to be in anything BUT a good mood when you are around her!

Meeting up with Barbara and Sarah of Blueslip Media. They are just as kind in person as they were via email, they are also extremely encouraging!

Saying hello to Marilyn Johnson the author of This Book Is Overdue, she was walking past me while I was standing in line and I recognized her and we had a quick chat!

Seeing Elizabeth Scott again, she's just a sweet and funny person!

Finally figuring out what the "Various Authors" signing was at the Harlequin booth and it was what I had hoped it would be, authors of the category romances! Yay!

And the surprise highlight of the day was seeing an advance reading sample of this:


You might be asking yourself, well what is it? Well, I'm glad you asked! I actually designed that cover! So imagine my surprise when I walked by and saw that! I pretty much freaked out! I also got the opportunity to meet someone from the Press who I had done some work for in the past! So as you can imagine I ran around the rest of the day showing the ARC to anyone and everyone I knew!

Here's what I picked up that day (click to enlarge):

Signed


Unsigned



After shipping off our books for the day Gail and I headed back to the hotel for a quick change and a rest and then headed to the Algoquin for a Harper Collins Book Bloggers reception! Had some fun bonding with some fellow bloggers and when we left we found out there was a parting gift, see below! How kind!


Overall thoughts for the day. I was expecting to feel horribly like I did last year at the end of the day but I actually didn't feel so bad. I guess my shoes were better this year and my posture was as well so yay me! Also I did like how everything (except the shipping) was on one floor this year but the Autographing Area certainly could have used a lot more space. It was kind of a madhouse over there! I think I went to a lot more signings this year, and feel like I was interested in more than last year. Overall, a great time!

Upcoming/other posts:
BEA Day 1
BEA Day 2
Book Blogger Convention
Alea's BEA Picks On A Theme or OMGGGG!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...