Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Even In Paradise by Chelsey Philpot



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.  

Even In Paradise by Chelsey Philpot
Release Date: October 14, 2014

This is one of the books I want to pick up at BEA this weekend.  I am heading to New York at 5:30 AM tomorrow and will be at the convention all day Thursday - Saturday and can't wait to meet some of my favorite authors I haven't been able to meet at the RT Convention the past two years.

Even in ParadiseGoodreads Overview:
When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Marathon Monday - Week 6


Wednesday 5/21 - Ran 3.0 Miles in 31.27.  Pace 10:28

Thursday 5/22 - Ran 3.33 miles in 34:24.  Pace 10:19

Friday 5/23 - Ran 4.01 miles in 41:13.  Pace 10:16

Sunday 5/25 - Ran 55 minutes on the treadmill and track at the rec center.  I was supposed to run 5 miles and it was too hot to run outside, so I estimated the time it would take me to finish 5 miles.

Happy Memorial Day!!  I hope everyone enjoys the holiday.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Marathon Monday - Week 5


Here is the update from this week's training.  I'm shooting for a sub 30 minute 5K on the 4th of July.  Based upon this week's 5K time, I don't have too much further to go to reach that goal.  I just hope the course is relatively flat because the hills are still my biggest challenge.

Tuesday 5/13 - This was the only really hot day this week.  It was 85 degrees when I headed out to run.  I decided to do Wednesday's workout, which was a 4x440 instead of the 4 miler I was supposed to do today.  I did a short warm up and cool down for a total of 2.24 miles.

Wednesday 5/14 - 4.0 miles in 41:05.6 - 10:16 pace

Friday 5/16 - 3.0 miles in roughly 30 minutes.  (I forgot my running watch today)

Saturday 5/17 - 3.11 miles in 30:39.5 - 9:52 pace.  (This was a new 5K personal record)

Sunday 5/18 - 5.00 miles in 54:15.2 - 10:51 pace.  This was my first run with some moderate hills.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack





Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, be it physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Tynga publishes her post each Saturday, so be sure to link up your posts and check out what books others have added to their shelves that week.


As part of my 2014 Bookish Goals, I can only pick up 1 new book for every book I finish.  I will try to keep myself honest by sharing the books I finished each week in exchange for the new books I purchased, borrowed, was gifted, etc.  


This week I finished reading Breakable by Tammara Webber , so I picked up...


Purchased:

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

I just finished reading Losing It and Faking It by Cora Carmack.  I got sucked into pre-ordering her latest book because she was going away a Garrick and Bliss short story with pre-orders.  That was a BRILLIANT move on her part.  I was going to pick this book up at BEA, but I couldn't pass up more of Garrick.

All Lined Up (Rusk University, #1)



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review: Faking It by Cora Carmack

Faking It (Losing It, #2)

Faking It is the second book in the Losing It series by Cora Carmack.  The story picks up where Losing It left off, which is shortly after graduation.  Garrick and Bliss moved back to his apartment in Philly and are working at a local theater.  Her best friend, Cade, also moved to Philly to attend graduate school. 

Cade isn't over the fact that Bliss chose Garrick instead of him, but he knows that he needs to move on with his life.  While sitting at a local coffee shop he is approached by Max with a VERY unusual proposition.  Her parents made an unexpected visit and want to meet her boyfriend.  She can't introduce them to her actual boyfriend because they would never approve, so she needs him to pretend to be her boyfriend for a short while.  This should have been an easy role for an actor, but her parents insist that he spend Thanksgiving with them the following day.  The situation becomes even more complicated when Cade and Max can't deny the attraction they feel for one another.  Are they just acting or is there really something between them? 

Both of these characters have difficult pasts that cause them to make very poor decisions throughout the book.  They are complete opposites in just about every way, but they complement each other perfectly.  They are miserable whenever they are apart, but their fears prevent them from going after what they really want.

The story is told from both Max and Cade's point of view, which worked perfectly in this situation.  The reader needs to understand both of their thoughts and feelings to appreciate the decisions they make.  The more they discover about each  other the more they realize they aren't as different as they appear on the surface.    

This was an exceptional addition to the series and I can't wait to read Finding It.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Made For You by Melissa Marr




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.  

Made For You by Melissa Marr
Release Date: September 16, 2014

This is one of the books that I plan on picking up when I am at BEA in a few weeks.  The description is very intriguing.  I haven't read any of Melissa's books, but I have read great reviews.

Made for You
Goodreads Overview:

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Blog Tour and Author Interview: Breakable by Tammara Webber


About the Book:


Release Date: May 6, 2014

Overview:

He was lost and alone. Then he found her.
And the future seemed more fragile than ever.


As a child, Landon Lucas Maxfield believed his life was perfect and looked forward to a future filled with promise — until tragedy tore his family apart and made him doubt everything he ever believed.

All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met Jacqueline Wallace, his desire to be everything she needed came so easy…

As easy as it could be for a man who learned that the soul is breakable and that everything you hoped for could be ripped away in a heartbeat.

About the Author:

Tammara Webber is author of the New York Times bestselling New Adult novel Easy, the first novel in her Contours of the Heart series, and the Between the Lines series.  She is a hopeful romantic who adores novels with happy endings, because there are enough sad endings in real life.  Before writing full-time, she was an undergraduate academic advisor, economics tutor, planetarium office manager, radiology call center rep, and the palest person to ever work at a tanning salon.  She married her high school sweetheart, and is a mom to three adult kids and four very immature cats.

Connect with her online:  Website, Twitter, and Facebook.




Author Interview:

Your original intention was for Easy to be a stand-alone novel.  What inspired you to write a companion novel from Lucas’s point-of-view?

I still consider Easy to be a stand-alone novel, because readers aren’t left with a cliffhanger ending and aren’t required to buy/read another book to finish the story I began in Easy. When I wrote Easy, the story came to me from Jacqueline’s perspective only. I saw everything through her eyes. The focus needed to be on her, fully, and I believed then and still believe that single-POV was the right way to tell her story. About a year after I published Easy, however, Lucas began “speaking” to me – telling me Landon’s full story, as well as his feelings about his relationship with Jacqueline. I had to write it.

Both Easy and Breakable deal with very difficult subjects.  Was it harder for you to write Jacqueline’s or Lucas’s story based solely on the subject matter?

Jacqueline’s was more emotionally difficult to write.

Easy was my introduction into the world of new adult literature.  As an adult fan of young adult books, I was ecstatic to find this middle ground.  What led you into this relatively new genre as opposed to writing YA or adult books, which already had an established audience?  

It wasn’t a category when I began writing it. My earlier series had main characters that were all in the 17-20 age range. I began writing it in 2009 and self-published in 2011. By the end of 2011, I was writing Easy. I self-published it in May 2012, and I called it “mature” young adult, because there was no NA category, and no one would have had a clue what I meant if I’d called it that before late summer 2012.  (Note: In the 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards, Easy came in second behind John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars for “Young Adult Fiction” novel of 2012.) Penguin acquired and republished Easy in October 2012 – as a YA novel (I was assigned a YA editor and editorial director), just before “New Adult” began to gain ground as a literary category. “NA” wasn’t on Amazon as a category until May 2013, and wasn’t part of the BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications) code – which publishers and booksellers use to categorize books – until December 2013.

Where do you like to spend most of your time writing and why? ( Perhaps your local Starbucks since that is where Lucas works?)

I write almost exclusively at home. Occasionally, when I’m having trouble focusing or if work is being done on/near my apartment, I’ll go to a little diner nearby with my laptop. I don’t like trying to work in coffee shops – too busy and loud for me.

Now that the final books in your Between the Lines and Contours of the Heart series are complete, can you tell us anything about what you will be working on next?  

Oh, don’t be so sure the Contours of the Heart series is complete. A couple of secondary characters are rattling the cage, wanting to tell their stories. Meetings and discussions with my agent and editors will be required before anything is decided, of course. I’m brainstorming and researching right now.

OMG!!  Can you believe Tammara's answer to the final question?  That is the best answer she possibly could have given.  I love this series and was ecstatic when she announced she was publishing Breakable.  I can't imagine what secondary characters she is referring to, but I sincerely hope this isn't the end of the series.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Review: Finally Forever by Katie Kacvinsky



Finally Forever is the conclusion to the First Comes Love trilogy, but it can also be read as a standalone novel.  Like the previous books in the series, it is told from both Dylan and Gray's POV.

 Dylan is a free spirit who enjoys traveling the world as a photographer.  Gray is the star pitcher for his collegiate baseball team.  When their paths intersect they have an undeniable attraction and electrifying romance.  They are without question the love of each others lives, but is love enough?

Throughout the series Dylan and Gray have matured and are finally realizing what is most important to them.  While Dylan always thought her life would be fulfilled by her next destination, she has discovered over the years that all roads lead back to Gray.

When Dylan surfaces out of nowhere after fifteen months, Gray is reluctant to give her another chance.  The imminent birth of Dylan's nephew and her unreliable transportation force them to continue their journey together.  He is still in love with her, but his heart can't take losing her again.The situation was extremely awkward for both of them in the beginning, but their final destination is someplace neither of them ever anticipated.

I've loved these characters and their story ever since I received an ARC of First Comes Love.  Their journey has been anything but easy and was heartbreaking at times.  When the final chapter came to a close, I finally felt satisfied.  This was the ending I had been hoping for from the very beginning.  I can't thank Katie enough for continuing this series and allowing her fans the opportunity share in Dylan and Gray's adventure.


Finally, Forever (First Comes Love, #3)

Purchase Links

Amazon   
Barnes & Noble 




Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.  

While planning my weekend at BEA I went through all of the the YA/NA books and authors.  I was not familiar with Gretchen McNeil, but the description of this book is very original and definitely caught my attention.  I immediately added it to my schedule and hope to pick up a copy at BEA in a few weeks. 


Get Even by Gretchen McNeil
Release Date: September 16, 2014

Goodreads Overview:

Get Even (Don't Get Mad, #1)Follows the secretive exploits of four high school juniors - Kitty, Olivia, Margot and Bree - at an exclusive Catholic prep school.

To all outward appearances, the girls barely know each other. At best, they don't move in the same social circles; at worst, they're overtly hostile.

Margot Mejia – academically ranked number two in her class, Margot is a focused overachiever bound for the Ivy League.

Kitty Wei – captain of the California state and national champion varsity girls' volleyball team, she's been recruited by a dozen colleges and has dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal.

Olivia Hayes – popular star of the drama program, she's been voted "most eligible bachelorette" two years running in the high school yearbook and has an almost lethal combination of beauty and charm.

Bree Deringer – outcast, misfit and the kind of girl you don't want to meet in a dark alley, the stop sign red-haired punk is a constant thorn in the side of teachers and school administrators alike.

Different goals, different friends, different lives, but the girls share a secret no one would ever guess. They are members of Don't Get Mad, a society specializing in seeking revenge for fellow students who have been silently victimized by their peers. Each girl has her own reason for joining the group, her own set of demons to assuage by evening the score for someone else. And though school administration is desperate to find out who is behind the DGM "events", the girls have managed to keep their secret well hidden.

That is until one of their targets – a douchebag senior who took advantage of a drunk underclassman during a house party, videotaped it on his phone, and posted it on YouTube – turns up dead, and DGM is implicated in the murder.

Now the girls don't know who to trust, and as their tenuous alliance begins to crumble, the secrets they've hidden for so long might be their ultimate undoing.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Review: Losing It by Cora Carmack


This series has been on my TBR list for a while.  My sister-in-law, who is 17 years younger and is actually a member of the NA population, asked me what I was reading over spring break.  Of course it was YA (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown), so she began asking me about some other YA/NA books.  She was reading the third book in this series and strongly suggested that I read it.

Bliss Edwards is a theater major and is getting ready to start her final semester in college.  She is still a virgin and made the mistake of sharing this information with her best friend Kelsey.  The two girls set out for an evening of drinking with one mission....to find a guy for Bliss to hook up with.  She could not graduate from college a virgin!

Bliss drinks heavily, but is not interested in any of the guys at the bar.  She decides to use the restroom and sees a guy sitting by himself in the back of the bar reading Shakespeare.  She comments on his choice of reading material and location and then gets to hear his AMAZING British accent.  Garrick and Bliss hang out for a while, but the evening did not progress as planned. (Not that Garrick wasn't willing.)

The next day is the first day of the new semester and Bliss quickly discover that Garrick is not a student, but their newest professor.  He is a recent graduate and was called in to cover for a professor who took a leave of absence.

The story details Garrick and Bliss's secret relationship along with her interactions with her best friends Cade and Kelsey.  Everything would be SO much easier if Garrick weren't her teacher, but they just need to get through the semester.  The characters are all actors, so there is a lot of drama that unfolds.  Cade has had a crush on Bliss for a long time and now the two are cast as the leads in their final play before graduation.  The situation is awkward to say the least.

I absolutely LOVED Garrick.  He is an attractive blond who is charming and very direct.  Oh...did I mention the accent? LOL!!  There is very little room for misinterpretation when it comes to his character.  Bliss on the other had....WOW.  She could have ruined everything with one simple word, CAT.  I know that sounds crazy, but read the book and you will understand.  She over thinks just about everything, is a control freak, and can't give in to her feelings.  The longer she is around Garrick, the move confident she becomes.  Their relationship is not only impacting her personal life, but her "professional" life as well.  She is a much better actress when she isn't so reserved.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read Faking It, which appears to be Cade's story after graduation.  I have also requested a copy of the novella, Keeping Her, which is another Bliss and Garrick story told from both of their points of view.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Review: Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3)


Shadow Kiss is the third book in the Vampire Academy series.  Rose, Eddie, and Christian are back at the Academy after the traumatic events that unfolded at the end of Frostbite.  Rose thinks she is seeing Mason's ghost, but she blames it on stress.  

Rose and the other novices must complete their field experience if they are going to graduate and officially become guardians.  Instead of taking classes, they are assigned to a Moroi and must act as their guardian for six weeks.  Their instructors will stage surprise attacks, so they must be prepared at all times.  There are some twists when it comes to the assignments and the attacks did not all play out the way I thought they would.

Several Moroi Royals have shown up with unexplained marks and bruises.  They all claim that they fell, but Rose is determined to get to the bottom of it.  I was shocked to find out what was really happening to the Royals and how it impacted everyone at the Academy, not just the Royals immediately involved.

The relationship between Rose and Dimitri definitely heats up throughout this book.  I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read it yet, but it is safe to say that neither of them wants to deny their feelings any longer.  They are both committed to giving their relationship a try.

There is another action packed strigoi attack that claims the lives of several Moroi and Dhampirs.  Rose and Christian are once again instrumental in the attack and the guardians begin to see the advantages of using Moroi specializing in fire as a means of attack/defense.  The events that took place in this book will likely change the way guardians and Moroi protect themselves throughout the rest of the series.  I wouldn't be surprised if they begin considering ways for the other Moroi to use their magic as a means of self defense.

There is a MAJOR development at the very end of this book.  I can't imagine the agony I would be going through if I had to wait a year to get my hands on the next book in this series.  I have several books I need to read this month, but hopefully I will be able to get to Blood Promise sometime this summer.