Friday, January 31, 2014

Favorites Giveaway Hop

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Hosted by Stuck in Books



Here I have randomly selected some of my favorite books! The winner of the giveaway can choose one of the five books above!

Giveaway!
Rules: US only, all the entrants must be at least 13 year old, and no cheating please!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, check out the other participating blogs for more chances to win great books!

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review + Giveaway: Eversea and Forever Jack

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Follow the Tour Schedule!

Eversea by Natasha Boyd
Publication Date: June 4th, 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
An orphaned, small-town, southern girl, held hostage by responsibility and self-doubt.
A Hollywood A-list mega-star, on the run from his latest scandal and with everything to lose. 
A chance encounter that leads to an unlikely arrangement and epic love affair that will change them both forever. 

When his co-star and real-life girlfriend is caught cheating on him with her new director, A-list hottie, Jack Eversea, finds himself in sleepy Butler Cove, South Carolina. Jack hopes the sultry southern heat in this tiny coastal Lowcountry town will hide him not only from the tabloids and his cheating girlfriend, but his increasingly vapid life and the people who run it. He doesn’t count on meeting Keri Ann Butler. 

Keri Ann has relied on herself so long, dealing with her family’s death and the responsibilities of keeping up her family's historic mansion, that boys and certainly the meager offering of eligible boys in Butler Cove, have never figured into her equation. But fate has other plans. Suddenly face to face with the man who played the movie role of her favorite fictional character, Jack has Keri Ann yearning for everything she has previously avoided ... and Jack must decide whether this funny, sassy girl is worth changing his life for, before his mistakes catch up to him.
----Review----

Eversea was a fun read. And this is high praise for a New Adult book. I love some books in the genre, but, I am sorry to say that we mostly do not get along. Why do I still read an NA novel every few months? Well, the ones I love I really love and consistently reread. While Eversea didn't quite hit that mark, I still would not hesitate to recommend the book. I smiled my way through the story!

Keri Ann was an amazing main character. Her personality is a lot of fun and the author did a good job making her a mix of likable and realistic. Her backstory was developed which was a great relief, as some novels I have recently read have had characters with seemingly no past. (hehe) The other main character, Jack, was pretty cool. Unfortunately, I didn't like him as much as Keri Ann. Perhaps it was because I felt a little detached to him, the next book may be better in that aspect. However, he did have some lines that had me laughing.

Eversea is one of those whip-right-through-it stories. You find yourself at the end, and think "but...but I just started this! How can I already be at 350???". I'd say this is the perfect read when you want a story that is light and fun to cleanse your palette. One other notable character in this novel is Jazz, who was the best freind. She may have been a bit cliched, but she was still a great addition to the story.

Overall, Eversea was like one of those tiny, fancy desserts from restaurants. It was sweet, presented prettily, and over in a second. Natashe Boyd is an author to keep an eye on.

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3/5 Stars

----Giveaway----
Four Kindles, Signed Copies, and a Sea Turtle Pendant (Multiple Winners)

Thanks for reading the Eversea tour post on Reader Rising!

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #30

Top Ten Worlds I Would Never Ever Ever Want To Live In
There are so many!!! Really, a book isn't any fun without a hero that isn't in a dangerous world, about to be killed around every corner!



Wow. Frankly, it's depressing how many books have setting that I would never, everevereverever want to live in... probably because I would be dead as a doornail in a second. 

All these settings are supposedly Earth in the future. Yikes. Apparently, authors are all plotting to destroy our world's society in the future. (Will it be aliens, war, zombies, or a shortage of water?)

And I still LOVE almost all of these books :D So, go read them!

What are your top ten worlds?

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Aliens: Not so rare after all

Hi! I am starting a new feature here on Reader Rising: Topics Taking Flight. These are my little name for the discussion posts that will go up every Thursday!

Okay, do you know how Vampires were like the overdone book (and movie) trend for a long time. Well, I believe it is time for a new trend. After looking through a lot of YA books, I have surprisingly seen a lot of books about aliens.

Here's proof:


I could keep going... on and on and on. However, for the sake of my sanity and your eyes let's end the list here? Deal?

So, a lot of times when I see reviews for books about aliens they start out with "aliens are such a unique idea!" or "the author took a creative risk while writing this book."

Maybe, in the future, the reviews will start out with "Another alien book?"

Of course, this was just a little prediction. Do you think it will come true?
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #35

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Publication Date: April 10, 2014
Genre: YA Contemporary
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
Fans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.

I love the cover, title, and synopsis. Score!!! Although, Julep is a very odd name. I guess it could grow on me though, it's better than having a Jane Smith!

Con artists are awesome and you can never tell who is in the profession of con artist-ry and who is not. Unfortunately, I am not a con artist. Or am I???

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Review: The Killing Woods

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

Publication Date: January 7th, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
From the author of the Printz Honor Book STOLEN, the highly anticipated thriller about deadly games played in the dark.

Ashlee Parker is dead, and Emily Shepherd's dad is accused of the crime. A former soldier suffering from PTSD, he emerges from the woods carrying the girl's broken body. "Gone," he says, then retreats into silence.

What really happened that wild night? Emily knows in her bones that her father is innocent -- isn't he? Before he's convicted, she's got to find out the truth. Does Damon Hilary, Ashlee's charismatic boyfriend, have the answers? Or is he only playing games with her -- the kinds of games that can kill? 

Wow. Well, I went into this book expecting a “meh” read after seeing a lot of reviews that called The Killing Woods “just okay”. I am so glad that I still read the book, as I was completely immersed into the creepy tale. And while I know that The Killing Woods won’t work for everybody, I absolutely loved the book.

Lucy Christopher’s writing style was what initially drew me into the book. It’s gritty and compelling in a way that had me gobbling up the words. I am also glad that Emily and Damon, who alternate POVs, had very distinguishable voices. 

I read the Killing Woods in one night. I just had to know what happened to Ashlee, and the answer wasn’t one that I predicted. I love when a mystery isn’t easy to solve. I also kept reading because of the predicament of Emily’s father. It is obvious that he needs serious help, as the war he was in a few years ago severely messed with his head. I was so torn about what to think of him. When you have someone who is mentally ill, it is hard to be absolutely positive of what they are and are not capable of. 

My favorite scenes were spent in the woods, where Damon often played a deadly game. I won’t tell you much about the game, except that it plays a pivotal role in the book. The game was very dark... and pretty twisted. Also, the scenes were written so well, that I was experiencing the game along with our protagonists. 

Finally, I will go into detail about the characters. I thought that they were both well-formed and not your average YA cliches. Emily was easy to like and sympathize with, and I liked how she was determined to prove everyone wrong about her father, but wasn’t always afraid to let any doubt show. Then, we have Damon. He was one of the most interesting characters I have ever read about. I initially thought I wouldn’t like him, until I realized he was just a lost teenager. 

Overall, The Killing Woods exceeded my expectations in every way. The characters were dark and troubled and sympathetic, yet I loved the resolution they each got at the end. The setting and writing was breath-takingly disturbing. This book is the perfect halloween read, and great for readers looking for a dark, different read.

*I received an ARC of The Killing Woods for free from Firstreads in exchange for a honest review*

4/5 Stars
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Friday, January 10, 2014

Review: Salt


Publication Date: January 7th, 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find "her" demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own. 

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her. 
Salt was one of those books that didn’t end up wowing me, but I still enjoyed the story nonetheless. Penelope’s journey was a lot of fun, and I especially enjoyed the second half of the book!

I had a few problems with Penelope. The first being that her jokes were kind of, well,  lame in the beginning. I rolled my eyes at Penelope quite a lot. However, by the end she grew on me. I actually found myself laughing aloud during the read, after I got past the beginning. The other quip I had about Penelope is that she had very poor decision making skills. 

Also, at the beginning I found myself quite bored and detached. The love interest just wasn’t grabbing me and the plot was kind of had an overused feeling to it. I really do wish the beginning could have been more interesting and original.

Thankfully, the love interest, Carter, and I started to like each other a little more as time went on. I admired him for dealing with some parent problems, and I did like his witty dialogue. That said, I felt the romance developed too quickly and strongly between him and Penelope. 

Overall, I had quite a few issues with Salt, but in the end I still had a fun time reading the story! I don’t think I will read the second book as I was happy with the way Penelope's tale ended.
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2.5 Stars (Rounded up to 3 Stars)

*I received this book for free in exchange for a 100% honest review*



Happy Reading! If you decide to read Salt, I hope you enjoy the book!
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Blog Tour: The Sorcery Code


Find the complete tour schedule here!

The Sorcery Code by Dima Zales

Publication Date: December 16th, 2013
Genre: Fantasy
 Once a respected member of the Sorcerer Council and now an outcast, Blaise has spent the last year of his life working on a special magical object. The goal is to allow anyone to do magic, not just the sorcerer elite. The outcome of his quest is unlike anything he could’ve ever imagined – because, instead of an object, he creates Her.

She is Gala, and she is anything but inanimate. Born in the Spell Realm, she is beautiful and highly intelligent – and nobody knows what she’s capable of. She will do anything to experience the world . . . even leave the man she is beginning to fall for.

Augusta, a powerful sorceress and Blaise’s former fiancée, sees Blaise’s deed as the ultimate hubris and Gala as an abomination that must be destroyed. In her quest to save the human race, Augusta will forge new alliances, becoming tangled in a web of intrigue that stretches further than any of them suspect. She may even have to turn to her new lover Barson, a ruthless warrior who might have an agenda of his own . . .

Excerpt

Gala stared at the tall, broad-shouldered man who was her creator, trying to figure out the best way to answer his question. She found it difficult to focus, her senses overwhelmed by being here, in this place Blaise called the Physical Realm. Her body was reacting to the different stimuli in strange and unpredictable ways, her mind attempting to process all the images, sounds, and smells so she could understand everything.
One particularly strong distraction was Blaise himself. She couldn’t stop looking at him because he was unlike anything she had seen before. Something about the angular symmetry of his face appealed to her, resonating with her in a way she didn’t fully comprehend. She liked everything about it, from the blue color of his eyes to the darkness of the stubble shadowing his firm jaw. She wondered if it would be acceptable to reach out and touch his hair—those short, almost-black locks that looked so different from her own pale strands.
First, though, she wanted to answer his question. Concentrating, she thought back to before, to what had happened prior to her experiencing reality for the first time. “I remember realizing that I exist,” she said slowly, trying to put into words the strange sensations at the beginning.
“You mean you existed for a time without realizing it?” he asked, his dark eyebrows coming together slightly. Gala thought that expression likely meant confusion because her own eyebrows did the same thing when she didn’t understand something.
“It’s like there were two ways I existed,” she tried to explain. “One way would just happen. This went on longer. When I say I realized that I exist—that’s when this other part of me first realized that I am me. These parts are not separate; in fact, they are the same thing. There is a strange looping arrangement between the two parts that I don’t fully understand and don’t know how to put into words—” 
“I think I do understand,” he said, leaning forward and staring at her intently. “You became self-aware. At first, you existed on a subconscious level, and then, at some critical threshold, you achieved a conscious state of being.” He appeared excited, Gala thought, somehow finding the right word to describe her creator’s emotional state. 
“What is the difference between a conscious and a subconscious state?” she asked, hungering for more information.
“In a human being, the subconscious parts of the mind are in charge of things like breathing or the heart beating,” he said, his eyes gleaming brightly. “When I run, my subconscious figures out the complex trajectories of how my limbs move. Some sorcerers also think dreams form in that part of our minds.”
“I am not a human being,” Gala said, looking at him. That much she knew now. She was something different, and she needed to learn what that something was.
He smiled—an expression that made his face even more fascinating to her. “No,” he said softly, “you’re not. But you definitely seem like one to me.” 

Time for the Giveaway!
I hope you enjoyed the excerpt! And good luck on the giveaway!

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Blog Tour: Vision of Shadows

Vision of Shadows (Vision #1) by Vincent Morrone
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 30, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Is Bristol Blackburn about to meet the love of her life...or her killer?
After the death of her parents, Bristol Blackburn's life is thrown into chaos and she's forced to move to Spirit, a small town where shadows are stirring. As she learns to navigate her new school and figures out how to keep her psychic abilities secret from her family, Bristol comes face to face with the boy who makes a regular appearance in her dreams: the gorgeous, possibly deadly, Payne McKnight. Soon sheíll find out if Payne will be the love of her life, or the end of it ó and she has no idea which possibility scares her more.
And that's not even the worst of it. Strange shadows are haunting her dreams, and they're up to something that could put Bristol and the lives of everyone she loves in jeopardy.
Excerpt: Vision of Shadows
There are times when being psychic really bites, and this is one of them. Here it is, three in the morning, and all I can think about is the boy who will eventually have his hands on me.
I have no idea what his name is. We’ve never met, but I feel like we’ve grown up together. I’ve had visions of him since I was six years old. Now, eleven years later, I know we’re getting closer and closer to finally meeting. I think it’s going to happen any day now.
And the thought scares the hell out of me. 
I know what Dream Boy will look like. In a word: hot. Dark hair that falls loosely over his deep blue eyes. He has an angel’s face and the devil’s grin. 
I know he’s got a bad boy attitude. Half the time, I get flashes of him getting hurt. Sometimes he’s playing the hero. Other times, he’s just being an idiot. Many times, it seems like there’s someone who enjoys hurting him.
What I don’t know is what he’ll be to me. 
There are times when he seems to love me. Don’t ask me why. But he’ll look at me with nothing but love and contentment in his eyes. Earlier tonight, I had one of those dreams. One where he couldn’t keep his hands off of me. Weird that I know every inch of his body, yet I have no idea what his name is, huh?
Then there’s the other vision. It was the first one I had of him, and the one I have most often. It’s the one I woke from tonight, the feeling of his hands still on my skin.
In that vision, he doesn’t look at me with love, but with hatred. He has his hands wrapped around my neck as he slowly squeezes the life out of me.
So any day now, I’m about to meet the boy of my dreams —literally. Then I get to see if he’s going to be the love of my life or the end of it.
Funny thing is, I’m not sure which idea scares the crap out of me more.


Vision of Secrets (Vision #0.5)  by Vincent Morrone
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 2, 2013
Bristol understands secrets. She's got plenty of her own, ranging from the annoying ghost that keeps show
ing up and attempting to sing Copacabana, (badly) to the visions of a terrifying future that is getting closer each day.
Bristol knows secrets can kill. She's getting flashes of a boy racked with guilt over his secret. And a girl who's prank might lead to someone's death.
Vision of Secrets is a free prequel introduces you to Bristol Blackburn before the explosive events in Vision of Shadows and let's you see how a young girl deals with her Visions of Secrets!


You can add Vision of Shadows to your to-read list on Goodreads

You can download Vision of Secrets for free from smashwords


Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Vincent Morrone now resides in Upstate NY with his wife. (Although he can still speak fluent Brooklynese.) His twin daughters remain not only his biggest fans, but usually are the first to read all of his work. Their home is run and operated for the comfort and convenience of their dogs.

Vincent has been writing fiction, poetry and song lyrics for as long as he can remember, most of which involve magical misfits, paranormal prodigies and even on occasion superheroes and their sidekicks.

You can find and contact Vincent Morrone here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads

Giveaway!

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Vision of Shadows.
Here is what you can win:
- 1 Vision of Shadows Pen
- 1 Vision of Shadows Calender
- 1 Vision of Shadows Pen & calender
- 1 Vision of Shadows Pen and calender in a Vision of Shadows canvas bag
- 1 Vision of Shadows Pen, calender in Vision of Shadows canvas bag and an e-copy Vision of Shadows

Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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