Sunday, September 28, 2014

Book Review: Burying Water, by K.A. Tucker

We lie among the fluffy pillows, listening to the fire crackle, smelling the burning leaves - I stuffed a few handfuls into the woodstove, just because I love the smell of burning leaves.

Her breathing evens out, her heart beats steady against my side.

I absorb all of it.

As I fall fast and hard.

K.A. Tucker is maybe best known for her Ten Tiny Breaths series, and I've reviewed all of the books in that series. Because of that, I was excited to see that she was coming out with a new book (which, according to the afterword, sounds like it may be a new series, actually). Burying Water has Tucker's flair for prose, combined with new characters and situations that are different than most in the TTB series, and it's a great read.

Official synopsis:
The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.

Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Review: Sublime, by Christina Lauren

He jumps from curbs and trucks, train cars and the cables between. He rides over an icy rope bridge he's never been able to balance on before, along a narrow train track and slips only twice. The sound of the train as it roars down the track, closer and closer, only makes him see more clearly, breathe freer. Feel alive. He does backflips he shouldn't. He rides until his outsides feel as battered as his insides. 

He tries to pretend that he's not looking in every shadow for her. He decides it doesn't matter. Nothing matters. Death lingers in cars, in quiet school buildings, and beneath the freezing earth. Death is everywhere, but his ghost is gone.

When he makes it back to his room in the thick of the night, he's bruised and covered in scrapes. He suspects one of his ribs is cracked, but he's alive and Lucy is only a memory.

This is the first non-erotica book by Christina Lauren (the writing duo of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) that they've written, and it was very good. If you thought your relationship was hard, Lucy and Colin have it much worse - he's a daredevil, and she's a ghost, except everyone can see her. She's not sure what's tethering her to Colin's prep school, but she does know she feels some sort of connection with him, and he with her.

Official synopsis:
True love may mean certain death in a ghostly affair of risk and passion from New York Times bestselling duo Christina Lauren, authors of Beautiful Bastard. Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author of Shatter Me calls Sublime “a beautiful, haunting read."

When Lucy walks out of a frozen forest, wearing only a silk dress and sandals, she isn’t sure how she got there. But when she sees Colin, she knows for sure that she’s here for him.

Colin has never been captivated by a girl the way he is by Lucy. With each passing day their lives intertwine, and even as Lucy begins to remember more of her life—and her death—neither of them is willing to give up what they have, no matter how impossible it is. And when Colin finds a way to physically be with Lucy, taking himself to the brink of death where his reality and Lucy’s overlap, the joy of being together for those brief stolen moments drowns out everything in the outside world. But some lines weren’t meant to be crossed …

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

GIVEAWAY: 2 signed copies of Love Like the Movies, by Victoria Van Tiem, ends 9/30

Back in April, I reviewed the novel Love Like the Movies, by Victoria Van Tiem. It's definitely a fun book for movie buffs like myself, and I enjoyed reading it.

I did an e-copy giveaway of the book then, and now the author has graciously allowed me to give away two more copies of the book, in trade paperback, to some of my lucky readers! Best of all, the copies are signed and are available to U.S., Canadian, and U.K. readers.

If you don't want to wait to get your copy of Love Like the Movies, you can purchase it here from Amazon.

To enter the giveaway:

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway will end on Tuesday, September 30th, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be notified via email on October 1st. Winners will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise an alternate winner(s) will be chosen.

Open to U.S., Canada, and U.K. residents, please.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Chasing the Tide, by A. Meredith Walters

So normally I don't do "cover reveal" posts; however, Chasing the Tide is the sequel to A. Meredith Walters' novel Reclaiming the Sand, which is still one of my favorite books of 2014 so far (review here; buy the book here). I had no idea that the author had written a sequel until I heard that the cover was coming out soon, so here we are.

Presenting: Chasing the Tide.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Taking It All, by Maya Banks (Surrender Trilogy, #3), ends 9/24

She was his security blanket. The only solid thing in his world where everything else was uncertain. He'd taken her for granted, had shit on her repeatedly over the last two years, and he'd never realized the extent of his neglect. Until now.

He'd done what he'd vowed never to do: Made her feel unwanted. Invisible. Just as her parents had done. Self-loathing ate at him, digging a yawning chasm in his heart and soul.

How could he possibly imagine a future without her?

This novel is the final novel in the Surrender trilogy, by Maya Banks, and I reviewed and did giveaways for both Letting Go (March 2014) and Giving In (May 2014) previously. This book explores the relationship of the third woman in their circle of friends, Chessy, and her dominant husband, Tate.

Official synopsis:
Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. And loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business the success it has become, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappier with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give. Or they stand to lose it all

Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number one priority. But lately she’s seemed unhappy, and he’s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them.

But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy’s safety, his concentration, his wife’s faith in him as her husband, a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he’s going to lose her—has already lost her—he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he’ll get her back. And prove to her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she’ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he’ll take it all. Everything. But he’ll give far more back. Himself. His undying love.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars on Blu-ray: Favorite moments from the film #TFIOS

"The Greatest Romance Story of this decade" is releasing on DVD and Blu-ray on September 16th. As a member of The Fault In Our Stars Ambassador Program, I have helped in creating a list of the top moments from the film that I would love to relive!

Featuring brilliant performances from Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort that made the film a favorite of fans and critics alike, this inspirational modern day tale of star-crossed lovers will have you going from laughter to tears and back again.

Have you read the book or seen the movie? (or both?)

I read the book back in August 2013 (click above for review) and was able to screen the movie a few weeks before it came to theaters. I thought they did a great job of adapting it for the big screen (though as usual, the book is ALWAYS better!), and reading the book inspired me to search out and read John Green's other novels, such as Paper Towns, which will also be adapted for the big screen, with Nat Wolff (from TFIOS) in the main protagonist role.

The other TFIOS Ambassador Program bloggers and I came up with a list of our favorite moments from the film, too:

What are your favorite moments from the movie that you would like to relive? Comment with your favorites and you will be entered to win a copy of TFIOS - Little Infinities Extended Edition Blu-ray!


Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway will end on Friday, September 26th at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be emailed on September 27th and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. and Canadian residents only, please.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 12, 2014

Exclusive Clip: The Fault In Our Stars - John Green and Josh Boone Intro #TFIOS

The Fault in our Stars Blu-ray

The Fault in Our Stars will be out on Blu-ray on September 16th - check back later to win a copy here! - and today I have an exclusive, yet-unreleased film clip that will be on the Blu-ray.

{and if you're a TFIOS fanatic like me, you can click here to pre-order the Blu-ray!}

Author John Green and director Josh Boone introduce the film and share a few words with their viewers - check it out:

Friday, September 5, 2014

Quick Pick: The Here and Now, by Ann Brashares

  • Opening lines: His dad had to work, so Ethan had gone fishing alone. Usually he just followed his dad through the woods to the deep bends of the creek, slapping at the prickers around his ankles. This time he was confounded by how little he knew his way even though he'd been here again and again. After today, though, he'd know.
  • Reason I picked up the book: I love Ann Brashares' Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, and I usually love books about time travel, as well. 
  • And what's this book about?
  • An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

    Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

    This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

    Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

    But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.
  • Favorite paragraph: 
No one talks about what really binds us together. The gap between what we say and what we feel is so big and dark that sometimes i think I'll fall into it and just keep falling. 
At least, I think we feel it. I feel it. Does anybody else feel it? I don't know and I won't find out. We follow our scripts like actors in a very large, very long production. And even with no audience, none of us gives a hint that it isn't real.
I look at the people sitting around this circle. They are my friends. I care about them. This is my life. They are talking about their belts and their shoes and the car they want to get and the show they saw, and I can't hear them because the ghosts are too loud. 
  • Recommended for: Anyone who likes YA fiction or time travel, even though this book wasn't as good as other time travel books I've read. Also anyone who likes sci-fi.
  • Something to know: This is a stand-alone book.
  • What I would have changed: Normally I like Ann Brashares' books, but this one was just okay. The time travel premise, and the reason they traveled back to 2014 or so, was interesting, but could have been explored more. The relationship between the two main characters (one is a "traveler" and one is a "time native," as in he's in his correct time period) is "insta-love," which I tend to dislike. 
  • Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
  • Where can I buy this book? Click here.

    *Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

    Author Event + Signing: Make Your Mark, by Brad Gray (Grandville, MI, 9/6/14)

    Brad Gray, the author of Make Your Mark: Getting Right What Samson Got Wrong will be doing a signing and reading in Grandville, MI this September.

    Location: Family Christian - 3819 Rivertown Pkwy, Grandville, MI
    (616) 406-0356

    Date: Saturday, September 6th, 11am.

    Brad Gray is a Teaching Pastor at Central Wesleyan Church in Holland, MI. 

    Book synopsis:
    Wrestling with our calling in life is a fundamental struggle for just about everyone. Who are we supposed to be? How are we supposed to live? What are we supposed to do? These are all questions many of us grapple with. 

    Surprisingly, the Samson narrative is one of the most instructive stories for helping us answer these questions. Often touted as a story about muscles, testosterone, and seduction, there is so much more to this ancient account. Employing all the best tools for interpreting the Bible today, Brad Gray unpacks the Samson story anew, giving us fresh insights into the universal callings of those desiring to live out God's fullest design for life. 

    With passion, humor, and skill, Brad shows 
    us how we can get right what Samson got wrong in order to flourish in our humanity, to make the most of the lives we've been given, and to leave a positive mark on our world.

    Click here to purchase Make Your Mark.

    *Disclosure: I have been compensated for promoting this event in the form of credit.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    Book Review and Hardcover GIVEAWAY: Dear Killer, by Katherine Ewell, ends 9/10

    I didn't understand. This was a bicycle crash. Maybe a few scrapes, but no real harm done. Why was there so much anger? Sure, the housewife was yelling and irritated, but she was already on her feet, and a few other people were helping the girl in yellow disentangle herself from the handlebars. No one helped Michael. They all saw the same thing I did, and they were afraid. As they should be. 

    Because I was afraid too. And I was a serial killer. I was not often afraid. 

    Some of the ratings for this book on Goodreads were not too kind to it, but I actually found the book quite fascinating. The author was also only 17 years old when she wrote Dear Killer, and was one of fifty finalists (out of 5,000 entries) in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. I've only seen one episode of the TV show Dexter, but this novel has been compared to that show, and it's definitely an interesting read.

    Official synopsis:
    Dear Killer book review and giveaway
    Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
    Rule Two—Be careful.
    Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
    Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
    Rule Five—The letters are the law.

    Kit takes her role as London’s notorious "Perfect Killer" seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

    But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

    Katherine Ewell’s
    Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.

    Monday, September 1, 2014

    GIVEAWAY: Mommy Needs a Getaway {1 vacation winner per day!}, ends 9/30

    I've partnered with a few other bloggers to take part in this giveaway - wouldn't it be amazing to be able to read a book on a Florida beach this winter?

    Brought to you by Adventure Into Domesticland

    A big thanks to all the co-hosts:
    ❤ ❤ ❤ Prize Package includes ❤ ❤ ❤

    ❤ Viva Las Vegas: 4 day and 3 night accommodations at a 3+ star hotel on the strip in Las Vegas, NV for 2 adults! (25 years or older) and a $500 dollar Funbook! (with cash, chips, meals, tokens & show tickets!)

    ❤ Fabulous Florida: 3 days and 2 nights of accommodations for 2, winners chooses city in Florida! Location Choices: Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Key West, Miami Beach, New Smyrna, Orlando, Palm Beach, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg

    ❤ Take A Break: 3 days and 2 nights of accommodations for 2, winners chooses destination! Location Choices: Bronson, Mo - Cancun, Mex - Gatlinburg, TN - Honolulu, HI - Lake Tahoe, CA - Las Vegas, NV - Mazatlan, Mex - Napa Valley, CA - Palm Springs, CA - Pocono Mtns, PA - Puerto Vallarta, Mex - Scottsdale, AZ - White Mtn, CA

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