Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review Copy Cleanup 3.0: Wrap Up

Hi everyone! Happy March (...well almost...) This year is going by so quickly don't you think?
The first of February began this month long event, Review Copy Clean Up. With the goal of reading more review books for author/publishers has now come to the end as well. 

Did I meet my set goals?, sadly. I did read and review a couple of the book so I guess that better than nothing. Here is my final wrap up.

My Plans for the month:

Destiny, Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison  - Read/will review soon
Being Henry David by Cal Armistead
Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl  - REVIEW
The Grimm Chronicles Vol. 1 by Isabella Fontaine, Ken Brosky

Not good but not bad, I guess. I am not sure why I did not read as many books as I would have liked to but  I will be reading more of the books above later on. :) Oh, and before I go....check out the giveaway on my blog to enter to win a signed copy of Being Henry David (Young Adult Coming Of Age story)  - HERE.

Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

SPAM! No...not the food.

It has come to my attention the last week or two I have been receiving several spam comments. I do not know who is doing this or why on my blog but for the time being all comments will need my approval before being displayed on my blog. I know none of my readers would do this so I am not blaming anyone. I'm sure someone bored is trolling the blogs and trying to advertise meaningless junk. 

I try this approach for a week or so and see how it goes. Readers, don't worry your comments will be approved quickly. :) Hopefully this will reduce the spam.

Thank you for reading and if anyone else who is also a blogger owner has expreince this as well, leave me a comment. How did you handle it?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tracy Deebs & Emily McKay Signing in Houston + GIVEAWAY


Hello everyone! 

As you can see above Tracy Deebs aka Tessa Adams and Emily McKay will be signing at Barnes and Nobles in Houston/Humble Tx. 

Deerbrook Mall
20131 Highway 59
Humble, TX

We invite everyone to come out, chat and get your books signed by these wonderful authors. Tracy and Emily will bring lots of swag and would love to see all your lovely faces there so don't miss out!
For all you fans who can't make it to this event but would still like signed copies of books by Tracy and Emily you are in luck. A pre order sale has been set up HERE!

Deadline to order is March 7th midnight CST

We are giving away an exclusive signed tote bag and one signed book of your choice just by helping us spread the word. Enter below!

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Review: Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Title: Starflower (Tales of Goldstone Wood #4)
Author: Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Number of Pages: 400
Published: November 1st 2012 by Bethany House
Source: Author (Paperback)
Genre: Christian > High Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult

Goodreads | Purchase

When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps the lovely Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission...and a race against his rival for Gleamdren's favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal. 
But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren's rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?

 Starflower without a doubt is a high fantasy novel. I myself have never been a huge fan of this genre but was willing to give it a go and read the book. I am glad that I did but at the same time had very mixed feeling about the book. The story itself was interesting and well developed but the characters were lacking that certain something. I did not feel much of a connection with anyone besides the main female protagonist, Starflower. She is what made the story work and hold my attention throughout most of the book. 

As the story begins we meet  Eanrin, a male bard or poet who is madly in love Lady Gleamdren. She gets herself kidnapped by a immortal who is known to be a dragon/woman. This creature is searching for a item in which Lady Gleamdren posses in order to reclaim her wings. Once discovered missing, Poet Eanrin and his rival go on the quest to find Gleamdren and bring her home safely. Many of the people in this land, including Eanrin are animal shifter. He is able to turn into a cat while other may do the same with different animals. 

On their quest to rescue the kidnapped Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin comes upon a young woman laying beside the river. When his curiosity becomes the best of him, Eanrin find she is a human girl and is alive but asleep. With nothing else to do, he decides to find a way to awaken her to see who is girl truly is and why she is alone in the woods. The truth behind who this loss girl is and where she comes from not only changes his path to rescue his love Lady Gleamdren, but will alter his live and his future..... 

As the story unfolds everything will made clear..... but will the path Eanrin takes be to his lost love or to a unknown girl.

To find out what happens you'll have to read the book for yourself....

Here are the things I did in fact enjoy about the book:
1. The world building was excellent, far better than I thought it would have been. I really got the sense of being there right along side of the characters.
2. The story itself. I really enjoyed the plot, mystery, and how the story unfolded with each PART within the book. The book was written in three parts, one in the present day, one the past (part 2), and then once again back to the present where there the story as a whole begins to make complete sense. The ending was beautiful and I dare say I cried a bit. *tissues may be needed*
3. Starflower. She was a real and believable character. I found her to be very kind, and self-sacrificing for the ones she loved. Her jounany and hardships made her stronger, not bitter.

Here are the few things I did not care for about the book:
1. The annoying and whiny Lady Gleamdren. I just wanted to smack her. She thinks the world revolves around her and she is loved by all, or should be.
2. The pacing of the book in my taste was a little slow and choppy. I was lead one way and taken another a times.
3. Not much romance.... Yes, I am a stickler for the romantic aspect in books and I did not see much at all.

All in all it was a fun read. I would definitely read the next book in the series to find out what happens next. I think anyone who really enjoys high fantasy novel that Starflower would be a good fit you them.

I liked it a lot. Would recommend.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

In My Mailbox # 38 + Stacking The Shelves # 15

A weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we post about all the books we have received whether in the mail, if we purchased it, or got it from our local library.

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

Books I have received for Review:
A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
ARC White Lines by Jennifer Banash - For a giveaway
ARC Flicker & Burn (Cold Fury #2) by T.M. Goeglein
ARC Phoenix (Black City #2) by Elizabeth Richards

Books I have won or was gifted:

A TON of swag from a giveaways and author event (Breathless Reads) Some are signed & I will be having a giveaway for a chance to win a few. 

Books I have got from the library:
Dark Frost (Mythos Academy #3) by Jennifer Estep
City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster

Books I have bought:

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) by Jessica Spotswood 
(I met Jessica on the Breathless Reads Tour. She is so totally sweet!)

I just want to thank the wonderful people at Penguin as well as author Bella Forrest for all of my new ARC's. Also THANK YOU Jessica Spotswood for signing my copy of your book and being so...well...AWESOME! :)

Thank you for stopping everyone! I will be giving away my extra copy of White Lines as well are some super cool swag items (signed of course) from the Breathless Reads author tour. : ) So be on the look out for those coming soon...  Be sure to leave me a comment and/or leave your mailbox haul link below so I can come check it out. 

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Blog Tour: The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett | Excerpt + Signed Book Giveaway!

Thank you for stopping by! I hope everyone will enjoy learning about The Nightmare Affair. :)  Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win a signed copy.

The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy #1)
Hardcover, 367 pages
Expected publication: March 5th 2013 by Tor Teen
Genre: YA > Paranormal

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.


Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

Book Trailer: 

Scene of the Crime

Breaking and entering wasn’t as easy as it looked in the movies. Especially not from the second story of a house in the suburbs. Yet there I was, perched on the ledge by my tippy toes and tugging on the stupid window that refused to budge even though I could see it wasn’t locked. My feet were starting to cramp.
I gave the window another hard tug, and it came free at once, smacking the top of the frame with a loud thump. The force of it knocked me off balance, and I tumbled inside, landing on my face. Way to go, Dusty, I thought.
But it could’ve been worse. Might’ve gone the other way. Panicked by the noise I was making, I sat up, certain the bedroom’s occupant would be coming at me with a baseball bat any second. My heart felt like a jackhammer trying to break its way through my chest. I froze, listening for movement but heard only the soft sounds of someone sleeping. I looked up and saw a huge bed towering over me. A repugnant smell, like the inside of a gym locker, filled my nose. I glanced down and realized I was sitting on a pile of clothes, including what appeared to be several pairs of dirty boxer shorts. Gross. I stood and tugged the bottom of my fitted black tee down around my hips, taking a deep breath. I could smell the person’s dreams from here. Those dreams were the reason I’d broken in. I wasn’t some criminal or weirdo who liked watching people sleep or anything. I was just an average sixteen-year-old girl who happened to be the offspring of a normal human father and a mother who was a Nightmare.
She was one of those mythic creatures who sat on your chest while you were asleep and gave you bad dreams, the kind where you woke up struggling to breathe. Some stories said that Nightmares were demons (not true), while others said they were “hags,” as in scary old women who lived in the forest and abducted lost kids to cook for supper (more true, although I didn’t recommend saying so to my mother).
Only kidding. Moira Nimue-Everhart didn’t eat children, but she did eat the stuff dreams were made of—fictus. Nightmares had to dream-feed to live, including me. I approached the side of the bed. The occupant was lying on his stomach. Go figure. The subject—I refused to think of him as a victim—was almost always on his stomach. At least this guy didn’t sleep in the buff, too. Not that the red boxers hid much. The sight of his naked back stunned me. It was so perfect. Even in the darkness, I could see the muscles outlining the backside of his ribs. More muscles bulged in his arms.
He was by far the sexiest dream-subject I’d encountered, and I fought off an urge to run away. Not that I preferred my subjects to be ugly or anything, but something in the middle would’ve been all right. Trying to ignore the more interesting bits of that naked body, I reached over and gently took hold of the guy’s arm. One soft tug and he rolled over. When I saw his face, I almost cried out in alarm.
Eli Booker.
A sensation of weightlessness came over me from the shock of recognition, as if I were on a roller coaster that had just plunged over the first hill.
Then I really did try to run away, even though I knew it was pointless. I made it as far as the window before something that felt like invisible tentacles grabbed hold of my body and pulled me back to the bedside. I sagged against it in defeat, knowing better than to fight The Will. It was too powerful a spell. No, not just a spell, more a law, like gravity. The magickind government created The Will to prevent magical misbehavior. It kept fairies from stealing babies, witches from turning people into toads, and for a Nightmare like me, it determined whose dreams I fed on, when, and how much. Basically The Will says, “Jump,” and Dusty says, “You got it.” The invisible grip on my body eased, and I shook off the unpleasant feeling of being manhandled by a magical spell. Trying to ignore the trembling in my knees, I looked down at that familiar face once again. Eli Booker was the hottest guy at my old high school, maybe in all of Chickery, Ohio, itself. He was a sophomore like me, but his hair was black and his eyes cornflower blue. Tall and with a face so handsome even old ladies swooned at the sight of it, he was the guy every girl crushed on. Didn’t hurt that he had a bit of a bad-boy, daredevil reputation, either. My eyes dropped to the scorpion tattoo on the left side of his chest. I’d heard rumors that he had one but this was the first time I’d seen proof. I wondered how he’d gotten it.
I forced my eyes away, aware of how quickly my heart was beating. So, yeah, even I had wasted a daydream or two fantasizing about him, and now I had to kneel on his chest and enter his dream. Great. Who knew The Will had such a sense of humor?
Still, I wasn’t about to sit on him half-naked like that. I grabbed the sheet lying rumpled at the foot of the bed and swung it over him. Eli sighed as the sheet touched him, and my heart leaped into my throat. I held my breath, expecting the worst. When he didn’t wake, I screwed up my courage and climbed onto the bed. If I didn’t, The Will would start nagging me to get on with it. If I resisted too long, the spell would get physical again. I planted my feet on either side of Eli’s arms and squatted down until the majority of my body weight rested on his muscular chest. Trust me, it was as strange as it sounded and even stranger being the person doing it. Once I was in position, an ache burned inside me like a terrible, desperate thirst. My body craved the fictus it needed to replenish my magic.
A soft moan escaped Eli’s throat, but this time I didn’t panic. Once a Nightmare was in place around a victim … er … subject, the magic kicked in, rendering the person powerless, even to wake. Which was why a girl like me, five foot four and 115 pounds, could sit on top of a sleeping boy without his knowing. Thank goodness for the little things. I closed my eyes and exhaled, placing my fingers against his forehead. Bright light burst inside my mind like professional-grade fireworks as my consciousness left my body and entered the dream world of Eli Booker. I knew at once something was different. I might be new to the Nightmare gig, not having come into my powers until a couple of months ago, but I’d done this enough to worry at the strange intensity of the colors swirling around me as the dream world came into focus. Most dreams were gray and foggy, old black-and-white horror movies, the kind with wide-angled shots of the rickety castle. This one was in full Technicolor. I felt like Dorothy first stepping out of her house into the Land of Oz. I stood in the middle of a cemetery, surrounded by crumbling headstones and mausoleums thick with ivy. It was nighttime, but the full moon overhead shone bright enough that I could see the dark green of the ivy and the way its leaves stirred in the faint breeze. The murmur of voices echoed eerily around me, and for a moment I thought they might be ghosts. Then I turned and saw a bunch of police officers milling about with flashlights in hand. The presence of cops didn’t surprise me; Eli’s dad was a detective.
I looked around, trying to find Eli. With so many people, tombs, and trees scattered about the place, he could be anywhere. But I had to find him quick. Rule número uno in dream-walking: always know the subject’s location. It was absolutely essential not to have any physical contact with the dreamer. Touching them would break all the enchantments holding them in the dream and make them wake up. It was a lesson I’d learned the painful way. Not seeing Eli anywhere, I flew into the air to get a bird’s-eye view. I spotted him at last on the other side of a supersized mausoleum, the kind reserved for an entire family’s worth of dead bodies. He looked strange, dressed up in a fancy gray suit with an obnoxious orange-and-blue necktie. It was the kind of thing his father wore when he gave statements to the local news channels about cases, and I guessed Eli was dreaming that he was a detective. I grinned. The whole thing was sort of sweet, like a kid playing dress-up. And totally out of character for someone like Eli, a guy who I imagined thought of himself as way too cool and rebellious to want to grow up and be like his dad. Or at least a guy too cool to admit it.
I lowered myself to the ground, a safe distance away from Eli. One of the best things about dream-walking was that reality was flexible. I could fly, change my appearance, you name it. Usually the first thing I did when arriving in a dream was to replace my frizzy red hair with sleek, straight platinum. Not this time though. I was too distracted by the dream’s strangeness for vanity.
My gaze fell on the name etched in the stone above the doorway of the nearest mausoleum—KIRKWOOD. This wasn’t any old graveyard Eli was dreaming about, but Coleville Cemetery, the local burial place for magickind. Only that was impossible. Coleville was located on the grounds of Arkwell Academy—my high school. It was a school for magickind, with twelve-foot-high, magically enforced fences and security-guarded gates, and completely inaccessible to ordinaries. Eli couldn’t have been here before. Yet somehow he must’ve been. The details were too good. The place looked exactly like it did in real life, right down to the bell tower in the distance and the odd placement of statues and stone benches among the grave markers. Coleville wasn’t just a cemetery, but a local recreational spot for Arkwell students and teachers, sort of like the campus green, only with dead people. The heady scent of lilac bushes and jasmine tickled my nose. Even the smells were right on. They were so real, for a moment I almost forgot I was in a dream.
That was impossible, too. Dreams were never so close to reality. Most were like trips through the funhouse, complete with distorted images, naked people—usually the dreamer himself—and disturbing settings like public rest rooms that resembled torture chambers.
I focused on Eli, trying to ignore my growing unease. He was talking to some of the uniformed officers, a serious look on his face. He kept gesturing behind him to where some more cops stood circled around something. Curiosity got the better of me, and I walked over.
Sprawled on the ground lay a pale-faced girl with bright blond hair, the kind I would’ve killed for in real life. Only, it looked as if someone had killed her. She was perfectly still, her eyes open but staring at nothing. Dark, purplish bruises rimmed her throat like a grotesque tattoo.
A thrill of fear went through me, and I covered my mouth to muffle a scream. It was Rosemary Vanholt, one of the fairies who attended Arkwell Academy. And she wasn’t just any fairy; she was the daughter of Consul Vanholt, the head of the Magi Senate. A lot of the politicians’ kids went to Arkwell. The magickind capital city of the United States was located nearby on a hidden island somewhere in the middle of Lake Erie. The lake itself was one of the most magical places in America. She’s like the president’s daughter. And someone had murdered her. “It’s just a dream,” I whispered. It was possible Eli had seen Rosemary around town or that he knew her. Seniors like her were required to hang around ordinaries for practice sometimes. That was the whole point of a place like Arkwell, to teach magickind how to live undetected in the human world.
Sure, that made sense, but it didn’t explain the Coleville setting. There wasn’t one for that. On the verge of a freak-out, I turned around, trying to put more distance between me and Rosemary’s body. In my horror I hadn’t realized that Eli had moved. He now stood less than a yard away from me, so tall and physically imposing he might as well have been a brick wall in the path.
“Crap,” I whispered, sidestepping to avoid him. My foot caught on a tombstone, and I stumbled but managed to swerve my momentum left, barely missing a collision. Too close for comfort, I hurried past Eli, heading for a safe distance. Something touched my arm, and I shrieked as a jolt of pain went through my entire existence. I turned to see Eli’s gaze fixed on my face, his hand gripping my arm. The world around me began to slip away, the colors melting like fresh paint in the rain. Then my consciousness was hurled out of the dream back into my body hard enough that I screamed again—for real this time. I let go of Elis forehead and grabbed my own, trying to stop my brains from rolling around like marbles inside my skull. The pressure helped for a moment, but then Eli sat up and shoved me. I tumbled off the bed, landing on my back. I tried to take a breath, found I couldn’t, and panicked, arms and legs thrashing. Eli’s bewildered face appeared over me. He grabbed me by the shoulders and hauled me to my feet as easily as if I weighed nothing at all. As soon as I was upright, my wind came back. So did my senses, and I cast the corrector spell like I’d been taught to do in moments like this. “Aphairein!”
The spell struck Eli, then bounced, hitting me instead. The corrector spell worked like an undo button on a computer, but it wasn’t meant to be self-administered. Instead of undoing my actions, it slammed into me with the force of a battering ram. Eli still had hold of my shoulders, and both of us went crashing to the ground this time. He landed on top of me so hard I felt like I’d been sat on by an elephant.
“Get off,” I said, struggling to breathe. I cast another spell at him, but it bounced, too. What the—? Eli rolled off me and stood up. When I realized he’d been lying on top of me in only his red boxers, I blushed from head to toe. My skin was so hot I thought I’d turn to ash any second.
“Who the hell are you?” Eli pointed at me, his chest muscles flexing in a way that made me want to giggle. I resisted the urge and leaped to my feet. We were close enough to the window that the moonlight shone full on my face. Eli made a choking sound. “I know you. What are you doing here? And what’s wrong with your eyes? They’re … glowing?” I groaned inwardly, ashamed that this hot boy who’d probably never noticed me before was now seeing the worst of me, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Stupid, stupid, unreliable magic. In the daytime, Nightmares looked as human as anybody else, our unusually pale eyes strange but not alarming. At night, our eyes glowed white. The glamour I usually wore to hide the glow must’ve come undone.
“What kind of freak are you?” Eli said.
I glared at him, ignoring the sting of his words. “At least I’m not the freak dreaming about dead girls.” He gaped. “How do you know that?”
Uh … More embarrassed than any one person should ever have to be, I decided it was time to make a break for it. I could hear loud footsteps outside his door and knew I had about two seconds to escape. His dad was a cop; I was certain he would shoot me first and regret later.
I ran to the open window. Rule number two in dream-feeding: always have an escape route. I climbed over the edge, grabbed hold of the ivy-covered drainpipe, and slid down as quickly as I dared. Thank goodness for all those gymnastic lessons when I was younger. Normally, I would’ve used a glider spell to get down, but with my magic misfiring, I couldn’t risk it. As my feet touched the ground, I looked up to see Eli staring down at me, mouth open. I stuck my tongue out at him. Then I turned and sprinted up the sidewalk.
A few minutes later, I slowed to an easier pace. I had a few blocks to go until I reached McCloud Park, where I’d stowed my bicycle in some bushes. Would’ve been nice to have a car or motorcycle for these late-night dream-feeding adventures—hell, I wouldn’t have turned down a moped—but my chances of getting any kind of motorized vehicle were slim to zero. Arkwell was a boarding school with a strict no-student-vehicles policy. I spotted my bicycle sitting between some bushes where I’d left it and dropped down to a walk. If Eli or his dad hadn’t caught up to me by now, they probably weren’t going to.
Should’ve known better than to trust my luck.
An enormous black sedan rounded the corner into the parking lot, and I froze as the beam of headlights struck me. It came to a stop, and all the doors opened in unison. Four hairy-looking men in matching gray suits stepped out. Four werewolves, to be precise. Local law enforcement for magickind.

Copyright © 2013 by Mindee Arnett

About The Author: Mindee Arnett

Find Mindee @
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Mindee Arnett lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares.

Enter to win TWO SIGNED copies of The Nightmare Affair. Open Internationally!

What do YOU think of this book? Will YOU be reading it?

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blog Tour: Being Henry David by Cal Armistead / Guest Post + Win a signed print copy!

Bonjour everyone!

Oh.My.Goodness! I am so excited about this tour! I was asked a few weeks ago to review Being Henry David and I jumped at the opportunity. If you have not heard about this book then this will be a good chance to learn more about it and win a SIGNED print copy of your very own. :) The book is a fun mix of a young adult (coming of age) mystery. I myself can't wait to read it. I am part of the blog tour for the book and will be sharing with my readers all about the book and author as well as a guest post from the author Cal Armistead. Of course there will be a giveaway at the end of the post for one lucky readers of Bittersweet Enchantment to win a free copy!

So without future ado....

Being Henry David
by Cal Armistead
Hardcover, 270 pages
Genre: YA > Coming of Age > Mystery
Expected publication: March 1st 2013 by Albert Whitman Teen

Seventeen-year-old "Hank" has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything --who he is, where he came from, why he's running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David-or "Hank" and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of--Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead's remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.

About The Author: Cal Armistead

Find Cal @
Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Cal Armistead has written extensively for radio, newspapers and magazines, including The Chicago Tribune, Shape Magazine, Body & Soul Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Chicken Soup for Every Mom’s Soul, and others. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine, works at an independent book store, is a voice-over actress, sings semi-professionally, and lives in a Boston suburb with her amazing husband and a dog named Layla. Being Henry David is her first novel.

Top Ten Favorite YA Book

 Thanks so much for hosting me on your wonderful blog! But wow, talk about a difficult
challenge. I’ve been asked to name my top-ten favorite YA books, and that’s no easy
task. There are so many amazing YA books out there that I’ve read, am reading, or would
love to read. Some of the books on my list have been around since I was a teen myself,
and some aren’t even officially released yet. Although I wrote about this subject recently
on my own blog, I’ll give a different twist here. I’ll start with the four most recent YA
books I’ve read and really enjoyed:

1. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. Yep, just about everybody in the world, plus
me, loves this book. And what’s not to love? Green is sensitive, funny, smart, and his
characters are so authentic and alive--even (especially) the ones who are dying of cancer.
But Green, and the characters themselves, never allow us to feel sorry for them. They
refused to be defined by their illness, and that makes them feel real and relatable.

2. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. I really liked the immediacy of this book. In
it, we “hear” the recorded tapes of a girl who has committed suicide, right along with
the protagonist, a guy who might have loved and saved her. Sometimes I felt like the
book tried too hard to be a cautionary tale, but overall, I really liked the writing, the slow
unfolding of the story, and the voice of the protagonist. Plus, it’s a cautionary tale that
needs to be told.

3. The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman. Loved, loved, loved this book! It’s about a
baby who wanders into a graveyard after his parents are murdered, and he is raised and
protected by the ghosts who inhabit it. This is technically a young reader book (I’m not
sure why!), but anybody of any age could read and enjoy it. The story, the voice, the
details—yeah, I really loved this one.

4. The Hunger Games Trilogy, by Suzanne Collins. I’m not usually a sci-fi, dystopian-
book fan. But this was different. The Hunger Games was a fascinating, addictive read.
I think the reason I liked the trilogy so much is because Katniss has so much integrity,
heart, compassion, and strength. It’s nice to have a female character with these qualities.
I like what’s “real,” and she definitely felt real to me.

Okay, now for a few oldies, but goodies:

5. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous. This is probably the first real “teen” book I ever
read, back when I was a teen. It’s the actual diary of a girl who got addicted to drugs.
I remember being so moved by her writing because it sounded a whole lot like my own
diary at the time (without the drugs, thankfully), and I could understand a lot of what she
was feeling, both good and bad. It’s a true teenager’s voice that still resonates.

6.The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. Ditto the above. I read this when I was a kid, and
found it to be profoundly real and fascinating. The life of Pony Boy in the city was very
different from my safe little suburban life, but still it resonated with me. I cared about
those characters, and trusted the voice of the author, who was herself a teen when she
wrote it. (It’s no accident that teenagers themselves guided YA literature to where it is

7. The Catcher In the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. I don’t think good ol’ J.D. meant for this
to be a YA novel since YA as we know it didn’t even exist back then (1951). But it was
probably the first strong, real, gritty, no-nonsense teen voice the world ever heard, and it
was the start of something amazing.

8.Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson. This book is not actually that old (1999), and it’s
something of a modern-day classic. It has a serious theme—a girl who was raped at a
party who can’t find a way to talk about it, or speak much about anything—but somehow
she maintains an inner hope and quirky humor that make the book an excellent read.

I’ll end this guest blog with two books I’m looking forward to reading. They happen to
be books that are also written by fellow 2013 debut authors who will be releasing their
books in March. Hooray for the Lucky 13s! (

9. Dr. Bird’s Advice to Sad Poets, by Evan Roskos. In this book, sixteen-year-old James
Whitman struggles with anxiety, depression, and the destruction of his family, while
trying to “Whitmanize” his worldview through the poetry of Walt Whitman. Obviously,
I love books in which characters gain strength and comfort from literature, so I’m very
much looking forward to this one! I feel this this book and my book would be best
friends if they ever met. Roskos’ character James would be sharing quotes by Whitman,
and my character, Hank, would spar back with phrases by Henry David Thoreau. Then
they’d go play video games and eat pizza and have burping contests, like any other
teenage boys.

10. Dear Life, You Suck, by Scott Blagden. Foul-mouthed, irreverent seventeen-year-old
Cricket is the oldest ward in a Catholic boys’ home in Maine—and his life sucks. In fact,
things look so bleak that Cricket can’t help but wonder if his best option is one final cliff
dive into the great unknown. But then Wynona steps into his world, and Cricket slowly
realizes that maybe, just maybe, life doesn’t totally suck. Looking forward to this wild

Thanks so much for allowing me to drop by!

(Me: Your so very welcome, Cal. Thanks for being here. I love choices! )

A HUGE thank you to Cal for offering my readers a signed copy of her book, Being Henry David. Thank you everyone stopping by. 

Giveaway Details:
Open to US and Canada residents only
Ends March 7th.

Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Blog Tour: RECALLED by Cambria Hebert / Excerpt + Prize Pack Giveaway!

Presenting.... The book blog tour for the newly released novel RECALLED by Cambria Hebert.

Hosted by:

Today is my stop in this lovely blog tour and will be sharing with my readers all about the book and author. There will also be a giveaway open to only my readers. I hope everyone enjoys this post and be sure before you go to enter the giveaway.

Recalled by Cambria Hebert (Death Escorts, #1)
Publication date: February 15th, 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance with paranormal, thriller and mystery elements

Love or Death? A simple question really. The choice seems obvious. But. What if you never knew love, what if your life was spent just trying to survive? What if you knew your fate before you were fully grown?

And then you died.

And you were given another chance. A better chance.

This new life depended upon one thing: your job. And so you agreed. You thought it would be simple. You thought it would be cut and dry.

It never is.

And now you are left holding the fate of someone else in the palm of your hand and you have to make the ultimate choice.

Love or Death?
For a limited time Recalled will be on SALE for 99 cents.
PURCHASE:  Amazon | Barns and Noble 

Scene Between Piper and Frankie

I stood there while Frankie opened up the door to the tiniest closet known to man and peered in.
Her blond head reappeared moments later, and she said “Your wardrobe is pathetic.”

I rolled my eyes. We had this conversation hundreds of times. “I’m a struggling college student.
I don’t have money for clothes.”

“Girl, you gotta get your priorities straight. I know you want to be some hero doctor, but you
gotta look the part. Dying people don’t want to look at a fugly mess.”

I laughed. But then I thought about the man on the street. I wondered if he was able to see me
before he died. Suddenly, it did seem important to look pretty.

Frankie must’ve noticed the change in me because she sighed. “It’s not that bad in here. We can
find something.”

“Frankie. Will you help me?” I said, plopping down on the end of my twin-size bed.

She appeared again, this time with a scarf around her neck and several articles of clothing draped
over her arms. “Of course I will; you know that.” She thrust a pair of jeans at me and a long-
sleeved white T-shirt.

I stood up and stepped into the jeans, pulling them up under my waitress skirt. “Well, what I
want you to do is kinda illegal.”

“Oooh. Do tell,” she sang as she dove back into my closet. I had no idea what she was doing
because I had hardly any clothes.

“Well, he drives this really fancy car. It’s a Mercedes Roadster.” I began and I heard her gasp
from somewhere in the closet.

“You’re just now telling me this? Is he rich? Is he cute? Does he have a brother?” Her words
tripped over each other.

“I have no idea about any of that stuff,” I said. “Anyway, I was thinking—”

Frankie cut me off to say, “How can you know none of this? Have I taught you nothing?!”

“He wasn’t the talkative type,” I said, discarding my uniform completely and pulling on the T-

“He’s a serial killer. I knew it. He drives that car to lure in poor women.”

I laughed again. “Oh my God, Frank. You’re so paranoid. Will you just listen already?”

She sniffed. “Fine. But if you die, I’m not crying at your funeral.”

“Fine. I will. But only a little.”

“Anyway,” I said, trying to get back to the subject. “I was hoping you could, you know, look him
up, see where he lives?”

“I knew working at the Motor Vehicle Administration would be good for something someday,
other than making me feel dead inside.”

She now had a hat on her head, three bracelets on her right wrist, and one glove on her left hand.

“What are you doing and where did you get that bracelet?”

She wagged her eyebrows. “I told you I could find something.”

“I got his license plate number when he drove off earlier. I’ll give it to you and you can look him

“I’ll do it on Wednesday. My supervisor is off. She has an appointment to get the broom she flies
on serviced.”

“You’re too much,” I said, giggling.

“I know you love me,” she said, stepping back from the closet. It was organized into outfits that
all hung together with accessories and everything.

She smiled and draped the chunky knit scarf around my neck. “It’s a calling,” she said and
sighed. “Come on, I’m taking you to a late-night movie. You’ve been working and thinking too
much lately.”

“Sure, I already have it stashed in my purse. Candy too. That usher won’t dare try to search me
after what happened last time.” She wagged her eyebrows.

I grinned at the memory of the very embarrassed usher’s face. “I’ve never seen any guy get so
flustered in all my life.”

“It takes a special kind of man to handle all of this,” she said, motioning to herself. “He was out
of his element.”

Most men were out of their element when it came to Frankie. Most women, too. But she was the
best friend I could ever hope for.


About The Author:  Cambria Hebert                                                                 Author. Blogger. Latte Sipper.

Find Cambria @

Cambria Hebert is an author who wrote her first book at the age of fifteen. It was terrible. But the passion for writing never went away so years later when she opened her laptop and started typing she worked until she wrote a book that she hopes everyone will be as excited about as she is.

Cambria is obsessed with werewolves and is terrified of chickens (they are creepy!)She is an animal lover that would choose coffee over food and her favorite TV show is the Vampire Diaries (Hell-O Damon!)

 A BIG thanks for Cambria for offering such a great giveaway on my blog for my readers. 

Giveaway Details:


What can you win? 

One Recalled Fashion Ring
Two signed Recalled Bookmarks
A signed Bookcard (features an excerpt from the book) 
One magnet

Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blog Tour: Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore | Character Spotlight + Giveaway!

Hello everyone and welcome to the Broken Wings by Shannon Dittiemore book blog tour. Broken Wings is book #2 in the Angel Eyes trilogy. Today I will be sharing with you all about the book and the author. This series sounds wonderful and a must read for those who enjoy books about Angels.

Broken Wings (Angel Eyes Trilogy #2)
Release Date: February 19, 2013
320 pages
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Giant angels with metal wings and visible song. A blind demon restored from the pit of darkness. And a girl who has never felt more broken.

Brielle sees the world as it really is: a place where the Celestial exists side by side with human reality. But in the aftermath of a supernatural showdown, her life begins to crumble. Her boyfriend, Jake, is keeping something from her—something important. Her overprotective father has started drinking again. He’s dating a much younger woman who makes Brielle’s skin crawl, and he’s downright hostile toward Jake. Haunting nightmares keep Brielle from sleeping, and flashes of Celestial vision keep her off kilter.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s been targeted. The Prince of Darkness himself has heard of the boy with healing in his hands and of the girl who sees through the Terrestrial Veil. When he plucks the blind demon, Damien, from the fiery chasm and sends him back to Earth with new eyes, the stage is set for a cataclysmic battle of good versus evil.

Then Brielle unearths the truth about her mother’s death and she must question everything she ever thought was true.

Brielle has no choice. She knows evil forces are converging and will soon rain their terror down upon the town of Stratus. She must master the weapons she’s been given. She must fight.

But can she fly with broken wings?


Haven't read Angel Eyes? 

Broken Wings: Character Spotlight

Name:   Jake
Full name:   That’s a very good question.
Age:   19 years old, 18 when the series started
Hometown:   Portland, Oregon
Fact:   He has a secret.

~ A bit of truth ~
When Jake was a child, he was abandoned by his parents. An angel named Canaan took him into his care and raised him as his own.


  •  Brielle. Of course, Brielle. But if the Throne Room is to be trusted, things with her won’t be as simple and straightforward as he once believed.
  •  Photography
  •  What Jake would really like is time to learn guitar, but work at the Photo Depot is chewing up all his time these days.
  •  Scripture
  •  Doughnuts. Crullers, Long Johns, Cinnamon and Sugar Twists. Filled with raspberry jam or lemon custard. He’ll eat any kind of doughnut at all.


  •  That Brielle can see fear on him.
  •  Damien. Why the Throne Room returned the demon’s blood-crusted dagger to Jake is anyone’s guess, but it can’t mean good things.
  •  Unanswered prayers.
  •  Things he can’t fix.
  •  The look Brielle’s dad’s been giving him lately.

About The Author:  Shannon Dittemore

Find Shannon @
Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook / Pinterest

Shannon Dittemore has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a focus on youth and young adult ministry. The daughter of one preacher and the wife of another, she spends her days imagining things unseen and chasing her two children around their home in Northern California.

(1) Print copies of Angel Eyes and Broken Wings (US Only)
(5) Print copies of Broken Wings (US only)

Please use the form below:

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