You'd have to have, like, a lentil for a soul to hate wiener dogs. ~Zuzana from The Daughter of Smoke & Bones by Laini Taylor

Monday, June 30, 2014

Giveway Review THE DESTINY OF VIOLET & LUKE by JESSICA SORENSEN @ForeverRomance @jessFallenStar

THE DESTINY OF VIOLET & LUKE by Jessica Sorensen 

Luke Price's life has always been about order, control, and acting tough on the outside. For Luke, meaningless relationships are a distraction-a way to tune out the twisted memories of his childhood. He desperately wishes he could forget his past, but it haunts him no matter what he does.

Violet Hayes has had a rough life. When she was young, she was left with no family and the memory of her parents' unsolved murders. She grew up in foster homes, living with irresponsible parents, drugs, and neglect, and trying to fight the painful memories of the night her parents were taken from her. But it's hard to forget when she never got closure-and she can't stop dreaming about what happened that tragic night. To make it through life, she keeps her distance from everyone and never allows herself to feel anything.

Then Violet meets Luke. The two clash instantly, yet they can't seem to stay away from each other. Although they fight it, they both start to open up and feel things they've never felt before. They discover just how similar they are. But they also discover something else: The past always catches up with you . . .

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She reaches for my fries with an undecided look on her face. “So I have a question.”
“About you.”
I slowly chew my food. “I’m not really sure I want to hear your question now.”
She picks a pickle off of her burger, pulling a repulsed face. “Well, I’m still going to ask it.”
I grab a handful of fries from the tray that’s on the table between us. “Go ahead and ask but it doesn’t mean I’ll answer.”
She props her elbows onto the table with her burger in her hand. “Why haven’t you ever talked to me before? I mean, we’ve walked past each other probably a hundred times, but never so much as acknowledged each other and then suddenly you’re stalking me.”
I pick up my soda and sip from the straw. “First off, I’m not stalking you. I just can’t seem to get rid of you.”
“You didn’t have to stop to pick me up.”
“Yeah, I did.”
“Why? You don’t know me—you’re in no way obligated to help me.”
“I know, but I wanted to.”
I shrug, setting my drink down. “Why not?”
She gives me a funny look, like I’m the most confusing person in the world, when really she should be looking at herself like that. “I don’t get it. Why would someone like you help someone like me?”
I open up the bun of my chicken sandwich to pick the tomato off. “What do you mean someone like me and someone like you?”
She points at me. “You as in a football player who has friends.” Then she points at herself. “And me as in the loner girl who could probably kick your ass.”
I choke on a laugh and my mouth full of food almost shoots out of my nose. “You could not kick my ass,” I cough, and then take a swallow of my drink.
She scans me over while scooping up some fries. “I beg to differ. I think you’re not as tough as you try to look.”
“Do you really?” If only she knew what really lay inside me. “Because most people think I am and for a good reason.”
“I think it’s all for show,” she replies nonchalantly and I can’t tell if she’s being serious or not. “I think that deep down you’re just a softy.”
“Are you trying to pick a fight with me right now?” I set my sandwich down on the tray and crack my knuckles. “Because I’m not going to fight a girl.”
“That’s such a typical guy answer.” She hurries and takes a drink, but I detect a hint of a smile before her lips wrap around the straw.
“You know what I think?” I cross my arms on the table and lean in, cocking my head to the side as I observe her closely. “I think you like arguing with me and that’s why you’re bringing this up.”
Her shoulders lift and descend as she takes a bite of her hamburger. “Maybe, but maybe I’m being serious.”
“You know that as a football player I have to tackle guys, right? It takes strength to do that.”
“Maybe you just run, though,” she counters. “Maybe you’re just good at running.”
The way she says it reminds me so much of my past and it’s like a kick to the stomach. “Maybe I’m not, though. Maybe I suck at running.” I sound choked and I decide it’s time to cut this conversation short, my brain seeking that potent taste of Jack and Tequila mixed with nicotine. I glance at my watch, pretending to check the time. “I just remembered that I have to meet Kayden somewhere in like a half an hour, so I’m going to have to take you back.”
She balls up the wrapper for her hamburger, acting nonchalant, but her shoulders are stiff. “Sounds good to me. I was done anyway.” She seems irritated and I have no idea why, other than she seems to be able to read through my bullshit and test me, which most people can’t and won’t even try. I’m supposed to be a closed book. A mystery. That way no one can see who I really am. It’s the way I’ve been living for years and it’s comfortable. Not ideal, but nothing is ideal.
We don’t talk as I collect our garbage and then walk next to her as she limps out to my truck. I try to offer her my arm and open the door for her, but she denies my offer, moving to the opposite door and pushing it open.
During the car ride, she barely says two words to me. I should be happy about it. That way there’s no room for sudden questions and statements that will set me off, however I find myself missing the bantering thing we had going and the way she pushed my buttons. By the time I drop her off, all I want to do is ask her to stay, talk some more, let me get to know her. But I don’t understand why. I’ve never wanted to get to know anyone before. I’ve never even been out on a date. Each woman I’ve been with, I’ve only been with once. Just sex. That’s all it’s ever about. And I’ve never wanted anything more.
Until now.

Bio: The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives with her husband and three kids. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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SOURCE:  Publisher

MY THOUGHTS:  Absolutely Loved IT

Violet has been shuttled around from foster family to foster family after her parents are murdered and she finally falls in with a drug dealer and his wife.  Not much older than 18 year old Violet, her foster father forces her to deal drugs and run scams for him.  Once college is out for the summer, she plans to live at his house, but when he comes on to her, she runs.  She runs right into Luke.  Luke doesn't have a much better beginning in his life.  His mother, pretty much stays drugged and his father has left and gone to California to live with his boyfriend.  He asks to come stay there, but his father has no room, so it is either living on the streets or back with his mother. 

Luke tries to numb his pain by getting into fights, staying drunk and having meaningless sex, while Violet uses the rush of dangerous situations to control her panic attacks.  So when two other friends offer to split rent, Luke and Violet move into together, although not sharing the same room. It also comes out that the investigation into the murder is being reopened and it begins to cause major issues for her.  She has a stalker, she has a noisy reporter and now the detective on her.  The boys that share the apartment at first don't care for her, but now get to know her and become protective, as a sort of family she never had.  

Sigh.  Yes, this one made me cry a few times, but at the same time it was very sweet and I didn't want to put it down.  I really thought I had this whole plot figured out and then WHAM!  I was hit with a twist.  This is one that you can easily read in one sitting.  I didn't read this story in order and just started Callie and Kayden's story, so the history of those two will be interesting to figure out since they are both roommates of Violet and Luke at school.  Again, this is probably not for younger teens since there is violence, drug culture, language and sexual situations.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Ends 7/8/14

Open to US or Canadian residents only  -sorry, no po boxes
Open only to those who can legally enter
Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary.
You must be 13 or older to enter .
The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified.
The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
Giveaway was organized by BookHounds and sponsored by the publisher.

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Giveway Guest Post REBEL NATION by SHAUNTA GRIMES @shauntagrimes @penguinusa #BlogTour


Author: Shaunta Grimes
Publisher: Berkeley Trade
Pub. Date: July 1, 2014
Pages: 320

Sixteen years ago, a plague wiped out nearly all of humanity. The Company’s vaccine stopped the virus’s spread, but society was irrevocably changed. Those remaining live behind impenetrable city walls, taking daily doses of virus suppressant and relying on The Company for continued protection. They don’t realize that everything they’ve been told is a lie…

Clover Donovan didn’t set out to start a revolution—quiet, autistic, and brilliant, she’s always followed the rules. But that was before they forced her into service for the Time Mariners. Before they condemned her brother to death, compelling him to flee the city to survive. Before she discovered terrifying secrets about The Company.

Clover and the Freaks, her ragtag resistance group, are doing their best to spread the rebellion and stay under The Company’s radar. But when their hideout is discovered, they are forced, once again, to run. Only this time, The Company has special plans for Clover, plans that could risk her life and stop the uprising in its tracks…

About the Author:

Shaunta Grimes has worked as a substitute teacher, a newspaper reporter, a drug court counselor, and a vintage clothing seller. No matter which direction she strays, however, she always comes back to storytelling. She lives in Reno with her family, where she writes, teaches, and perpetually studies at the University of Nevada. Viral Nation is her debut traditionally-published novel.

How to Connect with Shaunta:



Mango, the service bulldog, is one of my favorite characters in Viral Nation and Rebel Nation. He's such a good, loyal friend to Clover. He loves her unconditionally, and I think everyone deserves that. She loves him the same way. Her social awkwardness doesn't get in the way when she's with Mango. He's also the one proof she has that her dad loves her, since she gave him to her. Mango is her bridge to the rest of the world, and he was an absolute joy to write.
This past year we've adopted a rescue dog that we named Maybelline Scout. I really wanted to name her Scout, after one of my favorite literary characters of all time, but she'd had the name Mae while she was being fostered by a veterinarian, and was already used to it.
When Mae was picked up by animal control, she had a bad cut on her leg, which is why the vet was fostering her. Sometimes I wish I knew what her life was like before. Did she have a family? Does she still miss them? How did she end up a stray in the first place? Why didn't anyone come looking for her? She's so attached to us now, it's hard to imagine her living with anyone else!
My office is a converted bedroom and has a closet in it that doesn't have a door. Mae loves to curl up on her blankets and pillows in the closet and keep me company while I write. She is the most laid-back dog ever, which is just what a writer needs in a companion pet! Taking care of her during the day keeps me from getting so lost in my stories that I don't stand up for hours at a time, too, which is awesome.

Giveaway details:
5 finished copies of Rebel Nation International.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
6/23/2014- A Book Obsession- Review
6/23/2014- Word SpelunkingInterview
6/24/2014- Reading with ABCReview
6/24/2014- Pieces of WhimsyGuest Post
6/25/2014- bookaholics anonymous onlineReview
6/25/2014- Fire and IceInterview
6/26/2014- Cold Tea and CrumbsReview
6/26/2014- Such a Novel IdeaGuest Post
6/27/2014- modern-assassinReview
6/27/2014- Page Turner BlogInterview

Week Two:
6/30/2014- Buried Under BooksReview
6/30/2014- Bookhounds YAGuest Post
7/1/2014- The Demon LibrarianReview
7/1/2014- Library of the SeenInterview
7/2/2014- Crystal in BooklandReview
7/2/2014- the Windy PagesGuest Post
7/3/2014- My Dear BibliophageReview
7/3/2014- The Book MonstersInterview
7/4/2014- Books, Bones & Buffy                - Review


Friday, June 27, 2014

Blog Tour Excerpt THIS IS SARAH by ALLY MALINENKO @AllyMalinenko

When Colin Leventhal leaned out his bedroom window on the night of May 12th and said goodbye to his girlfriend, he never expected it would be forever. But when Sarah Evans goes missing that night, Colin's world unravels as he transforms from the boyfriend next door to the main police suspect. Then one year later, at her memorial service, Colin makes a phone call that changes everything. Is it possible that Sarah is still alive? And if so how can he bring her back?

As Colin struggles with this possibility, across the street, Sarah’s little sister, Claire learns how to navigate the strange new landscape of life without her sister. While her parents fall apart, Claire remains determined to keep going even if it kills her.

THIS IS SARAH serves as a meditation on loss, love and what it means to say goodbye.


They found her red Chuck Taylor sneakers five miles from where her car was, deep in the woods.
One was unlaced, as if she had undone it and slipped her foot out of it right there under that canopy of trees.
The other was still tied.
Snow filled them like little red candies covered in sugar.
In the police station, in that evidence bag, they seemed so small, as the snow slowly melted off them, staining the fabric and dripping into the bottom of the bag. I couldn’t imagine them fitting Sarah’s feet. I couldn’t imagine them fitting my own.
Sarah’s empty shoes.
I thought about how they’d never be worn again. How she would never slide her foot inside, how her fingers would never tug those laces and loop them closed.
Her room back home was filled with things that would go unused. They’d just sit there, waiting for Sarah to come home, collecting dust.
All the things Sarah left behind.
When I saw the shoes, sitting in the police station, a noise escaped me. Not quite a sob, but a crya shock of disbeliefand my hope retreated as I realized I was now one of those things. Like her clothes, her jewelry, her records or her shoes.
I was just another thing Sarah left behind.

Ally Malinenko is the author of the poetry collection The Wanting Bone (Six Gallery Press) and the children's fantasy Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb (Antenna Books). She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.


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