Posted in Author Guest Post, Blog Tour, Kismet Book Touring

Blog Tour | Author Guest Post & Giveaway | Drowned (#1) by Nichola Reilly

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Drowned by Nichola Reilly

Harlequin TEEN | June 24, 2014 | 304 pages

Naming Characters – the research, meaning behind, or method of choosing unusual character names.

Here’s a novel thing: I like to pick names for my characters that fit their personalities. I know, big shocker—most authors do that. I used to go on babynames.com and put in what I wanted the name to mean, and it would spit out a whole bunch of names that meant a certain thing, then I would just select the one I liked best.

In the world of DROWNED, the people have been removed from our civilization for a long time. They do not read anymore, they don’t have books or any means of writing, so over the years, language has disintegrated. Much knowledge has been lost, and many of the names have been cannibalized and altered, much like a sentence in a game of telephone. So a lot of the names are not real names at all; just things I came up with because they evoke an image or make a sound that fits the character.

At one point in DROWNED, the main character, Coe, wonders if a person’s name controls who he or she will become. The princess Star, after all, is heavenly. Tiam, the strong, capable boy, is named after Tiamat, a Mesopotamian goddess who controls the chaos of the sea. The goddess Tiamat “gives birth to the world”, and in many ways, gives birth to Coe’s world. Coe’s name is short for Corvina. She’s named after a “smelly, slimy, bug-eyed fish,” which she thinks is fitting, since she is strange-looking and considered the lowest of the low. There is another story behind how she got her name, but that comes later.

The ruler of the land, King Wallow, is a descendent of a doomsday prepper named Agnes Willow, who owned the land they now reside on. In a world where language has been lost, the ruling family’s name changed over time, without their knowledge, and perhaps they don’t even realize now what “Wallow” means. But the royals do wallow; they’re the most self-indulgent people you’ll ever meet.

I had fun naming the secondary characters, since I wanted to pull them from things that have existed in the past, but had somehow morphed in meaning and importance over time. Melame is a mean, older guy who minds the tide pools people wash in. “Melame” is an amalgam of Mean and Lame, because that’s what he is. Burbur is a very busy and important castle worker, used to high-traffic, very hardy, like Berber carpet. Cordon, the chef, is named as such because I can only imagine his ancestor’s favorite dish was Chicken Cordon Bleu. Xilia is a crazy lady, named that because it sounds very much like “sillier”. And she is silly. It’s hard not to hear the name “Mutter” and not think of an angry guy walking around with his head down, mumbling to himself. I also threw in other, more normal names, like Ana and Finn, because I figured that not all ordinary names would fall into the void.

I’m not usually married to the names I choose. Sometimes, a character will change over time and demand to me to be called something else. In that case, I will usually make the change later on. But in this book, Coe was always Coe, and Tiam always Tiam, and I can’t imagine them being called anything else.

Summary (Goodreads)

Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival.

Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot comprehend, she is invited into the privileged circle of royal aides. She soon learns that the dying royal is keeping a secret that will change their world forever.

Is there an escape from the horrific nightmare that their island home has become? Coe must race to find the answers and save the people she cares about, before their world and everything they know is lost to the waters.

About Nichola Reilly

Nichola Reilly is Cyn Balog’s post-apocalyptic fantasy-writing alter-ego. The first book in her series, DROWNED, will be releasing from Harlequin TEEN sometime in 2014, followed by a sequel, BURIED, in 2015.

About Cyn Balog

Cyn Balog is a normal, everyday Jersey Girl who always believed magical things can happen to us when we least expect them. She is author of young adult paranormals FAIRY TALE (2009), SLEEPLESS(2010), STARSTRUCK (2011), TOUCHED (2012), and her most recent release: DEAD RIVER (2013).e. She lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters.

She also writes under the pen name Nichola Reilly. Nichola Reilly is Cyn Balog’s post-apocalyptic fantasy-writing alter-ego. The first book in her series, DROWNED, will be releasing from Harlequin TEEN sometime in 2014, followed by a sequel, BURIED, in 2015.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tour Schedule

Monday, June 23rd – Alice Marvels – Character Interview
Wednesday, June 25th – Parajunkee – Guest Post
Friday June 27th – The Cozy Reader – Guest Post
Monday, June 30th – Chapter by Chapter – Guest Post
Wednesday, July 2nd – Reader Girls Blog – Guest Post
Friday July 4th – Such a Novel Idea – Author Interview

 

Giveaway

Each tour stop is offering up a copy of DROWNED, and one winner will receive a fantastic Grand Prize Package including the following HarlequinTEEN titles: 2 copies of DROWNED as well as copies of RAIN, THE AFTERMATH, THE DARK WORLD and OCEANBORN. Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to US/Canada.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Contests, Giveaway, Harlequin Teen, Kismet Book Touring, Publisher

Blog Tour & Giveaway | Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1) by Aimée Carter

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Welcome to my stop on the PAWN Blog Tour!

Here’s a quick interview I had with Aimée.

Aimée I’d love to hear more about the advanced technology you developed for PAWN. Did you do some research? Did you maybe talk to some scientists, or did you just let your imagination flow?

Part of the fascination of Kitty’s society for me was the fact that they suffered economic collapse seventy-odd years earlier – and because of that, they’ve been focused on rebuilding instead of advancing technology that wasn’t necessary to sustaining life. There isn’t a whole lot of advanced technology in the series that doesn’t have root in something we have today, and that’s really because of what the society as a whole has gone through. In many ways, they’re still recovering.

Especially the motorized walkways and the “cloning” was very fascinating. How did you come up with these specific ideas?

The motorized walkways exist today in various places – for instance, airports – and the next logical step in my mind was having them in parts of cities that are populated by the rich. As far as Kitty being Masked goes, a lot of the inspiration from that comes from people even today who get thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of plastic surgery to try to look like famous people. Recently I read a story in the news about a man who spent a huge sum of money to look like Justin Bieber – and it’s following that same sort of possibility, but the scientists in Kitty’s world have had decades more time to perfect it.

What kind of technology that we will find in PAWN would you like to have for yourself?

The necklace Greyson gives Kitty. I don’t want to spoil too much, but having that kind of technology hanging around your neck would be amazing.

I agree! That necklace was pretty awesome!

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1) by Aimée Carter

HarlequinTeen | November 26, 2013 | 352 pages

About PAWN

YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.

Connect with Aimée Carter

Aimée Carter was born and raised in Michigan, where she currently resides. She started writing at age eleven and later attended the University of Michigan, graduating with a degree in screen arts and cultures. Currently she spends her time continuing with The Goddess Test series and working on new projects. You can tweet her at @aimee_carter or catch updates on her website.

Contest

Win a copy of PAWN! To enter, fill out the below Rafflecopter widget.

All entries into the daily give away also count towards the grand prize giveaway of a HarlequinTEEN tote bag full of books! Including 2 copies of PAWN, Crash Into You , Waterfell, Witchstruck and and ARC of White Hot Kiss!

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Tour Schedule

Monday, November 4th – The Irish Banana
Tuesday, November 5th – Harlequin Paranormal Blog
Wednesday, November 6th – Alice Marvels
Friday, November 8th – The Cozy Reader
Monday, November 11th – Magical Urban Fantasy
Wednesday, November 13th – Me, My Shelf and I
Friday, November 15th – Books Complete Me

 

Posted in Blog Tour, Harlequin Teen, Kismet Book Touring

Blog Tour + Giveaway | Belonging (Temptation, #2) by Karen Ann Hopkins

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Welcome to the Blog Tour for Karen Ann Hopkins’ second installment of the Temptation series, Belonging! Belonging picks up after the first book, Temptation. See below for an exciting excerpt and the chance to win a SIGNED copy of Belonging!

About Temptation

Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, Indiebound, Facebook

Your heart misleads you.

That’s what my friends and family say.

But I love Noah.
And he loves me.

We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other’s arms.

It should be

ROSE & NOAH 

forever, easy.

But it won’t be.

Because he’s Amish.
And I’m not.

Read my review of Temptation.

About Belonging

Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, Indiebound

I left everything I knew behind.

But it was worth it. He was worth it.

No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren’t even allowed to see each other. Not until I’ve proven myself.

If I can find a way to make it work, we’ll be NOAH & ROSE

together forever.

But not everybody believes this is where I belong.

Excerpt from Belonging

            Rebecca was uncomfortable with the territory the pep talk had gone into and she took both my hands softly between hers. “I’m sure you’ll do fine.  But, please, please be good.”  There was almost a look of desperation on her face.

What was her angle? Was she worried if I got kicked out of the community that Noah would go with me—and what about the warning from Ruth about Martha?  Could my initial instinct about the woman be so wrong? Martha had clearly been on my side during the laying down of the law by the bishop.  I decided to file away Ruth’s words for safety.  But, I wasn’t going to count Martha as an enemy until she proved to be one.

“Noah looked like he wanted something—what was his deal?” I asked him mom, a little worried about what she’d say.

“Oh, yes…well, he wants to have a few minutes alone with you to discuss this matter.  Really it’s mine and Amos’ fault that we allowed him such free rein immediately after the accident; calling you on the telephone and behaving as if the two of you were already courting. Now though, things must be different.”

“Can I spend any time with him at all?” I hoped I didn’t sound as if I was whining, but the thought of being separated from him while I was learning to be Amish was almost too much to bear.

Before Rebecca could say a word, Ruth took over. “It’s not only up to Rebecca and Amos.  Now that you’re under mine and James’ authority, you’ll be looking to us about the rules you must live under in this household, which are the Church’s Ordnung, but not solely.”

I slouched down in my seat.  I knew a parental lockdown when I saw one coming.  Only, I also knew that Ruth wouldn’t be as easy to manipulate as Dad was.  I adjusted my voice to sound resigned, I needed both these women on my side.

“What are the rules?”

“After this evening you will not be allowed to spend time alone with Noah unless there is a chaperone present,” and for good measure, Ruth added, “and the two of you will not be acting like a couple either.  That is exactly the kind of thing that will get Abram’s beard in a tangle.”

My optimistic personality chose to hear only the part about after tonight.  “Do you mean I get to talk to Noah, tonight—in private?”

Rebecca answered, “Yes, but only tonight, until you’re officially a courting couple.  Ruth and I understand how things have changed suddenly from what you were prepared for and we feel it is best to let you do your talking with Noah now.  Hopefully, this will keep you from mischief later.” She held my eyes for a significant few seconds before pushing her chair out.

“I do believe Noah is waiting on the front porch for you.” Rebecca pointed towards the hallway.  “We’ll be out back on the deck.”

I caught Ruth’s wink from behind her glasses as she walked by.  One second of solitude and I was sprinting down the hallway.

I didn’t even have to touch the knob, for Noah had the door open just as I reached it.  We stood a few feet apart, both breathing deeply, and both waiting.

Maybe it was the dress and cap I wore that suddenly made me feel like I really was an Amish girl.  Or perhaps it was Noah’s eyes, wide with anticipation that raised the tingling waves of nervousness from my belly.

For the first time in a long while, I didn’t know what to do with Noah.

 

Connect with the Karen Ann Hopkins

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.

Tour Schedule

Monday, April 22th – Ashley loves books
Tuesday, April 23th –  A Little Shelf of Heaven
Wednesday, April 24th – One Day YA
Thursday, April 25h – Fic Talk
Friday, April 26th – Bittersweet Enchantment 

Monday, April 29th – Reader Girls
Tuesday, April 30th – Bumbles and Fairy Tales
Wednesday, May 1sh – The YA Bookworm
Thursday, May 2nd – The Book Heist 
Friday, May 3rd –  Page Turners

Monday, May 6th –  Books Complete Me 
Tuesday, May 7th –  Bookish Escape
Wednesday, May 8th – Book Sp(l)ot Reviews
Thursday, May 9th – Irish Banana
Friday, May 10th – The Cozy Reader

 Giveaway

Enter to win a SIGNED copy of Belonging!
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Posted in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Harlequin Teen, Kismet Book Touring

Blog Tour & Giveaway(s) | HarlequinTEEN’s Karen Ann Hopkins

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HarlequinTEEN’s spring Reading into Romance

Spring is in the air and HarlequinTEEN wants you to fall in love! And they have just the books to make that happen!

In this epic tour, we’ll be featuring 9 authors and their amazing, toe-curlingly romantic books!

Today’s Blog Tour stop features Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins and a look at Amish love and marriage

Amish Love & Marriage

by Karen Ann Hopkins

Living within an Amish community in northern Kentucky for five years, I’ve witnessed many interesting things about their culture.  Sometimes, I’m shocked at their strict beliefs and behavior, but usually I’m humbled and impressed with their culture.

The Amish are people who are always willing to come to the aid of their neighbors, whether Amish or not, and they hold their personal relationships in the highest esteem.  These are admirable traits for anyone, but I’ve witnessed firsthand that the basis for their success in life is their religious faith and their solid and loving relationships with their spouses.

Granted, the Amish culture is a man’s society, and you’d think that would cause all kinds of problems with the women…but it doesn’t.  Most of the Amish women I know are quite satisfied of the role they play within the marriage.  They run the household and oftentimes are full and respected partners in the family business.  They care for the children and participate in church activities.  They get together regularly with other women within the community to quilt or clean house together.  Amish women seem busy and content within their lives.

I think the contentment begins with the giving nature I’ve witnessed from most of the men toward their wives.  Even though they may be the ‘boss,’ Amish men tend to continue to display acts of romance long after the wedding ceremony.  Flowers, extravagant gifts and vacations are commonplace from the men of the community to their wives.  They recognize and respect the hard work that their wives do and are ever thankful for their partner in life.

When troubles do arise within an Amish marriage, the community will jump in and help through counseling to repair the damage.  Very rarely do the Amish divorce, which shows their ultimate dedication in the vows they spoke to each other.

Because the Amish live a life without the entertainment of television, radio, movies and internet, they seem to put more emphasis on romance and that’s one of the reasons they may have up to twelve children or more within a family.  Their religion prevents them from using birth control, which obviously contributes to the large number of pregnancies, but since there are few other things to do in the evenings, the Amish are focused on the pleasures between a man and a wife.  So much intimacy keeps Amish couples close.  Having so many children would be a nightmare to most outsiders, but the Amish women appear to enjoy having large families and have grown accustomed to it.

The Amish don’t hold hands and would never be caught showing public displays of affection, but the simplicity of their lives lends to a quiet and hidden romance that lasts forever.

 

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

HarlequinTEEN | June 26, 2012 | 383 pages

Paperback | Kindle |B&N | Indiebound

 

Summary

Your heart misleads you.

That’s what my friends and family say.

But I love Noah. And he loves me. We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other’s arms. It should be ROSE & NOAH forever, easy. But it won’t be.

Because he’s Amish.

And I’m not.

Belonging the sequel to Temptation will be released April 30th by HarlequinTEEN – add it to your goodreads shelf!

Read my review of Temptation!

Connect with Karen Ann Hopkins

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.

Blog Tour Schedule

HarlequinTEEN Reading Into Romance Tour Page 

Monday, March 4th – Karen Ann Hopkins and Temptation:

Wednesday, March 6th – Liz Fichera and Hooked:

Friday, March 8th – Cayla Kluver and the Legacy series:

Monday, March 11th – Aimée Carter and The Goddess Test series:

Wednesday, March 13th – Julie Kagawa and The Iron King series:

Friday, March 15th – Katie McGarry and Pushing the Limits:

Monday, March 18th – Rachel Vincent and The Soul Screamers series:

Wednesday, March 20th – Hannah Harrington and Saving June:

Friday, March 22nd – Jordan Dane and In The Arms of Stone Angels:

Giveaway
There are two giveaways!
The first is a copy of Temptation!
The grand prize is also available with each entry you enter with! A beautiful necklace and Pashmina!
HarlequinTEEN dresses you for a romantic date with this beautiful, unique heart shaped locket! And in case it’s a chilly spring evening, don’t forget the matching beautiful Pashmina!
To enter, fill out the below Rafflecopter widget.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Kismet Book Touring

Blog Tour with Giveaway | Charachter Bio: Liam Hollander | Traced by Megan Squires

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Kismet Book TouringWelcome to the Blog Tour for Traced by Megan Squires!

I am still currently reading this and will have a review sometime next week!

 

 

Meet Liam Hollander

l7webSo I’m the new kid. It’s strange to go from homecoming king at one school to a nobody at the next. But it’ll be fine. It’s the price I have to endure to live at the ranch, and that’s an easy exchange in my opinion. Blaze now has some much needed space to roam and doesn’t have to share the cramped, old barn with Grandpa’s horses anymore, so that’s totally worth it. And my little brothers finally get a huge yard to run around in and play catch. Total win-win.

And I like what I see so far at East Valley High, too. Especially the girls. Especially Tessa O’Donnell. I don’t know her story, but I plan to find out. Unfortunately, I think it has something to do with Joel, the football quarterback. He’s always looking at her like there’s no other girl in the room. I’m familiar with that look. It’s probably identical to the one plastered on my face all the time, too.

I have to figure out a way to get in front of her—to get her to notice me. I think our Day in the Life project for journalism class might just be my ticket. The only problem is, I’m pretty sure after spending one day with Tessa, I won’t be satisfied with just that.

She’s not like the girls back at Superior High, though she’s every bit superior to them. She feels familiar, like there’s some strange connection between us that I can’t even begin to explain. I’m just hoping Joel McBrayer isn’t going to be the one to break it.

 

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Summary (Goodreads)

Tessa can’t sleep.

But when your parents are dead and the government directs your path in life, sleep shouldn’t come easily. Lately, Tessa’s fitful nights are growing even more predictable, almost like déjà vu. And she’s beginning to think that something greater is at work—something her society has taken drastic measures to keep hidden.

Caught between self-discovery and government conformity, she’ll have to choose either the boy who can help her reveal this new truth or the one that can provide her with the security of familiarity.

Tessa’s faced with a weighty decision. And she’s going to need more than a good night’s sleep to make it.

 

 

Connect with Megan Squires

Megan Squires lives with her husband and two children just outside of Sacramento, California. A graduate from the University of California, Davis, Megan is now a full-time mother, wife, and dreamer – though her characters don’t often give her much opportunity to sleep.

Blog Tour Stops

Monday, February 11th – A Book and a Latte
Tuesday, February 12th – Coffee, Books and Me
Wednesday, February 13th – The Cozy Reader
Thursday, February 14th – The Book Whisperer
Friday, February 15th – Ticket to Anywhere

Monday, February 18th – Sara in Bookland
Tuesday, February 19th – Tynga’s Review
Wednesday, February 20th – Imagine a World
Thursday, February 21st – Oops I Read a Book Again
Friday, February 22nd – Jenuine Cupcakes

Monday, February 25th – Ruby Reads
Tuesday, February 26th – My Neurotic Book Affair
Wednesday, February 27th – The Book Faery Reviews
Thursday, February 28th – Rants N Scribbles
Friday, March 1st – The Book Hookup

Giveaway

Enter to win a Traced bookmark and an eBook of Traced.

All entries will also count towards the Grand Prize of one Kindle Paperwhite skinned with the Traced cover art!


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Posted in Amazon Digital Services, Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Giveaway, Kismet Book Touring

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway | The Scourge by A.G. Henley

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Welcome to The Cozy Reader’s stop on the Blog Tour for A.G. Henley’s amazing new series, The Scourge (Book 1).

The Scourge (Book 1) by A.G. Henley

Amazon Digital Services, Inc. | January 30, 2012 | 242 pages

$0.99 Amazon Kindle

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eARC via Kismet Book Touring

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My Grade

Plot: 5

Setting: 5

Writing:  5

Originality: 5

Characters: 5

Romance: 5

Overall: 30/30! A+++

Title/Cover Bonus: 5

Overall

An incredibly unique dystopian centered around a blind girl, Fennel, and her tree top dwelling Keeper, Peree, as they embark on an incredible journey together.

Continue reading “Blog Tour Review and Giveaway | The Scourge by A.G. Henley”

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Giveaway, Kismet Book Touring

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway | Mia’s Heart (The Paradise Diaries, #2) by Courtney Cole

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Welcome to The Cozy Reader’s stop on the Blog Tour for Courtney Cole’s second book to The Paradise Diaries series, Mia’s Heart!

 

 

Mia’s Heart (The Paradise Diaries, #2) by Courtney Cole

Lakehouse Press | November 13, 2012 | 458 kb

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eARC via Kismet Book Touring

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My Grade

Plot: 4

Setting: 5

Writing: 5

Originality: 3

Characters: 4

Romance: 4

Overall: 25/30 = 83%

Title/Cover Bonus: 5

Overall

A great addition to follow the amazing Dante’s Girl. Looking forward to the next one!

Continue reading “Blog Tour Review and Giveaway | Mia’s Heart (The Paradise Diaries, #2) by Courtney Cole”

Posted in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Kismet Book Touring, Release Day!

Release Day and Giveaway | Mia’s Heart (The Paradise Diaries, #2) by Courtney Cole

Happy Release Day to Courtney Cole’s second book in her The Paradise Diaries series, Mia’s Heart!

The first book in the series, Dante’s Girl, was one of the cutest, swoon-worthy books I have ever read. Read my review of Dante’s Girl.

Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole

Mia’s Heart (The Paradise Diaries, #2) by Courtney Cole

Lakehouse Press | November 13, 2012 | 458 KB

  Summary

My name is Mia Giannis.
I am seventeen years old.
I live in Valese, Caberra.

This has become my mantra and my lifeline, having recently lost my memory due to a scary natural disaster.
Yeah. I have amnesia. Messed up, right?

You don’t know the half of it.

Not remembering anything has turned my world upside down. My parents try their hardest to “remind” me of who I was, but it doesn’t feel right. Or, if what they’re saying is true and that really was me, I’m not sure I like that person very much.

And then there’s my love life. Apparently, Gavin Ariastasis is my oldest and best friend in the world. Also, apparently, we’ve never dated. But now, noticing him for what feels like the first time, he’s making my heart do somersaults. He knows me inside and out—the real me. Plus, he’s sexy and charming as hell. Sounds perfect, right?

But then… there’s the new guy. Quinn McKeyen – tall, gorgeous and deliciously American. His mischievous grin and slow Midwestern drawl turn my insides to mush in two seconds flat making me question who I really am and what I really want.

Seriously. What am I supposed to do with all that?! I feel torn between them, but I barely even know who I am, let alone what I want.

I just hope my indecisive heart will clue me in. And sooner rather than later…before I lose what little of my mind that I have left.

Excerpt

I was given four excerpts to chose from and I picked this one. It’s a great scene. A tad bit spoilery but I liked it best than the others. I hope you enjoy! Gavin is one of my most favorite characters from this book and the first book too.

I flip over and suddenly, I’m terrified.

I’m panicky.

The sea is so very vast.

And I’m so very alone.

I scream.  I can’t help it.  And as I do, I accidentally gulp in a huge mouthful of water.  Everything that follows is a blur.

I start coughing and flailing my arms and even though I’m wearing a life-jacket, I’m thrashing around like a lunatic.  I hear the boat motor start up and then I feel the wake of the boat as it crests up to me.  Gavin is next to me and before I know it, he’s hauling me over the side of The Shining. 

I’m in his lap, on the floor of the boat and he is holding me and I am shaking.

OhMyGod.

I’m such an idiot.

I’m such an idiot.

And I must be repeating it out loud, even though I don’t mean to, because Gavin is telling me, “No, you’re not.”

But I am.

I really am.

“I don’t know why I got so afraid,” I tell him.  “I think I had a panic attack.”  My voice sounds pathetic and I hate it.

Gavin tightens his grip on me, his strong arms are wrapped around me and I suddenly realize that his skin is pressed against mine and it feels really, really good.  I push into him harder and clutch him to me.

Because for some insane reason, I’m still unnerved.

“It’s okay,” he tells me softly.  He’s stroking my back and I’m trying to catch my breaths like a normal person.  “You’ve been through a lot. I shouldn’t have let you float like that alone.  You seemed like you were doing fine, so I climbed up onto the boat to watch you and I must have fallen asleep.  I’m so sorry.  This is my fault, Mi.”

I look up at him.  He’s so sexy and concerned and my heart melts.

“It’s not your fault that I’m insane,” I tell him firmly.  “I don’t know why I panicked. I can’t even explain it. Everything just all of a sudden felt so big and I felt so small and alone.  I guess I kind of freaked out.”

Understatement of the year.

Gavin’s dark eyes are soft as he stares at me.  He brushes a thumb across my cheek and says that he is so very sorry.

“It makes sense, Mia,” he tells me.  “You can’t remember who you are.  So you feel sort of alone in the world.  And when you fell asleep while you were floating and woke up, the sea felt big.  And everything came down on you at once.  It’s okay. I get it.  But you’re never alone.  I want you to know that.  You will always have me. You always have and you always will.”

My heart swells until it might burst.

It feels so incredibly, amazingly good to have this beautiful boy tell me that.  To know that he has always been my friend, that he knows me inside and out.  And then I do something unexpected.

I lean up and kiss Gavin.

On the mouth.

Sweet Angel of Mercy.

His lips are soft and warm from the sun.  I can taste the sea on them and I weave my hands into his hair, pulling him closer.  He tightens his grip on me and kisses me back; hard, hard, harder.  He tastes like fruit and smells like sunshine.

It’s really nice.

Wonderful.

Amazing.

My heart is doing flip-flops when I finally pull away.

Gavin stares down at me in shock.

“I’ve always wondered what that would be like,” he admits.  “Kissing a firecracker, I mean.”  I smile.

“And?”

“It’s really too difficult to say from just one kiss,” he says, his dark eyes twinkling.  “We should try it again so that I have more to go on.”

He cups my face in his hands and dips his head, his lips meeting mine.

He tastes of butterscotch and man.

Twenty-five beats of my heart later, he pulls away.

“And?” I breathe.

“You’ll do,” he grins.

Connect with Courtney Cole

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.
She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds.
Every Last Kiss is her debut novel and she followed it with the rest of The Bloodstone Saga (Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds).
Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

Giveaway

One reader will receive a signed copy of Dante’s Girl, the first book of The Paradise Diaries.
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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Kismet Book Touring, Read in 2012

Blog Tour Review | Of Blood and Bone (The Minaldi Legacy, #1) by Courtney Cole

[amazon_link id=”B009B1N1IC” target=”_blank” ]Of Blood and Bone (The Minaldi Legacy)[/amazon_link] by Courtney Cole

Lakehouse Press | September 14, 2012 | 226 pages

Procurement

eARC via Kismet Book Touring

My Grade

Plot: 3

Setting: 5

Writing: 4

Originality: 3

Characters: 4

Romance: 4

Overall: 23/30 76%

Title/Cover Bonus: 3

Overall

A predictable romantic mystery. Left me disappointed because I adored her amazing YA series.

Continue reading “Blog Tour Review | Of Blood and Bone (The Minaldi Legacy, #1) by Courtney Cole”

Posted in Blog Tour, Gena Showalter, Giveaway, Harlequin Teen, Kismet Book Touring, Read in 2012

Blog Tour and Giveaway | Alice in Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles, #1) by Gena Showalter

Welcome to the Alice in Zombieland Blog Tour!

Today you will see Gena’s Top 5 Quotes from [amazon_link id=”0373210582″ target=”_blank” ]Alice In Zombieland[/amazon_link] as well as information for winning a hardback copy and a chance to win an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite!

Did you see my review for Alice In Zombieland yet? I loved it!

[amazon_link id=”0373210582″ target=”_blank” ]Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles)[/amazon_link] by Gena Showalter

Harlequin Teen | September 25, 2012 | 416 pages

Summary (Goodreads)

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I’d tell my sister no.
I’d never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I’d zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I’d hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I’d tell them I love them.
I wish… Yeah, I wish.

Gena’s Top 5 Quotes from AiZ

“I hope Rina gave you an STD.” (said by Kat Parker)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Cole once ate a pound of rusty nails  and claimed it tasted like unicorn tears mixed with fairy dust.  True story.  I was there.” (said by Kat Parker)

It was like we were on a screen playing the newest reality show—Survivor: Asher High—and they were our trusted viewers. (thought by Alice Bell)

“I’m not going to bite you.  Not tonight anyway.” (said by Cole Holland)

Asher High mascot

“Excuses are merely the cherry topping on an E. coli–infested sundae, Miss Bell.” (said by a teacher at Asher High)

Trailer

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 17th – Harlequin Paranormal Romance blog
Wednesday, September 19th – Bookish Brunette
Friday, September 21th – IB Blogging

Monday, September 24th – Refracted Light Reviews
Tuesday, September 25th Book Birthday – Xpresso Reads
Wednesday, September 26th – The Cozy Reader
Friday, September 28th – Grave Tells

Monday, October – 1st – Parajunkee
Wednesday, October 3rd – Supernatural Snark
Friday, October 5th – The Unread Reader

Connect with Gena Showalter

GENA SHOWALTER is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the Intertwined novels and several other popular YA and adult series. Her stories have been featured on MTV and in Seventeen magazine and have been praised as unputdownable.” Growing up, she always had her nose buried in a book. When it came time to buckle down and get a job, she knew writing was it for her. Gena lives in Oklahoma with her family and three slobbery bulldogs.

Giveaway

Fill out the below Rafflecopter for a chance to win a hardback copy of Alice in Zombieland!

The Look for the White Rabbit Question is down below!
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Grand Prize Scavenger Hunt

Look for the White Rabbit Contest:

Each Day, the white Rabbit will appear on one site and stay there for 48 hours. Once you have found the Rabbit, click on it and you will be directed to a Rafflecopter entry form for the Grand Prize Giveaway! To enter, you must answer the daily question found at the Tour Stop!!!

You could win:

A brand new Kindle Paperwhite, with the gorgeous Alice in Zombieland Cover Art signed to the winner by Gena Showalter! (Yes, Gena will sign your prize!!) Also, the winner will get a personalized signed copy of Alice in Zombieland!

Where could the Rabbit appear? 

The rabbit could appear on any one of the Tour Hosts pages, as well as: The White Rabbit Chronicles WebsiteGena Showalters Facebook & HarlequinTEEN Facebook!

 Look for the White Rabbit Question

If you could only pick ONE item from the Zombie survival kit, what would your MUST HAVE be?