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Friday, April 18, 2014

Review + Contest: Imaginary Lines by Allison Parr

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Blog Tour, Contest, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review + Contest: Imaginary Lines by Allison Parr

Review + Contest: Imaginary Lines by Allison ParrImaginary Lines by Allison Parr
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: New York Leopards, Book 3
Published by Carina Press on 14 April 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, New Adult, Sports & Athletics
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 New Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 237
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Los Angles, California // Burlingame, California // New York, New York // Lake George, New York

First Line(s): I splashed cold water on my face before bracing myself on the sink’s edge

 

Imaginary Lines by Allison Parr is the third book in her New York Leopards series and follows Abe who we first met in Rush Me and saw briefly at the start of Running Back. I’ve always been a fan of the friends to lovers story line and Imaginary Lines had that and yet it didn’t. Tamar and Abe were childhood friends and though she had feelings for him, Abe never reciprocated. Partly because he was young and partly because it was what his family and hers would have loved to happen. Then one day, Tamar confesses her feelings to Abe and because he’s young he makes a hash of it and as a result the two part ways and don’t speak for years. Its an even that haunts and effects them both in different ways.

Years later, Tamar and Abe’s paths cross again when she moves to New York to being a new job as a sports reporter and Abe just happens to be on one of the biggest sports team in the city. Sparks fly and the rest is romance story history. As with most romance novels there are no real surprises to be found in Imaginary Lines but its more about the journey and this is a journey that I enjoyed taking. I liked Tamar and Abe and more than that I liked the secondary characters that Tamar surrounded herself with. There were times I rolled my eyes and sighed a bit but overall this was an enjoyable story.

My main issues with Imaginary Lines comes from the ending as it just seemed too quick, too rushed and the proposal horribly unromantic. I just wanted more from these two characters who had gone through so much and come so far that it was a bit of a let down. But of the three books in the New York Leopards series Imaginary Lines is my favorite so far. I just felt that Tamar and Abe had so much chemistry and they were genuine characters. There was nothing forced about them and I was glad that they had found their HEA. Imaginary Lines isn’t a perfect book but its a fun way to spend a few hours. I like the world that Allison Parr has created and I look forward to seeing what she might write next.

irishdarkblue

 

 

Imaginary Lines Synopsis:

Tamar Rosenfeld has been in love with New York Leopards linebacker Abraham Krasner since they were twelve years old. She’d always considered it destiny that they’d end up together…until Abe was drafted and she professed her feelings in a moment of blind excitement. The sting of his rejection was like nothing she’d ever felt before, and it’s nothing she’ll ever forget.

Older and wiser, Tamar has landed a dream job as a reporter for one of New York’s premier athletic websites. Determined to stop being the safe, boring girl she’s felt like for most of her life, Tamar makes a list of all the things she wants to do and see in her new city, and Getting Over Abraham is priority number one.

But destiny has finally chosen to interfere. Just as Tamar’s decided to move on, Abe’s realized she’s the only woman for him. When he confides the truth, Tamar has to decide if she can put her crush behind her, or take a chance on the very man who’s been holding her back all these years.


Allison Parr Bio:

Allison Parr is the author of Rush Me, Running Back, and Imaginary Lines. She grew up in small town New England, where she developed an incurable case of wanderlust. After graduating with degrees in archaeology and creative writing, she spent the next several years living in San Francisco, Paris, Boston, and New York. When she’s not traveling or writing, she’s making a mean chocolate cake or bad historical jokes. She’s also amassing enough books to rival the library in Beauty and the Beast.

To learn more about Allison’s books and travels, visit her at www.allisonparr.com

 

Links:

Amazon // Barnes and Noble

Blog // Twitter // Facebook // Author Goodreads // Imaginary Lines Goodreads 

 

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Liv, Forever by Amy TalkingtonLiv, Forever by Amy Talkington
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Published by Soho Teen on 11 March 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Death & Dying, Friendship, Ghosts & the Undead, Love & Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Debut Authors, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 280
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, New Hampshire (2015)

First Line(s): Chances of a girl like me ending up at Wickham Hall were next to nothing.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I picked up Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington other than it was a murder mystery set at a boarding school. I do enjoy mysteries and boarding schools so I thought that I would give it a shot. Liv, Forever was a quick read and I read it in just a couple of sittings but it was also a little formulaic. Only in this case when the most popular boy in school is drawn to the outcast girl she isn’t just shunned and tormented further instead she is killed.

Liv, Forever is a bit cliched with its insta-love set up between Liv and Malcolm and I much preferred her interactions with her BFF Gabe over those very few with Malcolm. A part of me wishes that the romance was with her and Gabe as I often felt that there was a bit more chemistry between them.Even though Gabe was a little too eager to help Liv at all costs no matter the consequences to himself. There was a little bit too much world revolving around Liv in this book which made things a bit cliched. And there were lots of cliches in this book and while they are things that normally bug the bejeesus out of me in this case they didn’t bother me as much and I don’t know why.

There was just something about Liv, Forever that sucked me into it and made it so I couldn’t stop reading. Perhaps if I’d taken more time on it I may have obsessed over its imperfections more but as it was I was able to just get lost in the story. The mystery was a bit predictable but I liked the language of this story. I liked how it was written and how Talkington chose to unfold her mystery. I also liked the little side stories about the other ghosts on Wickham Hall’s campus who remained trapped within its boundaries as Liv was.

Liv, Forever is paranormal light, even though Liv is a ghost for a portion of the novel. Partly because she never really feels like a ghost as the whole story is told from her POV. She’s a bit of a surface character and yet you do cheer her on and hope that somehow things will all work out for the best. Which is hard because once you are dead, you are dead so there is no real happily ever after to be had in this story. Despite that though there is hope to Liv’s journey and things don’t end on a sad note. While I did have issues with Liv, Forever I do think that it was a solid debut novel and will be looking forward to reading Amy Talkington’s next book.

irishdarkblue

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review: Rule by Jay Crownover

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review4 Comments

Review: Rule by Jay CrownoverRule by Jay Crownover
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Marked Men, Book 1
Published by William Morrow on 22 October 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, New Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Edelweiss Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Denver, Colorado // Brookside, Colorado

First Line(s): At first I thought the pounding in my head was my brain trying to fight its way out of my skull after the ten or so shots of Crown Royal I had downed last night, but then I realized the noise was someone storming around in my apartment. She was here, and with dread I remembered that it was Sunday.

Rule by Jay Crownover is the start of a new adult series called Marked Men and takes place in Denver, Colorado. Its also a book that was on my kindle and partially forgotten until another blogger friend began talking about it on twitter and instagram. I was intrigued and in need of a new distraction at the time and quickly fell into the crack that was this series. The first book is Rule and Shaw’s story and is filled with lots of emotional turmoil. Rule had a twin who died a few years prior to the start of the book and Shaw was Remy’s BFF and alleged girlfriend. She was close to the family as her home life wasn’t the best and after Remy’s death has taken it upon herself to keep Rule in the family. But its hard as they are all sorts of screwed up.

The story is fast paced and raw and I loved that even though Rule was your stereotypical bad boy (tattooed, man whore, et cetra) he was also more than the cliche. Just as Shaw was more that the good girl who would redeem the bad boy with her love. Shaw was every bit as broken as Rule just in different ways and when they got over their issues they were able to heal themselves and each other. There were some parts of the story that I could have done without, like the crazy ex-boyfriend, and it was far from perfect but at the time I read it Rule was a great escape novel. It kept me up past my bedtime and I feel in love with all of the characters. I was filled with a need to know more and so was really glad I was able to bounce to several books before I ran out of material.

I also could have done without the cryptic foreshadowing of events and random pointless details that seemed to appear at odd moments in the text. These things would take me out of the story for a few moments  but the characters are what kept pulling me back it. Rule was a heart-achy book for me and I hated when the Rule and Shaw placed barriers between them. Even though I know its sometimes easier to push someone away then to do with some harsh truths. Rule was a good story and a great addition to the New Adult genre as it takes the cliche of it and turns it around to makes it all its own. If you are looking for a new series to read then I highly recommend the Marked Men books.

irishdarkblue

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spotlight / Excerpt: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout

Posted by Irish in Excerpt, Spotlight0 Comments

Hello internet! I am excited that Jennifer L. Armentrout’s DON’T LOOK BACK releases today!! DON’T LOOK BACK is a young adult suspense being published by Disney Hyperion!

don't look back

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

EXCERPT:

I didn’t recognize the name on the street sign. Nothing about the rural road looked familiar or friendly. Tall, imposing trees and overgrown weeds choked the front of the dilapidated home.

Windows were boarded up. There was a gaping hole where the front door had been. I shivered, wanting to be far away from here…wherever here was.

Walking felt harder than it should be, and I stumbled off the chilly asphalt, wincing as sharp gravel dug into my feet.

My bare feet?

I stopped and looked down. Chipped pink nail polish peeked through the dirt…and blood.

Mud caked the legs of my pants, leaving the hems stiff. It made sense, seeing as how I wasn’t wearing any shoes, but the blood…I didn’t understand why there was blood staining the knees of my jeans.

My vision clouded and dulled, as if a gray film had been dropped over my eyes. As I stared at the weathered asphalt under my feet, large and smooth rocks replaced the tiny stones.

Something dark and oily seeped over the rocks, slipping through the cracks.

Sucking in a sharp gasp, I blinked and the image was gone.

Hands trembling, I raised them. They were also covered with dirt and scratches. My nails were broken, bloodied. A silver ring wrapped, encased in soil, around my thumb. Air froze in my chest as my gaze crawled over my arms. The sleeves of my sweater were torn, revealing pale flesh covered in bruises and gashes. My legs started to shake as I swayed forward. I tried to remember how this had happened, but my head was empty—a black void where nothing existed.

A car drove by, coasting to a stop a few feet in front of me. Somewhere in the trenches of my subconscious, I recognized the flashing red and blue lights as a source of safety. Elegantly scrawled along the black-and-gray side of the cruiser were the words ADAMS COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT.

Adams County? A flash of familiarity came and went.

The driver’s door opened, and a deputy stepped out. He said something into the radio on his shoulder before he looked at me.

“Miss?” He started around the cruiser, taking tentative steps. He looked young for a deputy. Barely out of high school and able to carry a gun seemed wrong somehow. Was I in high school? I didn’t know. “We’ve received some calls into dispatch concerning you,” he said gently. “Are you okay?”

I tried to respond, but only a hoarse squeak came out. Clearing my throat, I winced as the motion scratched and pulled. “I…I don’t know.”

“Okay.” The deputy held up his hands as he approached me, as if I were a skittish deer about to bolt. “My name is Deputy Rhode. I’m here to help you. Do you know what you’re doing out here?”

“No.” Knots formed in my belly. I didn’t even know where here was.

His smile strained. “What’s your name?”

My name? Everyone knew their name, but as I stared at the deputy, I couldn’t answer his question. The knots started twisting more. “I don’t…I don’t know what my name is.”

He blinked, and the smile was completely gone. “You don’t remember anything?”

I tried again, concentrating on the empty space between my ears. That was how it felt.

And I knew that wasn’t good. My eyes started to tear up.

“Miss, it’s okay. We’ll get you taken care of.” He reached out, lightly taking hold of my arm. “We’ll get this sorted.”

Deputy Rhode led me around the back of his cruiser. I didn’t want to sit behind the Plexiglas, because I knew that wasn’t good. Only bad people sat behind the glass in police cruisers. I wanted to object, but before I could say anything, he settled me into the seat and wrapped a coarse blanket around my shoulders.

Before he locked me in the bad part of the car, he knelt and smiled reassuringly.

“Everything’s going to be okay.”

But I knew he was lying, trying to make me feel better. It didn’t work. How could everything be okay when I didn’t know my own name?

ABOUT DON’T LOOK BACK:

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all—popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her—even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory—someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

“This engrossing thriller packs a heady atmospheric punch with plenty of theatrical scares,” Kirkus Reviews

“Armentrout has written another winner. From the first page to the last, she builds both terror and confusion to the point where readers will be hooked and on the edge of their seat. This standalone contains all of Armentrout’s usual trademarks– a strong and determined heroine, witty comments and hot guys–but she adds in an extra layer by ratcheting up the suspense to the highest degree and follows it up with an ending no one will see coming.” RT BOOK REVIEWS 4 1/2 Stars TOP PICK

 

Don't Look Back RDL Banner

 

Author PhotoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

Links:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads

DON’T LOOK BACK Goodreads

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley FitzpatrickWhat I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Published by Dial on 15 April 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Young Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Stony Bay, Connecticut // Seashell Island, Connecticut

First Line(s): Nothing like a carful of boys to completely change my mood.

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick is her follow up to My Life Next Door and while its not a direct sequel it can be classified as a companion as its set in the same area. Of the two books I did enjoy What I Thought Was True more but it wasn’t without its flaws. I do enjoy Fitzpatrick’s writing style and think that, for the most part, she weaves a good story. And I liked how this one didn’t have some random crazy event that happened as occurred in My Life Next Door. What I Thought Was True was more a character driven novel though it stuck mostly to the surface of things when it came to the big issues.

I enjoyed Gwen and Cassidy’s story and liked how Fitzpatrick wove their past and their present together. Things happened a few months ago that tore them apart before they were ever together and Gwen held on to that anger ever since. Though, as an outsider looking in, she did bring some of those events down onto herself with how she behaved with the boys in her life. Gwen wants nothing more then to leave Seashell Island and Stony Bay High and she puts this buffer around herself that no one can penetrate. Rather than try and have a meaningful relationship she tends to sleep around instead and then when there is some backlash of this she just shrugs and says that’s just how island girls are treated. Not to say that Gwen is promiscuous because she isn’t she just makes some poor choices when it comes to guys and that makes it hard for her to see when there is a good one standing in front of her.

This doesn’t absolve Cass in his role in the events of the past either because he really could have tried harder to explain his side of things. But he didn’t and he let Gwen believe the worst which wasn’t good for either of them.  As with many YA books a little bit of communication could have gone so far and yet because of their silence we got a book so its a real Catch-22 sort of situation. Surrounding Gwen and Cass are a fun group of side characters that I wish we’d had more time with. There was Gwen’s parents who where involved and crazed and dealing with real world things and I liked how that bled down to Gwen and her cousin Nico. So often parents think they shield and protect their kids from things but they know when something is up. I liked how they were present and flawed and that deep down they both had so much love for Gwen, Nico, and Emory.

Ah, Emory, Gwen’s younger brother was just filled with adorableness and not crazy annoying as most younger siblings are written in books. He was sweet and fun and I loved the scenes he was in. Just as I loved the scenes with Gwen and Nico. Though I didn’t really care much for Gwen’s BFF Vivian. For me, she was a very on the surface character and wasn’t around very much. When she was she was often hanging all over Nico, kissing him, and dragging him off to be alone. When she does something very surprising at the end it just seems so out of character for her and her speech to Gwen on how she judged her ugh…I just wanted to slap the girl. It was nice that she wasn’t a false BFF but she wasn’t a very good friend either. Nico was a better friend to Gwen than Vivian could ever dream.

What I Thought Was True was a quick story and I don’t think I wasted my time in reading it but its not one that I will ever rush to re-read. Its flawed and the characters sometimes bug me and it doesn’t give me those heart-achy feels that I like so much in a contemporary read. Its believable to a point but there are things that I don’t think would ever happen in real life. And many words were wasted in useless descriptions that could have been better used fleshing out some characters or situations. There were just so many various threads that were just sort of left dangling. The story was good but not great but a good way to spend a few hours at the beach with. While I didn’t love it I will be intereted to read any other stories that Fitzpatrick sets on Seashell Island and will most likely read her sequel to My Life Next Door (The Boy Most Likely To2015). Fitzpatrick has a nice prose to her storytelling and sometimes you just need that quick and easy read.

irishdarkblue

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Author Interview: Julie Kagawa, The Forever Song

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Interview24 Comments

Author Interview: Julie Kagawa, The Forever Song

Internet!!

Today I am beyond excited to host Julie Kagawa here on Ticket to Anywhere as part of her blog tour for The Forever Song which is the third (and final) book in her Blood of Eden series. The Forever Song will be available everywhere on 15 April 2014 from Harlequin Teen and its a book not to be missed.

 

Author Interview with Julie Kagawa

 

GFY: We all love Allison, your feisty katana wielding heroine, but a character that really sticks out at me is Jackal. What was your inspiration for this evil (yet lovable) character?

Julie Kagawa (JK): I won’t lie.  Jackal is totally inspired by Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Different people (er, vampires), but they have the same love of violence, the same snark, the same irreverent attitude in serious situations.  Both Jackal and Spike know what they are, and never apologize for it.  But while Spike eventually gains a soul and earns his redemption, Jackal is perfectly fine being a complete evil bastard.  He is what he is, and has no intention of ever changing, for anyone.

 

GFY: And we do so love that quality about Jackal. What you see is what you get though you do always keep hoping that he’ll somehow redeem himself.

You have three main series out (or soon to be out) and they all deal with very different sorts of characters – The Fey, vampires, & dragons. Has it been hard creating all these different worlds and rules for them? How do you keep them all so distinct?

JK: I love worldbuilding, it’s one of my favorite parts of writing a new book.  I find it’s not difficult to keep the worlds separate, because they’re so different.  The fey lands are dreamlike and surreal, while the world of Blood of Eden is dark, dangerous, and bleak.  As for the dragons, well, Talon is set in the present day, so the world is our own.  The different societies, not to mention the dragons themselves, are what make it interesting.

 

GFY: How hard is it to say goodbye to Allison and the other Blood of Eden characters? As a reader I’ve had a hard time picking up the book, not because I don’t want to know what happens…I do…dying to know actually…but once I read it then it’s over and I am not ready for that yet. (edit: I’ve since read the book and as expected I’m sad that its over and that I can never again read it for the first time.)

JK: It’s always a little sad to write the final book of a series.  You’ve been through so much with these characters, so saying goodbye is satisfying and bittersweet at the same time.  Satisfying because you’ve actually written the final book, you’ve completed the series.  You get to write The End.  Bittersweet because, as you said, it’s hard to let them go.  I’ll miss Allie and the gang, but I know I left them at the best place I could.  I have no regrets with how the series ends, and that’s all you can hope for.

 

GFY: No regrets?!? Even with what happened? What you did?!? OK…so it fit adn kinda worked…but still! Evil Julie…evil!! 

Even though The Forever Song is the end of the Blood of Eden series do you think you’ll ever revisit this world? Maybe with more prequel stories or a spin off series?

 JK: Maybe.  Apparently, some are calling for a Jackal spin-off, lol.  That would be interesting.  We’ll have to see.

 

GFY: I would *LOVE* a Jackal spin-off…though I am not sure that the world is ready for his…um…awesomeness? 

Without spoiling, what was your favorite scene to write in The Forever Song – if your favorite does spoil then just let readers know the chapter and your thoughts. And do you have a favorite scene from the series as a whole?

 JK: My favorite scene to write, and my favorite out of the whole series, is the one that will make everyone cry in The Forever Song.  That’s all I can say, but you’ll know it when you get there.  It’s probably one of the most powerful scenes I’ve ever written, and one that even made me cry.  (Not to scare you or anything but, as you know, your tears feed my Muse. ;-) )

 

 GFY: I think I know the one you mean…and I repeat what I said above. Evil! 

You are so amazingly creative…you have a crazy publication schedule, make all these cute figurines, raise chickens, do all the fighty-fighty things, married to an amazing guy and do all those life things, spend time with your xbox, read, and that probably doesn’t even scratch the surface of all you do. How do you find the time to do it all? What is your secret? (seriously I need to know…I don’t do ½ the things you do and never seem to have enough time…you’re really a vampire, aren’t you? Or an alien…or something inhuman…you can tell me.)

 

JK:  Lol, if I told you, I’d have to kill you.  Kidding, kidding.  Really, I think it’s just taking everything one day at a time.  It’s helpful that I’m a full time writer and can stay at home, but sometimes I do get overwhelmed with all the stuff I have to do.  So then I just have to focus on one thing until I’m done with it, then go to the next, and so on.  If I look at everything I still need to do, it’s paralyzing.  So that’s my way of dealing with life stuff, until I can invent a machine that will pause time, anyway.

 

GFY: If the Blood Eden series were ever to be made into a tv show or movie who would your ideal cast be for Allison, Kanin, Jackal, Sarren, and Zeke.

JK: Oh, I am soooooooooo bad at this.  Really, if James Marsters (Spike) could play Jackal, that’d be awesome, but I have no idea for anyone else.  I’m open to suggestions.

 

GFY: Ooohh…Spike would make a great Jackal! I totally approve! As for the rest…I’m bad at that game too…

Was there anything that surprised you about the Blood of Eden world that you didn’t expect when you first started to imagine/write The Immortal Rules?

 Jackal, actually, came out of left field.  I knew going into The Eternity Cure that he would play a big role in the story, but he kinda took over the spotlight and has been hogging it ever since.  Another shock was how much people seemed to love him.  I mean, he’s an evil, murdering vampire!  And he’s not sorry for it.  I figured I had to make him funny so that he’d be a little likable, but when readers started saying he was their favorite character, I was pretty surprised.

 

GFY: I think that people like that there is no deception with Jackal. What you see is what you get. He’s comfortable in his own skin which is something that not many people are so while he is evil there are things about him that people can look up to. Plus, everyone has a soft spot for the bad boy and always hope that he’ll be redeemed. 

I adore when authors geek out over other authors…who is an author that you’d like to meet but haven’t done so yet?

That’s an easy one. Neil Gaiman. He’s been on my bucket list for years.  I almost got to meet him last BEA, but sadly life got in the way and I missed him by minutes.

 

GFY: Come to Boston…he hangs out here sometimes. =)

You say that tears feed your muse, how many tears can readers expect to shed in The Forever Song?

Um. See question five.  ;-)  #EvilAuthorIsEvil

 

Thanks so much for stopping Julie and answering my questions! I hope that readers find your answers as interesting as I did!

Forever Song

VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER.

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the path is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal.

The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost— the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

 

About Julie Kagawa:

 

Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to julieher there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish and the odd eel.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all-time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian shepherd who is too smart for his own good and the latest addition, a hyperactive Papillon puppy.

 

Tour Schedule:

 

 

 

For more info about The Forever Song Tour please visit the Kismet Tour Page

Contest:

Each tour stop is offering up the winner’s choice of either THE IMMORTAL RULES, THE ETERNITY CURE or THE FOREVER SONG – whichever book of the series you might be missing!

There are also 2 grand prizes:

• 1 winner will get a complete set of Julie Kagawa’s books, including The Iron Fey Saga and The Blood of Eden Saga!

• 1 winner will get a $100 gift card from either iTunes, Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to US/Canada and ends May 2nd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Forever Song Contest Prize
irishdarkblue

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. SmithThe Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)
Published by Poppy on 15 April 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, People & Places, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Edelweiss Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-half-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // London, England // Chicago, Illinois // Indianapolis, Indiana // Edinburgh, Scotland // Lake Tahoe, California // San Francisco, California // Napa, California // Berkeley, California // Prague, Czech Republic // Portland, Oregon // Rome, Italy // Tacoma, Washington // Seattle, Washington // Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

First Line(s): On the first day of September, the world went dark.

I was really looking forward to The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith as I keep hoping that the magic that was Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight will be recreated. As with This is What Happy Looks Like that magic was not to be found in The Geography of You and Me. The start of Geography is cute enough with Lucy and Owen meeting and connecting in an elevator during a city wide black out for even though they live in the same building chances are they never would have met if it wasn’t for this moment. I liked the premise of how one ordinary moment could spark something extraordinary and enjoyed the friendship that was begun between Lucy and Owen.

I enjoyed the star-crossed aspect of Owen and Lucy’s relationship. Its hard to be a couple if you are both constantly moving and its hard to be friends if you want more than that. Its also hard to maintain a friendship when you are dating someone else mainly because they are in the same place that you are. My heart ached for these two as they struggled with their daily lives but loved how they tried to maintain that connection they started in the elevator. I loved how they sent postcards to each other and avoided not just traditional means of communication but also sent non-traditional postcard messages.

Geography is a cute, light hearted, contemporary romance and its a great way to spend a few hours. I read this one in a few hours and enjoyed the time spent within its pages. I like the how Smith tackles the concept of home in a similar manner as Stephanie Perkins did in Anna and the French Kiss and Lindsey Leavitt mentions in the upcoming The Chapel Wars. That home isn’t any one place that instead home is contained in the hearts of the people you love. This is an important thing for teens to read as many are reading books like Geography just before they leave the cities and towns they just spent most of their lives in, leaving their friends and parents in order to embark on a new adventure in college. I remember my first few weeks in college. I felt lost and scared and questioned my decision to go to a school outside of the state I grew up in. I thought maybe I should have gone to the school where 90% of my high school was going. It wasn’t until I really started to forge new relationships that I began to settle in and enjoy my time at college.

While I enjoyed everything that Geography was I do think that Smith was a bit of a lazy writer for parts of it. Most of the chapters, especially those leading up to the end, would start with phrases like “In Rome, Lucy cried…” or “In Berkeley, Owen watched” and it just felt clunky and a poor way to set up where they were. The ending felt a little rushed and while I was hoping for a Lucy and Owen ending it didn’t always feel real as they spent so little time together and most of what they knew was on the surface. Some books will end and you can tell yourself that the two characters will live out their HEA but with Owen and Lucy its more uncertain as there is just so much left unsaid between. It makes me wish that there was more to this story so that we could see them learning more about each other so that there HFN seemed more solid.

Geography isn’t my favorite book by Jennifer E. Smith but I did enjoy it more than This is What Happy Looks Like it gives me hope that her next book will be more like Statistical and so I will read it for its potential magic. Geography is a good read but not a great one. Its not a book that I will rush to re-read but its not a bad way to spend some time. Its an uncomplicated read and sometimes you really just need something light and easy.

irishdarkblue

 

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Top 12 List: March / Month in Review

Posted by Irish in Contest, Month in Review, Top 12 List3 Comments

TopTwelve

Hello Internet!

By now you know the drill with this post. I list out the top books that I read and loved this past month and from them I choose the best of the best. This book then gets listed in my Top 12 List (check out my sidebar) and at the end of the year those 12 books are pitted against each other and my top book for the year is chosen.

The Contenders – 5 Star Reads

NA

While I didn’t read a 5 star book this past month I did read a lot of great books so I am not disappointed. Though it is still hard to  choose which of these books that I liked better than all the others. Why is it always so hard to choose just one? To help narrow things down I pulled out the ones in which I didn’t plan to read. The books that just sort of snuck up on me and then turned into book crack because once I started I couldn’t stop reading them. That honor belongs to Jay Crownover’s Marked Men series. I loved each of these books (even with all the crazy names) but the one that I liked the best is…

Nash

I just loved his story and it was also the last one that I read and each one that I read I loved more than the one that came before it. I am currently in total withdrawal as I wait for the next book to be written and think that lovers of contemporary stories will really enjoy this series.

What about you? What was your favorite book read this month? Let me know in the comments below. =)

 

Month in review – Here’s the other books I read this month:

 

4 Star Reads

The Bride (Lairds’ Fiancees, Book 1) by Julie Gargood
The Forever Song (Immortal Rules, Book 3) by Julie Kagawa
Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington
Nash (Marked Men, Book 4) by Jay Crownover
Rome (Marked Men, Book 3) by Jay Crownover
Rule (Marked Men, Book 1) by Jay Crownover
Scarlet (Scarlet, Book 1) by A.C. Gaughen
The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, Book 1) by Brandon Sorensen (Audio)


3 Star Reads

Running Back (New York Leopards, Book 2) by Allison Parr – 3.5 stars
Diverse Energies edited by Tobias S Bucknell
Jet (Marked Men, Book 2) by Jay Crownover
Lick (Stage Dive, Book 1) by Kylie Scott
Play (Stage Dive, Book 2) by Kylie Scott
Recklessly Royay (Suddenly, Book 2) by Nichole Chase
Red Riding Hood Gets Lost (Grimmtastic Girls, Book 2) by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
Suddenly Royal (Suddenly, Book 1) by Nichole Chase
Walking Dead Volume 4 – The Heart’s Desire by Robert Kirkman


2 Star Reads

Faking Normal by Courtney C Stevens


1 Star Reads

NA


DNF Reads – maybe I’ll try these again at some point, but for now they don’t resonate with me

NA

 

Month in Review

Book reviews:

Also Known As (Also Known As, Book 1) by Robin Benway (Audio)
Cinderella Stays Late (Grimmtastic Girls, Book 1) by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
Death Sworn (Death Sworn, Book 1) by Leah Cypess
Faking Normal by Courtney C Stevens
The Hazards of a One Night Stand (Hazards, Book 2) by Alyssa Rose Ivy
How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Guhrke
No Place Like Oz (Dorothy Must Die, Book 0.5) by Danille Paige
Red Riding Hood Gets Lost (Grimmtastic Girls, Book 2)  by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
Recklessly Royal (Suddenly, Book 2) by Nichole Chase
Some Like it Wild (The Wild Ones, Book 2) by M. Leighton
Suddenly Royal (Suddenly, Book 1) by Nichole Chase
Taking a Shot (Play by Play, Book 3) by Jaci Burton
Tyler and Stella (Tattoo Thief, Book 2) by Heidi Joy Trethway
Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman


Short Story Saturday:

Diverse Energies: Blue Skies by Cindy Pon
Diverse Energies: Pocket Full of Dharma by Paolo Bacigalupi
Diverse Energies: Solitude by Ursula K. LeGuin
Diverse Energies: What Arms to Hold Us by Rajan Khan

Grim: Better by Shaun Hutchinson
Grim: The Brothers Piggett by Julie Kagawa
Grim: Light it Up by Kimberly Derting
Grim: Untethered by Sonia Gensler

 

Movie reviews:

300: Rise of an Empire
Veronica Mars


Miscellaneous Posts:

Excerpt: Choosing You by Allie Everhart
Guest Post: Jenny Morris Talks About the Road to Somewhere’s Setting
Guest Post: Nearly Gone by Ellen Cosimano
Guest Post: The Setting of If Only by A.J. Pine
Guest Post: Ten Things You Don’t Know About Liv by Amy Talkington
Guest Post: The Well’s End by Sean Fishman
Spotlight: Tied with Me by Kristen Proby
Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Bucket List
Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Audiobook
Top Ten Tuesday: Popular Authors I Haven’t Read
Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR
Top 12 List: February / Month in Review


Places “Traveled” to this month:

See my “travel” index for a complete list of all the places I’ve been through books.

England: Notinghamshire: Edwinstone via Scarlet (12th Century)
England: Notinghamshire: Leicaster (12th Century, England)
England: Notinghamshire: Nottingham via Scarlet (12th Century)
England: Notinghamshire: Sherwood via Scarlet (12th Century)
England: Notinghamshire: Trent via Scarlet (12th Century)
England: Notinghamshire: Worksop via Scarlet (12th Century)
Grimmlandia: Grimm Academy via Cinderella Stays Late
France: Paris via Running Back
Ireland: Dundoran via Running Back
Lilaria: Unnamed via Suddenly Royal and Recklessly Royal
Scotland: The Highlands via The Bride (1102)
United States: California: Los Angeles and Montery via Lick
United States: Colorado: Denver and Brookside via Rule, Jet, Rome, and Nash
United States: Illinois: Old Chicago and Eden via The Immortal Rules (Future)
United States: Kentucky: Lexington via Jet
United States: Minnesota: Unnamed via Suddenly Royal
United States: New Hampshire: Unnamed via Liv, Forever
United States: New York: New York via Running Back
United States: Tennessee: Rickman via Faking Normal
United States: Washington: Portland via Lick and Play

Statistics:

Total Number of books read: 18 (17 print, 1 audio)
Total Number of pages read: 5639
Total Number of audio hours: 45.5
Longest Read = Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase (464 pgs)
Shortest Read = Walking Dead Volume 4 by Robert Kirkman (136 pgs)

2014 Reading Goal Progress
(click the link to see how I’m doing with my challenges)

Monthly Contest

***Be sure to read the terms and conditions before entering. ***

Enter to win a copy of my top pick of the month (or other book in the series) and a $10 amazon gift card. This contest is open internationally but If you live outside the US and you win then then the GC will be the equivalent to $10 US dollars.

The winner of February’s contest is: Vivien

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Congratulations, you should expect an email from me shortly if I haven’t sent it out already.

 

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Guest Post: Burn Out Setting by Kristi Helvig

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post2 Comments

Guest Post: Burn Out Setting by Kristi Helvig

Hello internet!

Today I am happy to have Kristi Helvig here on the blog to talk about the setting of her book Burn Out as part of the Rockstar Book Tour. Burn Out by Kristi Helvig will be in stores tomorrow, 08 April 2014, from Egmont USA and you can add it to Goodreads or order your copy from Amazon or Barnes & Noble by clicking on the links.

About the Book

BURN OUT Cover

A futuristic blend of Beth Revis’s Across the Universe and Lenore Appelhans’s Level 2, Burn Out will satisfy the growing desire for science fiction with a thrilling story of survival, intrigue, and adventure.

Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth’s final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns “red giant,” but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.

Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone–her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun–one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in.

When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora’s fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father’s request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.

 

Kristi in her own words

The setting of BURN OUT came about in a weird way. I live in Colorado and we have very extreme weather fluctuations…like in February, it was 70 degrees and sunny one day and 20 degrees and snowing the next day. Anyway, one day in August as I was driving home from work, the thermometer on my car went from 99 degrees to 106 degrees within a fifteen minute drive. I remember thinking ‘what if it just kept going up?’ (yes, I have random thoughts like this all the time). I’d also recently watched this science documentary about what will happen when our sun burns out—before it burns out, it will swell into a huge red giant that could swallow the planet first. These things led to an intense dream involving the scorched Earth that appears in BURN OUT. I’m even more grateful for air and water after writing this book!

Thanks so much for having me on the blog today. :)

About Kristi:

Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy writer. You can find her Kristi authormusing about space monkeys, Star Trek, and other random topics on her blog. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, kids, and behaviorally-challenged dogs.

Website  |  Blog | Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Contest

1 signed hardcopy of BURN OUT, a red sun necklace, and assorted sun survival items (ie. chapstick, sunscreen) US Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

 

Week One:

3/31/2014- Library of a Book WitchInterview

4/1/2014- Shortie SaysReview

4/1/2014- Literary MeanderingsGuest Post

4/2/2014- Ketch’s Book NookReview

4/3/2014- A Book and a LatteInterview

4/4/2014- Such a Novel IdeaReview

4/4/2014- Fantasy Book AddictGuest Post

 

Week Two:

4/7/2014- Reading with ABCReview

4/7/2014- Refracted Light ReviewsInterview

4/8/2014- Imagine a WorldReview

4/8/2014- Ticket to AnywhereGuest Post

4/9/2014- The Demon Librarian- Review

4/10/2014- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post

4/11/2014- Working for the MandroidReview

4/11/2014- Parajunkee’s View- Interview

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery LordOpen Road Summer by Emery Lord
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads)
Published by Walker on 15 April 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Friendship, Love & Romance, Music, Performing Arts, Road Trip, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Debut Authors, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
five-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Nashville, Tennessee // Charlotte, North Carolina //Richmond, Virginia // Charleston, South Carolina // Little Rock, Arkansas // Wichita, Kansas // Los Angeles, California // Shreveport, Louisiana // Jackson, Mississippi // Mobile, Alabama // Knoxville, Tennessee // New York, New York // Baltimore, Maryland // Cincinnati, Ohio

First Line(s): The fans scream for her, but they don’t really know the girl on the magazine covers – the girl with the guitar and the easy smile.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord wasn’t a book on my radar until it was sent to me when I made a request for another book and once I read the back I knew that this would be a book for me. Once I read the words road trip I knew that I had to read it because everyone knows what a sucker I am for the road trip novel. Open Road Summer didn’t disappoint in this either and every chapter begins with a place name letting the read know roughly where they are in the US. The story itself follows Reagan and her BFF Dee, who is better known to the world as Lilah an up and coming country music star. Reagan and Dee are both getting out of relationships and while it was a good choice for Reagan, Dee is devastated. The reasons for both become clear as you read the story and your heart will ache for Dee. Along the way some bad publicity threatens to overshadow Dee’s tour so in comes Matt Finch, former boy band star who is going solo, and a perfect match for Dee. At least, on the surface.

Once I started Open Road Summer I couldn’t put it down and I read it in a single sitting, on Valentine’s day no less. I feel hard for this book and I loved the relationship between Dee and Reagan. So often in books the main character has a best friend who really isn’t a friend at all. They are mean and hateful and when the going gets tough they ditch their friend and are never there when they need them. That isn’t the case with Dee and Reagan. They are true friends and while they do have their ups and downs you know that their friendship is the lasting kind. Especially since Reagan isn’t always the easiest person to get along with. I also really loved how Matt fit into their group and how his relationship with Reagan. It was real and heartachey and just makes you feel all the feels.

There is so much to love about Open Road Summer its hard to put it all into words. Its a book that is really well written and its hard to believe that this is Emery Lord’s debut novel. Its a book that reminds me of favorite authors like Morgan Matson, Tiffany Schmidt, and Trish Doller. Open Road Summer is so very real and I hated for it to end. I hated that I read this months before its release because its going to be all the longer before there is another Emery Lord book in the word. Its a book that I know I’ll re-read again and again and bully others to read it as well. But there is something magical about reading an unexpected gem for the first time and Open Road Summer hits all those right notes.

Open Road Summer is a book that everyone needs to have on their radar as I think there is something in it for everyone. Its a road trip book, a contemporary story, a book about friendship, and falling in love. Its a book that will make you laugh and hurt your heart and then put all the pieces back together again. Love just isn’t a big enough word for my feelings on this book.

irishdarkblue

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