Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Read in 2013

The super fun bloggers at The Broke and The Bookish host a fun meme called Top Ten Tuesday and I am addicted!

This week's topic: Top Ten Books I Read in 2013

Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves
Read in August

What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?

Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.

Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop, and they run into each other again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.

Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross


Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell 
Read in February

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.


Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Read in April

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.


 How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo
Reread in January because it is THAT GOOD

Written in her wonderfully honest, edgy, passionate and often hilarious voice, Tiffanie DeBartolo tells the story of Eliza Caelum, a young music journalist, and Paul Hudson, a talented songwriter and lead singer of the band Bananafish. Eliza's reverence for rock is equaled only by Paul's, and the two fall wildly in love.

When Bananafish is signed by a big corporate label, and Paul is on his way to becoming a major rock star, Eliza must make a heartbreaking decision that leads to Paul's sudden disappearance and a surprise knock-your-socks-off ending.


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Read in March and again in November

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.


Making Faces by Amy Harmon
Read in  November

Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Read in November

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?


Golden by Jessi Kirby
Read in September

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.


The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Read in January

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.


On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves
Read in May

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He's almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn't bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family - and a stack of overdue assignments - instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter.

Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.'s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.


HOLY COW, that was really really tough!  I read 116 books this year and there were so many other amazing books that I could have included on this list.  Maybe I should have done an honorable mention :) 

What books made your list?  


Monday, December 30, 2013

Love Me Not by Reese Ryan - Review and Giveaway

Title: Love Me Not
Author: Reese Ryan
Release date: December 30th, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tour: Irresistible Reads Book Tours

 Abandoned by a mother who chose drugs over her, Jamie Charles barely got out of her own addiction alive. Now, she pours her pain into her art while pouring drinks at a local bar. To Jamie, love is a four-letter word—until she meets Miles, a charming ad exec with piercing blue eyes who makes no secret about his desire for her.

Miles Copeland has family demons of his own, but his unhappy upbringing drove him toward hard work and success. He's determined to win Jamie over, and when he finally does, it's worth every moment he spent waiting. But when he confesses that he's falling for her, she panics. Sex is one thing, but love requires more than she can give.

Jamie can't deny her feelings, but she's haunted by her past. Miles knows his heart, but Jamie's lingering doubts have him questioning their future. It might take the threat of losing him forever for her to realize that refusing to let love in is the worst mistake of all.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18631417-love-me-not?ac=1http://www.amazon.com/Love-Not-Boys-Gone-Good-ebook/  dp/B00F942VRW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388099912&sr=8-  1&keywords=love+me+not+reese+ryan

Reese Ryan writes sexy, contemporary romance featuring a multicultural cast of flawed, but lovable
characters. She secretly enjoys torturing her heroines with family and career drama, reformed bad boys, revealed secrets, and the occasional identity crisis, but always rewards them with supportive girlfriends and a happily ever after.

An avid reader, Reese's to-be-read stack resembles a small skyscraper. She adores brilliant singer/songwriters, and has an incurable addiction to musicals and movie soundtracks. She is a lifelong Midwesterner currently residing in Central North Carolina with her husband and young adult son who tolerate her propensity to sing and dance badly.

Official Website: www.ReeseRyan.com             Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReeseRyanWrites

4 out of 5 stars.

Love Me Not is the second book in the Bad Boys Gone Good series.  You can find my review of the first book, Making the First Move, here.

Jamie Charles is one tough cookie.  Abandoned by both of her parents, a drug and alcohol-riddled past and a slew of purely physical relationships have allowed her to "survive".  And that is all she does.  She survives.  Living without emotion is safe and easy - nobody gets hurt.

Until somebody DOES get hurt when Jamie crashes her car into a minivan after a night of drinking.  

Realizing that she is cruising down a path of self-destruction, Jamie gives up the drugs and tries to tone down her lifestyle a bit and grow-up.  Still, nobody gets past the solid brick fortress she has built around herself over time.  Not her adoptive family, not her oldest friend, not her co-worker.

Certainly not a customer that happens to walk into the bar while she works.

Nope, definitely not the extremely good looking single man, with the black BMW and affluent upbringing.  Nope.  Not him.  Not Miles.

Miles Copeland is in Cleveland on business.  Desperate to prove to his estranged father that he can make it without him, he is career driven to the point of obsession.  Until the night he walks into a bar and meets his match.

Two people...two walls...that both slowly start tumbling down.

I absolutely loved the chemistry between Jamie and Miles.  I make no secret that I am not a fan of the sappy syrupy love story and this book gives you so much more.  These two though, gah...the layers!  They had the perfect balance of wit, humor, and tenderness that made me believe in them.  

I could totally understand Jamie's need to separate herself from anything that might hurt...the girl has had a tough life and who wouldn't want to keep the pain from happening again, no matter what it cost.  And Miles...as a self-acknowledged fixer in my own right, there was much nodding and silent agreeing at his need to show Jamie that love, that feeling, that trusting another person is worth the risk.  

What they don't realize is that his determination and her brutal honestly are exactly what the other one needs and what begins as a spark begins to burn brightly.

Just a few things I feel like I need to note...while this book is the second in the series, it actually takes place a bit before the first book.  There is a bit of overlap in the end, but not much.  Not realizing this when I started reading, I was a bit confused as to why a character in the first book was not where we left her when her story ended :) but after figuring out the timing of Love Me Not, it was smooth sailing.

Also, there are mentions of drug abuse and sexual abuse that may cause triggers in some readers, however these situations are part of the characters' past and are important in understanding why they act as they do.  Ms Ryan writes theses moments with respect and with care.

Love Me Not is a solid second book in a series that I look forward to following.  If you are looking for a Contemporary Romance that will keep you warm during these cold winter days, you can't go wrong with Jamie, Miles, and their story.  

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

QUARTLAND: Epic Faking Normal Holiday Giveaway - 12/24-12/26

A Giveaway that is all about the warm and fuzzies <3  More about this book in the new year, but check out her post and channel your brave <3  

QUARTLAND: Epic Faking Normal Holiday Giveaway - December 24t...: Happy Holidays! There are two paths for the epic Faking Normal Holiday Giveaway.  If you are super busy and need something easy, read option...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Book Blast: The Offering by Kimberly Derting


 True love—and world war—is at stake in the conclusion to The Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy. Charlie, otherwise known as Queen Charlaina of Ludania, has become comfortable as a leader and a ruler. She’s done admirable work to restore Ludania’s broken communications systems with other Queendoms, and she’s mastered the art of ignoring Sabara, the evil former queen whose Essence is alive within Charlie. Or so she thinks. When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queendom of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania, and it seems her only option is to sacrifice herself in exchange for Ludanian freedom. But things aren’t always as they seem. Charlie is walking into a trap—one set by Sabara, who is determined to reclaim the Queendoms at any cost.
Barnes and Nobleamazon blogBook Depository blog

Praise for The Offering:

"This was a truly epic ending to the series." --Crystal Perkins, Goodreads Review "The final book in Kimberly Derting’s Pledge trilogy is a thrilling conclusion. I was immediately swept up into it and powered right through. It was pretty much what I wanted with a few surprises along the way." --Krys at Bibliopunkk Reads
add to goodreads
Pledge Trilogy


kimberly dertingKimberly Derting is the author of the BODY FINDER series, THE PLEDGE trilogy, and THE TAKING (coming April 2014 from HarperTeen). She lives in the Seattle area, with her husband and three children, who often find the outrageous things they say either in the pages of her books or posted on Twitter or Facebook for the entire world to see.  
Social Media Website Social Media Blog Social Media Facebook Social Media Twitter Social Media Pinterest Social Media Goodreads Social Media Google +

 Offering Tour

BookBlast $50 Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/18/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. 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 Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Blast: Holiday Heat by Noelle Adams

Holiday Heat by Noelle Adams
(Love for the Holidays)
Publication date: November 6th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Available exclusively in Love for the Holidays (five book Christmas bundle)
After being hit with heartbreaking tragedy, Carrie has thrown herself into a hot, secret relationship with Matt. With Christmas approaching, she realizes she might want even more from her sexy, damaged artist, but the boundaries around their relationship make anything deeper than sex impossible.

Matt was the rising star of the art world, but he hasn’t painted since a tragic accident two years ago. His passion for Carrie finally inspires him, but first he must convince her that the heat between them is far more than just sex.
Holiday Heat is available exclusively in Love for the Holidays, a five book Christmas bundle that will be on sale for just $.99 from December 11 through December 24!
Noelle hand wrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.

She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.



 “What’s so funny?” he demanded.

“Nothing. It’s just that you’re not exactly the kind of guy a girl would just dig up for an

acceptable date to a family party.” Matt was more like dream-date material. She never would

have had the courage to ask him out had she run into him in any normal way.

“What does that mean?” To her surprise, he actually sounded offended. “I can be an acceptable


“What are you getting all grouchy about? I just meant you’re too good to be dug up from the

bottom of the heap.”

“Oh.” His expression relaxed. “That’s all right then.”

She couldn’t help but giggle again at his quickly changing emotions. He was definitely an artist.

“Now you’re all pleased with yourself again. I’ve never met a man with such pomposity.”

He slid his hand down her spine and kept it at the small of her back as he walked with her to the

front door. “What did you say I have?”


“I’m not sure that’s really a word.”

“Of course it is. It’s the state of being pompous. Look it up. The dictionary will cross-list the

word with ‘Matthew Lynch’.”

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book Blast: The Crescent by Jordan Deen

The Crescent by Jordan Deen
Young Adult, Paranormal
190 pages; published January 14th, 2010

Becoming a werewolf is not an option for seventeen-year-old Lacey Quinn, but death can be a strong motivator.

Lacey is so focused on her future that everyday life has passed her by. Counting down the days to her eighteenth birthday, Lacey is almost home free. But when she falls for the mysterious Alex Morris, she lands in the middle of an ancient war between two enemy wolf packs. Tempting dreams, tantalizing lies and a dangerous love triangle ensues leaving Lacey heartbroken and confused.

Lacey's fate rests in the hands of Alex and Brandon, but both are pulling her strings for their own agendas. Even as she slips further into the dark world of werewolves, Lacey struggles to find the truth and save the only family she's ever known.

A cool breeze shook Mom’s rose bushes and the few hedges that surrounded one side of the patio. But when the wind stopped, the bushes didn’t. I froze staring into the darkness trying to see the threat that was waiting just to the side of my family home. I held my breath trying to decide whether or not to make a run for it. I couldn’t hesitate much longer. Rising slowly from the swing, I lingered again trying to judge the distance between the swings and the safety of the kitchen door.

Can I make it before it gets me? IT! Coming outside again tonight was a bad idea.

 Jordan Deen is an Award-Winning Young Adult and New Adult Author from East St. Louis, Illinois. Her debut novel, THE CRESCENT was a 2010 Reader's Favorite Award Winner. Her second novel, HALF MOON released in 2011. BREAKING LAUREN is her third novel and was a finalist in the Texas Literary Awards. The sequel, LOSING LAUREN will be released on 12/5/2013.

She can usually be found curled up in her favorite chair with a book or her laptop. She is the proud mother of one crazy little boy and an even crazier teacup Yorkie.

Jordan is Indie published, as well as traditionally published with Black Rose Writing.
'Life is about the journey...'
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR List

The super fun bloggers at The Broke and The Bookish host a fun meme called Top Ten Tuesday and I am addicted!

This week's topic: Top Ten Books At The Top Of My Winter TBR List

Woah.  Ok, so I've been AWOL for a while now and what a topic to come back with.  So many amazing books out there -- and since I'm not a fan of the cold, what better way to pass the time, right?  But since I'm not one to back away from a challenge, this is what I've come up with -- there are a few ARC thrown in here but most of these are books that are currently available.

Bring on the snowy days!

Now that you've seen what is at the top of MY list...what is on yours?