Thursday, May 1, 2014

Welcome to May! It's Celiac Awareness Month

It's been a few weeks since I've posted anything new here, but that's not because I haven't been reading! April was an incredibly busy month, and while I always find time to read before bed, blogging hasn't always been front of mind. That doesn't mean I don't have plenty of books to review, and I'm already in the middle of several reviews!

May is an important month at my house, because it's Celiac Awareness Month. My son is gluten free, and I think it's important to spread the word that not everyone who is gluten free is buying into the Gluten Free trend, but that there are many, many people who must live gluten free for their health. My son is one of those people.

When he eats anything with gluten (and  that includes even eating something with a few crumbs of gluten), he gets incredibly sick. Rashes, diarrhea, stomach cramps, weight loss, dehydration, vitamin deficiencies, and more are all symptoms he suffers whenever he's accidentally fed something with gluten.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review: Listen to the Squawking Chicken

Listen to the Squawking Chicken

When Mother Knows Best, What's a Daughter To Do? A Memoir (Sort Of)
Elaine Lui


Life lessons from Elaine "Lainey Gossip" Lui's mother, the Chinese Squawking Chicken, as Elaine lovingly calls her. A wonderful mother-daughter memoir full of seemingly radical parenting advice that got results!

When Elaine Lui was growing up, her mother told her, "Why do you need to prepare for the good things that happen? They're good. They won't hurt you. My job is to prepare you for the hard times, and teach you how to avoid them, whenever possible." Using Chinese fortune telling, feng shui blackmail, good old-fashioned ghost stories, and shame and embarrassment in equal measure, Elaine's fiercely loving mother (the Chinese Squawking Chicken, as Elaine calls her) raised her to be an intelligent, high-achieving, devoted and grateful daughter. 

In Listen to the Squawking Chicken, Elaine's mother's lessons are recounted in 9 chapters in which the Squawking Chicken teaches Elaine about hard work ("Miss Hong Kong is a whore"), humility ("I should have given birth to a piece of barbecue pork"), love and friendship, family loyalty ("Where's my money?"), style and deportment ("Don't be low classy"), finding one's own voice ("Walk like an elephant, squawk like a chicken") among other essentials. Along the way, Elaine poignantly reveals how her mother earned the nickname "Tsiahng Gai" or "squawking chicken" growing up in Hong Kong, enduring and rising from the ashes of her own hard times.

For anyone who's ever had a mother, or been raised by a parent, Listen to the Squawking Chicken is a loving mother-daughter memoir that will have readers laughing out loud, gasping in shock, and re-considering modern parenting tactics.



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brasheres

The Here and Now

Ann Brasheres


An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins. 

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. 

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves. 
Publisher: Random House Children's
Publication Date: April 8, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Big Fat Disaster Book Tour!

I'm very excited to be part of the book tour for Big Fat Disaster, a brave new book that details a young girl's struggle to cope with the destruction of her family, her weight, and her difficulty loving herself. This book tackles some serious topics, but still manages to maintain a sense of humor.

Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum


Insecure, shy, and way overweight, Colby hates the limelight as much as her pageant-pretty mom and sisters love it. It’s her life: Dad’s a superstar, running for office on a family values platform. Then suddenly, he ditches his marriage for a younger woman and gets caught stealing money from the campaign. Everyone hates Colby for finding out and blowing the whistle on him. From a mansion, they end up in a poor relative’s trailer, where her mom’s contempt swells right along with Colby’s supersized jeans. Then, a cruel video of Colby half-dressed, made by her cousin Ryan, finds its way onto the internet. Colby plans her own death. A tragic family accident intervenes, and Colby’s role in it seems to paint her as a hero, but she’s only a fraud. Finally, threatened with exposure, Colby must face facts about her selfish mother and her own shame. Harrowing and hopeful, proof that the truth that saves us can come with a fierce and terrible price, Big Fat Disaster is that rare thing, a story that is authentically new.
“Colby’s life … is difficult enough, but it gets worse very quickly once she discovers a photo of her politician father kissing another woman. The fast pace, lively … dialogue, and timely topic make it a quick and enjoyable read.” – Kirkus Reviews (Starred)

Pre-Order this Novel From These Fine Retailers: 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Review: Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1) by Kelley Armstrong

Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1)

by Kelley Armstrong

From NetGalley: In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire's worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.
Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.
Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters' journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they've ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court--one that will alter the balance of their world forever.
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Publication Date: April 8, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Lifestyle Change for my Birthday! (Via Celiac Baby!)



Yesterday, I posted a pretty personal article on my other blog, Celiac Baby! 

I'm embarking on a lifestyle change, and I'm excited to start this journey with my readers in the loop, and I'm hoping that any of my readers who are also undergoing their own changes will let me know so that we can support each other!




Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Review: The Wives of Los Alamos

The Wives of Los Alamos

by TaraShea Nesbitt

From NetGalley: Their average age was twenty-five. They came from Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris, London, Chicago—and arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure, or at least resigned to it. But hope quickly turned to hardship as they were forced to adapt to a rugged military town where everything was a secret, including what their husbands were doing at the lab. They lived in barely finished houses with P.O. box addresses in a town wreathed with barbed wire, all for the benefit of a project that didn’t exist as far as the public knew. Though they were strangers, they joined together—adapting to a landscape as fierce as it was absorbing, full of the banalities of everyday life and the drama of scientific discovery. 

And while the bomb was being invented, babies were born, friendships were forged, children grew up, and Los Alamos gradually transformed from an abandoned school on a hill into a real community: one that was strained by the words they couldn’t say out loud, the letters they couldn’t send home, the freedom they didn’t have. But the end of the war would bring even bigger challenges to the people of Los Alamos, as the scientists and their families struggled with the burden of their contribution to the most destructive force in the history of mankind.

The Wives of Los Alamos is a novel that sheds light onto one of the strangest and most monumental research projects in modern history. It's a testament to a remarkable group of women who carved out a life for themselves, in spite of the chaos of the war and the shroud of intense secrecy.
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: February 25, 2014

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Book Blast: The Frost of Springtime & A Giveaway

I'm very happy to be part of the Book Blast for The Frost of Springtime! I love everything that has to do with Paris, and since it is the most romantic city in the world, a romance set in the City of Light sounds incredible!

The recent release of The Frost of Springtime, by debut author Rachel L. Demeter, transports readers to the war torn streets of nineteenth century Paris. Driven by paradoxical characters, steamy encounters, and a compelling storyline, it's a bittersweet tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love. Described as "poignant," emotionally devastating,” and “beautiful," The Frost of Springtime is sure to please historical and romance readers alike. Available now in both eBook and paperback. Currently Amazon Prime members can read the Kindle edition for free!

The Frost of SpringtimePublication Date: February 14, 2014
Black Lyon Publishing
Formats: Paperback, Kindle eBook

Genre: Historical Romance/Historical Fiction

To rescue her was to rescue his own soul.

On a cold Parisian night, Vicomte Aleksender de Lefèvre forges an everlasting bond with a broken girl during her darkest hour, rescuing her from a life of abuse and misery. Tormented by his own demons, he finds his first bit of solace in sheltering little Sofia Rose.

But when Aleksender is drawn away by the Franco-Prussian war, the seasons pass. And in that long year, Sofia matures into a stunning young woman—a dancer with an understanding of devotion and redemption far surpassing her age.

Alongside his closest friend, Aleksender returns home to find that “home” is gone, replaced by revolution, bloodshed, betrayal—and a love always out of reach. Scarred inside and out, he’s thrust into a world of sensuality and violence—a world in which all his hours have now grown dark, and where only Sofia might bring an end to the winter in his heart.

Inspired by the 1871 Paris Commune, The Frost of Springtime is a poignant tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Happy International Women's Day!

Today is International Women's Day, the day we celebrate the achievements of women around the world. It's also the day that we acknowledge how much work there is still to be done.

When I think of influential females, it's only natural that I think of those close to home: My paternal Grandmother, married at 15, left waiting for her husband to return from war. She left her home country to start a new life in Canada, where she had no family and couldn't speak the language, yet managed to find work and raise 4 children alongside my Grandfather.



Monday, March 3, 2014

Review: Whisper (Lakeview #2) by Stacey R. Campbell

Whisper (Lakeview #2) 

by Stacey R. Campbell

On a snowy January night, just days after a fire that nearly destroyed the school’s library, Elsie Stewart, daughter of the headmaster and founder of Lakeview Academy, dies slipping beneath the ice of frozen Clearwater Lake. Unable to right the wrongs she committed before her tragic death, Elsie’s spirit walks the halls of her father’s school, waiting for someone who can.
One hundred years later, while joining her sister’s friend Leigh to help clean out the school’s administration building before the big remodel, Halle stumbles upon Elsie’s hidden journal. 
Obsessed with what she finds, Halle searches the school for clues that may lead to solving a century-old mystery. The only problem is that Halle also talks Calum Stewart, Leigh’s worst nightmare, into helping them. 
Once Leigh and Calum are forced work together, sparks fly and no one around them, alive or dead, is left unaffected.
Publisher: Gemelli Press LLC
Publication Date: Dec. 25, 2013

GOODREADS

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (36)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spinethat spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.  

Here's what I'm waiting on this week:



The highly anticipated finale to the #1 New York Timesbestselling trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchant­ing series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they re­unite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its miss­ing pages takes on even more urgency. In the tril­ogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowl­edge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions and translations, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close.

Publication Date: July 15, 2014

GOODREADS

I picked up the first in this series on a whim in Nice, France, while chaperoning 20 students through Europe. Did I mention I was pregnant? I couldn't always sleep well, so I went through books like crazy. I'm so happy I chose A Discovery of Witches because it's such a great series. I'm very much anticipating the final book.

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It's Release Day for WHITE HOT KISS by Jennifer Armentrout!

We are beyond excited to participate in the Release Day Launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout's WHITE HOT KISS! 


WHITE HOT KISS is a young adult paranormal romance being published by Harlequin Teen TODAY! This is the first full-length novel in The Dark Elements Series and one you'll want to grab as soon as you finish reading this post.




Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Last Snowman Winner!

This contest was a popular one, and I'm thrilled at how many people entered to win The Last Snowman prize pack. Unfortunately there can only be one winner, but if it wasn't you, don't worry because there'll be another contest coming up soon! 

And the winner is...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Blog Tour: The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons & A Giveaway!

I'm happy to be participating in the Blog Tour for this exciting new book, The Deep End of the Sea, by Heather Lyons! There seems to be a new trend of reimagining legends and fairy tales into creative retellings, and when it's done well, I love it! It just proves that every story can be seen from multiple perspectives, and it's so much fun to see a character you thought you knew shed in a new light. That's exactly what The Deep End of the Sea does. It reimagines Medusa's story in a new and creative light.

Here's a little bit more about the book:

The Deep End of the Sea

What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.

But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (35)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spinethat spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.  

Here's what I'm waiting on this week:



J.R. Ward's # 1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood continues as a royal bloodline is compromised by a grave threat to the throne.

Long live the King… 

After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle--with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything--and everyone--at risk.

Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response--or the distance it creates between them.

The question is, will true love win out... or tortured legacy take over?
Publication Date: April 1, 2014

So....here's the deal. A couple of ladies I work with used to have a book club of sorts, and all they read were these books. I'm not sure how that happened, but anyway, I had never joined (I'm already in two book clubs). When I left on maternity leave with my youngest, one of the women handed me a bag with the entire series to that point, and told me they would be the perfect escape for those long days at home with the baby. 

I thought she was nuts (in a good way), laughed, and took the bag. 

I started reading the first, and thought the character names were ridiculous. Wrath, Rhage, Vishous, etc. 

Then I got hooked. Sigh. 

So, the point is, I can't wait for this book to be released. 

What are you waiting on?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: Beautifully Broken (Spellbound #1) by Sherry Soule

Beautifully Broken (Spellbound #1)
Sherry Soule

Deadly Witchcraft. Ghostly Threats. Doomed Romance. 

They say every town has its secrets, but that doesn’t even begin to describe Fallen Oaks. The townsfolk are a superstitious lot and the mystical disappearance of a local teen has everyone murmuring about a centuries old witch’s curse. 


When sixteen-year-old Shiloh Trudell takes a summer job at Craven Manor, she discovers a ghost with an agenda. That’s where she meets the new town hottie, Trent Donovan, and immediately becomes enchanted by his charms. 

Finally, Shiloh’s met someone who is supercute and totally into her, but Trent is immersed in the cunning deception that surrounds the mysterious Craven Manor. So much so that he may lose sight of what is truly important to him. And she can’t decide whether she wants to shake him or kiss him. Yet neither one of them can deny the immediate, passionate connection growing between them. 

With cryptic messages from a pesky wraith, Shiloh will finally begin to understand the mysterious significance of the strange mark branded on her wrist and decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to protect the other teenagers in town.

Unfortunately, for Shiloh, not all ghosts want help crossing over. Some want vengeance.

Publisher: Moonlight Publishing
Publication Date: July 22, 2013

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Blog Tour: The Last Snowman by JC Little

I'm very happy to be part of the blog tour for The Last Snowman. This book is such a fun and touching story about a girl just on that line between childhood and becoming a young woman. Written in the form of a children's book, it celebrates a mother's love for her child and those bittersweet moments when you realize your baby isn't a baby anymore.


I enjoyed this book because although it's enjoyable for adults, the illustrations and short bursts of text are great for kids too. The theme of growing up went completely over my four year old's head, but the fun of making a huge snowman and watching it tumble over were right up his alley.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

It's Be With Me's Release Date!

I'm very excited to be participating in the release day launch of J. Lynn's latest book, Be With Me! Last month I was able to share a 5 chapter sneak peek into the book, and I know that many of you are dying to know what happened next. Today's the day! 

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wait for You
Do Teresa and Jase have a real shot at getting together or will life get in the way?
Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she's in love with her big brother's best friend, but he hasn't spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, life-changing kiss. Then she got out of a terrible relationship. Now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It's time for plan B: college. And maybe she'll have a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.
Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he's not telling anyone—especially not his best friend's incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn't have time for a relationship. But it doesn't help that all he can think about is kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.
As they're thrown together more and more, Jase and Teresa can't keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they're willing to risk to be together and what they're willing to lose if they're not. . . .

Monday, February 3, 2014

Final Sneak Peek of Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Well Happy Monday indeed! Just a few days from now, the first book in Victoria Scott's new series will be released, and tonight I have the last sneak peek excerpt to share with all of my wonderful readers.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Review: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
by Karen Foxlee

A modern-day fairy tale set in a mysterious museum that is perfect for readers of Roald Dahl and Blue Balliett.

Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairy tale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.
Publisher: Knopf Books/Random House Children's Books
Publication Date: January 28, 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

January's Month in Review

This has been a busy start to 2014, and I'm excited at the direction this blog is taking at the start of its second year. In addition to book reviews, I've scheduled some pretty exciting blog tours and giveaways, and have plans to start sharing some writing tips and sneak peeks.

In January, I reviewed 15 books across a variety of genres. There are a few standouts of the bunch, including Katie McGarry's Crash into You,  If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan, and Secret by Brigid Kemmerer.

I also participated in a Twitter critique partner matching event, and found a great group of CPs to share my writing with. I'm looking forward to working with them and starting to share my work here on the blog.

In February I've got a month packed with great book reviews, incredible contests, and a new feature or two!

Thank you for reading Kat's Book Buzz. Here's to February!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: Impasse (L.A. Nights #2) by Silvie Fox

Impasse 
by Silvie Fox

Divorced and done with her dry spell, Holly Prentice is ready to get back in the game. But with two conditions: her future mate can’t be married to his career, and he has to have a couch. Nick Andreis loves his job, and his only furniture is a king-size bed. He’s also single, sexy, and six years Holly’s junior. Any guy this hunky and carefree can’t be serious about the future.
After one spontaneous and explosive night, Holly decides that her search for Mr. Right can wait. Nick can be Mr. Right Now.
Nick has waited years for Holly. Now that she’s dating again, he’s determined to be the only man in her life. He wants what Holly wants: forever. Convincing her of that won’t be easy, but Nick agrees—with fingers crossed behind his back—to Holly’s idea that they can be bed buddies until someone serious comes along. His plan: use the time between their passionate nights to convince her that he is the one.
Will Holly’s unexpected pregnancy change the rules of their games? Or can they both decide to play for keeps.
Publisher: Penner Media
Publication Date: November 19, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (34)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spinethat spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.  

Here's what I'm waiting on this week:
 




Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Release Day Blitz: My Sweetest Escape by Chelsea M. Cameron

The past will always find you.

Jos Archer was the girl with the perfect life; until the night it all came crashing down around her. Now, nine months later, she still hasn't begun to pick up the pieces. Even transferring to a new college and living under the watchful eye of her older sister, Renee, isn't enough to help her feel normal again.

And then she meets Dusty Sharp. For reasons Jos can't begin to fathom, the newly reformed campus bad boy seems determined to draw her out of her shell. And if she's not careful, his knowing green eyes and wicked smile will make her feel things she's no longer sure she deserves.

But even as Dusty coaxes Jos to open up about the past, he's hiding secrets of his own. Secrets about the night her old life fell apart. When the truth is finally revealed, will it bring them closer together;or tear them apart for good?

Amazon     B&N     Kobo

Today is Red Rising's Release Day!

I'm so excited to be a part of the Red Rising release day activities! This highly anticipated release is sure to be a huge success. If you haven't heard about this book yet, here's a bit more information:

RED RISING by Pierce Brown
Published by Del Rey – Random House
Hardcover: 978-0-345-53978-6
Ebook: 978-0-345-53979-3

See what all the buzz is about on Goodreads

“Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow.”—Scott Sigler

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.


Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power.  He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: The Art of Falling by Kathryn Craft

The Art of Falling
by Kathryn Craft

Penelope Sparrow, a 28-year-old dancer, has spent her entire life perfecting her body to meet directors' crushing expectations. But when she wakes up in a Philadelphia hospital unable to move, she can’t even remember the events leading up to the accident: a near-fatal fall down 14 stories. With a second chance at life, Penny must come to terms with a body that has betrayed her, as she tries to discover what happened that night. 

Written by a former dancer, this is a masterful portrayal of a young woman trying to understand her own past and begin again, beautifully expressing the language of dance and broken dreams.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: January 28, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Review: Secret (Elemental #4) by Brigid Kemmerer

Secret 
by Brigid Kemmerer
Keep his brother's business going or the Merricks will be out on the street.
Keep the secret of where he's going in the evenings from his own twin--or he'll lose his family.
Keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who's supposed to be his "girlfriend's" partner.
Of course there's also the homicidal freak Quinn has taken to hanging around, and the Elemental Guide counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers.
There's a storm coming. From all sides. And then some.
Nick Merrick, can you keep it together?
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: January 28, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

The CP Match Event was a Success!

On Monday I participated in a Twitter event designed to help writers connect with other writers looking for Critique Partners. Using the hash tag #CPMatch, people pitched their stories, provided a bit of info on their critique style, and scrolled through the entries for ones that sounded like a good fit. Once you found a potential match, a quick tweet or DM to the person helped get the ball rolling.

I'm excited to say that I found a few people to exchange manuscripts with! I have a critique partner I currently work with, but I think it's important to have a few different people critique my work so that I can start to see patterns and hear diverse opinions. There's no guarantee that each of the people I connected with on Monday will work out over the long term, but I'm hopeful that we'll be able to forge a productive working relationship.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Incredible 5 Chapter Preview of J. Lynn's Be With Me!

J. Lynn is one of the most popular authors around these days, and each release is hotly anticipated. Be With Me is no exception, only this time she's offering you an exclusive sneak peek at the first 5 chapters of the book! Keep reading for more about the new book, and a sneak peek at the first 5 chapters.
From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wait for You
Do Teresa and Jase have a real shot at getting together or will life get in the way? Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she's in love with her big brother's best friend, but he hasn't spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, life-changing kiss. Then she got out of a terrible relationship. Now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It's time for plan B: college. And maybe she'll have a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.
Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he's not telling anyone—especially not his best friend's incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn't have time for a relationship. But it doesn't help that all he can think about is kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.
As they're thrown together more and more, Jase and Teresa can't keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they're willing to risk to be together and what they're willing to lose if they're not. . . .

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (33)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spinethat spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.  

Here's what I'm waiting on this week:




Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

You Could Be Mine
by Sara Farizan

Description

Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.
So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.
Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants, in the body she wants to be loved in, without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: August 20, 2013

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Review: Wonder by Dominique Fortier

Wonder
by Dominique Fortier & Sheila Fischman (Translation)

An enthralling shell-game of a novel, in which past and present speak to each other to create a brilliant whole from three distinct parts, and merits comparison to the likes of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas and Peter Carey'sOscar and Lucinda.

     On May 8, 1902, the entire city of Saint Pierre, Martinique - "the Paris of the Caribbean" - was destroyed when Mount Pelée erupted. Except for one man: Baptiste Cyparis had been in a dungeon-like prison cell that morning. When he emerged, it was as if to the end of the world. Eventually, he would be known as The Man who Survived Doomsday, and become the first black man to star in Barnum & Bailey's circus. In those same years, on the other side of the Atlantic, an English mathematician and his beloved, a musician, seek to explain the hidden rules that govern the movements of the earth, and discover "Love waves."


     A century later in contemporary Montreal, two strangers come to know each other in a garden seeded with trees and crosses on the side of the mountain, witnessed only by a large dog and the pulsing city that surrounds them.


     Her second novel richly displays Dominique Fortier's extraordinary literary skill, wit, and poetry, her ability to weave disparate threads into a golden tapestry that surprises, delights, and begs to be re-read the moment the final page is turned. 


Publisher: McLelland & Stewart
Publication Date: January 7, 2014

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Review: Believe (True Believers #3) by Erin McCarthy

Believe (True Believers #3)
by Erin McCarthy

Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend's boyfriend. Now she's faced with being THAT girl, and couldn't be more disgusted with herself. She can't even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that's good and oh, so bad…

Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin's house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he's drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn't care that he's done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.

But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it's a naïve dream to believe that his record won't catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…

Publisher: Penguin Group
Publication Date: January 21, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Looking for a Critique Partner? Check Out This Twitter Event!

Paws, Fangs, and Smiles

Finding great critique partners isn't an easy task. I'm right at the stage where I'm looking for a few, and figuring out where to find like-minded people is more difficult than I had anticipated.

Lucky for me, Megan over at Paws, Fangs, and Smiles has come up with a brilliant idea for connecting people looking for critique partners with one another.

On Monday, January 20th, from 10a.m. - 10 p.m. she's hosting a Twitter event called CP Matchmaker, where in 140 characters or less, you can pitch for a critique partner.

Sounds great, right?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book Blitz: The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom

Welcome to the Xpresso Book Tours Book Blast for Anna Bloom's The Art of Letting Go.

Keep reading below for the synopsis, a note from the author, and a giveaway!



The Art of Letting Go (Uni Files #1)
by Anna Bloom 
Publication Date: September 25th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
One year. One woman. One Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could what would you do to stop it?

When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action. Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up.

As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.

With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be.

With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?