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?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (32)

"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 14, 2014

Review: Outside In by Doug Cooper

Outside In
Doug Cooper

From Memorial Day until the student workers and tourists leave in the fall, the island community of Put-In-Bay, Ohio, thrives on alcohol, drugs, sexual experimentation, and any other means of forgetting responsibilities. To Brad Shepherd—recently forced out of his job as a junior high math teacher after the overdose death of a student—it’s exactly the kind of place he’s looking for.

Allured by the comfort and acceptance of the hedonistic atmosphere, Brad trades his academic responsibilities and sense of obligation for a bouncer’s flashlight and a pursuit of the endless summer. With Cinch Stevens, his new best friend and local drug dealer, at his side, Brad becomes lost in a haze of excess and instant gratification filled with romantic conquests, late-night excursions to special island hideaways, and a growing drug habit. Not even the hope from a blossoming relationship with Astrid, a bold and radiant Norwegian waitress, nor the mentoring from a mysterious mandolin player named Caldwell is enough to pull him out of his downward spiral. But as Labor Day approaches, the grim reality of his empty quest consumes him. With nowhere left to run or hide, Brad must accept that identity cannot be found or fabricated, but emerges from within when one has the courage to let go.


A look at one man's belated coming of age that's equally funny, earnest, romantic, and lamenting, Doug Cooper’s debut novel explores the modern search for responsibility and identity, showing through the eyes of Brad Shepherd how sometimes, we can only come to understand who we truly are by becoming the person we’re not.

Publisher: Greenleaf Book Press
Publication Date: August 13, 2013

Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: Masquerade (Games #3) by Nyrae Dawn

Masquerade (Games #3)
Nyrae Dawn

A biker. A tattoo artist. A love to last a lifetime.Maddox Cross has always had to be tough. When his father went to jail for murder, the teenager took care of his sister and mother. Now on his own and working security at a night club, Maddox wants to become a tattoo artist-a dream that comes closer to reality when he falls for the hottest, most tatted woman he's ever seen. She's wild and beautiful, and Maddox will do anything to be with her.

Bee Malone came to town to open up her new tattoo parlor, Masquerade. Since being kidnapped as a young girl, Bee has had trouble getting close to anyone. But when she meets Maddox, she sees that under his hard biker's body is the sensitive soul of an artist. What starts out as a sizzling one-night stand soon becomes so much more.

Bee wants Maddox to join her tattoo business, but letting him into her life means revealing all her most intimate secrets. And as the past begins to intertwine with her present, Bee fears their love may not be as permanent as their ink . . . 
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: January 7, 2014

GOODREADS

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Review: Blue Lines (Assassins Series #4) by Toni Aleo

Blue Lines (Assassins #4)
Toni Aleo

Opposites do more than just attract in Toni Aleo’s latest Nashville Assassins novel about a very bad boy and the good girl he can’t resist.
 
The instant Piper Allen sees Erik Titov, she wants him—wants his rock-hard body, sure, but the strength and mystery that lie behind that superstar hockey jock demeanor, too. So when he sidles up to her at a bar and slinks his arm around her waist, she’s lost. What follows is the wildest night of her life . . . followed by inevitable heartbreak the next morning. And then, a few weeks later, a very big surprise: two blue lines on a pregnancy test.
 
Only a check to the head could make Erik fall for a nice girl like Piper. But since their crazy-sexy night together, he’s been trying to forget about her alluring body by falling into bed with every woman in Nashville, and it’s not working. So when Piper shows up at his house with a baby-bomb to drop, it doesn’t take much for Erik to suggest the nuclear option: marriage. While it’s supposed to be all for show, the second they say “I do,” the ice between them starts to melt into sizzling steam.

Publisher: Loveswept-Random House
Publication Date: December 9, 2013

GOODREADS

Friday, January 10, 2014

New T.V. Show Based on Kelley Armstrong's Bitten!

I mentioned last year that I was new to the wildly popular Kelley Armstrong series and had picked up Bitten over a decade after publication, but it seems as though I picked the perfect time to gt acquainted with it! It's been turned into an original television series, set to debut here in Canada on Space, Saturday, January 11th at 9 p.m. Eastern, and in the United States on SyFy on Monday, January 13th at 10 p.m.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3)

by 
From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 26, 2013

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (31)

"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 6, 2014

Review: One More Day by Fabio Volo

One More Day

Fabio Volo

With almost five millions copies sold in Italy, Fabio Volo’s books have made him the unquestionable king of Italian romantic comedy. Experience his wonderful novels, for the first time, in English.

Giacomo cannot lead a more enviable lifestyle. He is young, has inherited an apartment, is doing well at work, is good with women, and always manages escape any sort of commitment. But he feels trapped in a monotonous life that shows no signs of changing . . . Who knew success could be so boring? 

His routine is finally interrupted when a captivating young woman invites him to coffee, and so begins a modern love story that takes into account the realities of modern relationships.
Publisher: Open Road, Mondatori
Publication Date: September 24, 2013

GOODREADS




Review: The Academy: Introductions by C.L. Stone

The Academy: Introductions
C.L. Stone

From Goodreads...
With an agoraphobic mother and a barely-there father, Sang abhors the isolation keeping her in the shadows. The only thing Sang craves is a fresh start and to be accepted as ordinary by her peers, because for her being different meant being cast out alone.

When her family moves to a new school district, Sang infiltrates a group of boys nearly perfect in every way. Grateful for an influence outside of her parents’ negativity, she quickly bonds with the boys, hoping to blend in and learn from them what it means to have a natural relationship with friends.

Only the boys have secrets of their own and they’ll do anything to keep her safe from the knowledge of the mysterious Academy that they've sworn allegiance to. Bit by bit, Sang discovers that her friends are far from the normalcy she expected. Will her loyalty change when she's forced to remain in the dark, or will she accept that she's traded one house of secrets for another?

Meet Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North in a story about differences and loyalty, truth and mystery, friendships and heart-throbbing intimacy.
The Academy, ever vigilant.

Publisher: Arcato Publishing
Publication Date: December 24, 2013

Friday, January 3, 2014

Review: Dead Brilliant by Christopher Ward

Dead Brilliant

Its all slipping away from Roc Molotov -- his band, his girlfriend, and worst of all, his ability to play the game demanded by the star-making machinery of the music business. When the best record he's ever made is about to pass unnoticed, his oldest friend and manager, Uncle Strange, concocts the perfect scheme. Roc will fake his death, on MTV, in front of millions of viewers, assuring massive success on his latest project and the ability to create a body of "posthumous" songs to feed the grieving fans and satisfy his still-active artistic imagination. The plan works to perfection, but the ever-restless Roc finds that being dead has its limitations in this novel that's sex, death, and rock n' roll, played in a satirical key.
Publisher: Dundurn
Publication Date: January 4, 2014



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review: Dark Spell by Gill Armbuthnott

Dark Spell
Gill Armbuthnott
Fifteen-year-year-old Callie Hall has just found out that she is a witch...and things keep going wrong. Sometimes her mind seems to make things happen, things she cannot control. She can set fire to things without a match, and when she’s angry people can get hurt.
Her friend Josh understands that she’s a bit strange, but it is only on a dark and dangerous visit to the tunnels beneath the ruins of St Andrews’ castle that he realizes just how strange she really is. Something comes back with Callie—in Callie—something she cannot escape.
Can Callie control her power long enough to send back the darkness before it takes over her life? Will Josh ever understand her secret?
A brilliant, engrossing young people’s fantasy from the author ofWinterbringers and The Keeper’s Daughter.
Publisher: Floris Books
Publication Date: August 1, 2013

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Wild Cards
Simone Elkeles

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

Publisher: Bloomsbury

GOODREADS

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (30)

"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: