Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hello everyone,
Today, we have author Jeyn Roberts on this here blog.

Jeyn's newest book The Bodies We Wear came out last month and it's about a girl who lives a dark, shadowy world overrun with drug dealers and junkies addicted to a hallucinogen called Heam.

Anywho, here's the synopsis in case you need it.

A streetwise girl trains to take on a gang of drug dealers and avenge her best friend’s death in this thriller for fans of Scott Westerfeld and Robin Wasserman.

People say when you take Heam, your body momentarily dies and you catch a glimpse of heaven. Faye was only eleven when dealers forced Heam on her and her best friend, Christian. But Faye didn’t glimpse heaven—she saw hell. And Christian died.

Now Faye spends her days hiding her secret from the kids at school, and her nights training to take revenge on the men who destroyed her life and murdered her best friend. But life never goes the way we think it will. When a mysterious young man named Chael appears, Faye's plan suddenly gets a lot more complicated. Chael seems to know everything about her, including her past. But too many secrets start tearing her world apart: trouble at school, with the police, and with the people she thought might be her friends. Even Gazer, her guardian, fears she's become too obsessed with vengeance. Love and death. Will Faye overcome her desires, or will her quest for revenge consume her?


Author Jeyn Roberts
The Bodies We Wear is a revenge story—Faye plans to take revenge against the men who ruined her life. What are some of your favorite revenge novels or TV shows?

Movies: Heathers. Desperado. The Crow. True Grit. I haven’t seen the show Revenge, but I hear it’s good.

Books: Carrie by Stephen King. Horns by Joe Hill. Out by Natsuo Kirino.

And both book and movie: Long live The Princess Bride. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

What sort of research went into the writing of this novel? What was the most interesting thing you did/discovered for research?

I can’t say I did a whole lot of research. Most of the book came out of my imagination. I did do a lot of reading about the afterlife, looking into different religious beliefs at one point. And I sat down with a good friend (she’s a personal trainer) and went over the different workout routines that Faye followed.

The Bodies We Wear has been described as Kill Bill meets The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. What do you think of that description?

I think it’s interesting. Haha! I enjoyed the Kill Bill movies, although they are a bit more violent than what happens in my book. I haven’t read or seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, so I can’t really say.

How was writing The Bodies We Wear different from writing your previous novels? Did you run into some challenges that you didn’t have when writing your previous books?

It took me a lot longer to write Bodies because I had to stop in the middle of it to finish Rage Within. Bodies was very personal to me. I’d lost my father and was dealing with a lot of questions I had about the afterlife. Writing the novel helped me cope with my anxieties. I still don’t have any answers, but creating the book calmed me somehow.


What is your favorite scene or line from The Bodies We Wear?

There are two. The scene where Faye first comes up against Trank was a lot of fun to write. I also love the scene in the butterfly garden with Chael and Faye.

*****

A big thank you to Jeyn for answering our questions and for Random House and Aisha for the opportunity to be part of the blog tour. Bookish friends, The Bodies We Wear is already out in your favorite bookstore and public library.


For more info about Jeyn and her novels, stop by her website, Twitter and Facebook. Look for my review of The Bodies We Wear next week.

Happy reading,
Michelle


**We are not affiliated with any of the retailers listed and will not earn any referral fees if you click on the links.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hello everyone,
October is just about over and so is the official Breast Cancer Awareness Month but we never stop our fight against this deadly disease.
I am so happy to be one of the bloggers to be spotlighting Penguin's Read Pink program. Here's more info about it
In our fifth year of the popular promotional and educational event, Penguin will offer an assortment of 6 bestselling mass market titles and 6 trade titles by some of the publisher's most beloved female authors in a special Read Pink edition... The mass market editions feature Read Pink seals on the cover and additional information in the back of the book, and the trade editions feature stickers on the cover. Both underline Penguin's support of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation's mission and urge readers to become actively involved in supporting the organization.

The Read Pink program was created by Penguin Publishing Group to promote public awareness of breast cancer, breast cancer research and to support and recognize the contributions of BCRF and its commitment to lead the fight against breast cancer—all in connection with the books you love.
For more information about the program, visit Penguin's Read Pink website.

Here are the six Read Pink mass market paperbacks.

And here are the six Read Pink trade titles.

This is the fifth year Penguin is doing Read Pink and it is wonderful! I hope you all will pick up (or already picked up) one of the Read Pink books--I definitely will especially because I've had my eye on Jojo Moyes' The Last Letter from Your Lover for a while. Please support the Read Pink program. It's for a great cause. Let me know if you've read any of these books and your thoughts.

Happy reading,
Michelle

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hello everyone,
One word: tattoos.

I am going to be talking about two books today, What to Do with a Bad Boy by Marie Harte and Shooting Scars by Karina Halle. I'm not going to be reviewing them today (but I will at a later date). I'm just going to teasing you today and hopefully you keep both books at the back of your mind.

First up is What to Do with a Bad Boy.

Mike McCauley had his soul mate for a precious time before she died giving birth to their son. She left him with the best boy a guy could want, so why is everyone playing matchmaker? He's sick of it . . . until he meets Delilah Webster.

For some reason, the foul-mouthed, tattooed mechanic sets his motor running. He sees the loving woman buried within. But the closer they get, the more the pain of past wounds throws a monkey wrench into a future he's not sure he can handle...

What to Do with a Bad Boy is the fourth book in Marie Harte's McCauley Brothers series. I have not read any of the other books in the series but this book can be read as a standalone. When was offered to review this book, I jumped at the chance. I loved the sound of What to Do with a Bad Boy--I'm a sucker for the opposites attract romantic trope.

I am so glad I didn't let this book pass me by because I'm currently reading it right now and it is GOOD. I love Del and Mike and reading about the other couples from the previous books (especially Vanessa and Cam) really makes me want to read their book--the first three books have really good ratings on Goodreads. And the smexy scenes are stee-eamy **fans self**

Anyway, I'm going to be posting my review next week for now, here ya go...

Teaser #7

Mike refused to feel nervous. He was simply thanking Del—with pizza—for making his life bearable with the boy. Colin hadn’t stopped talking about newts, pythons, or Del since Mike had picked him up from his grandma’s half an hour ago. What surprised him, though, was the fact that his mother hadn’t seemed disapproving or made any comments about Del’s presence at the field trip, or that Del had been invited to dinner.

“So Grandma said nothing when you told her Del was coming over?”

“Nope.” Colin bounced on the couch. “When’s the pizza coming, Dad? I’m hungry. I held a snake today.”

“So you told me. Fifteen times.”

“I held a snake today. Sixteen.” Colin snickered then jumped from the couch and ran to his room to get his snake-like alien action figures. He returned, making shooting and hissing noises as they toppled over one another under his nimble fingers.

Mike continued to spruce up the house, not that it needed too much help. He’d done a major cleaning last night. Now he only had to clean himself. Man, talk about ripe.

“Keep an eye out for Del while I take a quick shower.”

“Okay.” Colin turned on the television and the dreaded Cartoon Network appeared. “And, Dad?”

“Yeah?” Mike ripped off his shirt and toed off his boots. The things were coming apart at the seams, but they were his favorite. He hated to part with them.

“Wear something nice.”
To read the other What to Do with a Bad Boy teasers visit the other blogs.

For more info about What to Do with a Bad Boy or to chat with Marie Harte, stop by her website, Facebook and Twitter.

*******

The next book to add to your wish list is Shooting Scars.

A Dangerous Kind of Love . . .

When Ellie Watt offered herself to her thuggish former lover Javier to save Camden's life, she never imagined the twisted game Javier had planned for her. Trapped by him and his entourage of killers, Ellie is forced to commit a dangerous, heinous crime-or Javier will kill Camden. Now ex-con artist Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game . . . before it destroys her and the only man she ever loved.

Camden McQueen can't forget Ellie Watt. Seeking revenge and pursued by the authorities for a crime he didn't commit, the talented tattoo artist does things he never thought himself capable of to save Ellie. As Camden straddles the line between love and retribution, he vows to do everything in his power to get her back. But if Camden unleashes his dark side, will Ellie still love him?
Shooting Scars is the second book in Karina Halle's Artists trilogy. I read and reviewed book one Sins and Needles (my review) and I really enjoyed it. It's not your typical romance novel. It's dark and gritty with an edge to it and we don't get a HEA in Sins and Needles.  More like a cliffhanger, so, I am very excited to see what's going to happen in Shooting Scars.

The Artists trilogy was originally published as e-books-only but now it's being published in paperback. If you missed it the first time around because you're not much of an e-reader like me, you can now pick it up in paperback.

I'll also post my review of Shooting Scars next week. For now, here's a teaser.

I hadn’t had a panic attack in weeks so it snuck up on me, like a hand reached around from behind me and began squeezing my lungs until there was no breath left. I started gasping for air, my hand at my throat, trying to take nothing in. Tears filled my eyes and spilled down my cheeks in dirty rivulets and my body began to shake.

“Jesus Christ,” Javier swore, nearly taking the car off the road. “Ellie, Ellie. What’s happening?”

I gulped and gasped unable to stop from crying, panic seizing me all over from my shoulders to my feet and I thrashed back and forth in order to get free.

Next thing I knew, he’d pulled the car down a private dirt road that ran between two orchards and he was undoing my seatbelt. He came around to my side and took me in his arms and away from the car. We disappeared into the orchards, the smell of orange blossoms in the air.

He put me down, propped up against a tree and smoothed the hair off of my face. His sunglasses and baseball cap were gone, his hair mussed, his worried eyes searching me.

“Hey, Ellie,” he said gently, running his hand down the side of my face and feeling the pulse under my jaw. “It’s okay, it’s all going to be okay.”

I shook my head, feeling disgusting and messy and lost. I sobbed. “It’s not going to be okay. I can’t do this, I can’t do this.”

He cupped my face in his hands and forced me to look at him. “You can. And you will. You are strong. You are very strong. Right here.” He lay his hand in the middle of my chest. “You will do this and you will succeed.”

I finally found my breath again, the fresh air flowing down the sun-streaked orchard coming into my lungs. “I will fail.”

“You won’t.”

I sniffed. “I don’t even want this,” I admitted.

He cocked his head and let go of my face. “Then why are you doing this?”

“Because you’re making me!” I cried out. “You’re forcing me to!”

His head jerked back. “I am doing no such thing.”

“You are! You’ll kill my Camden if I don’t.”

I didn’t see the outburst coming. Suddenly Javier was in my face, his skin turning red, his eyes narrowing into viper-like slits, all yellow and full of hate.

“He is not your Camden!” he screamed. I closed my eyes.

“He isn’t here with you now,” he went on, words harsh and short, like bullets. “I am here with you."

“I know!” I screamed back. “And I hate it! I hate it! I hate you!”

Then before I knew what was happening, I had wound up my hand and slapped him hard across his face. The sound ricocheted down the groves.

I waited, surprised at myself, breathing hard. I watched as his face contorted in the same type of shock. And then something odd flashed across his brow. Something like betrayal. I knew betrayal all too well. I knew it had been on my own face when I found out what Uncle Jim was planning to do.

My dead uncle.

I slapped him again, harder this time, my palm stinging like I was being stabbed with a million tiny knives. “That was for my uncle!” I cried. “You killed him.”

Now I wound up for a punch and decked Javier right in the side of the head. “You killed him,” I repeated, tears streaming down my cheeks again. “You keep taking everyone I love away!”

The whole time, Javier just stayed there. Not ducking my hits, not getting out of the way. He just let me, watching me with that same look upon his face.

“Well, come on!” I screamed. “Hit me back. You know you want to!”

I got up into a crouch and decked him in the head again, my knuckles exploding in pain. “Come on!” I pushed my hands into his shoulders and tried to throw him to the ground. He fell easily, and I threw myself on top of him, throwing punch after punch after punch until he finally reached up and grabbed my wrists with both his hands.

“I’m not going to hit you,” he said, gazing deeply at me with wild eyes, his lip bleeding. “You can hit me all you want but if you’re doing it so I can hit you back, it won’t work. You’ll just break every part of me.”

“I want to break every part of you!” I exclaimed but gave up and collapsed on him. “I want you to break,” I whispered, my head on his chest, my eyes focused absently on an orange tree.

“You have,” he said softly, his hand stroking the back of my head. “I told you that you broke me when you left. And you did. I’m not lying to you.”

“You always lie.”

“No. Not now.” His voice dropped a register.

I raised my head to look at him. He brought his hands on both sides of my cheeks and held me there, his eyes searching me for something.

“Angel,” he said through a breath.

He pulled my face to his, my lips meeting his, slowly. Just a taste of blood and tears. Lips and tongue. The sensation pulled me under, the heat that spread from him and through me, the memories mixing with the smell of orange blossoms. All the pain disappeared as our kiss deepened, all the worry, all the danger melted like my lips and his did together.

It was wrong. So wrong. And I didn’t care. Like I had so many times before, I was willingly bad.

There's a giveaway going on for Shooting Scars to celebrate the paperback release. You can win 1 of 15 copies by entering here. For more info about Shooting Scars and chat with Karina Halle, visit her website, Facebook or Twitter.

Let me know if you already read one or both of the books and tell what you thought of them.

Happy reading,
Michelle

Friday, October 24, 2014

Format: Paperback
Publisher: William Morrow Paperback
Pages: 256 pages
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Source of my copy: Sullivan & Partners/publisher
Series: Slow Burn #1
Synopsis
A sizzling story of a woman who risks her life and her heart to find a wealthy man’s missing sister—the first novel in a sexy new romantic suspense series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks
When Caleb Devereaux's younger sister is kidnapped, this scion of a powerful and wealthy family turns to an unlikely source for help: a beautiful and sensitive woman with a gift for finding answers others cannot.
While Ramie can connect to victims and locate them by feeling their pain, her ability comes with a price. Every time she uses it, it costs her a piece of herself. Helping the infuriatingly attractive and impatient Caleb successfully find his sister nearly destroys her. Even though his sexual intensity draws her like a magnet, she needs to get as far away from him as she can.
Deeply remorseful for the pain he’s caused, Caleb is determined to make things right. But just when he thinks Ramie's vanished forever, she reappears. She’s in trouble and she needs his help. Now, Caleb will risk everything to protect her—including his heart. . .



Keep Me Safe is the first book in Maya Banks' new Slow Burn series. The series is a romantic suspense and it revolves around characters with special psychic abilities. I was really excited after I first heard of Keep Me Safe--I was all Maya Banks and psychics?! Sign me up!

After I read it, I vacillated about my star rating. Keep Me Safe is one of those novels that kept my interest and I read it in a relatively short period of time. At the same time, I also had a lot of issues with it. In the end, Keep Me Safe was just an okay read more me. I'm giving it 

Okay, first the good. I thought the suspense/thriller aspect of it was well-done--it was what kept me reading. The killer was pure evil and I wanted to see how they'll catch him and get his comeuppance. The killer had all the advantages it seemed. The suspense/thriller part of the novel saved Keep Me Safe from being a total dud for me.

The characters were uninspired, especially the hero. We've seen Caleb's character before in other Maya Banks heroes. He's rich and successful, he's protective of his woman, he's a born leader, he's great in bed and he's willing to go at any lengths to protect his woman. His character feels like a cutout of other heroes in the other series. As for Ramie, except for her psychic abilities, I also didn't find anything special about her. She's one of those martyr-like heroines and she kind of annoyed me. I did not feel any connections to any of the characters in this book. 

The romance also felt very insta-love, especially in Caleb's part. Caleb picked her up after she escaped the killer and they've only hung out with each other for like a day and he's already saying "I love you" to her--it was very premature. Ramie held off longer saying "I love you," but I thought she jumped into bed with Caleb too soon. With all the trauma (in order to find victims, she has to touch something that belongs to them and her psychic ability allows her to do a sort of mind meld with them and she experiences everything along with them) she'd been through you'd think she'd hold off for a bit. And what was creepy was that the killer had a psychic connection with her that allows him to see everything she's seeing. So, when she and Caleb have sex wouldn't the killer also see that...? That issue was never addressed.

Another thing (and I've had this problem in previous novels I've read by Maya Banks) was that the thoughts and dialogue were at times repetitive and cheesy. Ramie and Caleb would have the same conversation over and over again and it just goes in circles. And Caleb's inner dialogue (for example how he had to keep Ramie safe) in one chapter would repeat in another chapter and he'd have the same exact thoughts again. His inner dialogue paragraphs ramble on and on about the same thing and okay, I get it

Ramie and Caleb's story had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, no deep emotions were ever explored. I felt like I was reading about paper-cut-out main characters and it was hardly fulfilling. The plot was interesting but I had too many issues with the main characters this book and that prevented me from enjoying it as much as I could have.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Hello everyone,
Australian cover
I am so happy to be part of Tundra Books' blog tour for Every Breath by Ellie Marney. I saw an ARC copy of Every Breath at the ALA conference back in June and I picked one up because Sylvia (she's one of the publicist at Tundra and one of our favorite people because she feeds my and Leslie's book addiction) said I might enjoy it since it has a good romance (and she knows I'm all about the romance). I didn't think much about it because I didn't recognize the cover... Until I got back home and realized it's actually this book (see right).

The Australian novel that I've been wanting to get my hands on because it's a modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes (I love Sherlock!) except with teens--Watson is a girl called Rachel Watts and Sherlock is called James Mycroft and they solve a mystery and there's an attraction between them and I needed to get my hands on it because even though I haven't even read it I already ship Mycroft and Watts but it was only available in Australia and ARGH!!!

Yeah, that was me before I realized that I actually had the book in my hands already. Thank you Tundra and Sylvia! And I am even more thankful because I get to be part of the blog tour for Every Breath.

Anywho, sorry for the long introduction. Let's just get to my review of Every Breath.


Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Tundra Books
Pages: 352 pages
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Every #1
Synopsis
When James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects to find is the mutilated body of Homeless Dave, one of Mycroft's numerous eccentric friends. But Mycroft's passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn't right--and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.

While Watts battles her attraction to bad-boy Mycroft, he's busy getting himself expelled and clashing with the police, becoming murder suspect number one. When Watts and Mycroft unknowingly reveal too much to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den--literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning to Rachel Watts again...



Okay, there has to be something in the water in the land Down Under because every novel I've read by an Australian young adult author (e.g., Melina Marchetta, Jaclyn Moriarty, Cath Crowley) were fantastic, well-written read. Every Breath was no different. I'm giving it

I knew I was going to love Every Breath and I was right. It's actually one of those books where I love it so much that I have a hard time putting my love for the book into words. So, if this review is wonky and does not really make sense, well, basically I want you to get out there and get your hands on this book because it's friggin' good and you need it in your life.

I love Rachel! She's so relatable and... human. She's one of those characters who are imperfectly perfect. She acted her age--made mistakes and bad decisions along the way (she's teen!) but she learned from them. I really enjoyed watching her character develop and grow and mature throughout the novel. Mycroft, too, was fantastic. I wasn't sure of him at first because I had Cumberbatch's Sherlock (because, honestly, he's not that great of friend) in my head and I was wondering how good of a friend he'll be to Rachel. But he's the best! He was eccentric and self-centered like Cumberbatch's Sherlock but he was never mean or a jerk.

I love Rachel and Mycroft's dialogue. I love the sexual tension between them, which was present right from the very first chapter, when Rachel was cleaning up Mycroft's bloody face--at that scene I was full on shipping the two of them. But most of all I love their friendship. I love that it was already established that they're best friends. If you visit this blog enough, you know that I like my romances and I like them big and all-encompassing. However, in Every Breath it's more a slow burn with lots of fantastic, tangible sexual tension. I was fine with that--my favorite was actually watching their friendship and partnership slowly become more

I also enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Mai, Gus and Rachel's brother Mike. They added to the story. I also appreciated that Rachel's parents were there and involved in their children's lives.

The mystery really keeps you on your toes. I was right there with Rachel and Mycroft as they investigated and gathered clues and tried to figure things out. We also get some really grisly scenes from the murder but nothing too crazy. The author did a good job keeping up the suspense because the feeling of danger and fear was evident and I was glued to the pages. I was able to work out the mystery before the end of the novel but that's just how I am when reading a whodunit novel. My mind constantly works putting together the clues. However, my figuring out the mystery early did not deter my enjoyment of the novel--I was still too way into the book.

Overall, there's nothing to dislike and everything to love about Every Breath. Fleshed out, realistic characters, a riveting mystery, excellently written and just a totally absorbing read. I cannot gush about it enough. Rereading this review, everything I wrote feels so trite but I really don't have the words--I'm not eloquent enough. Just: YOU NEED TO READ EVERY BREATH. Seriously. 

I am so excited for book 2, Every Word. I need it in my life right now. Anyone from Australia can get me a copy? Because I am way too impatient to wait another year for it to release here in the US. 

*******

If you guys haven't already, you can 

For more info about author Ellie Marney, Every Breath and the rest of the books in the series, you can visit her website and chat with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy reading,
Michelle

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book I Covet: Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 with
The title. The cover. The synopsis. The tag line is First love. Second chances. Come on! This has my name written all over it.

Before:
Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke, and everything around her crumbled—including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey's parents decided to move away, she couldn't wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn't ready to let her go...

After:
Now it's senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David's family moves to town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey's second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to.

Told in alternating sections, Last Year's Mistake is a charming and romantic debut about loving, leaving, and letting go.


Last Year's Mistake will be released on June 9, 2015. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.



What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave us a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.



 
"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series we do here on Wednesdays. It will feature books we are very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is basically the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, but we just like the title "books we covet" better. We will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available.