Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cover Comparison: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Beth Revis recently revealed the paperback cover for her bestselling debut, Across the Universe. Check it out:

Coming to paperback November 29, 2011!


A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Here's the hardback cover for comparison:



I love the more SciFi feel of the new cover, but I don't think it's as eye-catching and sexy as the original. I'm quite curious as to what Amy is doing with her hand on the new cover though. Really, both versions have their benefits -- but I'm a sucker for pretty colors, so I think the hardback is still my favorite.

How about you? Which cover do you prefer? Have you read the book? Which one conveys its essence better?

Cover Art Revealed: Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand

Cynthia Hand recently revealed the cover art for Hallowed, the sequel to Unearthly. Check it out:

Coming January 24, 2012!


For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

Described by Richelle Mead as “utterly captivating,” Unearthly received outstanding reviews, garnered accolades from New York Times bestselling authors, and was named an Indie Next Pick. In this heart-wrenching sequel, Cynthia Hand expertly captures the all-consuming joy of first love—and the agony of loss. This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Aprilynne Pike.


I loved Unearthly, but it ended on a MAJOR cliffhanger, so I've been completely jonesing for this sequel. I think the cover looks a lot like the first book, but I love the way the clouds stand out so starkly in the sky -- it has a kind of holy (*ahem* hallowed) feel, doesn't it? I also love that Clara looks a little sassier on this cover too, instead of a little lost like on the cover of Unearthly:



What do you think? Have you been dying for the sequel too?

Cover Art Revealed: The Last Echo (Body Finder #3) by Kimberly Derting

Kimberly Derting recently revealed the title and cover art for the third book in the Body Finder series. Check it out:

Coming April 17, 2012!


Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice. When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye....

The cover art fits well with the first two books, and it's very eye-catching. However, with this flower-on-black motif the books don't really stand apart from each other -- do you know what I mean? All the covers kind of look the same. HOWEVER, Kimberly Derting said that the color of the flower has a lot of significance for the book, so perhaps I'll appreciate it more once I read it. I absolutely LOVE the title, though. The Last Echo. Isn't that haunting and kind of strangely romantic? Plus, if you know anything about the series, it raises a lot of questions. The LAST echo?! Does Violet turn off her gift? Does she die? It makes you want to know what it means, right?! Kimberly says it "captures the heart of this storyline," so it's definitely more than just some nifty wordplay!

What do you think? Which do you love more -- the cover or the title?

Here are the first two books for comparison:

Trailer Thursday: The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder



The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

In Stores Now!

Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.

Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.




If you've read my review, you know I loved this book. This trailer really captures its essence -- the value of simple moments, the way some days stand out in our minds like a black and white photograph. It perfectly reflects the book's beauty and romance, as well as its sadness, and the simplicity befits Lisa Schroeder's sparse, elegant verse.

Does this trailer make you want to read The Day Before? Have you already read it? Do you think the trailer does it justice?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: A Beautiful Evil (Gods & Monsters #2) by Kelly Keaton

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases we're anxiously awaiting!


Coming February 21, 2012!


A Beautiful Evil (Gods & Monsters #2) by Kelly Keaton

A power she can’t deny. A destiny she’s determined to fight.

When Ari first arrived in the dilapidated city of New 2, all she wanted was to figure out who she was. But what she discovered was beyond her worst nightmare. Ari can already sense the evil growing inside her—a power the goddess Athena will stop at nothing to possess.

Desperate to hold on to her humanity and protect her loved ones, Ari must fight back. But Athena’s playing mind games, not just with Ari but with those she cares about most. And Athena has a very special plan for the brooding and sexy Sebastian.

Ari is determined to defeat Athena, but time is running out. With no other options, Ari must unleash the very thing she’s afraid of: herself.

I LOVED Darkness Becomes Her, so I cannot WAIT for the sequel! The New Orleans atmosphere, mythology, magic, mystery and even a little dystopian for good measure -- what's not to love? Athena was a killer character in the first book, and I can't wait to see what chaos she has up her sleeve in this one -- especially where "brooding and sexy Sebastian" is concerned. I also hadn't seen this cover until recently, but I think it works PERFECTLY with the books. There's nothing quiet as haunting and creepy as a weeping angel, don't you think?

Have you read Darkness Becomes Her? Wasn't it a-MAZ-ing?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Sometimes life is divided into the Before, and the After. Amber knows that today is her last day Before. Before it all changes. Before nothing's the same. And she wants to spend this final day alone, at the beach with the music loud and no regrets. Her plans change, however, when she meets Cade. He seems to be there for the same reason -- living this last day before...what? Amber doesn't know his secret, and they agree not to ask. They just want to live life their way, one more time -- together. But Cade's secret might be more dangerous than Amber imagines, and she may be the only person left to stand between him and what comes After.

I honestly didn't think I could read an entire novel written in verse, but by the second or third page I'd completely forgotten about the style and was engrossed in Lisa Schroeder's tale. It's amazing how much detail and emotion can be conveyed in such few words, but Schroeder's careful word choice makes her sparse verse as vivid as the wordiest prose. The writing is innovative and fast, and piques readers' curiosity about what terrible thing is going to happen to this girl we feel like we've known our whole lives.

Amber finds herself in an impossible situation. At first, the desperation is felt even if the cause is unclear, but Schroeder doesn't make the reader wait too long to understand the circumstances -- revealed through flashbacks in the form of letters sprinkled throughout the text. Amber is utterly sympathetic -- finally a heroine who isn't the beautiful but unnoticed underdog. She is a short and stocky rocker chick with killer taste in music. She has her quirks (like a jelly bean obsession), and a great best friend and loving little sister, who make their presence felt even if they aren't all that present in the narrative action.

Cade's pain is even more of a mystery than Amber's, but he combines it with a wry wit that it utterly beguiling. Their determination to have one last day free of sorrow and full of the little things in life -- chosen by fate and the toss of a coin -- is romantic, if bittersweet. Though their relationship is built over the course of a single day, in this story it works. They are both living the same day -- the day before everything changes -- in the same way, and it binds them in a way they can't even fully express.

This tale has an almost haunted air, the lightness tainted by their somber secrets. As readers get to know these two beautiful people, marred by circumstances beyond their control, through the lyrical lens of Schroeder's verse, their hearts will soar and break and hope and despair right alongside the two teens who just want to live life on their own terms, free from responsibility and obligation -- for just one more day.

Rating: 

Disclosure: I received an advance galley from the publisher for an honest review.

This novel hits shelves today! Click here to purchase The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder.


GIVEAWAY:

Head over to my author interview with Lisa Schroeder and enter to win a SIGNED copy of The Day Before, plus a cute sand dollar necklace like the one Amber has in the book! Ends 8/5.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Things are changing in the tiny town of North Hampton -- a town that always, always stays the same. After decades apart, the Beauchamp women have finally reunited. For years, the witches were forced to abandon their magic (after things went horribly, horribly wrong in a village called Salem nearly four centuries ago). Now, however, something dark is preying upon their beloved town, and the women don't see the harm in a little white magic to protect the people they love. But when their spells start to go awry, and the accusations fly, the well-meaning witches discover that not everything is what it appears in North Hampton -- and they may be dealing with forces the mortal realm was never meant to know.

In Witches of East End, Melissa de la Cruz builds a world that will envelop readers in its small town charm. Though everyone knows everyone in the tiny, insular community of North Hampton, the population is surprisingly diverse -- from the unfathomably rich but awkward Bran Gardiner, to the mayoral power couple Todd and Corky Hutchinson, to the eccentric, magical Beauchamps: Freya, Ingrid and Joanna. The characterization of the Beauchamp women is spot on, with their dysfunctional family dynamic and individual quirks, charms and flaws. Each of the women couldn't be more different, but they're all appealing in their own way: Freya with her utter lack of inhibition. Ingrid with her bookish wisdom, and Joanna with her Mary Poppins' charm.

Unfortuately, readers are given the sense that they've dropped in on the middle of a story, with only cryptic allusions to a vague past to guide their way. It's unclear exactly what the Beauchamp women are, or why they've been forbidden to use magic, or even by whom. Their family was torn apart centuries ago, with repercussions to this day, and no explanation is given as to the how or why. The first two-thirds of the novel moves slowly, as readers try to get their bearings. When things finally do pick up in the last 50 pages, the revelations are made so quickly and randomly that readers' heads will spin. The resolution seems much too forced and tidy to be believable, and even though the Beauchamps' mysterious past is finally explained, anyone unfamiliar with certain mythologies will be more confused than ever. There is definitely a fascinating mythology at work here, and it's a shame that it isn't built coherently enough to support the world de la Cruz creates.

Rating: 

Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this novel at BEA. This did not affect my review in any way.

This novel is available now. Click here to purchase Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New Release Roundup: June 26 - July 2, 2011

A weekly feature I started to showcase the exciting new releases hitting shelves this week.


June 28


Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives--and the way they understand each other so completely--has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.


The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.

Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.


The Secret Ingredient (Teashop Girls #2) by Laura Schaefer

It’s nearing the end of summer before ninth grade and Annie has been busy working as a barista at her grandmother's teashop, Th Steeping Leaf. In between serving up chai lattes and matcha frappes, Annie has gotten involved in a scone bakeoff with one of Louisa's tea suppliers. The winner gets an all-expenses paid trip to London for a tea vacation! Annie The competition is tough and sabatoge is in the air when suddenly Annie's food blog begins attracting mean comments. Then there's the whole matter of a stolen kiss with Zach Anderson in the Steeping Leaf stockroom. Could Annie's former sworn enemy become her current love interest? With the help of her two best friends, Genna and Zoe, can Annie come up with an awesome contest entry and sort out her love life before the end of the summer?


Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

Hilarious new series from Queen of Teen – laugh your tights off at the (VERY) amateur dramatic antics of Talullah and her bonkers mates. Boys, snogging and bad acting guaranteed!

Picture the scene: Dother Hall performing arts college somewhere Up North, surrounded by rolling dales, bearded cheesemaking villagers (male and female) and wildlife of the squirrely-type. On the whole, it’s not quite the showbiz experience Tallulah was expecting… but once her mates turn up and they start their ‘FAME! I’m gonna liiiiive foreeeeeever, I’m gonna fill my tiiiiights’ summer course things are bound to perk up. Especially when the boys arrive. (When DO the boys arrive?) Six weeks of parent-free freedom. BOY freedom. Freedom of expression… cos it’s the THEATRE dahling, theatre!!


Heartless (The Parasol Protectorate #4) by Gail Carriger

Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?


Torn by Erica O’Rourke

Everyone has secrets.
Even best friends.

Swirling black descends like ravens, large enough to block the glow of the streetlights. A dull roar starts like a train on the 'L', a far-away rumbling that grows louder as it pulls closer, until it's directly overhead and you feel it in your chest, except this doesn't pass you by. Verity, white-faced and eyes blazing, shouts through the din, "Run, Mo!"

Mo Fitzgerald knows about secrets. But when she witnesses her best friend's murder, she discovers Verity was hiding things she never could have guessed. To find the answers she needs and the vengeance she craves, Mo—quiet, ordinary, unmagical Mo—will have to enter a world of raw magic and shifting alliances. And she'll have to choose between two very different, equally dangerous guys—protective, duty-bound Colin and brash, mysterious Luc. One wants to save her, one wants to claim her. Which would you choose?

"Who doesn't love a character torn between two dangerous worlds and two risky guys? The only thing safe about this book is how good it is." —Lee Nichols, author of Deception, A Haunting Emma Novel

"Dark, exciting and totally addictive! Just. . .wow!" -Kristi Cook, author of Haven


The Secret Prince (Knightley Academy #2) by Violet Haberdasher

Knightley Academy is back in session, and Henry Grim is confident that nothing else can prevent him from earning his knighthood. But Henry and his friends quickly discover that their professors have made some troubling changes to the curriculum -- an old classroom filled with forgotten weapons. It is the discovery of this classroom that prompts Henry and Valmont to become the unlikely leaders of a secret battle society. But disaster strikes as Henry, Adam and Frankie find themselves stuck as Partisan School servants. Yet something is rotten in Partisan Keep. And when Henry is discovered by a secret society of outlaws with a sinister purpose, he must come to terms with a great sacrifice that will take him away from everything he has ever known and wanted. The stakes get higher and tension mounts in the second installment of Violet Haberdasher's fresh, fast-paced, and always surprising Knightley Academy books.


Sharks and Boys by Kristen Tracy

When 15-year-old Enid Calhoun follows her boyfriend Wick to Maryland for a party, fearful that he might be intending to cheat on her, she finds herself sneaking on board a houseboat where Wick and his friends plan to have a wild night. But before the boys discover their stowaway, a hurricane strikes, and the teenagers are carried miles from the shore and shipwrecked. What follows is a harrowing, yet heartwarming, story of survival, as the teens battle hypothermia, dehydration, man-eating sharks--and along the way, confront their own deepest secrets, including their catalytic roles in the disaster.


The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

A Map of Time by Felix J. Palma. Set in Victorian London with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time is a page-turner that boasts a triple play of intertwined plots in which a skeptical H.G. Wells is called upon to investigage purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence. What happens if we change history?



Fins are Forever (Fins #2) by Tera Lynn Childs

On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mergirl, true, but signing the renunciation will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being-human thing once and for all.

Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, the waves start to get rough. Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?

The seafoam on the raging surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up—Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her own dreams?

Tera Lynn Childs’s sequel to Forgive My Fins offers another tail-flicking romance with plenty of fun, sun, and underwater adventure.


June 30


They thought him dead. After a battle of that magnitude, how could Krodin have possibly survived? But you can't underestimate a time-traveling supervillain. Young heroes Roz, Abbey, Paragon, and Lance find this out the hard way when, in the blink of an eye, the world changes. At first it's not all that noticeable. But something's not quite right. Maybe it’s the smell of ozone in the air or the people acting strangely, like drones. Or maybe it's the images of Krodin everywhere that confirms it: This is not their America.

What if Krodin didn't die? What if he was transported back in time by six years? Michael Carroll provides the unsettling answers in this time-altering follow-up to Super Human.


July 1


Perfectly Invisible (A Universally Misunderstood Novel #2) by Kristin Billerbeck

It's Daisy Crispin's final trimester of high school, and she plans to make it count. Her long-awaited freedom is mere months away, and her big plans for college loom in the future. Everything is under control. Or is it? Her boyfriend is treating her like she's invisible, and her best friend is selling bad costume jewelry in the school quad—and hanging out with her boyfriend. To top it off, Daisy's major humiliation for the year will be remembered in the yearbook for all eternity. It's enough to make her wonder if maybe being invisible isn't so bad after all.

With more of the funny-but-too-true writing readers have come to expect from Kristin Billerbeck, Perfectly Invisible shows teen girls that everyone is special—no matter what they're going through.


Unfriended (A Top 8 Novel #3) by Katie Finn

Madison MacDonald is glad things are back to normal!

Madison It’s SUMMER at last -- let the good times & pool parties roll!

Location: Putnam Beach. Putnam, CT.
Madison My friends are all together again, and Nate and I are better than ever. Finally, everything in my life is working out. :)

Location: Gofer Ice Cream. Putnam, CT
Madison Even though Nate will be leaving for college in the fall.

Location: New Canaan Drive-In. New Canaan, CT.
Madison And there’s a piece of me that’s still waiting for the other shoe to drop from the prom heist.

Location: Stubbs Coffee. Putnam, CT.
Madison But everything is going to be fine! Right?

Location: On A Blender Smoothie Shop. Putnam, CT.
Madison Oh. Maybe I should take that back --

Location: Undisclosed
THIS ACCOUNT HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY DISABLED.

Madison MacDonald thinks the other shoe just dropped.


From Willa, With Love (Wedding Planner's Daughter #5) by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

It's a surprising, sparkling summer for Willa!

It's August on Cape Cod and Willa has a lot to look forward to. Soon, JFK will return home from baseball camp, and Willa has an idea for an exciting new project that will challenge her to dream big! But life throws Willa some unexpected twists and turns: Ruby has bad news, a beloved friend leaves, a dear friend returns, her brother Will has something he does't want to talk about, and of course, there's a wedding to plan! There's also a cute boy who likes Willa . . . a lot, and Willa thinks she might like him too. It's a summer full of romance and surprises!


Pretty Bad Things by C. J. Skuse

"Wonder Twins" on the run--and running amok--in Vegas. Road Trip!

Paisley and Beau are boldface names again. Last time, paparazzi called them the "Wonder Twins," two kids found alone but alive in the woods of exotic New Jersey. Three days after their mom's death -- and before their dad's criminal misdeeds.

Flash-forward to now: Their so-called lives? Suck out loud: Hating on their cougarized, Botoxic grandma, they're totally clueless about the location of ex-con Daddy. Till they discover a stash of old letters. That's when they decide to jack the Pontiac and hit the road. Holding up donut shops in Sin City might seem extreme, but if they can just get their pretty bad faces back on TV -- or TMZ -- they might wrap up their whole gaga saga with an Oprah-worthy reunion already!


The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills by Joanna Pearson

For anyone who's ever survived a rite of passage or performed a mating dance at Prom . . .

The Japanese hold a Mogi ceremony for young women coming of age. Latina teenagers get quinceaneras. And Janice Wills of Melva, NC ... has to compete in the Miss Livermush pageant.

Janice loves anthropology--the study of human cultures--and her observations help her identify useful rules in the chaotic world of high school. For instance: Dancing is an effective mating ritual--but only if you're good at it; Hot Theatre Guys will never speak to Unremarkable Smart Girls like Janice and her best friend, Margo; and a Beautiful Rich Girl will always win Melva's annual Miss Livermush pageant.

But when a Hot Theatre Guy named Jimmy Denton takes an interest in Janice, all her scientific certainties explode. For the first time, she has to be part of the culture that she's always observed; and all the charts in the world can't prove how tough--and how sweet--real participation and a real romance can be.

Funny, biting, and full of wisdom, this marks the debut of a writer to watch.



The end . . . or a new beginning?

As Ellie comes to grips with her destiny as the Elect One, her relationship with Michael grows tense. When she meets a mys­terious boy named Rafe, things get even more complicated.

Yet the time has come for the Elect One to stand against the group of evil fallen angels who are bent on destroying the world. In order to face the immeasurable malevolence heading her way, Ellie tries to put her personal life aside. But she soon learns that whoever holds her heart also holds the key to mankind’s salvation—or destruction. As the end days approach, Ellie is faced with an epic decision. Who does her heart really belong to? And is her love strong enough to save the world?


Lots of great reads coming out this week! I just read The Day Before, and it was amazing. I'm writing my review today, so it will be up this week. I'm also about the start The Map of Time, and it sounds like a really fun read. I've heard that Forbidden is intense and really good, and I know a lot of people will be excited for the latest Parasol Protectorate book.

What new release are you most excited for this week?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

In My Mailbox: June 20 - 26, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.


For Review:



Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley!

Coming August 2, 2011!

Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…



Thanks to Egmont USA and NetGalley!

Coming September 6, 2011!

It could happen tomorrow...

A cataclysmic event. An army of "The Changed."

Can one teen really survive on her own?

An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky, destroying every electronic device and killing billions. For those spared, it's a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human...

Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the Changed, Alex meets up with Tom---a young army veteran---and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse.

This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to survive.

“Gripped me from the beginning to end—-dark, creepy and suspenseful. I loved it” - James Dashner

“A haunting and epic story of survival in a shattered world. ASHES is a must read.” - Michael Grant


Bought:



There's something about the new guy at Crossroads High...

Most sixteen-year-olds have friends.

Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him:

One can time travel.

One can raise the dead.

One can possess another human.

One can tell the future.

Everyone thinks he's crazy, which is why he's spent his entire life shuffled between mental institutions and juvie. All of that is about to change, however. For months Aden has been having visions of a beautiful girl--a girl who carries centuries-old secrets. A girl who will either save him or destroy him.

Together they'll enter a dark world of intrigue and danger...but not everyone will come out alive.



Since coming to Crossroads, Oklahoma, former outcast Aden Stone has been living the good life. Never mind that one of his best friends is a werewolf, his girlfriend is a vampire princess who hungers for his blood, and he's supposed to be crowned Vampire King--while still a human! Well, kind of.With four--oops, three now--human souls living inside his head, Aden has always been "different" himself. These souls can time-travel, raise the dead, possess another's mind and, his least favorite these days, tell the future.The forecast for Aden? A knife through the heart.Because a war is brewing between the creatures of the dark, and Aden is somehow at the center of it all. But he isn't about to lie down and accept his destiny without a fight. Not when his new friends have his back, not when Victoria has risked her own future to be with him, and not when he has a reason to live for the first time in his life....



"Imagine every space in this room filled with people. Constantly being jostled and pushed. In the lower levels there is no quiet place. No peace. To a scrub, this room is paradise."

I drew a deep breath. I'd spoken more in one burst to this stranger whose room I'd invaded than anyone else in weeks. And with a single word he could alert the Pop Cops and send me to the Chomper. We stared at each other for a few heartbeats.

Before I could retreat he said, "My name's Riley Narelle Ashon. Any time you need peace, you're welcome to use my hideaway."

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own...until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.



Three boys, three talismans, one destiny. In this page-turning trilogy, Cinda Williams Chima explores what it means to be different, what’s worth fighting for, and what’s worth dying for…

THE WARRIOR HEIR

Jack lives an unremarkable life in Trinity, Ohio. Only his daily medicine and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from other teenagers at his high school. Until one day, Jack skips his medicine and finds himself stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. He feels incredible - until he nearly kills another player on the soccer field.

Soon, Jack learns the startling truth: he is Weirlind, part of a magical underground society of wizards, warriors, and enchantors. Weir’s mighty, feuding houses of the Red Rose and the White Rose determine power through The Game, a modern-day gladiator battle in which warriors from each house fight to the death. The winning house rules the Weir. But Jack finds out that he’s not just another member of Weirlind—he’s one of the last warriors—and both houses are scouting for a player.

THE WIZARD HEIR

Sixteen-year-old Seph McCauley has spent the past three years getting kicked out of one exclusive private school after another. Unfortunately it’s not his attitude that’s the problem. It’s the trail of magical accidents—lately, disasters—that follow in his wake. Seph is a wizard, orphaned and untrained—and now that the only person who could protect him has died, his powers are escalating out of control.

At the Havens, a secluded boys’ school in Maine, Seph meets headmaster Gregory Leicester, who promises to initiate him into his order of wizards. But Seph soon learns that training comes at a steep cost, and that Leicester plans to use his students' powers to serve his own malicious agenda. This wizard war is one that Seph may not have the strength to survive.

THE DRAGON HEIR

The covenant that was meant to keep the wizard wars at bay has been stolen, and Trinity must prepare for attack. Jason Haley finds himself excluded from the action - until he finds the Dragonheart. The opal stone seems to sing to his very soul, but Trinity's guardians seize it after they realize its powers. Madison Moss feels the beating heart of the opal, too. The desire for it surges through her, but Maddie also has a secret. Ever since absorbing the magical blow that was meant to kill Seph, she's been leaking dark powers. Trinity's enemies believe they can use her to get to the Dragonheart - and they'll use anyone she cares about to make her steal the stone for them.

Moral compasses spin out of control as a final battle storms through what was once a sanctuary for the gifted. With so much to lose, what will Jason and Maddie be willing to fight for — and what will they sacrifice?



Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.


Library:


When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

"Reminiscent of the movie Say Anything, a debut novel for all those searching for The One! Sara and Tobey couldn't be more different. She is focused on getting into her first-choice college; he wants to win Battle of the Bands. Sara's other goal is to find true love, so when Dave, a popular jock, asks her out, she's thrilled. But then there's Tobey. His amazing blue eyes and quirky wit always creep into her thoughts. It just so happens that one of Tobey's goals is also to make Sara fall in love with him. Told in alternating points of view, Sara and Tobey's real connection will have everyone rooting for them from the minute they meet!"


There were some great sales on Fictionwise and Amazon this week, so I finally caved and broke the book buying ban. It was only a matter of time. I've been dying to read Susane Colasanti's books since I saw her at the Teen Author Carnival, so I was ecstatic that my pitiful library actually had one of her books. I've heard When It Happens is really good. The Heir Chronicles also sound really great! I got to meet Cinda Williams Chima at BEA, so I'm looking forward to reading her books. I also got Twisted at BEA, which gave me an excuse to buy the first two books in the series, which I've been wanting to read for agesss. I don't know where to start!

What's in your mailbox this week?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cover Art Revealed: Dreaming Awake (Falling Under #2) by Gwen Hayes

Gwen Hayes recently revealed the cover art for the sequel in her Falling Under series, Dreaming Awake. Check it out:

Coming January 3, 2012!


She fell for him in a nighttime world. But the time for dreaming is past—and the here-and-now can be just as fragile their love…

When Theia Alderson first encountered a mysterious, handsome boy in her dreams, she never imagined how finding Haden Black—and falling in love—could change her life. To save Haden, Theia sacrificed everything. And the dangerous bargain she made could have lasting repercussions.

Now Theia has returned to Serendipity Falls, and she finds herself struggling with the same deadly hungers that have tortured Haden. When students at their high school fall prey to a mysterious illness, Theia can’t help but wonder if Haden’s control is slipping—and how much longer she’ll have a grip on her own.

And still the nightmare realm of Under won’t let them go. Someone from Haden’s past is determined to destroy Theia from the inside out, starting with those closest to her, forcing Theia to choose between family and friends and a love that may have been doomed from the start…


I think this cover is really beautiful. The rose petals she's laying on, her elaborately curled hair and that gorgeous, gorgeous dress all evoke the romance of the story, while the black rose in her hand, and the contrast of the black on her dress with the red of the rose petals gives it a kind of Gothic feel. It's also a nice inversion of the first book's cover -- which had black roses and a red dress. I'm not crazy about the title though -- it just doesn't quite have that ring to it, you know?

What do you think? Does this make you want to read the series? Have you read Falling Under? I need to! I've heard it's really good.

Here's the Falling Under cover for comparison:




In other news...

Rachel Hawkins just announced that the third book in the Hex Hall series has a title! And it is...*drumroll please*...

SPELL BOUND

I think it works well with the other two-syllable titles in the series. I reallllllly loved the title of Demonglass though, because it had special meaning if you'd read Hex Hall. I hope this one ends up having special meaning upon reading it, because otherwise it's a bit of an overdone title in the paranormal YA world, don't you think? Nonetheless, I love this series SO MUCH. My Demonglass review will be up soon, I swear. I canNOT wait for Spell Bound because, seriously? CLIFFHANGER! GAH!

Cover Art Revealed: The Wood Queen (Iron Witch #2) by Karen Mahoney

Karen Mahoney recently revealed the updated cover for book two in her Iron Witch series, The Wood Queen. Check it out:

Coming February 2012!


I love this cover. The fact that Donna is facing away is mysterious and intriguing, while the blinding lights are eye-catching and let you know that she's in control. It seems as though she's finally embracing the alchemy that saved her life -- and venturing back into the Ironwood that nearly killed her. The title also piques my interest -- is it referring to Donna? Or to the nasty faery queen we met in book one?

What do you think? Does this cover make you want to read the series?

Here's the Iron Witch cover, for comparison. I thought it was pretty eye-catching, mysterious and beautiful as well: (enlarge to see the markings on her arms)

Hourglass and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer: Who Will You Choose?

I was looking for a Team Kaleb button to show my Hourglass love yesterday and couldn't find one -- so I decided to make my own! While I was at it, I figured we would all want to show our Noah Shaw love before long, so I made one for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer as well. Feel free to grab one, and please let me know in the comments which team you choose!














I'm holding my Mara Dyer review until closer to the September 27 release, but here's a quick overview to whet your appetites for this mind-blowing debut: Dark. Sexy. Mysterious. Hilarious. Heart-pounding. This book is, in short, amazing. You won't see any of the twists coming -- and there are MANY. Also, I will fight you in the street for Noah Shaw.

'Nuff said.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The darkness is growing in Finley Jayne. When the lowly lady's maid is attacked by the spoiled and dangerous Lord Felix, her story should end as tragically as those who came before her -- yet it doesn't. Finley is special. Dangerous. Deadly. The incredible strength and wild ferocity that overtake her in moments of crisis are terrifying, even as they save her life. Fortunately, her encounter with Lord Felix throws her into the path of Duke Griffin King -- the one man in Victorian London who may be able to save Finley from herself.

In The Girl in the Steel Corset, Kady Cross builds her own rich, vibrant version of Victorian London. The unusual flow of the narration befits the beautiful cadence of the period and immerses readers in this alternate world. Though the history is rather different from the one with which we're all familiar, some recognizable names trickle into conversation and ground the novel in our reality. Cross weaves the paranormal into this multifaceted world, combining the spiritual plane with her steampunk history and piquing readers' imaginations with the bizarre technology that populates this universe -- from automatons to velocycles to aether engines. I would have liked to see some of the steampunk tech treated in more detail, helping readers to envision these fascinating foreign objects.

Unfortunately, the characters fall a little flat. Though Finley is fierce and could be fabulous, she despises the part of her that makes her strong -- villainzing half of her personality and trying hard to stamp out her combative nature. She is also a little elusive as a character. The novel is written in third person, alternating perspectives, and though it initially seems as though this is Finley's story, by the end I felt as though I didn't really know her at all. She still outshines the rest of the cast, however. Sam, the muscle of the group, wallows in self-pity and self-loathing for most of the novel, behaving selfishly and hatefully toward his long-suffering friends. Griffin, the leader of the pack and hero of the piece, is appallingly self-satisfied and entitled. He treats his friends like servants and frequently reflects on his status and intelligence.

Thankfully there is Emily, the true brains of the operation. Emily is sweet but fiesty, never hesitating to put her self-righteous male friends in their place. If only the men didn't insist on trivializing her indignation as the kittenish temper of an "annoyed pixie"!* Then there's Jack Dandy, the antihero who haunts the dark and deadly places. His enigmatic mix of intelligence and swagger is captivating from the start, and I would gladly read an entire novel devoted solely to his exploits. Cross skillfully evokes his assumed Cockney accent so powerfully that readers will think they hear it whispering in their ears. His involvement in the love triangle fortunately saves the fizzling embers from dying out.

Ultimately, though the story is innovative and the world-building is luscious, the characters' failings sadly distract from the novel's immense potential.

Rating: 

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this novel at BEA. This did not affect my review in any way.

This novel is available in stores now! Click here to purchase The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross.

*p.320

Click here to read a guest post by Kady Cross on her favorite heroines who kick butt, historical fiction books and films, and classic novels!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Forgotten Winners!


Thanks so much to everyone who entered, and to Little Brown for providing for this giveaway!


The winners of Forgotten by Cat Patrick are...

Shalena @ Writer Quirk, who said: I think I'm okay not knowing. Knowledge can be power, but it can also complicate things. I would probably be too busy trying to prevent certain events from happening in the future that I wouldn't be able to actually live in the present.

and

krysalbe, who said: I don't think I'd want to know...unless it was something good!



Congratulations! The winners have been contacted.

Thanks again to everyone who entered! I hope you'll all pick up this fun debut.

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