Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Sophomore Year is Greek to Me

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
 
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:







Sophomore Year is Greek to Me
by Meredith Zeitlin
Expected Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Published by Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 336
Add to Goodreads









from Goodreads

A laugh-out-loud high school adventure set in Greece, perfect for fans of Meg Cabot 

High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she's devastated— he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona's mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks... but no thanks.

In the vein of Anna and the French Kiss, Zona navigates a series of hilarious escapades, eye-opening revelations, and unexpected reunions in a foreign country—all while documenting the trip through one-of-a-kind commentary.


Why I'm Waiting

I have been waiting for this announcement - a new book by Meredith Zeitlin!!!

Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters was "a good time", from my review:
"Let me just put it out there - this book was too much fun. It has been a long time since I've read a book that made me smile and laugh over and over and over again. From the very beginning of the book when Kelsey declares that it is going to be the best year ever - starting high school - staking her claim to fabulousness - you just know that it is going to be anything but that. Get ready for the ride."
Sophomore Year is Greek to Me is not a continuation of Kelsey's story, but that doesn't even matter, I just know this book will be "a good time" too.
 

 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Books For A Cause Readathon Recap


I signed up for the Books for a Cause Readathon hosted by Heather at Turning Pages and of course as soon as I did, life got busy it always happens. Luckily, this was more of read when you can, set your own pace readathon - a readathon to make a commitment and then fulfill it. 

I pledged to read 10 books and donate $1.00 per book to Stand Up to Cancer. A few friends and family members agreed to sponsor me and support my efforts.

Over the past few weeks, I read a variety of books.

Book 1
I love Lisa's books so much - a great way to start off the readathon.

Book 2
 
Another incredible book!

Books 3-5
 I went to my friends for Family Dinner Night and her son asked me to read some books to him. He would've made me read to him all night if I didn't have to go home.

Books 6-8

The Geography of Girlhood and Stop Pretending were rereads for me. Make Way for Ducklings was mentioned in Stop Pretending, so it made sense to me to read it for the readathon too.

Book 9
I got this for cute book for my niece who will be arriving ANY DAY NOW!! I am so excited!

Book 10
 I love Jessica Park's Flat-Out books and this one is a new favorite too! 

Now this readathon is over, but the fundraising for Books for A Cause is not. Turning Pages is hosting an on-line auction for some must-have reads. There are books of all genres, some signed and a few gift baskets too. Please take the time to check out the auction and make a bid should you wish to do so. 

Go to On-Line Auction




Thursday, July 17, 2014

Delicate by Steph Campbell: Anniversary Celebration



Title: Delicate
Author: Steph Campbell
Age: Mature YA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 2012

Blurb:
Sydney Pierce has just met the guy of her dreams…just don’t tell her psycho boyfriend, Trevor.

With a gorgeous boyfriend, a thriving gymnastics career and a stellar academic record, anyone would assume that Sydney has it all. That's precisely what the seventeen-year-old perfectionist wants you to believe, and she works hard to keep up the pretense. Especially now that there are cameras following her for a documentary on Olympic hopefuls.

When Grant, the charming new student, disrupts her carefully crafted routine, the cracks beneath her perfect fa├žade begin to rise to the surface and despite Trevor's objections to their friendship, she can't stay away from him.

As her connection to Grant pulls her closer to him, the once lighthearted relationship with Trevor takes an intense and dark turn, forcing her into a position in which not only her happiness, but her safety is at stake. Can Sydney learn to let go of everything she is clinging to in order to gain everything she has ever wanted, or will she realize her breaking point too late?



EXCERPT

“Sydney,” he says tightly.

“Grant,” I joke back, trying to mimic his serious tone.

Still, I refuse to look up. I can’t. I don’t want to look into those eyes.

“Syd, look at me,” he says. The way my name sounds coming from his lips is more than I can handle right now.

I give nothing in response. I am frozen.

He lets out an audible sigh and reaches out with a single finger and tilts my chin up so that he can see my face. I don’t flinch away, but I still avoid his eyes.

“What the hell happened to you?” Grant demands. His voice is thoughtful but firm.

“I tripped and fell down the stairs at my house,” I say with a light laugh. He’s quiet. Good. Let’s leave it at that.

“I don’t believe you,” he finally says.

“I tripped, drop it,” I say through my teeth. 

“Jesus Christ, just wait until I—“ his voice is protective and full of anger.

My eyes dart up at his threat. At the thought of him confronting Trevor. That would ruin everything. Forever.

“I fell down the stairs. That’s it,” I say firmly. Tears form in my eyes. My nose and chin burn as I fight them off. I can’t cry. I’m determined to make Grant believe me.

Grant stares back at me. I can tell by the look in his eyes that he still doesn’t buy it.

“Please,” I say quietly. “Please. Let it go, for me.” My voice has become a tortured beg.

He finally breaks our stare and looks down at his hands. He nods his head once, then turns toward the front of the classroom.

Not another word is spoken between Grant and me.

GIVEAWAY:
1 signed copy of Delicate and an audiobook of Grounding Quinn
Click link to Rafflecopter
 


About the Author:

Steph Campbell grew up in Southern California, but now calls Southwest Louisiana home. She has one husband, four children and a serious nail polish obsession.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West: Release Blitz


Pieces of Olivia 
by Melissa West
(Charleston Haven #1)
Published by: Intermix (Penguin)
Publication date: July 15th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance



Synopsis:

Olivia Warren used to be a normal girl with a bright future.
But on one fated night, everything changed.

Hiding the scars of her past up her sleeves, Olivia transfers her enrollment from Columbia University to The College of Charleston, determined to pursue her own dreams for the first time in her life.

She intends to allow herself a bit of alone time to heal… that is, until she meets Preston.

Preston is best friends with her roommate, completely hot, and off-limits. But the chemistry between them is instantaneous—and as the pair begins to spend more time with one another, their feelings for each other build into something undeniable, something powerful enough to heal Olivia’s deepest scars.

Olivia tries to put her own past behind her and trust Preston, but she discovers that his past might be more present than she ever bargained for…


Purchase


Excerpt

Chapter One
Someone should warn you that move-in day at a college is the last day you should actually try to move into your dorm. I stared down the line of girls waiting to get on the elevators, all of them with stacks of suitcases and boxes and microwave-refrigerator combos, which should have already been in our rooms, but evidently there was a shortage this year. I eyed my own set of suitcases and the line again. I could drag them up the three flights of stairs to the third floor faster than I could get there waiting in that line.
I tilted the heaviest one on its wheels, tossed the second on top, and started for the stairwell door around the corner. There was no line there, surprise-surprise, so I took my time pulling my suitcases through the door and lifting them one step at a time up the stairs. By the time I reached the third floor, my face was dripping with sweat and I found myself wishing I’d taken my parents’ offer to help me move in.
At the time, all I could think about was their sad expressions as they asked me for the hundredth time if I was sure. Sure I wanted to ditch Columbia for the College of Charleston. Sure I wanted to live in a dorm on campus (forget that all freshmen were required to live on campus). Sure I wanted to have a roommate in said dorm instead of living alone. The list went on and on and on. They didn’t understand. I couldn’t live that life anymore. Every part of it brought back memories I couldn’t handle. I needed a change. And not just a change in geography. I needed a complete change—different town, different people, different me.
I needed to be able to grab bananas from the produce section without running into someone who knew and getting that sad look as he or she asked how I was doing. I mean, how did they think I was doing? I hated pity. I hated the long look people gave you and the slow headshake that said poor little you. I knew sadness. It was a longtime friend of mine now. I didn’t need reminders of how closely it clung to me every time I went to the grocery store.
I heaved my suitcase through the third-floor door and glanced around for room numbers. I was 3-F and my roommate was some chick from Gator Town: Gainesville, Florida. I pictured a surfer girl, complete with sun-bleached blond hair and bronzed skin, who used words like totally and awesome as though they were worth gold each time you said them.
I tugged on my UPF 55 shirt, glad that I’d been smart enough to pick up a few. Long sleeves at the beach in August would cause a few looks, and I wasn’t prepared to explain the real reason for them. But with UPF shirts, I could just claim a crazy interest in sun protection. Plus with the tiny shorts I paired with them, I felt sure I could go about without too many questions. Or so I hoped. Thank God my legs weren’t scarred. Otherwise I’d have had to go to college at some snow lift in Colorado, and I hated cold weather.
I reached the hall for rooms 3-A to 3-H. Most of the doors were open, and I tried not to peek inside them as I passed. The hall was completely alive with excitement and commotion. I wondered if it would always be like this or if there were study hours or something. I finally came to the door for 3-F, which was closed, no sounds coming from inside. I grabbed the knob and turned, relieved that Gator-girl wasn’t there yet, until I flicked on the light and heard a grumble from across the room.
“Damn, shut the light. I’m working off a buzz here.”
I turned around to see a guy in the bed on the left side of the room, a white sheet tangled around him, exposing his bare chest. My eyes roamed over him, and for the first time, I understood how Bella could be attracted to Edward’s paleness. This guy’s skin could rival a vampire’s for sure, but instead of looking like it belonged to a hospital patient, it was startlingly creamy with just a hint of a golden undertone. His shaggy brownish-red hair scattered in a mess across the pillow, and although I knew I should ask a myriad of questions, I just found myself staring.
His eyes peeked open and he tossed one of his arms over them to block out the light. “You must be Olivia,” he said, his voice thick from sleep.I waited. Hot or not, I didn’t know this guy. He could be here to steal my virtue . . . or the virtue I had two years ago, but still.
He climbed out of bed, a pair of low-hanging navy pajama pants with little yellow characters the only thing on his flawless body. I took them in before glancing back at his face. “Tweety Bird?” “Goldfish. It’s an inside joke.”
I nodded. “Ah.”
He brushed his hair out of his eyes. It was the sort of hair you wanted to touch just to see if it felt as perfect as it looked. “So . . .”
“So . . .” I smiled. “Are you going to tell me who you are and why the hell you’re in my dorm room?”
He smirked. “I see you’re not as small town as you look. Where are you from?” He reached behind him for a T-shirt thrown across a desk chair. He had that deep Southern drawl that reminded you of warm syrup on pancakes, slow and delicious and entirely too tempting.
I considered lying, but that would only delay the inevitable. “Westlake,” I said, bracing myself for his reaction. What happened never made national news—thank God—but everyone in a two-state radius knew and felt inclined to ask as soon as they heard where I was from.
He glanced up at me before slipping the shirt on, and I prepared for the question, the change in his tone, but instead he said, “I take it back. You are small town. Rich. But still, small town.”
For a moment, I was too startled to respond. I had yet to meet anyone who heard where I was from and didn’t launch into questions too personal for a friend let alone a stranger. I opened my mouth to remind him that (a) Charleston wasn’t exactly New York City and (b) he still hadn’t answered my question, when the door behind me burst open and a tiny girl rushed in. She had the look of one of those flyers on a cheerleading squad—five-foot nothing, blond hair in loose pigtails that hung over her shoulders, and dressed in just a tank top and jean shorts.
Jean shorts. Trisha. My chest constricted as memories poured in, and I had to take a step back so I could breathe. Trisha hated jean shorts.
“I’m so sorry! So sorry!” the girl said, her tone entirely too high for such a small space. Gator-girl, I presumed. “This isn’t what it looks like.” Then she turned on the guy. “I told you eight a.m. exit, dude. It’s twelve-thirty!”
I started to tell her I didn’t care regardless. I hated that stereotypical bullshit, where guys could hook up with whomever and be cool, but when a girl did the same thing, she was a slut. I decided it wasn’t the time.
The guy shrugged. “What do you want from me? I was drunker than I thought. Happens to the best of us. Besides, look at her. She’s cool with it. Aren’t you?”
Both of their gazes fell on me. “Um . . . should I come back later? I can just . . .” I started for the door when the girl reached out to stop me.
“Don’t go! Please. I’m Kara. And this asshat is Preston Riggs, my best friend. Well, he used to be my best friend.” She glared at him. “He was supposed to be out this morning before you arrived, but clearly”—she motioned to him—“he’s got issues with time. Among other things.”
Preston slid into a pair of Rainbow sandals and ran his hands over his face before stretching his arms out wide. “I take offense. I pride myself on punctuality. If there was ever a—”
“Out. Before I call your mom.”
Preston looked at her. “Like I’m afraid of my—” Kara pulled out her cell, and he threw up his hands. “Okay, okay. I’m gone.” His eyes swept from her to me, giving me a slow once-over, before winking and heading for the door. “Nice meeting you, Small Town.”
And just like that, he was gone.
 
AUTHOR BIO:

Melissa West writes young adult and new adult novels for Entangled Teen and Embrace and Penguin/Intermix. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

Connect with Melissa at www.melissawestauthor.com or on Twitter @MB_West. And for sneak peeks at upcoming works, prizes, and more, join The RES Spies at Mel's Madhouse: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheRESspies.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally - Review

http://xpressobooktours.com/2014/04/01/tour-sign-up-breathe-annie-breathe-by-miranda-kenneally/





Breathe, Annie, Breathe
(Hundred Oaks #5)
by Miranda Kenneally
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pages:306
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Purchase Amazon / B&N/ Kobo / i-Tunes








from Goodreads

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

“Breathe, Annie, Breathe is an emotional, heartfelt, and beautiful story about finding yourself after loss and learning to love. It gave me so many feels. Her best book yet.” — Jennifer Armentrout, New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You.

My Thoughts

Breathe, Annie, Breathe is the fifth book in the Hundred Oaks series and the fourth book by Miranda Kenneally that I have read. One of my favorite things about the Hundred Oaks series is that the books do not have to be read consecutively and the characters from previous books make appearances throughout. 

What is evident in all of her books as that Kenneally has a grasp on teenaged life. I won't say that it is the typical teenage life, because everyone's experience is different, but she hits all the marks and it feels completely authentic.

There were many things that I loved about Breathe, Annie, Breathe.
  • Annie - her voice - she's a funny girl; she's hardworking which is evident as she trains for the marathon and her dedication to her job
  • The dialogue and social interactions
  • The transition from high school to college - the roommate situation, the suite mates list, and dealing with "overnight visitors"
  • Jeremiah's relationship with his brother Matt (from Things I Can't Forget) - there is a level of respect between them, but at the same time Matt is an authority figure
  • Annie's relationship with her mom
  • The things that go through Annie's mind as she runs and trains for a marathon and the fact that is inspires me to get my butt in gear to put on some running (or walking) shoes
  • And the many moments between Annie and Jeremiah - including the moment Annie first encounters Jeremiah and he earns the moniker "Running Backwards Boy"
Some of my favorite quotes in Breathe, Annie, Breathe are Annie's thoughts about Jeremiah. Here are just a couple.

"This boy might as well where a nametag that says Trouble."

"And even though getting a ride from Jeremiah is sort of like running into a burning building, I like the way I feel when he makes me laugh. I need to laugh."

I'd love to share one of my absolute favorites, but it would be a spoiler and I just can't do that.

Breathe, Annie, Breathe had me all over the emotional spectrum.  Some moments made me laugh, others made me cry. Some moments caught my breath and like Annie, I had to remember to breathe. Miranda Kenneally's books just keep getting better and better, and I have to say, I think Breathe, Annie Breathe may be my favorite of all.




Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from the publisher via Netgalley as part of the XPresso Book Tour in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Quotes used are from the e-ARC and may very from the finished copy. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Giveaway:
Tour wide giveaway
Ends July 29th:
-2x 50$ B&N Gift Card
-3x Signed copy of Breathe, Annie, Breathe
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Left Drowning Anniversary Celebration


Left Drowning
by Jessica Park
Print Length: 399 pages
ISBN: 1477817158
ASIN: B00BJQR23C
Publisher: Skyscape (July 16, 2013)


Synopsis:

What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?

Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn’t expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.

*This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.

Note: due to mature content recommended for Ages 17+



Teaser



BUY LINKS:
Amazon Digital Services, Inc. | B&N





TRAILER:



About the Author:
Jessica is the author of LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (and the companion piece FLAT-OUT MATT), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Please visit her at jessicapark.me and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicapark and Twitter @JessicaPark24


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