Monday, February 20, 2017

YALit Giveaway Event

YALit Giveaway Event!

A bunch of authors who got together to bring you a YOUNG ADULT Big Box of Paperbacks Giveaway! One lucky winner is going to win FIFTY (50) Young Adult Paperback Books! 

How’s that for an epic Book-Lover’s Prize?!

THIS BOX OF BOOKS IS VALUED AT OVER $500! And this giveaway is open worldwide! Our first giveaway went to a winner in ROMANIA–and yes, we’re willing to pay the insane shipping on this oversized, overweight package to get the prize to WHOEVER wins!
Here's a sneak peek from a couple of the sponsors:

Adrenaline Rush by Cindy M. Hogan

As I hurtled toward my destination at 500 miles an hour, I pulled out a notebook, placed it on the shiny mahogany table in front of me, and scribbled a quick to-do list. Pick out an outfit. Get folders and notebooks. Switch into fourth period drama. I chewed on the end of my pen. Oh yeah—just one more thing. Get kidnapped.

According to my pre-mission briefing, kidnappings were up in the States by five percent over the last five years. The significance of which didn’t hit me until I found that the statistics for kidnappings had remained static for a good thirty years. The spike caught the attention of the FBI, and they put their best men on it. The problem? Right when they thought they’d discovered the pattern of the kidnappers, it seemed to change.

We hit some turbulence, and the force of it pulled me out of my reverie. I sucked in a deep breath, my hands resting on the soft leather side arms of my big comfortable seat as the Gulfstream jet jumped. I let the rollercoaster feeling wash over me like a wave, forcing myself to enjoy every last tingle. I only had this flight and a few hours tonight to assume my new thrill-seeking alias—the one that would lure the kidnappers and save the day before the pattern changed again. I might as well make the most of it.
Chosen Wolf (Curse of the Moon #2) Excerpt

The full moon inched higher in the night sky, growing bigger and brighter by the moment. One by one, the members of the pack ran behind the Moonhaven mansion to remove their clothes before they tore to shreds as their bodies turned from men to wolves. Howls sounded in the distance.

Toby squeezed my hand, holding my gaze. “Maybe this will be the month you can finally shift again, Victoria.”

Sharp pains ran through my body. My right hip cracked. I bit my tongue, trying not to cry out in pain. My skin felt on fire as fur tried to poke through, but couldn’t.

His face tensed, a pained look in his eyes. “Are you shifting?”

I shook my head. There was nothing normal about this, and it was proving to be more difficult and painful than my other months of un-shifts. Each one grew worse than the last.
Toby scooped me up, carried me inside, and helped me onto my bed. “I can’t keep my wolf inside any longer. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay.” I fought to keep my voice steady. Tears threatened.

He brushed hair from my face and kissed my forehead. “Ziamara’s upstairs sleeping. She said to wake her if you need anything.”

“I’ll be fine.” I grimaced, the pain nearly choking me.

Toby cried out and the sound of ripping fabric tore through the room. He spun around and dashed out the door. The back of his shirt had ripped, and fur poked through the split material.

I gripped a pillow, squeezing it as hard as I could to distract myself from the pain. It didn’t work, and the pillow exploded, filling the air with white feathers.

A loud pop sounded and then a horrific pain shot through my shoulders. I slumped down and screamed, unable to take the pain.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Early Review Tour: LUNA RISING by Selene Castrovilla

by Selene Castrovilla
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Published by Last Syllable Books
Pages: 450
Source: JenHalliganPR
Purchase Amazon | Barnes & Noble    


Life begins at thirty-eight for Long Island mom and writer Luna Lampanelli, when she kicks her secretly gay husband to the curb. She's got her freedom, but what she wants is love.

Luna knows she doesn’t need a man to exist, but try telling that to her heart. Against the advice of Sunny, her snarky best friend, and Jiminy, the cautioning voice in Luna’s head that just won’t shut up, Luna sets course to find a mate.

Luna speed and on-line dates her way into several short-lived, surreal relationships. There’s Ari, the humorless Israeli who refuses to assimilate – to America, and to humanity. There’s Alex, the young and handsome ex-crackhead who informs Luna he doesn’t want to be monogamous while they’re in bed. There’s Memphis, the wild-eyed sadomasochist. There’s Red, angry and crippled, who becomes the catalyst for Luna to join Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.

But before Luna can proceed to recovery, she meets the elusive but oh so appealing Trip. He’s emotionally unavailable and has the Madonna-Whore Complex, but how can Luna (aka “whore”) let him go when she enjoys his dry wit so much, and his naked body even more?

Humorously haunting and packed with unspeakable truths, Luna Rising follows a woman's funny and heart-breaking struggle to relate with un-relatable men and an un-relatable world, and to figure out something even more un-relatable: herself.

My Thoughts

I jumped at the chance to read the adult novel LUNA RISING by Selene Castrovilla. I discovered her books when I first read MELT, the first of her Rough Romance Trilogy, and fell in love with her writing. 

What I liked:

  • The "stats" on the characters as they are introduced. It was a quick way to know about a character, and I especially liked finding out  - what they read (or don't read) says a lot about a person.
  • Her friendship with Sunny - they are at similar places in their lives, but take different approaches to relationships. Their interactions add a lot of humor to the story.
  • Her relationship with her Aunt Zelda. The love between them is evident.
  • So much Chinese food - by the end of the book (or maybe even the middle) I was craving some Hot and Sour soup
I thought it was just crazy how quick Luna was to jump right into relationships. She was seeking connection and companionship, and comfort, and oftentimes confused that for love. She was starved for love. She needed it as much as she needed air.

Some of my favorites scenes are when Luna visits her chiropractor for adjustments and some enlightenment and "therapy" instead of seeing a therapist. There she gets centered and finds balace - in her body, and sometimes in her mind. I wish some of my experiences seeing my chiropractor were like hers. And like her chiropractor, I believe "Everything always works out." 

Memorable Quote:
"Sometimes you have to clear your path before you can continue down it."

Luna experiences a lot of personal growth and self-realization that a lot of readers can relate to. We are always changing, always observing, always learning, and always growing. We don't always recognize when it is happening,  but when it does, it can make us feel powerful. And when Luna experiences it, she is happy with just being.

LUNA RISING is an enjoyable read - filled with humor and wit. I'm looking forward to reading more adult novels by Selene Castrovilla.

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from JenHalliganPR in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

About Selene Castrovilla

Selene Castrovilla is the award-winning author of multiple narrative nonfiction picture books and young adult novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons and too many cats. Visit her website:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest​ | ​Instagram

$25 Gift Card to Amazon or Book Depository (International) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feb 1st - A Nook for Books
Feb 2nd - Her Book Thoughts
Feb 3rd - A Leisure Moment
Feb 10th - A Chick Who Reads
Feb 13th - Actin' Up With Books
Feb 14th - The Invisible Diva
Feb 16th - Reese's Reviews
Feb 24th - vvb32 reads

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Blog Tour: LOVE AND F1RST SIGHT by Josh Sundquist

Author: Josh Sundquist
Pub. Date:January 3, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 281
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Love is more than meets the eye.

On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right?

As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a sweet but shy girl named Cecily. And despite his fear that having a girlfriend will make him inherently dependent on someone sighted, the two of them grow closer and closer. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty—in fact, everything he’d heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?

About Josh:

Internationally-Known Motivational Speaker
Josh Sundquist is a bestselling author, motivational speaker, and Paralympic ski racer. He has spoken across the world to groups ranging from Fortune 500 companies to inner city public schools to the White House.

Cancer Survivor
At age nine, Josh was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and given a fifty percent chance to live. He spent a year on chemotherapy treatments and his left leg was amputated. Doctors declared Josh cured of the disease at age thirteen and he took up ski racing three years later.

Paralympic Athlete
He trained for the next six years and in 2006 he was named to the US Paralympic Ski Team for the 2006 Paralympics in Turino, Italy. Today, Josh represents the United States in international competition as a member of the U.S. Amputee Soccer Team.

Bestselling Author
Josh's first memoir, Just Don't Fall, was a National Bestseller in hardcover and is now available in paperback and audiobook. It was been translated into German and is also available in an Australia/New Zealand edition, for which, as it turns out, no translation was required. His second memoir We Should Hang Out Sometime, which is about his adolescent dating disasters, is under development to become a movie. His debut novel Love and First Sight will be published in 2017.

YouTube personality
Best known for his viral hit "The Amputee Rap," Josh has built a YouTube channel with over 25 million views and two-hundred-thousand subscribers. In 2010 he was a winner of both the YouTube NextUp and YouTube On The Rise contests.

Josh served a two-year tenure as the National Spokesperson for the Combined Federal Campaign, an effort that raises over $300 million dollars a year for charities. He has been featured on the back of Doritos bags nationwide for his work on behalf of amputees.

Josh has been featured on CNN, USA TODAY, and NPR, and in many other less-famous and important sounding media outlets.

Josh received a degree in business from the College of William and Mary and a Master's in Communications from the University of Southern California. He lives with his wife near the beach.

Introducing Josh at a speech? Need a photo or bio for your conference program? You'll find everything you need over at Meeting Planner Resources.

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a finished copy of LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT, US Only.

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
2/6/2017- BookHounds YA- Interview
2/7/2017- A Gingerly ReviewReview
2/8/2017- Actin' Up with BooksGuest Post
2/9/2017- The Hardcover LoverReview
2/10/2017- A Dream Within A DreamGuest Post

Week Two:
2/13/2017- Eli to the nthReview
2/14/2017- Literary MeanderingsInterview
2/15/2017- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
2/16/2017- Wandering Bark BooksGuest Post

2/17/2017- Just CommonlyReview

Monday, February 6, 2017

Review: OUR OWN PRIVATE UNIVERSE by Robin Talley

by Robin Talley
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Published by Harlequin Teen
Pages: 384
Source: Media Masters Publicity
Purchase Amazon | B&N | Indiebound


Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it's mostly about sex. 

No, it isn't that kind of theory. Aki already knows she's bisexual—even if, until now, it's mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki has dated only guys so far, and her best friend, Lori, is the only person who knows she likes girls, too. 

Actually, Aki's theory is that she's got only one shot at living an interesting life—and that means she's got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It's time for her to actually do something. Or at least try. 

So when Aki and Lori set off on a church youth-group trip to a small Mexican town for the summer and Aki meets Christa—slightly older, far more experienced—it seems her theory is prime for the testing. 

But it's not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you're in love? It's going to be a summer of testing theories—and the result may just be love.

My Thoughts

OUR OWN PRIVATE UNIVERSE - oh, what can I say about this book - is everything. 

It's not only a story about falling in love, testing theories, exploring sexuality.

It's about youth activism and advocacy and using your voice - and finding the courage to be true to yourself to be true toward others. 

It's about making huge life decisions, independent decisions and taking in consideration the consequences of those decisions.

It's about friendships and how they change and evolve, and it's about jealousy and betrayals.

It's a story about acceptance - of family, of society, of self.

But yes, most of all, it's a story about love - beautiful, scary, overwhelming, real love.

And all of this happens in one summer. 

Robin Talley does take on a lot of issues in OUR OWN PRIVATE UNIVERSE, but everything does happen simultaneously and life events aren't separate from world events. Nothing exists in a vacuum. Everything is connected in some way affecting us, shaping who we are. 

What I liked:
  • Aki was a stargazer "In that moment, it felt like we were the entire world. Just me and those gorgeous stars." (pg. 24)
  • Aki's relationship with her brother and their need to be honest with each other - their bond was special
  • Aki understood the responsibility of taking her physical relationship with Christa further- and how this wasn't presented as shameful 

Favorite Quote:

" ... I had this theory.
Granted, all I ever had were theories. That was the whole problem. My life, all fifteen years of it had all been about the hypothetical and never about the actual." (pg. 11)

I loved Aki and her curiosity and her willingness to take chances and be brave and explore her relationships and use her voice. I truly adored this book. I know that it is one that I will come back to again and reread because once just won't be enough.

Disclaimer:  I received this ARC from Media Masters Publicity in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the ARC provided. Quotes used here may differ from the final published version. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

For the Love of Books Giveaway Hop

The books of the Pushing the Limits Series and the Thunder Road Series are some of my all time favorites. I love these stories and the characters are embedded in my heart. For this giveway, ONE winner can choose ONE of the books listed below (available at Amazon or The Book Depository).

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 Giveaway Details

One Winner can choose ONE book by Katie McGarry
(no limited or special editions)
Open Internationally (wherever The Book Depository ships)
Must be 16 or older to enter

Enter by Rafflecopter


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