Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (7)


We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking the Shelves, created and hosted at Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!


North of Need by Laura Kaye (Gift from PoisonRose, thanks hun!)
Soulbound: The Legacy of Tril by Heather Brewer (Won from Kristen at Seeing Night Reviews!)

Dragonfly necklace (only in blue) from Shattered Dreams by Ellie James
The designer is Federikas on Etsy!

A small stack but I'm so very happy with it! What did you stack on your shelves? ^_^

Friday, June 29, 2012

TGIF (28): Best I've Read So Far


TGIF is a weekly meme created and hosted by Ginger of GReads! that recaps the week's posts and has a different question each week.

Question: We're halfway through the year, which top 3 books are the best you've read so far this year?

My Answer: I haven't been reading as much as I'd like this year, but what I have read has been pretty amazing.  I've really enjoyed so many new books and will have many others to enjoy in the second half of the year.  My top three have to be:



The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
I was really looking for a unique fantasy story, and this one delivered in big dividends.  It has adventure, romance, friendship, and a setting that is exotically beautiful as well as possibly deadly.  I can't wait to read the sequel, The Crown of Embers. 





The List by Siobhan Vivian 
There's always going to be great contemporary YA novels. This was a novel that delved into the minds of eight different girls, interweaving the various stories together by vital threads. It is simply haunting.





Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Okay, I know this is my most recently read book, but it was incredible. There needs to be more YA science-fiction books... especially with alien guys like Daemon. 



***

This week on Denim-Jacket Librarian Dishes:

Reviews:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Title:  Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author:  Stephanie Perkins
Pages:  338
Genre:  Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher:  Dutton Books
Obtained:  From Library
Summary:  Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion... she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit--more sparkly, more fun, more wild--the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket--a gifted inventor--steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

The Dish:  There's a reason why young adult contemporary novels are my go-to books when there is a break in my reading pattern.  YA contemporaries are light, generally funny, and readers just can't help becoming captured by the story.  Lola and the Boy Next Door definitely encompasses all of these traits and more, and I can totally see why so many readers adore Stephanie Perkins' writing style and characters.

Lola is one of the most free-spirited characters readers will find in a book, and I can relate to her whimsical way of creating because I am a costumer as well (though I don't do it on a daily basis like Lola).  She's also hardworking, a dutiful daughter, and a good best friend.  So I was rather dismayed to see her make such poor decisions when it seemed the going was getting rough whether it was with her boyfriend, her birth mother, and especially with Calliope and Cricket.  It's tough being a teenager so her reckless actions are justifiable... while also being selfish.  But she does manage to stay true to herself as she overcomes these stresses in her life.

I adored Cricket, his devotion to his family, especially his twin sister (even if she was a pain at times), his constant tinkering with mechanical devices, and his loyalty to Lola even when she didn't want a relationship with him.  He is just an overall nice guy that readers can't help but fall for, and I really want to smack the person who coined the phrase "Nice guys finish last."  Especially when you have an exhibit B like Lola's rocker boyfriend, Max.  This guy puts up with having Sunday brunch with Lola's two fathers, her ever-changing style, among other things.  I'm sorry, you don't "put up with" things that mean something to the girl you're supposed to care about.  He's bad news in a bad world, and no one should put up with that.

The story itself was cute and definitely heart-warming as Lola tries to sort through her jumbled feelings about so much in her life.  There were a few places in the book where I really wanted certain conflicts to be wrapped up a bit sooner than they were, but these things cannot be rushed.  Perkins certainly knows how to draw out a conflict, but she also knows how to wrap it up and give proper closure.  With such a cavalcade of quirky characters, readers will constantly smile while enjoying Lola and the Boy Next Door.


Book 7

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: Onyx



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's "Waiting On" Wednesday selection is:

By Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publish Date: August 14th, 2012 by Entangled Teen

From Goodreads~
Being connected to Daemon Black sucks...


Daemon's determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarre connection. I've sworn him off even though he's running more hot than cold these days. But against all common sense, I'm falling for him. Hard.


Our relationship issues aren't our biggest problem...


The Department of Defense is here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I'm a goner. So is he. And when a new boy shows up at school with a secret of his own, things get complicated fast. I need to choose between my own instincts and Daemon's.


But then everything changes...


I've seen someone who shouldn't be alive. Daemon's never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them--from me?


No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies.

Yes, I am totally hooked on this series after reading Obsidian, so it's any wonder why I'm eagerly awaiting August's arrival. Daemon, how you tease and torment not only Katy but me, too! JLA has one stellar alien series here. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Anastasia Forever Blog Tour



I am so excited to be a part of the exclusive ANASTASIA FOREVER BLOG TOUR!  Only a lucky few have the chance to debut this trailer, and I’m beyond thrilled to see where Anne’s dreams lead her in the third and final installment of the DREAMING ANASTASIA Series.  Will she unlock the secrets of the past before they destroy her future?

Here’s the scoop on the DREAMING ANASTASIA Series!

There is so much to love about this series as Joy brilliantly blends Russian history, romance, magic and mythology into an enticing adventure.

In DREAMING ANASTASIA, Anne Michaelson begins to have unusual dreams and discovers that she is the only one who can save the daughter of the last tsar of Russia, Anastasia Romanov.  Believed to be dead by the world, Anastasia has been kept captive all these years by the Russian witch Baba Yaga, and only Ethan, a handsome and mysterious 18-year-old, can help Anne free Anastasia.  

Anne once again leaves behind her ordinary life in HAUNTED to join forces with the mysterious and gorgeous Ethan as the journey with the Romanov continues.  This time she is haunted by classic figures from Russian mythology, a rusalka, a Russian folklore mermaid with a malevolent streak –  and a particular interest in Anne,  who tells her that Anastasia is still alive.  As she and Ethan team up, Anne’s search for the rusalka’s identity reveals deep and startling secrets - including the true source of Anne’s powers.

Now in ANASTASIA FOREVER, having survived Baba Yaga and the Rusalka, Anne finds herself bound by the witch to undertake a journey into past, present, and future that will determine her destiny - and that of everyone she loves.

Catch a preview of the danger, romance, and magic await Anne in this exciting glimpse ahead of ANASTASIA FOREVER by taking a look at a special sneak peak with the first three chapters here!

ANASTASIA FOREVER comes out this August, be sure to look out for all things Anastasia at Joy’s website joysnovelidea.blogspot.com.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (48): Summer TBR List


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted by one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. Everyone is welcome to join, just make sure to link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so everyone can check out other blogger lists. Have fun!

Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR List
(In no particular order)

1) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
2) Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

3) Of Poseidon by Anna Bands
4) The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

5) Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
6) Pegasus: The Flame of Olympus by Kate O'Hearn

7) Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
8) The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

9) Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey
10) Kiss of Fire by Deborah Cooke

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Interview with Rebecca Hart

When I was asked to participate in the blog tour for Call of the Sea, I jumped on the chance. How could I not when selkies and pirates were involved in the story? I had to hear more about the mastermind behind this tale, and I had the opportunity to have a, pardon the pun, Heart-to-Hart chat with Rebecca. I hope everyone enjoys the interview.

Amy: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Rebecca: I’ve always considered myself a writer, but only a serious one for about the past eighteen months. A writer is anyone who pens stories to my thinking. Now, author… it wasn’t until very recently that I felt I earned the right to call myself one.

Amy: Where do you feel most “in the zone” when you’re writing?  Is there anything in particular that you need in order to feel prepared to write such as tea or coffee to drink or have music playing in the background?

Rebecca: The writing zone is such an elusive place for me. I don’t have a writing space, really. Most of Call of the Sea was written sitting on the bed next to my partner, Pete with a laptop on my thighs. I usually need to tune myself up with a little mood music before I sit down to write. What I listen to depends on what I’m going to be writing that particular day.

Amy: What initially inspired you to write Call of the Sea?

Rebecca: Aside from my personal obsession with all things pirate, I felt there was a distinct lack of gender twisting pirate tales out there. Why were the really cool, kick-ass pirate characters all men? Then I thought, if I can twist up the typical female role, why not the male one, too? And, well, here we are.

Amy: Was there a playlist of songs that you listened to while writing Call of the Sea?  If not, is there one song that you feel would best represent Call of the Sea?

Rebecca: I listened to a lot of the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack while writing Call of the Sea. There were some more contemporary artists in the mix, but that made up about 80% of my playlist.

Amy: With the multitude of creatures available to authors, vampires, werewolves, fairies, and mermaids seem to be the most commonly used supernatural creatures in books.  Why did you choose selkies to be your paranormal element?

Rebecca: One major reason was the lack of stories featuring selkies in the paranormal stories out there. The few I do know of feature female selkies, and not male ones. I knew they existed, and felt they could use a little spotlight time. The myth surrounding the selkie also isn’t as well know of that as say a vampire or a werewolf, so it left more room for me to tweak and twist the myths to suit the story.

Amy: What do you do when you’re not writing?

Rebecca: Working, working, some more working. If that doesn’t keep me busy enough, I have two daughters at home and (according to him) “a needy” boyfriend to keep me occupied. For fun I play softball in a women’s league two nights a week, and I also recently started working as the Social Media Manager for the publisher of Call of the Sea, Inkspell Publishing.

Amy: What advice can you offer aspiring writers?

Rebecca: I feel so cliché even saying this, but, believe in yourself. Never be afraid to write down the stories rumbling around in your brain. You may be amazed by how many are genuinely interested in reading them when you’re done.

Amy: Thank you so much for visiting and answering my questions, Rebecca!


About Rebecca Hart

Rebecca Hart is a single parent, full time IT geek, and reformed gaming addict living in Upstate NY. When not at the office with her nose buried in a laptop trying to fix it, she can be found at home with her nose buried in a laptop, writing instead. Her debut novel, a Paranormal Romance titled CALL OF THE SEA, will be published by Inkspell Publishing with a release date of June 21, 2012, giving Rebecca one more reason to look forward to summer. Rebecca’s short stories have been featured in anthologies published by Pill Hill Press, Wicked East Press and DFE Quarterly (erotica). She enjoys hearing and interacting with her readers.
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Inkspell


About Call of the Sea 


Call of the Sea will be on sale 30% off from June 21st through June 30th from Inkspell!


Elysandra Winters has always yearned for a life of adventure on the rolling seas and is willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill her dream. When her Privateer father continually refuses to allow his only daughter to sail, Ellie defies him, disguises herself as a boy, and goes in search of a captain who will give her a chance to prove her worth.

Thanks to the cursed Selkie blood coursing through his veins, Daniel O'Rourke needs the sea to survive. After giving up on his humanity and spending three years in seal form, he decides to give his human side another chance. Daniel goes in search of a job and a sense of normalcy, earning himself a position aboard Captain Winter’s ship, The Siren's Call. However, his new captain’s first assignment has nothing at all to do with sailing, and everything to do with his headstrong young daughter.

Years later, when the leader of a band of bloodthirsty pirates murders Captain Winters, Daniel and Elysandra’s lives come crashing back together with the force of a hurricane. Both experts in deception, they must find a way to trust each other in order to quell the raging storm between them or have any hope of hunting down the captain’s killer.


Blog Tour Schedule

ARC Review: Call of the Sea by Rebecca Hart + Giveaway

Title:  Call of the Sea
Author:  Rebecca Hart
Pages:  278
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Inkspell Publishing
Obtained:  From Publicist for Blog Tour
Summary:  Elysandra Winters has always yearned for a life of adventure on the rolling seas and is willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill her dream. When her Privateer father continually refuses to allow his only daughter to sail, Ellie defies him, disguises herself as a boy, and goes in search of a captain who will give her a chance to prove her worth.

Thanks to the cursed selkie blood coursing through his veins, Daniel O'Rourke needs the sea to survive. After giving up on his humanity and spending three years in seal form, he decides to give his human side another chance. Daniel goes in search of a job and a sense of normalcy, earning himself a position aboard Captain Winters' ship, The Siren's Call. However, his new captain's first assignment has nothing at all to do with sailing, and everything to do with his headstrong young daughter.

Years later, when the leader of a band of bloodthirsty pirates murders Captain Winters, Daniel and Elysandra's lives come crashing back together with the force of a hurricane. Both experts in deception, they must find a way to trust each other if they are to have any hope of hunting down the captain's killer.

The Dish:  All Elysandra Winters desires to do is to sail the seas aboard her father's ship, The Siren's Call. The sea is in her blood and even as a child, Ellie can hear it calling to her. However, her father has other plans for his fiery daughter when he hires young Daniel O'Rourke as the new cabin boy to serve on The Siren's Call. When Ellie doesn't take this news well, Captain Winters gives a new task to Daniel which in turn further entwines the paths of his daughter and his new cabin boy over the next ten years.

Ellie is one of the most headstrong and stubborn heroines I have had the opportunity to find in a debut title. She knows what she wants and she's willing to do what it takes in order to get what she wants, even if it means disobeying her father. I admire Ellie for that trait, yet it's also a bit worrisome that it will make her blunder into danger. This is actually why she has someone like Daniel to help look after her, especially since he is nearly as stubborn as her. I was smitten with Daniel right from his introduction until the very last page from his loyalty to Captain Winters to his growing fondness of Ellie. So what if he has to change into a seal one month out of the year? These two were definitely made for each other even with Ellie's initial reservations while she was so focused on her own goals rather than looking at the overall picture.

I haven't read much in the way of selkie folklore, and I'm happy to say that Rebecca Hart's is the first novel I've read featuring selkies as the supernatural element. Hart's descriptions of Daniel's various transformations either from seal to human or from human to seal were rather detailed, and I found myself almost cringing with the cracking of bones. It added a sense of realism to the selkie's transformation that goes beyond just magically changing into another form. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more novels that feature selkies.

While the first part of the story is a bit slow, the pace picks up as soon as Ellie makes a break for the sea, soon sending her father and Daniel in search of her. Readers who enjoy a high-seas adventure story with supernatural and romantic elements won't be disappointed with Call of the Sea.


***Giveaway***
In celebration of the release date, I'm giving away a signed copy of Call of the Sea courtesy of the publicist. The giveaway will run until the official release date on June 21st, so good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (6)


We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking the Shelves, created and hosted at Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!

Thanks to the Fierce Reads Tour, Blue Willow Books, Hip Mama Jenn, and Krista Holle, I have a wonderful stack of books to share and stack on my bookshelves!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (bought and signed from Fierce Reads Tour)
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks (bought and signed from Fierce Reads Tour)
A Midsummer's Nightmare ARC by Kody Keplinger (thanks to the fabulous Hip Mama Jenn!)
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout (bought)
The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle (won thanks to Jessica from Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile and Krista!)
Bookmarks, bookplate, a Lure of Shapinsay T-shirt

The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines (free ebook on Smashwords)

That's all for me this week.  What did you stack on your shelves? ^_^

Friday, June 15, 2012

TGIF (27): Most Valuable Book



TGIF is a weekly meme created and hosted by Ginger of GReads! that recaps the week's posts and has a different question each week.

Question: From your personal collection of books, which ones hold the most value to you - is it signed by the author? Or maybe it's your favorite story of all time? Share it with us.

My Answer: It's a very hard decision to make, saying you value one book over the others in your collection.  However, there are 4 books that I value highly and would be very upset if I lost any of them. 

1) Watership Down by Richard Adams - My original copy is 16 years old, and I had read it 4 times in the 7th grade. I love that book so much, and it's still one of my absolute favorite books. 
2) Tales from Watership Down by Richard Adams - I know what you're thinking. That's not like the copies I've seen. You're right because one of my dear college friends (also a lib-sci grad) rebound this copy for me. It's a one-of-a-kind copy and I wouldn't trade it for even a signed first edition.
3) Abandon by Meg Cabot - My first book by Meg Cabot and also my first book won in a blog giveaway. I was so surprised when I got the email from Jill at The O.W.L. that I'd won. It's definitely one that I treasure (and enjoyed reading).
4) Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - This was an unexpected gift from Karen one Christmas, and it's become one of my favorite books. It's also the first book that my beau and I read together. Each of our copies is signed by Maggie... to both of us. ^_^

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Crown of Embers




"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's "Waiting On" Wednesday selection is:

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2)
By Rae Carson
Publish date: September 18th, 2012 by Greenwillow Books

From Goodreads~
In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy doctor, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

I thoroughly devoured and enjoyed The Girl of Fire and Thorns (as seen by my review), and it was just the fantasy novel I needed. Elisa is such a remarkable heroine and I'm eager to see where her journey will take her and her companions in the sequel. Readers who enjoy a unique fantasy world will love this trilogy.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fun in the Sun Giveaway Hop!


Want a fun way to start off the summer? Then join the Fun in the Sun Giveaway hosted by the always awesome Ex Libris and Cari Blogs from June 11th through June 16th!

For my Fun in the Sun title, I'm giving away a paperback copy of Unearthly by Cynthia Hand.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (5)


We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking the Shelves, created and hosted at Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen (Bought)
Sweet Evil ARC by Wendy Higgins (From Jessica at Confessions of a Bookaholic)
Spirit's Princess by Esther Friesner (From Jessica)
Awesome Book Swag (Also from Jessica!)

Many thanks to the amazing Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic!

That's all for my shelves today.  What did you stack on your shelves this week?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Upcoming Bookish Events

I'm so thrilled about the Fierce Reads tour coming into Houston next week.  Five awesome authors will be talking about their five intense titles.  



When:  June 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm
Where:  Blue Willow Books

Be there and be FIERCE!


***



What better way to celebrate summer than by having a giveaway hop of fun reads for your summer vacation?  The Fun in the Sun Giveaway Hop is hosted by Ex Libris and Cari Blogs and will take place June 11th through June 16th.  Want to know what I'm giving away?  You'll have to come back to find out and definitely check out the other awesome blogs participating!


***



I'm so excited to be part of Rebecca Hart's Call of the Sea blog tour taking place June 7th through June 28th.  Selkies and pirates, what more could you want this summer?  The tour started June 7th at The Book Cellar, and look for my post on June 17th!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (47) Rewind: Favorite Places to Read


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted by one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. Everyone is welcome to join, just make sure to link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so everyone can check out other blogger lists. Have fun!

Top Ten Favorite Places to Read 
(In no particular order)

1. My couch.
As one of the best places to read and the most comfortable, I can either read beside either of the lamps or stretch out if I want to.

2. My bedroom.
My nightstand is perfect for a stack of books that I want to read. Right up until bedtime, I can sit comfortably under the covers and read to a stopping place.

3. The library.
While the library I work in isn't always quiet, the one in my neighborhood is very quiet upstairs with a great view of the small pond.

4. The park.
There's a park near the library I work at which is so pretty and quaint, provided I don't bring food with me. The ducks and geese would go nutters while I'm trying to read.

5. The car.
On long road trips where I'm not driving, I usually have one or two (or three or four) books with me. It started out when I was little and has just been maintained over time.

6. The bookstore.
Whether it's Hastings, Barnes & Noble, or one of the many independent bookstores I love so much, they are all great places to sit in comfort and read. Granted, I make sure it's either a book I've bought or a book I'm going to buy before I start reading.

7. The airport/airplane.
Traveling can be such a bear at times, but it's nice to have a book to distract you from either waiting to board a plane, waiting for the plane to land, or waiting for someone to disembark from a plane.

8. The bakery/coffeehouse/yogurt store.
What better place to enjoy a great book than with something sweet to eat or drink?

9. Any "waiting" chair.
The salon, the inspection station, the tire store, anywhere that I'm made to wait for some service to be performed, I always always ALWAYS try to have a book with me. Because when you don't have a book is when you have to wait the longest time.

10. My chairs.
Some days you want more of a natural view while reading, and my chairs provide a nice view within the comforts of my home. (Namely the view below.)

 
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