Waiting on Wednesday (#72)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spinethat spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Morning swooners!

This week pre-publication "can't wait to read" selection is:

Expected Release Date: September 2, 2014
Synopsis:
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem - one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

I'm super excited about this one. I can' wait to finally read this.

What are you "Waiting on?"

Clean Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

This blog hop is hosted by Bookhounds and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

Hi Lovelies!

I decided to participate in this blog hop after spending my Saturday reorganizing my book shelves and freaking out that I have officially ran out of shelf space. And since there's still so many books that are releasing this year that will need shelf space, I have a nice stack of books to give away to a lucky winner.

When Nahomi and I went to Book Bash, we were invited to a Blogger Meet-Up from Berkley Romance. We had a blast but we ended up with a lot more books than expected. This is where you guys come in. All you have to do is enter the information on the rafflecopter down below. Be sure to check out the Terms of Service.

Here are the books being given away:
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid (Sampler)
All You Need is Love by Marie Force
All Of You by Christina Lee
Virgin by Radhika Sanghani
Bound by Lorelei James

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now that you’ve entered the giveaway here, check out all of the other blogs on the hop listed below for a chance to win some more books! Best of luck to you all!

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Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas


Heir of Fire
(Throne of Glass #3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: BEA 2014 / NetGalley
Review by: Jenn
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
5 stars out of 5 stars (But in reality, ALLLLLLL THE STARS)

How do I even begin in talking about this book without sounding like a bumbling, rambling fangirl? I can't. I can't properly express and summarize how I felt, what happened, without giving away some plot points and giving this book it's justice that it so plainly deserves. All the details that went in making this storytelling so unique and everything that I learn, it amazing how it all going to tie itself together.

All I'm going to say in regards to the plot is how everything is so intricately interwoven and I'm so amazed at how it has played out. Celaena has also continued to grow and when she finally tells her story, my heart just breaks for her. But my respect for her just continues to grow with every book. Meeting all the characters, felt at times, like too much information was being given to me, but without their stories, we would certainly be missing out on important story lines and would then be confused later on in the series.

Everything that happens to Celaena and to Rowan, Manon, Chaol, Dorian and Aedion, everything that they endured, it is amazing how much hope, will, and perseverance they have. I've said this before, but if the world ever goes to hell, I would want to be on Celaena Sardorthien's team. She gets shit down. Especially if Rowan is on the team as well. I'm all about Team Rowan now.

Sarah J. Maas has created a world I can picture so vividly in my head and I can so easily picture it on the big screen as well. I honestly don't know how she does it, but I am immensely grateful that she created the Throne of Glass world. It has become one of my favorite series and I can't not recommend this series to everyone. It is SO good and I can't WAIT to see what else she does next and I NEED BOOK 4 RIGHT NOW. I NEED IT I SAY. So if you haven't started this series, PLEASE, go out and buy the book. It will not regret it. And if you're anxiously awaiting the release of Heir of Fire? Two more weeks until this baby is out and you can finally get your fix of Celaena and you will LOVE it.

Quotes (#71)


Morning Swooners!

This whole training for a 5K thing is exhausting. Making and keeping a workout schedule into our regular schedule has been an experience for Nahomi and I. We've slipped up here and there but luckily we both know we have an end game and help the other out. Six more weeks until we do our 5K trail run! Now let's get to our quotes.

“I feel free and strong. If I were not a reader of books I could not feel this way.” - Walter Tevis

“He made me think of all the books I hadn't read, and all the ones I'd read but hadn't fully understood.” - Tom Perrotta, Joe College

“Words dazzle and deceive because they are mimed by the face. But black words on a white page are the soul laid bare.” - Guy de Maupassant

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” - C.G. Jung

“But luxury has never appealed to me, I like simple things, books, being alone, or with somebody who understands.” - Daphne du Maurier

“This was another of our fears: that Life wouldn't turn out to be like Literature.” - Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending

“Books have a unique way of stopping time in a particular moment and saying: Let’s not forget this.” - Dave Eggers

That's it for me today. Today's workout has worn me out and I'm ready for a nap. I might just take one now. Have a great Monday!

Book Promo - The Innocents Assassins by Pema Donyo

Release Date: June 24, 2014
Genre: New Adult Thriller, Romantic Suspense
Synopsis:
There are three rules to staying an assassin at the corporation of Covert Operatives: (1) your parents must be deceased, (2) your contracts must remain confidential, and (3) you must be under the age of eighteen.
After a murder mission goes awry a month before her eighteenth birthday, Covert Operatives assassin Jane Lu finds herself caught by the federal government and forced to spy for the CIA while remaining in Covert Operatives. Once her spying mission is over she will be allowed to live a civilian life without facing criminal consequences, a life she’s only dreamed of having.
As Jane leaks information to the CIA, she uncovers secrets with enough power to both destroy Covert Operatives and her own boyfriend, Adrian King, who’s next in line to be CEO of the company. When her identity as a double agent for the CIA is discovered within Covert Operatives, she must decide where her allegiance, and her heart, truly lies.



Excerpt
Rough cloth slid across my face and pulled down against my shoulders. I screamed. Someone yanked my wrists behind my back and tied them together with coarse rope. Another set of hands bound my legs. How many were there?

I struggled to make contact with a body, swerving from side to side with wild abandon in spite of my inability to see anything. What worried me most weren’t the people trapping my body or the sudden needle injected into my neck which slowed my thoughts and faded away my consciousness.

It was the voice next to my ear—cold, hard, and determined.

“You’re right on time,” Adrian whispered.

****
Freezing ice water snapped my eyes open.

I blinked away the unconscious haze, my hair and face dripping from the unwelcome drench. The first thing I noticed was the boardroom, similar to the ones I negotiated contracts in. But there was no contract here—only a long, empty rectangular table and looming executives and agents on either side.

In front of me stood Adrian, his expression unreadable as he studied me.

“I tried to stop you.” His voice reminded me of the cold water dripping from my clothes. “I warned you.”

“By hiring assassins to scare me? I thought you knew me better. Nothing scares me.”

“Death should.”

“You know I never wanted to be…” I swallowed hard. “This.”

“I changed Covert Operatives for you.” Emotion leaked into his voice, brimming with frustration. “I tried to give you what you wanted.”

“And force others against their will to work for CO their entire life?” I spat. “I think not.”

“When did you switch sides?”

“When I was arrested, Adrian. It was after our mission went wrong. The CIA gave me a choice. Go to prison and face the death sentence or work for them.”

He gritted his teeth. “The CIA? You’re afraid of the CIA? You know as well as I do CO can keep you away from them. I can keep you away from them.”

I glared at him. “And hide away for the rest of my life?”

His shoulders stiffened. “No one would be hiding.”

“I want a life removed from murder. The CO job was always temporary! It was never what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” I averted my gaze. “Don’t you know there’s only one way this can possibly end? Kill me or let me go.”

About the author:


Pema Donyo is a coffee-fueled college student by day and a creative writer by night. She currently lives in sunny Southern California, where any temperature less than 70 degrees is freezing and flip-flops never go out of season. As a rising sophomore at Claremont McKenna, she's still working on mastering that delicate balance between finishing homework, meeting publisher deadlines, and... college.
Her debut novel, The Innocent Assassins, is signed for publication with Astraea Press in June 2014. Catch up with her latest release information or writerly musings on her website.
Author's Links: Website / Twitter / Goodreads

Waiting on Wednesday (#71)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spinethat spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Morning swooners!

This week pre-publication "can't wait to read" selection is:

Expected Release Date: September 16, 2014


Synopsis:
Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and divisive ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world. 

I've had Jandy Nelson on my TBR list for a while now. When I read the synopsis for I'll Give You the Sun I thought it sounded interesting. I can't wait until it comes out so I can read it! What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley


Rites of Passage
Author: Joy N. Hensley
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Edelweiss
Review by: Jenn
Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty...no matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.
4 stars out of 5 stars
*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher, but it did not influence this review in any way.*

I was really excited about starting this book. The summary really caught my attention and I couldn't wait to start it. Rites of Passage follows the story of Sam McKenna as she is set to join the prestigious Denmark Military Academy (DMA) that was previously an all-boys school. Some may be okay with her being at DMA but there's another (more dangerous) group that want her gone no matter what means necessary.

I have to say that everything that Sam has to endure, all the hazing and torture, it was really hard to read at times. And how she remains strong and still manage to go back out there and show that they didn't break her? That's one badass chick there, she has earned my respect. I know that coming from a military family helped her tough it out and easily acclimate to the military school atmosphere, but I'm still amazed by how she just persevered and didn't allow for them to beat her.

There's a bit of romance in the story line and it came about so naturally and it was such a welcome distraction to all the pain that Sam was going through. However, I love how the book didn't become "romance" focused and it didn't distract Sam from her main goal of just making it through her first year at DMA.

The way that Rites of Passage ended has me hoping that Ms. Hensley will do a follow-up book on Sam. Rites of Passage gave us some closer but also left me wanting to know what will happen next to these characters. As a debut novel, Ms. Hensley left me in book hangover because days later I'm still in Sam's world back at DMA and how I would have fared in her place. (Spoiler alert: not very well). I can't wait to see what else Hensley has in stored for us. I say pick up this book because you will not regret it.

Cover Reveal + Giveaway - Stan & Max by C.J. Duggan

I am in LOVE with the covers for the novellas for the Summer Series. I can't wait to read these babies!
Expected Release Date: December 2014
Publisher: C.J. Duggan
Links: iTunes / Goodreads
Synopsis:
I had plans, big plans, but all that changed the night Bel Evans darkened my doorstep.
Stan Remington is the go-to man; what he doesn't know about Onslow means one of two things: it doesn't exist or it hasn't happened yet.
And when it comes to Onslow, for Stan, being an only child has meant a guilt-riddled sense of duty to help out at his parents’ caravan park every summer. Same old town. Same old story.
Until Belinda Evans.
The wild and annoying doctor’s daughter spends her summer family holidays at Remington’s Caravan Park, and normally she’s not Stan’s problem. But then she sabotages his planned weekend escape. Now Stan finds himself not only caretaking the caravan park on his own, but also responsible for Bel.
Just the two of them.
Under the one roof.
For one long, long weekend.
In a world where mundane routine and small-town boredom is his norm, one weekend changes every element of his world to anything but boring.

Expected Release Date: December 2014
Publisher: C.J. Duggan
Links: iTunes / Goodreads
Synopsis:
Max Henry thought he’d left the dusty flats of Ballan behind, but when the past slams into his present, suddenly there is no escaping – even if he wanted to.
Melanie Sheehan didn’t set out to be a liar, but her last lie landed her in big trouble. Now Mel must suffer a harsh consequence – she’s not allowed out of her father’s sight.
No friends, no parties, no life.
Since impeccably good behaviour is now all she’s about, her dad, renowned Ballan local ‘Bluey’ Sheehan, is about to finally cut Mel some slack. The catch? While he heads out of town on business, she has to stay at the Onslow Hotel, and he’s entrusting Max Henry, the eldest son of Bluey’s best mate, to look out for her.
He just doesn’t know it yet.
Max, the new head barman at the Onslow Hotel, is the one boy Mel has been crushing on since forever. At a time when Mel plans to go on the straight and narrow, she is about to tell the biggest lie of all. Will Max be able to handle the fiery farm girl or should he be considered the last boy in Onslow to trust?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:


C.J Duggan is a Number One Best Selling Australian Author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia. When she isn’t writing books about swoony boys and 90’s pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos.

The Boys of Summer is Book One in her international best selling New Adult Romance Series.

The 'Summer Series':
The Boys of Summer
Stan (Summer Novella)
An Endless Summer
Max (Summer Novella)
That One Summer
Ringer (Summer Novella)
Forever Summer 
Author Links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads
Cover Reveal organized by: Xpresso Book Tours

Quotes (#70)


Morning Swooners,

Today marks the third week in our get fit plan and I am just plain exhausted. On a different note, I just finished the Lux series last week by Jennifer L. Armentrout! So in honor of this great series today's quotes will all be from Katy or Daemon! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

“Why are you such an ass?" The words came out before I could think twice.
"Everyone has to excel at something, right?"
"Well, you're doing a great job.” 
~ Jennifer L. Armentrout, Obsidian

“I've always found that the most beautiful people, truly beautiful inside and out, are the ones who are quietly unaware of their effect." His eyes searched mine intently, and for a moment we stood there toe to toe. "The ones who throw their beauty around, waste what they have? Their beauty is only passing. It's just a shell hiding nothing but shadows and emptiness.”
Jennifer L. ArmentroutObsidian

“Air punched out of my lungs. I held her tight, and I knew right then I would burn down the whole universe for her if I had to. I would do anything to keep her safe. Kill. Heal. Die. Anything. Because she was my everything.”
Jennifer L. Armentrout, Onyx

“You haven't been smiling much. I missed it, so I decided to reward you for doing it." "Reward me?" I laughed. "God, only you would think kissing someone is a reward." "You know it is. My lips change lives, baby.”
Jennifer L. Armentrout, Opal

“I want a years-worth of seconds and minutes with you. I want a decade's worth of hours, so many that I can't add them up.” 
Jennifer L. Armentrout, Origin

“So I was thinking, there're eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds in a day, right? There're one thousand, four hundred and forty minutes in a day...There're one hundred and sixty-eight hours in a week. Around eighty-seven hundred and then some hours in a year, and you know what?...I want to spend every second, every minute, every hour with you...I want a year's worth of seconds and minutes with you. I want a decade's worth of hours, so many that I can't add them up.” 
Jennifer L. ArmentroutOrigin

“The kiss . . . holy alien babies, the kiss was a raw combination of lust and possession.” 
Jennifer L. ArmentroutOpposition

Y'all have a great week!

Review: See Me by Wendy Higgins


See Me
Author: Wendy Higgins
Release Date: March 17, 2014
Publisher: Wendy Higgins
Source: Personal Copy
Review by: Nahomi
While most seventeen-year-old American girls would refuse to let their parents marry them off to a stranger, Robyn Mason dreams of the mysterious McKale in Ireland, wondering how he’ll look and imagining his cute Irish accent. Prearranged bindings are common for magical families like her own, however when she travels to the whimsical Emerald Isle she discovers there’s more to her betrothal and McKale’s clan than she was led to believe.

What starts as an obligatory pairing between Robyn and McKale morphs over time into something they both need. But one giant obstacle stands in the way of their budding romance: a seductive and deadly Fae princess accustomed to getting what she wants—and what she wants is McKale as her plaything. Love, desire, and jealousies collide as Robyn’s family and McKale’s clan must work together to outsmart the powerful Faeries and preserve the only hope left for their people.
4 stars out of 5 stars

      From the moment I found out that Wendy Higgins was working on See Me, I was excited about reading it! I fell in love with the story and the characters and was sad at the end because I wanted to read more about these wonderful characters and world.

In the beginning I had a hard time connecting with Robyn, but as the story went on, I got to know her I grew to like her a lot. She is strong and although a little insecure at time Robyn knows what she wants. Her situation although difficult to identify with isn't totally a foreign concept, and the whole arranged marriage thing was done really well. McKale is really sweet. He's kinda shy, a good guy and a total cutie. I really liked his character and how proper he was, he definitely had his swoony moments.

I loved how the love story developed. Both Robyn and McKale were tentative and a little unsure of the other in the beginning, but then they slowly got to know each other and it was just a really sweet experience. There were times in the story things were really tight, I was so nervous I was biting my nails.

Overall I was really happy with this story, its pacing, characters and resolution. I really enjoyed reading it and hope that one day Ms. Higgins will revisit Robyn and McKale's story, just so I can get another glimpse into their lives.

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