[Review] Red Rising by Pierce Brown


Title: Red Rising

Author: Pierce Brown

Series: Red Rising Trilogy #1

Publisher: Random House

Release Date: January 28th 2014

Goodreads Page 

Get it Here: Indigo Amazon BookDepository B&N

Source: e-ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity's last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it's all a lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda.

[Waiting on Wednesday] #24 :Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Title: Becoming Jinn

Author: Lori Goldstein

Series: Becoming Jinn #1

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Release Date: May 12th 2015

Goodreads page
Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!

Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.

To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.

Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters,” Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.

FANTASY. Also genies! That is all. That is literally all I have to say. I really just need more fantasy in my life. okay? okay.

Happy Reading!
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[Review] Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe


Title: Earth & Sky
Author: Megan Crewe
Series: Earth & Sky #1
Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Release Date: October 28th 2014
Get it Here: Indigo Amazon BookDepository B&N
Goodreads Page
Source: e-ARC from publisher via NetGalley
Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the panic attacks tormenting her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for its inhabitants and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help--but with each shift in the past, the very fabric of reality is unraveling, and soon there may be no Earth left to save.

[Review] Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle


Title: Famous In Love

Author: Rebecca Serle 

Series: Famous In Love #1 

Publisher: Poppy

Release Date: October 21st 2014

Get it Here: Indigo Amazon BookDepository B&N

Source: The Bloggerhood ARC Tour (Thanks Dana!)


The romantic story of a girl who gets plucked from obscurity to star in the next major feature film franchise based on a book and the ensuing love triangles she gets entangled in on—-and off screen.

Meet Paige Townsen, Rainer Devon, and Jordan Wilder…

When Paige Townsen, a young unknown, gets cast in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a crowded movie set on the shores of Maui, and is spending quality time with her co-star Rainer Devon, one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie’s famous love triangle, Paige’s crazy new life gets even crazier.

In this coming-of-age romance inspired by the kind of celeb hookups that get clever nicknames and a million page views, Paige must figure out who she is – and who she wants – while the whole world watches.

[Review] Puppet by Pauline C. Harris


Title: Puppet

Author: Pauline C. Harris

Series: N/A

Publisher: Patchwork Press

Release Date: October 24th 2014

Get it Here: Amazon

Goodreads Page

Source: e-ARC via Netgalley

Penelope lives in a world of advanced technology but many claim society has yet to catch up. Marionettes have advanced in the form of robots; lifelike creations remote controlled to perform super human tasks.

When Penelope makes a deal with Jed, a marionette-obsessed scientist, she doesn’t fully realize what she’s getting herself into. In order for Jed to take her away from the orphanage she lives in, she must first agree to undergo his experiments and tests, ultimately creating something no one ever dreamed possible; the first living marionette.

As Jed shows off his scientific creation to the world, concerns arise surrounding Penelope’s abilities and what she’s capable of doing. Ordered to somehow lessen her abilities, Jed makes a desperate attempt to change Penelope to make her more human, more vulnerable. After Penelope lies to the officials about her past, Jed makes sure it’s the last one she’ll ever utter. The truth is now the only thing she is capable of telling.

As Penelope struggles with her past, her disturbingly new present, and her uncertain future, she is thrust into a magically twisted world of mayhem in search of the one thing she wants, but knows she can never have. The chance to be just a girl again. To be normal. To be real.

[Blog Tour] Even in Paradise's Chelsey Philpot and Top Ten Boarding School Books!

I've really been looking forward to this book and I'm so excited to be able to be a part of this blog tour and to share with you guys.

First, let's take get a look at the book and that gorgeous cover:


Title: Even in Paradise

Author: Chelsey Philpot

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release Date: October 14th 2014
When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.

You can purchase Even in Paradise here: 

Since EVEN IN PARADISE takes place in a boarding school, I thought I would ask Chelsey for her Top Ten Boarding School books. Buuuuut, she cheated a little. ;)

So here are Chelsey Philpot's Top Ten(ish) Boarding School Books: 

  1.  Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. Many people think that Madeline is in an orphanage, but she’s actually at a boarding school. 
  2. A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Certain images from this book have stayed with me for decades. 
  3. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. Sittenfeld captures boarding school life so accurately in her coming of age story. 
  4. Looking for Alaska by John Green. A heartbreaking story about the depths we must fall into and heights we climb in order to become the people we want to be. 
  5. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth. Danforth’s protagonist is so strong and confused and wonderful. 
  6. Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl. Dahl’s autobiography of his boyhood is a fantastic hodgepodge of disgusting, humorous, and lovely moments.
  7. Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool. This beautiful middle grade novel infuses the ordinary world with wonder.  
  8. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. The mystery at the heart of Marchetta’s Printz-Award winning novel makes it unputdownable. 
  9. ”Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling. I feel this selection needs no explanation.
  10. Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard. Hubbard gracefully depicts the loneliness and confusion of a boy torn between truth and self-preservation.

  11. And if I got to choose 15 books (I know that I’m not following the rules, but I must, must, must mention these titles), I would include:

  12. My Name Is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson
  13. Winger by Andrew Smith
  14. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  15. The Tragedy Papers by Elizabeth LaBan
  16. Sex and Violence by Carrie Mesrobian


Chelsey Philpot grew up on a farm in New Hampshire and now works as an editor and journalist. She's written for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Slate, and numerous other publications. Like her main character, Charlotte, Chelsey attended boarding school in New England. You can visit her online at www.chelseyphilpot.com or on Twitter @ChelseyPhilpot.

Happy Reading!

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[Book Blitz!] The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow!


Title: The Secret Diamond Sisters

Author: Michelle Madow

Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters #1 

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Release Date: February 25th 2014 
Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite.

Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.


"Sexy and often electrifying ... Gossip Girl meets The Princess Diaries in a city that never sleeps."

"This quick and entertaining read is filled with glitz and glamour ... get ready for one crazy and fabulous ride."
--RT Book Reviews

Purchase here: 

Purchase the sequel here: 

Now here's a look at one of the sisters, Peyton: 

At seventeen years old, Peyton is the oldest Diamond sister. She’s been hurt in the past, but because of it, has developed a thick skin. She will do anything for her sisters, going as far as protecting them from their mom’s outbursts and getting home first from school to make sure everything in the house (including their mom) is ready for them. She’s tough, doesn’t trust easily, and while she has many people she hangs out with, the only people who she feels truly know her are her sisters. She doesn’t like school (she gets restless sitting in classrooms!) and can’t wait until graduation so she’ll be done forever.

Peyton’s a natural night owl, and waking up in the morning is a constant struggle. (Her sisters usually resort to throwing things at her to wake her up, and often yell at her to hurry up showering so they can have time for their morning routines, too.) She needs at least three cups of coffee to get going. She loves rock music, and can usually be found with an earbud attached to her ear, even during her classes. She loves partying and dancing and getting lost in the music. She also enjoys an occasional chill night of movies and television shows, as long as it’s not a rom-com chick flick.

She wears mostly black clothing—why other with colors when black always looks hot on her? Her nails are usually painted black as well. She’s not afraid to speak up for what she believes in and she will always stand up for her sisters. She tries to not let anyone in to avoid getting hurt—but really she just wants to find that one person who cares enough to break down her walls.


Michelle Madow was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters series while walking through her favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The next book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, launches in October. Prior to The Secret Diamond Sisters, she successfully self-published The Transcend Time Saga. A tireless promoter of her work, Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. A graduate of Rollins College, Michelle lives in Florida ... but she loves going to Vegas.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook!


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This Book Blitz was organized by: 

Happy Reading!
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[Moodboard Review] Lailah by Nikki Kelly


Title: Lailah

Author: Nikki Kelly

Series:  The Styclar Saga #1

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Release Date: October 7th 2014

Get it Here: Indigo Amazon B&N BookDepository

Goodreads Page
The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

[Moodboard Review] The Walled City by Ryan Graudin


Title: The Walled City

Author: Ryan Graudin

Series: N/A 

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release Date: November 4th 2014 

Get it Here: Indigo Amazon B&N BookDepository

Source: e-ARC via publisher through NetGalley
There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run.

Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai all live in the Walled City, a lawless labyrinth run by crime lords and overrun by street gangs. Teens there traffic drugs or work in brothels--or, like Jin, hide under the radar. But when Dai offers Jin a chance to find her lost sister, Mei Yee, she begins a breathtaking race against the clock to escape the Walled City itself.

[Dear Diary] I am thankful for. . . .

So it's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, and I recently read a post by the lovely Karen over at One More page did a post on 10 reasons why she's thankful for the blogging community. And so I thought that I'd like to share the things that I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving season.

Like Karen, I'm SO SO grateful for the blogging community. I had no idea how much my life was going to change when I started this blog in January. I've met some truly incredible people through blogging and twitter and made some awesome friends out of it. I read a LOT more now and I'm more critical about the things I read. My bookshelf has considerably expanded and I've discovered a lot of stories and worlds that I wouldn't have had I not been in this community. So I'm thankful for you lot and for this community.

I'm thankful for my parents for being able to provide me with the opportunity to pursue a higher education. It's so incredibly expensive and it's really made me really appreciative of the worth of education (even if I do moan and gripe about it.) I'm also thankful to them for giving me so many opportunities to experience the world.

I'm thankful for coffee and tea, of which I've been drinking an obscene amount of. Thank you for soothing my throat and for keeping me awake through classes. (Literally, on Thursday I had two coffees and two teas, on Friday I had three coffees and on Saturday I had three teas and a coffee. )

I'm grateful for my friends, for putting up with my constant talking about books and for putting up with me in general. Particularly my best friend, who has been putting up with me for 7/8 years now. I love her and I'm so grateful that she puts up with my insanity and is still willing to be my friend.

So that's me and what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving. If you're Canadian and you're celebrating Thanksgiving too, I hope you have a wonderful time, and if you're not, then I still hope you had a wonderful weekend! :)

Happy Thanksgiving!
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DNF Review: Soulless by Amber Garr


Title: Soulless

Author: Amber Garr

Series: Death Warden #1

Publisher: Hallowed Ink press

Release Date: August 23rd 2014

Get it Here: Amazon

Goodreads page

Source: e-ARC via NetGalley
When it comes to death and love…only one is guaranteed.
Four decades ago Nora died. A tragic event for someone so young; however, four decades ago Nora was also given a second chance to walk among the living.
A Death Warden with a mysterious past, her job is to escort the newly expired towards the light, battling with the Soul Hunters who want the freshly dead to help with their own evil purposes buried in the dark.

When Nora’s charges suddenly become targets, she realizes that the hunters are after far more than just souls. A shift in power between good and evil threatens to change everything, risking the lives of the only family Nora has ever known.

Devastated and angry, she’s forced to face the man she once loved - a man who chose darkness over her - in order to find the answers she needs to stop the horror from escalating. Yet, while a lost relationship still haunts her broken heart, a new Warden with secrets of his own will enter the mix and quickly alter everything Nora believed to be true.
Death is unavoidable…but sometimes, so is love.

#RiGoesOutside: Word On the Street!

So. So. I thought about taking pictures. I even had my camera with me. An actual camera. But I didn't. Because I'm lazy. And I wanted to enjoy the day with the Biffles, especially since I was pretty stressed from Uni and didn't want to have to think about taking nice pictures for a blog post.

HOWEVER. I did buy some things and grabbed some cool stuff that I can show you.

I used to go to Word on the Street when I was really young and I had a lot of fun at them. But then I stopped going for some reason. This is my first time going in years and I'm kind of happy with the experience. There were a lot of indie publishers that I didn't really check out. It was hot. Like. Really hot. (I consider it to be hot when it gets past 23 degrees Celsius. Don't judge me. I'm a winter person) And the Biffles and I were wearing black. Needless to say, we walked around quickly, and then went to Starbucks.

So here are the books that I bought at WORD ON THE STREET.

I spent about maybe $22 in total for this haul of books, which isn't bad. I got The Dream Thieves from the Mabel's Fables booth. They were pretty cool and friendly. One girl was wearing an "I Read YA" button and so I said, "nice button." And she said, "Thanks. You want one?" And uh. Of course I said YES. So she handed me and the Biffles a pin after I bought The Dream Thieves and the Biffles bought More Than This by Patrick Ness.

I picked up Catching Fire, not at one of the booths, but actually at the Victoria College used book sail. Victoria College is one of the many colleges in University of Toronto. They're basically like homerooms for U of T. And so they were having a used book sale and obviously I headed to the YA section. There were so many copies of the Twilight books there. Like. So. Many. And there were two copies of City of Bones there. I picked Catching Fire up because even though I've read them all, I only own the first book. (Which I'm proud to say is a first edition.) So there's that.

The last two, Golden and Endless Knight, I got at the Simon and Schuster tent. There was a girl with cool blue hair and I was so jealous of her Throne of Glass tote. So. Jealous. I told her, "Nice bag." she smiled and said thanks. Inside, I was wanting to know where she got it. Maybe she went to a book thing. I dunno. I really want that Throne of Glass bag. ANYWAYS. I got Golden and Endless Knight there for $3 a piece. The hardcovers were supposed to be $5, but Endless Knight got discounted because of a little water damage from that morning's rain. So. CHEAP BOOKS. <3

I also got some SWAG from the Harper Collins booth. There were SO many people there that I couldn't find any books that I wanted, especially since all the YA books were peppered throughout the booth so you had to go and look at all the sides of it.

Here's the swag that I got.

I'll probably stick the excerpt booklet into a future swagalicious giveaway. So thanks HarperCollins for the supercool swag. I especially love that Doctor Who one. Woo!

So yeah. That was my experience with Word on the Street. We left kind of early for whenever we do things because we both were swamped in work for uni. So yeah. I'm thinking of going to the book fair in November too. It sounds hella fun. :)

Happy Reading!
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[Cover Reveal] Fall with Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout!

So I've got something special for y'all today. That's right. A cover reveal! I'm so excited! I love love love Jennifer L. Armentrout's work and if I had the chance (and the money), I would create a shrine out of her books on my bookshelf. Seriously.

Fall with Me is a part of Jennifer's New Adult Stay With Me series. Though it's a series, each of the books can be read separately because it's sort of an anthology series.

Here's the synopsis for FALL WITH ME:

Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.

Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.

But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.

Are you ready to see the cover? Are you? Well then. SCROLL!!!!

Ooooooooo. Look at this gorgeous cover! It matches so nicely with all the other ones.

Pre-Order Fall With Me here: 


# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Happy Reading!
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[Waiting On Wednesday] #23: Golden Son by Pierce Brown.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Title: Golden Son

Author: Pierce Brown

Series: Red Rising Trilogy #2

Publisher: Del Rey/ Random House

Release Date: January 12th 2015

With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.
I am so in love with Red Rising. SO in love. The first book was so freaking fantastic and I seriously seriously cannot wait for this one. This trilogy is epic and I just can't even with Darrow. I love him. I love him. Red Rising is the definition of why I love reading. Oh my god. I seriously need this book like. ASAP. I also need to get myself a copy of Red Rising too. That's gonna happen like. Soon. You'll also see my review of Red Rising soon. Cannot wait for the next installment of this trilogy. <3

Happy Reading!
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[Release Day Book Blitz] Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross!

I'm so excited to share this with you guys today! Whatever Life Throws At You is a contemporary YA about baseball and romance that's published by Entangled Teen. And Entangled publishes some pretty swoony book boys. ;) Here's the deets on the book!


Title: Whatever Life Throws At You

Author: Julie Cross

Publisher: EntangledTeen

Release Date: October 7th 2014. (TODAY!)

Goodreads Page

Life loves a good curveball…

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas is too young to remember her dad’s glory days as a pitcher for the Yankees. So when her father is offered a coaching position with the Kansas City Royals, Annie is intrigued to see the baseball side of her dad. Of course, knowing he’ll be a mentor to hot young rookie pitcher, Jason Brody, certainly makes it more enticing.

After an awkward first meeting with “Brody” involving very little clothing and a much-too-personal locker room interview, Annie’s convinced she knows Brody’s type: arrogant, self-involved, bossy. As her dad grows closer to the pitching phenom, the friction between Brody and Annie increases. But when opening day arrives and it looks like both her dad and Brody may lose their dream jobs, Annie steps up and offers support. She and Brody call a truce that grows into friendship—and beyond. Falling for a rising star who’s quickly reaching a level that involves rabid female fans is not what Annie would call smart, except suddenly she’s getting hints that maybe this crush isn’t one-sided after all. Could someone like Brody actually fall for a girl like her?

Sounds adorbs right? This kind of thing is straight up my alley. I loooooove forbidden romances. (Don't we all?)

Purchase the Book here:

And if that synopsis isn't enough to satisfy you, SAY NO MORE. Here's an excerpt to hopefully quench that thirst. ;)


He eyes me skeptically. “What kind of article?”

“It’s for Sports Illustrated,” I say without hesitation and then quickly realize that I don’t look nearly old enough to be a real reporter for a huge publication. “I’m an intern,” I add.

The skepticism falls from his face and he looks nervous, which gives me a boost of confidence. I walk closer and pull out the chair in front of the locker beside his, propping my feet up on the bench across from me. “Frank Steadman said you’d be willing to answer a few questions.”

His mouth falls open, and he looks down at his towel and then back at me. Water drips from his hair and off his dark shoulders. “Um…okay,” he says. “Mind if I get dressed first?”

I wave off his concerns, my face heating up, blowing my confident cover. But him getting dressed might allow enough time for Dad to return, and I’d rather not have to deal with that. I duck my head down, letting my hair hide my cheeks and flip open the first page of the notebook. “This will just take a minute… So, you’re nineteen? And you’re from Texas?”

“Chicago,” he corrects.

I had no idea where he was from but figured it sounded better if I pretended to know. I write down this information and then search my brain for some more questions. “Does the wind in Chicago affect your curveball? Do you throw into it or against it?”

He gives me a funny look. “I…well…I just throw toward home plate.”

My face gets even hotter. “Right, kidding. What’s your favorite color?”


I take my time writing orange in really big loopy cursive while I think of my next question. “What are your opinions on sushi?”

His forehead wrinkles like I’ve just asked him to publicly declare a political party. “Raw fish and seaweed? I think it’s best eaten while stranded on a desert island with no other options.”

“Very diplomatic.” I scribble down his answer. “How many strikes have you thrown in your career?”

“Don’t know,” he says. “Do people actually count that stuff? Before the majors?”

“Some of them do,” I say, though I have no idea. “If you could be any magical creature in the Harry Potter series, which would you choose?”

“You said this is for Sports Illustrated, right?”

“Yeees, But it’s the…kids’ edition.”

“Oh, right.” He scratches the back of his head. “I guess maybe one of those elves.”

“A house elf? Seriously? They’re slaves.” I shake my head. “Why would you want to be an enslaved elf? They can’t even wear clothes.”

He grips his towel tighter and releases a frustrated breath. “Fine, I’ll choose an owl. That’s what I’d want to be.”

I snort back a laugh and drop my eyes to the page again.

“What? What the hell’s wrong with being an owl? They’re smart, they know geography and shit like that.”

“Owls in real life are actually pretty stupid. But no big deal, I’ll just relay that message on to the children of America. Jason Brody, temporary Royals pitcher, wants to be an owl when he grows up because they know geography and shit like that.”

Okay, I’m getting way too into this fake reporter role.

“Who says this is temporary?” he snaps.

“Your two-way contract.” Isn’t that how Dad explained it? He plays a few games then goes back to Triple-A, all without signing a real major league contract.

He yanks a pair of jeans from his locker and then grabs a bundled up orange T-shirt. “Well, I plan on kicking some ass on Opening Day and making this a permanent gig.”

“I think you need a reality check,” I say. “One game isn’t going to be enough--”

“Annie, what the hell are you doing?”

I leap off the bench and turn around to face Dad and Frank standing about five feet from me. “Introducing myself to your new pitcher.”

“Brody, what are you doing here, son?” Frank asks. “We’re off today.”

“Just getting in some cardio and weights.” His gaze darts from me to Dad to Frank. “I was just finishing up this interview for Sports Illustrated. The kids’ edition.”

“Well, we won’t keep you from getting your clothes back on, then,” Frank says, like he’s trying not to laugh. “And just for future reference, all interviews will go through the team’s publicity department so no one will be wandering in here, surprising you. Savannah will meet with you tomorrow to discuss publicity.”

Dad moves forward and extends a hand to Jason Brody. “Jim Lucas, nice to meet you, son. I’ve seen your spring training videos. You’ve got some real talent. I’m looking forward to working with you.”

Brody shakes Dad’s hand, his eyes still on me.

“And this is my daughter Annie,” Dad adds.

Brody glares at me. “Let me guess—you don’t work for Sports Illustrated?”


Julie Cross lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast and longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former gymnastics program dirctor with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credentials, Julie is a committed—but not talented—long-distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar-weather survivor, and expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym-shoe addict.

*** GIVEAWAY ***

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Happy Reading!
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Bound by Duty: 99 cents!

So there's this indie book by a debut author that I gave five stars. And this week it's 99 cents on Amazon (in the US). Like. WHAT? Y'all should pick it up. Here's the deets on the book I'm talking about. ;)


Title: Bound by Duty

Author: Stormy Smith

Series: Bound #1 

Publisher: Perfect Storm Publishing

Release Date: July 24th 2014 

GoodReads Page
Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she's an Elder but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she's betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and she doesn't even know his name.

Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky Southern girl and to fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is and not what she'll be.

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head or her heart win the battle.

From Oct 5th - Oct 11th, Bound by Duty is 99cents on Amazon US! Get it here.

So if that synopsis wasn't enough for you, you can check out my review here, and there's an excerpt of the Prologue below! :)


Her stark white hair fell down around her face. For the first time in one hundred years it wasn’t pulled back in a waist-length braid. Her crimson robes were torn and stained. She bit back a groan, her lips a tight line as the pain ripped through her once again. The invisible knife raked its way up her back as wounds no one could see flayed her skin and weakened her resolve. It had been days of this and she wasn’t sure if she could continue. As she looked up and met the queen’s eyes, Lavignia pushed the anger down and forced compassion to rise yet again.

“What is it you hope to learn, Julia? What is it you think you have to gain from all of this?” she asked weakly as she tugged on the restraints that kept her tethered to the heavy wooden chair. Her power was already weak when the Hunters had found her, and the enchanted chamber had dampened what remained to a tiny flame.

The room was dark, but the sun was slowly rising. An orange and pink glow filtered through the small window above Julia’s head. The colorful rays that should have resembled hope of a new day only shed light on the reality that Lavignia would never leave this room alive.

Julia stepped from the shadows and walked slowly toward Lavignia. She stopped and crouched down, putting herself at eye level.

“Oh, Livvy, dear. Don’t do that,” she said, her tone patronizing as her ice crystal eyes narrowed. “Don’t pretend you can still look down on me from your Elder tower. Don’t pretend you can utter your polite words and suddenly I’ll remember who you are versus who I am. I know exactly who I am. I am the one who rules them all. I am the one they will bow down to and worship. I am the Queen. Not you. Or your sisters. Your time is done.”

She looked back over her shoulder to the Hunter who stood in the still dark corner of the room and nodded. The Hunter’s eyes burned bright orange as Lavignia’s screams echoed off the walls. Julia raised her hand and the screams dropped to whimpers. With that same hand, she reached out and took Lavignia’s.

“Livvy, look at me,” she commanded. Dazed, dim violet eyes struggled to focus and find hers. Julia tightened her grip, digging her scarlet nails into Lavignia’s already tender flesh, making her yelp and their eyes connect.

“Livvy, you need to tell me,” she said. “I know you see it. You knew this day would come and you know I won’t stop until you tell me. I scoured the lands for you. I know there are others left, but they can be saved. You can save them, old friend. You just have to tell me.” Her tone was persuasive and gentle, but the frantic look that passed through her eyes told Lavignia the truth the queen couldn’t hide — she was scared.

“You won’t harm the others? You will let them live out their lives hidden and free? You will swear an oath?” Her words trailed off and Lavignia’s eyes closed, the torture of the last few days taking its toll. She could only hope the oath would keep her people safe.

She didn’t see the triumph that straightened Julia’s posture or the sneer that twisted her thin, painted lips. “Of course, my dear. I swear to you that I will not seek out and harm the remaining Elders. I swear that I will not take their freedom.”

“Your blood,” Lavignia said, her words barely audible.

Julia removed a small dirk from the folds of her skirts and repeated the words as she slid the blade down her palm. As the deep red drop hit the floor, she sent a small wave of power through to heal the wound, reveling in the knowledge that she had won.

“Now, Livvy, darling, you must tell me.” When Lavignia didn’t respond, Julia whipped back around to the still silent Hunter. “Help her. Give her what she needs. NOW!” she commanded, panic finally breaking through her controlled facade.

The Hunter flicked a wrist at Lavignia and she suddenly straightened, her eyes luminescent and shining at the welcome invasion of power that flooded her system, giving her renewed life for a few precious seconds.

With sudden clarity, she saw the future that had eluded her. She looked down on Julia with authority and pity as the words that would cement the queen’s fate fell from her lips.

“You will have your time, but it will end. She will be born to the one who got away. Inside her, the five families will merge and only a man who is both king and companion will tame the wild and set her free. She will be your undoing. She will lead them all.”

Julia reared back, Lavignia’s words not the ones she expected. Seconds later, her dirk was buried deep in Lavignia’s chest. Lavignia collapsed back against the chair, a content smile mocking the queen from her lifeless face.

Julia’s breath heaved in and out in short bursts as she turned to the Hunter. “I made an oath. You did not. Find them. Kill them all.”

Now doesn't that make you want to read it? Ahhhh. I'm seriously excited for the second book and I'm so happy to be able to share this book with you guys!


Stormy Smith calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly that stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form.

Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn’t be stopped. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.

Happy Reading, guys!
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[Book Blitz!] Lailah by Nikki Kelly: EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY!


Title: Lailah

Series: The Styclar Saga #1

Author: Nikki Kelly

Release Date: October 7th

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Goodreads page
The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

Pre-Order Today!


"An extraordinarily imaginative look into the realms of good, evil, and all that comes in between. Lailah will have you gripped until the very end." -Brittany, Please Feed the Bookworm

“Lailah: Original. Swoonworthy. Captivating. Lailah will make you have all the FEELS, and you’ll find yourself flailing for Book #2, Gabriel!” -Andrew, Endlessly Reading

“Lailah is a fast-paced read that will keep you hooked from cover to cover." -Jess, The Book Bratz

“Lailah is paranormal romance like you have never read before. With its hauntingly beautiful writing it will have you craving for more!” -Dana, Dana Square

“AHHHHHHHH! (in a good way)” - Ri, Hiver & Café

“Dark. Sexy. Intriguing. Filled with twists and turns and set on a beautiful backdrop, Lailah is sure to enchant and haunt you from the start.” -Rachel, A Perfection Called Books

Check out this **Swoonworthy** excerpt below!

Styclar Street Team!

The Styclar Street Team is essentially bloggers and readers who are fans of the story, and wish to declare and spread their love for Styclar!


Want to become a member of the Styclar Street Team? We'd love to have you!

If you've read Lailah, enjoyed the story, and want to get involved, simply take a selfie with your copy of the book, and tweet it with the following hashtag: #StyclarStreetTeam

Be sure to also email the photo direct to Nikki — nikki@thestyclarsaga.com and your awesome selfie will be uploaded to the Street Team page of The Styclar Saga website! (www.thestyclarsaga.com)

Check out the page to grab buttons for your site, find out about how you can participate in the latest spreading the Styclar word activities' and enter special giveaways!

Nikki's going on the Fierce Reads Tour in October! Want to meet her? Check out the stops here: http://fiercereads.com/


NIKKI KELLY was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. Lailah was first launched to wattpad, an online readers and writers community. Within six months, the novel had over one million reads. Lailah is Nikki’s debut novel, and the first book in The Styclar Saga. She lives in London with her husband and their dogs, Alfie (a pug) and Goose (a Chihuahua).

*** GIVEAWAY! ***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading!
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[Review] Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch


Title: Snow Like Ashes

Author: Sara Raasch

Series: Snow Like Ashes #1

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: October 14th 2014

Get it Here: Indigo Amazon B&N BookDepository

Goodreads Page

Source: e-ARC via publisher through Edelweiss

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

[Waiting On Wednesday] #22:Liars, Inc by Paula Stokes

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Title: Liars, Inc.

Author: Paula Stokes

Series: N/A

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: March 24th 2015

It all starts with one little lie…

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell lies to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts a business providing forged permission slips and cover stories for the students of Vista Palisades High. Liars, Inc. they call it. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.
This sounds absolutely fascinating. I love love love crime mysteries and this just sounds so fabulous. I've heard great things about Paula Stokes's other novel, The Art of Lainey, so I'm excited to read this one that aligns more with my interests.

Happy Reading!
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