"...her secret is patience..." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Favorites of 2011 and Lots of Love!!!

Hello lovelies,
Can you believe its only a few hours before 2011 leaves us forever? I know you haven't heard that all day! While ya'll will be celebrating I'll be at work, trying to keep people from getting killed. Its going to be a long night for sure. But I wanted to share some last minute things with you here. So here are my farewells and favorite picks just for you!
   First of all, I wanted to thank you all for following and reading my blog. Sometimes I wonder why I bother and then I'll get a nice comment, or a mention and that makes my day brighter. YOU make my day brighter! I never even imagined that I would be sharing my writing with the world but here I am. So thank you for all your support!
   Second of all, I tried picking a few of my favorite reads this year but it was very hard to just narrow it all down. Yet, here is what we have (in no particular order)! 



















Well, that is all lovelies!! Enjoy your festivities!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

See ya next year,
Valia 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Class of 2011: Best in Show




Best Repeat Preformance of 2011: Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Summary:
Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

Quotes: 
“Hey anyone who thinks a non-military–grade rappelling cable can support the weight of two grown men and a miniature donkey deserves to fall off a cliff.”

“I mean she's Cleopatra... shouldn't she and Antony have known better? They were so different..." 
   "Variety is the spice of life" 
   "And from a thousand miles apart" 
  "Absence makes the heart grow fonder” 

“Hamish smiled and rubbed his hands together. "Sure we can. What do you say? Pigs in a Blanket?" He leaned over the cool counter and raised his eyebrows at Gabrielle.
  "The only way I'll get under a blanket with you is if both of us are on fire," she told him.” 

Why I love this book:
I read a lot of YA Paranormal. I like me a good fantasy, just like any other read out there. But mystery has always been my first love and this series is one of those stories that just keeps getting better. I had such a blast figuring out all the little plot twists and turns. Also, the characters in this book are fabulous and got even better with book 2! If you haven't read this series, you need to!

Much love, 
Valia 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Class of 2011: Elements of Fiction



Most Envy-Inducing Plot of 2011: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick  
Summary:
It could happen tomorrow . . .

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.



Quotes: 
- “Those brain-zapped kids weren’t the only - or maybe even the worst - enemy.” 


Run, she told herself. Run, you idiot, run. 
    But she didn't. She couldn't. She just... couldn't.”

Why I love this plot:
The simple truth is I wanted to write this book. Seriously, my dad has been throwing the whole electromagnetic pulse thing at me for years but I could never quite grasp it into an idea that stayed. Well, this book definitely did that. The plot is real, full of twists, and breathtaking enough to make you think twice about the way our world can be in a blink of an eye. I would definitely put this on your TBR list if you haven't already. 

Much love, 
Valia 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Class of 2011: Popularity Contest


Dream Worthy Bad Boy of 2011: Daemon Black from Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Summary: 
Starting over sucks. 

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up. 

And then he opened his mouth. 

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me. 

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don’t kill him first, that is



Quotes:
“Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys.” 


“The day my internet was hooked up was better than having a hot guy check out my butt and ask for my phone number.” 


“I hate you and your freaky alien powers.”


Why I love Daemon: 
Umm, did you not get the whole "Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude" ? Because that right there covers it all. *fans self* I mean, I can't even, oh boy, must get a whole of self in order to finish this post. Please, someone bring me some water. I think I'm going to pass out just thinking about that boy. Alright, enough is enough. You people need to go read the book for yourself and see how fabulous Daemon is!


Much love, 
Valia 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Class of 2011: Head of the Class


Favorite Paranormal Romance of 2011: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini 


Summary: 
How do you defy destiny?
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.
Quotes: 
“You've got the killer instincts of a houseplant” 


“How do you know all this about me?" Helen sputtered. Claire sighed. 
   "After I pushed you off the roof..." she began. 
   "After you WHAT?" Lucas yelled.” 

“He's not going around telling everyone you're monkey-butt crazy, so at least you brutalized a seriously sweet guy.” 


Why I love it: 
This book was the perfect blend of Greek mythology, romance, and adventure. There are three strong emotions I have for this book: hooked, addicted, and maybe a little obsessed :) If you guys haven't read this book yet, its absolutely one of my favorite debuts from 2011. I'd love to hear what you think once you do! 



Much love, 
Valia 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Alex for the Win!!!!

Name: Alexandra Andros
Status: In love, Annoyed, Confused
Mode: Team KillEveryFreakingDaemonISee
Kills in Half-Blood: 4
Kills in Pure: You don’t want to know
“Was your mom a gardener?” I asked innocently. 
“What?” Ren’s mouth hung open slightly. 
“Because a face like yours belongs planted on the ground.”
Ladies and gentlemen, Alexandra Andros. That’s right, the heroine of the Covenant Series is here for the win. Tough, impulsive, and desperately fighting for the ones she loves, this girl is everything a heroine should be. 
 
“Then I should be relieved to know what I was told an hour ago is false. It wasn't you who yanked a girl--by her hair--out of chair in the common lounge area.” 
If a guy as sizzling as Aiden can say something like that and make it sound like a compliment you know you have someone special on your hands. There is nothing delicate or pretty about this one. She’s full of scars and determination. But that in itself is the most beautiful thing in the world. She has something that most people don’t. She has a heart. The decisions she makes and the battles she fights are all evidence of the beauty thats within. The most amazing thing about her is that she’s real. She’s the girl that lives inside all of us, so help her win not just for her (or Jen) but for yourself. 
Now for the fun stuff! Momo at Books Over Boys is having a huge giveaway! 
She will be giving away a copy of Daimon, Half-Blood, and a pre-order of Pure in honor of the Heroine Tourney and in honor of being Alex's advocate.
Also, the fabulous Jennifer L. Armentrout (yes, the genius behind all that is Alex) will post chapter 16 from Aiden's pov if Alex is victorious in this round.
So, go to YA Sisterhood - http://ya-sisterhood.blogspot.com/ - and vote for Alex! And that’s not all. From the lips of Jennifer herself:
500 Votes: If Alex reaches 500 votes, I will give you a juicy scene from Pure. It involves a pool, but will be edited to avoid spoilers. 
750 Votes: If Alex gets 750 votes, I will give you Chapter 16 from Half-Blood in Aiden's POV. Yes, that chapter. 
1000 Votes: If Alex get 1000 votes, I will give you Chapter 26 from Obsidian in Daemon's POV. 
Yes, that chapter.
Winning votes: If Alex wins against Rose, I will write a very lengthy scene/ basically a freaking novella from Aiden's POV about a trip he and Leon took that involved searching down a certain daimon that got away at the end of Half-Blood. Now. If she wins, all of this will take me some time, of course.
Now, if any of you are still here reading this, what is wrong with you? Head over to YA Sisterhood and vote for Alex! This is one way we can thank Jennifer for creating such a fabulous character!
Much love, 
Valia 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cover Reveal: Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt


What if you were mankind’s last chance at survival?

Sixteen-year-old Tess lives in a compound in what was once the Western United States, now decimated after a devastating fourth World War. But long before that, life as we knew it had been irrevocably changed, as women mysteriously lost the ability to bring forth life. Faced with the extinction of the human race, the government began the Council of Creators, meant to search out alternative methods of creating life. The resulting artificial human beings, or Chosen Ones, were extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly. 
Life is bleak, but uncomplicated for Tess as she follows the rigid rules of her dystopian society, until the day she begins work at Templeton, the training facility for newly created Chosen Ones. There, she meets James, a Chosen One whose odd love of music and reading rivals only her own. The attraction between the two is immediate in its intensity—and overwhelming in its danger. 
But there is more to the goings-on at Templeton than Tess ever knew, and as the veil is lifted from her eyes, she uncovers a dark underground movement bent not on taking down the Chosen Ones, but the Council itself. Will Tess be able to stand up to those who would oppress her, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?


Anyone else as excited to read this book as I am?? And how gorgeous is that cover??? Entangled Publishing has done it again! 


Much love, 
Valia 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Birthday: The Onyx Talisman by Brenda Pandos

Hello darling munchkins!
I have a little celebration going on over here! Book Three in the Talisman Series is out! *Throws Confetti* Here's the summary for you convenience:

"Alora looked back and the corner of her lip turned up. “It’s always darkest before the dawn, Julia. Good luck.”
Her words sent chills up my spine as she vanished."

Unrest stirs deep in Scotts Valley. Filled with uncertainty, Julia anxiously awaits Nicholas’ return. Phil, hurt and unsure of his place as a sober vampire, holds the pieces of Julia’s fragile psyche together, secretly hoping Nicholas stays away forever. Scarlett bides her time, plotting for the perfect moment to prove herself and earn redemption. But somewhere in L.A., Alora conspires to reclaim her talisman and strip Julia of everything she holds dear.

Little do they know, a war is coming and more than one vampire would like to see the Prince of Vampires overthrown. As more and more vampires show up from nowhere, addicted to her scent, Julia must pick her allies carefully before it’s too late. Can Julia bargain with fate? When the time comes, will she even have a choice? Find out how it all ends in this explosive grand finale of The Talisman Trilogy.

Doesn't it sound amazing? What a great way to finish the series! I can't wait to read it! Plus, Brenda is a sweetheart and you should show her some love! For those of you who haven't read the series, book one The Emerald Talisman is free on Amazon for a limited time:

Here are some important links for ya'll.


Much love, 
Valia

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cover Reveal: Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout

So you all know how much I adore my girl Jennifer. She’s pretty much one of my favorite people and her books are just magic. If you guys have read anything by her you know I’m not exaggerating. So to show your support to Jennifer and her fabulous character Alex I suggest you all go here: http://ya-sisterhood.blogspot.com/ and vote for Alex in the tournament. 
As a big thank you I have a little treat for ya’ll to share on this blog. Are you ready to see the beautiful cover of Book 3??? Because I can’t wait to share it with you!!!
.....
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Ok ok, here it is!!!!
How much do you adore this series? I adore it to pieces! Now, go vote for Alex!!!
Much love, 
Valia 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cover Reveal: Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Guys!!!!
Do you remember this book? Do you remember how much I loved it? And I mean LOVED it? Well as of tomorrow you can get it at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository


You must get your hands on this book! I'm not even kidding little minions, it's an order.
Also, you should follow the fabulous Jennifer L. Armentrout. She does not disappoint :-)


Now, on to the other order of business. I have the official cover for book number 2 to share with you!!!


Are you ready?


Yes?


Are you sure?




Positive?


Last chance!




........drum roll........


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


I'm pretty sure I'm even more in love with this cover than I was with Obsidian. But anyway, I'll leave you to drool! 

Much love, 
Valia

Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm over at @YA_Warehouse Today, oh, and KISSES! :)

Guys!
I'm blogging over at YA Warehouse today! It's an oldie but a goodie! So go here and show me (and my wonderful blog-mates) some love! :-) 
I can't tell you how thankful I am to have you as my little minions! Encouragement is such a huge part of this business so I thank you! I know, I know, its no longer Thanksgiving but I just thought I'd share that with you!
Now I am done being all sentimental and going back to my writing/revising cave! Head over to YA Warehouse for more of my ramblings!

Much love
Valia


Saturday, November 26, 2011

In My Mailbox 23: The I-need-an-ereader edition!



So many books!!
And that's not all. I also received a few e-books for review.

 Love the covers!
 Already read it and loved!



I really need to get a working ereader, because right now it's hard to finish these books without one! But I can't wait and look for reviews soon!


What's in your mailbox?


Happy reading,
Valia

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book Spotlight: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie? 

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. 

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

From Goodreads.com

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read Dearly, Departed. Honestly, reading the synopsis, I was intrigued but at the same time terrified at the prospect. Zombie’s in love? What? But after I thought about it, it’s like Vampires in love so I decided to give this book a chance. I was pleasantly surprised.


The characters in this book are interesting. I like Nora and her fighting to be who she wants to be. She doesn’t take crap from people, she learns to fight, and she takes the whole zombie thing surprisingly well. The group of zombies that Nora is introduced to are a hoot. They really give the book a special touch. The one character that definitely makes the book for me is Bram. Except for the whole part where he’s dead, he’s the perfect guy. His character was the most liked out of all the ones I read. He even outshines Nora, who should have more points to her considering she’s actually the one with the heartbeat. 
The world Lia created is appealing to say the least. The New Victoria is a unique twist to the steampunk novels I’ve gotten used to. The descriptions are vivid and believable. I enjoyed getting to discover the ways of 2195.
However, I have to admit the ever changing point of view almost drove me up the wall. While I really liked getting into the heads of Nora, Bram, and even Nora’s best friend, the others didn’t seem as necessary to me. I was a little confused at the beginning, thinking I must have missed something. In the end, I got a bit better grip on what was going on. 
Overall, this book is definitely worth reading. Lia takes what is known in fiction and makes it her own: a world where death and decay may play a role, but love shines like the brightest star. I don’t know if I’ll be reading it again, but I most definitely will read what happens next. Dearly, Departed is out now, wherever the books are sold. 

Happy reading,
Valia

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Spotlight: Everblue by Brenda Pandos

I adore this cover!!!
She wanted her life to change... he wanted his to stay the same. 

Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them. 

Ashlyn is about to discover what she'd thought to be true her whole life, wasn't, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.

From Goodreads.com

Ashlyn is a girl with a best friend and a crush on her best friends brother. Sounds like a typical teenage drama, right? That is until she finds out that her friend has been keeping a huge secret from her. Mermaids. There are mermaids in this book people. 


I enjoyed every moment of this story. Ashlyn is an interesting character, who works to figure things out when her best friend disappears. I like the fact that she’s smitten with Finn for years, while he’s smitten with her. I like Finn. A lot. He’s a great character, and I feel like he balances Ash out very nicely. They’re definitely two peas in a pod but at the same time they have to fight to stay together. I also like that both were in other relationships before finally having a chance to be together. It kind of shows that there are other roads to take, and there are other people in the world that can teach you valuable lessons for life. Finn and Ash’s relationship is so beautiful it makes your breath catch. 
I also really enjoyed being able to get into both of the main characters heads and see the world through their eyes. It gave the story a special kind of a touch. Tatiana was also a wonderful character that brought a certain touch to the story. The brother/sister duo was definitely a nice addition to an already great story. 
The world Brenda builds is beautiful, romantic, and enchanting. The story takes something we already know and love and gives it a new, exciting twist. This book was everything I hoped it would be. I cannot wait to see what happens next in the world of Everblue. Thank you so much, Brenda, for giving me the privilege of reading your story. Everyone needs to get their hands on this book! Its worth it! 
Happy reading, 
Valia 

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