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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Evergreen (Mer Tales #2) by Brenda Pandos

Book Title: Evergreen
Series name and #: Mer Tales, Book #2
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Release date: 7/29/2012

A kingdom on the brink of war.
A king on the fringes of insanity.
A family running for their lives.

Ash and Fin’s only desire is to be together and dive into their happily ever after, though their conflicting worlds work to pull them apart. Neither is ready to convert to the other’s life: become a human or a mer. Little do they know that somewhere in Natatoria a secret holds the fine fabric of everyone’s lives together. If the truth is discovered, Ash and Fin will no longer have the luxury of waiting. They’ll be forced to choose. But will it be for loyalty or love? Or will someone else make the choice for them if they can’t decide?

Enter the watery world of treachery, greed, and the binding mer kiss as the story continues with Evergreen, book two of Mer Tales.

My Review:
This book picks up where Everblue left us almost a year ago. Ash and Fin are in love, but their lives are set on keeping them apart. Fin is now across the states, on a trip that’s taking him farther and farther away, while Ash is trying desperately to keep some kind of normalcy to her life. With Tatchi, her best friend, gone and now losing Fin, she tries to get back to the human way of life. But the Mer world is never too far behind, and on the brink of war, Ash and Fin’s love for each other is tested like it’s never been tested before. 

I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this story. Evergreen is a perfect book two in this Mer saga. Ash is learning so much about herself, and the world that she is pulled into, but she’s staying strong through it all. Sure, she girl was driving up the wall with her keeping things from Fin and in the end making more work for him, but I can understand her a little. She’s navigating troubled waters. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. 
As for Fin, can I have one please? The handsome and amazing one, not the one for swimming :-) Fin is one of my favorite characters. I did kind of wish there was more of Fin and his awesomeness in this book, but since he was away and trying to figure out what in the world was going on, I forgive him. Sure, I was mad at him a few times, but in the end, he’s still Fin. (I always need more Fin) 
I have to say, more than anything, I love Fin and Ash together. This is one part of the book that was missing for me. I know that the storyline called for them being apart like this, but Brenda does such a fabulous job at creating Fin and Ash relationship that I just want them together all the time. They make each other a better version of themselves, and that is the best love possible. 
Evergreen is a full on hurricane ride. There is so much going on in every page, with twists and turns to take you on a real journey. Brenda has created a world full of wonder, love and adventure. I can’t wait to see where the next book takes us and how my beloved characters come out in the end.

PS. Did you guys see my blurb in the back? Brenda is a sweetheart :-D Also, LEAVE A COMMENT for a chance to WIN an E-copy of the book!!!

Purchase Evergreen:

Brenda’s Links:
Brenda Pandos’ Website: http://www.brendapandos.com/
Blog: http://brendapandos.blogspot.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/brendapandos
Brenda Pandos lives in California with her husband and two boys. She attempts to balance her busy life filled with writing, being a mother and wife, and spending time with friends and family. Working formerly as an I.T. Administrator, she never believed her imagination would be put to good use. After her son was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder her life completely changed. Writing paranormal romance became something she could do at home while tending to the new needs of her family, household, and herself.
Three years later, Brenda now has five books published, The Talisman Trilogy: The Emerald Talisman, The Sapphire Talisman, and The Onyx Talisman, and Mer Tales: Everblue and Evergreen. She is currently working on the third book of Mer Tales, Everlost, coming February 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yes, there are two ways to win! Enter in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win lots of goodies from Brenda and Enter in the Comments section to win an E-Copy!

So have you guys read this? What do you think? 
Happy reading, 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Outlines Are Scary

Hello lovelies, 

Today I'm throwing a little bit of Shop Talk your way. I'm thinking I might do that a little. Anyone up for a Shop Talk Thursdays? 

        I’m not an outliner. Even in high school and college, when we were asked to turn in an outline with our papers, I wrote them after I was already finished with the whole thing. I don’t know what it is about outlines, but they scare me. I’m serious here people. If you tell me to sit down and write an outline for my new project I’d probably run from the room screaming.

The thing is, I can’t seem to get all my thoughts in a line for an outline. I discovered that in order for me to finish a book, I need to write it out instead of outlining it. I tried it once or twice and each time I ended up spending hours on an outline that I throw out in the end. It was no help for me at all. 
I find this a little bit funny since I’m a big organizer outside of my writing. I like to carry a planner with me, I like to write things down on a calendar handing on a wall. I put reminders in my phone all the time. Yet, my writing is this part of me that’s against all things organized. 
So how dow I write? 
When I start a new project, I have a pretty clear idea of what I want my story to be. I may not have every little aspect figured out, but all my main ideas are in a row. When I sit down to write I start wherever the muse inspires me. I write out of order, out of sequence, and sometimes in different points of view just to get to know my characters. Once I finish the basic skeleton of the story, I go back and create a timeline/outline of my book to make sure I covered everything. It works for me. 
The awesome part about being a writer and giving out writing advice is that I can tell you anything. It all depends on the person. Find what works for you and go with it. You can never go wrong with doing what you love. 
Now, this is my story. What about you? Do you outline before or after? Do you write in sequence? 

Happy writing, 

Disclaimer: There are always exceptions to the rules. I feel like I need to point out again that this is how I work. If it doesn’t work for you, than it doesn’t work for you. Find your own style and go with it. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Spotlight: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of theShiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

From goodreads.com

Raven Boys takes off from the first pages. Right away, we are pulled into the life of Blue, a girl who’s family is psychic. Everyone but her that is. Every year, her mother and Blue go to the cemetery and write down the names of those who are about to pass. Blue can’t see the people at the cemetery, no does she possess any special powers. Until that night. This year, she goes with her aunt and this year she sees someone for the first time. He’s one of the Raven Boys, and he’s either her one true love or someone she kills. When the Raven Boys walk into her life, everything changes. 
Honestly, I don’t even know where to start! This book is so much, too much. Maggie is fabulous at creating stories that pull you in and take your mind on a journey. Blue is a great character. She’s strong and smart, pushing herself beyond the comfortable to discover what lies beyond. Enter Gansey. I was very interested in how Maggie will introduce Gansey to the readers and let me tell you, it wasn’t what I expected. We see a lot of Gansey and his friends, because Maggie tell their stories along side of Blue’s. I really enjoyed this aspect. 
Oh Raven Boys. You have stolen my heart. Seriously, these guys are great! I love their intensity, I love their different personalities, I love their quirks and dynamics. Maggie did such a great job making them real and complex and lovable (even while you want to strangle them). My only concern is that...no I can’t do it. I can’t be spoilery and can’t go crazy and talk about the romance in this book. I won’t do it. (ugh)
When you read this book, you need to read it. There is so much going on, you don’t want to miss anything. This book, this whole story was not what I expected. This is definitely a set up for the next books and I can’t wait to see where Maggie takes these characters. Honestly, that ending left me quite frustrated because I needed the next book right now! This book comes out September 18th, 2012! I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Happy reading, 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Spotlight: Hidden (Firelight #3) by Sophie Jordan


Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the "prince" of their pride. But she resisted long before she fell in love with Will—a human and, worse, a hunter. When she ran away with Will, it ended in disaster, with Cassian's sister, Miram, captured. Weighed down by guilt, Jacinda knows she must rescue her to set things right. Yet to do so she will have to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory.

The only way Jacinda can reach Miram is by posing as a prisoner herself, though once she assumes that disguise, things quickly spiral out of her control. As she learns more about her captors, she realizes that even if Will and Cassian can carry out their part of the plan, there's no guarantee they'll all make it out alive. But what Jacinda never could have foreseen is that escaping would be only the beginning....

Loyalties are tested and sacrifices made in the explosive conclusion to Sophie Jordan's Firelight trilogy.

From goodreads.com

The book starts out pretty much where the second book left off. Jacinda, Will, Cassian, and Tamra are setting up to rescue Cassian’s sister Miriam. She was captured by the ekros when Jacinda and Will tried to escape. Now, Jacinda must right the wrong before disappearing with Will into the sunset. To penetrate the stronghold of Miriam’s captors Jacinda must be captured herself. While at the facility, Jacinda meets other draki who’ve been held hostage. When the time for the rescue comes, all hell breaks lose and the gang must fight to survive. The chase is on, and no one will be the same when the dust settles. 
Hidden is a third and final book in Sophie Jordan’s Firelight series. I have truly enjoyed reading about Jacinda’s journey and Firelight is one of my favorite series. I really enjoyed the characters as individuals. Jacinda and Will’s love is one of my favorites, because no matter what they go through, they stay true to each other. Cassian is one of my favorite characters throughout the book. I like his complexity, I like his love for Jacinda, I like his heart. I have to say though I felt like Cassian didn’t get an ending in Hidden. There’s this part in the book where the characters discover something of Cassian’s and I honestly think the only reason he had was for Jacinda and that broke my heart. While I hated and loved him throughout the books, I wanted some kind of a happy ending for him. I didn’t feel like I got it. 
Tamra’s character was a fun one to read because she was so different in each book. I really enjoyed where Tamra ended up and her decisions in the end of the book. She really grew as a person and a draki throughout. 
Overall, Hidden was a great book, but like I mentioned earlier I wanted a better closer for the characters and I didn’t feel like I got it. I’m sad to say goodbye to a series, but I'm glad I got to read it!

Sophie is one of my favorite authors, and I really can’t wait to read more of her stories! 
Hidden comes out September 11th, 2012! Get it, read it, love it! And let me know your thoughts!
Happy reading, 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Updates, Revisions, & WriteOnCon (who's up for a giveaway?)

So you know how I promised to be more active with my post on writing? Have you guys noticed how miserably I’ve failed? *hides hands in shame*

Seriously, I’m horrible. 

But I honestly have the best excuses!!! The BEST!
Who am I kidding? There's no good excuse in neglecting you wonderful people!

I’m sorry *sobs*

I’m trying, really. 

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s recap a bit on my life. Are you excited? 
First of all, I’m querying again. I just finished up my latest MS and I’m super stocked to share it with the world. It amazes me how fast-for-me I finished this MS. Thanks to my fabulous CP, Farrah. She’s amazing! (You should follow her CLICK HERE)

Revisions rule my life right now. 
I’m also putting together a few ideas for future projects that I’m super excited about.

Second of all, I’m participating in WriteOnCon this year! I’m so excited about this. There are so many great people on the forums I just want to hug everyone. It’s amazing to “see” so many people gathering around, sharing their writing and critiquing each others work. Big thanks to WriteOnCon moderators and everyone who worked so hard to put it all together. 

Third of all, I have a question for you. Since I’m trying to get back into the whole blogging thing now that work is slowing down and I’ve returned to my previous schedule, what do you want to see on the blog? 
I’m going to have a few more Walk in the Park guests for you, reviews (of course), and some posts on writing, but is there anything SPECIFIC you want me to talk about? 
Let me know! 
I’m also going to try to incorporate my youtube channel a little more. Now that I’m at 200 subscribers I might even host a giveaway! How does that sound? 

Well, leave me some comments!!! Can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

I’m out! Have a great day!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Spotlight: The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan

A private academy. A cult leader. A girl caught in the middle.

After Greer Cannon discovers that shoplifting can be a sport and sex can be a superpower, her parents pack her up and send her off to McCracken Hill-a cloistered academy for troubled teens. At McCracken, Greer chafes under the elaborate systems and self-help lingo of therapeutic education. Then Greer meets Addison Bradley. A handsome, charismatic local, Addison seems almost as devoted to Greer as he is to the 12 steps. When he introduces Greer to his mentor Joshua, she finds herself captivated by the older man's calm wisdom. Finally, Greer feels understood.

But Greer starts to question: Where has Joshua come from? What does he want in return for his guidance? The more she digs, the more his lies are exposed. When Joshua's influence over Addison edges them all closer to danger, Greer decides to confront them both. Suddenly, she finds herself on the outside of Joshua's circle. And swiftly, she discovers it's not safe there.

From Goodreads.com

      At the beginning of the book, Greer Cannon gets caught for shoplifting. Tired of their daughters antics, Greer’s parents send her off to a “reform school” or school for troubled teens. In this place, everything you own has to be earned, and Greer works at keeping a low profile just so she can return home. Then she meets Addison. 
Addison comes with his own problems. While he may look menacing and ready to take on the world, he has the kindest heart. Especially around Greer. Soon, the two are inseparable and Addison introduces Greer to Joshua, his mentor. From here, the book takes a spin, and Greer and Addison will never be the same. 
Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about this book. I’ve never read anything by Eireann before and I was definitely excited by the premise. I think it was a very different kind of a story for me to read so it took me a while to get through it. The story is so complex, so real it makes you stop and think. I work a lot of people and their problems, and it amazed me in this book how Joshua didn’t really have to lie, he just had to say something in a particular way to make it something it wasn’t (if that makes sense). Joshua is so twisted, so bent on controlling these children, that it leaves goosebumps running up and down your arms. 
As a main character, Greer was a good one. Even from the very beginning, she kept to her standards, keeping Joshua and his ideas at an arm length. Yes, I wasn’t happy with her making decisions based on what Addison would think or how she would affect him, but in the end, she took a stand and that’s what’s important. I think that’s the part I most enjoyed about the book. In the end, Greer and her friends thought for themselves and that’s winning. 
Addison was a good character, so was Sophie and the other kids. Overall, the story was a web of thoughts and emotions and it was definitely an interesting read. If you like psychological thrillers, this book is for you! 
The Believing Game is out this December!!! Let me know your thoughts! 

Happy reading, 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Book Haul & Bloopers (watch at your own risk)

Hello lovelies,
So just like I mentioned in the video, I don't know if this middle of the night vlogging is a good idea. Am I scary?
Anyway, enjoy all the goodies I got!

People I mentioned:

Amber - http://www.youtube.com/user/AmberPepper
Appraising Pages - http://appraisingpages.com

IF you're still with me, leave me suggestions below! 

What did you get in your mailbox? 

Hugs and Happy reading!!! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Book Spotlight: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

From Goodreads.com

       I read this book in March. I was the lucky winner of the first ever ARC and I couldn't wait to read it. The story sounds so amazing and I couldn't wait to hear what happens.
       So now I’m writing a review of Defiance. Oh My Goodness!!!! 
I devoured this book. *Jumps up and down in happiness* It's soooo good! A total win!
Thank you for sharing my enthusiasm! :)
(Sorry, I just had to take a moment and freak out a little bit. )
Rachel is so broken and real and powerful. I loved reading her struggle to keep herself from losing all that she is and discovering what makes her the kind of person she needs and wants to be. C.J. describes her journey very well. I loved the action scenes! She's definitely kick butt kind of a girl!
Logan is *swoons* *faints* *passes out from awesome*
        LOGAN!!!! (by the way, I adore that name).
 I’m sorry I just can’t help myself. His voice is so raw and beautiful! I loved his character, his mind, his everything. 
Their relationship is officially one of my favorites. 
Sometimes I feel there are too many "love at first sight" "omw he's so cute, I just met him but he's my soulmate" kind of relationships. Not that I don’t appreciate those once in a while, but Rachel and Logan are not prince and princess, they're real, powerful, blow your mind characters that have the chemistry that will pull you in and won’t let you go.
The world C.J. created is full of beautiful real people struggling to survive. They live behind walls, protecting themselves not only from the harsh rulers but the creatures threatening to destroy their existence. The story is full of twists and turns, and characters who will grip your heart and leave you breathless.  
This book comes out September of 2012 and I can’t wait for you all to read it! I’ll definitely be reposting this review closer to the release date just so you can ooh and aww over it and run and buy the book! 

So Many Emotions!!! I can't handle it!!!!
        Much love, 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Spotlight: Heaven by Alexandra Ardornetto


Bethany, an angel sent to Earth, and her mortal boyfriend, Xavier, have been to Hell and back. But now their love will be put to its highest test yet, as they defy Heavenly law and marry. They don’t tell Beth’s archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, but the angels know soon enough, and punishment comes in a terrifying form: the Sevens, who are rogue angels bent on keeping Beth and Xavier apart, destroying Gabriel and Ivy, and darkening angelic power in the heavens.

The only way Bethany and Xavier can elude the Sevens is to hide in the open, and blend in with other mortals their own age. Gabriel and Ivy set them up at college, where they can’t reveal their relationship, and where there is still danger around each corner. Will Bethany be called back to Heaven – forever – and face leaving the love of her life?

From goodreads.com

Thanks ATWAT for the book!

Heaven picks up where Hades left off. Xavier and Bethany are deeply in love, and Xavier proposes. The world around Bethany and Xavier’s relationship begins to fall apart because of the decision they made and they have to go into hiding. Now married, they go to a college where they have to pretend to be brother and sister to stay safe. The characters from previous books make appearances along side of the Seven, the new “force to be reckoned with.” Bethany and Xavier have to overcome the odds in order to stay together.  
Let me start out by saying that I enjoyed Halo greatly. I thought it was a sweet story, and I had my favorite characters for sure. Heaven is the third and final book of the Halo series and I was excited to get my hands on it! I’m sad to say it didn’t live up to my expectations. 
I always hate writing reviews that come from books that have disappointed me, but it wouldn’t be right for me not to share with you exactly what I think. I felt like nothing happened in Heaven. Bethany, as a character, seemed to go the opposite way of developing. She acted like a kid at times, disregarding everything she believes in just to have her way. Xavier was one of my favorites from the beginning. I really enjoyed his character in Halo, but in Heaven it seemed like he was just a presence. I don’t know if that makes sense, but that’s how I felt reading it. 
  For me, Seven weren’t the scary force trying to keep Bethany and Xavier apart. Jake was far better villain than the Seven and that’s kind of sad in itself. While I liked having a book that brought out some Christian values, Heaven wasn’t the best example of that. At least not to me. Xavier was a better example of a Christian than Bethany and that’s sad all on its own. She was the one to drag him down and I didn't like that.
In the end, there was no resolution. Gabriel and Ivy, who I enjoyed throughout the books, were just mentioned as a second thought in the end. It was as if the author forgot about them and had to throw them in. Also, some of the timing in the scenes were off and a lot of conversations were repeated unnecessarily. 
I read Heaven because I needed to have closure for this series. In the end, I ended up with more questions then answers. It saddens me to say so, but I try to be an honest reviewer because I would want the same for my books. If you’ve read Heaven, let me know what you think!
Happy reading, 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Book Haul of Diversity (& Tiredness)

Hello lovely people,
Here's a book haul for you! I know, it's a video and everything! Although, be afraid, be very afraid. I'm a rambler in this one. And as you'll see (and hear) I'm tired so I have an excuse! Enjoy!

Special thanks to: 
ATWA Tours 
Tor books 
Brenda Pandos - http://brendapandos.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Laurens - http://jenniferlaurens.com/

What's in your mailbox??? 

Happy reading, 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Book Spotlight: Rootless by Chris Howard

Seventeen-year-old Banyan is a tree builder. Using scrap metal and salvaged junk, he creates forests for rich patrons who seek a reprieve from the desolate landscape. Although Banyan’s never seen a real tree—they were destroyed more than a century ago—his father used to tell him stories about the Old World. But that was before his father was taken . . .

Everything changes when Banyan meets a mysterious woman with a strange tattoo—a clue to the whereabouts of the last living trees on earth, and he sets off across a wasteland from which few return. Those who make it past the pirates and poachers can’t escape the locusts—the locusts that now feed on human flesh.

But Banyan isn't the only one looking for the trees, and he’s running out of time. Unsure of whom to trust, he’s forced to make an uneasy alliance with Alpha, an alluring, dangerous pirate with an agenda of her own. As they race towards a promised land that might only be a myth, Banyan makes shocking discoveries about his family, his past, and how far people will go to bring back the trees.

In this dazzling debut, Howard presents a disturbing world with some uncanny similarities to our own. Like the forests Banyan seeks to rebuild, this visionary novel is both beautiful and haunting—full of stunning images that will take permanent root in your mind . . . and forever change the way you think about nature.

From Goodreads.com

The book starts out with Banyan getting hired to build a forest for a wealthy man. The world has been torn apart by Darkness, and trees are something of the past. The landscape is destroyed, the locusts eat humans, and the constant dust storms make it hard to breathe. That is the world that Banyan lives in. His father was taken a year ago, and now Banyan is on his own. He’s a skilled builder, able to survive on the hard work he does. This seemed like a routine assignment, but it wasn’t. Banyan didn’t expect to meet a mysterious woman with a strange tattoo, or her daughter. Now it’s Banyan’s mission to find the place where the last trees exist and that’s where the fun begins. 

This whole book was one big mess of crazy! And I mean that in a good way. Banyan is a great character, a surviver, who makes decisions much better than I would’ve expected. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this book. Every page had me guessing on what’s going to happen next. I like watching Banyan grow as a character and he really had to do that in this book. 
I also really enjoyed Alpha. Although, I swear, every page I felt like she was going to die. Everyone around Banyan just seem to and I kind of wanted her to survive (You’re going to have to read the book to find out what happened). She was definitely a kick butt kind of a girl, who didn’t take any crap from anyone. I liked her chemistry with Banyan, how she balanced him. 
Howard paints a picture of a world that is so realistic it makes you think twice about the one outside your own window. Every page is full of imagination and description that leaps out of the story. It did take me a little bit to get into it, I just wasn’t sure about the whole idea at first. But once I got through the beginning, the story takes off. Rootless comes out November 1st, 2012. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Happy reading,