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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Saying Goodbye to 2013...

Hello lovelies, 

I know, I know. There are so many of these posts right now, you might not even read this one. I don't want to overwhelm you or anything, so if you don't want to read it, then don't. But this blog is a part of my journey, and while I haven't been quite as good at keeping you all updated as I wanted to, you're still part of that journey and you still get to hear all about it. 

There are so many things I can say about 2013

There were ups and downs. There was laughter and tears. There was hard work and lazy days. There was writing and reading. 

Every year brings with it new experiences and new expectations. I have a few of those for 2014, but you'll just have to wait to hear about them later. I have big plans and announcements and so much hard work ahead of me, but it's all part of the process. Just like 2013 was. There are a few things I learned and a few things I want to share with you now. 

2013 taught me that God is always on my side, He is always faithful, even when I start to forget that. His promises are new every morning, and while sometimes I get so busy I forget to look up, I know that He is always looking down. 

2013 taught me that sometimes you need to laugh, even when you feel like crying. Heartbreak and heartache are part of our lives. That is something you will never escape. But you can't live in the pits of sadness, you have to get up and climb that mountain every day. They say laughter is the best medicine, and sometimes that's the first step to overcoming your obstacles. 

2013 taught me that it's okay to cry if you're sad, even though you really don't want to. Just as laughter is part of our lives, so is sadness and frustration and anger. Sometimes you want to stay strong, refuse to show weakness, refuse to let yourself feel. But sometimes, it's okay to cry. It's okay to let yourself be human and feel. And after all of that, it's okay to be you. 

2013 taught me that I am surrounded by the most amazing people, even when they're not right next to me. I have been so truly blessed with amazing friends, family, and book family. There are no words to express the gratitude I have for each and every person who cheers me on and keeps me smiling along the way. I am truly blessed. 

2013 taught me that while dreaming big and working hard doesn't pay off right away, giving up is not an option. I know that one day all of my hard work and sacrifices will find their rightful reward. I truly believe that everyone has a place in this life and when we find what makes us happy, we need to hold on to that with all of our might. It's never easy, it's will bring you frustration and tears, but in the end, working toward your dreams and goals is the best most amazing reward in life. 

As I say goodbye to 2013, I say goodbye to another year God has given me and I am forever thankful for all the lessons it has brought my way. 

I know 2014 is going to be a thrilling, crazy, frustrating, hard, maddening year filled with hard work and disappointments and love and family and friends and books and writing. Because all of those little things are what life is made of. We need to embrace it and decide today, right now, that next year is going to be a great year. 

This year, dream big. Love with your whole heart. Take a few chances. Sing in the rain. Smile at strangers. Just whatever you do, make sure to embrace life and thank the One who gave it to you. 

I'm excited to see what's in store for me! And you should be too, because I have things to share with you. Soon and very soon! 

Because I couldn't resist :)

Much love, 


Friday, December 27, 2013

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Neverwas (Amber House #2) by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed

"I was sixteen the second time I had my first kiss...."

At the end of AMBER HOUSE, Sarah made a choice that transformed everything--and now she must choose it all again.

Things are very different--better--for Sarah and her family: her Aunt Maggie grew up; her parents are happily married; her grandmother died after a long, productive and respected life. But other things are different too, and not for the better.

After growing up in the free country of the Pacific Northwest, Sarah Parsons has settled in at Amber House, the stately Maryland home that's been in her family for generations. But the world surrounding the House feels deeply wrong to Sarah. It's a place where the colonists lost the 1776 Insurrection, where the American Confederation of States still struggles with segregation, and where Sarah is haunted by echoes of a better world that she knows never existed.

Her friend Jackson shares these visions of a different world--and together, they manage both to remember the way things ought to be, and to plan a daring mission that will reset the universe once again. Sarah must figure out what has changed, and why, and how she can fix it--how she can find her way to another otherwhen.

From goodreads.com


   Neverwas is book two in the now trilogy of Amber House. If you guys remember, I reviewed book one last year and for me, it was a unique kind of a read. Well, Neverwas is like that. It's a story that is different and otherworldly. 
   The story picks up where we left off in book one, however, it's not the story that we know. This is a different universe, the choices of Sarah in book one changed the world that she knew. This part of the book was a  bit difficult to wrap my mind around. There are certain issues that are predominant in this book and they're not too pleasant to read about. Sarah has much to learn, about herself and the world around her, in order to become who she needs to be. 
   This book is different from the first one, but still deals with family and the consequences of the choices we make. Yes, the whole different reality because of one small thing in book one is very hard to believe, but this is a supernatural kind of a story so anything is possible really. More than anything, for me, this book read almost like a completely different story. It's been a while since I read book one, so a few of the aspects I didn't even remember. You honestly may even be able to read this as a stand alone. 
   Neverwas is an interested story. I liked Jackson in this one much more than the last book. Sammy is still Sammy, and Sarah still works at protecting him from the world. Overall, Neverwas is definitely a different kind of a sequel, full of characters you've met, but never seen quite like this. 


In NEVERWAS, Sarah must piece together the mystery of her forgotten past with the help of clues left behind by her great-grandmother, Fiona Warren.  For readers interested in the chance to win a signed first-edition hardback of NEVERWAS -- with an exclusive hint for what's in story for Sarah in the final book, OTHERWHEN, hidden inside -- visit each blog on the tour for the month of December, collect the various lines from the poem, arrange them in the proper order, and submit the final sonnet by January 10th for a chance to win the special copy of NEVERWAS!


KELLY MOORE is a New York Times best-selling author, former litigator, and single mother of three. Her latest project, the young adult fiction series THE AMBER HOUSE TRILOGY, co-written with her two daughters and based loosely upon her own family history, examines fourteen generations of Maryland women and their ties to the past, present, and future.  The first book in the series was nominated for the 2014 Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award for its realistic portrayal of characters with autism; Moore is outspoken about her inclusion in the autism spectrum, and is dedicated to autism awareness.

TUCKER REED is an award-winning fiction and nonfiction writer.  She has been recognized on the national level for her short stories, essays and poetry.  She is also a notable political blogger and has appeared on CNN, CBS, ABC and HuffPost Live, as well as featured in articles published by TIME magazine, Marie Claire magazine, Ms. magazine, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian, among numerous others.

LARKIN REED is a professional photographer, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in filmmaking. In 2013, Reed established her own multimedia production company, and has subsequently produced and directed several short films.


10. Books Live Forever [http://booksliveforever.com/?p=16251]
11. Must Love Books [http://mustlovelabradors.blogspot.com/2013/12/blog-tour-review-neverwas.html]

The next stop on the tour:

13. Books and Whimsy [http://booksandwhimsy.com/]

Happy reading!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Book Spotlight: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. 

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. 

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

From goodreads.com

   The book stars out with just your typical day on board of Icarus, a giant spaceship traveling the final frontier. We meet Lilac, the daughter of the richest man in the universe and Tarver, the young war hero, when their paths cross. These two don't exactly see eye to eye, each have their own position to play, but when the tragedy strikes, Lilac and Tarver are thrust together trying to survive on a planet that's not all they think it to be. 

   Guys. Guys!!! This book. I can't even. I seriously have no idea how to review it. I LOVED it so MUCH! I read it back in July and I really thought I'd get over how wonderful this story is, but I haven't. I want to read it again and again. 

   This book has all the makings of my favorite story. Of course, the book is set in space. Can you go wrong with that? Well, you can, but These Broken Stars definitely didn't. This book also has characters that I absolutely adore from the very beginning. Lilac is all kinds of a complex character. She has a part to play in her life, but when she's marooned (can you say marooned if you're on a planet?) as a half of the only two people left alive, she really has to learn a lot about herself. Yes, she may be spoiled and selfish, but she also has a great heart and as the story progresses, we learn and grow right along with her. 

   Now, let's talk about Tarver. Oh Tarver. If there is ever a hero in the midst of a storm, this guy is it. He's all kinds of swoony and strong and gorgeous and wonderful. You get the idea. He has his own prejudice to overcome, his own demons to battle, but just like Lilac, he grows throughout the book, making himself a better version of what he was before. 

   I love that about These Broken Stars. I love that the characters don't start out perfect, that you get to be annoyed with them, to be upset with their choices. Because in the end, when push comes to shove, they show the greatness of humanity in their actions. It's truly beautiful. 
   And the romance in this book is breathtaking. It's not the typical insta-love. These characters fight and disagree and even come to hate each other because of the societies expectations. But when it all comes down to it, when all the publicity of the world is stripped away, the two find each other in the rawest parts of the soul. It's breathtaking. 

   If you haven't noticed by now, I'm in love with this book. These Broken Stars had me at the edge of my seat from start to finish. Amie and Meagan have written a story that stays with you long after you've finished the last page. The world is beautiful and broken and realistic and the characters really capture your heart. I'll be buying this book and recommending it to everyone in the process. 
   These Broken Stars comes out tomorrow! I think you should go get yourself a Christmas present. You won't be disappointed!! 

   Happy reading, 


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Spotlight: Switched by Cassie Mae

Ever since high school, Kayla has been crazy for gorgeous football player Talon. But before she could muster the courage to tell him, he became a hot item with her beautiful BFF, Reagan. The only person who knows Kayla’s secret is Wesley, Talon’s best bud—and he’s got it bad for Reagan. Now they’re all in college together, hanging out 24/7. For Kayla, seeing the two lovebirds together is absolutely unbearable. So Kayla and Wesley hatch a plot to drive them apart before Talon has a chance to give Reagan the Christmas gift she’s been waiting for.

Soon enough, the once happy couple is fighting. Reagan suddenly can’t get enough of Wesley’s goofy sense of humor, and Talon seems to be paying more attention to Kayla than a guy who’s “only a friend” ever should. But just when everything seems to be falling into place, Kayla and Wesley accidentally spend a night together and discover a hitch in their plan they never considered: that switching partners may not lead to a perfect ending after all. 

From Goodreads.com

This book was so adorable. So many feels.

So now that I've had a few days to think about this book and how I want to review it, I think I'm ready. Maybe. Possibly.

Okay, here it goes.


That right there should say a lot about it. I don't have the luxury of just sitting down and reading a book in one sitting. Especially when those books are 500 pages long and I have things to do. Also, I haven't been reading much of just plain romance stories. But Switched really captured my heart in a quick and fun way, making me just devour the pages. This is definitely what I look for in an adorable romance read.

This book starts out with a mess. Kayla loves Talon. Wesley loves Reagan. Talon and Reagan love each other. Oh noes. Best friends in love with their best friend's significant other? Yeah, that doesn't seem like a recipe for disaster. So Kayla and Wesley devise a plan and that's when all the fun begins.

From the very beginning pages, I kind of really wanted to slap both Kayla and Wesley. Of course, in a loving way. Man, guys! Way to be little crying babies. I really do understand the anguish of wanting something you can't have, which one of us doesn't, and I think that's why I instantly connected with these two. Even as their little cry fest made me a little crazy.

All of the characters in this book are just so relatable, I wanted to hug them all. Really, by relatable I mean annoying, fun, horrible at decision making, and complete dorks. Come on guys, we've all been there. Kayla is definitely a crazy one and her friendship and scheme making with Wesley had me laughing out loud a number of times. Sure, they were a bit immature for their age at time, but who isn't when love is involved. Also, no matter how swoon worthy Talon was, I was a Wesley girl from the beginning. He's like that adorable boy next door who steals your heart when you aren't looking.

The dynamics between all the characters were fun, the interactions realistic, and the love story all kinds of sweet. Can you tell I'm just gushing over here? I just can't get over how adorable this book was! I was smiling while reading it for pretty much a large portion of the time. Seriously, if you're looking for a light and fluffy romantic comedy, Switched has all the makings!

(Awe Wesley)

Moving on. Seriously. Go read this book :)

Happy reading, 


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Proxy by Mindee Arnett: Excerpt and Giveaway!

Hello lovelies,

Today I am so excited to feature one of my all time favorite authors and friends, Mindee with her new novella Proxy. I'm beyond ecstatic for this series and I'm glad we get a glimpse into this world with this story. Mindee is amazing. Seriously, if you haven't read her debut yet, what are you waiting for? Now, I think I'm done with the fangirling for the moment.  Let's talk about the book.

About the book:
If you need something stolen from any star system in the Confederation, you need look no further than the Shades. Jeth Seagrave and his band of teenage mercenaries have been making a name for themselves for being able to steal anything—and for disappearing before anyone is the wiser. Their latest job, a jewel heist on Grakkus, should be no different. But when Jeth's boss replaces a key member of his crew just before takeoff, and Jeth discovers a betrayal within his own ranks, he begins to suspect that not everyone is going to be coming back from his job alive.

Sounds great right? Now, you know you want to read more. Your wish is my command. (Just for right now. Don't get any ideas).


    The thrill of the job never got old. Jeth Seagrave lived for it. For the way the anticipation sent electricity pulsing through his veins, making his blood burn hotter, his heart beat harder, and sharpening his senses until he felt like something more than human. A superhero from one of the ancient myths of First Earth, perhaps.
You’re no hero. The automatic thought skidded through his mind, barely registering. No, he wasn’t. He was a thief. One of the best.
And that was all that mattered. Never mind that he was only sixteen. Never mind that most of his crew was even younger. Together they were an unstoppable force, a gang of teenage thieves their adult marks never saw coming. The thrill pulsed harder inside him, and with an effort he focused on the nav monitor in front of him. They would be entering the patrolled zone around the planet Grakkus soon.
To his left, Celeste piloted the Debonair forward, her hands steady on the control column. Jeth would’ve preferred to pilot this job—he would prefer to pilot every job—but he and Celeste took turns. All of the members of the Malleus Shades held specific roles that played to their strengths. Celeste’s forte was counterintelligence, particularly the art of distracting marks. Jeth’s was strategy, and he typically took point on every job. But when it came to piloting, he and Celeste were equally matched.
Jeth drew a breath, still struggling to focus. He couldn’t help it. The upcoming job was the most challenging, complicated one they’d taken on yet. The target was located in a vault at the top of a tower only accessible through the emperor of Grakkus’s personal bedchambers—not some insignificant politician or petty crime lord, but an emperor. Pulling it off would be like flying a spaceship through a solar storm without getting fried. A grin threatened to break on his face. The job was going to be fun, and with a payout well worth the risk. 
At last the nav computer flashed an indicator that they were heading into the patrolled zone.
Celeste glanced at him, her dark eyes narrowing. Straight black hair hung in a blunt cut down to her shoulders. “Are you going to turn on the stealth drive or what?”
“I’m thinking about it.” A part of him didn’t want to. The so-called stealth drive was brand new and untested, at least by the Shades. If it didn’t work, things were going to get a whole lot more interesting real quick. And if it did work, well, then things weren’t going to get interesting. He couldn’t decide which he preferred.
In the end, Celeste made the decision for him, reaching over to a switch on a sleek new section of the control panel. Jeth sighed. It was the right thing to do, of course, and there would be plenty of risks to be had once they landed.
Or it might not work properly, he thought, examining the nav monitor once more. Best not to blindly trust some newfangled technology. Within minutes he spotted a blimp on the monitor, a patrol to their starboard. The ship was far off, but within range to scan them.
“What should I do?” A hint of panic colored Celeste’s voice. They had never before flown so boldly through a patrolled area.
“Hold course,” Jeth said, not taking his eyes off the blimp. So far the patrol ship hadn’t given any sign that it had spotted them.
“You sure you’re right?”
“Aren’t I always?”
Celeste snorted. “Do you want an honest answer?”
“Nope. I prefer my own version of the truth.”
“Right.” Celeste tightened her grip on the controls. According to the instructions they’d received from their employer, who owned the Debonair, the stealth drive worked best when the ship maintained a constant speed and course. Any sharp turns or drastic acceleration or deceleration could turn up on a system scanning for thruster signatures, stealth drive or no.
Maybe it was for the best that Celeste was piloting, Jeth realized. He would’ve been tempted to test the theory of what constituted “drastic.”
They passed out of range of the patrol a few minutes later, and Jeth sat back in the copilot’s chair, folding his arms across his chest as he tried to ignore his disappointment. They flew within range of three more patrols but moved past them without incident, finally breaching Grakkus’s atmosphere.
Once through, Celeste headed for their rendezvous point, an isolated forested area a few hundred kilometers outside of the capital city. Beyond the bridge’s main windows, the first rays of sunlight were breasting the horizon, heralded by a swath of purple, pink, and vermillion.
At last Celeste set the Debonair down on a large stretch of tall grass the color of seaweed. She powered off the engines and turned on the auxiliary, which would keep the shipboard systems running, including the stealth drive. It wasn’t likely that anyone would spot them out here—the place was well off the main thoroughfares, not to mention how inhospitable the swamp surrounding them was—but Jeth decided not to point that out.
Celeste stood and stretched, the movement languid as if she were part cat. The dark, fitted clothing she wore aided the illusion. “So, what now?”
Jeth checked his watch, which he’d synced to Grakkus time. “I say breakfast or lunch, whichever works, and then a couple hours’ R and R. The setup man’s not due to arrive until fourteen hundred.” They’d had to get here early to avoid being detected during landing. The stealth drive hid them from sight, but it couldn’t disguise the sound of the engines or the wind raised by the thrusters.
“Think I’m going to shower again, before—” Celeste broke off as a voice echoed over the ship’s comm system.
“Um, Boss? We sorta have a situation. You might want to get down to the common room.”
Jeth blinked, all his disappointment from their unadventurous journey vanishing in the space of a single breath. It wasn’t often that Will Shady sounded nervous. 
Wondering if maybe the ship was on fire, Jeth turned and headed off the bridge with Celeste quick on his heels. They arrived in the common room on the deck below moments later. Jeth stopped in the doorway, surveying the scene. There wasn’t a fire. There wasn’t anything amiss at all, as far as he could tell. Shady was sitting on one of the sofas, his attention focused on the 3D projection from his portable gaming system, a wave of bloodthirsty robots coming at him, each one falling to his simulated gunfire. The comm unit he’d used to radio the bridge sat discarded on the sofa beside him, in danger of being swallowed by a cushion.
Jeth approached him. “What are you doing?”
“Practicing,” Shady said, not looking up. The scowl on his face as he let off a triple blast, drilling a robot right between its bulbous black eyes, made his features look distinctly leonine, the appearance aided by his shaggy mane of blond hair. Shady’s assigned role in the Malleus Shades was ordnance officer.
Jeth put his hands on his hips. “We’re not going to be shooting anybody on this job. And please tell me this wasn’t the thing I needed to see.”
Shady shook his head. “Nope. It’s in that storage locker.” He pointed to the row of lockers along the wall across from them. “The one in the middle.”
Jeth arched an eyebrow. He considered pressing Shady for more, but knew there wasn’t much point. All the crew dealt with prejob nerves in different ways, and once engrossed in his ritual video game, it was hard to get Shady to concern himself with anything else.
Jeth crossed the floor to the locker in question, wondering where the Debonair had been last. Their employer used the ship for lots of different jobs, and it was possible it had been parked planetside somewhere a wild animal could’ve gotten in. An image of something furry and clawed and with teeth the size of fingers flashed through Jeth’s mind. He wasn’t wearing a gun, and he briefly considered getting one before finding out what had Shady so nervous, but then he shrugged and pulled the door open.
There was something alive in there all right, but it wasn’t a wild animal. Even still, it took Jeth several moments to come to grip with what it was. Who it was.

Awesome right? Well, that's not all. Now it's time for the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mindee Arnett lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares. She's the YA author of The Nightmare Affair (Tor Teen), an urban fantasy series about a girl who is literally a nightmare and must use her skills to solve a murder, and the forthcoming science fiction series, Avalon (B+B, 1/21/2014), where Jeth and his teenage mercenaries need to pull off one last big job in order to earn their freedom.

Seriously? What are you waiting for? Go add all of Mindee's books to your TBR!!! 

Much love, 


Monday, December 2, 2013

Pitch Wars Mentee Bio: Get to Know Me!

Yes, I've succumbed to the masses. 
It's time to #PimpMyBio

I mean, come on. The stalking needs to be mutual, right? 

So, here's a quick overview of who I am (also, for all you new blog followers, this is good thing. You get to know me too). Yay! Everyone wins!

1. In case you're new here, my name is Valia Lind and I'm a bookaholic. (Hi Valia). I don't actually considering this a problem since I love books and books love me, but some may view my overflowing stacks of books a little problematic. But never fear you wonderful writers you, I won't be stopping my book buying love any time soon. I will read them and I will fangirl over them like it's my job. Because sometimes I feel like it is. 

2. I'm Russian. Which might not be a big deal to most, but guys, this means I can cook. And bake. Mmmm good. Basically, if you're friends with me for any length of time there is a possibility I will send you cookies. Or brownies. Or cookies and brownies. Which basically means you'll be well fed and happy. Oh, that reminds me. I actually have some goodies to bake. Moving on. 

3. I'm a huge cheerleader when it comes to the book community. I know this is supposed to be a bio to show off why you, my dear mentor, would want to pick me and cheer for me. But I think the cheering goes both ways and trust me, once you have me in your corner, I AM IN YOUR CONER. 

This might mean a lot of gifs sent your way. Just saying. 

4. I'm a superhero by night. Really. It's legit. I obviously can't say any more, but I save lives. It's kind of my thing. *shrugs* 

5. I am absolutely and entirely serious about this whole writing thing. I know this is a duh point, but I really feel like I should mention it here. I love writing with a passion that burns deep. I can't imagine not giving it my all to this part of me and that's why I decided to enter this contest. I'm terrified but I'm doing it. This is what I want to do with my life, I want to bring smiles and sadness to my readers faces, and if that means criticism and rejection until I find that one perfect place for myself, then BRING IT ON. 

Well, I hope that gave you a little bit of an insight into who I am. If you have any questions, of course, don't hesitate to ask. You can always find me on twitter (@ValiaLind). 
Awe, you awesome mentor you! I feel the same! :)

I heart you all!