Sunday, November 23, 2014

Book Review + Giveaway: Autumn Falls by Bella Thorne

Autumn Falls (Autumn Falls #1)
By Bella Thorne
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: With her fiery red hair, new-girl outsider status, and tendency to be a total klutz, Autumn Falls definitely isn’t flying below the radar at Aventura High. Luckily, she makes some genuine friends who take her under their wing. But she also manages to get on the wrong side of the school’s queen bee, and then finds out the guy she’s started to like, funny and sweet Sean, hangs with the mean crowd. Now her rep and her potential love life are at stake. 
When Autumn vents her feelings in a journal that belonged to her late father, suddenly her wildest wishes start coming true. Is it coincidence? Or can writing in the journal solve all her problems? And if the journal doesn’t work that way,  is there a bigger purpose for it—and for her?

Review: I'm normally really skeptical reading books written by celebrities. So when I was sent a copy of this one to review, I wasn't sure if I was actually doing to read it or not. I loved the cover, though, and new it would be a quick read, so I decided to pick it up and give it a try.  

When Autumn's parents decide to move them to Florida in order to take care of their grandmother, Autumn is devastated. But when her father dies, Autumn realizes how trivial those arguments were and would do anything to have him back. When she moves to Florida with her mom and brother, Autumn instantly finds some great friends, but in doing so becomes enemies with one of the most popular girls in school. Autumn vents her frustrations in the journal her grandma gave her, a gift from her father, and finds strange things happening as the wishes she confides in her journal start to come true. Autumn tries to use the journal for her own problems, but soon realizes there may be a greater purpose for the journal than she had previously thought…

When I began this book, I wasn't expecting a lot. I didn't even know if this was middle grade or young adult (after reading it, though, I'd classify it as a very young, young adult book) and was afraid the characters would be juvenile and cliche. I'm happy to report, though, that I actually ended up enjoying this book. I flew through it and was happy that Autumn wasn't annoying at all. Sure, I wasn't a big fan of the exaggerated aspects of her life that seemed a bit forced, like the huge lump on her head from her brother or how flat-out rude some people were to her in a way normal people wouldn't be in real life to someone they don't even know, but I actually liked her character and how realistically flawed she was. Autumn doesn't always know what to say and she's a bit of a klutz. Oh, and I was so happy that the ending wasn't cliche and all tied up in a neat bow. I don't want to give anything away, but Autumn's romantic life is definitely a mess and there's no easy fix to the troubles she causes when she gets the journal. 

I wasn't sure how the whole fantasy element would fit in with the "magical" journal, but I think it was really well done and not over-dramatic at all. Autumn wasn't even sure if the journal was magic, but it lead to a lot of self-reflection on how Autumn was really living her life and what kind of person she wanted to be. Autumn was being bullied by some very petty, cruel girls at school, but she had to try and be the better person, even when the girls would do some really hurtful things. 

With Autumn Falls, you get a young adult novel that is a quick, yet enticing read. There's magic, a splash of romance, and a whole lot of life lessons on friendship and family. If you're looking for a fun read, I'd say you should give Autumn Falls a chance!

I have one copy of Autumn Falls by Bella Thorne to giveaway! Just enter the Rafflecopter below! ***US ONLY Ends 12/1

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Book Boyfriends from A to Z

Hey, everyone! So I saw this super fun post on YA Bound where Jessica challenged herself to come up with a book boyfriend for each letter of the alphabet in only 3 minutes. I thought it sounded like a fun challenge, so I decided to join in!

Let me tell you, remembering names is hard! So I may have cheated a bit and given myself some extra time to look up the names of the men I remember loving from books, but who I just couldn't put a name to. Yeah, yeah, that's totally cheating, but if I hadn't done it I would have only made it through about 10 letters…I did make sure, though, that I stuck to the first name I came up with for each letter. Like, if I remembered a guy I loved whose name started with A but I already had a book boyfriend picked out for that letter, I couldn't switch them out. After about five minutes, here's what I came up with…

A- Adam from The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols
B- Bennett from Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
C-Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
D- Daemon Black from Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout
E- Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins 
F- Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
G- Grayson from Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
H- Holder from Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
I- Isaiah from Crash Into You by Katie McGarry
J- Jeremiah from Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally 
K- Kellan Kyle from Thoughtless by SC Stephens
L- Luis Fuentes from Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles 
M- Matt Finch from Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
N- Nate from Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young
R- Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 
S-Simon from Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
T- Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
W- Will Cooper from Slammed by Colleen Hoover

In the end I got 18/26. Not bad! I swear, every name starts with an M or a T or an S or a J...Ughhh I so wanted to do Miles from Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover or Alex Fuentes from Perfect Chemistry or Carlos Fuentes by Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles. It's so not fair!!! Oh and Cole Walker from Echoes of Scotland Street by Samantha Young! And many, many more men. It's like every new name I could think of was already taken! I felt so bad, haha, like I was hurting the feelings of my book boyfriends I just didn't remember in time. But these are the guys that first came to mind when I thought of my favorite book boyfriends! Anyone you would have added to the list or that I missed out on? 

Stacking the Shelves (123)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers share what they got throughout the week!

From Half Price Books

Sunday was the last day of Half Price Books' coupon week, so everyone could buy one item for 50% off! I, of course, had to go and spent a good 45 minutes wandering around the store, distraught over having to make a decision on one book to get. How was I possibly supposed to choose only one book? Finally, after walking back and forth across the store at least 5 times and texting my sister furiously, I decided to get After by Anna Todd. I had recently seen this book on Instagram and loved the cover, so I looked it up online. When I saw that it was One Direction fan fiction and super popular online, I knew I had to read it. I'm so excited that I own it now and I'm definitely happy with my choice of purchase. I also picked up Let It Snow in preparation for the holiday season! I've been wanting to read this book for forever, so hopefully I can sometime in December!

That's it for me! What did you all add to your shelves this week?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cover Reveal: Rebound by Noelle August

I am so excited to have the cover of Noelle August's newest novel Rebound, set to be released in February of 2015, to share with you all! So without further ado….

About the Book
Hooking up is only the beginning of the fun in this sexy and irresistible second installment of the thrilling New Adult series, Boomerang.

Adam Blackwood has it all. At twenty-two, he’s fabulously wealthy, Ryan Gosling-hot and at the top of the heap in the business world. His life is perfect, until a scandal from his past resurfaces and knocks the tech wunderkind down, throwing his company, Boomerang, a hook-up site for millennials, into chaos.

Three years ago, Adam married his high school love—and then lost her in a tragic accident. Now, the heartbreak and guilt he’s tried to bury with work and women begins to take over his life.

Alison Quick, the twenty-one-year-old daughter of a business tycoon—and the very ex-girlfriend of Boomerang’s former intern, Ethan—has a problem of her own. She’s got one chance to prove to her father that she deserves a place in his empire by grabbing control of Boomerang and taking Adam down.

But as Alison moves in on him, armed with a cadre of lawyers and accountants, she discovers there’s much more to Adam and Boomerang than meets the eye. Will earning her father’s approval come at the price of losing her first real love? It appears so, unless Adam can forgive her for wrecking his life and trying to steal his livelihood. But Alison hopes that old adage is right. Maybe love can conquer all.

Book Blast + Giveaway: Exchange of Fire by PA DePaul

Today we're having a book blast for Exchange of Fire by P.A. DePaul. I'm super excited about this blast. We'll be revealing a deleted scene from Exchange of Fire and it's on sale right now as well!! Enjoy and make sure you enter P.A.'s giveaway!!

Exchange of Fire
By PA DePaul 
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Summary: Wraith is a Shade— an agent declared dead but who secretly moves among the living. Devastated by a mission gone wrong, the sniper fakes her own death and leaves her team behind to protect them. No operative has successfully left or retired from the SweetBriar Group in five years. Going into hiding is her only solution, but she doesn’t expect to meet a man like Casper Grady while adjusting to civilian life and dealing with the guilt of her past.

A former Marine with a troubled past of his own, Grady has worked hard to open the Gradwick Center and provide for local children and their families. He’s immediately taken with Sandra, his new employee, but he knows that there’s more to this engaging and mysterious woman than meets the eye. When Sandra’s past suddenly catches up with her, Grady is forced to rely on all his military instincts to protect this woman whose secrets are darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined.

Now on the run, Sandra is reunited with her former team, and realizes that they’ll need Grady’s help to outsmart a drug cartel and SBG’s own CEO if they wish to stay alive. As the danger increases, so do the feelings that have been brewing since they first met. But can Grady choose between the community he swore to protect and the woman whom he loves, but whose secrets could kill them both?

Alternative Scene

Introduction from the author:
Exchange of Fire’s gone through quite a few changes since I typed the first draft. Some of them major. This scene was one of the first ones to be changed. As I wrote it, the storyline started shifting to be more about Cappy and his wound then about an assassin coming after Wraith by invading Grady’s home. Not good and too much time was being wasted trying to bring it back on track. As I brainstormed, I realized this scene could be so much more suspenseful and really dive into both Grady and Wraith’s personal storylines if I didn’t include Cappy and shifted Mars outside, trying to pick them off. Ultimately, this one scene developed into multiple chapters of high action and personal suspense (Chapters 39-41 to be exact).  Hope you enjoy a peek at an earlier version!

Exclusive Deleted Scene:
Grady crouched and squeezed off two shots down the hall to give Cappy a chance to find cover. Suddenly, the C.O. gripped his left side, toppled over, and pull himself behind the couch, leaving behind a grisly trail of blood.
Grady whipped his head over to make sure Sandra was still with him. She wasn’t. Sonofabitch. He peered around the edge of the fireplace acting as a patrician between the living and dining rooms, and his heart stopped. She crept along the perimeter of the room, ducking behind chairs toward Cappy. Her whole body was silhouetted by the light coming in from the floor-to-ceiling windows that comprised the back wall of the living room. She was a Goddamn moving target.
Grady brought his gun up and stepped from behind the fireplace. He ran to the corner of the hallway, placing his shoulder blades flat against the drywall. Where had that bastard gone? His former military training roared through his veins as he assessed his house’s layout. One of the most dangerous, yet rewarding, directives he’d experienced when he was a Marine was being a part of a unit that kicked down doors and cleared insurgents out in Baghdad. Except then, he had about seven other guys and snipers on the roofs as they leap-frogged through rooms taking out bad guys. 
He now had a team of two. Himself and Sandra. But he knew the terrain since it was his Goddamn house acting as a warzone. When Mars dove down the hall, he had to choose between three bedrooms and a bathroom. Based on logic, the guy had probably been creeping forward, so that meant he was most likely in the first guest bedroom.
The one Grady rested against. Shit. He rolled.
Two bullets pierced the drywall where he had just stood and traveled until they slammed into the side of the kitchen island. Pots and pans clattered as the bullets expended their energy.
Grady continued his momentum and rolled to his feet, keeping low to the ground. He flicked on his throat-mic and whispered, “Talk to me, Sandra. How’s he doing?”
“It’s bad. I’ve slowed the bleeding, but he needs a hospital.”
Shit. Exactly what he was afraid of when he saw the gut shot.
“He keeps saying he won’t go,” she continued. “But we’ll see about that.”
“Did you get a hold of the others?”
“Yeah. I used Cappy’s phone and sent a text warning them away.”
Grady breathed out. While that was great news, it also sucked, knowing you just told back-up to grab a beer while you fought a psycho alone.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they showed up anyway.”
His gut clenched. That was his other fear. Talon was just bull-headed enough to come barging in even though they needed their asset, the inside man, to stay safe.
“Roger.” He flicked his mic off and took a step forward. A large, dark shape emerged from the bedroom, racing toward him. Grady pulled his gun up and squeezed off a round. The shape didn’t slow. He didn’t have time for another shot. Mars ran right into him, literally. Grady fell on his ass in the most ungraceful position.
The assassin kept running.
“Heads up,” Grady shouted, scrambling  into a shooting position. He fired at the man’s back. The bullet pierced the guy’s coat, but Mars still didn’t slow down. “He’s got armor on.”
Pffffft. Pffffft.
Sandra! Grady jumped up and started running.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
Grady dropped and crab-walked forward out of Cappy’s line of fire. He placed his shoulder against a high-backed chair and edged his gun around. With no lights or moonlight, Grady couldn’t see many details but even he could figure out Cappy was gone when he peered behind the couch. Only a large pool of blood now stained the oriental let him know where he had lain.
Mars stalked toward the windows, giving Grady the advantage of seeing the man’s outline.
Where was Sandra?
Grady pulled the trigger. Blood spurted from the assassin’s left shoulder and the guy jerked, whirling toward him. Sandra jumped from her spot behind the couch, her knife catching the little bit of dull light as she thrust it forward and slashed down.
Mars cried out as his right leg buckled.
“Everyone, back off,” Sandra yelled, circling the assassin.
Screw that. Grady raced forward.
Mars raised his right hand, the gun just seconds from sighting on her head. Sandra dropped onto his stomach and punched him in the face with her silver knuckles. His head snapped to the side as a tooth flew from his mouth. The gun paused then resumed its deadly aim. 
Grady raised his arm and sighted.
“I swear to God, Grady, if you pull that trigger,” she said as she slammed her knuckles into Mars’ face again, shredding the skin on his cheek. “I will make your life a living hell. This bastard’s mine.”
In one deft move, she switched the knife from her right to her left hand and sliced the tendon on Mars’ forearm.
The assassin screamed as the silenced gun flopped to the rug with a dull thud. He curled his bleeding arm into his chest.
Cappy pulled himself around the couch’s corner and Sandra glanced up at the movement. Mars used that moment to slam his left fist into her face. She jerked back, dropping off his stomach.
Sonofabitch. Grady shot the man in the leg.
Mars screamed and twitched, but he couldn’t do much more since Grady had aimed for the leg Sandra had already crippled.
She righted herself, holding the right side of her head. She bucked with the man as if she were riding a bull in a rodeo. Her knife switched back to her right hand and she sliced through the bastard’s shirt. Mars drew back to punch her again but Cappy caught the man’s arm and held it down.
“Go ahead,” he wheezed, using what had to be the last of his reserves to keep Mars from hitting her again. “Finish it.”
Riiiiiipppppp. She pulled the fabric apart and released the binding on the armor vest. Mars’ chest rose and fell as he sucked in air.
“Let him go, Cappy. Give him a fighting chance to stop me.”
Grady’s heart filled with something he’d be hard pressed not to call love. He was also scared and pissed as hell at her taking this risk, but proud of her not ending the man in cold-blood either.
Cappy held her eyes a moment then dipped his chin. He let go and rolled to his back panting.
Mars swung at her head but she dodged back. He regrouped and clamped onto her leg, trying to push her off as he squeezed and flailed. She held on. He let go and wormed his hand under his body. He  fumbled a moment, then whipped out a switchblade.
“Look out,” Grady shouted, lunging forward.
Sandra sprang off his body.
The switchblade in Mars’ hand hung suspended as his eyes bugged, staring at her face. He tried to breathe in once, but gurgled on blood seeping out of the corner of his mouth.
Sandra’s aim had been true.
Grady slammed her body to his. She wrenched her head to watch as Mars’ face reddened, then his body gave out. He sagged, his head drooping to the side as he died staring at Sandra.
She slumped.
“Are you hurt?” He clutched the sides of her head and she whimpered. “Christ. I’m sorry. I forgot he hit you. Let me see.”
She jerked her head out of hands. “Cappy first.”
Shit. She was right. His inner caveman didn’t give a shit about the other man though. It only knew his woman was injured and demanded he take care of her. Pipe down, he told it and let her go. She raced to Cappy’s side and dropped to her knees.
“Oh God,” she cried. “He’s barely breathing.”
“I’m calling 911.”
“No,” Cappy’s voice wheezed, stilling Grady’s hand from reaching for his cellphone. “No hospital.”
“You have to go,” Sandra snapped.
“No.” Cappy shook his head. “Gunshot.” His chest rose and fell as he tried to catch his breath. “Required.” Breath. “To report.” Huge breath. “Police.”
“Shit. He’s right,” Grady said.
“I’ll call Talon back.” Sandra fumbled for the phone.
The garage door opening caught Grady’s attention. “Someone’s here.” He ran to the kitchen door and waited, his gun at the ready to nail anyone other than the team.
The door squeaked open and Grady put the barrel to the intruder’s temple. “Freeze, asshole.” The man stopped.
“Geez, Casper. I knew we didn’t get along, but this is a little extreme,” Talon’s voice said dryly.
“Oh thank God,” Sandra called. “Talon, get your ass in here.”
The prick shot him a look as he tore past, Romeo and Magician following a step behind.
“What happened?” Talon barked as he rounded the fireplace.
“Mars shot him.”
A late twenty-something, thin man stepped through the door. His hair standing up in the back and he seemed as if he was frayed around the edges. His blue-checked, button down and khaki pants should have looked nice but they were ill-fitting. Grady put his hand out, stopping him from moving further in the kitchen.
He leaned forward and whispered, “I don’t know you. You stay right here with me.”
“He won’t go to the hospital,” Sandra continued to explain.
Mystery Boy’s eyes widened. “Wraith. She’s still safe.” His shoulder sagged.

About the Author
P.A. DePaul is a multi-genre romance author including paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense. She originally hails from Carroll County and Baltimore County, Maryland, but also lived in Macon and Warner Robins, Georgia. She currently resides in a beautiful community just outside Philadelphia. Exchange of Fire is the first novel in the SBG series with the second novel, Shadow of Doubt, releasing April 2015. You can also find out more about her at: 

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