Sunday, November 30, 2014

2014 Bookish Christmas List

Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, that means that the Christmas season has finally begun! Our Christmas tree and all of our decorations are already up and I already have a good chunk of my Christmas shopping done thanks to the fantastic Black Friday deals this year. As always, I had been working on my Christmas list all month long and I had to narrow down the list of books I wouldn't mind Santa bringing me. I never expect to get all of the books I put on my Bookish Christmas List, but I would be one happy girl if I got one or two of the books on the list! They all look fantastic and some are by my favorite authors, so I know I'm going to love whatever Santa decides to bring me. This year, I'm asking for…

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
All Broke Down by Cora Carmack 
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Bully by Penelope Douglas
Rule by Jay Crownover

What books did you all ask for this year? Anything special you hope to find wrapped up under the tree on Christmas morning? 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Book Review: The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre

The Shape of My Heart (2B Trilogy)
By Ann Aguirre
Release Date: November 25, 2014
Source: Netgalley
Summary: Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney's social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she's made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore. 

Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain he's been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it's time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney's the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves.

It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that's ever been broken, there's another that can make it complete.

Review: Ever since I read the titles for the novels of this series, I just had to read them. I grew up on The Backstreet Boys, so of course I was drawn to these books. Not to mention the covers are awesome and they promised emotional new adult romances I wouldn't be able to put down. 

Ever since Courtney lost the one person she's cared about the most in high school, she's been in meaningless relationships where she simply wants to feel and not become emotionally involved. Max has never had anyone there for them, so when he decides to confront his past and see if he can reconcile with his family, Courtney is the only person he trusts to come and help him through it. During their trip to Max's hometown, though, Max and Courtney grow even closer and start feeling things they both know they shouldn't. As their feelings become impossible to ignore, Courtney and Max realize how different their backgrounds really are and their true feelings for each other are put to the test as both Courtney and Max's worlds catch up to them. 

When I started this book, I found it really hard to connect with Courtney. The way she was described was very hard to picture and I just didn't find myself caring about her on a personal level. She would constantly say how she knew she wasn't pretty and just "worked with what she had." Too many people were blatantly mean to her about her body type and how she looked, and it just got to be a little too much. I love it when the main characters of books reflect more realistic body images, but there was just something about Courtney that rubbed me the wrong way. As for Max, I really liked his character and how we got to see him with his family, but we didn't really get to see him in his life outside of his time with Courtney. She talked about how he was seen as a sort of player but I feel like we never saw that side of him. I just wish we got to see them in more social situations outside of their family and roommates. 

As for the storyline, I think it was dragged out a bit too much. It took me almost an entire week to get through this book because I wasn't as interested in what they were doing as I wanted to be. Sure, they both go through some very emotional times and have to reflect on what they really want in life, but this story could have been a lot of shorter and the characters would have still gone through the same amount of development. I did, though, really like Courtney's relationship with Max once they were back at school and how different they became once they were together. They both looked at their lives in a different way and learned not only more about each other but also more about themselves and what they really wanted out of life. 

Overall, I enjoyed this story but didn't find myself loving it. I wanted more connection with the main character and more to happen than what did. I enjoyed the emotion and growth in Max and Courtney's relationship, but the way they handled the huge problem thrown their way near the end didn't seem to correlate to how they acted towards each other in the beginning of the book. While I wasn't as big of a fan of this book as I wanted to be, I still think I'm going to check out the first two books of the 2B trilogy to see how the other couples featured in this book got their start.

Stacking the Shelves (124)

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

From Publisher

Some absolutely gorgeous books came for me within the past couple of weeks! I'm definitely excited for Stacey Jay's new book! And the three Christmas books by Sheila Roberts are just the thing to start off the holiday season. 

From Giveaway

I won two wonderful giveaways and I couldn't be more excited! I won a fun Halloween pack from Tasty Book Tours that included some candy, socks, and a copy of Something Sweeter by Candis Terry. I don't remember where Outlander is from, but I think I remember winning it from something. I'm just happy I get to see Jamie's gorgeous face every time I go to pick up the book! I can't be more thankful for these two wonderful books to add to my bookshelves! 

From Half Price Books
I went to Half Price Books to shop for my secret santa and, of course, walked out with some books for myself. These two were only $1 each, though! And Embrace was a hardback! How could I resist??  

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

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Sorry it's been quiet here over the past couple of days, but I've been super busy with family because of the holiday! I spent Wednesday morning working and then my sister and I cleaned up the house in preparation of hosting Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving morning, we got up and went straight to the first annual Turkey Trot that our town was hosting and it was a blast! 

I ran the four mile race in 28:55 and it was a great run! The picture above is of me and my brother right before we finished. While it was definitely cold, it was a great way to start off our holiday. After the race, we headed home and started to prepare for hosting Thanksgiving where my mom's side of the family was coming over to celebrate the holiday together. 

My sister and I finished up any last minute cleaning and then helped our mom prepare the meal. Our job is always to peel the potatoes and it is definitely one of our favorite parts of the day! We made up some cute name tags for the table and made sure everything looked perfect. We ended up having a delicious meal and a wonderful time with all of our family. We talked for hours and played a fun game called "Things" and enjoyed way too many desserts. 

Once everyone left, my mom, sister, and I headed out around 8:30 to Walmart and Old Navy to catch some of their Black Friday deals. Walmart was not packed at all, but Old Navy was still pretty busy by the time we left at 10:30pm. We ended up going back out the next morning at 6:30am to see what sales Macy's and JcPenny's were having. We spent the morning shopping and by the time we got back home, we were definitely worn out. But that didn't stop my sister and I from lugging all of the Christmas boxes from the basement, popping in Die Hard, and decorating the house for Christmas. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon putting up our Christmas tree and all of our decorations before heading out to finally see Mockingjay! I have been dying to see the movie and it was so good! Oh my gosh, that ending! I can't wait until the final movie is released to see how they wrap everything up. 

Overall, it was a fantastic holiday and I can't believe it's already over. But I am definitely in the Christmas spirit and am so ready to spend the upcoming month celebrating. I just have to get through the last two weeks of the semester before I can finally relax and just enjoy my favorite holiday. I've already got about half of my Christmas shopping done and have started in on the Christmas movies. What can I say? It's the best time of the year :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cover Reveal: Behind Your Back by Chelsea M Cameron

Today is the cover reveal for Chelsea M. Cameron's upcoming title, BEHIND YOUR BACK. This book will be released in February 2015 but be sure to check out the author's note below for some special news about the release!



Add the book to GOODREADS

Author's Note

This past summer I traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland for a book signing. It was my first trip outside of the US and I was nervous as hell. While I was on the plane and begging for my motion sickness medication to kick in, I started thinking about a character I didn’t “know” yet. Every now and then I will get a character’s voice in my head and not have a story for them. More often than not, my books start with just one character. I don’t know where the story is going, or what they’re going to do. I only have their voice guiding me. I told myself I wasn’t going to work on anything new on my trip, since I already had existing deadlines. But of course the voice ignored me. He kept talking to me. I couldn’t resist, so I started working on his story in my gorgeous hotel room with its view of Edinburgh castle. I wrote some more words at the Elephant House, which is where J. K. Rowling started writing the first Harry Potter book. Over vegetable lasagna and jasmine tea, a story started to develop. It was different than anything I’d ever written. Told completely from a male point of view. It was also a romantic suspense, something I’d been dying to try writing, but didn’t think I had the ability to do. I called my mother in my excitement and her words were “that’s completely different than anything you’ve ever written.” This is that story. And since this story is so completely different, I’m doing something different when I release it. In February (date to be determined), you will not only get the first book on that day, Behind Your Back, you will also be able to buy the sequel, Back To Back! No weeks or months of waiting to find out what happens. You can read the two books in one day if you want. Instant gratification. I hope you fall in love with these books as much as I have while writing them.  


       She wears a wig and colored contacts the first time I see her in person. Her electric green eyes are too memorable, even in a crowd. But underneath the plain brown wig and the brown contacts and the bored expression she wears, something shines through that she can’t cover up. 
       I recognize it right away, even if I wouldn’t have been searching for her. Raising myself from my chair, I cross the coffee shop. She watches her phone, pretending to be the kind of girl who can’t abandon her Facebook page for longer than three seconds. But I know. I know her. 
       Her finger hovers over the screen of the phone, her shoulders slump, but her foot jiggles just a little bit. Not enough for anyone but me to notice. But I see it. I see her. 
       I pass by her table on my way out the door. I give her one glance. A visual brush over her body. I know she sees me, but pretends not to. She pushes the wig back and I can just barely see the flash of red hair at the nape of her neck, along with a tattoo. I can’t see all of it, but I don’t need to. I know that, too. 
       A Celtic knot. 
       I pass through the door and don’t look back. Her eyes follow me down the street to the crosswalk and until I’m out of view. 
       She sees me.    

About the Author

Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman). She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.  

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Book Blitz: Diamonds and Dust by Jessie Evans

DIAMONDS AND DUST by Jessie Evans released yesterday - if you're in need of a swoon worthy cowboy (and who isn't?), you've got to meet Pike! Check out this excerpt below!

DaD AmazonGRSW


A sexy second chance romance from NYT and USA Today Bestselling author Jessie Evans 

The home run neither of them expected…

Pike Sherman is a legend in Lonesome Point, a hometown boy who made it to the big leagues. Literally. Professional baseball acquired one hell of a pitching arm and its latest celebrity bad boy when the gifted Pike was drafted seven years ago. Pike’s broken heart came along for the ride, too, but he kept that private, and since leaving Lonesome Point has kept his distance from his hometown. But when Pike’s little sister, Mia, begs him to be the Dude of Honor at her wedding, he can’t refuse. He takes advantage of a break in the season and returns home to find himself thrown together with the one woman he never wanted to see again. 

Tulsi Hearst is on the verge of losing her Equine Therapy business, and letting down all the kids she’s come to love. After a mix-up with the grant board, she needs to concentrate on finding more funding, not dealing with Pike Sherman, the boy she sacrificed so much for, and the one person she’s ever lied to. And what a lie it is… Pike would hate her if he found out. She knows she should stay far away from the brooding man her summer love has become, but Tulsi can’t resist a slow dance with the only boy who ever made her blood rush. 

After just a few days back in Lonesome Point, Pike can’t imagine life without the girl he left behind, but when Tulsi’s secret is revealed, his heart is broken all over again. The only thing worse than losing Tulsi, is losing six years with the daughter he didn’t know he had. Add it to Goodreads here

Under normal circumstances, Tulsi would have still been reeling from the nightmarish meeting with Chad. But with Pike’s arm around her, gluing her to his muscled body as he practically carried her across the street, all she could think about was how incredible it felt to be close to him. It was almost too much to wrap her head around.

Pike was touching her, holding her. Her body was pressed tight to his for the first time since he’d kissed her behind the barn at his parents’ house seven years ago, the afternoon everything had gone to hell, and her body was on the verge of a spontaneous meltdown. She tried to tell herself this didn’t mean anything and Pike would have responded the same way if it had been any of Mia’s friends being harassed by a creep. But she’d never heard him sound so angry and the possessive way he’d swept her out of the office had her stomach fluttering and her body aching to get even closer to him.

About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessie Evans, gave up a career as an international woman of mystery to write the sexy, contemporary Southern romances she loves to read. She's married to the man of her dreams, and together they're raising a few adorable, mischievous children in a cottage in the jungle. She grew up in rural Arkansas, spending summers running wild, being chewed by chiggers, and now appreciates her home in a chigger-free part of the world even more. When she's not writing, Jessie enjoys playing her dulcimer (badly), sewing the worlds ugliest quilts to give to her friends, going for bike rides with her house full of boys, and drifting in and out on the waves, feeling thankful for sun, surf, and lovely people to share them with. 

Waiting On Wednesday (171)

This is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where every Wednesday bloggers highlight a book that they are eagerly anticipating the release of!

The Secrets We Keep
By Trisha Leaver
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Summary: A girl takes over her twin sister's identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters.

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.

When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister's life.


As a twin myself (though not identical), I was definitely intrigued by this book. How could Ella take over Maddie's life after she dies? Especially since their lives were so different? I know that this one is going to be extremely emotional, but I'm intrigued to find out what Ella uncovers about her sister's life. This definitely sounds a bit like Sara Shepard's The Lying Game and promises lies, deceit, and a whole lot of secrets that are better left uncovered. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Release Day Launch: The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre

We are so excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for Ann Aguirre's incredible THE SHAPE OF MY HEART! THE SHAPE OF MY HEART is a New Adult contemporary romance, published by Harlequin HQN, and is the third book in the 2B Trilogy Series. Don't forget to grab your copy of the first two books and fall in love with her characters all over again!

The Shape of My Heart (2B Trilogy #3)
By Ann Aguirre 
Release Date: November 25, 2014
Summary: Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney's social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she's made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore. 

Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain he's been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it's time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney's the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves.

It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that's ever been broken, there's another that can make it complete.

             So many questions ricocheted around my brainpan, but Max’s shoulders were pulled up almost to his ears, his chin nearly on the table. Without looking at me, he shredded the napkin in his hands into four pieces and then in half again. The waning sunshine streaming in the smeared window behind him haloed his hair, so that the highlights shone blue instead of tawny or copper.
             “You don’t have to tell me a bedtime story,” I said gently.
            “No, you need to know. So you understand what’s going on and why it’s so tense when we get there.”
            “Okay. If you’re sure.”
            “I’ll set the stage.” His tone was brittle, uneven, and the bits of paper in his hands kept getting smaller. “I was sixteen, just got my license. My dad was drinking, acting like a fuckhead. Business as usual. When he started in on Mickey, I grabbed the keys. Figured I’d get us both out of there for a while. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but taking off is kind of my specialty.”
            “Between your bike, the garage office, and the place you showed me by the river, I’ve picked up on the pattern, yeah.”
            “I thought I was doing the smart thing, you know? But I was driving too fast and some asshole blew the stoplight. T-boned us. Mickey got the worst of it… weeks in the hospital without knowing if he’d make it. Then once he stabilized, we found out he’d never walk again.” He curled a fist and slammed it onto the table, making the pizza box dance. “Ironic, huh? I was worried that my dad would hurt Mickey but I’m the one who—”
            “Not true,” I cut in. “That’s a textbook accident. Don’t tell me you blame yourself.”
            “It’s impossible to do anything else. No, wipe that look off your face, Kaufman. I didn’t open up to make you feel sorry for me. I just want you to know the deal going in. I mean, my dad’s the biggest asshole I ever met and he hates me, too.”
            “What about Mickey?”
            “We weren’t talking much when I left. Every day I think, what if I’d put up with my old man’s shit for five minutes more? What if I’d picked a fight with him instead of grabbing those keys? I—” His voice broke on a shuddering inhalation.
            Until this moment I didn’t realize how much weight Max carried on a daily basis or how good a job he did hiding it. I came out of my chair and rounded the little table before I consciously decided to make a move. Standing beside him, I hovered, unsure what to do. He answered the question by wrapping both arms around my waist and pulling me onto his lap. Unsettled, unnerved, even, I let him press his face into my shoulder, resting a hand on his head.
            His breath warmed the skin of my throat, rousing an inappropriate shiver. Now is not the time. It wasn’t like I’d never noticed his hotness; he specialized in a scruffy, soulful appeal that women of all ages seemed unable to resist. But it was so much better for him to call me Kaufman and confide in me instead of flirting. At the moment, Max needed a friend. I stroked his back for like five minutes before he raised his gaze to meet mine.
            “Sorry. The closer we get to Rhode Island, the worse I feel.”
            “It’s understandable. You have to be worried about how your brother will react when you see him.” The rest of his family sounded like jackwagons. Though he’d only told me about his dad, if he had any decent aunts, uncles or cousins, they would’ve stepped up when his old man went upside his head with a bottle. A scar like that would take eight or ten stitches, minimum. I imagined Max as a scared kid with blood gushing from his scalp, and all of my protective instincts roared to life. People had been calling me a bitch since I was fifteen, and I was ready to wade in against Max’s family. Yeah, the funeral might be tense and shitty, but if his family said one fucking word—

Make sure you grab the entire 2B Trilogy!
About the Author

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Winter TBR

This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week bloggers share a list of books for the prompt given. So hopefully I'll have a new list to share with you all each week!

This Week's Topic: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

Haha, what books aren't on my TBR list this winter? I always have books to review for my blog, but there are also so many books that I'm dying to read that have been sitting on my shelves for what feels like forever. So, I want to make it a goal to get through some books that I already own this winter and make a dent in my to-read shelves. Hopefully I can get through these books that I've been wanting to read but just haven't had the time. This winter, I'll make time and read these lovely books

1. How to Love by Katie Cotugno
2. Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

4. Rites of Passage by Joy N Hensley 
5. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
6. Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire

7. Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino
8. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
9. Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

10. Looking for Alaska by John Green

Monday, November 24, 2014

Audiobook Release: Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson

I'm not one to listen to Audiobooks, but today is the release of an audiobook of Brandon Sanderson's book Legion: Skin Deep and, as a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson, I wanted to help promote the audiobook's release!

Audible is giving away Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson FOR FREE for the first month that it's available! So if any of you are interested, head over now! You can find a free clip right here if you want to try it out before downloading. Here's more about the book…

Legion: Skin Deep (Legion #2)
By Brandon Sanderson
Release Date: November 24, 2014
Goodreads | Audible
Summary: Stephen Leeds, AKA “Legion,” is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the new story begins, Leeds and his “aspects” are hired by I3 (Innovative Information Incorporated) to recover a corpse stolen from the local morgue. But there’s a catch. The corpse is that of a pioneer in the field of experimental biotechnology, a man whose work concerned the use of the human body as a massive storage device. He may have embedded something in the cells of his now dead body. And that something might be dangerous…

What follows is a visionary thriller about the potential uses of technology, the mysteries of the human personality, and the ancient human need to believe that death is not the end. Legion: Skin Deep is speculative fiction at it most highly developed. It reaffirms Sanderson’s place as one of contemporary fiction’s most intelligent—and unpredictable—voices.

Weekly Roundup [11/18-11/24]

THANKSGIVING IS FOUR DAYS AWAY!!!! That means I'm heading home for Thanksgiving Break tomorrow and get to spend five lovely days with my family, eating yummy food and going Black Friday Shopping! Words can't even begin to describe how excited I am for this break. With only one full week of classes left before exam week, things have definitely been busy and stressful for me. That means, though, that I'm so much closer to finally student teaching next semester! I was assigned my placement last week and learned that I will be teaching in a 10th grade classroom at a wonderful high school about 20 minutes from campus. I could not be more excited for this experience and finally having a place in the classroom! Spending my day teaching English and sharing my love for books? Sounds like a dream come true :) 

Book Reviews
Believe by Erin McCarthy
Autumn Falls by Bella Thorne 



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