Amateur Angel: Review

Title: Amateur Angel
Author: Karri Thompson
Source: Purchased ebook (Amazon)

Goodreads Summary & Cover:

Only 18-years-old, Ashley is no ordinary teenager. Not only is she dead, but upon her death, she mistakenly enters the wrong line in the afterlife, a line meant for trained, guardian angels. With a pair of wings on her back, Ashley is sent to Los Angeles to replace another angel whose "assignment" was none-other-than Cannon Michaels, a current member of the band Sendher, the sexiest man alive, and Ashley's celebrity crush in life.

So, what happens when you die suddenly and there isn't anyone guiding you to the correct line in Heaven? Well, you get in the wrong line, of course!

Just graduating high school, turning 18 and on her way home for her surprise party, Ashley has a car accident and dies. Once in Heaven, her Guardian Angel vanishes and she has no clue what to do. She gets in the line she is directed to, but is scared out of it and ends up in the wrong line: the trained Guardian Angel line.

As soon as Ashley hits LA, she realizes who she is matched with: the newly 21 year old Cannon Michaels...her celebrity crush!

Since Ashley has no training and accidentally lands in the Guardian Angel line, she has to find guidance along the way. Between a massage therapist's Guardian Angel and mostly Cannon's friend and manager's Guardian Angel, Will, she learns mostly what to do. Kind of.

As the story develops, Ashley finds out that Cannon is a big ol' jerk. He's still hot and she loves him, but he's a jerk. There are a couple of moments when Ashley sees a different side of him, but the details as to why he does the good things are never explained. However, all of the bad...definitely explained!

Ashley has to learn how to control her flying, to touch things, to touch things without sending them flying across the place, to keep her wings from knocking over things, to keep her emotions calm, and to stay out of the way of touching Cannon.

All of her uncoordinated moves had me giggling. There were a whole lot of "Poor Ashley" comments that popped in my head. This book also had me tearing up a bit. There's so much that happens with Cannon. The way he was feeling, his actions, and how Ashley would "talk" to him, were just emotional for me.

Ahhh, and a cliffhanger ending! I feel so tortured!

I hope that Karri continues this series. I will definitely read more. This book was fun and different!

Review: The Summer I Became a Nerd

Author: Leah Rae Miller
Source: Won from a blog giveaway! (Hooray!!!)
Challenge: Standalone Reading Challenge
Summary & Cover:
On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.

Straight up? I adored this book!!! These sweet, coming of age, figuring out yourself, loving the adorable boy books are totally up my alley!

Maddie was a great main character. In the beginning of the book, she found out just how hard it would be to be a nerd growing up through middle and high school. So she'd never be made to feel awful about her love for comics and all things nerdy, she became what she thought she had to be: a popular cheerleader hanging with other cheerleaders and dating the football player.

When Maddie ran into Logan, they instantly had that thing. That connection. That whatever you want to call it. It wasn't instant love. No, no. Even though Maddie dated the football player, she knew who Logan was and had always thought he was "adorkable" and cute. Likewise, Logan had liked her since 9th grade, when he moved to Natchitoches.

Logan went along with her hiding herself from who she really was, but helped her embrace it by inviting her into his life and activities. She fit right in and loved it! But how was she supposed to enjoy doing all of those things, and hang out with this super adorkable boy while she was avoiding her friends and her boyfriend? How could she be a nerd, but stay popular and not become a laughing stock?

The path of figuring out who she was and who she wanted to be was hard for her. She figured herself out and had some great advice from her parents, brother, Logan's mom, and his friend, Dan. (Dan was funny!)

Completely my kind of book: nerds and adorableness adorkableness!

The Summer of No Regrets: Review & Giveaway

Title: The Summer of No Regrets
Author: Katherine Grace Bond
Source: Copy provided for an honest review. All thoughts are honest and have in no way been persuaded by anyone.
Published: August 2012

Synopsis & Cover:

This was the summer that would change my life.

No more being what everyone expected. No more doing what everyone else wanted.

So when Luke came into my life, I decided to keep him a secret. Maybe he as a dead-ringer for notorious Hollywood bad boy Trent Yves. And it was possible that everything he told me was a lie. And yes, I was probably asking for trouble. But all I saw was Luke–sweet, funny, caring–someone who would let me be the real me.

But which was the real him?

I remember seeing a lot about this book last summer when it was released, but I never got a chance to get it and read it. I was happy to see a tour for it this summer to give it a new life! I jumped at the opportunity.

Brigitta is our main character. She lives in the middle of nowhere on the west coast. She doesn't attend school, as she is "homeschooled" by her mother. She tried her local high school for one year, but did not like it. At all! 

She is a very different girl. With her parents and their free-spirited ways, she really has no other choice. They've let her and her sister, Mallory, live their lives how they've wanted. They could attend public school if they wished. They had the right to choose their own religion and more along these lines.

Brigitta's best friend, Natalie, has Hollywood fever! She thinks she sees stars all of the time in their sleepy little town. Brigitta plays clueless and acts as if she has no idea who these people are, all while hiding her gossip magazines and running a gossip blog.

Brigitta has a sort-of-kind-of boyfriend/ex-boyfriend/best friend with a boy named Devon. Devon's a dufus! I'll just leave it at that. :) The highlight of their relationship for me was that they participated in NaNoWriMo! That's a fun shout-out to the writing world.

In walks the new neighbor, Luke. Luke has an uncanny resemblance to the movie star, Trent Yves (pronounced Eve). They bond after a cougar nearly ate Luke. After word got out about the cougar, it was hunted and killed. Come to find out, the cougar had a couple of cubs close by. Brigitta and Luke decided to take care of them since they felt responsible for their mother being killed.

Luke pulls a lot of vanishing acts and they frustrate Brigitta. Essentially, that's what the whole book is: Brigitta and Luke hanging out and then Luke disappearing and Brigitta trying to figure out where he's going and if he's really Trent Yves. I couldn't decide if I liked Luke or not! Alas, I will let you read and find out on your own about Luke and Trent and what happens with Brigitta.

I felt that I understood Brigitta, Mallory, Natalie, and even Brigitta's parents. These characters were written really well and given their own identities that were easily distinguished. Overall, Katherine told a good story. 

About the Author:
Katherine Grace Bond is the author of THE SUMMER OF NO REGRETS (Sourcebooks, 2012) and of
the bestselling LEGEND OF THE VALENTINE (Zondervan, 2002), a story of the civil rights movement. She often finds herself in the woods escaping from giant cats and shadowy figures in cloaks. The creator of TEENWrite acting/writing workshops, where participants come as their characters, she lives with her husband in a dimension populated by younger people, some of whom resemble her.

Extra News:
If you liked The Summer of No Regrets, you will like Luke’s Journal, where Luke gets to have his say. Where did he go the times he disappeared? What was he really going through at home? The book is available as a .99 download from July 18-29.
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Book Nerd Tours

Replica: Blog Tour (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title: Replica
Author: Jenna Black
Cover & Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake comes from a high-class Executive family in the Corporate States. Her marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in her state, which means she lives a life of privilege but also of public scrutiny, followed everywhere by photographers, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image — no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.

Nathan Hayes is the heir of Paxco — controller of the former state of New York, and creator of human replication technology, science that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Though Nadia and Nate aren't in love, they've grown up close, and they (and the world) are happy enough with their match.

Until Nate turns up dead, and as far as everyone knows, Nadia was the last person to see him alive.

When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory backup, he doesn't know what killed him. Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.

Excerpt #4:
Nate awakened, gagging and choking, as a long plastic tube was removed from his throat. He tried to open his eyes, then quickly shut them again when something wet and sticky dripped into them. He wanted to wipe whatever it was away, but something was wrapped around each of his wrists, holding them down.
What the hell . . . ?
He struggled to free himself, but his limbs felt sluggish and weak, and he wasn’t getting anywhere.
“Take it easy, sir,” a male voice said, and then someone wiped Nate’s face with a steaming hot towel and he was able to open his eyes.
He was in a sterile white room, sitting in a coffin-shaped vat of slimy green goo. Tubes and wires connected the vat to a terminal in the wall. He blinked in confusion. The last thing he remembered was coming to the Fortress for his monthly backup. How had he gotten . . . ?
The thought trailed off in his mind as he realized what waking up in this tub of goo meant.
“Oh, shit,” he whispered. His head spun, and he feared he was going to be sick. “I’m a Replica.”
He looked at the white-coated lab tech who had wiped the slime from his face, a forty-something Employee with brown eyes and discreetly graying hair. The lab tech gave him a single nod of confirmation, then continued unhooking Nate from the machinery that had created him.
If Paxco had gone to the enormous expense of creating a Replica, that meant the original Nate Hayes was dead.
“What’s the date?” Nate asked, holding back panic as his brain tried to process what was happening.
“March fourteenth, sir,” the lab tech said. “Now hold still so I can get you out of there.”
Nate closed his eyes and took a deep breath, his heart hammering. He’d gone in for his backup scan on March 1st. As a Replica, he had all of Nate’s memories up to the date of that backup, but anything that had happened between then and now was gone, erased by Nate’s . . . death.
“I’m dead,” Nate murmured under his breath, trying the words on for size.
“You’re very talkative—and very reluctant to hold still—for a dead man,” the tech said drily, and Nate forced his eyes open once again.
Legally and practically, he was Nathaniel Edison Hayes, even if he was only a lab-created Replica, born in this vat of primordial ooze, constructed as a perfect facsimile of his original by the proprietary technology that made Paxco the richest and most powerful of the Corporate States. He tried a few tentative stretches, concentrating hard on the sensation of his muscles bunching and releasing. His joints were stiff and a little achy, like he’d been lying unnaturally still for hours on end, but the sensations were familiar. Normal. He still felt like himself, as far as he could tell.
The tech finally finished unhooking Nate from the mechanical womb. Nate felt weak and shaky as the tech helped him climb out of the ooze, which sucked at him as if reluctant to let him go. He wiped at the goo that clung to him, shuddering at the feel of it against his skin. Some of it glopped off onto the floor, but he was still coated with slime. Panic tried again to take over, but he shoved it down to be dealt with later.
“There’s a shower in there,” the tech said, steadying him by holding his elbow.
Nate shook him off. He could stand by his own damn self.
“What happened to me?” he asked, unable to wrap his brain around the idea that he had died. He’d have said this was a practical joke, if anyone he knew had that kind of sense of humor. How could he be a lab-created Replica of a dead guy and feel so normal?
“Your father will brief you after you’ve showered and dressed,” the tech said, glancing at his watch. “He’s scheduled to arrive at five o’clock, so you have half an hour to get ready. Do you need any help?”
Nate frowned at him. “I’ve been taking showers by myself for quite some time now,” he said, trying for a tone of dry humor. His memory insisted he’d taken a shower a couple of hours ago, right after he’d eaten breakfast and before he’d come to the Fortress for his backup. But these memories were from two weeks ago, and they weren’t really his, they were the real Nate’s. The real Nate who was dead.
Nate shook his head. He’d drive himself nuts if he let himself think about it too much.
“As you wish,” the tech said with a shrug. “I’ll be right out here, so give a shout if you need anything.”
“I need to know what happened to me,” Nate said.
“Your father will explain when he arrives, sir.”
Nate sighed. Patience had never been one of his virtues, but the tech had no doubt been ordered to keep his mouth shut. “Will you at least tell me whether it was an accident?” Surely it was an accident. Nate did enjoy taking risks, and if one of those risks came back to bite him, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise.
The tech hesitated, then lowered his voice. “It wasn't an accident.”

* * *

Half an hour later, Nate felt a lot more like himself, the slime scrubbed from his skin and hair, his mind clearer, the panic mostly subdued. He’d examined himself closely in the bathroom mirror, and everything was just like he remembered it, down to the tiny tattoo on his ass he’d gotten for Kurt. (And because he enjoyed thinking about the fit his father would throw if he ever found out about it.) No doubt the tech had seen it, since Nate had come out of the ooze stark naked, but Nate doubted he would go blabbing about it.
Nate dressed in the stylish dark business suit that had been left for him, though he skipped the tie and shoved it in his pocket. He was more relieved than he could say to find the antique oval locket he always wore under his shirt stashed in a bag with his phone, wallet, and other personal effects. As far as anyone knew, the locket was a gift from Nadia. There was even a photo of her inside, and she’d always played along with the fiction. But in truth, it was from Kurt—Nate didn’t want to know where the money had come from, because a solid gold antique locket was definitely outside Kurt’s price range.
The tech—whose name, Nate discovered when he had enough wits about him to ask, was Gregson—led Nate to a small conference room deep in the heart of the Fortress. Getting into the Fortress required enough security checks to discourage all but the most determined, but only a handful of people had clearance to set foot this deep inside, where the Replicas were made. The technology behind the Replicas was the most closely guarded secret in the universe. No one had duplicated Paxco’s success, and without access to the extraordinary mind behind the technology, no one ever would.
Nate was not surprised that his father hadn’t yet arrived. Nathaniel Sr. would never miss an opportunity to make a subordinate wait, and he always made sure Nate knew he was a subordinate.
Gregson left Nate alone in the conference room with a cup of foul-tasting tea that was supposed to help him regain his strength faster. After one sip, Nate decided he’d regain his strength at his own pace.
The tea had stopped steaming by the time the conference room door opened and Nate’s father stepped in, followed closely by Nate’s second-least-favorite person in the world, Dirk Mosely, Paxco’s chief of security. A product of the Chairman’s Basement reclamation project, Mosely was fiercely loyal, dangerously intelligent, and a sadistic bastard who enjoyed his work far too much. He was frighteningly good at his job—which was to uphold the law, except when the law got in his way.
Nate stood still as his father looked him up and down with a frown of concentration, examining him for flaws. Nathaniel Sr. was a pro at finding flaws. He frowned at the open collar of Nate’s shirt, but he could hardly have been surprised that Nate had forgone the tie.
“It never ceases to amaze me,” Nate’s father said finally as he gestured for Nate to take a seat. “Such a perfect likeness.” If he felt any grief over the real Nate’s death, he was doing a great job of hiding it. But Nate had never really mattered to his father as a person, merely as an heir. And thanks to Replica technology, that heir still existed even though the person was dead. Not that Nate was bitter about their relationship or anything.
As far as Nate knew, he was only the third human Replica ever to be created. The technology was only about ten years old, and the astronomical fee Paxco charged for storing backups and creating Replicas assured that only the wealthiest of the wealthy were able to afford the privilege. Not to mention the considerable number of governments, moralists, and religious groups that considered Replicas an abomination, the ultimate example of playing God.
“What happened to me?” Nate asked, remaining on his feet just because his father had gestured for him to sit.
His father gave him a disapproving look as he sat at the head of the table, adjusting his chair so it was just right. Another little power play, letting Nate know he wasn’t getting answers until he sat down as ordered.
Grinding his teeth to keep from saying anything that would annoy his father and cause further delays, Nate pulled back a chair and sat, clasping his hands in front of him on the table like an obedient schoolchild.
“What happened to me?” he asked again, meeting his father’s cold gray eyes. He suppressed a shudder as he realized nothing had happened to him: it had happened to the real Nate Hayes. But damn, he felt like the real Nate Hayes.
“You were murdered,” the Chairman said, no trace of emotion in his voice.
“Murdered,” Nate murmured, hoping he sounded surprised despite Gregson’s tip-off. He shook his head. “Murdered.” The word tasted sour in his mouth. How could someone possibly have murdered him? Nate knew he had a gift for rubbing people the wrong way—it was a gift he cultivated with great care—but he couldn’t imagine ever annoying someone so much that they would kill him for it. And it wasn’t like killing him accomplished anything, when he was sure to be brought back as a Replica. It seemed a hell of a lot to risk for very little reward.
Mosely, standing behind the Chairman’s shoulder, took over explaining. “You were last seen last night, leaving the reception with Nadia Lake. She returned to the reception alone. Presumably, you argued.”
Nate had to think a moment to figure out what reception Mosely was talking about. Then he remembered today’s date, and realized the big state wedding must have been the day before.
The implications of Mosely’s words sank in, and Nate’s eyes widened. “You don’t think . . .” Nadia wouldn’t hurt a fly, no matter how badly they’d argued. He shook his head. “There’s no way I was murdered by a sixteen-year-old girl,” he said, almost laughing at the absurdity of it.

Mosely shrugged. “She isn’t a suspect, though of course she is being questioned. You were found stabbed to death in a hall closet at the mansion just after midnight. There were no witnesses to the murder itself, but three people confirm seeing a man who matches the description of Kurt Bishop fleeing the hallway in an agitated state with blood on his hands. They didn’t stop him at the time because he was holding his nose, and they thought he had a nosebleed. Only after the body was found did they realize they let a killer escape. His current whereabouts are unknown.”

If you missed Excerpt 3, please visit Jessica (Jessabella Reads).
Tomorrow is Excerpt 5 with Dee (Dee's Reads).

Author Bio:

Jenna Black is your typical writer. Which means she's an "experience junkie." She got her BA in physical 
anthropology and French from Duke University.

Once upon a time, she dreamed she would be the next Jane Goodall, camping in the bush making fabulous discoveries about primate behavior. Then, during her senior year at Duke, she did some actual research in the field and made this shocking discovery: primates spend something like 80% of their time doing such exciting things as sleeping and eating.

Concluding that this discovery was her life's work in the field of primatology, she then moved on to such varied pastimes as grooming dogs and writing technical documentation. She writes paranormal romance for Tor and urban fantasy for Bantam Dell.

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Reading Road Trip: Nebraska

Welcome to the Second Annual READING ROAD TRIP
Thanks to Britta (ILikeTheseBooks) and Hafsah (IceyBooks) for hosting this fun hop again this summer!

 Make sure you visit the states before mine and watch for the rest of the month! Each state will be represented! Keep track here!

Welcome to Nebraska, the Cornhusker State!

  • Origin of the Name Nebraska - The name Nebraska is from an Oto Indian word that means "flat water" (referring to the Platte River, which means "flat river" in French).
  • Kool-Aid was created in Hastings, Nebraska in 1927.
  • Warren Buffett was born in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Arbor Day was founded by J. Sterling Morton and the National Arbor Day Foundation is located near his home in Nebraska City.
  • Although born in Virginia, Willa Cather was raised in Nebraska and attended The University of Nebraska.
  • Rainbow Rowell is a native of Nebraska.
This last fact brings me to...
Rainbow Rowell book facts and a GIVEAWAY!

Rainbow Rowell is hot, hot, HOT right now! Her first YA book, Eleanor & Park, has made it to the hands of a lot of readers. Those readers have been adoring it!

Rainbow also has one other book currently out in the wild: Attachments. This is an adult book, her first to be published.

She also has a third book coming out in September, her second YA book, called Fangirl. I will be reviewing Fangirl here on my blog soon!

Her fourth book, another adult book, is due in 2014. The title of that one will be Landline.
For this giveaway, one winner will get to choose a Rainbow Rowell book as his/her prize! This is an International giveaway, as long as The Book Depository ships to your location.

Attachments or Eleanor & Park will ship ASAP, but Fangirl will be a pre-order and ship after the release date in September.

As with all of my giveaways, you need to be 13+ and enter the Rafflecopter with one account. No cheating or I shall look at you with sad eyes and disqualify your entries. Don't be that kind of person about a book! Please.

The giveaway begins today, July 21 and will end at 11:59 PM on July 31. A winner will be randomly chosen from the Rafflecopter entries and emailed. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email. If no response, a new winner will be selected.

Summer Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Kindle Summer

Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HD 7".

Kindle Fire HD 7" Giveaway
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HD (US Only)
 Or $199 Gift Card (International)
 Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

Sponsoring Bloggers & Authors

  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. New Adult Addiction
  4. Jessabella Reads
  5. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Somthing Year Old Girl
  6. Books Unhinged by StacyHgg
  7. S.A. Larsen - Writer's Ally
  8. Author Inger Iverson
  9. The Geeky Gamers
  10. annakyss
  11. Everyday Word Magic
  12. Candance's Book Blog
  13. Page Flipperz
  14. SMI Book Club
  15. Laurie Here
  16. Feed Your Fiction Addiction
  17. Phantasmic Reads
  18. The Book Bellas
  19. Please Don't Remove MarGreat's Glasses
  20. Author Jennifer Laurens
  21. J.C. Valentine
  22. Holly Hood
  23. Young Adult Novel Reader
  24. Author Heather Bixler
  25. Literary Meanderings
  26. Suspense Author Kim Cresswell
  27. Mother Daughter & Son Book Review
  28. Meredith's Musings
  29. Auggie Talk
  30. Author Camelia Miron Skiba
  31. Author Lena Sledge
  32. LoriTheAuthor
  33. Author Dianne Venetta
  34. Curling Up with A Good Book
  35. MyLadyWeb
  36. Fae Books
  37. Bea's Book Nook
  38. Girls with Books
  39. Ketch's Book Nook
  40. Turning Pages
  41. Bookhounds
  42. Karey White
  43. My Devotional Thoughts
  44. Author Talia Jager
  45. Author Helen Smith
  46. Sher A Hart: Written Art
  47. Author MK McClintock
  48. Word to Dreams
  49. Buku-Buku Didi
  50. Tasty Book Tours
  51. Readerlicious
  52. Romance Bookworm's Reviews
Giveaway Details
1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).

There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire.

Sponsor a future Kindle Fire Giveaway by signing up HERE.

Ends 8/15/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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SEE ME: Cover Reveal & Information

Okay, this post today is so VERY exciting! Wendy Higgins is self-publishing a book and it sounds like it will be such a fun read. Publishers think it's little too far out of the norm, but I'm glad she and her agent are going for it. Kudos to y'all and I CAN NOT WAIT to read it!!!

The Cover Reveal:
Beautiful cover, right?!?
Book Blurb:
While most seventeen-year-old American girls would refuse to let their parents marry them off to a stranger, Robyn Mason dreams of the mysterious McKale in Ireland, wondering how he’ll look and imagining his cute Irish accent. Prearranged bindings are common for magical families like her own, however when she travels to the whimsical Emerald Isle she discovers there’s more to her betrothal and McKale’s clan than she could have imagined.

What starts as an obligatory pairing between Robyn and McKale morphs over time into something they both need. But one giant obstacle stands the way of their budding romance: a seductive and deadly Fae princess accustomed to getting what she wants—and what she wants is McKale as her plaything. Love, desire, and jealousies collide as Robyn’s family and McKale’s clan must work together to outsmart the powerful Faeries and preserve the only hope left for their people.
Book Information:
  • Title: See Me
  • Author: Wendy Higgins
  • Genre: YA Romance and Magical Realism with a dash of Fantasy
  • Publication Date: October 1st, 2013
  • Goodreads (Just go ahead and add it. You know you want tooooooo!!!)
  • The book will be available in ebook format from Amazon, B&N, and Kobo for $3.99, and paperback will be for sale through Amazon and Createspace for $10.99. It will not be available for pre-order. This book is being self-published by the author and her agent.
Author Bio: 
Wendy Higgins is the author of Sweet Evil and Sweet Peril from HarperTeen. She lives in the Washington D.C. area with her husband, daughter, son, and puppy Rue.

Once Upon a Readathon - Follow-up

Well, I hope everyone had a successful readathon and everyone met their goals! I hope everyone had a great time on the challenges, too! Sorry mine was so tough. It was tough for myself, too! Hah!

My goal for this readathon was to:

  • Finish reading The Year of the Great Seventh and write a review. Check!
  • Read The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. Check!
  • Read It's Not Summer Without You. Check!
  • We'll Always Have Summer. Unsuccessful. I ran out of time. 
  • I did get to do one of the mini-challenges...besides my own. :) I did the BookBFF Youtube question. That was a quick and easy answer for me. :) Hafsah (@Iceybooks) is the Yin to my Yang. Or something like that! :)

Well, I came close to finishing, at least! I thought a month ago, I'd be able to do all kinds of reading. However, when I was writing up my goal post on Sunday, I knew there were a lot of things on my calendar and a lot of interruptions for my days. I set the bar low, and sadly, I still didn't make it.

I'm okay with not making my goal. I finished reading 3 books in 3 days! That's more than I've been doing lately! I am still currently 15 or 16 books behind on my Goodreads goal for the year. I need to pick up the pace while I still can this summer. Once school starts back, my life is mayhem all over again!

Thank you to the ladies who hosted this readathon and the Twitter chat! I was glad I could pop in on that for a few minutes last night.

I'll be back next time to join y'all again! And now, I'm heading back to read more of We'll Always Have Summer! I have loved the first two books and I feel heartache incoming.

Camp Boyfriend: Review & Giveaway

Author(s): J.K. Rock (Joanne Rock & Karen Rock)
Source: Review copy from Spencer Hill Contemporary for a blog tour. All thoughts are honest and have in no way been persuaded by anyone.

Goodreads Summary & Cover:
The summer of her dreams is about to get a reality check.

They said it couldn't be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren's nerves and she can't wait to return to summer camp where she's valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she's broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt. He doesn't even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.

But Matt isn't giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn't really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she's more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren's friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she's changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?
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Signed copies of Camp Boyfriend are available for purchase from Anderson's Book Shop in Larchmont, NY! Give them a call - 914.834.6900

I have been anticipating Camp Boyfriend for such a long time, it seems. When I finally received a copy, I squealed with delight and immediately began reading. Boy, oh boy, it was so worth the wait! 

Camp Boyfriend is the epitome of what a Young Adult Contemporary story should be. It was full of love, self-discovery, roller coaster emotions, humor, decisions, family issues, friendships, and more.

The main focus of this story was Lauren making Seth her boyfriend: not just her camp boyfriend, but her permanent boyfriend. The problem with that was that she was dating a boy, Matt, from her new school in Texas.

While trying to break up with Matt, he revealed a family issue going on with his family and said he would be going to Camp Juniper Point with her. To North Carolina. For four weeks. Womp, womp, woommmpp!

Once they got to camp, and the secret of Seth "the camp boyfriend" and Matt "the home boyfriend" came out, it was straight-up trouble for Lauren. The path of figuring out what and who she wanted was greatly detailed and a hard decision to make. The emotions were so real. I felt for her. I cried for her. 

I admired Matt's character to let her have her space and figure out what she wanted. He was definitely not giving up easily. 

Lauren also had issues with her friends at camp. Her Munchies cabin friends didn't really care for the new Lauren: her new look, the way she dressed, the jock boyfriend that Matt was... They eventually exiled her and she had nowhere to go but to the Divas' Den. If you read Camp Kiss (you can download it for free here, if not!), you'll know that these two cabins are enemies! Everything they do is a competition and they're so snarky and so typically teenager-y mean to each other, especially the Divas.

The ending of the book and how it all wrapped up was fantastic! It was exactly what I had hoped for. I loved Lauren and the growth she showed. She never gave up on her friends, Matt, or Seth. She had to figure out what it was that she needed and what was best for her. Her decision was brilliant! I wholeheartedly approve!

Joanne and Karen wrote a great cast of characters. From the mean girls, the nerdy girls, the geeky guys, the jocks, the counselors...all of them! They were easily distinguishable and likeable; even the mean girls...eventually.

I can't wait to read the next two books in the Camp Boyfriend series: Camp Payback and Camp Forget-Me-Not. I am very anxious for the summaries of these books! Ahhhh!

Camp Boyfriend definitely meets the expectations of 4 1/2 Mickeys! I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was almost perfection to me. I am so glad these two ladies are writing together...and writing more!
Camp Boyfriend is definitely a book to purchase and share with all of your friends. It will be a true delight for lovers of YA Contemporary.

Meet the Authors:
J.K. Rock
Joanne and Karen Rock- writing sisters-in-law- formed a partnership to pen YA novels as J.K. Rock. Their debut book, Camp Boyfriend, is available July 2, 2013 from Spencer Hill Contemporary.

Prior to joining creative forces, Joanne Rock began her career as an author of adult romance for various Harlequin series. Published in twenty languages and twenty-seven countries, Joanne writes both contemporary romance and medieval historicals in addition to the occasional romantic suspense. She is a three-time RITA nominee and Bookseller’s Best finalist.

Karen Rock sold her first adult romance to Harlequin’s new Heartwarming line. The Forever Wish (September 2013) is an uplifting tale of love against the odds during the hero’s battle with cancer. In addition to writing, Karen is an eighth grade English teacher who has written and published screenplays for production by school theater departments. She is a regular blogger at Cynthia Leitich Smith’s popular “Cynsations” blog.

Together, Joanne and Karen write Young Adult stories that don’t back down from real issues. Whether their characters are falling in love at summer camp or facing the consequences of tough life choices, the authors enjoy helping them navigate those challenges. Their “Camp Boyfriend” books are romantic dramas with a strong emphasis on teen friendships and self discovery. Fun, warm-hearted and emotional, the series includes Camp Boyfriend (July 2013), Camp Payback (April 2014) and Camp Forget-Me-Not (August 2014).

Daily Prize: Camp journal, pen, bookmark, friendship bracelet and I <3 Camp temporary tattoos - colors and style may vary (see picture).
Grand Prize: Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols, Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles,The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt, That Summer by Sarah Dessen, Always You by Kirsty Moseley, an autographed Arc of Wait For You by Jennifer Armentrout as J.Lynn and autographed copies of Camp Boyfriend and Camp Kiss along with 'I <3 Camp' temporary tattoos, a 'I <3 My Camp Boyfriend' t-shirt, a Camp Boyfriend bookmark and friendship bracelets- puppy not included :)
Camp Boyfriend is on my stop for North Carolina on the Reading Road Trip. Go! Enter! You don't want to miss out!