[Cover Reveal] The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Title: The Summer After You and Me
Author: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 2015
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Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

[Release Day Launch: Excerpt + Giveaway] All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

All Broke Down (Rusk University, #2)
Title: All Broke Down (Rusk University #2)
Author: Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: October 28, 2014
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Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she's probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He's in for a different kind of fighting. And though he's arrogant and infuriating, she can't help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it's trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He's met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn't think he's broken, and he definitely doesn't need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all
I think I get it then. That decision I saw in her eyes back in the kitchen. That’s what this, what I’m about for her, too. I’m just another part of whatever rebellion she started earlier today. About doing what she wants, not what’s expected of her.
“We’re not talking about me, though,” she says. “So you went to meet your friend, and then what happened?”
She keeps her eyes down as she picks up the gauze and begins winding it snugly around the knuckles of one hand, and then the other.
“He said the wrong thing.”
“Which was?”
“Dylan.” Now it’s her that’s pushing too hard. I didn’t want to talk about things with my friends, and I won’t talk about them with her, either, no matter how gorgeous she is.
“I’ll guess. You were mad about what he did, and he wasn’t sorry.”
“This isn’t middle school, Pickle. He didn’t hurt my feelings. He said some shit he had no business saying, and it pissed me off. The end.”
“But you don’t think some of that anger stems from what you feel is a betrayal of your friendship?”
She finishes taping down the last of the gauze, but doesn’t let go of my hand.
“I think you’re analyzing me again. Making things more complicated than they are.”
“And I think you’re just a guy who doesn’t like to admit he has feelings.” She drags out the word, teasing me with some goofy smile on her face. I turn my hand over so I can clutch her wrist. I curlmy other bandaged hand around her waist and pull her closer.
“I feel plenty of things.”
The teasing stops. She swallows.
“I wasn’t talking about that kind of feeling.”
With her standing and me sitting, I’m eye level with her chest. I see the sharp rise and fall as she sucks in a breath. I want her in my lap again, straddling me this time.
“Doesn’t mean we can’t talk about that kind of feeling. Or experiment with it.”
“Is that Stella girl an ex?”
I cough, surprised. My throat twists uncomfortably, and it takes me a couple of solid breaths to get a hold on myself.
“Ah, no. Stella and I have never dated.”
“Have you—”
“Do you ever run out of questions?”
“Not ever.” She turns playful again, and I’m done doing this the careful way. If she wants a rebellion, I’ll be the one to give it to her. I want her against me, and I’m tired of waiting.
I pull her forward, insinuating my knees between hers, and her body naturally follows, settling across my thighs. Her lips part, but she catches herself before she gasps this time. I keep her steady with my hands at her waist and say, “I’ll make you a deal. A question for a kiss.”
Tentatively, she lays her palms against my shoulders. They rest there, her grip light and casual. She ponders my offer for a moment, and it drives me mad that she can do that while our hips are inches away from alignment.
“Okay then. Are you—”
I cut her off. “Not so fast, Dylan Brenner. I’ve already answered one question. We’ve got to settle up first.”
I wrap her braid around my hand like I’ve been waiting to do all night, and I use it to pull her head back just enough that I can crush my mouth against hers.
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Spooktacular Giveaway Hop [Open INT]


  • This giveaway is open internationally. As long as The Book Depository ships to your country, you're good to go!
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[Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway] Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan

Not in the Script (If Only . . . #3)
Title: Not in the Script (If Only... #3)
Author: Amy Finnegan
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending nearly all of her teen years performing on cue, Emma wonders if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her relationships.

Jake Elliott’s face is on magazine ads around the world, but his lucrative modeling deals were a poor substitute for what he had to leave behind. Now acting is offering Jake everything he wants: close proximity to home; an opportunity to finally start school; and plenty of time with the smart and irresistible Emma Taylor . . . if she would just give him a chance.

When Jake takes Emma behind the scenes of his real life, she begins to see how genuine he is, but on-set relationships always end badly. Don’t they? Toss in Hollywood’s most notorious heartthrob and a resident diva who may or may not be as evil as she seems, and the production of Coyote Hills heats up in unexpected—and romantic—ways.

––  Jake  ––
I’m freaking out a little. My cell shows three missed calls from my mom.
A year ago that wouldn’t have bugged me. Moms do that kind of thing—call you over and over again until you pick up—but my mom must know I panic now. The last time I missed three straight calls from her number, I was on a catwalk in Paris.
When I called back later that day, her cell phone was answered by a neighbor who said he’d been trying to reach me because he had found my mom on the sidewalk, unconscious. It was the first time my mom ever really needed me, and I was halfway across the world.
While racing through the terminal to catch the next flight home, I was still shaking gold glitter out of my hair. That’s when I decided that I truly, passionately hated modeling.
During our break from the table read, I head for somewhere quiet. The best place I can find is a corner on the far side of the studio, away from the actual sets. It takes Mom five rings to pick up. “Good morning,” she says. “I wanted to catch you before work to wish you luck, but you must’ve started early. Sorry if I interrupted.”
I breathe easier. “Nah. I had to be here at seven. Everything okay?”
“Of course I’m okay.” She says that, but her words sound more slurred than usual. She’s probably just tired. “You’re the one we need to worry about,” Mom adds. “All this fame go to your head yet?”
 That’s one thing that hasn’t changed a bit: Mom is just as sarcastic as ever. The fact that her stroke didn’t affect her personality is all that should matter to me, but when her voice is different, and her face is different, and she can’t move her arms all over the place when she talks, like she used to, I’m reminded every day that things will never be the same.
And I can only do so much to fix it.
“I’m just chillin’ in a private cabana right now, surrounded by my entourage,” I tell her. “And after work, I’m buying a high-rise penthouse so I can host parties every weekend. Which reminds me, I need parental supervision. When are you moving down here?”
I doubt either one of our opinions will budge on the matter of her living in Tucson now, rather than two hours away in Phoenix, but it’s worth a try.
She laughs. “Jake, the only thing more pathetic than a young bachelor living with his mother is a mother clinging to her son. I’m happy here, and I’m also happy to be rid of you and your early morning trips to the kitchen in your boxers. So leave me alone about it.”
I groan. “Fine. But you’re missing out on my mad cooking skills.”
“Thank heaven,” she says.
We talk a bit longer, then I reply to a series of texts from my friends. It’s still early, but they’re probably already together, hanging out around the pool at Devin’s house. When it’s a hundred and ten degrees before noon on most days, swimming is one of your few choices for summer entertainment. It’s either that or go to the mall, and we outgrew the mall years ago. Devin texts me first, but Mark and Sophie soon join what appears to be a coordinated attack:

Devin: Hey Fabio. Do you think she’ll go out with me? Talk, dude. Tell me everything.
Me: About my job? It’s okay.
Devin: EMMA TAYLOR you prick.
Me: Who?
Devin: I’m on my way to Tucson. You have two hours to live.

Mark: Ignore Devin. Emma will like me better. All her boyfriends have been blond.
Me: You actually pay attention to that stuff?
Mark: Yes, because I’m normal. You’re a freak. Is she snobby?
Me: The blonde? Yes.
Mark: What blonde? There’s a blonde?
Me: Yep. His name is Brett Crawford. He’ll love you.
Mark: Elliott, I’m driving down with Devin to strangle your pretty-boy neck.
Me: Stop obsessing about how pretty I am. It makes me uncomfortable.

Sophie: You promised to text me a photo of Brett Crawford! I’ve been waiting all morning!
Me: Sorry. He’s wasted. Didn’t think you’d want to see that.
Sophie: LIAR! He so wouldn’t do that at work.
Me: He’d probably do that and a lot worse at work.
Sophie: Crazy!!!!! Is he really drunk?
Me: Nah. Just unusually stupid.
Sophie: You’ve ruined my day :( :( :(
Me: I’ll make it up to you. Want to meet Emma Taylor sometime?
Sophie: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: You’ll like her.
Sophie: Oops. I just told Mark and Devin that you’re gonna introduce me to Emma. You’re in trouble.
Me: So I’ve heard. Remind them that they have Pixie Sticks for arms.

            I look up from my phone when a PA calls everyone back to the table read. The info dump this morning has been a bit overwhelming, but there’s been plenty to hold my attention—one thing in particular.
Yeah, I might’ve promised Devin and Mark that I’d check out Emma for them and eventually talk them up or whatever. But that was before I met her.

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[Blog Tour: Review] Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

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(Check out the rest of the tour stops HERE!)

Black Ice
Title: Black Ice
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Source: ARC
Release Date: October 7, 2014

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

I don't think there's a YA afficionado out there who doesn't know Becca Fitzpatrick and her incredibly famous Hush, Hush series. In fact, I would even consider the Hush Hush series as one of the series that started the YA Paranormal boom a few years ago (I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about...).  With this in mind, I half-expected Becca's new project to be something 'paranormal' in nature - maybe there wouldn't be angels in the center of the story this time around, but maybe witches, vampires... you get my drift. Color me shocked when I found out that not only was the book, Black Ice, a psychological thriller, there was nothing remotely paranormal in its pages either!

Once the initial shock wore off (because believe me, I was all geared up for another paranormal series to fall in love with), I sought to find out all that there is to know about Black Ice. The premise itself already had me hooked; the blurb even the more so. I already knew that I wanted to read Black Ice when I found out that it's a totally different genre from what I'm used to Becca Fitzpatrick writing, but the urge intensified all the more so when I personally heard Becca talk about it during her book tour here in the Philippines. It was just so adamantly clear that she poured her heart and soul in this book, and that this was a story that she really wanted to tell. I wouldn't call the premise wholly original or anything like that (because come on, we've seen this in movies time and time again), but I wanted to see how Becca would make this story her own.

If I were to be a hundred percent honest, I didn't think I would like this book as much as I did. (Wait! I thought she was excited for Black Ice?, you may ask. Well, I am - I really am! I know, I know, I bet I'm confusing the hell out of you guys, but hear me out!) I've always had a weakness for thrillers, but if there's one thing I've come to realize after reading a number of them, it's that character development is barely there. Thrillers always tend to focus on the plot pacing and all those twists and turns instead of actually shaping the main characters, and that's something that's really grated on me over the years. As a reader, I do appreciate a good plot twist, but there's nothing more fulfilling than reading about a character who grows. This right here is the reason why even though I expected Black Ice to be an entertaining read, I never thought that it would be the kind that would make me tear through its pages like a deranged woman. But wow, was I ever mistaken! I read this one without stopping (and at an hour when I should be sleeping too!) and loved it. I was never bored, and while that was also because of the writing and the proper pacing of the novel, it was largely because of the main character, Britt.

I loved how Becca Fitzpatrick managed to keep this book filled with heart-stopping action and the plot moving at a quick pace without sacrificing her MC's character development. At the start of the Black Ice, Britt was the kind of girl who never lifted a finger to fight for she wanted. She was content with letting other people do the dirty work for her, and she was used to following other people around. Initially, you can't help but roll your eyes at Britt. At first glance, everything about her screamed 'spoiled' and 'immature', and she definitely did not think through her actions throughout the first few chapters of the book. But don't give up Britt, folks, because believe me - she grows and matures A LOT throughout the happenings of Black Ice. She proved herself to be a selfless friend in doing absolutely everything that she can to save her friend from the sordid mess they found themselves in. She kept her wits through her fear, and she never ever even thought about giving up. Britt finding this strength within herself and ultimately discovering who she really is is the true selling point of Black Ice, if you were to ask me.

I won't say that there were plot twists that surprised me - I don't know if it's just me, but the clues were easy enough to put together. I already had an idea what what the big 'ohmygod I did not see that coming' moment would be halfway through!
Don't get me wrong - there were still parts wherein I had to scrunch my forehead and wrack my brain to figure out what the heck was going on, but there really weren't that many. Weirdly enough though, knowing what would happen didn't deter my enjoyment of the book. I think that has something to do with the writing (Becca's writing just flowed!) and how I can't help but root for the MC one hundred percent. I just wanted her to get out of this mess alive!

I also like how there was such an emphasis on survival (against nature), rather than uncovering the mystery of just who earth these two fugitives are. Not only did Britt have to escape these two guys, she also had to survive through the snowstorm with only one map and barely enough food at her disposal! Another thing I liked about Black Ice is that the romance never overshadowed the mystery and the thriller aspects of the book. Overall, I can say with no doubts whatsoever that Black Ice is one of my top reads for 2014. The ending's a bit too prettily tied-up, but hey, I can ignore that given just how much I enjoyed the first 98% of the book or so!

Rating: 5 Stars