Current Giveaways

Current Giveaways
More coming soon!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blog Ahead! (NaNoWriMo bloggy style) 30 days w/ 30+ preschedules

A bloggery version of NaNoWriMo!
November 1 – 30, 2014

The Goal

The basic goal is to get "ahead" in your blog posts. – At the end of the month of November you'll have 30 additional pre-schedules than when you started the month. 

If you Start with 5 pre-schedules > End with 35 pre-schedules
Start with 10 pre-schedules > End with 40 pre-schedules

Who Can Join?

Any blogger. New, seasoned, Blogger, Wordpress
Any heat level, genre or theme, etc

Types of Posts

Anything you want :)
meme, review, guest post, interview, discussion, etc. 
It doesn't have to be book related

My Goals for Becoming Books:

I'm shooting to have 32 posts scheduled for Dec. 1 and on. A breakdown is below. Wish me luck!!!!

Top Ten Tuesday meme through Jan. 20 (8)
Waiting on Wednesday meme through Jan. 28 (9)
Comic Sunday feature through Dec. 31 (4)
Release week reviews through Dec. 31 (4)
Special Posts (3)
#WeNeedDiverseBooks Spotlight (4)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

[Waiting...] Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This Week's Pick: 

Title: Darkest Part of the Forest
Author: Holly Black
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Fiction – Fantasy

Summary via Goodreads:

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Why I'm Waiting...

There are FAE involved!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's what. FAE!!!

I love all things fae so I'm really wanting/waiting on a beautiful fantasy world and some feels. I'm curious if we get this world in combination with the contemporary world or if it's more contemporary paranormal. I guess we'll see!

I've never read Holly Black so I'm looking forward to that as well since I know she has some pretty loyal readers. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#ReadingCram Chills and Thrills Day 5: Spell It Out Challenge

Spell It Out Challenge

Pick one of the following words: Ghost, Witch, Zombie, Howl or chose your own spooky word and using each letter, find a title of a book you've read this year to "spell it out."
G  Graceling by Kristin Cashore
H  Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
O  Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
S  Sanctum by Sarah Fine
T  Timebound by Rysa Walker

My Picks!

M - Monstrous Affections (an anthology)

This challenge is hosted by Rachel at A Perfection Called Books so head over there to enter the challenge! She's hosting an international giveaway for a hardcover copy of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa!

[Top Ten Tuesday] Books/Movies To Get In The Halloween Spirit

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

Top 10 Books and Movies to Get in the Halloween Spirit



Scary Stories is probably my favorite and scariest read ever. Even the few illustrations are enough to keep me up at night. I loved the Goosebumps series! I had a Scholastic subscription and waited to be scared at night. This book cover still creeps me out because I really, really dislike puppets. Puppets and clowns. *shudders* Edgar Allen Poe has always fascinated me along with his spooky prose. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has always been interesting, he's a pumpkin head!! Creepy!! And Coraline is the only one I have not read but it's at the top of my Halloween TBR, once again doll type things spook me. O_o 


It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! – Peanuts can do no wrong and this is my fav. Linus and the blanket for the win!

Hocus Pocus – 
Winnie and I could be soul sisters!!! I can watch this ABCFamily repeat style. 

Nightmare Before Christmas – 
I'm not sure if this is considered Halloween or Christmas? But Jack is so awesome so I'm saying both!! This is probably my most favorite movie that would not typically be something I like. 

Rocky Horror Picture Show – 
As a child my parents would watch RHPS at midnight on Halloween. I think it showed on VH1? I just remember I was not allowed to watch which meant, naturally, I HAD to watch. Once I got to high school I not only watched this gem for the first time there were props involved. 

ParaNorman –
Norman could also be my spirit character. 
This was supercute and didn't creep me out like Frankenweenie. Some of the parts actually made me jump! I'm such a weakling. 

Bonus: Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Saturday nights will never be the same!

What are your spooky favorites?

Monday, October 27, 2014

[Review] Talon by Julie Kagawa

Title: Talon
Series: Talon #1
Author: Julie Kagawa [ Facebook | Twitter | Website ]
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction - Fantasy
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher, opinions are honest and my own. – review policy here.

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons. via Goodreads

I was so nervous!
I really, really enjoyed Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series so much that when I started seeing "meh" reviews about Talon I got nervous. However, I went ahead and dove in with a speckle of doubt in the back of my mind. I kept reading and reading and waiting for the "meh" to set in. It never did! I finished the last page and I had fallen so hard for Talon!!! 

So is contemporary fantasy a thing?
Unlike Kagawa's series this is in a modern, contemporary world where humans and dragons live side by side. Which means, unlike in traditional fantasy, the world building is not as extravagant but the characters and writing make up for it. 

Told in first person from three different point of views you get a taste of Ember, Garret and Riley. My favorite character and the one I felt experience genuine growth is Garret. Garret is a St. George war hero at 18 and so detached from human social cues you'd think he was the dragon! Ember is way more in tune with human emotion (this is not a plus) leading to some immature decision making at the behest of her brother, trainer and pretty much every other dragon. Riley is interesting and I'm curious how much more we'll learn about his story as the series progresses.  

My dragon...
Since Ember is to remain in her human form for the summer she refers to her natural form as "her dragon". I can't lie... the first time I read this I laughed because it sounds like a phrase out of an erotica novel. :p I'm so silly! 

Since we miss out on Dante's POV, Ember sheds light on what it's like to balance hiding 500 lbs. in a 100 lb. human frame and not breath fire when encountering jerk faces. We also start to understand her desire to be a normal human and also the primal instincts that lurk inside her scales. I expect more on this as we lead into book two and the triangle starts to take it's shape. 

Garret vs. Riley the Rogue
Yes, there are two boys and they both want Ember... but not how you think or maybe so. I find Garret soooooo interesting! A human war hero who has zero context of social interaction leads to some meet-cute awkward moments. It's refreshing to hear a male POV where he's more nervous about the girl and the girl is about him. 

Riley, on the other hand, is the awakening of my dragon. Not burdened with things like emotions, Riley is smooth and motivated to attract Ember for his cause. 

You'll have to read to see how it all unfolds but I really love how Ember interacts with both of them.

That ending and what I'm looking for in book two.
I need more! I want more! The epilogue even teases an additional POV. There's a lot of action in the second part of the book and it ends on a high note. 

In book two I'm hoping for a history lesson on both Talon and St. George since it seems that both are not what they've told their young recruits. Hopefully this will also lead to some more rounded out world building. I'm also looking for more distinction in Embers desire to be normal vs her dragon and more maturity leading to her becoming more of a leader. 

Dante, dear Dante, I want some questions answered and I hope you get a chance to shine. 

Genre comments
If you're expecting a traditional dragon, fantasy novel. Don't. My recommendation is to approach this in more of a paranormal romance way. If you enjoyed Iron Fey then some things should feel familiar. 

4.5 Stars – The awakening of my dragon... hahahaha.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

[Review + Giveaway] The Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake

Title: Mortal Gods
Series: Goddess Wars #2
Author: Kendare Blake [ Facebook | Twitter | Website]
Publisher: Tor Teen, an imprint of Macmillan 
Genre: Young Adult Fiction - Fantasy, Mythology
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher, opinions are honest and my own. – review policy here.

Ares, God of War, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She's ready to wage a war of her own, and she's never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she'll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace.

Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can't have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite.

The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra's hate will get them ALL killed.

The war takes them across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can't, fates far worse than death await. via Goodreads

I forgot he died... wahhh!
Apollo is gone and Cassandra is mourning his death with weekly visits. I'm still shocked and saddened that he died at the end of book one. Cassandra shows resolve, strength and determination as she seeks to avenge his death. This comes across as refreshing compared to the mourning and hermit reaction that could be.

Athena is a Goddess and lest you forget it!
To me this has always been Athena's story versus Cassie's. Athena journeys across the world to search for her family, the good and the bad, and to save them all before time runs out. Her love for her brother Hermes is enduring, while she hides her own discomfort as the feathers become more frequent. Her relationship with Odysseus is tender and painful, I'm shipping them so hard!!!!!!!

You know that annoying itch on your back that you can't reach... she has a name.
EVIL! This trio (can't tell you all the players without being spoilery) makes for an awesome group of evil who think they might have a weapon on their side. This family feud does not sell you short in drama or action. I need book three to let me know how it's all going to play out. I can almost promise you heads will roll. 

All the trips!
Book twos are known for the journey feel. Kendare Blake does an excellent job with the pacing and breaking up the journeys that take place. The action is described so vividly there's a scene that almost made me queasy. I can feel each immortal as their bodies continue to betray them since the pain and discomfort is spelled out in realistic detail. 

But that ending... 
It all blew up and hit the fan in the end. OMG!!!!!!!! Actually it's technically still blowing up as the book wraps up.  All I can say is that this is a very strong second book in a series where you usually experience a sophomore slump. I cannot wait for book three and I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed in hope that some things happen. :P

4 Stars - CLIFFHANGER!!!!!!!!! Literally, there's a cliff involved.

The publisher was nice enough to send an extra copy so...
It's giveaway time! Open to U.S. only and please check out the full rules here.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

[Day 2 Challenge] #ReadingCram Chills and Thrills Readathon

Today is day two of the Chills and Thrills Readathon!!

Day Two Challenge is hosted by Andrew @ Endlessly Reading

The Teaser Challenge

Randomly open the book you are reading and post two sentences from the read ADDING three spooky/Halloween words of your choosing into the teaser! Make sure to share with us via Twitter using the #ReadingCram or post to your blog, booktube or anything else!

I'm reading the anthology One Death, Nine Stories:

"They went to the county morgue to pick up the flesh eaten body. Morris stood in the haunted outer hall, guarding the company gurney while Sampson viewed the body and dealt with the ghostly paperwork."

You should check out Andrew's and enter his giveaway!
Hint: His teaser is sooooo good you'd think it was part of the book!

Don't forget the other reading challenges and giveaways:

Oct. 24 – TBR Challenge hosted by Becoming Books

Oct. 25 – Teaser Challenge, Hosted by Andrew @ EndlesslyReading

Oct. 26 – A re-creation of a book title and/or book cover (re-creating in whatever way, drawing, acting, a photo, painting, etc). Like Fangirl is fanggirl. Hosted by MySeryniti

Oct. 27 – Song Challenge, Hosted by Book Escape Reviews

Oct. 28 – Spell it out Challenge, Hosted by Rachel @ A PERFECTION CALLED BOOKS

Oct. 29 – Scary Make-Up Challenge, Hosted by LITTLE RED READER

Oct. 30 – Twitter Synopsis Challenge, Hosted by KellysBookSpill

Oct. 31 – Wrap Up challenge with Costume challenge (optional), Hosted by DANASQUARE

Happy Reading!!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

[Blog Tour] Embers by Karen Ann Hopkins


There are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them. And she may be the only hope mankind has as the rapture approaches and evil rises.

Embers is an epic paranormal adventure about an eighteen year old girl who discovers that she's immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt's boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember's exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she finds out that she's a Watcher, a descendant of angels. While Ember learns about her heritage and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two young men who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it is cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war—one that’s been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil—and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She also might be one of the few champions who will make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin.

Embers is a dark and gritty YA novel that’s the first book in the series, The Wings of War.

About Karen Ann Hopkins

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.

Angels are among us...

This is my first angel-based series and I loved it! I have purposely avoided reading angel series but...

The cover is really what drew me in because I would never think of angel wings and fire combined. But, it's the end of times and this angel story is wicked cool. Karen Ann Hopkins is able to present a compelling paranormal and contemporary world where good and evil collide. I'm not talking sides, but more of internal struggles on what is right/wrong which is interesting since angels are known for their pure roles. I can't wait to see how Ember, Sawyer and the Watcher factions grow as the series continues!

Little mushy love stuff...

Thank goodness! It was so refreshing to have an awesomely strong female lead, Ember, without being propped up with an overwhelming romance. Sawyer personality is not overly desirable so the fact that they have a connection at all is shocking but you know bad boys are attractive. Hopkins gives us enough of a ship to keep it interesting but not overwhelm the reason for the story, Ember. Ember, her family history and her transformation are what is central versus sacrificing the core for all the swoons. I do foresee more relationship building as the series continues and the end nears. 

That ending though...
Say what?!?!? This girl is on fire!!!! I don't want to spoil anything but the ending has me ready for book two like... yesterday!

* Review copy provided by the author and tour operator, opinions are honest and my own. – review policy here.

3.5 Stars – Tired of angels? Give this one a shot. Ember is fierce and there's fire involved!

Giveaway is sponsored by the tour/author.
Giveaway is open internationally for the gift card and US/Canada for the book set!

Tour Schedule

Monday, October 20: Unabridged Bookshelf and Book Briefs

Wednesday, October 22: Sweet Southern Home and Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews

Thursday, October 23: the unofficial addiction book fan club 

Friday, October 24: A Dream Within A Dream and Becoming Books

Monday, October 27: The Avid Reader and Lost in Ever After

Tuesday, October 28: Lose Time Reading and So Bookalicious

Wednesday, October 29: Such a Novel Idea and Reading Addict

Thursday, October 30: Curling Up With A Good Book and Coming at YA

Friday, October 31: Actin' Up with Books and To Each Their Own Reviews

Monday, November 3: GenGen's Book Blog and A Bookish Escape

Tuesday, November 4: Sassy Book Lovers and Bittersweet Enchantment

Wednesday, November 5: Nay's Pink Bookshelf and The Nocturnal Library

Thursday, November 6: The Book Faery Reviews and Bumbles and Fairy-Tales

Friday, November 7: Books in the Spotlight and Her Book Thoughts!

Yes, my brown skin matters! #WeNeedDiverseBooks

This is in response to a Facebook post by author Victoria Scott. Let me preface this by saying I love her books and she's amazing to follow on social media.

In short, yes, my brown skin matters! By saying it doesn't dismisses my culture, my upbringing and my (and my people's) struggles. Ethnicity is a core of one's identity development. I work at a Historically Black University and I've attended a Hispanic Serving Institution. We're different than White people, and that's okay.

Identity Development (model)
So coming to terms with one's race and how I fit in the world as a minority is part of who I am and it's a significant area of research in the academic world. As a result, yes my race/ethnicity influences my behavior as I work through the spectrum. This is the same with gender identity, religious identity, sexual orientation identity, etc.

My not knowing how to speak Spanish and the banning of the Spanish language in my grandfather's home is not a stereotype. It is a result of racism and ethnic oppression during the civil rights movement and living in a border state. We are people of color therefore my aunts and uncles were to pick up food from the back of the restaurant, to sit in the balcony of theaters, and in schools were treated as if they had a disability for speaking Spanish. My grandfather was a WWII veteran and respected business owner. As a result we assimilated to belong. No more Spanish was to be spoken in the home.

Fast forward to today. I am asked regularly to help lead Hispanic recruitment initiatives (because I'm a token) and as a result endure the ridicule of Hispanics and non-Hispanics because I do not fit in. Yet, I am brown and have a VERY common Latino last name.

If you look at the identity model I'm fluidly moving through the phases because I'm human and more importantly I'm Mexican-American and I'm proud of that! Please don't take away my brown skin and subsequently my culture, because I matter.

Even good people with good hearts can do some oppressive things in unintentional ways. We work towards social justice and diversity awareness through education and acknowledging privilege.

Still don't believe race influences behaviors?

From personal experience having a "white" name has given me advantages that my sister, who has an ethnic name, has not.

Next Time Someone Says 'White Privilege Isn't Real,' Show Them This
My partner is Black and we've had deep conversations about how he was raised and cautioned to navigate this world as a Black man. From dressing a certain way, to his interactions with law enforcement, etc. I've had to really own my privilege since I can leave the house and I never consciously have to think about whether I'll live to come home the same night. I also worry that one day, because he is a Black man, he may not come home. That is not a stereotype it is a reality. 

Open up the dialogue about diversity.
Here are a few ways to STOP a conversation about diversity:

  • "I don't see color. We're all just human beings."
  • "I think deep down we're all the same."
  • "Some of my best friends are colored."
  • "You speak such good English, where did you learn it from?" source
Recognize that we have varied experiences and they should be validated. By saying the statements above, among other microaggressions, you are invalidating someone's truth. 

What this means for YA Lit.
I think it means a lot of things. We need White authors to utilize their privilege to advocate for characters of color. We need characters of color to show young readers that they too can conquer the world while still appreciating their culture and navigating hurdles. 

I do think in Sci-Fi and Fantasy it's easier to say that ethnicity doesn't matter or influence behavior because you're building your own world and therefore make up the rules. In Contemporary and Realistic Fiction I think it's sooooooooo important that young readers of color get to experience a protagonist who are can make enchiladas with their dad and fall in love with a hot White boy on a motorcycle. ;) 

I invite you to leave your comments below. A difference in opinion is welcome but please be civil.

#ReadingCram Chills and Thrills Readathon TBR Challenge!

*Cue the Spooky Music*

It's finally time!!!!!!!! I'm so excited to share my TBR for the reading challenge with you. 
I also have two giveaways, one international and one US only. We ask that you play to win ;)

It starts October 24 (Today!) and runs until Halloween, October 31.

We're reading spooky themed books:

My TBR Challenge

I'm going to work my way through these two anthologies! I scare easily so we'll see how it goes :p

Read to Win!
There are two prizes up for grabs:
a book of choice (up to $15) from the Book Depository (as long as they deliver to you for free)
and a stack of spooky ARCs!

You must sign-up for the readathon and there are no minimum reading requirements!
Don't forget to leave your TBR link/list in the comments for this challenge.

Just join us and get spooked! 

Don't forget the other reading challenges and giveaways:

Oct. 25 – Teaser Challenge, Hosted by Andrew @ EndlesslyReading

Oct. 26 – A re-creation of a book title and/or book cover (re-creating in whatever way, drawing, acting, a photo, painting, etc). Like Fangirl is fanggirl. Hosted by MySeryniti

Oct. 27 – Song Challenge, Hosted by Book Escape Reviews

Oct. 28 – Spell it out Challenge, Hosted by Rachel @ A PERFECTION CALLED BOOKS

Oct. 29 – Scary Make-Up Challenge, Hosted by LITTLE RED READER

Oct. 30 – Twitter Synopsis Challenge, Hosted by KellysBookSpill

Oct. 31 – Wrap Up challenge with Costume challenge (optional), Hosted by DANASQUARE

Happy Reading!!!