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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Feature ~ MADLY AND THE JACKAL (Madly #3) by M. Leighton

Happy, Happy Friday! Today I have such an awesome post to share with you. I have the cover, blurb, and an EXCERPT from the upcoming MADLY AND THE JACKAL by author extraordinarie, and all-around awesome chick, M. Leighton. MADLY AND THE JACKAL is book three in the Madly series and was released May 29th.

So, let's get to it!

How deep does love run? Deeper than the ocean? Deeper than memory? Deeper than magic?

Following their plan to save Atlas, Madly and Jackson return the spirit of Wolfhardt to his prison beneath the sea. But even the best laid plans couldn’t account for the surprises they find. This time, Lore aren’t their only challenges.

Madly is special in ways no one could have guessed and dark forces seek to control her. They want her power, but first they must weaken her. They need her beaten. Vulnerable. Near death. And alone. But that task isn’t an easy one with Jackson at her side. The strongest of their kind, the only way to separate Jackson from Madly is to destroy his love for her, to erase it from his mind. And his heart.

Is it possible to steal Jackson’s love from Madly? Or is their love the only truly unbreakable thing?


 And, since Michelle is so awesome, she is sharing an excerpt from MADLY AND THE JACKAL.

Warning: This is a HOT one, ladies! Enjoy!


Opening my eyes so I didn’t have to “see” through my mind, I found that I was nearly blind. It was almost completely dark inside the cave.  If it weren’t for the dappled spots of pale light refracting off the waterfall, I wouldn’t have been able to see at all. 

“So, what now?” I asked, feeling pleased with myself over my accomplishment.  However, reality was soon to intrude upon my pleasure.

“Madly,” Jackson began, his tone causing my stomach to fill with dread.  “You know our plan to rescue Truly is out of the question now, right?”

“No, it’s not.  I know we’ve missed our meeting with Aaron, but I could try and contact him.  Or my father.  We could—”

 “It’s over Madly.  We’ll have to try again later.  Not only is Leviathan looking for us, and most likely not for polite conversation, you’re not safe down here.  Not even with your father in your own house.  No one should’ve known we were here.  No one but the four of us.”

“But who… I mean, how… we didn’t…”

“I know, I’m confused, too.  But what we do know is that, right now, the only people who can be trusted are in this room.”

I wanted desperately to argue, to defend my father vehemently, but I couldn’t.  Jackson was right.  Something was wrong.

“You know my father would never—”

“I’m not suggesting that he’d do otherwise, Madly.  I’m just saying there are things going on down here that we didn’t account for.  Now that we have more information, we can try something else when we bring the next Lore back.  But right now, I have to get you out of here.”

“Jackson, I can’t leave my—”

“You have to. You know that.  You don’t have a choice.”

When I started to challenge that point, Jackson quickly continued.  “Not really.  You’re the best chance Atlas has and you know it.”

Feeling the hopelessness of the situation crowding in on me, I fought the tears the prickled against my eyelids.  Although I didn’t say a word, didn’t make a sound, Jackson knew what I wasn’t saying.

“Come here,” he said, opening up arms that I could barely see.

Emotion tightening my chest, I walked into Jackson’s embrace and laid my head over his heart.  Within his strong hold, nothing felt hopeless, everything felt possible, and I needed a big dose of that optimism.

 As he stroked my hair and spoke softly, I felt the world slowly return to rights.

“We’ll stay here for a while tonight in case Leviathan is still looking for us.  Then, in a few hours, we’ll find a distraction we can use to get us past the shield.  Once we’re back in Slumber, we’ll find the next Lore and return them.  By then we’ll have a plan and we’ll save your family and the rest of Atlas.”

It sounded so logical, so simple. So…do-able.  “Promise?” I mumbled quietly, knowing he could make no such promise.

I raised my head to look up at him.  He traced his fingertip from my temple down my cheek to my lips, brushing them lightly.  Bending his head to mine, he whispered across my mouth, “Trust me.”

His kiss was like a warm breeze, barely there, and then he lifted his head to stare down into my eyes.  I couldn’t see him clearly, just the bits and pieces the shimmering light illuminated.  It made the water droplets on his skin and in his hair glisten like diamonds, even the ones that clung to his lashes.

“Don’t do that,” he groaned quietly.

“Do what?” I asked, genuinely confused.

“Look at me like that.”

Desire rippled through me.  “Like what?” 

“Like you want to lick all the water off me.”

“Is that how I’m looking at you?” I knew I was being coy.

“You know it is.”

“So what if I do?  What if I want to touch my tongue to every drop of water on your skin?  Is that such a bad thing?”  As I spoke, I leaned back a bit further and let my eyes rove his face and chest.  A single droplet ran from the hollow of his throat down the center of his chest.  Reaching out, I caught it on the tip of my finger and stuck it in my mouth.  I heard Jackson gasp seconds before he crushed me to him. 

His lips on mine were flames that spread through me like wildfire.  His arms tightened around me.  One big hand splayed between my shoulder blades, the other on my butt.  Both pulled me toward him, pressing me against him in the most intimate way.  I could feel his hardness against the soft part of my belly and lava poured down my legs.

He ground his hips into mine and his moan tickled its way all the way up my tongue, sending a shiver down my back.  Reaching up, I threaded my fingers into his short hair and held him close, wishing he could devour me, and I him.  I ached for Jackson in ways I’d never ached for anyone, ached for him in places I didn’t know could ache in such a way.

I was panting, rubbing my body against Jackson’s when he tore his mouth away from mine and held me at arm’s length.  I could hear his heavy breathing.  I could feel his desire for me like a thickness in the air.  It filled the cave, warmed my skin.



Whew. Was that hot or what?!


You can find the MADLY series at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

You can find author M. Leighton at:
her website  |  GoodReads page  |  Facebook

Review ~ EARTHSEED (Seed #1) by Pamela Sargent

The classic YA science fiction adventure by Nebula and Locus Award–winning author Pamela Sargent The ship hurtles through space. Deep within its core, it carries the seed of humankind. Launched by the people of a dying Earth over a century ago, its mission is to find a habitable world for the children—fifteen-year-old Zoheret and her shipmates—whom it has created from its genetic banks. To Zoheret and her shipmates, Ship has been mother, father, and loving teacher, preparing them for their biggest challenge: to survive on their own, on an uninhabited planet, without Ship’s protection. Now that day is almost upon them...but are they ready to leave Ship? Ship devises a test. And suddenly, instincts that have been latent for over a hundred years take over. Zoheret watches as friends become strangers—and enemies. Can Zoheret and her companions overcome the biggest obstacle to the survival of the human race—themselves? ~From GoodReads


Set on a spaceship built upon an asteroid traveling the galaxies towards a new home, EARTHSEED is not quite what I expected. Thankfully. I was curious about it, namely because a film based on the series is in the works. I honestly didn't expect to like it much. I've been bitten by my expectations in regards to similar books.

The first portion of the book was exactly what I expected. Sent as the hope for humanity, Ship is carrying teens to a new home. Zoheret and her companions are becoming eager to reach their new planet. In preparation, they begin spending more time in The Hollow, basically a forest setting. The harsh setting of The Hollow begins to bring out the survival instincts in the teens. Some more than others. When the kids begin to make shattering discoveries, they soon discover that nothing is what it seems.

So when the story took a turn for the unexpected, I was hooked. As the teens work and compete to survive The Hollow, I became a great deal more interested. Then the unexpected begins to happen, over and over. The revelations, betrayals, the ramped up atmosphere and the lethal nature of some of the teens was astonishing.

My only true qualm with the book would be my lack of connection to main character Zoheret. She's just not a warm person. I think the third person point of view may have contributed to her distance. And the fact that she was raised my a computer. I just didn't feel her, despite liking her well enough.

Here's how I described EARTHSEED to my friend, April: It's ACROSS THE GALAXY meets LOST meets LORD OF THE FLIES. Sounds crazy and confusing, right? Somehow, it works. The ending was sad and dramatic and set up book two, FARSEED, nicely.


Favorite Quote:

" 'Who are you?' Zoheret said.
His eyes widened in fear; they were dark eyes, not blue like Dimitri's. 'The others,' he said. 'You must be the others.' " (pg 128)


 

Published February 28th 2012 by Tom Doherty Associates

You can purchase EARTHSEED at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository


Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Series Review ~ BETWEEN THE LINES, by Tammara Webber

Between the Lines (Between the Lines, #1)When Hollywood It Boy, Reid Alexander, arrives on location to shoot his next movie, his goals are the same as always—film another blockbuster hit and enjoy his celebrity status to the fullest while doing so. His costar is a virtual unknown with whom he had blazing hot chemistry during her auditions. The universe is lining up nicely to grant whatever he wants, as usual, until he’s confronted with unexpected obstacles on location like a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for the first girl to spark his genuine interest in years. Emma Pierce just got her big break after more than a decade of filming commercials for grape juice, department stores and tampons, and more recently, bit parts in made-for-TV movies. Nailing the lead role in a wide-release film sent her agent, father and stepmother into raptures, and should have done the same for her. The Problem? Emma is experiencing a building desire to be normal, and starring in a silly, modernized adaptation of one of her favorite novels—opposite the very hot Reid Alexander—isn’t going to advance that aspiration. Graham Douglas doesn’t fear playing the part of a nerdy dimwit; when it comes to choosing film roles, if it pays, he’ll do it. Besides, his friend Brooke Cameron snatched up the role of the bitchy hot girl and could use his help as a buffer, because her ex is the star. Graham has no problem keeping a handle on the situation, until he finds himself attracted to Reid’s costar, Emma, the girl Reid is pursuing full-throttle with his standard arsenal of charm, good looks and arrogance.                                                                                             Author recommendation: Mature teens+ (language/drinking/sexual situations)         ~From GoodReads


I have friends who recommend books to me all the time. Great books. I usually read what I'm told, sometimes I push it off, saying "soon". My friend Autumn at Autumn Review and I have an agreement: If one of us doesn't read an "OMG-You-Must-Read-This-Series-Now!!!" recommendation when we're told, the recommend-er is allowed to punch the non-compliant recomend-ee in the face. Virtually, of course.

So here I am, offering my face up for a beat down, with no arguments, because Autumn, among others, has been telling me to read Tammara Webber's BETWEEN THE LINES series for months. Why didn't I listen?? I could have been in on all of the fun, and I've been missing out. I hate missing out.

This book? It went above and beyond my high expectations. You have Reid, beyond gorgeous, the hottest young actor in Hollywood. Reid is a womanizer, to say the least. He can have any girl he wants, and he wants them all. He's a bit of a sleaze. Except...there's more going on with Reid. His parents are royally screwed up, distorting his perception of healthy relationships. I'm hoping to see Reid have some redemption later in the series. But for now?

Reid wants Emma, his new co-star. Emma was a completely endearing, sweetheart of a character. ADORE. Emma is the type of character that you want to smoosh up and hug when she's upset. She is self-aware and self-assured. I love that she knows who she is and what she wants for her future. Despite the fact she is a rising actress, she's yearning for a normal, happy life. I love that even when she is hurt by a guy, she is even more devastated by her troubled relationship with her best friend. I love that even though one of the hottest guys in the world wants her, she can't stop thinking about Graham.

Graham.I just...I just can't adequately describe my feelings for the sensitive, introverted, intense, beautiful boy. Graham is everything I love about books guys. He has the quiet moments that speak so much. Most of the book, Graham is a mystery. Not dangerous, just unknown. I liked him so, so much throughout the story. He is an anchor for Emma. I completely fell head over heels, completely and forever in love with him in the last several chapters of the story.

I honestly did go into this book with the highest of expectations. Dangerous, I know. I just knew I would love Tammara Webber's writing. I was hooked from the first paragraph. The characters were alive to me. The story was engaging. I actually left a music festival to go read for an hour in my hotel room. A music festival. That's serious business, guys. And soooo worth it. The ending completely killed me, in the best way possible. And as soon as I turned the last page, I started book two, WHERE YOU ARE.


Favorite Quote~

"He releases one wrist long enough to catch it with his other hand, and he flattens my hands to the bed on either side of my head. His eyes are black in the low light of the room. 'Do you surrender?'
My heart is pounding, and I'm tingling from head to toe. 'Surrender to what?' I whisper, my chest rising and falling, my eyes locked on his.
His gaze doesn't waver. 'A kiss.' "








Published April 29th 2011

You can purchase BETWEEN THE LINES at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Source: Personal Purchase.

Where You Are (Between the Lines, #2)Graham Douglas doesn’t do romantic relationships, but he was knocked for a loop when he met Emma Pierce on the set of his last film. As they grew closer, he did everything in his power to keep from falling for a girl being pursued by superstar Reid Alexander. Now home in New York, his life is once again under control, until Emma appears and shows him how not over her he is. Emma Pierce is forsaking an up-and-coming Hollywood career to embark on a life she’s only dreamed of—the life of a regular girl. After spending months burying her feelings for the two night-and-day guys who vied for her heart while filming her last movie, a twist of fate puts her in a coffee shop in the middle of Manhattan with the one she still misses. Brooke Cameron was a fresh-faced Texas girl when she arrived in LA. Now she’s a beach sitcom star turned conceited heiress on the big screen. Having just survived three months on location with her ex—Hollywood’s reigning golden boy—she’s older and wiser and has set her sights on her close friend Graham. The only thing standing in her way is the girl he can’t forget. Reid Alexander can sum up his life in one word: boring. Between film projects, there’s little going on outside of interviews, photo shoots, and the premiere of the film he finished last fall. The next-to-last thing he expects is to get a second chance with Emma, the girl who rejected him. The last thing he expects is for his still-bitter-ex to be the one to offer it to him on a platter.                                                                                 Author Recommendation: Mature Young Adults (language, drinking, sexual situations) ~From GoodReads

**While this review is spoiler-free for WHERE YOU ARE, there may be spoilers if you haven't read book one, BETWEEN THE LINES.**

When I read BETWEEN THE LINES, I thought Tammara Webber had written a great book. And she did. But I could take all my feelings about BETWEEN THE LINES and compound that by 40 bajillion. Squared. To the nth power. And I hate math.

The reason I love WHERE YOU ARE with such obsession is Graham Douglas. I have never, ever, EVER loved a boy as much as I love Graham. (Sorry to all my fictional BFs!) I was intrigued by Graham in BETWEEN THE LINES, but I didn't actually know anything about the true Graham until the last few chapters of the book. And, OHMYGOSH!, I did not see that coming at all. Graham is quiet and smart and thoughtful and careful and intense...I feel like my heart could swell five sizes when I think of all the ways I love Graham. If you think I'm exaggerating, this line will prove my point:

"I tilt her chin up and bend my face to hers, silently praising every woman who's had a hand in making her who she is." (ebook, 81%)

The way he loves Emma is what we all wish for ourselves, our daughters. The way he respects her, holds her in reverence (all without being a creeper) makes me weak.

And Emma, sweet Emma. She continued to hold my heart in this book. She knows where her heart lies, and isn't afraid to jump. She accepts things about Graham, no hesitation,that a lot of girls her age would give pause to. She's beyond wise and so endearing. I will love Graham and Emma forever.

As for Reid and Brooke. I can't even go there now. I admire Reid a teeny tiny bit for having at least one moral standard and listening to his conscience. But, ugh, it's going to be hard to be his personal cheerleader. And Brooke? I feel stabby, blackout rage for her right now.

This entire series, and WHERE YOU ARE in particular, have pole vaulted into my all-time favorites short list. I am so, so sad to leave Graham and Emma behind. I could honestly read about them until the end of time.


Favorite Quote:

This quote is one of the most beautiful I've ever read. Hands down.

"Something about first love defies duplication. Before it, your heart is blank. Unwritten. After, the walls are left inscribed and graffitied. When it ends, no amount of scrubbing will purge the scrawled oaths and sketched images, but sooner or later, you find that there's space for someone else, between the words and in the margins." (ebook, 1%)

 Published October 21st 2011

You can purchase WHERE YOU ARE at:
Amazon  |  Barnes&Noble

Source: Personal Purchase.


Good For You (Between the Lines, #3)Reid Alexander's life is an open book. His Hollywood celebrity means that everything he does plays out in the public eye. Every relationship, every error in judgment is analyzed by strangers. His latest mistake totaled his car, destroyed a house and landed him in the hospital. Now his PR team is working overtime to salvage his image. One thing is clear—this is one predicament he won’t escape without paying for it. Dori Cantrell is a genuine humanitarian—the outward opposite of everything Reid is about. When his DUI plea bargain lands him under her community service supervision, she proves unimpressed with his status and indifferent to his proximity, and he soon wants nothing more than to knock her off of her pedestal and prove she's human. Counting the days until his month of service is over, Dori struggles to ignore his wicked magnetic pull while shocking him with her ability to see past his celebrity and challenging him to see his own wasted potential. But Dori has secrets of her own, safely locked away until one night turns her entire world upside down. Suddenly their only hope for connection and redemption hinges on one choice: whether or not to have faith in each other.                                                                                                           Author Recommendation: Mature Young Adults (language, drinking, sexual situations) ~From GoodReads

**Although there are no spoilers for GOOD FOR YOU, there are spoilers if you have not read BETWEEN THE LINES and WHERE YOU ARE.**


So....Tammara Webber did it. She made me, against all odds, love Reid Alexander. Reid amused me in BETWEEN THE LINES. He was a jerk, yes, but when it came down to the wire, he was no match for Graham when it came to winning Emma's heart. I was not amused with Reid in WHERE YOU ARE. The way he actively schemed with Brooke to split Emma and Graham up? Uh uh. Although he redeemed himself in a small way at the end, I just didn't know how I would take to him in GOOD FOR YOU. 

I knew I would love the book because, HELLO?, Tammara Webber is a genius author. I just didn't know how I could ever move on. But Webber took the egocentric, reckless, dangerous Reid and made him into something more. You get to see, in a way, how Reid became the way he is. Reid lives in a dysfunctional family. It's all he knows. His mother is an alcoholic, his father is emotionally distant. He hasn't lived with any type of boundary in five years and he's only nineteen. That's a sure recipe for disaster. Add to that a lavish lifestyle in which people live to cater your every whim, it's not wonder Reid is a Class A jerk.

Then, Reid meets Dori. Dori is as selfless as they come. The daughter of a pastor and a nurse, she has been raised to serve those in need. Dori is generous, kind, respectful, loving. She is basically the classic good girl. Dori also happens to be hiding a lot about herself from everyone she knows.

When Dori meets Reid, it's not pretty. They don't know each other, but they do know enough to write the other off. But day by day, as Reid proves himself at the job site, and as Dori lets down her guard, they discover that maybe, they could be good for one another.

I really don't know what I can say about this book without being stupid. I loved it like crazy. The way Tammara portrayed these characters, fiery and passionate one moment, fragile and unsure the next, it made me dizzy with happiness. The characters are fully fleshed, their stories, the painful journeys, are heart breaking and raw. GOOD FOR YOU was an emotionally draining yet beautifully uplifting book that I could not have enjoyed more.


Favorite Quote:

"There's something uncontaminated about her, and I don't even mean sexually or whatever. I mean the way she is, at her core. Like when you wake up and the world has been blanketed by snow overnight, and not a single footstep or tire track has spoiled the untouched perfection of it. (ebook, 46%)

" 'When you tell me to be good, it makes me want to be good,' I say, hearing the undisguised desire in my voice. I run my fingers through the hair at her temples, taking her face between my palms, and she doesn't move. 'It also makes me want to be very, very bad.' And then I kiss her." (ebook, 50%)


Published December 15th 2011

You can purchase GOOD FOR YOU at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble
Source: Won in a giveaway with no obligation to review.


A Note About The Series: BETWEEN THE LINES (the series) is a series I put off far too long. I can not aptly describe how much I loved each book. Tammara Webber is one of the most gifted authors I've had the pleasure of reading and is now on my auto-buy list. If you haven't read this phenomenal series, do yourself a favor and start now. You will not be sorry.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY




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


This week's WoW selection is...

Stealing Parker 

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her. Now Parker wants a new life. So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty? But how far is too far before she loses herself completely? Companion to CATCHING JORDAN. ~From GoodReads



Why I'm Waiting ~ I adored CATCHING JORDAN so much. I can't wait to see what Miranda Kenneally brings next. And I'm hoping some of the guys from CJ show up.


Expected publication: October 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blog Tour ~ CLOSED HEARTS (Mindjack, #2)


Welcome to The Bookish Babe's stop on the CLOSED HEARTS Blog Tour! Today I have a guest post from author Susan Quinn, along with a giveaway of the book. You can find my review of the first book in the series, Open Minds, here.
When you control minds, only your heart can be used against you. Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown—a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash—Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers.





Guest Post: Dystopias - Forging Hope for Humanity
by Susan Kaye Quinn
I have always read dystopian novels, before they were a popular thing (recently in young adult novels), and before I even really thought of “dystopia” as a label. I just called the futuristic tales of mind-bending alternate realities that I loved “science fiction.”
Stories like I, Robot by Asimov (originally published in 1950), one of the first stories that made me really think about what it meant to be human. A recurring theme of the science fiction of my youth was to examine humanity through the lens of a not-human character (in this case a robot), and I soaked up stories like this, filling my spongy adolescent brain with concepts like the Three Laws of Robotics. Asimov’s Foundation series similarly blew my mind with the idea that mathematical predictions of the future couldn’t guarantee a utopia, as long as the flawed nature of humanity still existed. This is where I first understood the term “dystopia” as what usually happened when humans tried to monkey with society to make it “better.”
What I loved about these stories was that they were thought experiments. They took an idea and ran with it, playing it out into the future. What if robots really became sentient? What if we could really predict the future. Not only did I enjoy the mental gymnastics that went with these (usually cautionary) tales, I felt like they were the “equipment for living” that Kenneth Burke speaks of. I used these stories to form my young adult thoughts about the future—what it should be, and what it should not.
Many people call my novel Open Minds a dystopia, although I didn’t think of it explicitly as that when I was writing it. I thought more in terms of these classic SF stories that have long filled my head. I wanted to take one thing—what if everyone really could read minds?—and play it out. I shouldn’t have been surprised when it turned into an exploration of how the circumstances of the world may change, but human beings fundamentally remain the same.
I think this is the understructure of the current dystopian craze—classical science fiction, retooled for our modern era and sensibilities. Some say the dystopian stories of today are a bleak reflection of our post-911 world, a mirror held up to our fears of environmental disasters, terrorism, and pandemic. I think the world we live in is complex, dangerous, and at times horrifying. I also think it shines with the radiance of aid flowing to natural disasters, soldiers building schools, and an increasing intolerance of hatred as an ideology. This complicated world is rekindling a need for the kinds of thought experiments found in dystopian stories, rather than the world actually spiraling into the abyss.
And I don’t think the dystopian stories of today are any more dismal than the classic stories of the past. Some may be bleak (Forest of Hands and Teeth), but there’s almost always a thread of hope (Across the Universe). Because even when things are dire, even though evil may grip our world, there is always someone who will rebel against the wrongness and attempt to set it right. Hope is a fundamental part of what it means to be human, and stories that forge hope out of the most difficult situations will always be compelling.
And I will want to read (and write) them.
~~*~~





Closed Hearts (Mindjack #2) $2.99 at AmazonBarnes and Noble (ebook and print)
When you control minds, only your heart can be used against you.
Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling YA novel Open Minds, Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy, which is available on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and iTunes. The sequel Closed Hearts has just been released. Susan's business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist," but she mostly plays on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.
Mind GamesOpen MindsClosed HeartsIn His EyesLife, Liberty, and PursuitFull Speed Ahead
 
 
Giveaway
 
Susan is giving one winner an ecopy of either CLOSED HEARTS, or book one in the series, OPEN MINDS.
Rules:
-Must be 13+ years of age to enter.
-Open to Intl. residents.
-Only requirement is name and email.
-For extra entries, you may:
           -Tweet or share the giveaway via Facebook
           -Like Susan's Facebook page.
           -Subscribe to Susan's newsletter.
 

The giveaway has ended. The winner is: Kelly!

Thanks to all who entered.

TEASER TUESDAY




Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:

·Grab your current read
·Open to a random page
·Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
·Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others.

Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles.
When Hollywood It Boy, Reid Alexander, arrives on location to shoot his next movie, his goals are the same as always—film another blockbuster hit and enjoy his celebrity status to the fullest while doing so. His costar is a virtual unknown with whom he had blazing hot chemistry during her auditions. The universe is lining up nicely to grant whatever he wants, as usual, until he’s confronted with unexpected obstacles on location like a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for the first girl to spark his genuine interest in years. Emma Pierce just got her big break after more than a decade of filming commercials for grape juice, department stores and tampons, and more recently, bit parts in made-for-TV movies. Nailing the lead role in a wide-release film sent her agent, father and stepmother into raptures, and should have done the same for her. The Problem? Emma is experiencing a building desire to be normal, and starring in a silly, modernized adaptation of one of her favorite novels—opposite the very hot Reid Alexander—isn’t going to advance that aspiration. Graham Douglas doesn’t fear playing the part of a nerdy dimwit; when it comes to choosing film roles, if it pays, he’ll do it. Besides, his friend Brooke Cameron snatched up the role of the bitchy hot girl and could use his help as a buffer, because her ex is the star. Graham has no problem keeping a handle on the situation, until he finds himself attracted to Reid’s costar, Emma, the girl Reid is pursuing full-throttle with his standard arsenal of charm, good looks and arrogance.                                                                                                      Author recommendation: Mature teens+ (language/drinking/sexual situations)         ~From GoodReads


My Teaser~

"I think about Graham pushing a strand of hair behind my ear when we'd ducked out of the rainstorm, the feel of his fingers sliding over my skin, how he listened when I talked about losing Mo. I think about the hunger in Reid's beautiful eyes, the heated difference in his off-screen kiss, and the way he teases me. 'I like them both. They're just...different.' " (ebook, 43%)

I just finished this book. Love so much!

Published April 29th 2011

You can purchase BETWEEN THE LINES at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Review and Giveaway ~ THE VINCENT BROTHERS (The Vincent Boys #2) by Abbi Glines

The Vincent Brothers (The Vincent Boys, #2)
He may have given her up without a fight, but Sawyer Vincent is far from over losing the girl he’s loved all of his life. Instead of giving up his best friend and the girl he thought he’d spend forever with, he gave Ashton and his brother Beau his blessing. However, adjusting to seeing Ashton wrapped up in Beau’s arms isn’t easy. Complicating everything even more, Ashton’s cousin Lana is in town for the summer. Sweet, kind, soft-spoken Lana, who gets under his skin. Just being near her makes him forget all about Ashton and his broken heart. Lana is everything he wanted Ashton to be except she isn’t Ashton. She lacks the backbone to stand up for herself and confidence that Ashton wears like a crown.                                            Lana McDaniel has lived her life in her cousin's shadow. While Lana struggled with her grades no matter how hard she tried, her mother praised Ashton's intelligence. She hadn’t been blessed with Ashton’s blond hair and flawless skin, but that didn't keep her mother from lamenting her naturally red hair and freckles. But none of that would have mattered if Ashton hadn’t always had Sawyer Vincent wrapped around her finger -- the only boy Lana wanted. Once Ashton let Sawyer go, Lana had been so sure that he’d move on. Determined to make Sawyer finally see her, she'd talked her mother into letting her spend the summer with Ashton. But Sawyer is still in love with Ashton, and Lana isn’t going to be anyone's rebound girl. No matter how yummy Sawyer Vincent’s kisses taste.                   ~From GoodReads
"They're hard to resist." 
"Don't I know it."
(pg 35, eARC)

Sigh.... I don't even know how to write this review, y'all. I mean, I am a pool of goo. If you know me very well, you know I am a huge fan of Abbi Glines' books. Huge. I loved THE VINCENT BOYS (my review) and when Abbi told me she was writing another Vincent boys book, I'm pretty sure my squeals were heard miles away.

The number one thought I had when I started reading the book was, "Can Sawyer carry a book as well as Beau?". Beau Vincent, he's a tough act to follow. Beau and Sawyer are opposites in every way. Beau is full of swagger *swoon*, but Sawyer has a quiet demeanor. Beau is openly passionate about Ash, Sawyer is more reserved. Beau likes to drink and live it up, Sawyer goes to parties but doesn't drink much. All that may lead you to believe Sawyer is boring. I mean, I thought he was a big snooze in THE VINCENT BOYS. Ohhhhhh, how I was wrong. I should have known better. It's always the quiet ones who end up catching you by surprise, isn't it? I'm absolutely not going to give anything about this book away, but when I think about Sawyer...*shivers*.

I had the same issue with Lana McDaniel. Ash's cousin was in THE VINCENT BOYS long enough for me to think I knew her.  Lana thought Ash was crazy for leaving Sawyer for Beau. She thought Ash was handling everything wrong, and let her know it. All I thought about Lana was "What a buzzkill." Again, I was wrong. I only knew Lana from Ash's perspective. I was caught off guard by how quickly I began to love her. Lana is great. She's so strong, so forgiving, so loving.

Sawyer and Lana together. Gahhhh. I don't know how Abbi does it. There are some scenes that were so steamy, I had to stick my head in the freezer. And the funny thing is, the scenes aren't "graphic" at all. Or maybe I'm just easy, I dunno. Anyhow, it's good stuff.
Here's the deal. When Abbi sent me this book, I freaked out. I was so excited. One of my BFF's Autumn (from Autumn Review) and I read the book "together",which consists of DMs and texts since we live hours away from one another. We both stayed up until 3:30am reading THE VINCENT BROTHERS. As soon as we woke up the next morning, we started talking about the book again. Then, we talked on the phone for an hour that afternoon about all the little things that hit us so hard. I actually teared up when we were talking about it. I guess my point is, Abbi Glines' books have a special quality about them that resonates with me so deeply. I've called it her "special sauce". I can't tell you exactly what it is, but I know I'm going to find it each time I open her books. And that feeling, it is worth everything when it comes to reading.

Bottom Line: If you loved THE VINCENT BOYS, you will certainly love THE VINCENT BROTHERS.

Favorite Quotes:

" 'You think I'm a better choice than Beau? He's the bad one, you know. The dangerous one. Girls like bad boys.' His voice had dropped to a low rumble. I shivered as he took another step closer, his eyes never leaving their study of my lips. It had been awhile since I'd reapplied lip gloss. I wondered if they were dry.
Forcing myself to remain calm, I responded, 'Not all girls.' " (pg 21, eARC)


Expected publication: June 5th 2012


Source: Received from author in exchange for an honest review.


Giveaway

THE VINCENT BROTHERS releases the day after my birthday. So I thought, what better way to celebrate than to give one of you this series that has brought me so much happiness? Here's what I'm doing. I will gift the winner of the giveaway Kindle copies of THE VINCENT BOYS and THE VINCENT BROTHERS. If you already own or have read THE VINCENT BOYS, then I will gift you another of Abbi's books. If you've already read all of Abbi's books, then you are awesome and my work here is done. ;-)

The Rules:
  • You must be 18+ years of age to enter. I'm not personally into telling teens what to read, but I'm not about to get into it with your mom if she thinks the book is inappropriate for you.
  • Open to anyone who can received Kindle ebooks.
  • The only requirement is your name/email and a comment. Everything else is completely optional.
  • Giveaway ends June 3rd at 11:59 pm. I will gift the winner their books when THE VINCENT BROTHERS goes live on Amazon.
Good Luck!


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Saturday, May 26, 2012

THE WEEKLY REWIND, #5



THE WEEKLY REWIND is a weekly post in which I recap the bookish awesomeness from the past week, and post a book haul. Warning: I tend to ramble in my vlogs. Sometimes I get excited about things and I flail. Although, I don't follow a specific format, this was inspired by a few different blogs: For What It's Worth Reviews , Book Brats and Xpresso Reads.

Book Haul


Books Received:


Awesome People:

Posts:

Giveaways:

Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment, and I'll come check out your blog. Have a great week!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Review ~ GIRL UNMOORED, by Jennifer Gooch Hummer

Girl Unmoored
Apron Bramhall has come unmoored. It’s 1985 and her mom has passed away, her evil stepmother is pregnant, and her best friend has traded her in for a newer model. Fortunately, she’s about to be saved by Jesus. Not that Jesus—the actor who plays him in Jesus Christ, Superstar. Apron is desperate to avoid the look-alike Mike (no one should look that much like Jesus unless they can perform a miracle or two), but suddenly he’s everywhere. Until one day, she’s stuck in church with him—of all places. And then something happens; Apron’s broken teenage heart blinks on for the first time since she’s been adrift. Mike and his grumpy boyfriend, Chad, offer her a summer job in their flower store and Apron’s world seems to calm. But when she uncovers Chad’s secret, coming of age becomes almost too much bear. She’s forced to see things the adults around her fail to—like what love really means and who is paying too much for it.                ~From GoodReads


GIRL UNMOORED is a coming of age story set in the 1980s. That alone earned my rapt attention. Then you have the first line: "Jesus was in his underwear."(pg.9) That line, of course, made me think "Wha...?", but I also laughed. I never expected, though, to be so personally moved by the story.

GIRL UNMOORED reminded me in a way of a movie, maybe My Girl. The story isn't the same, or even similar. It's more of a feeling portrayed, or brought back. This story is the summer of a young, impressionable girl whose world is shifted and who learns and teaches those around her about real love. This isn't a love story in the romantic sense. It is love in a human sense.

Apron (the name is explained, so don't panic, people) is thirteen. I immediately adored her and wanted to smother her in love. But she became a rock star to me because she is a devoted Laura Ingalls Wilder fan and reads the Little House on the Prairie series repeatedly. She is motherless, her father is distracted by her evil stepmother, her best friend has dumped her. Apron has lost her faith. She's drifting, until she meets Mike and Chad.

Mike and Chad are proof that love has no defining factors. It's 1985 and many are afraid of gay men, particularly the ones who are sick. They are subjected to homophobia, violence, discrimination. The love exhibited between them, the kindness, the devotion in the face of the toughest obstacle of all, is inspiring.  I dare anyone to read this book and say that a love like Mike and Chad's is wrong. They become the anchor Apron needs. They take Apron in and embrace her in a way that causes her to blossom.

GIRL UNMOORED is a beautifully, bittersweet story of love; the most basic, human love.  I could not put it down. I was captivated by Apron's voice. To see the world through her view was poignant. I giggled at Mike and Chad, I raged at Evil Stepmother, I rolled my eyes at the ex-bff. And I cried, so hard. I count myself lucky to have read GIRL UNMOORED.


Favorite Quotes:

My favorite quote is near the end of the story. To share it would give too much away. It made me sob.

"The church smelled like leftover tears. Sadness was tucked into corners and hidden under beams and pasted so thick on the walls that it was hard to breathe." (pg.55)

"Being this close to Mike made the cramp in my heart loosen up a bit, like the shingles were falling off of it." (pg.136)
Read an excerpt from GIRL UNMOORED.


Published March 6th 2012 by Fiction Std, E Book

You can purchase GIRL UNMOORED at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository


Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review ~ DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN, by JA London

Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn, #1)
This electrifying new trilogy blends the best of paranormal and dystopian storytelling in a world where the war is over. And the vampires won. Humans huddle in their walled cities, supplying blood in exchange for safety. But not even that is guaranteed. Dawn has lost her entire family and now reluctantly serves as the delegate to Lord Valentine, the most powerful vampire for miles. It isn’t until she meets Victor, Valentine’s son, that she realizes not all vampires are monsters.... Darkness Before Dawn is a fresh new story with captivating characters, unexpected plot twists, a fascinating setting, and a compelling voice. Written under the name J. A. London by a talented mother-son team, the trilogy is perfect for fans of True Blood and the House of Night and Morganville Vampires series. ~From GoodReads


"Soon the monsters will come out to play. They like the night. They feed on it. Sometimes they feed on us." (pg.3)

So I'm just going to come out and say it. I loved this book. I loved everything about it: the characters, the plot, the dangerous world...everything.

Let me start with the world-building. I would consider DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN to be a post-apocalyptic/dystopian crossover, heavier on the post-apocalyptic.[Sidenote: Post-apocalyptic and dystopian are not the same thing. For the difference in dystopian and post-apocalyptic please read this post by Julie Kagawa.] Many of the post-apocalyptic books that I've read have been vague in that respect.   In DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN, you learn exactly what happened to bring about the bleak existence humans endure. I don't want to give all the details away, because that aspect was fascinating for me to read. Long story short, there was a decades long war between humans and vampires. Vampires won. The VampHu treaty came out of this, the main stipulation being that vampires will not attack the humans within their walls as long as they provide blood to the vamps.

So here we are in Denver, and our heroine Dawn is the new delegate to the leader of the local vampires, Lord "Bloody" Valentine. And though the treaty is intact, the humans go into hiding each day when the sun goes down, for fear of rogue vampires. Their safety in tenuous at best. Dawn, who has replaced her murdered parents as the delegate, is all but responsible for walking the fine line that keeps humans safe. I truly admired Dawn as a character. She is a teenager with the world on her shoulders, yet she manages to smile, have fun, live, and still take her duties seriously. She has her guardian, best friend Tegan (not the sharpest knife), and her long-time boyfriend, Michael. I did like Michael. He's protective, intense, and seemed to be devoted to Dawn. Until...he isn't. Michael has an ego that constantly needs reassured. He definitely has a hero complex and begins to grate at the nerves which made it remarkably easy for another guy to swoop in.

That alluring new man is Victor. Victor is dashing, intriguing, and dangerous, but not in a bad boy way. He is exceedingly kind, goes out of his way, puts himself in danger to keep Dawn safe. He wants to do what's best for Dawn, even at his own risk. The dude made me hardcore swoon.

The storyline was consistently moving ahead. I never felt as if it stalled. Not only is the consistent threat of Lord Valentine a factor, Dawn is also confronting danger on at least three different fronts, never mind the potential drama in her love life. There is an issue at the opening, that Valentine mentions later in the story, that's never explained. I'll assume it will be expanded on in the next book. I'm fine with that. When everything comes to a head, though, I thought the suspense would kill me, or at least make me pass out from holding my breath. The ending was a definite cliffhanger. I would have been screaming, dying to know what was happening. But, my book, a finished copy, has a sneak peek of book two, BLOOD-KISSED SKY. Well played, authors, because I am dying to read that book.


Personal Note: In the synopsis, it is mentioned that fans of True Blood, the House of Night series, and Morganville Vampires series would enjoy this. I haven't read Morganville Vampires. But I have read the Sookie Stackhouse series and House of Night series. DBD, besides being a book with vampires that have come out, is nothing at all like Sookie Stackhouse series. And besides the obvious, vampires, it is nothing like the House of Night series. DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN is soooo much better. Sorry if I've stepped on any toes, but if someone told me this was like HoN, I probably wouldn't read it.


Favorite Quote:

"In my dreams, we're the same. We can touch, kiss, love. And every dream ends with us ...being together forever." (pg 224)

Expected publication: May 29th 2012 by HarperTeen

You can preorder DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository


Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.


SPLASH INTO SUMMER GIVEAWAY HOP


Welcome to my stop on the SPLASH INTO SUMMER Giveaway Hop! This hop is hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer and Page Turners Blog. There are over 250 blogs participating in bookish giveaways. You can find them here.


The Giveaway:

Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London (ARC)

Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn, #1)
This electrifying new trilogy blends the best of paranormal and dystopian storytelling in a world where the war is over. And the vampires won. Humans huddle in their walled cities, supplying blood in exchange for safety. But not even that is guaranteed. Dawn has lost her entire family and now reluctantly serves as the delegate to Lord Valentine, the most powerful vampire for miles. It isn’t until she meets Victor, Valentine’s son, that she realizes not all vampires are monsters.... Darkness Before Dawn is a fresh new story with captivating characters, unexpected plot twists, a fascinating setting, and a compelling voice. Written under the name J. A. London by a talented mother-son team, the trilogy is perfect for fans of True Blood and the House of Night and Morganville Vampires series. ~From GoodReads

 The Rules:
  • Must have a US/CA mailing address. (Or a contact who can accept on your behalf.)
  • Must be 13+ years of age.
  • The only mandatory requirement is name/email address.
  • All other entries are optional.
I'm reading this book right now. It is so good.

Good Luck!
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blog Tour ~ PRETTY IN BLACK, by Rae Hachton

Stops here May 24th!


Welcome to The Bookish Babe's stop on the PRETTY IN BLACK Blog Tour! The tour is being hosted by Supagurl Books. Today I have an excerpt from PRETTY IN BLACK by Rae Hachton, and a link to the blog tour giveaway.

Pretty In Black (Pretty in Black, #1)
Some Things are Pretty. Some Things are Black. Love is both. [Ellie Piper] She wanted to die. He arose from the grave. He was sent to kill her. She was trained to kill those of his kind. But fate had other plans. He searched for 119 years to find her. & There's no way in hell he's letting her go. Dead or Alive. They're fated. [Marcus Marble] How far would you go to be with the one you love? Would you die for her? Would you kill for her? What if the only reason you're still alive is because of her? What if the reason you came back from the dead, was to be with her? But what if your job was to kill her, but you fell in love instead? And now you're being hunted by your own kind? Destroy? Or be Destroyed? ~From GoodReads


Excerpt from: The Secret Garden
Welcome to the secret garden, My Lady.”

An extremely old cemetery lay neglected before me, but it was tranquil. The gate was frail and rusted, and the ivy vines that twisted around it also stretched out and wrapped themselves around the stone wall. Marcus reached into the backseat to retrieve his violin. In an esoteric way, the violin case slightly resembled a coffin.
He carried his violin and walked with me into the cemetery. The headstones were weathered and unreadable, and flowers, or what may have been flowers, dead. A cool wind blew through the trees. He rested his violin against a stone and before I knew it, he swept me off my feet and tossed me over his shoulder.
I squealed. “Marcus Marble, put me down now!” He just laughed and twirled me around and carried me over to the stone wall and sat me atop.
Be right back.”
I glanced around the cemetery and could’ve sworn I saw or felt someone watching me. Someone other than Marcus. But Marcus returned before I had time to analyze it any further and he noticed my expression had shifted.
What’s wrong?”
I’m cold,” I lied. He quickly removed his coat and tossed it up to me. It was extremely warm and the scent was intoxicating—like sleeping on a bed of flowers on the first night of Spring.
I felt safe with Marcus, but there was also an intensity about it—an excitement from being near him, and often times it would even linger when he wasn’t around, and make me want to be with him more. The feeling was becoming more and more addicting and I wasn’t sure I could live without it.
Marcus raised his violin into position, looked up into my eyes and then…a bewitching tune melded onto the airwaves and spread over me like the afternoon sunset that flared through the trees and sank into the graves of the dead, never to be seen again.
Even with his coat on, I felt chills. The tune he played was sad at first. And then it flirted with a tune that sounded like love. Those two frequencies made a bittersweet melody that burst into a cry of pain, a wailing of war. Finally, the heartache subsided and silently imploded onto a string of notes that were unsettling. The sound that ended the melody was a sound that was unsure of itself. It was equivalent to reading a book and coming across a page that abruptly stopped in the middle of a paragraph and did not continue on. This sound was definitely not the ending of his tune. It wasn’t happy nor sad. It was just unwritten.
I realized tears trickled from my eyes. I quickly wiped them away. The sun faded and night began to descend. The sky was a deep navy blue. Marcus sat his violin aside and dropped to one knee, as though he were about to propose. His eyes flickered with seriousness. He took my hand into his. “Ellie, would you frolic in the land of forever with me?”


You can purchase PRETTY IN BLACK at:
Amazon  |  Barnes&Noble  | Book Depository  |  Smashwords


Giveaway

Author Rae Hachton has an awesome giveaway for the blog tour.

Prizes include:
  • A Special Edition copy of Pretty in Black, which includes both books under one binding.
  • A Swag assortment of bookmarks, stickers, and magnets.
  • A Pretty in Black poster.
To enter the giveaway, click the link below (sorry, I couldn't get the form to post).

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY



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


This week's WoW selection is...
What a Boy Needs
Jaden Sinclair knows he'll never amount to anything...so why would he deserve a girl like Priscilla Mendoza? Since last summer, things have been screwed up between Jaden and Pris. He knows it's his fault, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to go a few rounds with her new boyfriend. He also knows he’s the loser his dad calls him, but it doesn’t stop him from wanting her. After getting a huge bomb dropped on him, Jaden lashes out and lands himself in jail. Everything in his chaotic life is turned upside down and to make it worse, his mom kicks him out in order to side with his dad. Yeah, he’s totally a prize for a girl like Pris. Sebastian, Aspen, and Pris are all going places in their lives...and he knows he can't keep tagging along for the ride. The group has one last chance for The Epic Adventure they've been looking for: a road trip to New York, where Jaden's friends will be going to college. Unfortunately, the more time Jaden hangs around Pris, the harder it is to keep the carefully constructed walls between them so she doesn't find out what a train wreck he really is. When the trip ends, Jaden has to decide if he's ready to say goodbye to his friends, and the girl he loves. He knows what he needs, but will he be man enough to go for it? ~From GoodReads


Why I'm Waiting ~ Wow. I loved Nyrae Dawn's first book, WHAT A BOY WANTS, sooo much.
And now it's Jaden's turn. There were strong hints that Jaden's home life was rough in WaBW. I can't wait to see this great circle of friends rally together again.


Edited to Add: I got an eARC of WHAT A BOY NEEDS yesterday afternoon. I stayed up until 2am reading it. Blown away. This book blew away every expectation. I'm dying for everyone to read it.

Expected Publication Date: June 12, 2012

Review ~ WHISPER, by Heather Hildenbrand

Whisper
The Cherokee believe when a person dies, their soul is reborn. Life is repeated. An endless cycle of lessons to be learned, love to be found, destiny to be fulfilled. For the past six months, in every flower, every bird, I’ve imagined my parents, relieved of their human forms. Now, after five months at the Skye View Wellness Center, it was summer. A time for parties and friends, but that’s the last thing I want to do. So when my best friend Erin convinces me to attend a bonfire at Eagle Point, I can’t handle the crowd full of sympathetic stares or drunken class clowns who would use my tragedy as a way into my heart – or my pants. The solitude of the woods offers an escape, until I stumble upon a boy, unconscious and bleeding, his pockets stuffed not with identification but with poetry illustrating the beauty of dying. I’ve seen enough death. I will not leave this boy’s side. Even after he wakes, when the only thing he can remember are visions of events that haven’t happened yet…

Over the past year I've read several Heather Hildenbrand's books. I believe WHISPER makes book number four. And each time I begin a new book, I'm consistently struck by her talent. Hildenbrand's writing is simply pure, a true pleasure to read.

WHISPER is the story of a young woman, Whisper, struggling through the depression that follows her parents' tragic deaths. Withdrawn from the friends, activities that once occupied her life, Whisper honestly just wants to be left alone, away from pity. When she happens upon a young man in the woods, injured, with no memory or family, Whisper's life is set on a new path of love, loss, and destiny.

What I found interesting about WHISPER was the use of the Native American, specifically Cherokee, culture and beliefs. I must admit, I've read very few books with Native American characters. My knowledge about the culture is very limited. (Although I think every kid I ever went to school with claimed their grandmother was half-"Indian". Always Cherokee.) So with that limited knowledge in hand, I was fascinated by the legends employed in the story.

The use of the Native American legends made me consider an entirely different train of thought. Which is, while I would technically classify WHISPER as a paranormal story (based on events throughout the last half of the book), if you believe in the Native American culture, that's not necessarily the case. The events would be considered entirely possible. Granted, this whole line of thinking has gotten a bit off point, but I'm hoping someone will think that is as cool as I did.

I did find the pace at the beginning of the story to be a bit slow. A lot of that can be contributed to the effort of laying out the background to Whisper's story; her parents' deaths, the depression that followed. Once Whisper and the boy she rescues begins to piece together the whole story, that's when the story really began to gel and move for me. I loved the revelations, the struggles, and the conclusion. And I am always happy to find a nice stand-alone story.

I found WHISPER to be a really good, beautifully written story. Heather Hildenbrand never disappoints me.
Favorite Quote:
"If there was ever a moment so sweet, so brimming with life that I knew I'd never forget it, this was it. Our breath hung on the air. There was a collective pause that seemed to include, not only the house itself, but the entire universe. As if every existing thing hung in the balance under the weight of our joined gaze." (ebook, 46%)
Published April 19th 2012 by Accendo Press         
You can purchase WHISPER at:
Source: Received from author for review.

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