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29 November 2013

Uncovered (87): Nobody's Girl

Happy Black Friday, everyone! I hope you all had a safe and tasty Thanksgiving. Did anyone brave the sales yet? I am going to show my nerd here by telling you all that I got up at 6am to go to a yarn sale. They have one every Black Friday and it's totally my favorite Black Friday sale. Mmm...yarn.  Anyway - today's Uncovered book is Nobody's Girl by Sarra Manning. I have had this book on my Cover Love shelf for a little while now. I heart illustrated covers and this bold, graphic style of this one is definitely one that would stand out on a bookshelf. I like the mix of patterns with the florals and stripes. The colors are bright and I like that the title is in red so that it stands out. Also, this girl has adorable freckles.

That's all for today! Hope you guys liked today's cover. Happy reading!

28 November 2013


Just a quick post today to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful to everyone who reads this blog and to all of the wonderful people I have met through it. Seriously, you guys make this whole endeavor worthwhile. I am thankful for my friends and family, who keep me sane.  And of course I am thankful for all the books and the fact that I live in a place where there is so much freedom to read what you want. So happy reading, everyone!

Now, time to eat some pie. :)

27 November 2013

Review: Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Author: Veronica Rossi
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Find It: GoodreadsAmazonB&N, Book Depository
Source: ARC

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered.

This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland--known as The Death Shop--are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild--a savage--and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile--everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

Aria lives in Reverie, a world that is protected and sheltered from the outside world. Those who live inside are safe from the Aether, powerful electrical storms that leave destruction in their wake. But their bodies and lives are regulated to the extreme and most of their life is experienced through virtual reality. The conditions outside of the pods are extremely harsh and people live in nomadic tribes to survive. They are considered savages by those who live inside the pods.  These two worlds could not be more different and they clash when Aria is exiled and encounters Perry, who is searching for his little brother.

Though I have had my copy of Under The Never Sky for quite a while, I held off on reading it until recently. I had read a slew of dystopian/post-apocalyptic YA novels and found myself burnt out on them. After a lengthy break though I finally felt it was time to dive into this world. And wow, what a world! I found the story and characters to be original and inventive. The fast paced storyline kept me on the edge of my seat and the romance was refreshingly believable.

Under The Never Sky is told from the alternating POV of Aria and Perry. I don’t usually like multiple points of view but it really gives the reader a lot of insight into Aria and Perry. They each approach life so differently and seeing through their eyes helped me understand them better.  Both have prejudices against the other and I liked seeing how their feelings developed as they got to know each other.

I wasn't sure I was going to like Aria at first but I came to really admire her. She’s very strong-willed and stubborn and is willing to risk her life for what she believes in. Though generally reserved, Perry has a deep capacity to love and the relationship he has with his nephew Talon is really sweet. He is also very loyal and will put the needs of others often before his own.  I liked that both of these characters evolved and grew over the course of the story, each coming into their own. I also liked that their relationship started off as adversarial but developed into deeper feelings once they got to know each other. No insta-love here.

I was a little surprised by how much I liked this book. I was afraid that it would not live up to my expectations. However, Under the Never Sky lived up to the hype and reignited my excitement for the genre.  The solid world building and well developed, nuanced characters make Under the Never Sky stand out in the YA landscape and I can’t wait to read more.

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Visit the author online at www.veronicarossi.com, Facebook and follow her on Twitter @rossibooks

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here

24 November 2013

Stacked (82)

Hi, everyone. How is the weekend treating you. This marks the end of my first full week of vacation. It's been good so far. Lots of family time and eating. I have been on a crazy book starting phase and have started at least 4 new books. I am not usually a monogamous reader but even that's a lot for me. But I am going to go with it and read what my heart tells me to. I'll finish them all eventually.  :) Alright, let's get to this week's book haul.

For Review

I got two really exciting books for review this week. First is Reaver by Larissa Ione. I love Larissa Ione and have been anticipating this one. Super excited to start it. The next book is Dragon Awakened by Jaime Rush. I have never read anything by Rush before but this looks like it could be the start of a fun new paranormal series. Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for both of these.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some of these already. Been hitting up the thrift store and used bookstore for some great book finds.

These books are all from the thrift store. Everything was less than $14. The Hunger Games trilogy is for my friend.

Crown of Embers by Rae Carson - Still need to read the first book in this series but I could not resist a HC copy of this for $3.

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway - I have heard a lot of good things about this book and did not hesitate to snatch it up.

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt - Hoyt is one of my favorite historical romance writers and this copy was pretty much new and only $0.69. I have not read any books in this series yet.

A Study In Silks by Emma Jane Holloway - Picked this up at B&N on Saturday. I have never heard of this series before but it caught my eye. Story revolves around the niece of Sherlock Holmes who solves mysteries. What's not to like?

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead - !!! This one needs no further explanation. I haven't been able to start this one yet but it comforts me to have it.

It's Thanksgiving next week. Are you prepared? Thanksgiving is a pretty chill affair at our house so I am not too worried about it. I am looking to make some new side dishes this year though so if you have a suggestion, please let me know. Hope you're all having a fabulous weekend!

23 November 2013

Trailer: Bitten

I must have been hiding under a rock to not have known that Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series was being made into a television show. The first promo for the show has just hit the interwebs. I actually have not read this series yet so I can't comment on much on it. Shows on Syfy are notoriously bad but this one looks like it may have potential. Anyone excited about this? Does it look faithful to the series?

Bitten starts in Jan on Syfy.

For more info, keep an eye out for updates at http://www.syfy.com/bitten.

22 November 2013

New Trailer: Vampire Academy

The Weinstein Company just released the full theatrical trailer for the Vampire Academy movie. What do you guys think? It's getting a lot of flack for looking too campy. Though I am still not sure I am sold on the overall tone of the movie, there's no way I am not going to see it. I mean, I have seen way worse adaptations and I love VA, so I will be there opening weekend. Who else is coming with me?

20 November 2013

This Holiday, I Pledge to Give Books

Hi, everyone. As a book lover, I know that a book is a wonderful gift. It's personal and, if you give the right book, can be a gift that keeps on giving for years to come. That's why I think the Chronicle Books Give Books campaign is such a great one. For every #GiveBooks tweet, pin, and online signature, they will be donating a book to a child in need through First Books. The goal is to donate 10,000 books by December 15. I've been tweeting #GiveBooks as much as possible and hope you'll help spread the word, too. 

You can tweet the following:

This holiday, I pledge to GiveBooks! Take the @ChronicleBooks @FirstBook pledge at http://ow.ly/ptMuP or RT to be counted! #GiveBooks

Click here to take the pledge, and please spread the word! Learn more at: http://www.chroniclebooks.com/givebooks. Happy giving!

19 November 2013

Short Story Review: Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City

Author: Meljean Brook
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Adult Paranormal Historical Romance
Find It: GoodreadsAmazonB&N
Source: Bought

Eight months after The Iron Duke, can their marriage survive a new danger?

After Mina is called in to investigate the murder of an aristocratic bounder, her husband Rhys—known to the world as the Iron Duke—must overcome his fear for his new bride before his need to protect her tears them apart. But when she invites him to join her at the murder scene, a search for a mysterious killing machine puts her in more danger than ever before…a danger that leads straight back to Rhys.

Fans of Mina Wentworth and Rhys Trahearn rejoice. Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City is a wonderful short story that is a great addendum to The Iron Duke, giving us a little peek into life after the book ended. The Invisible City takes place 8 months after The Iron Duke. When a mutual aquaintance of Rhys and Mina's shows up dead, Mina is called in to investigate. The only clue they have is that the butler saw a giant brass wheel in the garden moments before the body was found. The hunt escalates when Mina discovers that the killer may have a connection to Rhys and she must find him before he can kill again.

I actually didn't know about this novella until my paperback copy of The Iron Duke showed up in the mail. I originally read an e-copy from the library but I loved the book so much that I wanted a copy for myself. I am so glad I bought it, too, because it contains this great little novella. Short stories ar not usually my favorite. It's really hard to write a short story that feels complete in such a short span of words. But Brook manages it quite well with The Invisible City. The story arc felt complete with a true beginning, middle, and end and it was a fun visiting these characters again and getting another view into their world.

The mystery plot was well executed and fast paced. Mina is as determined as ever and is dogged in her pursuit of the killer. While the mystery was a large part of the story, we also get to see how Mina and Rhys are taking to marriage. While they love each other passionately, their marriage is not without its problems. Both Rhys and Mina are still getting accustomed their new relationship. Neither of them has ever been in love before and they each have their own insecurities about the marriage. As a police inspector, Mina is often in danger, and Rhys is having a hard time dealing with his fear for her. Her safety means everything for him but he knows that he cannot stifle her or he will lose her. Mina is afraid that now that Rhys has her, his passion may have waned after the initial excitement of the pursuit has worn off. It was interesting to see how these two dealt with their feelings and insecurities. It's clear that they both love each other passionately. Of course there was also a good amount of steamy sex in this story - more than I would have thought for such a short story. I could have done with a wee bit less shagging, but I'm not really complaining.

It was also great seeing some old favorites from The Iron Duke. Scarsdale is as charming and outrageous as ever. Newberry plays a large role as well and I loved seeing him again. Mina and Rhys also include Anne the tinker in their family and we learn a bit more about her in this story.

I had a great time catching up with these characters. If you wondered what happened to Rhys and Mina after that fateful afternoon in the square, look no further. With incredible world building, great characters, a sexy romance and a fast paced mystery, The Invisible City has something for everyone. A must read for fans of The Iron Duke!

Visit the author online at meljeanbrook.com,Facebook and follow her on Twitter @meljean

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here

17 November 2013

Stacked (81)

Hi, guys. Happy Sunday! I am visiting my parents right now and it's really nice to see some fall weather. I think I left LA when it was close to 90 degrees. It took me a while to decide what books to take with me but I finally figured it out. You'd think I was going somewhere I couldn't get books. Haha. Let's see what books I have this week.

For Review

Ink Is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding - I was just approved for this one on NetGalley. Looks like a good read. Amy Spalding is always fun.


Masters of the Shadowlands #1-4 by Cherise Sinclair - I almost didn't post the covers to these because, well, they're a little cheesy. But I figured you guys wouldn't judge (I hope). I read a review about a week ago for the 8th book in this series that made me want to pick it up. The first book happened to be free on Kindle, so I downloaded it right away. The proceeded to read it in an evening and read 3 more in the days afterwards. Yeah, these books are a little like crack. As you can probably tell from the covers, they are erotica/BDSM books all about a group of people that frequent the Shadowlands club. They are really fun, sexy reads. I may have a separate posts about these books soon. But yes, I read 4 of them in less than a week. Taking a break right now but I totally want to read the rest.


Allegiant by Veronica Roth - Picked this up from the library right before I left. Hope to start and finish it soon before I run across any spoilers.

That's what I have on my plate this week. I really, really hope to get some books knocked out while I am on vacation. I am sadly behind on the Better Late Than Never Arc Challenge and needs to read some books for that as well. I will try to post as regularly as possible while on vacation though I wasn't good enough to pre-schedule any posts. That said, I won't have a Manicure Monday post tomorrow. I did bring my nail stuff home but I haven't really started anything new and was super busy this weekend. Hopefully I'll be back on schedule next week.

15 November 2013

Uncovered (86): Zac And Mia

Yay, it's Friday! I officially start my vacation later today. Of course I still have to make a 5 hour drive but it'll be worth it. I haven't seen my family in 6 months (which is long for me) and it'll be nice to just hang out, hang out with my niece, and read a lot. I am totally behind on my book goal for the year so I am going to see if I can catch up a little on vacation.

For this week's Uncovered post I am featuring the Aussie novel Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts. This cover is illustrated which is already a point in its favor. I like how bold and graphic it is, with very few lines or colors. The eye draws you in. I also like the whole it's an eye, no wait it's a flower, no it's an eye thing it has going on. That's my pick this week. If you have a cover you've been lusting over, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. Have a great weekend!

14 November 2013

Review: Dead Man's Deal by Jocelynn Drake

Author: Jocelynn Drake
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Find It: GoodreadsAmazonB&N, Book Depository
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

In a world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires swim free in a sea of humanity, sometimes you need an edge. Looking for a little love? Need some luck? Desperate for revenge? Gage can give you what you need. The most talented tattoo artist in town, he knows the right symbol and the right mix of ingredients and ink to achieve your heart's desire. One tattoo is all it takes. But remember, everything has its price...

Gage learned that lesson long ago, in ways he'd rather not remember. But the cruel and powerful wizards in the dreaded Ivory Towers he escaped aren't about to let him forget. Though Gage has managed to stay out of sight, he can't outrun the past forever.

The wizards know Gage is using forbidden magic, and they intend to punish him for his transgressions. Too bad if innocent humans and monsters-entire cities-get in the way. They will quell a nascent magical uprising and Gage will be the sacrifice they need. First, though, they have to find him .

The supernatural fun continues in Dead Man's Deal, the second book in Jocelynn Drake's exciting urban fantasy series. Gage is being forced to work for the Mafia-like dark elves after the events of the last book and The Council is still looking for a reason to get rid of him. The brother he hasn't seen since he left for the Ivory Towers also shows up, throwing Gage into the middle of an impending war between The Ivory Towers and the rest of the world.

Man, Gage just can't catch a break, can he? After narrowly surviving the last book you think he'd have a little rest before finding himself in mortal danger again. Instead he finds himself smack in the middle of a war that threatens to destroy humanity. Most guys would just throw in the towel at this point but Gage does all that he can to stop the impending war.

This world continues to draw me in as I learn more about it. In this book we learn a lot more about Gage's past and his time in the Ivory Towers. We see what his burgeoning powers did to his family and his guilt over it. There is something about Gage that is inherently likable to me. He isn't looking to be a hero but he has a deep seated integrity that pulls him into doing the right thing, even if it's not the smart thing. This series also has some great secondary characters and I enjoyed seeing Bronx and Trixie again.

There is a lot going on in this book and, at times, it's a little hard to keep track of everything. Overall though, I enjoyed the quick pace and action. Drake definitely is not an author to draw things out unnecessarily. The events in this book will have big repercussions for Gage and the future of this world.

While I love the world of The Asylum Tales - it's dangerous, dark and full of surprises - it's the characters that keep me coming back. I can't help but root for Gage and his friends to get a little bit of peace and quiet. Somehow I doubt that Drake is going to give Gage and easy time of it but I am excited to see where she takes them next.

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Visit the author online atwww.jocelynndrake.com and follow her on Twitter @JocelynnDrake

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here

12 November 2013

Top Ten Covers That Need A Re-Do

Top Ten Tuesday is a super fun feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish each Tuesday. This week's topic is Top Ten Covers You Would Redesign. Oooh, you guys know what a cover whore I am. I pick books by covers all the time. I read a lot of romance, which if rife with bad covers. Thank goodness for my Kindle because I will totally buy and ebook if a cover is particularly heinous. This is all my own opinion, of course, and I do not mean to hurt anyone's feelings or disparage anyone's hard work. They just aren't my thing. In no particular order, here are the books whose covers I wish would get a re-do.

1. Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh - Gah, what is up with this cover? Dmitri is supposed to be this super hot vampire but instead looks like a creeper who decided not to wear his shirt during a rainstorm. Just - no. 

2. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - I love Richelle Mead but she has consistently bad covers. If I was going off of the cover, I never would have picked up this book. The model's pose is awkward and her face takes up way too much space on this cover. These books are getting a redesign soon (but more on that in a later post).
3. A Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling - There isn't anything terrible about this. It's just really boring.

4.  Drop Dead Gorgeous by Linda Howard - I love this 2 book series but the covers are super dated and scream "smutty romance," but not in a good way. Would love to see something a little more modern for this one. 

5.  On The Edge by Ilona Andrews - Andrews is another author I love whose covers are often disappointing. This one isn't terrible but I don't love it. Also, not a huge fan of the love interest looming in the corner with his flowing locks.

6. Half Blood by Jennifer L Armentrout - I know there are people who love these covers but they do nothing for me. I find them to be pretty bland and look like something a self-pubbed author would put out.

7. Wicked After Midnight by Delilah S Dawson - So many things wrong with this. It really looks like some bad photo booth op in an old time Western town tourist trap. Everything about this is super awkward, from the posing to the styling. 

8.  Caressed By Ice by Nalini Singh - I love, love Nalini Singh but I dislike almost every cover from the Psy-Changeling series. This is one of the worst ones. This angle is not good for anyone and even the font is cheesy. 

9. Storm by Brigid Kemmerer - I like that there is a consistent theme with all of these covers (guy in front, one color for each book), but I still find them to be super cheesy looking. 

10. Fifty Shades of Gray by EL James - This is the cover that sparked a million other totally generic covers of inanimate objects. I get it. You want to read smut but you don't want people to call you out for it. But could at least make these covers mildly interesting?

Though I love a well designed cover, lately I have been embracing bad covers for books I love. For example, I bought most of the Kate Daniels series on ebook but have gotten a few of them in paperback recently and am learning to love the cheesiness. This is all personal preference, too. My bad cover might be your work of art and vice versa. Let me know what cover(s) you'd like to re-do in the comments below. :)

11 November 2013

Manicure Monday (40): The Reece Malcolm List

Hello! This weekend really flew by. I saw Thor 2 (fun man candy) and did a little bit of shopping. I really need to ramp up my Christmas shopping. I am starting to worry already that I won't have it done in time for the holidays. Hey - it's better to be paranoid than unprepared. I wasn't sure I was going to have a MM post today. I wasn't feeling much inspiration and I had not started a new book in a while. However, I decided to take a break from The Book Thief and start one of my new library books, The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding. I've only read a chapter or so but I really like it so far. The narrator has a really believable teen voice and I am getting a kick out of the fact that the story is set in Los Angeles.

This is a super fun cover with lots of bright colors. I chose to focus on the hot pink accents and the notebook on the cover. I used only two polishes for this look - Nubar Tulips To Kiss You With (pink) and OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (white).  

After painting on two coats of each color and the appropriate fingers, I set down to do the hard part. For the pink nails I wanted to do something that mimicked the cursive writing of the title. I didn't think I could actually do pink outlined writing so I made the base pink and I used a nail stamping plate to get perfect black swirly lines. The plate used was Cheeky CH16 and I used Kleancolor Black for the stamp. 

For the notebook nails, I used black and white acrylic paint mixed together to get a nice medium grey. Then I used a nail brush to paint the curtains. They weren't too difficult to draw and came out nicely.

I wanted to do something fun on my thumb so I tried to paint the cute letter D that is on the cover of the book. This was a lot harder to draw than the curtains. I also messed up my white base coat at one point trying to wipe off some of the acrylic paint and had to re-paint that section later on. I was able to paint over some of it so the mistake isn't super apparent, but I know it's there. :)

10 November 2013

Stacked (80)

Hi, everyone. Happy Sunday! Have you been having a good weekend. I am definitely seeing Thor 2 this weekend and maybe Ender's Game as well. I am so glad that some interesting movies are finally coming out. There was a bit of a drought there for a while.

I only picked up a few books this week. I just returned a giant stack to the library (that I didn't read) am trying to be good for a little while. Let's see what I got.

In The Arms of Stone Angels by Jordan Dane - I have been wanting to read this for a while and went to the library to see if they had it. Luckily they did and I hope to start it soon.

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding - Saw Amy at the LAPL event a few weeks ago and really liked her. Made me want to read her book. Another library find.

The Rogue's Proposal (House of Trent #2) by Jennifer Haymore - More historical romance. I just can't stop. This is an upcoming book from the House of Trent series that I received via Netgalley. I enjoyed the previous book and hope that this one is as good.

That's my baby book haul this week. I also won a $50 Starbucks GC from author Ann Aguirre, which was unexpected and awesome. Gingerbread lattes, here I come! Have a great weekend, everyone.