Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A SWEET Paperback Giveaway

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 with
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Happy hump day everyone!

Emmy Laybourne's Sweet will be coming out in paperback on June 7th! If you missed Sweet the first time, or is waiting for the paperback edition (like I sometimes do because paperback are for comfortable to read from and cheaper than hardcovers) now is your chance to pick it up.

To celebrate the release of Sweet and the all-new cover, I have a really fun giveaway today!

New paperback cover
They'd kill to get thin. [How's that for a tag line?!]

The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv's invitation. She's already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli-the hottest guy ever!-and she's too sick to even try the sweetener. And that's before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. His publicists have even set up a 'romance' with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when the hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it's Laurel that he's determined to save.

Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation in Sweet that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong!

You might be more familiar with the old cover of Sweet, but isn't the new one more compelling and matches the story a lot more? Let me know what you think!
Old cover
Now, here's your chance to win a copy of Sweet! It's open to US and Canada only, and it will run for 2 weeks. I'll email the winner for their address. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a wonderful rest of the week filled with happy reading!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mass Market: 352 pages
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Bodyguard #2
Synopsis
The first time he lays eyes on Taylor Ross in a bar, Colt Priestley does something few men would dare to do. He approaches the world-famous singer, shamelessly flirts with her, and gives her a night in his bed that neither of them will soon forget.

When Taylor's record label hires a bodyguard to keep tabs on the out-of-control rocker, she's less than thrilled to find it's her off-the-charts one-night stand who shows up for the job. She's terrified of letting herself fall for the damaged ex-Army Ranger, and she's determined to push him away. Yet every moment they're together simmers with tension. As the danger from an obsessed stalker mounts, Taylor and Colt are tempted to cross that line again-baring their hearts and souls as well as their bodies-and there's no telling how hot this song will get.



Primal Instinct was my first read by Tara Wyatt and it won't be my last because I was blown away by Ms. Wyatt's writing, her characters, the steam factor, and basically how it read like candy--I couldn't get enough.

Taylor Ross was going through a rough patch in her life and career. She got writer's block and couldn't write a new song, so she's been getting bad press lately because of some of her public antics, and recently got her heart broken. Enter Colt Priestley, her one-night stand and now one of her new bodyguards. Colt definitely wanted more than one night with Taylor, but she bailed before he even woke up. When Colt learned that his new client is Taylor, he jumped at the chance to reconnect with her.

I really loved Taylor and Colt together. They were hilarious--the prank war they had going on was the best! So many laugh-out-loud moments, which was great because there were some crazy stuff that happened here involving a whole bunch of nasty baddies and one creepy-ass stalker. So I really enjoyed the humor between the suspense. Both  Taylor and Colt had shitty pasts that they needed to work through, and I loved how they bonded with each other. They had such wonderful chemistry that leapt off the page. As for the smexy times, well, it didn't disappoint in that department. Turn up the fan while reading this one, because things get very hot and steamy.

I highly recommend Primal Instinct. If you haven't read Necessary Risk (the first book in the Bodyguard series), don't let that stop you for picking up this book because it can be easily read as a standalone. I haven't read Necessary Risk and I was still able to very much enjoy Primal Instinct no problem. I don't know if I'll go back and read Necessary Risk, but I'm looking forward to future books in the Bodyguard series because we got hints in this book that I want to know more about. 

Pick up Primal Instinct for some sexy, hot romantic suspense goodness this summer.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Hello everyone,
I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen. Today, I am going to be sharing the eight songs that inspired Leah when writing The Last Time We Were Us.

Liz Grant is about to have the summer of her life. She and her friend MacKenzie are getting invited to all the best parties, and with any luck, Innis Taylor, the most gorgeous guy in Bonneville, will be her boyfriend before the Fourth of July.

Local teen convict released early.

Jason Sullivan wasn’t supposed to come back from juvie. A million years ago, he was her best friend, but that was before he ditched her for a different crowd. Before he attacked Innis’s older brother, leaving Skip’s face burned and their town in shock.

“Everything is not what you think.”

Liz always found it hard to believe what they said about Jason, but all of Bonneville thinks he’s dangerous. If word gets out she’s seeing him, she could lose everything. But what if there’s more to that horrible night than she knows? And how many more people will get hurt when the truth finally comes out?

“You’re the one person who believes in me.”

Leah Konen’s southern romance swelters with passion as it explores the devastating crush of lies, the delicate balance of power and perception, and one girl’s journey to find herself while uncovering the secrets of so many others.

I LOVE book playlists because listening to the song brings you back to all the feels you experienced in the novel and I love matching the songs to specific scenes in the novel. So, here ya go, for your listening pleasure...


Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) by Arcade Fire



Heart Skipped a Beat by The xx



Katie Queen of Tennessee by The Apache Relay




Dreamy Bruises by Sylvan Esso



Forever by HAIM



I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons



When U Love Somebody by Fruit Bats



Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros



Spotify playlist



ABOUT LEAH KONEN
Leah Konen grew up in a two-stoplight farming town in Washington State before moving to suburban North Carolina, where there were many more stoplights and lots of sweet tea. After studying journalism at the University of North Carolina, she headed to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. When she’s not working on novels and articles or writing for fashion brands, she enjoys devouring new books, spoiling her dog, Farley, biking around Brooklyn, checking out live music, and binge-watching TV. Find her online at www.leahkonen.com.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the tour
Week 1:
5/10: Undeniably Book Nerdy - Playlist

Week 2:

Look for my review of The Last Time We Were Us next week!

Happy reading,
Michelle

Friday, May 6, 2016

Spend May with Audrey | #Giveaway

Friday, May 6, 2016 with
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Happy Friday everyone!

Sophie Kinsella's Finding Audrey is out in paperback! If you missed Finding Audrey the first time, or is waiting for the paperback edition (like I sometimes do because paperback are for comfortable to read from and cheaper than hardcovers) now is your chance to pick it up.

To celebrate the release of Finding Audrey, I have a really fun giveaway today! Please read on.

Now available in paperback is the New York Times bestselling debut YA novel Finding Audrey (Ember /on sale May 3, 2016 /$9.99) from internationally bestselling author Sophie Kinsella. Kinsella, the author of such favorites as the Shopaholic series, Can You Keep a Secret?, Wedding Night, and Remember Me?, introduced readers to 14-year- old Audrey Turner, a teen in the throes of a severe social anxiety disorder after a bullying incident at school, and following her journey to rediscovering herself and her happiness. Receiving much critical acclaim from reviewers and fans, the book was hailed as “heartfelt,” “engaging,” and “relatable.”

Audrey spends most of her days hiding behind her dark sunglasses and in the safety of her own home, surrounded by her lovable but chaotic family. Interaction with non–family members has been almost impossible to master since the incident at school. But then one day Linus arrives at her house. A friend of her brother’s, Linus makes an instant connection with Audrey and starts to chip away at her exterior, exposing the girl underneath—the girl Audrey herself has been searching for. What results is a tender love story that begins as a friendship and continues in the local Starbucks, where Audrey begins to heal the wounds that have threatened to hold her captive.

Filled with poignancy and laugh-out- loud moments, Finding Audrey gives readers a character they can relate to and a family to embrace. Kinsella’s story tackles serious topics with humor and heart and creates the next YA couple to root for in Audrey and Linus.

via the press release courtesy of Penguin Random House


Now, here's your chance to win a copy of Finding Audrey! It's US only, and it will run for 2 weeks. I'll email the winner for their address. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a wonderful weekend filled with happy reading!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016



Hello everyone,
I am so happy to be part of this time capsule-themed blog tour for The Square Root of Summer

First of all, the itself book is pretty great and Fierce Reads always puts together the best, most fun blog tours. Read on for my thoughts about the novel, and what item I added to the Fierce Read time capsule, as well as my past and present answers to the "This Is Who I am Now" questions.


ARC: 304 pages
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: May 3, 2016 (today!)
Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis
This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It's a little bit like a black hole. It's a little bit like infinity.

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone's heart is about to be broken.


I fell in love with The Square Root of Summer after seeing the beautiful cover. It thought it looks like a fun book to kick-off summer vacation (which is in 18 days for me!!).

The story is told through Gottie's perspective and I enjoyed her voice. It had a kind of quirky, whimsy to it that I liked and I collected some really lovely quotes from this book. Her family is German so we got a bit of German words peppered in there, and that was fun because I learned some German words and phrases. 

Gottie's favorite subject was physics, and the explanation for her time-traveling was based on spacetime and wormholes. My two biggest issues with this book were all the physics stuff, which I just kind of skimmed over because it was confusing to me, and the time travel aspect, which didn't quite work for me. At first I thought Gottie was just imagining herself being thrown in the past, like a TV flashback kind of thing but she's really going back in time through wormholes. The whole thing just didn't gel with me. I did appreciated that fact that Gottie's time traveling was based on science instead of magic--that was a nice change. And the author did try to explain the whole wormhole/time travel thing, but it just went over my head.

Good thing you don't need to understand all the science stuff to enjoy the emotional part of story, which I really enjoyed. Gottie is dealing with lost and guilt over her grandfather Grey's death, and having lost my own grandpa several years ago I can relate. Gottie also fell in love with her brother's best friend Jason and they had a secret summer romance that fell apart at the time of Grey's passing. Then, she also had to deal with her best friend Thomas (who moved away with his family to Canada when they were kids) coming back after zero communication from him. But the all physics stuff did get in the way and dragged the story down. I did enjoy the diagrams and drawings, though, because it reminded me of one of my favorite books, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

I liked Gottie's character for the most part, but she can be too wrapped up in herself. Her mom died in when she was born, she lost her best friend Thomas when his family moved to Canada, her grandfather Grey died and she's still trying to come to terms with it, and even her secret boyfriend Jason didn't stick around. I know she suffered a lot of lost, but she's not an approachable character--I liked her but I couldn't quite connect with her 100%. I did enjoy some of the secondary characters, especially her dad and Thomas. 

Okay, so The Square Root of Summer wasn't exactly the fun time-travel book I was expecting, but I found myself absorbed anyway at certain parts. I liked the writing, and the romance was sweet and cute. The sci-fi/time travel part didn't quite work with me, but others may enjoy the science and physics aspect a lot more than I did. If you're looking for a unique summer read with a science focus but doesn't skimp on the emotions, The Square Root of Summer will be a good one to pick up.

*****

The item I included in the time capsule is my apple necklace. I hardly wear it because it's faux gold and I get an itchy rash if I wear it for longer than an hour, but it's very significant to me anyway. Find out why on Fierce Reads's Tumblr, as well as other bloggers' time capsule items.

Another fun other thing is answering the This Is Who I Am Now questions, where I answered 6 questions back in February and my answers the the same questions today, in the present, May 3rd.

Author Harriet Reuter Hapgood
What brings you the most joy in life?
Feb. 29th: Books, especially YA, NA and romance novels
May 3rd: Books, especially YA, NA and romance novels

What are you reading?
Feb. 29th: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
May 3rd: none at the moment--I’m in a book slump

What is something you’re really looking forward to?
Feb. 29th: Spring Break (11 more days!)
May 3rd: Summer Vacation (18 more days!)

What is one thing that’s worrying you?
Feb. 29th: My classroom observation this coming Friday.
May 3rd: Getting all of my teacher effectiveness evaluation stuff together by Thursday

What is something that you always have with you?
Feb. 29th: My phone and a book/my Kindle
May 3rd: My phone and a book/my kindle

What is something that you wish you could change?
Feb. 29th: I wish I didn’t have seconds during dinner because now I feel slightly sick.
May 3rd: I wish I didn’t wait until the last minute to put together my teacher eval stuff

For more info about Harriet's books, visit her website, Instagram, and Twitter. Let me know if you already read The Square Root of Summer or planning to read it--I'd love to chat with you about it.

Happy reading,
Michelle

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

E-ARC: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: April 26, 2016 (today!)
Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...

But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology.
The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.


As soon as I heard of The Star-Touched Queen I knew it was my kind of book and I was right. I absolutely LOVED it.

Right from the start I fell in love with the writing. It's beautiful and dreamy and poetic yet it's still very readable. I was admittedly worried about that going into The Star-Touched Queen because usually when a book's writing is described as "poetic" I immediately think "purple prose." But I had nothing to worry about. I found the writing to be very readable, and I was finding all of these beautiful quotes and highlighting like crazy on my Kindle. I know not everyone will gel with the writing, but I say give it a chance because it's very special--read the first couple of chapters to get a feel for it before deciding whether it's for you or not.

The Star-Touched Queen is based on the Persephone and Hades myth, mixed with Beauty and the Beast elements. Set in an Indian royal court, complete with harems and the conniving wives of the Raja, Princess Mayavati was shunned and feared by everyone because of her cursed horoscope that promised death. But, she's fine with people staying away from her because she got to do what she wanted. She spends her days giving her cowering tutors the slip and instead reading the books she wanted to read. She had the run of her father's court and found a way to secretly listen in on her father's meeting with his councilors. And most importantly, since her horoscope promised a cursed marriage, no one wanted to marry Maya and she's not forced to enter into a political marriage like her half-sisters. She thought she'd escape that fate until her father announced that she must choose a husband and sacrifice her life to save her country from war. But, on the night of her wedding, a mysterious suitor named Amar, whisked her off to his castle and Maya found herself in a different kind of life and adventure.

I loved Maya's character right away. She's an outsider at her father's court and had this stand-offish shell--but who wouldn't living with the vicious, conniving wives in the harem? I felt protective of her right from the beginning, because beneath her shell was a vulnerability and I just felt for her. One of my favorite things in the novel was Maya's relationship with her younger half-sister Gauri. I loved that they didn't lose their connection with each other despite everything. I also love Amar--he's mysterious and charming and he kept his distance but I fell for him along with Maya. They're both complex, flawed characters, and I adored them both. All of their scenes together were electric and I really, really wish this is not a standalone novel because I want to spend more time with them. I know the author is writing a companion novel so I can't wait for that--hopefully we'll be seeing them again!

I love this book to bits, but the reason why I didn't give it a full five stars is because of the romance. I admit that the main draw for me initially was that I was hoping to read another epic romance like Shazi and Khalid's in The Wrath and the Dawn. Ever since reading Wrath, I've been searching for another read-alike that will make me swoon and fall in love and The Star-Touched Queen didn't quite live up to my romantic expectations. I do love The Star-Touched Queen as it's own story, of course, and the romance between Maya and Amar was lovely in its own way. Just don't go expecting Wrath romance epic-ness like I did.

I recommend The Star-Touched Queen to everybody. Even though the romance didn't live up to my expectations, it's still an amazing [debut] novel and such a beautiful story. I can't wait for more from Ms. Chokshi. She's an author to watch.