Monday, June 30, 2014

Sizzling HOT Summer Reads Blog Hop

I'm giving away an Advanced Reader Copy of this....

From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.

The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success:  every moment of the students' lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students' schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What's worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

Available September 16th,%201

US only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop along to the next blog...

Fall From India Place (On Dublin Street, #4) by Samantha Young

Source:  Received a paperback copy from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Fall From India Place (On Dublin Street, #4) by Samantha Young

The New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street and Down London Road returns with a story about letting go of the past and learning to trust in the future…

When Hannah Nichols last saw Marco D’Alessandro, five long years ago, he broke her heart. The bad boy with a hidden sweet side was the only guy Hannah ever loved—and the only man she’s ever been with. After one intense night of giving into temptation, Marco took off, leaving Scotland and Hannah behind. Shattered by the consequences of their night together, Hannah has never truly moved on.

Leaving Hannah was the biggest mistake of Marco’s life, something he has deeply regretted for years. So when fate reunites them, he refuses to let her go without a fight. Determined to make her his, Marco pursues Hannah, reminding her of all the reasons they’re meant to be together.…

But just when Marco thinks they’re committed to a future together, Hannah makes a discovery that unearths the secret pain she’s been hiding from him, a secret that could tear them apart before they have a real chance to start over again….

My Thoughts

3 stars - Not a good stand along read

I haven't read the first three books in this series.  I normally like to read them in order but a lot of companion series' read fine as stand alone.  I wouldn't recommend it for this series.

I think the easiest way for me to explain my experience reading this book is to just tell you what worked for me and what didn't.

What worked for me...

I was totally a fan of the way the relationship between Hannah and Marco developed over years.  It was clear they were soul mates but they were also best friends.

Marco is a brooding and troubled guy but he also has the sweetest heart.  Some of the things he endured were hard to find out about but it didn't break him.  He kept going.  He kept trying.  And he walked Hannah home to protector her and then he became her friend.

I love that while Marco kept a part of himself hidden from Hannah when they were young, he took the wall down around his heart when they find each other again.  He pursues her and he stubbornly doesn't give up.

I love Dillon. 

The setting in Scotland was interesting and I really enjoyed that.  I snickered at some of the vocabulary and loved the writing.

These two are very sexy together.  It's clear they resisted each other for a long time and that's really clear.  They devour each other... a lot.

What didn't work for me...

Hannah. I loved her as young girl.  She's determined and persistent.  I get why she changed and she needed to change after what she went through but she was just too stubborn.  The last 75 pages or so, I just didn't care anymore.  I was mad at her and felt like she deserved what she got at that point.  Making a guy make-up for his mistakes and earn his second chance is one thing but I thought this was cruel and unusual treatment for Marco.  He did take it like a trooper and I loved him more for it.  He's the reason I finished the book.  I needed to know how things ended for him.

Hannah's family.  I get that there's a need for her supporting cast but at every single family event the story included details about people I just didn't know.  And I admit that if I had read the first three books I probably would have been more interested in those parts.

This book is very predictable.  I had the major events figured out before I was a third of the way through.  I usually don't mind figuring out a story ahead of time but I don't remember the last time I had it down so early in the book. 

Who should read this...

If you've read the first three, then this will be a great addition for you (though you may be able to predict it even faster than I did).  I would not recommend reading it stand along.

The Series...

 About the Author...

Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She's been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestseller ON DUBLIN STREET. ON DUBLIN STREET is Samantha's first adult contemporary romance and has sold in twenty-five countries.

Now Available ~ The Promise by Robyn Carr

#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr returns to Thunder Point with an uplifting story about overcoming loss and finding unexpected love 

Scott Grant has a bustling family practice in the small Oregon community of Thunder Point. The town and its people have embraced the widowed doctor and father of two, his children are thriving, and Scott knows it's time to move on from his loss. But as the town's only doctor, the dating scene is awkward. That is, until a stunning physician's assistant applies for a job at his clinic. 

Peyton Lacoumette considers herself entirely out of the dating scene. She's already been burned by a man with kids, and she's come to Thunder Point determined not to repeat past mistakes. When Scott offers her a job, at a much lower salary than she's used to, Peyton is surprisingly eager to accept…at least for now. She's willing to stay for a three-month trial period while she explores other options. 

Scott and Peyton know the arrangement is temporary—it isn't enough time to build a real relationship, never mind anything with lasting commitment. But love can blossom faster than you think when the timing is right, and this short visit just might hold the promise of forever.,%201

Sunday, June 29, 2014

UtopYA2014 Wrap-up

This was my first time attending UtopYA and it was kind of a mixed bag for me.  I've decided that I just need to deal with this like a do a review.  I'm gonna tell you what worked for me and what didn't.  You can decide from there.

What worked for me...

I loved meeting a few people that I've known online for a while and finally got to meet.  And seeing old friends.
with Kathryn Grimes

With KP

With Rachel Harris

Between Tiffany King and Shana Benedict

With Catarina from Reading and Things
With Devri Walls

Between  Heather Self and Shana Benedict
With Trisha Wolfe

Meeting the cover models.  No doubt they were loving the attention.  At the Friday night Karaoke  event, the guys went out in the hall and took off their shirts.  Really drew the crowd.

I told you about Jesse on Friday but Josh McCann was right across the hall from us.  He's a cutie who LOVES the attention.  He came looking for it by knocking on our door while partially clothed and a towel on his head.  There is an instant gram video out there of poor Shana answering the door but I'm NOT linking to it.  But I still laugh just thinking about it.

Here's what she saw!

THEN as we were going to the awards ceremony that night, he heard us and came bounding out of his room like THIS!

Yes I did make him let me take his picture and while I was at it, let me see those tats!

You never know who will be across the hall from you!

Who could not love THIS!

Oh course the BOOKS!

Given to me by authors
The books I bought

In my welcome bag

Shana gave me

Most important was meeting my INCREDIBLE and AWESOME roommate, Shana from A Book Vacation.  We laughed so much that I thought I would pee my pants.  This wasn't just a couple of times but EVERY time we were together.  Gonna see her again at Book Bash.  We will have to find LOTS of ways to get together because we are so besties now!

What didn't work for me...

A lot of my friends wanted me to go to UtopYA based on last year.  Apparently, last year this event was very author AND reader/blogger driven.  Not so much this year.  This year it was clearly an author event.  ALL the panels were geared towards authors.  Most of the door prizes were author only.  I felt very much like an outsider because I'm not an author.  Even a conversation that I had with one of the organizers had me feeling this way. 

Which leads me to the biggest issue I had.  I started talking to people (like I do at BEA and other events) and I had more than just a few authors stop talking to me when they found out I wasn't an author.  I was pretty surprised.  I will say this didn't happen every time but it happened enough that I just decided to stick with people I already knew or who were introduced to me by someone I knew.  I have enough to read, I don't need to meet more authors.

Will I go back...

I probably will.  I loved meeting and rooming with Shana.  We are a perfect fit, both being teachers and bloggers.  We have similar book taste and I just really enjoyed my time with her. 

I do hope that the organizers will hear the feedback and go back to having the focus be on author and reader/bloggers.  

If you're looking for all the deets on how to early register and book that hotel room, then check out Shana's post about it HERE.

Stacking MY Shelves ~ 6/29/14

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  Make sure to checkout her post with links to all the other participates.

Paperback ACRs that came from Berkley...

Click on covers for Goodreads links

For Review...

 Vlick on covers for Goodreads links

Thanks go to...

Berkley Books

Picked up FREE

That's my stack.  What do you think?  What's in your stack?  Leave me a comment.