Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt


Welcome to the blog tour for Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt! This is the twelfth and final book of the Maiden Lane series, and it is tied with two others as my favorite of the series. I loved Raphael and Iris's story, and I hope you will too.

Read my reviews! There are many...



About the Book:


Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt
Book Twelve of the Maiden Lane series
Publisher: Forever Romance
Publication Date: October 17, 2017

Official Summary:

A LADY OF LIGHT
Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping.  Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos.  When one of the masked-and-nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him…only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.

A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESS
Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them.  Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans.  But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.

CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER…AND DESIRE
Much to Raphael’s irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involes herself in his life—and bed.  Soon he’s drawn to both to her quick wit and her fiery passion.  But when Iris discovers that Raphael’s past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters.  Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael’s own demons?



About the Author:


Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing "mesmerizing." She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.



The Excerpt:

Desperately she flung herself at the opposite seat and tugged it up. Thrust her hand in.

A pistol.

She cocked it, desperately praying that it was loaded.

She turned and aimed it at the door to the carriage just as the door swung open.

The Wolf loomed in the doorway—still nude—a lantern in one hand. She saw the eyes behind the mask flick to the pistol she held between her bound hands. He turned his head and said something in an incomprehensible language to someone outside.

Iris felt her breath sawing in and out of her chest.

He climbed into the carriage and closed the door, completely ignoring her and the pistol pointed at him. The Wolf hung the lantern on a hook and sat on the seat across from her.

Finally he glanced at her. “Put that down.”

His voice was calm. Quiet.

With just a hint of menace.

She backed into the opposite corner, as far away from him as possible, holding the pistol up. Level with his chest. Her heart was pounding so hard it nearly deafened her. “No.”

The carriage jolted into motion, making her stumble before she caught herself.

“T-tell them to stop the carriage,” she said, stuttering with terror despite her resolve. “Let me go now.”

“So that they can rape you to death out there?” He tilted his head to indicate the Lords. “No.”

“At the next village, then.”

“I think not.”

He reached for her and she knew she had no choice.

She shot him.

The blast blew him into the seat and threw her hands up and back, the pistol narrowly missing her nose.

Iris scrambled to her feet. The bullet was gone, but she could still use the pistol as a bludgeon.

The Wolf was sprawled across the seat, blood streaming from a gaping hole in his right shoulder. His mask had been knocked askew on his face.

She reached forward and snatched it off.

And then gasped.

The face that was revealed had once been as beautiful as an angel’s but was now horribly mutilated. A livid red scar ran from just below his hairline on the right side of his face, bisecting the eyebrow, somehow missing the eye itself but gouging a furrow into the lean cheek and catching the edge of his upper lip, making it twist. The scar ended in a missing divot of flesh in the line of the man’s severe jaw. He had inky black hair and, though they were closed now, Iris knew he had emotionless crystal-gray eyes.

She knew because she recognized him.

He was Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, and when she’d danced with him—once—three months ago at a ball, she’d thought he’d looked like Hades.

God of the underworld.

God of the dead.

She had no reason to change her opinion now.

Then he gasped, those frozen crystal eyes opened, and he glared at her. “You idiot woman. I’m trying to save you.”


The Giveaway:

Win 1 of 10 print copies of Duke of Desire!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review: The Sea King by C.L. Wilson


The Sea King by C.L. Wilson
Book Two of the Weathermages of Mystral series
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter King comes a breathtaking new tale of love and adventure set in the mystical land of Mystral...

He wasn't supposed to choose her...

Seafaring prince Dilys Merimydion has been invited to court the three magical princesses of Summerlea. To eradicate the pirates threatening Calberna and to secure the power of the Sea Throne, Dilys vows to return home with a fierce warrior-queen as his bride. But politics has nothing to do with unexpected temptation.

She didn't dare wed him...

A weathermage like her sisters, Gabriella Coruscate's gentleness exemplifies the qualities of her season name, Summer. Yet her quiet poise conceals dangerous powers she cannot begin to wield. Better to live without excitement, she reasons, than risk her heart and lose control— until an irresistible Sealord jolts her awake with a thunderclap of raw desire.

Until evil threatens everything they hold dear...

When pirates kidnap Summer and her sisters, Dilys is in a desperate quest to save the woman he loves. Only by combining his command of the seas with the unleashed fury of Summer's formidable gifts can they defeat their brutal enemies and claim the most priceless victory of all: true love. 

What I Liked:

It is no secret that over three years ago, I fell in love with The Winter King and have been eagerly awaiting The Sea King ever since. Dilys Merimydion was one of my favorite secondary characters of The Winter King, even if he only appeared at the climax of the book. He played a very important role in the survival of Wynter and Khamsin, and that is how he ended up in Konumarr, courting the Seasons (sisters of Khamsin). Even though I still loved The Winter King more, The Sea King was well worth the wait. 

Princess Summer Coruscate has always been regarded as the timid Season of Summerlea, whose weathergifts are not so powerful. But the truth is, she has spent her entire lifetime suppressing her power, because it is too powerful. To protect everyone she loves, she makes sure that she always appears calm and serene... and significantly less powerful than her sisters. But this seems to change when Dilys Merimydion, notorious Sealord and Prince of Calberna, comes to Konumarr to court the seasons and hopefully take one back to Calberna as his bride. He is powerful, potently male, and enticing, and he doesn't seem to drawn to Autumn and Spring like he is to Summer. It is hard not to fall in love with him. Summer doesn't want to marry anyone, but she knows in her heart that Dilys is a good man. When disaster strikes and leaves everyone in an uproar, Dilys and Summer's growing bond will be tested as they fight for their lives, and for each other.

I knew I would love Dilys, given how much I adored him in The Winter King, but I don't think I was prepared for how much I would love him. He is wickedly charming and enticing, with alpha male qualities that are attractive and not overbearing. He is sweet and considerate, and like all Calbernans, he is solely interested in the happiness and satisfaction of his future mate. Calbernans treasure their women (Calberna is of a queendom, not a kingdom), and Dilys is no exception. He is a notorious captain, Sealord, hunter, victor, prince, leader, and he is appealing in so many ways. Dilys is confident yet humble, charming yet sweet, persistent yet considerate. He is easily a favorite romance hero of mine. He is imperfectly perfect, just the way I like it.

Summer is so different from Khamsin. She isn't outwardly temperamental and fierce. Rather, she likes to appear calm and timid and a little docile. She is gentle and sweet, but truly, the power that lies within her is untamed and wild. She is so afraid of losing control, so she tries to appear meek and unassuming. Summer doesn't embrace her power at first, and she definitely doesn't see her self-worth. But with Dilys chipping away at her defenses and treating her like a queen, she begins to accept her power, and accept him. Summer is so reluctant to get to know him, and then to marry him, but she has her reasons. It was wonderful to see her stand up and embrace who she was, and this was in no small part due to Dilys Merimydion.

The romance is very slow-burn. In The Winter King, the romance is elemental and powerful and full of chemistry. The romance between Dilys and Gabriella (Summer) is chemistry-filled and powerful too, but it takes some time before Dilys and Gabriella actually do anything (mostly because Gabriella tries to avoid Dilys at all costs - he awakens something in her that she is afraid of, but begins to accept and love). Dilys falls for Gabriella, and while Gabriella tries to deny her feelings, she falls for him too. It's such a slow-burn romance with a lot of suppressed lust (at least on Gabriella's part).

To me, The Winter King was steamier, but this book was very hot as well. There was probably less sexy times because of Gabriella's skittishness, but the scenes that were present were pretty hot. Their dynamic was on fire, with the clashes of intense power surrounding them. Both of them are extremely powerful and stubborn, so it makes for good chemistry.

Like the previous book, this one is a long one, for an adult romance novel. A lot happens in this book, besides Dilys trying to court the sisters, and then turning his efforts solely to Summer. I was so glad to see that the other two sisters were never interested in Dilys as more than a friend (though they definitely ogled him more than a friend might). I kept hoping that there would be no love triangle or cattiness between the sisters or anything like that. Spring and Autumn knew that Summer was avoiding Dilys purposefully, and they figured out pretty quickly that it wasn't because Summer didn't want him. I loved how supportive the sisters were of one another. I love that the whole courting-the-three-Seasons thing wasn't a big issue, and he stopped courting all three of them fairly early on.

At least half of the book is spent in Konumarr, with Dilys trying to woo Gabriella. The lady definitely doth protest too much - quite frankly, her numerous rejections of him made me sad. But it also made me smile because Dilys was so persistent and yet respectful of Gabriella's boundaries. That is how you woo a hesitant lady! Gabriella had her reasons, but Dilys wasn't giving up.

I love the world that Wilson has created. Full of magic, myths, legends, lore, bonds, fantastical creatures, attractive men, tough ladies... this book is a romance novel, but it is so much more. The fantasy world is so incredible and I feel like this book would appeal to readers that aren't romance readers, because of the rich world-building. 

The climax of this book doesn't even really have to do with the romance! Of course, the romance is central, but the climax of the book deals with a threat to Calbernans and the princesses of Summerlea. My heart broke in a million pieces when the climax came, because of what Gabriella and her sisters had to endure. I was so surprised to see such in a romance novel, because it was heartbreaking (especially with Gabriella's account). But Wilson handled that heartbreaking, infuriating part of the story very well. 

The book ends extremely well, in true happily ever after form. Dilys and Gabriella get a lovely ending that is more of a beginning than anything else. I love the decisions that Gabriella makes, involving Dilys. I know that sounds vague but I am so wonderfully happy with some of the political changes she made. The mark of a strong woman, in my opinion - she recognized her strength and the strength of her mate, and she put him on the same level (and not beneath her). You'll see what I mean. I have so much respect for Gabriella because she is quietly strong, intense in her gentleness, and a true queen that raises up her king. I loved this.

Also, fun fact - there are many Wynter/Khamsin appearances in this book! There are even scenes written exclusively from their POV (short ones at the ends of chapters, that sort of thing). They are the cutest! Khamsin is getting closer to her due date but that doesn't stop her and Wynter from being so adorable and throwing some serious heat. I love them!

I loved The Winter King and this book did not disappoint at all. I'm glad Wilson took her time with this book, because it was truly a masterpiece. 

What I Did Not Like:

I definitely thought Gabriella did a little too much protesting when it came to Dilys and his courtship of her. I understood her reasons for not wanting to get close to anyone, but I felt like this line of thought and plot went on for too long. 

I also wanted more sexy times! But this is related to what I just talked about, above.

Also, That Thing that broke my heart. It is well-written but so cruel/heartbreaking. (Well there are two things.)

Would I Recommend It:

Romance fans, don't miss this series. I have to especially recommend the first book (The Winter King), but the author definitely lived up to expectations with this book. It is very different and very good. Steamy and sweet slow-burn romance, amazing world-building, great storytelling - give The Sea King a shot. It takes a bit to get into the story, but it is a lovely story.

Rating:

4 stars. I put off reading this book because I was scared - it is my most anticipated adult romance read of 2017. But I had nothing to be afraid of. Wilson wrote a story as beautiful as the cover. I will be anxiously awaiting the publication of the next books! Especially since I want updates on Wynter and Khamsin's babies.


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Science in Fiction (#33): The Knowing by Sharon Cameron


Welcome to this month's Science in Fiction feature! Science in Fiction is a meme I created to showcase the wonderful aspects of science in Young Adult fiction novels. For more information and previous feature, check out the "Science in Fiction" tag!

This month, I'm featuring The Knowing by Sharon Cameron!



The Knowing is the companion sequel to The Forgetting, which is one of my favorite YA books of all time. I did a Science in Fiction post on The Forgetting, featuring the topic of space colonization. In the series, on this planet, there is something that causes Forgetting. It is in The Forgetting that Nadia and Grey discover that the Forgetting is something brought on by trees that release a chemical into the air. Weird, right? Imagine if we had those trees on Earth.

Today, I'm going to talk about pollutants in the air!

Note the difference in the ideas though. In The Forgetting and The Knowing, trees are releasing a chemical that makes people Forget, if they are exposed to the chemical. In The Knowing, people live underground for this reason. What I want to talk about is basically air pollution, and most of that air pollution is caused by humans.

There are six criteria air pollutants, as determined by the EPA. There are standards set for each air pollutant (National Ambient Air Quality Standards). In true Alyssa fashion, I have made a table to summarize the pollutants!

Air Pollutant
 Description
Ozone
- Formed through a chemical reaction from emissions from industrial facilities, vehicles, etc.
- Ground-level ozone is harmful (not stratospheric)
- Can cause respiratory issues (cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, etc.)
- Long-terms exposure can lead to asthma
Particulate matter
- Formed via man-made sources such as industrial processes
- Can be small enough to be inhaled, trapped in lungs
- Can cause respiratory and cardiovascular disease
Carbon Monoxide
- Produced from vehicles and non-road mobile sources
- Binds and depletes hemoglobin
- Causes decrease in supply of oxygen to tissues and organs
- Reduced oxygen to the heart; chest pain
 Lead
- Produced by the combustion of leaded gasoline and industrial sources
- Accumulation of lead in blood stream can cause damage to the central nervous system
- Can lead to lower IQ and behavioral problems
 Sulfur Dioxide
- Formed primarily via fossil fuel combustion 
- Can cause respiratory issues (cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, etc.)
- People with asthma at higher risk of suffering from the effects 
Nitrogen Dioxide
- Emitted by vehicles
- Can cause respiratory issues
 Catastrophic damage will occur
Sources: EPA, EPA.

Since the 1970s (when the NAAQS were set up by the EPA), the levels of each of these pollutants have gone way down. You can visually see the trends HERE. This means that the USA has been making progress in lower the production and emission of these pollutants and how long they stay in the atmosphere. However, these pollutants are very abundant and there is still a lot of work to be done, especially in the case of carbon monoxide.

An interesting tool that I came across is the Air Quality Index. You can type in your zip code (USA only, I believe), and the site will tell you how the air quality conditions are, for that zip code. For example, where I live, the conditions are "Good", at a value of 33. However, in Pittsburgh, the conditions are "Moderate", at a value of 69. In Los Angeles, the conditions are "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups", at a value of 119.

I don't think there are chemicals in the air like the chemicals from the trees in The Forgetting/The Knowing, but there are dangerous pollutants out there that affect people every day. The air quality in the US has improved in the last fifty years, but it's still not great. Air quality is something that most people might not think about, but really should.

Readers, tell me: using the AQI tool, what is your town's/city's rating? Is air quality something you think about? (I imagine Californians would have some interesting answers, as the top five cities in the US with the worst air quality are all in California!)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (#251)


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!


So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, October 8th to Saturday, October 14th?


(all links to Goodreads are provided!)


In the mail:

I'm going to need to double-check, but I don't think I received anything bookish in the mail this week! A bummer! Probably a blessing in disguise though. 


From NetGalley:



Thank you, Forever! I can't believe this series is coming to an end. I love it so much!


From Edelweiss:



Thank you, Avon! I loved the previous books in this series. Holiday novella for the win!


Reviews from this week:

    
(Click on the covers to go to my reviews!)


Favorite Instagram post from this week:



Check out my Twitter giveaway:


My work week was really busy and I worked a lot of overtime this week. I like being busy but I feel like I'm always tired. On the reading side of things, I'm hoping to drag myself out of my YA reading slump! I've never really been in a reading slump so I'm a little baffled. Hence why I've been reading a lot more adult romance than usual - it's all I seem to be able to read! But it's okay. I'm looking forward to a new week!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Review: Forbidden by Sierra Kincade


Forbidden by Sierra Kincade
Book Three of the Deep Connection series
Publisher: Intermix
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

The author of Forsaken and Forbidden returns with a new Deep Connection novel—a tantalizing story about a woman desperate to hide the truth… 

Elaina Talent is the black sheep of the family, closer to her criminal father than either of her siblings. It goes without saying that she’ll take over the Talent family’s many lucrative businesses—legal and illegal—now that her father is incarcerated. But when events come to a head with an Irish drug dealer based in Las Vegas, Elaina is forced to flee, wounded and with a dangerous secret to keep safe. 

Garett Sharp fell hard and fast for Marsella Talent. The ex-army medic is still licking his wounds over Marsella’s rejection when her sister, Elaina, shows up in need of help in Ambrose, Ohio. Out of loyalty to Marsi, Garett nurses Elaina back to health, but remains suspicious of her intent. However, the more time they spend together, the less he can deny the sparks igniting between them. But exploring the passion they feel may lead to an explosion neither can handle.  

What I Liked:

This is the first book I've read by Sierra Kincade (though I've read several of her YA books - written under a different name). I actually had been reading her YA books for years and hadn't known that she wrote adult romance. Being the adult romance fan that I am, I knew I had to try something be her. I got a digital galley invite of this book from the publisher and decided that that was a sign. I'm a little early in posting my review, but I couldn't not share my excitement for this book!

This is the third book in the Deep Connection series. First we were introduced to Jake and Marsella, and then Cole and Kenzie. This third book follows Garett and Elaina. Elaina is Marsella and Cole's sister, and Garett is Kenzie's brother. Years ago, Garett nursed Marsella backed to health after she got into a car accident - and he was rejected by her. Years later, Elaina stumbles into Garett's care. She is running from something, and Garett isn't going to stand by and watch her suffer. He helps her get better, but he can't not be a little suspicious. After so long, she has run to her family - but why? Is she bringing trouble with her? And what is she and Garett going to do about their growing feelings for each other?

I wasn't sure about this book at first, because of the fact that Garett had been in love with Marsella. But this isn't an issue in this book. Marsella is happily in love with Jake, as is obvious by book one (Forsaken). Garett is waaaaaaay over Marsella and honestly that whole thing is barely mentioned (and for the better). It comes up in the story, but not as a "big thing". Garett has no residual feelings for Marsella, and Marsella was never interested in him in the first place.

On paper, Elaina seems like someone who would be difficult to like. She took over her father's business in dealing drugs. She herself did drugs, she's a stripper, and she's a rat - she is an informant for the cops, while she also deals with the drug dealers and other kingpins. Elaina is tired of it all, and doesn't want that lifestyle. But she doesn't want to bring danger to her family. When she is badly hurt and suffering from a gunshot wound, she has nowhere else to turn. But she runs into Garett Sharp before she can find her sister.

Garett knew who Elaina was as soon as he saw her, but even before he recognized her, he was ready to help her. Garett is a very good guy, always willing to help others, without questioning anything. He is an act-now-ask-questions-later kind of guy. He's selfless and thoughtful and introspective. And yet, he has a lot of intensity and passion simmering beneath the surface. I adored Garett, because he's so darn nice, but also protective and loyal. Elaina is suspicious of his intentions at first, because to her, there is no way a guy is that nice, especially to her. 

The romance is super hot! After Elaina starts to heal, things start to heat up between these two. I love the dynamic between them. Garett is kind and patient, and Elaina... Elaina needs that patience from him. She may have been a stripper but she never let men touch her, because of some things in her past. Having Garett touch her is a little scary at first, but then it's so good for her. She needs him physically and emotionally, just as he needs her in the same ways. This book was incredibly hot, with so many fiery scenes that lit up the pages. These two have great chemistry!

Garett has his own demons to confront, with his past as a medic in the military. Having gone to Afghanistan four times, and having seen terrible things as a medic, Garett suffers from PTSD. He needs that connection with Elaina and he never knew it. 

Elaina's situation with Frank Lynch (one of the bed guys involved in her father's business) and the cops is handled in the last quarter of the book. The first three quarters deal more with Garett and Elaina's relationship. And then it is time for Elaina to make a decision.

I really enjoyed this book! It is sexy, sweet, and action-packed, and it is just as good as I expected it to be. Also a bonus - there is very little drama in this book. Sometimes adult romance novels are filled with drama (especially towards the climax), but that wasn't the case with this book. This book was a pleasure to read!

What I Did Not Like:

I can't think of anything specific that I didn't like! 

Would I Recommend It:

Fans of this series will not be disappointed! This book was an excellent romance novel, with sexy, sexy times, a sweet yet intense hero, a fierce and determined heroine, and a lot of family bonding/family themes. Family is so important in this book, as is emotional healing. There is a lot going in this book, and it is put together really nicely. Any fan of hot adult contemporary romance would enjoy this book!

Rating:

4 stars. I almost regret not starting from the beginning! But I loved Garett and Elaina's story. They are lovely together - quiet and intense + prickly and defensive. I want my own Garett!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Knowing by Sharon Cameron


Hello, fellow bookworms! Welcome to the blog tour for The Knowing by Sharon Cameron. As you may know, I recently read this companion sequel and LOVED it. If you're a fan of YA science fiction, this duology is not one to be missed!


My Reviews:



My Swoon Thursday posts:



About the Book:


The Knowing by Sharon Cameron
Book Two of The Forgetting series
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: October 10, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

Samara doesn't forget. And she isn't the only one. Safe underground in the city of New Canaan, she lives in a privileged world free from the Forgetting. Yet she wonders if she really is free, with the memories that plague her and secrets that surround her. Samara is determined to unearth the answers, even if she must escape to the old, cursed city of Canaan to find them.

Someone else is on their way to Canaan too . . . a spaceship from Earth is heading toward the planet, like a figment of the city's forgotten past. Beck is traveling with his parents, researchers tasked with finding the abandoned settlement effort. When Beck is stranded without communication, he will find more in Canaan than he was ever trained for. What will happen when worlds and memories, beliefs -- and truths -- collide?



Check out The Forgetting:

(Click on the cover for more information!)


About the Author:


Sharon Cameron was awarded the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding. When not writing Sharon can be found thumbing dusty tomes, shooting her longbow, or indulging in her lifelong search for secret passages. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.



The Excerpt:

Beckett

I turn the book over in my hand. This is hand sewn, and the paper is coarse, also handmade, but different from other ancient paper I've felt. Mostly because it hasn't had time to become as ancient as I'm used to.

I think what I'm holding is answers.

Samara goes to the other empty bed and lies on it with her back to me, hair cascading down to the floor. I don't know what to make of her right now. She set my ankle, but this is at least twice she's come close to getting me killed. She lied to me, ran from me, has barely tolerated me since, and I would've sworn when we were under the floor, if I'd kissed her then, she would have let me. I wanted to. I couldn't help it. And now she's handed me a gift, and we're back to no eye contact.

I sit in the corner with the rounded wall, my back to the warm clay, run a dirty hand over the stained cover. When I open to the first page, I say, "You wrote this?"

"Yes."

"Why do you want me to read it?"

"Because I want you to understand."

Well, that makes two of us. 

A lamp hangs from the ceiling, flickering in a draft, and I forget that its light is dim, that I'm hungry and tired, or that this floor is cold. The words are precise, some in ink, some in a kind of soft black that reminds me of charcoal, but what I don't see are mistakes. Nothing crossed out. Nothing rewritten. Samara thought about what she wanted to say in here, and a lot of it is personal. Really personal. And I'm looking through her words into a world where the safety valves of the brain have been taken away. Where everything you do or say is so permanent that it's paralyzing. Where good memories are the painkiller that can't kill you. Where bad memories can make you not want to live. How did they get this way?

Some things are familiar. Like this bit of social injustice I'm sitting in right now. A copy-and-paste from the history files of Earth. And the stories about Earth and the first colonists - they're like so much I've read, fables spun to explain the facts, but always with the truth hidden somewhere inside. But which is the truth, and which are the lies? I can't tell yet. But I think it has to do with the Forgetting, the sickness Samara thinks of as a cure. It can't be a cure. Not like that. Not by losing what you are.

I turn the last page and shut the book. I don't know how long I've been sitting here, but it's been a long time. If I was on the ship right now, or in a classroom in Texas, what I just read would have been considered a document of incredible importance. A firsthand account of a newly discovered culture. Dad and I could have debated the evolution and ethics of New Canaan for hours. But this is real, not some abstract concept. And people are living it and dying it. Right now.

This is Samara.


The Giveaway:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of The Knowing. US Only.



Follow the Tour:

Week One:
10/9/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Interview
10/10/2017- Quite the Novel Idea- Review
10/11/2017- Feed Your Fiction Addiction- Review
10/12/2017- The Eater of Books!- Excerpt
10/13/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Excerpt

Week Two:
10/16/2017- Betwixt the Pages- Review
10/17/2017- YA Books Central- Excerpt
10/18/2017- The Book Nut- Review
10/19/2017- Here's to Happy Endings- Review
10/20/2017- YA and Wine- Guest Post

Swoon Thursday (#246): Flashtide by Jenny Moyer


- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting


This week, my swoon is from Flashtide by Jenny Moyer!


I catch his face between my hands and guide his mouth back to mine. He smiles against my lips, and his hands leave me long enough to pull something from his pocket. I recognize the cracking sound from a light stick just before the glow illuminates my prison. He tosses it onto my cot and draws me back into his arms.

I unfasten the buckles at his neck and waist, and our hands bump as we work his coat off. His Prime's chain hits the floor with a clank. He kisses my neck, and I pull his shirt free, throwing it aside along with everything else that marks him as a Delver. His mouth skims along my collarbones, and my head tips back.

- ARC, pages 264-265



I loved Flashfall and I'm enjoying Flashtide! I have to say, I'm a little anxious about the story (from where I am at right now), but I think it will end well. I adore Dram and Orion! My review of this book will be posted soon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (#250): Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West


"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, I'm featuring:


Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West 
Publisher: Point
Publication Date: May 29, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads):

Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend ... until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Kasie West's adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere.



You can probably tell that I love Kasie West's books! I'm excited for a new one. And the one coming before it too! (Love, Life, and the List)