Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: This Is Where the World Ends

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, where we get to showcase upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. 

This week I am waiting on...
This Is Where the World Ends\
Author: Amy Zhang
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary 

Synopsis via Goodreads: 
The heart-wrenching new novel about best friends on a collision course with the real world, from the author of Falling into Place.

Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivian moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship, as long as no one finds out about it.

But when Janie is date-raped by the most popular guy in school—a guy she’s had a crush on for years—she finds herself ostracized by all the people she thought were her friends. Now only Micah seems to believe she’s telling the truth. But when even Micah expresses doubt about whether or not she was “asking for it,” it leads to disastrous consequences, and Janie Vivian goes missing.

Using a nonlinear writing style and dual narrators, Amy Zhang’s astonishing second novel masterfully reveals the circumstances surrounding Janie’s disappearance.

COMING MARCH 22nd 2016

I was a huge fan of Amy Zhang's debut Falling Into Place. I met Amy back in 2014 and was able to get my copy of Falling Into Place signed. She talked about how she was in the middle of writing her next book but could not give any details. I have wanted this book since that very moment. After over a year of waiting I am ready to finally get my hands on it!

What upcoming book release are you anticipating?
Tell me in the comments below! 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Cover Reveal: My Senior Year of Awesome


My Senior Year of Awesome
Jennifer DiGiovanni
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: March 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
A girl desperately tries to avoid the boy she was voted most likely to marry by her senior classmates. To prove senior superlative votes are meaningless, she and her best friend create their own list of awesome high school achievements to be completed by graduation.





Author Bio:
Jennifer is a freelance writer and YA author. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, working on home design projects, or trying to meet the daily goals on her Fitbit. My Senior Year of Awesome is her first novel.

Hosted by:
ButtonXBT1

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Sing Sweet Sparrow



Sing Sweet Sparrow
Angela J. Townsend
Publication date: January 12th 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult

With the odd disappearance of her parents, Gussie Gibson has lived her entire life with her granny on a peaceful pecan orchard, owned by the meanest man in all of Georgia—Mr. J.P. Combs. Granny teaches Gussie many valuable life lessons as a black woman growing up in the still-segregated south. Mr. Combs is an evil underhanded banker who takes liberties beyondhis privilege. When Granny dies, Combs informs Gussie she owes him back rent—but he wants much more than money for payment—and more than Gussie can live with.
After defending herself against his sexual advances, Gussie flees to escape certain vigilante justice when she meets a charming, handsome stranger, Sam Johnson, who is just returning from World War II.
Gussie and Sam’s friendship is short-lived when Mr. Combs hunts her down and drags her back to Green Ridge, driven by his craving for revenge and a grudge too deep to comprehend. Gussie fights to return to Sam and his love, but it seems, no matter where she runs, danger follows close on her heels, in the troubled South where cruelty disfigures the human spirit and love is a dim beacon of hope.
EXCERPT:
1945
No one on this earth deserves to die more than Mister J.P. Combs.
Mister Combs is the vice president of the Green Ridge Union Bank, and the nastiest man in all of Georgia. He robs from the old, the poor, the sick, and the weak. Granny and I been working for the Combs family for as long as I can remember. Granny taught me how to wash their silver and fancy china so it comes out shiny, how to iron the tablecloths, and how to fold the napkins just how Missus Combs likes it done.
Missus is a nice woman. She treats Granny and me right. On Sunday she takes her coffee into the kitchen to visit with us after church. But not Mister. He hates colored folks. He says we don’t know our place.
Mister never takes his eyes off of me. It’s like he’s making sure I don’t stop to take an extra breath while I’m working, so he’s getting his money’s worth. Granny and I tend the Combs’ house for just sixty-nine cents an hour. That’s a lot less than most maids. The trouble is that Granny is old, tired and slow. Her feet don’t work so good no more. We got to take what work we can get.
Mister comes home early every Friday. He likes to lean against the stove while he peels an apple with a buck knife. He chews the pieces and leers at me while I polish thesilver. I’d love to stuff that apple in his mouth and stick him in the stove. I gotta learn to control my temper, sometimes it’s hard, especially when Mister’s at me. Don’t know from one day to the next what’s gonna happen. Somedays I wish I could explode and blow up the whole world.
Granny knows I got a bad temper. It worries her. She takes me into Mister’s parlor and stares at me with her brow all crinkled up. “Gussie child, you keep outta Mister’s way,” she whispers. “I don’t like how he looks at you.” Granny shakes her head in disgust. “You’re only sixteen years old. Don’t you let him get close. You stay by me—you hear?”
I can’t look at Granny. My cheeks burn with shame.
Granny takes hold of my hands. “You listening to me, child?”
I nod. She leans in real close, her bottom lip quivers in a two-tone brown. I stare at the wrinkles around her mouth, and at her bottom row of teeth all worn down. I worry about how much longer she’ll live. I don’t want her to leave me. “I see the way he’s beenlooking at you,” Granny says. “Like you the hottest thing on the lunch menu.” Granny lifts my chin so that our eyes meet. “If he comes round, and you alone—you tell him yougot chores to do.” Granny squeezes my hands tighter. “His heart ain’t nothing but a thumpin’ gizzard. He’ll hurt you if he has a chance. You stay away from him. You understand me, child?”
I nod again. “Yes, Ma’am.”
The lines around Granny’s eyes soften. She cradles my head in her knobby hands. “You the only thing I got in this world, Gussie. I done lost my boy. I don’t plan on losing you too.”
My lips tremble. “I know Granny, I’ll be careful.” I cross my heart. “I promise.”
She hugs me round the waist, but I don’t hug her back too hard. She’s so frail, I worry that she’ll break. I press my face into her chest. Her heart pounds against my ear and I feel her shaking. All this worry isn’t good for her old body. I don’t want to let go of her. I bury my head into her shirt collar. She smells like shea butter and sweet ginger. Granny runs her hand over my head. Her fingers untangle the curls in my hair, the onesshe makes with the pressing comb heated on the stove every morning. Granny pulls away from me and sits down. She never sits at Mister’s house. She looks so tired.
“Granny, you okay?”
She closes her eyes for a moment, placing a hand on her chest. “Take me home, child.”
I help her up, and hold tight to her thin hand as she walks unsteady beside me. My heart twists over Granny working so hard at her age. How she worries over me.
We head outside and make our way down the path through the pecan grove. The path is uneven and it’s hard for Granny to walk. Her toes are twisted like tree roots with arthritis. I wish I could carry her home so her feet don’t have to hurt. She holds onto my arm as I help her up the front steps of the shack we rent from Mister.
We go inside but Granny won’t rest. She puts supper on the stove, and waves me away when I try to help. She lowers herself onto her rocking chair while the beans boil on the back burner. Granny releases a heavy sigh, closes her eyes and stops rocking. I touch her hand and she don’t move. I can’t breathe. My soul dissolves into darkness. I know she’s gone but I can’t face it. I run to Mister’s house. Missus lets me use their telephone and I call for help.
Half an hour later, Granny’s church ladies come and take her away while my heart rips into pieces. I sit in the dark staring at her empty chair, at her shoes, at the knitting needles sticking in the ball of yarn. I close my eyes willing it all to be gone, for the day tostart over with Granny alive. I wish life could be like a chalk board where you can erase the bad parts and start over. Hours pass with nothing but the ticking of the clock. I look out the window surprised to see the world still going on even though Granny isn’t.
After the funeral, I lay up in the bed and pray that God kills me so I can be with my Granny—the only mother I’ve ever known—the only person I ever loved. I don’t sleep. I don’t eat. I don’t go to work. I just don’t care about living anymore. When Granny died, something came apart and broke inside me. Fell off a shelf and shattered to the floor. And I just can’t put all the pieces back together.
A week passes and Mister comes looking for me. He’s mad that I haven’t been to work. He yells his fool head off, saying I gotta pay the rent or get out. I don’t got no money and nowhere to go. I don’t know why God don’t come down and take me to Granny. What kind of a life do I have to look forward to anyhow. I don’t want to be stuck in some white man’s kitchen the rest of my life.
Mister comes back the next day, but I already got my bags packed. He looks at me and frowns. “Where you think you’re going?”
I just shrug.
“You come on home with me. You can have a room in exchange for looking after the house. You got that, girl?”
I nod my head. I don’t know what else to do.
I don’t got no choice.
A lonesome sparrow hatches inside of me, flies out my mouth, and pulls out my insides as it leaves, taking all my happiness with it.
*****
Missus shows me to my room. Mister follows and stands in the hallway, watching. Missus hands me a washrag and towel, shows me where to put my things, and then pulls back my bed sheets.
“I’m so sorry about your Granny. She was a good woman and I‘ll miss her,” Missus says. “Try to get some sleep, child.”
She closes the door behind her, but I hear Mister breathing through the thin wood. I get undressed and slip my nightgown on as quickly as I can, wash my face and jump into bed, hoping he’ll go away. As I close my eyes I see Granny, smiling at me. Tears fillmy eyes and roll down the sides of my face into my ears.
Later that night, the feeling of being watched startles me awake. In the moonlight, Mister stands in the doorway. Clamping my eyes tight, I try to shut him out. The wood floor groans as he creeps closer. The smell of whiskey and cheap cologne fill the room. His cigar breath comes in rapid, short bursts, followed by a wheezing rattle. My heart jumps like a cricket and blood pulses in my ears. The bed shifts under Mister’s heavy frame. I lay still as death, petrified, pretending to be asleep.
Mister leans over me, dripping sweat from his forehead onto my face. I fight to keep my eyes closed. I don’t want to look at him. He flips back the thin sheet. The bedspringssqueak like a flock of birds.
“J. P., are you coming to bed?” Missus yells.
Mister lets out a grunt and curses under his breath. The bed squeaks again as he moves away. The sounds of his heavy footsteps echo across the floor and the smell of whiskey grows fainter. Springing from the covers, I close the door, lock it and slip on myclothes. I climb back into bed, pull the blankets up under my chin and try to erase what just happened from my mind. I stare at the moonlit ceiling, praying that God will keep me safe or take me to heaven so I can be with Granny.
A few hours later, the grandfather clock in the hallway strikes midnight, waking me up. Heavy footsteps shuffle outside my door again. The doorknob moves slowly from left to right then rattles fast against the lock.
I don’t sleep the rest of the night.
The next day Mister slinks up behind me in the kitchen, grabs my shoulders and yanks me backward until his big gut presses against my backside. My legs tremble when his hot breath brushes my ear. “I can get into that room anytime I like, so you better be ready” he growls. His rough tongue flicks at the base of my neck. I swing my elbows back hard and pull away. I return to my chores, paying him no mind at all. I may be his house girl, but he don’t own me. I won’t give in without a fight.


Author Bio:
Angela is a multi-published, award-winning author of young adult and middle grade books. She has a motion picture based on her award-winning novel, The Forlorned, coming out soon, and a second motion picture project in production for River of Bones.




Hosted by:
ButtonXBT1

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Rebel of the Sands

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, where we get to showcase upcoming book releases we are eagerly anticipating! 

This Wednesday I am waiting on...
Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, #1)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton 
Publisher: Penguin 
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Synopsis via Goodreads: 
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from. 

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

COMING MARCH 8th 2016

I immediately added this to my TBR months ago when I saw that beautiful cover and intriguing synopsis. Recently, I have heard amazing things about this book from everybody who has read it. It is making me even more eager to get my hands on it!

What books are you waiting on this week?
Tell me in the comments below! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

January Favorites + February 2016 TBR

January Favorites 

January started off to be a slow reading month but I ended up finishing 6 books. All of them ended up being 4 or 5 star books. I'd consider that a good reading month overall. 

My absolute favorite book of the month was...
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart was a phenomenal read. The family relationships were great. I loved how Jenn Bennett wrote the situations going on in each family. The romance was beyond adorable and most importantly the romance and relationship between Bex and Jack was real. The whole book was very real and it was a real showstopper in my opinion. You can check out my full review here.

My other 5 star read this month was...
The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns series started off slow for me but each book got better and better. The Bitter Kingdom was the best book in the series. By the end I was very invested in the story, was caught up in the world, and loved the characters. 

February TBR

Now onto what I plan to read in February! After only reading 6 books last month I am motivated to read a lot more this month!
These are the books that I am planning on reading...
End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3)The Tea Rose (The Tea Rose, #1)Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)Bloodfever (Fever, #2)Everything She Forgot
Passenger (Passenger, #1)UnderwaterThe Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1)Persuasion (The Heirs of Watson Island, #2)Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes, #2)I Crawl Through ItBlood and Salt (Blood and Salt, #1)See How They Run (Embassy Row, #2)

What was your favorite book you read last month? 
What are you planning to read in February?
Tell me in the comments below! 

Book Blitz + Giveaway: In The After



In the After 
Elisa Dane
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Sadie Reynolds is a liar with secrets. At school, she’s part of the popular crowd known as AE, despite being broken inside. She hides it well. She has to. The slightest bit of imperfection will land her in the same shoes as her Geeky neighbor named Ian.
Ian and his only friend are the object of Sadie’s friends’ ridicule, ire, and entertainment. The AE rule the school with intimidation and retribution against anyone who would dare question their supremacy.
Sadie steers clear of most of it, terrified someone will find out her secret. She isn’t the least bit perfect. In fact, she suffers from PTSD stemming from the murder of her mother right before her eyes when she was a child. She can barely cope from day-to-day, hiding her truth and trying to fit in. But she knows it’s only a matter of time.
Hayden is a “Waverly,” a kid with the misfortune of living in the small farming town of Waverly that borders the very affluent Lexington Parrish. The AE doesn’t mix with “Waverlies.” Ever.
Desperate to get away from her oppressive friends, Sadie crashes into Hayden at a bonfire and the attraction that sparks between them is nothing short of electric. But Hayden’s an outsider and when things heat up, Sadie will be forced to choose between her friends and her new boyfriend.
Only Queen Bee Britt isn’t having it. She will not allow Sadie to cross her. Sadie caneither do what Britt wants her to do or she will reveal Sadie for the PTSD freak that she is.
Sadie does some soul searching about who she is and who she wants to be. She can’t live her life like this. Not any more. One fateful night will help her see how much things have to change.
She’s determined to no longer allow the AE to rule her life. She will be strong, stand up for Ian and love who she wants in Hayden. Determined and invigorated, Sadie goes to school feeling hopeful for the first time in forever.
But, the unthinkable happens.
Shooters attack dozens of students before the two eventually take their own lives, leaving the school a decimated shadow of what it once was.
Suddenly who lives where, wears what or loves whom seems like the least of Lexington Parish’s problems as everyone and everything changes forever in the after.
IN THE AFTER by Elisa Dane is a hard-hitting and heart-warming story of tragedy, love, loss and redemption. It is recommended for readers 14+.
EXCERPT:
“No! Stop it! Don’t hurt her. Mom! Mommy!”
I thrashed awake, my throat on fire, my skin cold and soaked with sweat along with my pajamas and sheets. That damn, fucking night. That final image of my mom bleeding out across our hardwood floor before the monster tied me up and locked me inthe closet—it wouldn’t disappear. Burned into every deep, dark crevice of my mind, it haunted me daily, and replayed itself on an endless loop every night while I slept.
The three night lights dousing my room with a soft, warm glow, failed to provide the sense of safety and comfort they normally did and I hugged my blanket to my chest in a vain attempt to chase the chill away. My room wasn’t cold. The chill lay deep inside me in the place the darkness had taken up residence. Dying of thirst, I reached for the glassof water sitting on my nightstand.
“Sadie!”
My body seized, my arms flew up with a scream, and water rained down over everything within a five-foot radius as the glass tumbled through the air. It shattered upon impact with the wood floor. Mocha went crazy. The fur at the nape of her neck standing on end as she paced back and forth at the end of my bed, growling and barking.
Barely able to control my limbs they were shaking so badly, I floundered around for my cell phone, which had gotten lost somewhere between my sheets.
“Sadie! Let me in.” The window shook each time the attacker rammed his fist against the glass and panic spiked, a high-pitched wail blowing past my lips as I ripped apart my bedding.
I found my phone buried beneath the blanket near my feet. Dizzy and hyperventilating, I fumbled with it, repeatedly stabbing the touchscreen in a vain attemptto unlock the damn thing.
“Come on! Come on, you stupid thing.” My heart felt like it was in my throat and my chest felt like it was going to explode any minute.
“Ginger! It’s me, Hayden.”
It felt like I’d been trapped under water and was finally able to surface and take a deep breath. The thick haze of fear slowly dissipated, the fog inside my head clearing enough for me to recognize his voice. “H-Hayden?”
Hot tears trickled down my cheeks as I stumbled out of bed and made my way over to my window. I grappled with the extra locks my dad had installed when we first moved in, unable to contain the loud sob that blew past my lips when the window finally slid open.
Hayden was in my room with his arms around me before I had a chance to draw breath. “I heard you screaming and I got scared.” His body stiffened and he pulled away, his gaze scanning the room. “Did you hear something? Is that why you were screaming?” He took a step toward my bedroom door, stopping when I caught his wrist.
“It’s okay, Hayden. No one’s here. I had a nightmare.”
He stared down at me with narrowed eyes, then closed the gap between us, drawing me into his arms again. His arms felt warm and strong, the space at the center of his chest where I laid my head as though it was made for me and me alone. As if on autopilot, his hand found its favorite spot on the side of my neck, his touch both soothing and electric as he peered down at me with concern. “Nightmare? You were screaming like someone was trying to murder you.”
I flinched.
His eyes grew wide for a millisecond, realization and understanding warring for dominance behind his eyes. Thankfully, the gentleness I craved in his deep blues returned as quickly as it had left. He swept me off my feet without warning and carefully placed me on my bed, sliding between the sheets right along beside me. I rolled onto my side, my body shuddering in relief when he pulled me against him and wrapped his arm around me. “Sleep, princess. You’re safe. I won’t let anyone hurt you.”
Safe. It was such a small word with such a big meaning. Lives either flourished or fell apart in search of it. I’d known the warmth of safety. Taken it for granted. Wasted thewarmth and comfort that came with it like a spoiled child. I also knew the festering terrorthat came with the absence of safety. I walked in its darkness. Choked and smothered beneath it nightly. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe I would truly feel safe again. But, for reasons I couldn’t explain, that’s exactly how I felt in Hayden’s arms. Completely safe.
And so very tired. Too tired to care about my dad’s warning about talking to Hayden and letting him in the house. My lids grew heavy and I was asleep within moments.

Author Bio:
ELISA DANE is a self-proclaimed book junkie. A lover of handbags, chocolate, and reality television, she's a proud mother to three All- Star cheerleaders. Writing is her absolute passion, and it's her mission to create stories that will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but help you find a new respect and interest in the sport of All-Star cheerleading.
Elisa is no stranger to the publishing world. She writes steamy paranormal romance under her real name, Lisa Sanchez. Her adult works include the Hanford Park series (Eve Of Samhain, Pleasures Untold, and Faythe Reclaimed), Obsessed (an erotic suspense), and a paranormal novella, Cursing Athena. Elisa lives in Northern California with her husband, three daughters, and a feisty Chihuahua who stubbornly believes she's human.

Hosted by:
ButtonXBT1

Monday, February 1, 2016

January 2016 Reading Wrap

Can you believe the first month of 2016 is already over? I cannot believe it. Sadly, 2016 kicked off to a slow reading start for me. I only read 6 books this past month. On the bright side I really enjoyed them all! I have quickly listed the books I read and the rating I gave them. You can click on the titles to learn more about them! 

Dark Tide (Waterfire Saga, #3)
(Waterfire Saga #3)
Jennifer Donnelly 
Disney-Hyperion 
Young Adult Fantasy 

The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)
(Fire and Thorns #3)
Rae Carson
Greenwillow Books
Young Adult Fantasy 
Darkfever (Fever, #1)
(Fever #1)
Karen Marie Moning
Dell
Adult Urban Fantasy

Girl at War
Sara Novic
Random House
Adult Historical Fiction

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
Jenn Bennett
Feiwel & Friends 
Young Adult Contemporary 
The Immortal Heights (The Elemental Trilogy, #3)
(The Elemental Trilogy #3)
Sherry Thomas
Balzer & Bray
Young Adult Fantasy 



What books did you read in January?
Tell me in the comments below!