Friday, May 31, 2013

Best of the Bunch ~ May 2013

Best of the Bunch is a monthly meme hosted by Always Lost in Stories on the last day of every month. The aim of this meme is to share the best book that we have read in that month and give it our Best of the Bunch award.




May Reads:


Apollyon (Covenant #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout ~ 4 Stars ~ My Review
Girl With Guitar (Kylie Ryan #1) by Caisey Quinn ~ 5 Stars ~ My Review
Spirit (Elemental #3) by Brigid Kemmerer ~ 5 Stars ~ My Review
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White ~ 4 Stars ~ My Review
Gretel by Vanessa Booke ~ 3 Stars
On Raven's Wings (Hell Bent/Heaven Sent #1) by Isobel Lucas ~ 2 Stars
First Frost (Mythos Academy #0.5) by Jennifer Estep ~ 3 Stars
The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass ~ 1 Star ~ My Review
Sacrifice (Fall For Me #0.5) by K.A. Last ~ 3 Stars
Blood and Snow (Blood and Snow #1) by RaShelle Workman ~ 3 Stars
The Runaway Queen (The Bane Chronicles #2) by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson ~ 5 Stars
Ethan (Brightest Kind of Darkness #0.5) by P.T. Michelle ~ 5 Stars
Mistaken by J.A. Howell ~ 4 Stars
PODs by Michelle Pickett ~ 3 Stars ~ My Review
The Harvesters by Ashley Hill ~ 4 Stars ~ Review to come
The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P. #1) by Eoin Colfer ~ 5 Stars ~ My Review


And the Best of the Bunch winner of May 2013 is...


~The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P. #1) by Eoin Colfer
Hardcover321 pages
Published April 11th 2013 by Puffin
Riley, a teen orphan boy living in Victorian London, has had the misfortune of being apprenticed to Albert Garrick, an illusionist who has fallen on difficult times and now uses his unique conjuring skills to gain access to victims' dwellings. On one such escapade, Garrick brings his reluctant apprentice along and urges him to commit his first killing. Riley is saved from having to commit the grisly act when the intended victim turns out to be a scientist from the future, part of the FBI's Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (WARP) Riley is unwittingly transported via wormhole to modern day London, followed closely by Garrick.

In modern London, Riley is helped by Chevron Savano, a seventeen-year-old FBI agent sent to London as punishment after a disastrous undercover, anti-terrorist operation in Los Angeles. Together Riley and Chevie must evade Garrick, who has been fundamentally altered by his trip through the wormhole. Garrick is now not only evil, but he also possesses all of the scientist's knowledge. He is determined to track Riley down and use the timekey in Chevie's possession to make his way back to Victorian London where he can literally change the world.




The month of May had ups and down with books but The Reluctant Assassin was without a doubt the best one! Eoin Colfer rocks! 
Honorable mentions go to: Girl With Guitar, Spirit and The Chaos of Stars. They were also amazing! <3

Random Acts of Kindness: May Wrap-up

Random Acts of Kindness is hosted by Book Soulmates
R.A.K. is not about receiving FREE books! It's about giving as well as receiving. It's about passing on the joy of reading and books with others.



Hi all!
Ah, May is already gone. I must say bookwise this was an nice month. Read a lot of great (and not so great) books... =D

This month I received an RAK from Wendy @ Book Scents


Thanks again for it, Wendy! =D
I haven't started it yet but I can't wait to meet Woods! *giggles*


And that's it for today!
Hope everyone had a real good RAK month. =)



Thursday, May 30, 2013

Blog Tour: Girl With Guitar by Caisey Quinn (Review)

My stop for the Girl With Guitar blog tour, hosted by HardCover Therapy:

For this tour I'm doing a review. I practically jumped on the chance to do so. lol. Hope you'll all enjoy it! =D





Title: Girl With Guitar
Author: Caisey Quinn
Series: Kylie Ryan #1
Publication: May 22nd 2013
Genre: New Adult
Format: e-arc
Cover Rating: 5/5 (Love it!)
Overall Rating: 5/5

Copy provided in exchange for an honest review.

  
After Kylie’s dad dies in a freak accident, he leaves her with nothing other than her crazy step-mother, Darla, and the ability to play guitar. When Darla kicks Kylie out and she loses her job all in the same day, she hops a bus to Nashville determined to make her late father’s dreams come true. Waitressing and saving her pennies to record a demo, her big break comes when she’s asked to join a tour going down the tubes with once platinum album-selling country music superstar Trace Corbin. But touring with Trace is hardly a dream come true since he’s pretty much drinking his career down the drain. If Kylie can’t pull Trace out of his rut, he’ll pull her and her dreams down with him.



Even though I know it's wrong, you turned my life into a country song and I keep playin' it, on repeat.


Ah, where to start? First of all, I love this author. Adore her. She is awesome. I read a paranormal book she wrote under a different name. Christabel by Suzanne Sullivan. I was blown away by it so I knew I wanted to read more books of her. Whether or not they are the same genre. I actually haven't read too mant New Adult books yet because my main genre has always been paranormal types of books. But I really wanted to know if this one was going to be as good as her other book. Guess what? It was even better! 
Also when I checked out some reviews of it on Goodreads I was thrilled to see how possitive they were. 4 stars, bam! 5 stars, bam! It got me even more excited to read Girl With Guitar and I'm so glad I read it! Personally for me this is one of the best damn books I've read so far in 2013.

Girl With Guitar is about eighteen-year old Kylie Ryans, who feels first and thinks second. Her passion and dream is music. She wants to make it big as a country star. 
When Kylie's bitch of a step-mother, Darla, kicks her out of the house after her dad died in an accident, she leaves her home town to go to Nashville to make her and her dad's dreams come true. As she starts waitressing to save money to make a demo, a chance presents itself to join a tour with Trace Corbin, hot shot country music superstar. This would be the perfect opportunity for Kylie. Maybe even her big break! If only Trace wasn't hell-bend on destroying his carreer by drinking his troubles away and hooking up with girls. It might just be the end of his carreer entirely and ruining any chance Kylie has to even start out.

As soon and as short it was, I got hooked by the prologue. I'm not kidding. I read it and I had to put my Kindle down to take a moment for myself and trying to not burst into tears. It was a kind of sad beginning but perfect and beautiful. I knew I was going to love this book and that there would be no turning back for me now.

Other than the prologue the thing that kept me reading was definitely the main character, Kylie. I love her! Why can't more characters be like her? She's sassy, doesn't think before she acts. Like what's been said in the book, she feels first and thinks second. Her love for music might be rivaling even my love for books.


She's also so courageous. Life kept throwing crap at her but she fought on to make her dreams come true. You can't not admire that about her. She's a fighter and puts Trace in his place, as he deserves when he acts like a total asshole. You go, girl! 
Which brings us to one of the other favorite things in this book, if not the favorite thing...

Enter Trace Corbin, country music super star! 



Trace Corbin should come with a warning label: highly addictive.


What can I say about him other than; hot damn! 



That man brings sexy to a whole different level with his singing, shirtless cooking and mud fights! 
But of course, he's more than just a pretty face. Under all his troubles, drinking, flirting and overall jackassness there's a decent guy there. One who really cares about his family, even when he did go through hell in his childhood, and Kylie. And of course his music. 

Okay, and yeah, he was hot as ten hells and could sing a girl's panties right off of her.

He and Kylie are something. Right from the start their conversations or I should say bickering screamed sexual tension! I love that. 
He can't believe Kylie actually stands up to him. No one ever really does and when they get to know each other better they both see that there's more to each other than the eye meets. This makes for one hell of a New Adult book if you ask me. 

One of my favorites scenes was this one moment (I'm not going to say too much because I don't want to spoil it for other but I just gotta say something) where Trace sings to Kylie one morning because it means so much to her. I was literally flailing my arms like a demented muppet because I felt so much emotions and just ahhhh! THE FEELS!




The writing is so damn good, I can't get over how good Caisey writes! I had to slow myself down because I didn't want to finish it in one setting. I wanted to savor this book so I could read it for days. It was hard but I managed to slow it a little bit at least. Caisey Quinn has a way with telling a story that some authors, who have written so many books don't even get close to. Seriously! There were also lyrics written into it, songs that Kylie wrote herself, and I found myself, even when they were not real life songs that I know, to have them in my head and almost singing them. Something like that never happened to me but I loved it. So pleasantly surprised I was!

 I felt like I knew these characters for years when only I knew them for a few days. I cared for them, and not only Kylie and Trace. There were so many loveable characters, like Trace's sisters. Especially Rae, she's the cutest. I also loved Tonya, who gave Kylie some pretty great advice that actually landed her the gig of the tour. Also Trace's manager Pauly was awesome and so kind to both him and Kylie. I cared for them all.
And boy, will I miss them. So I gotta say, I'm so glad there's coming a second book (called Girl on Tour). I can't wait to find out more about Kylie and Trace. 

I must also mention the romance. I almost always need romance in a book and in this one if definitely did not disappoint. The sexual tension was making me nuts. Pulling in and pulling away! Just argh! When when they did got together it was perfection!
Until of course all hell broke loose and I wanted to smack both Kylie and Trace for not getting their act together and make them see how perfect they are for each other and how they should be together. 


Anywho... I might not know a lot of country songs and music yet but this book has gotten me to start to love this genre. I never really felt for it until Girl With Guitar. I gotta admit I'm a little obsessed now with this music. When Caisey Quinn mentioned Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Jana Kramer I couldn't help but laugh because for the last few days I have been listening like crazy to songs by all of them. And I so love their music! So thank you, Ms. Quinn, for opening a whole new world of music for me. 

I also listened to Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson and Hard to Love by Lee Brice as they are mentioned both in Girl With Guitar and on Caisey Quinn's website and I must say those songs are perfect for Kylie and Trace. They've both been on repeat a A LOT and I especially love Hard to Love, it's so Trace. <3

Girl With Guitar is a perfectly, cute read with steamy romance that makes me want to listen to country music on repeat non-stop. Kylie and Trace have a powerful attraction that makes me sigh and swoon, combine it with their shared love for music and you have fireworks!
I loved this book immensely and I would recommened it to everyone I know! I mean it, go read it now! You will NOT be disappointed in the least.






God, those eyes. Take cover, they said, because the storm was here now.
Damn, the boy could sing. And Lord, those jeans. Oh no. She was becoming a Trace Corbin fangirl. She could feel it happening and she was powerless to stop it.
You're not a nice boy," she said pointing a finger at him. "Never said I was," he told her as he leaned in dangerously close. Kylie breathed in the clean familiar scent of cologne and him.


Caisey Quinn lives in a suburb outside of Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, daughter, and other assorted animals. She wears cowgirl boots most of the time, even to church. Girl with Guitar is her first novel. She is currently working on the second book in the Kylie Ryans series, Girl on Tour. She can be found online at: www.caiseyquinnwrites.com

Find Caisey also on:

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Book dreamcast:


I must say, this dreamcast is dead on for me too, personally. I especially like Jana Kramer for Mia. I actually saw her in my head as Mia too. =D


Book Playlist:

I love this soundtrack! Most of these songs I already have on my iTunes and they did remind me of Girl With Guitar.


Oh yes! *dreamy sigh*



Here's a little guest post from Caisey!
Enjoy! =D

Why I Heart Country Music

Girl you make my speakers go BOOM BOOM. –Luke Bryan

Some people call it hillbilly heartbreak music. Others call it beer and break ups. I call it fu*#ing fantastic. I should warn you up front, my brother is an Actual Musician, as in, he’s In A Band. I, however, am tone deaf. My brother is not a fan of the country music and is more into progressive metal and classical. Yeah, he’s the black sheep. Whaddya gonna do? But he knows his stuff about music and all I know is what feels good to my ears. And my soul. Call it what you want, country music can elicit some serious emotion.

Just because I have to mention her, (you have to when you talk about country music, or I think there’s a fine or something) Taylor Swift’s Fifteen would have made a huge difference in my life if I’d heard it when I was actually fifteen. Instead of twenty-six. But it brought back my hellacious freshmen year of high school and y’all, that was some stuff I’d wrestled, shoved, kicked, and drank out of my memory. Or so I’d thought.

Lee Brice’s Hard to Love makes an appearance in my debut novel, Girl with Guitar, because if my husband and I had a song, that would be it. We got married too young and before he’d gotten a handle on a very serious drinking problem. Whoa, okay, I didn’t actually mean to tell y’all that. But there it is. And we’ve been married seven years, together for nine, and we made it through. But when that song comes on the radio, he reaches over and grabs my hand and I squeeze his. Hard. Every time. Sometimes my eyes get watery. Because neither of us have forgotten how hard those first few years were and how much stronger we are for having gotten through them.

I heart country music because it’s men in tight jeans, cowboy boots, sitting on tailgates around the bon fire, playing guitar, drinking too much, loving too soon, and breaking your heart. Pretty much the story of my life y’all.

Some of my favorite artists are George Straight, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Hank Williams Jr, and of course Luke Bryan, who is basically the template for my main character Trace Corbin in Girl with Guitar.

I get that it’s not for everyone. Just like death metal isn’t for everyone. But I love it. It’s a part of me, and it will probably show up in every book I write in one way or another. Like Kylie, I can’t always find the right words for every situation, but I can almost always find a country song with lyrics that fit. 

For the record, I listen to lots of different types of music and also enjoy Adam Lambert, The Civil Wars, The Lumineers, Christina Perri, Rihanna, Third Day, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red, Flyleaf, Fireflight, and a few others, including some most people have never even heard of. But I blame that on my brother. ;)


I’ll be back to check in on comments if any of y’all want to chat about music. Warning: Once you get me going I may never shut up!

Thanks for having me!


Shameless Self-Promotion: My debut novel, Girl with Guitar is available now! I am currently working on Girl on Tour, the second book in the Kylie Ryans series. I don’t have an official release date yet, but will post on my site www.caiseyquinnwrites.com as soon as I do! Keep an eye out!


Caisey Quinn is a New Adult author living in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, daughter, and other assorted animals. She wears cowgirl boots most of the time, even to church. Girl with Guitar is her first novel. It’s available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.





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*Fangirled out*







Oh and there's also an awesome giveaway! Check it out!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer


Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer Blog Tour, hosted by The Midnight Garden!









Title: Spirit
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental #3
Publication: May 28th 2013 by K Teen
Genre: Young Adult ~ Paranormal
Format: e-arc
Cover Rating: 4/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Copy received  in exchange for an honest review.

  
With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…



I was so thrilled when I got this book early for review. The Elemental series has been my favorite since last year when I read the first one, Storm. However, the second one, Spark I didn't like too much so I didn't know how I would feel about Spirit. I did hear good things about it, like that it has more action and a shocking plot so I had good hopes for it. And, boy, were they ALL true! Spirit was amazing!

Hunter has a lot going on. Everyone seems to be gunning for his head. The Merrick brothers, his grandfather, that psycho bitch Calla, who's planning awful things to do to try to draw the guides to town. Everyone. Then a new girl arrives in school, Kate. She's different but Hunter isn't sure if he can trust her, if she's playing him or not. And then shit hits the fan...

So. Hunter. Damn, that boy. I didn't even know how much was going on inside his head. He has so much issues with trusting people, which is understandable the way everyone lies to him. Most of the time I wanted to just jump inside the book and try to hug and comfort him. Not that he would allow it. He doesn't let anyone get close. I was surprised by how much I loved being inside his head and seeing his way on things. I love male point of views but his is exellent. 
Right from the start I knew that Spirit was going to be nothing like Spark, which I didn't love like I did Storm. Brigid Kemmerer did say there would be more action and there was. I freaking loved it! I actually read this book in barely two days. That only happens when I really, really like a book. It was a total win!

Beside Hunter, there were a lot of other characters. Of course we have the Merrick brothers, who we all adore and love. I especially loved Michael (but then again when do I not? He's my favorite Merrick). I love how he took Hunter in when life decided to crap on his head once again. He really took care of him. I also love Gabriel and Hunter's bromance even though it was a little broken but I hope now that they will pick up where they left off. I only wished Hunter saw from the start how the Merricks weren't going to betray or just leave him. 
Then there was Calla, who we already read about in Spark. Bitch is crazy, I say! Seriously psycho...
And we also had some new folks into town. Kate and Silver. I liked them. Well, as far as you can like the guides who want to come kill elementals. I didn't necessarily like Silver all that much. He was also kind of psycho. But I do dig him name. 
Kate was a while different story. You can probably be guess Kate is the girl the other point of view is about. In all books the boys are finding a girl, as you might know. So it isn't surprising when Hunter and Kate get a little closer. I wasn't too sure if I liked Kate or not. I didn't know what to think of her. She was bold, a little too confident but as the book progressed we saw that it was all jusr an act and inside she's just a girl. It was then that I really begun to like her. And even the romance scene with her and Hunter were kind of steamy, in young adult style of course. Naturally, Ms. Kemmerer had to kick me back to reality with that shocking plot! I tell ya, I didn't expect it at all. And that doesn't mean it was bad or anything. I mean, what happened was bad but in the way of shocking turn of events it was awesome. I haven't read too much books lately where it took me complete by surprise.

So I said before there was more action, right? There was and it was great. Kemmerer can really write an action scene. And her writing hasn't been more excellent than with Spirit, in my eyes. Since I read this book in only two days I pretty much didn't do anything but read. I hung on every word of this book. Gasping at the turn of events and crying when things got sad. Hunter just got all under my skin with his amazingness. I really felt for him throughout all the book. He didn't deserve what happened. *starts sobbing again*
Anyway... I couldn't be more happy with the way this book turned out. It was so good and I hope Brigid Kemmerer keeps up the good work. But I think she will.

Overall Spirit  was more than I could hope for with its action packed scenes, pretty hot romance (for a YA book) and exciting turn of events. Brigid Kemmerer really has a way to make me care about her characters and in Hunter's case even cry for them. I can't wait to read more of this world and see where things are going. Nick's full book is up next year and I must say I cannot wait for him and Adam to happen. I should also recommend Nick's novella, Breathless for everyone. It was superb!
Please more of this awesomeness, Ms. Kemmerer, more! =D





Status?
God! She was tempted to take a picture of her middle finger and send it back. Her fingers flew across the screen. Heading to first period. Maybe you can do something more useful than texting me.
And she remembered the way he had gone from total control to utter disaster with the flip of a switch, like watching an intricate glass sculpture shatter into a thousand pieces—only to pull together again until you could barely see the seams.
Hunter leaned close. "Just to be clear: I'd know exactly what to do if you threw yourself at me."
Then he was in his car, starting the ignition, leaving her in the parking lot, nothing more than a melted puddle of hot, bothered, and seriously pissed off.
"I went by the house. Tried to work things out with my mom."
"You know I've got three younger brothers, right?"
Hunter frowned. "What?"
"It means I've got a pretty finely tuned bullshit detector."


Brigid KemmererBrigid Kemmerer finds the time to write somewhere between caring for her family and working at her day job, but sometimes she ends up mothering her coworkers and managing her family. Storm: The Elemental Series is her first novel.
Find her also on:

Purchase Spirit on:





For everyone who is interested in a free download for Elemental (Elemental #0.5) by Brigid Kemmered I can offer you one!

Code for free download for the Elementals ebook (available on Kensington site only, through link below):

http://bit.ly/105eIEt
The promo code is: VCARD
It’s active until May 31st.
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Waiting On Wednesday: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.




My WOW pick of this week:


~Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between #1) by 
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: August 15th 2013 by Dial
You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.



I want this book so badly. Just look at the title, the gorgeous cover and the description. This book better not disappoint! So excited for it! ^^


What book are you waiting for?
Leave me links to your WOW posts!


♥ Holly's Boys ♥

Highly recommended story to check out!