Peek Into My Postbox #14

23 May, 2016 by in book mail, in my mailbox, peek into my Postbox, Uncategorized Leave a comment

unnamed (2)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted all of my book mail in one place. Here’s the latest adds to our shelves.

What books have you bought, checked out or picked up lately?

Leave a link to your In My Mailbox, Book Haul, #BEA16 or Books for Trade posts in the comments.

 

 

Divider

Pride and Politics by Brittany Larsen~Blog Tour

21 May, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Covenant in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Pride and Politics

by Brittany Larsen
Published by Covenant on May 5, 2016
Genres: Clean Romance, Contemporary, LDS
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
As the daughter of a well-known senator, Summer Knight is all too familiar with the nasty side of politics. She’s always stayed out of the drama, until an incident involving her fellow Mormons drives her out of her hometown—and out of the Church. What she needs is a change of scene, and sunny California seems like just the place. Enter Benson Hardy. He’s just her type—until she finds out who he is. Not only is Benson a nephew to her father’s political rival, he’s also a devout member of the Church. The last thing Summer wants is to be mixed up in politics—or religion. But Benson challenges her like no one else, asking the tough questions about her inactivity. Though their incompatibility is clear, their connection is undeniable, and soon Summer finds the embers of her faith reigniting. Just as it seems that the pair might be on the road to romance, a series of embarrassing misunderstandings—and the appearance of a handsome charmer determined to sweep Summer off her feet—knock the couple completely off course. As Summer finds herself at a crossroads, she must decide if she’s willing to set her pride aside for a shot at true love.

Review

Pride and Prejudice meets politics in Brittany Larsen’s clean LDS romance. It has hit shelves at the perfect time– during campaign season!

Summer is “taking a break” from church as she’s seen way too much hypocrisy as a Democrat Senator’s daughter. Her Sundays consist of paddle boarding and avoiding the constant meeting invitations of her visiting teacher. All of this changes, however, when she runs into a campaign manager for her family’s nemesis. Benson is an active churchgoer, kind, a Republican and someone she really should no be seen with. Miles apart on social issues and agendas, these two find common ground on friendship.

There’s plenty of witty banter to keep you flipping pages. Pride and Politics was a treat to read and is clean for teens and adults. Both characters are college aged, so the best target audience is the new adult crowd. I thoroughly enjoyed this modern twist on a classic.

Tour Schedule

Divider

Summer Reading Wishlist

19 May, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Summer is just around the corner and my reading time will pick up as I sit in the sun with a book.

Here is my bookish wishlist.

What’s on yours?

The Way Back to You
by Michelle Andreani, Mindi Scott

Landline: A Novel
by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On
by Rainbow Rowell (Hardcover)

Passenger
by Alexandra Bracken

P.S. I Like You
by Kasie West

My Lady Jane
by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

Ever the Hunted: A Clash of Kingdoms Novel
by Erin Summerill

Strange the Dreamer
by Laini Taylor

Siren’s Song (The Storm Siren Trilogy)
by Mary Weber

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories

Forever Doon (A Doon Novel)
by Carey Corp, Lorie Langdon

 

I also have these books for trade. If interested, comment below.

Divider

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson ~ Review

18 May, 2016 by in Morgan Matson, The Unexpected Everything Leave a comment

The Unexpected Everything

by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 3, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 519
Format: Hardcover
three-half-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
From Morgan Matson, the bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone comes a feel-good story of friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans.

Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.

Future? A top-tier medical school.
Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around).
Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else?
Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.

So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.

Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?

Let’s face it, I picked this one up because of the cover. Summer, ice cream truck and a yellow spine. Andie’s father is a congressman who is being investigated for fraud in his office and has to take a break from their high profile life while they clear his name. Politics has strained his relationship with his daughter, especially since they both lost Addie’s mother to ovarian cancer. They are used to having a campaign manager and intern following them around at all times, a blackberry ringing with texts and the press scrutinizing their every move. Life shifts when neither knows how to fulfill their new role as a father and daughter team instead of passing ships. To make matter more complicated, Addie’s internship at a medical program is cancelled once the dean hears of her father’s fall from political grace. So what is she to do…all the good job are taken! Walk dogs.

After a literal run in with a dog owner, she secures a job walking for Clark, a best- selling teen author. He’s geeky, down to earth and a bit damaged by his own strained relationship with his father. Addie has to learn to let down her guard and be herself, while Clark has to learn how to relate to a new pack of instant friends that come along with his new girlfriend. I had a hard tome telling the four girls apart at times, though the side story of one of them having to use only emojis to communicate was fun. The side BFF’s felt a bit flat for a book over 500 pages long. The only other part that gave me angst was Addie’s flings with Topher, the son of a Senator in her neighborhood. I am sad the two of them never developed more than a kiss and don’t tell friendship. The arc of father and daughter depth was excellent, by the end family relationships had been mended and priorities put in the right place. Exploring boundaries, healing families and what to do when life shifts unexpectedly, The Unexpected Everything is a great summer read!

Content– highlight to reveal drinking, teens making out and pushing boundaries

 

 

 Author Bio

Hi! I’m Morgan. (I’ve always found the third-person biography thing pretty weird.)

I write YA novels, usually about a girl, a summer, a boy, sometimes a dog, and always lots of coffee and ice cream. I love road trips and traveling, old black & white movies filled with repartee, summers, Starbucks, and fountain diet coke.

I’m originally from the East Coast, but I now live in Los Angeles with my dog Murphy, in a house I wish was closer to the beach.

Divider

See How They Run Embassy Row #2 by Ally Carter

17 May, 2016 by in ally carter, embassy row, see how the run Leave a comment

See How They Run

by Ally Carter
Series: Embassy Row #2
Published by Scholastic on December 22, 2015
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
Inside every secret, there's a world of trouble. Get ready for the second book in this new series of global proportions--from master of intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace's past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

The twists get twistier and the turns get even more shocking in the second thrilling installment of Embassy Row.

Grace is experiencing trauma from the death of her mother and can only remember bits and pieces of the event she witnessed. Her memories are muddled but all lead to a scar faced man who seems to now be following her. Spending time in Adria with her grandfather, a diplomat on Embassy Row, she’s afraid she is literally going mad. Her friends Noah and Alexi are there to hold things together when she unravels, but the anxiety and flashbacks are coming on stronger and more frequently. A plot driven, action packed story, See How They Run is riddled with past tradition, secret societies and murder. I’ve struggled a bit with this series because it is so much darker than anything else Ally has written. I put it down at one point, then came back after a break to finish it out.

Oh the ending!

You will definitely want to read book one to be able to decipher all that is going on. There are many layers to the story and the cliffhanger left me needing book three! I enjoyed the dynamic between Grace and her brother as well as the sparks. I would recommend the series for older teens as there is some violence and the tone is more dark than the Gallagher Girls or Heist Society series. There may also be some triggers for teens experiencing PTSD or anxiety. There is lots of history woven in to the backstory and I can’t wait to see how this all unfolds.

Author Bio

I was born and raised in Oklahoma. My mother was a teacher and my father a farmer and rancher. I have one older sister.

In high school, I was very active in a number of student organizations and graduated as co-valedictorian of my senior class. I then attended Oklahoma State University and Cornell University and worked for several years in the agricultural industry before writing full-time.

My first novel, Cheating at Solitaire (Berkley) was published in 2005. The following year I published the sequel to Solitaire, Learning to Play Gin. There are no more plans for future books in that series at this time.

My first novel for young adults, I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You was published by Disney-Hyperion in April 2006. Love You Kill You (as we call it) was followed by Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (October 2007), Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover (June 2009), Only the Good Spy Young (June 2010), Out of Sight, Out of Time (March 2012). United We Spy (September 2013) is the sixth–and final–Gallagher Girls novel.

I am also the author of Heist Society (February 2010) and its sequels Uncommon Criminals (June 2011), and Perfect Scoundrels (February 2013).

In January 2013 I published the cross-over novella Double-Crossed that features characters from both the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society. It is available for free at spiesandthieves.com and wherever ebooks are sold.

ALL FALL DOWN is the first book in my new Embassy Row series. It was published on January 20, 2015 and will launch a new three-book series with Scholastic.

My books have been published in more than twenty countries and have appeared on best-seller lists from the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and Bookscan. They have sold over two million copies in the United States.

I am one of the luckiest people in the world, and today, I’m able to do the job I wanted to do when I was a kid, and I am back living in Oklahoma.

Divider

Breview: This Is My Brain on Boys~ by Sarah Strohmeyer

16 May, 2016 by in balzer & bray, contemp, ya Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Balzer & Bray in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This Is My Brain on Boys

by Sarah Strohmeyer
Published by Balzer & Bray on May 10, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
three-half-stars
Source: Balzer & Bray
Buy the BookGoodreads
Addie Emerson doesn’t believe in love, at least for herself. A straightlaced, brilliant girl, she’s more interested in getting an A than falling in love. But Addie is determined to prove the science of love—because Addie Emerson does believe in science.

Science tells her that “love” is nothing more than the brain’s state under the influence of certain chemicals. And by artificially stimulating those chemicals, the brain can totally be tricked into falling in love. So Addie decides to apply that knowledge—and make her classmates fall in love—to win the coveted Athenian Award for Science in her elite private school. One way to speed up the process—adrenaline—she’ll put her classmates in dangerous, high-risk situations . . . and research the fallout.

But a mysterious new guy keeps messing with her plans. And she kind of can’t stop thinking about his gorgeous brown eyes. With backstabbing competitors—including her former lab partner, the preppy, wealthier-than-thou Dex—and more than one pair of star-crossed lovers—can Addie manage to salvage her experiment and win the Athenian? And what happens if she does the unthinkable—and falls in love?

Addie is on her way back to school on a flight gone bad. Her plane is about to go down when she notices the person seated next to her appears to be hyperventilating in panic. He looks vaguely familiar and he needs oxygen stat!

Kris is a world traveler/ humanitarian who just can’t relate to others his age after a trip to Nepal. So, in search of new neural pathways he transfers to a new top notch school only to find himself in trouble. Wrong group of friends, wrong girlfriend, and a summer to make it up to his dean.

Geek girl meets popular boy in Strohmeyer’s new YA contemporary.

The pacing is fantastic in the beginning and stalls a little though the middle, but in the end it right on track. I found myself smiling and laughing at Addie’s literal sense of humor plus the shenanigans she finds herself in trying to win a prestigious scholarship via science experiment. Overall, a clean teen read with fun characters and scientific jargon.

Content-some teen drinking and a few swear words

Author Bio

After being placed on other “must read” YA lists, SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT has recently been chosen by Texas school librarians for the 2013 Lone Star Reading List, a great honor since Texas is a BIG state. Thank you, librarians!

It’s also my fourteenth novel, but my first for young adults after writing mysteries and stand alones, one of which, THE CINDERELLA PACT, became the Lifetime Movie – LYING TO BE PERFECT. Of all these, SMART GIRLS has been my favorite to write because not only was I a “smart girl,” but so were my daughter and her friends who, like me, grew tired of playing second fiddle. I figured the time had come for our kind to receive the kudos, the attention and the boys. The bad girls had hogged center stage long enough.

Before I wrote novels, I was a newspaper reporter of questionable talent for twenty years, never quite serious or responsible enough for the duty of recording all the news that’s fit to print. (My definition of what was fit to print and my editors’ often clashed. Apparently, it was not necessary to describe certain cops as “super cute.”)

Some novelists begin their careers by winning literary contests or writing their first manuscripts while pursuing a masters degree. I began mine by placing Barbie in forty contemporary and historical settings with photos taken by my friend (and awesome photographer) Geoff Hansen. BARBIE UNBOUND: A PARODY OF THE BARBIE OBSESSION became a cult hit, landed me on CBS This Morning and USA Today. It was, briefly, the most shoplifted book in America.
After that, I wrote the Bubbles Yablonsky mystery series featuring a bubble-headed blonde ditzy – or is she? – hairdresser with a gift for gossip who becomes a newspaper reporter. Kind of like a memoir, sure. And then a bunch of novels about women.
Today, I live in Vermont with my husband, a lawyer, and son, Sam, an upcoming high school junior. My daughter, Anna, is a senior at Bryn Mawr College where there are A LOT of smart girls. Also, there’s Fred, my five-year-old basset hound and between you and me, the love of my life.

Divider

Review~Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

13 May, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Love & Gelato
by Jenna Evans Welch
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published by Simon Pulse
May 3, 2016
Amazon

A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

 

Review

It’s been a really long time since I’ve been into a brick and mortar bookstore, but yesterday I wandered into a Barnes and Noble to look at the new YA releases, and this one literally jumped off the shelf at me. Who doesn’t love gelato, ice cream cone cover images and a story line set in Italy? I devoured Love and Gelato in less than 24 hours, staying up late into the night to finish. It is  a breath of fresh air to have a teen read free of swearing! Lina’s mom has died of cancer, but that’s not the focus of the mood, so the book remains light even though she hits some spots of mourning and heart ache. Set, in Tuscany with rolling green hills, stunning sunrises and beautiful sculptures, the reader will feel transported to a different time and place where lavish parties are still held in mansions the Medici’s used to roam. There are interspersed journal entries from Lina’s mother’s own time in Italy as she unravels what she is doing in another country with a strange man she’s never met.

I loved everything about this book with the exception of a few rough spots in the beginning where conversations rambled on a bit too long. I would have loved to have gotten to know Thomas a bit more–he was intriguing as a side character. Definitely a great summer pick, especially if you like contemporary YA with a dash of world travel and sweet treats.

Content-highlight to reveal teenage pregnancy with a professor, drinking

about_ the_authorJenna Evans Welch spent her high school years in Florence, Italy, where she drove a scooter, danced in fountains, and ate entirely too much gelato. She now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and young son. Read her blog, The Green Lemon, at JennaEvansWelch.com.

 

Divider

Sing by Vivi Greene- Preview

12 May, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sing

by Vivi Greene
Published by Harper Teen on May 31, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: HarperTeen
Buy the BookGoodreads
In this irresistible beach read—perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Zoella's Girl Online—America’s favorite pop goddess flees the spotlight to Maine to recover from her latest breakup. Only to fall head over heels for a down-to-earth local guy and be faced with an impossible decision: him or her music.

After getting her heart shattered for the thousandth time, multiplatinum pop icon Lily Ross is escaping her high-profile, crazy life and heading to an island in middle-of-nowhere Maine with her best friends. She has three months to focus on herself, her music, her new album—anything but guys. This summer is going to be different.

That is . . . until Lily meets sweet and charming Noel Bradley, who is so different from anyone she’s ever dated. Suddenly Lily’s “summer of me” takes an unexpected turn, and she finds herself falling deeper and harder than ever before. But even though Lily loves Noel, she loves her music and her fans, too. And come August when it’s time to leave Maine and go back out on tour, she will be forced to choose between them.

Review

Sing is the perfect summer read. Set in a small fishing town with fresh seafood, yoga, local shops and lobster traps, it’s the story of a pop singer finding herself. Lily has just been ditched again ,this time by a fellow rock star celebrity. Her pattern is to move from one romance to the next without breathing, but this time she decides it’s time to get away from the bustling city and slow down. While “dropping off the face of the earth” to a tiny town in Maine, she discovers her muse in the sea, the sand and a floating island where an old couple made their home. She also meets Noel, who turns her ideas of swearing off boys upside down. Noel is down to earth, homegrown and hard working.

Lily is written as a small town girl as well, besides the first and last chapter which seem like bookends that don’t fit. I was also a bit turned away by the cover of this book which doesn’t seem to fit either, but once I dove in, I found I truly enjoyed Sing. Thanks so much to Harper Teen for the sneak peek! I want to visit New England again after finishing with a smile on my face.

Content- highlight to reveal- one “F” word, some swearing, swimming in underwear, drug addiction, LGBT relationship

Divider

The Magnificent World of Spirits Blog Tour

28 Apr, 2016 by in cedar fort, marlene bateman sullivan Leave a comment

 

Not everyone who visits the spirit world stays there. The Magnificent World of Spirits: Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die, gives fascinating glimpses of life beyond the veil by people who visited the spirit world during the early years of the LDS Church.
Filled with stories of insight and inspiration, The Magnificent World of Spirits is a stirring book that combines documented personal experiences with scripture, commentary, and quotes from latter-day prophets and other leaders. This book will bring you peace as you come to understand what awaits on the other side of the veil. After reading this book, you will never think of life—or death—in the same way.

About the Prequel

Gaze Into Heaven: Near-Death Experiences in Early Church History is a carefully compiled collection of more than 50 near-death experiences that occurred during the early years of the Church. These documented accounts give fascinating glimpses into the Spirit World by those who have actually been there. Most of us have wondered exactly what will happen when we die. What does the Spirit World look like? Will we see departed family members and friends? What do people do there? Do spirits there know what is happening on earth? All of these questions and many more are answered in Gaze Into Heaven.

 

About the Author


I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Sandy, Utah. After attending Dixie College and Utah State University, I graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s degree in English. I married Kelly R. Sullivan and have seven children. My hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading.

Writing has always been a great love of mine. I started writing stories in elementary school and was blessed with a teacher in junior high school that encouraged me, so I kept on writing. My dream of writing was put aside for a time when I married and had children, which kept me very busy. I did manage to carve out a little time though, and wrote magazine and newspaper articles. I honed my craft over the years and have been published in quite a number of magazines and newspapers. I opened my own floral shop at my home–renovating my garage, in order to help support my family.

After nine years, a health scare convinced me to sell my shop so I could pursue my dream of writing full time–thanks to a husband who was willing to support us all. I began by writing non-fiction books. I loved doing research and digging for interesting stories. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have concentrated on writing for members of that church. I write clean, inspirational books that testify that God loves us and is always there for us.

 

Purchase The Magnificent World of Spirits and Gaze Into Heaven.

Divider

The Tsar’s Guard Parade Blog Tour and ARC Giveaway

29 Mar, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

 

About the Book

Title: THE CROWN’S GAME
Author: Evelyn Skye
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Pages: 416
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

 

About the Author

 Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN’S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at www.evelynskye.com and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram

The Giveaway

1 winner will receive an ARC of THE CROWN’S GAME. International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find the complete Tsar’s Guard Parade Schedule at Evelyn Skye’s website!

Divider