Wednesday, April 30, 2014

FEATURE: Poetry Wednesday~ Mary Elizabeth Frye and Emily Dickinson


Morning Swooners,

So since I missed last week's Poetry Friday and today is the last day of the month I figured i'd feature two poets today. Why not end the month with a bang! So today's post features my favorite poems by Mary Elizabeth Frye and Emily Dickinson. Hope they touch your soul as they have mine and I hope that you've enjoyed the poems I've chosen to celebrate poetry month this year. Enjoy ~

Do not stand at my grave and weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that’s shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die. 

-Mary Elizabeth Frye


Hope is the thing with feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

-Emily Dickinson

FEATURE: Waiting on Wednesday~ The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes (#26)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Hi Swooners :-)

This week my "can't-wait-to-read" pre-publication selections are:

Expected release date: May 20, 2014
Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble


Summary from Goodreads:

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they’re sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few “dates”, it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What’s a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you’re meant to be with, if you’re still figuring out the person you’re meant to be?

Why I'm waiting:

I absolutely love a good love story and seeing Lainey do all these things to win Jason back makes her seem a little cray...but i'm down with that! Plus, I have a feeling i'm going to love Micah...Lol

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

REVIEW: The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler

The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Source: ARC Provided by Publisher 
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

*This book was received from the publisher, but it did not influence this review in any way *

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Alice always thought fairy tales had happy endings. That—along with everything else—changed the day she met her first fairy.

When Alice’s father goes down in a shipwreck, she is sent to live with her uncle Geryon—and uncle she’s never heard of and knows nothing about. He lives in an enormous manor with a massive library that is off-limits to Alice. But then she meets a talking cat. And even for a rule-follower, when a talking cat sneaks you into a forbidden library and introduces you  to an arrogant boy who dares you to open a book, it’s hard to resist. Especially if you’re a reader to begin with. Soon Alice finds herself INSIDE the book. And the only way out is to defeat the creature imprisoned within.


It seems her uncle is more than he says he is. But then so is Alice.

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK!!!!!!!!!! I can't tell you how many times I wished I could be thrown into the book with Alice. Fighting the bad guys (and monsters) kissing the boy (even though it really wasn't what it seemed) and just kicking butt with her (and Ashes, the cat)

Alice Creighton is just a young girl who doesn't know the power she posses. She lives a quiet life with her father and loves to read and learn. Until the day she stumbles on to a private conversation her father is having...with a fairy! Alice doesn't believe in fairies, or at least she didn't until she sees her father yelling at one for reasons she doesn't quit understand. But she eventually learns the truth about what she is and why she was sent to live with "Uncle Geryon"

Right off the bat you can see that Alice is a brave girl. Brave and smart and resourceful in many ways. She's kind and a bit naive and probably too smart for her good...but those are all things that I love about Alice. She's the type of protagonist that will have you rooting for her all the way and wishing you were by her side fighting with her, trudging through all her agony and happiness and curiosity. And until the sequel releases i'll just be here, waiting for the day that I can jump right back in with her and keep fighting on!

Lastly, I feel like I need to mention that I absolutely LOVED the artwork throughout the book and only wish that I was able to see more printed while reading (the U.S. ARC version did not have all the artwork). If you want to check out the artist, David Wyatt, you can stop by his website here or stop by the author, Django Wexler's website, to see some of the artwork in the book.




Monday, April 28, 2014

COVER REVEAL: The Harvesting (The Harvesting #1) by Melanie Karsak

The Harvesting (The Harvesting #1) by Melanie Karsak
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Young Adult, Zombies

Purchase: Amazon 



SYNOPSIS:
“The world, it seemed, had gone silent. It was something we knew but did not talk about. We were alone.”

While Layla Petrovich returns home to rural Hamletville after a desperate call from her psychic grandmother, she never could have anticipated the horror of what Grandma Petrovich has foreseen. The residents of Hamletville will need Layla’s cool head, fast blade and itchy trigger finger to survive the undead apocalypse that’s upon them. But even that may not be enough. With mankind silenced, it soon becomes apparent that we were never alone. As the beings living on the fringe seek power, Layla must find a way to protect the ones she loves or all humanity may be lost.

This exciting new dark fantasy/horror hybrid blends the best of the zombie genre with all the elements a fantasy reader loves!

It’s all fun and games until someone ends up undead!


BOOK TRAILER:




AUTHOR BIO
Melanie Karsak grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania and earned a Master's degree in English from Gannon University. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and zombie whisperer, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.











                                          Cover Reveal hosted by: Xpresso Book Tours


Thursday, April 24, 2014

COVER REVEAL: Coral & Bone by Tiffany Daune

BOOK & AUTHOR INFO:

Coral & Bone by Tiffany Daune
Publication date: July 7th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

SYNOPSIS

Halen knows the sparks igniting under her fingertips are dangerous. She has spent her entire life trying to quell the tingly feelings that make her destroy things, but now that she is back in Rockaway Beach, where she watched her father drown, the flames have become impossible to tame.Halen is trying to hold on, but when she is thrust into a mysterious new world, the underwater realm of Elosia, she unravels the secrets of her past, and can’t help but ignite. As she explores Elosia, she realizes her life has been a lie. And when those who have deceived her come to her for help, Halen must choose—walk away or unleash the magick that could destroy them all.



AUTHOR BIO

Tiffany Daune doesn’t get why people want to grow up, or why anyone would ever stop eating candy. Her purse is filled with books, lip gloss and a few pieces of Lego bricks. She writes best with a dish of chocolate chips on hand, and finds licorice makes a better straw than plastic.

She lives on an island and believes mermaids may be raiding her candy stash, though she hasn’t caught them, yet.



                     Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads 



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Cover Reveal hosted by: Xpresso Book Tours



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

FEATURE: Waiting on Wednesday~ Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike (#25)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Hi Swooners :-)

This week my "can't-wait-to-read" pre-publication selections are:

Expected release date: April 29, 2014
Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble


Summary from Goodreads:

Charlotte Westing has a gift. She is an Oracle and has the ability to tell the future. But it doesn’t do her much good. Instead of using their miraculous power, modern-day Oracles are told to fight their visions-to refrain from interfering. And Charlotte knows the price of breaking the rules. She sees it every day in her wheelchair-bound mother and the absence of her father. But when a premonition of a classmate’s death is too strong for her to ignore, Charlotte is forced to make an impossible decision: continue following the rules or risk everything—even her sanity—to stop the serial killer who is stalking her town.

Why I'm waiting:

I've always been a fan of people having "powers" and being able to see the future is a pretty cool one...so count me in!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

REVIEW: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
Publication Date: April 10, 1925
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write “something new—something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned.” That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald’s finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author’s generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald’s—and his country’s—most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther….And one fine morning—“ Gatsby’s rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.


It’s also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby’s quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished office. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means—and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. “Her voice is full of money,” Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel’s more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across long Island Sound from Daisy’s patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as a chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem.


I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book, so this review is difficult for me to write. I mean, on the one hand, I loved the last few chapters of the book, when all the drama unfolds and we see people’s true characters come out, but on the other hand, I was extremely bored in the beginning half of the book, leaving without much to say about that.

Let’s start with the characters.. Of course, there’s James Gatz aka Jay Gatsby , Entertainer extraordinaire! He’s such an interesting man to all who encounter him and he’s either loved or hated by all. Interestingly enough, he’s a man that came from nowhere. What I mean by that is that he came from a low income background and with the help of a wealthy man, he was able to build himself up into "Gatsby." Of course, he always seemed to keep that hustler mentality he had as a young boy. He lied, cheated, and took action in a few non-legal activities here and there. His acts were all fueled by passion, a dream he had long ago that took a hold on him to become a wealthy man (by all means necessary) to gain back the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan.

Then there is Nick Carraway, whose POV we see everything through. I liked Nick throughout the book. He seemed like a decent guy who just got caught up in Gatsby’s web of lies (and everything else!) I think he was smart enough to know Gatsby for what he was, a broken man trying to hustle his way into being something he would never be. And I totally love the fact that he was there for Gatsby in the end, when it really counted. Something that Gatsby could never repay.

Then there’s Daisy Buchanan. The love of Gatsby’s life. He met her when he was a young man, before he left for the war. Everything he does in his life is to win her back. In one sentence he sums up exactly what he feels about her: “Her voice is full of money…That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money – that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbal’s song of it…” Gatsby thought of Daisy as  money and beauty and held both of those things in high regards, so naturally he would do the same for her. But it was a fools mistake to love her as much as he did, because she was incredibly selfish and full of cowardice.

Now, let’s talk about Jordan Baker. For some reason people love, love love Jordan Baker and I honestly don’t fully understand why. She did not leave a lasting impression on me during or after reading the book and I can’t see why people loved her character so much. The admiral thing I notice about her is that she doesn't take any crap from anyone. She’s tough and unyielding, but not for anything of significance. Maybe I’m biased because the first half of the book was so incredibly boring to me that I can barely even remember all that I read. Did I miss something?


So overall, The Great Gatsby was not my favorite book ever written, but I do see the reason why it's considered a classic. Read on my friends!

Monday, April 21, 2014

FEATURE: Book Blitz: Meeting Mr. Wright by Cassie Cross

Book & Author Details:

Title: Meeting Mr.Wright 
Author: Cassie Cross
Release Date: April 17, 2014
Series: Credence Curse Series
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Purchase Link: Amazon
Synopsis:
Callie Kirkpatrick promised herself shed never fall in love again.

After catching her boyfriend Ethan cheating on her, Callie decides to retire from the dating game at the ripe old age of twenty-four. Unfortunately for Callie, she's going to have to see Ethan at her best friends upcoming wedding. Stranded in the airport during a weather delay on her way to the nuptials, Callie meets Nate Wright. He’s sexy and uncomplicated, and a one-night stand is just what the doctor ordered for a girl with a broken heart. Callie thinks she’ll never senate again—until he shows up at the wedding.

Nate is hell-bent on making Callie forget about her ex, and he makes her question whether she was ever really in ,love with Ethan at all. As she begins to fall for Nate, Callie wonders if promises were meant to be broken…

AUTHOR BIO

Cassie Cross is a Maryland native and a romantic at heart, who lives outside of Baltimore with her two dogs and a closet full of shoes. Cassie’s fondness for swoon-worthy men and strong women are the inspiration for most of her stories, and when she's not busy writing a book, you’ll probably find her eating takeout and indulging in her love of 80’s sitcoms.










Excerpt:

“So,” he says, rubbing the palms of his hands on his jeans. “Are you going to tell me your name?”
For a split second I consider making one up, but even though he’s a complete stranger, it feels wrong to want to lie to him.

“Callie. My name is Callie.”

“Short for…” He draws out the ‘r’ as he searches for a name to guess. “Calliope?” He seems really proud of himself for thinking of another name, and it’s disarmingly cute.
“Good guess,” I tell him. “It’s Callista. And your name is?”

“Nate.”

“Short for…Michael?” It’s an idiotic thing to say, but he laughs anyway.
“It’s nice to meet you, Callie.” My name sounds like heaven when he says it, and he takes my hand in his. His palm is a little rough, and I imagine what it would feel like sliding across the small of my back.

“It’s nice to meet you, too,” I say. For a very brief moment, I think about asking him where he’s headed, but I decide against it. One-night stands aren’t supposed to get invested, and I don’t even want to know the slightest bit about his personal life, including where he’s from or where he’s going. I wish there was a way for me to turn off my mind and think with my vagina. Sex should be easy, but my brain has a way of complicating things.

“I was pissed when my flight got canceled, but now…” Nate says, looking down at our fingers which are loosely entwined. Somewhere in the back of my head I know that he’s playing me, but I don’t care. I just really don’t care.

When he looks up, I catch his gaze, and we look at each other for a very long time. Butterflies circle my stomach, flapping their wings against my insides, and I feel like it might kill me to look away from him. It’s been forever since someone has made me feel this way, and I want to keep feeling it. I’m trying to figure out a way to ask him upstairs to my room without sounding like I’m asking him upstairs to my room. I’m such a failure at casual sex.

Thankfully the bartender interrupts my frenzied thoughts when he walks over and asks if we’d like another round.

“No,” I reply softly, still looking at Nate. His face falls with disappointment for just a split second before understanding lights his eyes.

He holds up has hand and shakes his head. The bartender walks away.
“Callie, I never do this, but-”

“I have a room,” I say, interrupting him to keep him from finishing that sentence. Because ‘I never do this’ is the kind of thing that people who typically do this a lot tend to say. And I’m okay with that, really. But I don’t want to hear it.

“Okay.” Nate flashes a smile as he stands up and takes my hand, threading his fingers through mine. Then, he slings his duffle bag over his shoulder and leads me out of the bar.
We make our way through the crowded terminal to the hotel, looking at each other every few steps and grinning like a couple of fools.


The elevator can’t come quickly enough. 

GIVEAWAY:

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Book Blitz hosted by: Xpresso Book Tours

Friday, April 18, 2014

FEATURE: Poetry Friday~ Maya Angelou



Morning Swooners,

Sorry for the late post, I was swamped with Good Friday activities and was unable to get my post up. So anywho, let's get into it. We're in the middle of National Poetry Month and this week's featured Poet is one of my absolute favorite authors, Maya Angelou. She has written so many beautiful poems and stories in her lifetime and every one of them has touched my soul in one way or another. She is an inspiration to many people, myself included, and I strive to build a better life for myself daily because of her struggles. I hope you enjoy these poems and I hope they bring you as much joy (and emotions) as they have always brought me.

Senses of Insecurity
I couldn't tell fact from fiction
      or if my dream was true,
The only sure prediction
      in this whole world was you.
I'd touched your features inchly,
       heard love and dared the cost.
The scented spiel reeled me unreal
       and I found my senses lost.

Just for a Time
Oh how you used to walk
With that insouciant smile
I liked to hear you talk
And your style
Please me for a while.

You were my early love
New as a day breaking in Spring
You were the image of
Everything
That caused me to sing.

I don't like reminiscing
Nostalgia is not my forte
I don't spill tears
On yesterday's years
But honesty makes me say,
You were a precious pearl
How I loved to see you shine,
You were the perfect girl.
And you were mine.
For a time.
For a time.
Just for a time.
 
They Ask Why
A certain person wondered why
a big strong girl like me
wouldn't keep a job
which paid a normal salary.
I took my time to lead her
and to read her every page.
Even minimal people
can't survive on minimal wage.

A certain person wondered why
I wait all week for you.
I didn't have the words
to describe just what you do.
I said you had the motion
of the ocean in your walk,
and when you solve my riddles
you don't even have to talk.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

FEATURE: Book Blitz: When Lightning Strikes by Sedona Venez

Book & Author Details:

Title: When Lightning Strikes
Author: Sedona Venez
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Series: Credence Curse Series
Genre: Paranormal Romance - due to graphic language and sexual content this book is recommended for readers 18+

Purchase Link: Amazon

Synopsis:
The steamy sequel to BREAKING THE STORM by Sedona Venez.

He’s flawed like a MF, but I want him.

Ryker Alfero
Wolf-Shifter. Tattooed. Dangerous. Off-limits. Everything I crave — and everything I shouldn’t want.

“I would love to see what else your dirty little mouth can do.” With those little words, my body shivered as a surge of energy zipped into my body, unlocking something I didn’t understand. My brain started functioning with a clarity I hadn’t experienced in years. No warring emotions, just calmness.

This shouldn’t be happening, especially not with him. God. This was going to be a rough damn ride.

“I’ll do my best to break you in slowly, submissive,” he hissed, his voice dripping with raw sex.

Is total submission inevitable?

“When I get you under me, it’s going to be slow, hard, and memorable.” ~ Ryker


I have other plans.

“Go find yourself a woman stupid enough to settle for less than you're willing to give. Whose heart you can break without giving a sh*t. This woman is off limits.” ~ Lightning

***WARNING: When Lightning Strikes is an Paranormal Romance intended for mature audiences. Recommended Reading Age 18+***


AUTHOR BIO

Sedona Venez is the author of the New Adult Credence Curse series, and the New Adult Valkyries: Soaring Raven series. She is a NYC girl (go Brooklyn!) with a slight obsession with her iPad, Pinterest, and television shows Pawn Stars and Face Off. Her love of music, tattoos, rockers, alpha men and wolf-shifters inspires her edgy paranormal romance novels. She also writes Middle Grade/Young Adult under her real name, T.L. Clarke. You can find out more about Sedona and her novels by visiting http://www.sedonavenez.com



GIVEAWAY:


Book Blitz hosted by: Xpresso Book Tours

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

FEATURE: Waiting on Wednesday~ Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anna Blankman (#24)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Hi Swooners :-)

This week my "can't-wait-to-read" pre-publication selections are:

Expected release date: April 22, 2014
Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble


Summary from Goodreads:

In 1930’s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Muller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of Society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.

And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter names Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adores Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?


From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she’s ever believed…and to trust her own heart instead.
Why I'm waiting:

I'm obsessed with all things related to the Holocaust and even though this is Fiction, it still tugs at my heart strings. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

REVIEW: Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered-fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature-and of herself-while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

So I don't normally do this, but I feel like I can't even talk about this book without mentioning all the crucial moments so...

***SPOILERS AHEAD***


What the eff was that!?!?!? I’m in shock…and angry…and also sad. Very, very sad! There just aren't any words to properly describe how I’m feeling but i'll try my best...




This book is very difficult for me to review. I've spent way too much time crying over it and analyzing every detail and have decided that this ending was tragic and beautiful and full of so much emotion that I can hardly breathe...but it was worth every second because at the end of the day that's the effect every great book should have on you. 

description

There’s so much that I want to say about Allegiant that I just don’t even know where to begin. I’m trying to keep a level head, but I can’t promise that my emotions won’t show up and cripple me in ways that you could never understand until you read the book yourself…so bear with me.

At the end of the day I have to admit that I feel betrayed. Betrayed by Veronica Roth, betrayed by Tris, and betrayed by my own emotions. This last book was supposed to be an end to all of my questions, to all of my angst, but I feel like Veronica took it to a whole different level and left me filled with more of both things. The story takes a dramatic turn of events and turns some of our favorite characters (read: Natalie Prior) into totally different people. I feel lied to, like everything I believed was never true and i'm just not okay with that. I understand why she did what she did and I guess that understanding applies to both Veronica and Tris. I just wish that it would have been handled differently. In the words of Tobias "I guess a fire that burns that bright is not meant to last" and that's what Tris was, a bold fire whose light shined through the darkest of times: his darkest times, and her own. 

Now that I've shared some of my emotional baggage with you I'm going to make things easier and quicker and make a list of things that i'm NOT okay with in the book (because I've used all the energy I had left on thinking about it):

-The factions serving as an "experiment" to the Government
-The Government attempting to "reset" the people in the factions
-Tobias NOT being Divergent (Broke my heart...changes everything we believe in, WTF?!?)
- Evelyn being alive (seriously!?)
- Marcus NOT dying (per V. Roth "Marcus just wouldn't die" but Tris can?!?!)
- Tris dying (Not cool, Veronica. Not cool!)
- David living after he killed Tris
- And lastly, the fact that the death serum didn't kill Tris, but a few bullet shots did...after all that she's been through and that's how she goes out?!

So, I hope that after all of this you can see why i'm unable to function and why even though this was probably the most depressing series finale I've ever read, I can't help but acknowledge that it was a great one. For better or worse, my emotional damage reminds me of how a great book is supposed to make you feel. So to twist the words of Ollivander from Harry Potter: I think we can expect great things from Veronica Roth...After all, Allegiant did great things-terrible, yes, but great.

But on a side note: Veronica, TAKE THAT!


Monday, April 14, 2014

COVER REVEAL: The Gatekeeper by J.A. Templeton


The Gatekeeper by J.A. Templeton 
(Otherworld Series #1)
Publication date: May 1st 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance


Synopsis:

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had strange dreams that always came true, and experienced terrifying powers that set me apart from everyone else.


It’s not until my eighteenth birthday do I begin to understand what those dreams mean. When my grandfather is attacked and left for dead, I am thrust into the Otherworld--  medieval-like land of beautiful immortals with amazing gifts. One of these immortals has stolen the key between the realms, and it is up to me, Brynne Davies, the next gatekeeper, to reach the key before the power struggle that exists in the Otherworld occurs on Earth.

Complicating my task are the members of the Royal House of Parthas, especially the king’s brother, the handsome Murdoc, Warlord of the king’s army, and then there’s the charming Fae prince who seems to always be one step ahead of me.

Time is running out for me to find the key and close the door If I don’t, the world I left will never be the same…because of me.


The Gatekeeper (Otherworld series #1) is a New Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Romance.

About the author:

I wrote my first young adult novel over ten years ago, and took a slight detour from writing YA to publish nineteen adult romances. Now, I’m following my heart and writing in the genre I’ve been passionate about for so long, and about characters who don’t exactly fit into any specific box. Aside from writing and reading
, I’m obsessed with history, love research, traveling, and riding motorcycles with my hubby, my first and only love, who stole my heart when I was fourteen and he was eighteen (yes, he robbed the cradle). I am also a medium, which gives me a unique perspective when writing about the paranormal and characters like Riley, who can see, hear, and feel spirits. I’m passionate about books, and I’ll never tire of writing love stories.




Friday, April 11, 2014

FEATURE: Poetry Friday~ Bonnie Parker



Morning Swooners,

So i'm still celebrating Poetry Month and have decided to share with you another favorite poem of mine. Today we feature Bonnie Parker, of The Barrow Gang aka Bonnie and Clyde. Bonnie Parker wrote this poem while on a crime spree with Clyde Barrow in the early 1930's. This poem, to me, says so much about the person she was and the things she did. I hope it brings you the same feelings it has brought me each time I read it. 

The Story of Bonnie and Clyde

You’ve read the story of Jesse James
Of how he lived and died;
If you’re still in need
Of something to read,
Here’s the story of Bonnie and Clyde.

Now Bonnie and Clyde are the Barrow gang,
I’m sure you all have read
How they rob and steal
And those who squeal
Are usually found dying or dead.

There’s lots of untruths to these write-ups;
They’re not so ruthless as that;
Their nature is raw;
They hate all the law
The stool pigeons, spotters, and rats.

They call them cold-blooded killers;
They say they are heartless and mean;
But I say this with pride,
That I once knew Clyde
When he was honest and upright and clean.

But the laws fooled around,
Kept taking him down
And locking him up in a cell,
Till he said to me,
“I’ll never be free,
So I’ll meet a few of them in hell.”

The road was so dimly lighted;
There were no highway signs to guide;
But they made up their minds
If all roads were blind,
They wouldn’t give up till they died.

The road gets dimmer and dimmer;
Sometimes you can hardly see;
But it’s fight, man to man,
And do all you can,
For they know they can never be free.

From heart-break some people have suffered;
From weariness some people have died;
But take it all in all,
Our troubles are small
Till we get like Bonnie and Clyde.

If a policeman is killed in Dallas,
And they have no clue or guide;
If they can’t find a fiend,
They just wipe their slate clean
And hand it on Bonnie and Clyde.

There's two crimes committed in America
Not accredited to the Barrow mob;
They had no hand
In the kidnap demand,
Nor the Kansas City depot job.

A newsboy once said to his buddy;
“I wish old Clyde would get jumped;
In these awful hard time
We’d make a few dimes
If five or six cops would get bumped.”

The police haven’t got the report yet,
But Clyde called me up today;
He said, “Don’t start any fights
We aren’t working nights
We’re joining the NRA.”

From Irving to West Dallas Viaduct
Is known as the Great Divide,
Where the women are kin,
And the men are men,
And they won’t “stool” on Bonnie and Clyde.

If they try to act like citizens
And rent them a nice little flat,
About the third night
They’re invited to fight
By a sub-gun’s rat-tat-tat.

They don’t think they’re too tough or desperate,
They know that the law always wins;
They’ve been shot at before,
But they do not ignore
That death is the wages of sin.

Some day they’ll go down together;
And they’ll bury them side by side;
To few it’ll be grief
To the law a relief
But its death for Bonnie and Clyde.


--Bonnie Parker



Thursday, April 10, 2014

REVIEW: Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

One choice can transform you-or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves-and herself-while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.


Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable-and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I just have to warn you that this review totally dips into spoilery waters. Actually, it’s the whole spoilery ocean so read with caution....

This book was everything and nothing that I wanted it to be. As I’m sure you know there’s still so much loss that I’m mourning right now and I can’t seem to let certain things go without feeling a tinge of sorrow. And that ending…I need a moment to process this *rereads chapter again*

The secret revealed in the end, the one that hundreds of people died for, fought for, was kind of a crock of BS! I don’t know about you, but I feel like I was just slapped in the face. How did this happen?! Why did this happen!? And what am I supposed to believe in now, after all is said and done?! Well I guess that’s the point isn’t it? Nothing is over, not really. And I honestly don’t understand why this huge revelation was soooo hard for Marcus to tell Tris, I mean after it finally came out it’s like…yea, he really could have just told her. I feel a huge relief knowing that what was hidden for so long from the Factions is now revealed, but I just don’t think that it was something that should have cost hundreds of lives and it definitely was not worth the secrecy and lies between Tris and Tobias. Good job, Marcus. Good job!

And let’s talk about Tris! I mean, WTF is her deal!? I get that she’s grieving her losses and battling the fear and pain inside of her, but come on now. This was ridiculous! She turned into a lump of mush pretty much. Her life is in shambles and people are trying to kill her on a daily basis, but oh yea hey, let’s not take a gun for protection because I’m too afraid to shoot it!?! I understand that she’s hurting and I would be trembling with fear at all that has happened and that has been lost, but at the end of the day she needs to suck it up and keep pushing on because so many people depend on her strength.

But thank heavens for Tobias! I mean, he is just the swooniest thing ever! I swear my heart melts for that man, it really does. Everything that he says and does is just so strong and brave and perfect…Can I have him? Please? Pretty, pretty please?? Seriously though, Tobias has his own demons that he is dealing with and  has lost so much as well, but he is able to handle it a lot better than Tris. Of course he had his moments of douche-bagery, but he still kicked ass and embraced the broken shell that was Tris.

And let’s not even talk about Jeanine because I am so mad…………………what’s that you say? You want me to tell you this? Well only because you insisted and I’m not one to disappoint… This will be the only real spoiler I give because I just have to say what’s on my mind about this. So here it is: I’m baffled that our “villain” Jeanine did not get the ending she deserved.  After all the chaos and mayhem she created and as smart as she was, I feel like her death was just too cheesy. She didn’t even have a chance to fight, to defend herself, to do anything but cower in the corner. Now if there’s anything we’ve learned about Jeanine, we know that’s she’s not a coward and she’s way too smart to be undefended. So why did she die begging for her life? Why was she stabbed one time causing her death? That’s not the Jeanine we know. That’s not the death she deserved! I expected this grand finale fight, duel to the death, one man left standing. Instead I got one stab and a plea for her life. Not cool Veronica, not cool!

But overall, my heart still yearns for this story and it has left me reeling for Allegiant. I loved the fast paced action and yes, of course the love story between Tris and Tobias. I must know what happens…but I fear that I will not like it, I fear the book will leave me feeling more hurt than ever and I don’t know if I’ll be able to bounce back from it. I feel it will crush me beyond repair…I pray that I am wrong!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

FEATURE: Waiting on Wednesday (#23)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Hi Swooners :-)

This week my "can't-wait-to-read" pre-publication selections are:

Expected release date: April 15, 2014
Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble


Summary from Goodreads:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Why I'm waiting:

Writing letters to all my crushes who never knew I had a crush on them...then having all those letters being delivered to said boys and being confronted by all of them...Yea, that's on my list of fears that should never come true...Count me in!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

COVER REVEAL: One Two Three by Elodie Nowodazkij




Synopsis:


When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must chose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love.

Last year, Natalya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.

But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her onetime prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.

At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future got Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present, and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell.

But when upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.


Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?

About the author:

*Learn more about her upcoming releases by subscribing to her newsletter :-)*

The short story: Young adult author, Elodie Nowodazkij writes the stories swirling in her head during her commuting time.


The long story: Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found with a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master’s degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to her professors, she sometimes drafted stories in class. Now she lives in Germany with her husband and their cat (who doesn’t seem to realize he’s not human), and use her commuting time to write the stories swirling in her head. She’s also a serial smiley user. One Two Three is her first novel.