Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blog Tour - Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Character Interview & Giveaway


Today I have the pleasure of being part of the blog tour for Jennifer L. Armentrout's latest book, Stone Cold Touch. I am so happy to be taking part because I absolutely LOVED this book. And now I get to have Layla, Zayne and Roth answering a few questions. Be sure to keep reading to the end for your chance to win a signed copy of the book!

Emilie: Roth and Zayne, you’ve recently had to work together a little. How has it been doings something you never thought you would do?
Zayne: I hate working with a demon, but I’d do anything for Layla.
Roth: I’m more open-minded than Stony. He’s obviously a little judgy.

Emilie: Layla, what’s it like having to almost play referee between Roth and Zayne?
Layla: I hate that Roth and Zayne don’t get along because they’re both important to me. I understand why it’s hard for them to like each other, but it’s a constant back and forth between them. It drives me crazy.

Emilie: What’s one thing each of you admires about the others?
Roth: Zayne takes care of Layla. So he can’t be all bad. Mostly, but not all.
Zayne: Roth made a sacrifice for Layla that I wasn’t expecting. I have to admire that about him.
Layla: I admire both guys for different reasons. Roth surprised me because he’s completely different than I expected from a demon and Zayne has always been there for me from the first time that I met him.

Emilie: From what I know, you didn’t really see what happened with the Lilin coming. What do you think is going to happen next?
Roth: Not sure, but even Hell is worried.
Zayne: It can’t be good.

Emilie: To finish off, what would each of you say or do to convince people who haven’t read your story to do so?
Roth: I don’t think I need to convince anyone once they’ve met me.
Zayne: That’s your answer? How do you even stand being around him, Layla?
Layla: *Sigh*

Thank you to Layla, Zayne and Roth for answering these questions and even keeping things civil. Well, for the most part. If you want to get your hands on a signed copy of Stone Cold Touch, just leave a comment below and I will pick a winner from all the comments. US/Canada only. Ends November 11.



About the Book:
Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always proctedted her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers being to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could changer her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but will hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…


About the Author:
#1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories…which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published by Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant series has been optioned for TV.

She also write adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Blog Tour - All Broke Down by Cora Carmack + Giveaway


Title: All Broke Down (Rusk University #2)
Author: Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo / B&N
In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in…sometimes you have to fight what you love.

“No one does romance and humor like Cora Carmack!” —Jennifer L. Armentrout

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before—fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

I fell completely in love with Cora Carmack's Rusk University series when I read the first book, All Lined Up, earlier this year. Knowing how much I loved the book, I wasn't sure how the next installment, All Broke Down, could possibly top it, but it did. It was exactly what I was hoping it would be.

If there's one thing Dylan knows how to do it's fight for lost causes. It's what she's spent the last few years of her life doing, hoping that she can do what was once done for her. But when she finds herself in jail, Dylan knows she may have taken things too far. Except, if she hadn't wound up in jail, she wouldn't have met Silas Moore. Silas should have known better than to start going at it with Levi. Even as he was fighting, he knew it was a bad idea. But Levi hit all his buttons. In jail, Silas meets Dylan and knows exactly the type of girl she is. Except as he starts spending time with her, Silas realizes that Dylan is not who he initially thought, instead Dylan might just be the girl he needs if he wants to stay on the football team.

How can I even begin to explain how much I loved All Broke Down? This is one of those times when I wish I could just tell you that the book was awesome and you all need to read it, and that would be that. But I'll make an effort and try to say a little more than that. In a way, I was a little afraid that All Broke Down would be just like All Lined Up, except with different main characters. I'm happy to report, though, that I couldn't have been more wrong. All Broke Down was definitely its own story and I loved reading every page of it. It didn't take long at all for things to get started. I mean, within the first few pages Dylan has managed to find herself in jail and Silas is throwing punches at Levi. And so it didn't take long at all before Dylan and Silas met things started getting interesting. And from that point on, things just became fun. I enjoyed seeing this story develop, even if at times there were parts that were difficult to read and broke my heart a little. On a more serious note, and without revealing too much about the last part of the book, I really appreciated the way in which Cora Carmack chose to approach a matter that has gotten a lot of attention recently. It was good to see that people can't just get away with doing things because of their status at a university. Hopefully, it can help some people who have gone through something like this that there is something that can be done for them. And that's the end of that serious note. The important thing is, I absolutely LOVED All Broke Down, even more than I did the first book. And that's in large part thanks to Silas and Dylan.

Holy Silas Moore. Where do I even start with him? I had gotten a few glimpses of Silas in All Lined Up and what I had seen hadn't exactly painted a very positive picture. What I saw in All Broke Down, though, is that Silas was very much a layered character. There was so much more to him than that tough exterior he put on for the world to see. I loved peeling back the layers of Silas's character and seeing who he really was at his core. Because that was someone worth knowing and worth caring for. much like Dylan, it didn't take long at all for me to fall for Silas's charm. And Dylan was just a very likeable and relatable character. Because of her background, Dylan has major people-pleaser tendencies and that was something I could definitely relate to. But more than that, Dylan was such a great contrast to Silas. They balanced each other out and brought out the best in each other. And you better believe that I was rooting for them. They were great together and that's all that really mattered to me. And I loved seeing Dallas, Carson and Stella again (and I'm still holding out hope for a Stella and Ryan story, which, considering some of the events of this book, could be really interesting).

As you might have guessed if you've gotten this far, there was nothing I didn't love about Cora Carmack's All Broke Down. If I'm being honest, I would keep reading Rusk University books forever and I would be happy. And it should go without saying that I can't wait to see the story in All Played Out. Knowing who it's about, I just know I'm going to love it!


Giveaway!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross


Title: Whatever Life Throws at You
Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Life loves a good curveball…

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas’s life is completely upended the moment her dad returns to the major leagues as the new pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals. Now she’s living in Missouri (too cold), attending an all-girls school (no boys), and navigating the strange world of professional sports. But Annie had dreams of her own—most of which involve placing first at every track meet…and one starring the Royals’ super-hot rookie pitcher.

But nineteen-year-old Jason Brody is completely, utterly, and totally off-limits. Besides, her dad would kill them both several times over. Not to mention Brody has something of a past, and his fan club is filled with C-cupped models, not smart-mouthed high school “brats” who can run the pants off every player on the team. Annie has enough on her plate without taking their friendship to the next level. The last think she should be doing is falling in love.

But baseball isn’t just a game. It’s life. And sometimes, it can break your heart…

There is nothing I love more than a sweet contemporary with a kick-ass girl and swoon-worthy guy. I'm always on the lookout for just that kind of story. So when I heard about Julie Cross' Whatever Life Throws at You, I knew it was going to be right up my alley. And it totally was and I just tore through this book.

Annie Lucas was perfectly happy staying in Arizona. She went to school, kicked ass in track and even had a scholarship lined up for college even though she had a year left of high school. But when her dad gets the opportunity to get back to professional baseball as a pitching coach, she knows she can't stand in his way. Even if it means moving across the country to Kansas City, Missouri. When she gets there, the first person Annie meets is Jason Brody, the completely off-limits new rookie pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. Annie couldn't be farther from the type of women Brody is usually seen with. But you can't fight attraction, even if it could result in her dad killing them both. 

Whatever Life Throws At You is a book I randomly came across a while back. It sounded like something that I would enjoy so I promptly added it to my Goodreads "to read" shelf, like I do for dozens of other books. But then I saw someone tweeting about it last week and was reminded it of it. I quickly checked and it was available for my e-reader so I figured, why not? Honestly, I couldn't be happier about that random decision. I loved every page of this story. It didn't take long for me to get caught up in Annie and Brody's story. It was just so fun and happy and sweet. It was just a great romance read that was perfect for the mood I was in at the time. But I also loved the sport element that was present throughout the story. Whether it was seeing the behind the scenes of a professional baseball team or being at Annie's track meets, I just loved how sports were integral to this story. At times, it even felt like baseball was a character in the book. But not enough of one to overshadow the actual characters who, FYI, I loved.

If there's one sport I can relate to, it's running. All through middle and high school I ran cross-country and track competitively. So right off the bat (baseball pun not intended), I could relate to that aspect of Annie's character. But beyond that, I loved Annie's drive, how she wasn't afraid to go for what she wanted, even if it sometimes meant she acted before thinking things all the way through. Annie was just an all around great character and I loved getting to read this story from her perspective. And there's nothing I enjoyed more than seeing her interact with Jason Brody. If you haven't already met Jason Brody, you are missing out. I'll be the first to admit that I didn't exactly think much of him at first. He very much came across as that stereotype you have of a young professional athlete. But once the layers started being pulled back, I just loved him more and more. Let's just say that I would happily let him whisper to me in Spanish to calm me down in the middle of a tornado warning. And needless to say that I loved seeing Annie and Brody's relationship go from friendship to something more.

Julie Cross's Whatever Life Throws At You is a fun and adorable contemporary romance, perfect for sports lovers. It was exactly what I was in the mood for when I read it, and I would strongly encourage you to do the same. Odds are, you won't regret it.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Title: Stone Cold Touch (Dark Elements #2)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

I don't really know that there's anything new about Jennifer L. Armentrout that I can say. With every book of her's that I read, it just confirms that she's one of my favourite authors. I was really excited about reading Stone Cold Touch when I got a copy at BEA and I'm surprised that I waited this long to finally read it. But I'm SO HAPPY to have finally read it. 

For the last few weeks, Layla has been trying to pick up the pieces of her heart. After everything that happened in the school's old gym, she isn't sure how to go on anymore. Roth was the only person Layla could truly be herself around. With him she could embrace her demon side without feeling ashamed. But now Roth is gone, burning in the fiery pits of Hell. The only person left on Layla's side is Zayne. Her completely off-limits best friend. The person who's always been there for her. But things seem to be changing with Zayne. All of a sudden, he seems to be seeing Layla as more than just a little sister. But that's not the only thing changing around Layla. Her powers are changing, the Wardens are convinced she might be becoming a threat. And when she least expects it, Roth returns.

So. Stone Cold Touch. What can I say, other than I loved it? I'll do my best to say a little more than that, because it's not entirely helpful. Here's the thing about me and series, I have trouble keeping up with them. No matter how much I love them, I can't bring myself to keep up with them. And then when it's the second book in a trilogy, I'm always afraid it's just going to act as filler to tide me over until the last book. But that was far from a problem with Stone Cold Touch. The story picks up shortly after the event of the first book, and as a reader, you're thrown right back into the middle of it. Much like in the first book, the nature of many of the characters made it difficult to know who I could trust, and who was actually telling the truth. Every so often I would think I had caught one of them in a lie, but then something new would be brought to light and I was back to being confused. But confused in a good way. And once again, the ending took me completely by surprise. I kinda figured something big was going to happen. Jennifer L. Armentrout had actually told me as much when I met her at BEA, but I didn't think that was going to be it. Needless to say, I'm excited to see where things are going to go in the final book.

After having read Stone Cold Touch, I still love Layla just as much, if not more, than I did after I finished reading White Hot Kiss. The world just seems to be against her no matter what she does, and I can't help but want better for her. I felt her pain at losing Roth. Hell, I was not a happy person when Roth ended up in the fiery pits in the first book. And I felt her struggle with her feelings for Zayne, wanting more, but always being afraid that it would result in her getting hurt. I just want GOOD stuff to happen to Layla, but at the rate things are going that might not happen for a while. And now here's the thing about Zayne and Roth. Once, again I kept going back and forth between the two. This time around, I definitely got to see a whole lot more of Zayne. Basically, I got to see a whole other side of him and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED it. Meanwhile, Roth was being kind of annoying but kept on doing these little things that made me love him. It's just hard to choose between the two. Which leads me to say that as much as I was doubtful of having readers pick who Layla ends up with in the final book (more info on that here), I can see how it might work because I honestly can't decide on who I want her with. Both boys have their flaws and their merits and I love them both for completely different reasons. And maybe we can just clone Layla so she can be with both boys and no one gets their heart broken. How does that sound?

So yeah, I loved Jennifer L. Armentrout's Stone Cold Touch. Is anyone who knows me actually surprised by that fact? I didn't think so. I was definitely not disappointed by this second installment of the Dark Elements trilogy, and I can't wait to see how it will all end in Every Last Breath.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blog Tour - Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot


Today I am happy to be taking part in the Canadian blog tour for Chelsey Philpot's newly released Even in Paradise. As part of the tour, I asked Chelsey to talk about where she gets inspiration and ideas from. So if you're looking for new ways to get ideas, keep reading!
When it comes to uncovering ideas and discovering the right words, I’ve found that writing is more like searching through debris in a neglected attic than shopping a well-lit megastore. More often than not, my thoughts crawl instead of spring. More often than not, I produce more sentences that I can’t use than ones I can. More often than not, as Jack London once so famously said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. you have to go after if with a club.”

But how do you hunt an idea? Pin down a revelation? I can’t answer for every writer, but here are a few “clubs” that work for me.

1. Read poetry. Whether I’m writing fiction or nonfiction, poetry never disappoints. I particularly love the work of Paul Kane, Charles Wright, and Nancy Willard.

2. Look at some awesome travel photography. I’ve adored National Geographic since I was little.

3. Check out art. I have never met an art museum that I have not wanted to explore.

4. Move. Get away form the desk! I’m lucky to live near both ocean beaches and mountains.

5. Dance. I feel I don’t need to explain this one.

6. Do research. Whether my research involves looking through archives or watching YouTube videos, I love doing it—so much so that I have trouble stopping and getting to the actual writing.

7. Read about writing. I love discovering what rituals, practices, etc. for other writers.

8. Talk to strangers. Interviews with interesting people who may never have spoken to are among some of my best journalism experiences.

9. Have adventures. Travel. I would live out of a suitcase for the rest of my life if I could carry all my books with me.

10. Be brave. Each fresh experience, each time you try something strange or scary, might be the start of your next article, story, or book. Impulse can lead to crazy and wonderful stories.

Thank you to Chelsey for this post and sharing the strategies she found work to find inspiration and new book ideas!


About the book
When Julia Buchanan enrols at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do…or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.


But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden…until now.


About the author
Chelsey Philpot grew up on a farm in New Hampshire and now works as an editor and journalist. She’s written from the New York Times, Boston Globe, Slate, and numerous other publications. Like her main character, Charlotte, Chelsea attended boarding school in New England. You can visit her online at www.chelseyphilphot.com or on Twitter @ChelseyPhilpot.


And be sure to follow the rest of the Canadian Even in Paradise blog tour!

October 13 - A Glass of Wine
October 15 - Emilie's Book World
October 17 - Lily's Book Blog
October 20 - SukasaReads
October 21 - Hiver et Café
October 24 - Read My Breath Away


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