Blog Tour: TWELVE STEPS by Veronica Bartles – Book Review

twelve steps banner

Happy Thursday!! Today I’m participating in the blog tour of TWELVE STEPS by Veronica Bartles! My review is below as is the link to the giveaway. Enjoy!

twelve steps cover

Twelve Steps

by Veronica Bartles Genre: YA Contemporary Romance Publisher: Swoon Romance (25 March 2014) Book Summary: Sixteen-year-old Andi is tired of being a second-class sibling to perfect sister Laina. There in Laina’s shadow, Andi’s only noticeable feature is her pretty awesome hair. And even that is eclipsed by Laina’s perfect everything else. When Andi’s crush asks her to fix him up with Laina, Andi decides enough is enough and devises a twelve-step program to wrangle the spotlight away from Laina. After all, great hair must count for something. Step 1: Admit she’s powerless to change her perfect sister, and accept that her life really, really sucks. OK, maybe that’s two steps in one. Step 4: Make a list of her good qualities besides great hair. There have got to be at least three good qualities, right? Step 7: Demand attention for more than just her shortcomings, and break out of her shell. Easier said that done, but worth the effort in the long-run.  When a stolen kiss from her crush ends in disaster, Andi finds that her prince isn’t as charming as she’d hoped, and realizes she may need a new program–perhaps with less steps! As cracks in Laina’s flawless façade begin to show, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine.

Add to Goodreads!

Buy Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Kobo | iTunes

My Review

Owl Rating

five owls

I absolutely adored this book! I first heard about TWLEVE STEPS during Pitch Wars when the book’s author, Veronica Bartles, shared, via Twitter, the story of how she ended up getting published and got her agent. It’s story of a girl living in her sister’s shadow drew me in not only because of the girl’s humorous yet practical approach to dealing with her problem (aka her twelve step program), but because I’m the older sister and my siblings are always saying things like, “I’m not you, Patrice.”

That being said, I’m not Laina, maybe my siblings see me as that, but I strongly identify with Andi: her feelings of being lost and wanting to be something more than who people see you as, especially. And I LOVE theater…I actually recited a monologue from Our Town during a UIL competition senior year of high school & I love Cinderella so that only brought back great memories…Also, in musicals I NEVER got the part I wanted (plays were my strong suit) so, like Andi, I had to learn how to steal the show “from the shadows.”

There were so many great lines in the book. It read so well, I could easily see this staged, as a play or movie. I think it’s the theater person in me + my junior year of AP English during which my teacher made me fall in love with sentence structure that had me highlighting lines. Here are a few of my favorites from Andi (I picked them from early on so as to not spoil anything):

  • “It isn’t as easy as you’d think to keep up the “I am who I am, and I don’t really care what you say about me” act, but what other choice do I have?”
  • “They believe me, because they want to.”
  • “You never have to actually answer most questions. You only have to make people think you did.”

I resonate so much with these lines. I like to think I’m a reformed manipulator and I can definitely say that acting like you don’t care is often much harder than letting your emotions show.

I focused a lot on the sister-sister relationship 1) because you don’t see a lot of that in YA and 2) because that’s what really drew me in, but the romance is equally as good. It’s sweet, bittersweet at first, but all’s well that ends well! I love how Andi gets to see that Laina isn’t as perfect as she thinks she is. I try to be very honest with my siblings about that, even though it’s hard to let those who look up to you know that you have made (& make) mistakes.

It’s a fast read that’ll have you laughing during one chapter and crying during the next, but it leaves you feeling refreshed and so much more content with yourself. I’m definitely going to give this to my little sister(s) to read when they’re a bit older (my brother would likely say, “ugh, I already know I’m awesome, duh.”…completely missing the point, LOL.) It’s $2.99 so you should definitely go buy you a copy, it’s worth every penny!

**I received this book from YA Bound & Swoon Reads to read & review for the tour. This is a 100% honest review.**

 About the Author veronica bartlesAs the second of eight children and the mother of four, Veronica Bartles is no stranger to the ups and downs of sibling relationships. (She was sandwiched between the gorgeous-and-insanely-popular older sister and the too-adorable-for-words younger sister.) She uses this insight to write stories about siblings who mostly love each other, even while they’re driving one another crazy.   When she isn’t writing or getting lost in the pages of her newest favorite book, Veronica enjoys knitting fabulous bags and jewelry out of recycled plastic bags and old VHS tapes, sky diving (though she hasn’t actually tried that yet), and inventing the world’s most delectable cookie recipes.  TWELVE STEPS is Veronica Bartles’s first novel. Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook

***GIVEAWAY***

 1 ebook of Twelve Steps & $10 Amazon gift card (INT) Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Tour Organized by:

YA Bounk Tour Button

YA Bound Book Tours

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Blog Tour: Review of ALL THAT GLOWS by Ryan Graudin

AllThatGlows

Good morning, readers :) Today I’m participating in the blog tour of ALL THAT GLOWS by Ryan Graudin. Enjoy (my review is below & there’s a giveaway)! Also, isn’t the cover gorgeous!!

AllThatGlows pb cTitle: ALL THAT GLOWS

Author: Ryan Graudin

Publisher: Harper Teen

Pages: 480

Pub. Date: February 11, 2014

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

My Review:

Owl Rating

 When I started reading this book, I was immediately drawn in by the author’s rich writing. Graudin is masterful at weaving setting and with a book set in London, mastering the setting is key. Not to mention, it’s a book about faerys and I LOVE faerys. I love the twist Graudin brings to the table. A faery godmother who, while being very old, doesn’t walk around with a magic wand, etc…but is a guardian and looks like a teenager. The worldbuilding is well drawn out, especially when it came to faery lore or instances like spellcasting, I felt like I was in the book wit goosebumps appearing on my arms.

The contrast  between Richard and Emrys is hilarious. From the very beginning she’s unhappy about guarding this party animal of a prince (I would be too) then she starts to like him and that’s when things really get interesting. Not to mention Richard surprised me. I thought he would be this pompous A-hole but he’s sweet and caring and smart, even if he does like to party and drink a little much he wins you over from the beginning.

I was surprised I liked this book as much as I did. I’m not a huge romance person however I think it was because from the beginning, I knew the romance would play a large part. My only thing is I found Emrys’s characterization at times to be a bit irrational, maybe? Because for a thousand year old Faery she sure was overly careless at the beginning nor does she act as mature as I would expect one of her age to however I think that’s mostly because as a reader, you have to remember that while she’s old in human years, she’s a teenager in faery years.

All in all, I’d recommend this to anyone whose a fan of popular fairy tale books like Holly Black’s Tithe but wants something with a bit more romance and a little less dark (writing wise both are amazing).

RyanAbout Ryan:

Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of All That Glows and The Walled City. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog. You can find her online at http://www.ryangraudin.com.

Her work is represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.

Website/Blog/Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

2 signed copies OF ALL THAT GLOWS and two tins of tea! US/Canada only.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Tour Schedule

Week One

2/3/14- Fantasy Book Addict– Review

2/4/2014- Crossroad Reviews– Review

2/5/2014- Whimsically Yours Review

2/6/2014- Step Into Fiction– Interview

2/7/2014- Book Whales– Review

Week Two

2/10/2014- Fiktshun– Guest Post

2/11/2014- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post

2/12/2014- All Things Urban Fantasy– Guest Post

2/13/2014- Kindle and Me– Excerpt

2/14/2014- IceyBooks– Interview

 

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

 

Cover Reveal: SALT by Danielle Ellison!!!

Hello Readers 🙂 Today Danielle Ellison and Entangled Teen are revealing the cover for SALT (Danielle’s debut!!), releasing in January 2014! As a proud member of SALT Shakers (Danielle’s Street Team) I’m so happy to share with you the gorgeous cover, exclusive excerpt, and giveaway of an eARC of SALT!

On to the reveals!

SALT-COVER-FINAL-500SALT
Author: Danielle Ellison
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Book Blurb:

Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find “her” demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

Exclusive Excerpt

“Jealousy is cute on you, Pen.”

“Don’t call me that,” I snap, pushing my coffee away from me. “And I’m not jealous.”

He leans back on the chair. “Sure. And I don’t think you’re adorable.” I jerk my eyes up. He’s smiling. Screw this—this is so frustrating. I tap my foot under the table.

“We’re stating the facts, right?” he says.

“Right,” I say.

I don’t have time for this. And what is wrong with this coffee? I feel like I swallowed a fire and it’s all just burning at my stomach.

“You look sick again,” he says.

The poorly—or perfectly—timed waitress comes back with Carter’s coffee and a whole tray of drinks. Carter, obviously, flirts again. I don’t know if he’s doing it to get a reaction out of me, but I’m not going to give him one. I watch him and say nothing, but the whole time it feels darker inside my head and my stomach whirs. It’s more empty, and more full, and unsettled at once. The waitress turns to leave a when it happens.

The waitress coughs, as if she suddenly can’t breathe, and trips. She flies across the air. The tray spills all over a table of four. I gasp, horrified. Another waitress grabs her by the waist, trying to give her the Heimlich. The waitress coughs out the gum. She’s crying hysterically, apologizing to the customers dripping with water.

The weirdest part? As soon it happens, all the fury that was building up inside of me disappears. It’s calm again, normal. The change is so sudden that my fingernails dig into the table. All I can hear is the waitress’s cry.

“I don’t know what happened,” she sobs over and over again. I close my eyes. Everything inside me is completely still. No storm, no clawing, no emptiness or fullness. In fact, I’m suddenly starving.

Carter’s looking at me when I open my eyes. There’s something unsettling in his gaze, something suspicious.

“I gotta go,” I say. He starts to say something. I don’t stay long enough to find out what it is.

Somehow I just did magic.

About the Author

Danielle

Danielle Ellison is from a small town in West Virginia. She spent her childhood pretending to fly and talking to imaginary friends. When she grew up, she finally flew away (in an airplane) and started traveling the world. She hasn’t stopped yet, but someday she may decide to settle in one place. Her real life friends would definitely like that; they would probably also like if she stopped talking to her characters out loud.

SALT comes out in January 2013, and then it’s sequel. In October 2014, FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS (book one of the BOUNDLESS Trilogy) comes out. She’s got a busy few years!

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

1 eARC of SALT (International)

Enter via Rafflecopter

Isn’t it a pretty cover? Congrats Danielle, I can’t wait to read it!!! Also, purple is my favorite cover so this is a triple win 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Double Cover Reveal: LEGEND OF ME & THE WINTER PEOPLE by Rebekah L. Purdy!!!

Hello Readers 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful Turkey Day (for those of you who celebrate it)!! Today I have the honor of aiding in the reveal of Rebekah Purdy’s two new YA books (both from Entangled Teen)!!  If you remember I last had Rebekah here for my interview with her and review of her YA debut, THE CINDERELLA COMPLEX (so good!). LEGEND OF ME releases in early 2014, and THE WINTER PEOPLE releases on July 1, 2014! Check out the gorgeous covers, exclusive excerpts, and enter to win an eARC of each!

On to the reveals!

(#1)

LEGEND OF ME
Author: Rebekah Purdy
Release Date: Early 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Add it to your Goodreads shelf!

Book Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Brielle has grown up hearing tales of a beast that kills humans, leaving behind only a scattering of bones and limbs. Or so the village elders say. She thinks it’s just their way of keeping children in line, though it doesn’t explain her grisly premonitions of blood, claws, and severed heads.

When Lord Kenrick, Knight of the Crowhurst Order, shows up asking questions about the legendary monster and Brielle finds a mangled body in the woods, she begins to wonder if the grim stories are true. Her attraction to the handsome knight grows as she spends time with him searching for clues to the creature’s existence, and she becomes even more determined to help him discover the beast’s location.

But as her seventeenth birthday approaches, her nightmares worsen. If Brielle doesn’t figure out the connection between Kenrick, the monster, and visions of a ghostly woman in the woods soon, more people could die. Including those closest to her…

Exclusive Excerpt!

Brambles scratched my legs, snagging my skirt. Gnarled trees bent in gruesome forms, while thick shadows splayed out beneath them. A heavy gloom settled over the woodland as wisps of fog slithered like snakes against the ground. I shivered.

Don’t think. I picked an animal trail to follow, stepping over dead branches and forest debris. Blood pounded in my ears and the hair on the back of my neck prickled. I twisted around to glance behind me.

Nothing there. Only the trees. Urgency gripped hold of me and I picked up my pace once more. As I scrambled through the thicket, an overwhelming scent of rotten meat made me gag. I covered my mouth with my hand and stopped running when a bright red piece of fabric caught my eye. With hesitant steps, I moved toward it.

“Oh God.” I stumbled. There, sticking out from beneath a barberry bush was a severed arm, its finger pointed at me in accusation. My breath came in gasps as I scanned the rest of the clearing.

My foot nudged against something and I looked down in horror to find the head of Liam Gatekeeper staring up at me.

I screamed, backing away as fast as I could. All around me were pieces of his body scattered like breadcrumbs. I shielded my eyes with my hands, until I bumped into something else.

With another scream, I whipped around only to find myself faced with an oak tree covered in dried blood and deep claw marks. My vision darkened and I prayed I wouldn’t faint, that I wouldn’t be stuck in the woods. Because somewhere out here, a monster lurked. If I didn’t believe it before, I did now. The beast was real.

(#2)

 THE WINTER PEOPLE
Author: Rebekah Purdy
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1622663682
Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

Book Blurb:

An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.

Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to “stay away.” For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the “special gifts” that must be left at the back of the property.

Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.

Exclusive Excerpt!

The sky darkened with ominous storm clouds. Giant flakes fell onto my face, sticking to my eyelashes and cheeks. Snow blew unhindered across the yard into what looked like small tornadoes.

Oh God. It’s happening again. The frigid air. The creaking of the treetops beneath the wind. Even the way the snow blew across the yard.

I only had one more feeder. Just needed to toss the seeds in then I could leave. Be safe.

The pond water rippled, while the trees bent beneath the strong gusts. Soon, everything became so white I couldn’t see the house. In the distance a strange tinkling sounded, like dozens of wind chimes.

What had the shrink told me to do?

Ten, nine, eight. Breathe. Seven, six, five. Shit!

 Panic stole my thoughts. I backed away from the pond as the flurries swirled toward me. Chasing me.

Then, I bumped into something—something that felt quite human. A firm chest, arms, hands. Not something, someone. A shriek tumbled from my lips and I spun around to face my captor.

“It’s okay. I won’t hurt you,” a soft masculine voice said, pale hands clinging to my arms as he kept me from falling.

My gaze followed those long fingers, up black leather sleeves, to the most gorgeous face I’d ever seen. My breath caught in my throat. I’m gawking. But I couldn’t help it. His raven hair shot with strands of blue, his face pale and perfect, like an ice sculptor had chiseled it into existence. His eyes—oh God, his eyes. They were the palest blue I’d ever seen. Glacial. He had to be over six feet tall, muscles evident through the tight shirt he wore beneath an unzipped jacket.

His mouth turned up at the corners as if enjoying my scrutiny. A cocky grin that made my cheeks warm.

“You’re trespassing.” I tried to keep the tremble from my voice. “This is private property, or can’t you read the signs?” Bravo, that’s right, scare him off with your bitchiness.

He chuckled. And it sounded like the low song of the chimes. “Doris doesn’t mind me coming around. In fact, I’ve met you before, Salome.”

My name on his lips made my knees go buttery. I groaned inwardly.

“You know my grandma?” I fidgeted with the bucket still in hand.

He gave a nod. “Yeah, I’ve known her for years. But I haven’t seen you since you were a child.”

Warning bells went off in my mind, but I pushed them aside. If he knew my grandma, then he must be okay. “Funny, I don’t remember you at all.”

“Don’t you, Salome?” Strands of my hair blew about my face. He reached a hand out as if to touch them then stopped, dropping his arms back to his side.

“No. Grandma’s never mentioned you.”

He gave me another cocky grin. “Well then, maybe we should be reacquainted.”

“Or maybe not.” I snorted. “I’m not sure how you got on the property, Grandma keeps all the gates locked.”

He produced an antique-looking skeleton key. “She gave me this. Like I said, Doris has known me for a long time.”

“I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be a jerk or anything, it’s just my grandma never mentioned I’d have visitors.” In fact, I wondered why she didn’t ask this guy to watch her house instead of me.

The arrogance left his face and he stared at me. “Perhaps, we can try this again.” He held his hand out to me. “I’m Nevin.”

 About the Author:

Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan (just look for the mitten-shaped state on the map). She’s lived there most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army.  At which time she got a chance to experience MO, KS, SC, and CA.

She works full time for the court system and in her free time she writes YA stories. Pretty much any genre within the YA realm is game for her, but her favorites are fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, thrillers, light sci-fi, and some time travel.

She also has a big family–she like to considers them the modern day Brady Bunch. When her hubby and her met and got married, he had 3 children from a previous marriage, she had 2 and  have 1 together. It’s a lot of fun though.

And she can’t forget her other family members–yep, they’ve got some pets: 4 dogs, 3 cats,  and 1 turtle. Everyone in the family has one…she won’t bore you all with their names (unless you really want to know). Okay, you talked her into it! Jack, Pearl, Grr…(yes that’s her dog’s name), Callie, Shadow, Mooshoo, Grouchy, and Sorbert. Other than writing some of her other hobbies include: reading (mostly YA of course), singing, swimming, football, soccer, running, camping, sledding, church, hanging with her kids, and traveling.

She belong to a fabulous writing group called YA Fiction Fantatics (YAFF) and you guessed it they all write YA!

REPPED by Jennifer Mishler and Frances Black of Literary Counsel.

And that’s her in a big ‘ol nutshell.

Website /Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

1 eARC of LEGEND OF ME International

1 eARC of THE WINTER PEOPLE International

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Congrats Rebekah! These covers are gorgeous, I can’t wait to read the books 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Happy Book Birthday: WHISPER FALLS by Elizabeth Langston!!!

Whisper Falls Book Cover

Paperback, 328 pages
Expected publication: November 19th 2013 by Spencer Hill Press
ISBN 1937053423
Series: Whisper Falls #1

Book Blurb

While training for a mountain bike race, high-school senior Mark Lewis spots a mysterious girl dressed in odd clothing, standing behind a waterfall in the woods near his North Carolina home. When she comments on the strange machine that he rides, he suspects something isn’t right. When Susanna claims to be an indentured servant from 1796, he wonders if she’s crazy. Yet he feels compelled to find out more.

Mark enters a ‘long-distance’ relationship with Susanna through the shimmering–and temperamental–barrier of Whisper Falls. Curious about her world, Mark combs through history to learn about the brutal life she’s trapped in. But knowledge can be dangerous. Soon he must choose between the risk of changing history or dooming the girl he can’t stop thinking about to a lifetime of misery.

Book Links

About the Author

elizabeth-langstonHello, I’m Elizabeth Langston, and I write fiction for young adults. My debut novel, Whisper Falls (Whisper Falls, #1), releases November 19, 2013.

I live in North Carolina and work in the computer industry for my day job. I have two YA daughters and one really old husband. At night, when I’m not writing, I’m watching TV (So You Think You Can Dance, The Daily Show, Castle) or reading (and that is all over the place.)

Author Links:

Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Website

For more fun interviews, guest posts, and reviews relating to Elizabeth & WHISPER FALLS be sure to go back and look at some of the amazing posts from the Blog Tour!

Blog Tour Schedule

November 5 – Introductory Post: Reading With Me Tumblr (that’s us!!)

November 6 – Review: Books Complete Me (Nicole) 

November 7 – Guest Post: Read For Your Future (Lora) 

November 8 – Guest Post: Bookaroo-Ju (Julie) 

November 9 – Guest Post: Letters in the Sand (De’Anne) 

November 10 – Character Interview & Review: Oops! I Read A Book Again (Dianne)

November 11 – Author Interview: Fantasy Book Addict (Stacey) 

November 12 – Guest Post: Because reading is better than real life (Michelle)

November 13 – Author Interview: Adventures in Writer Land (Heather) 

November 14 – Review: WTF Are you reading? (Frishawn) 

November 15 – Review: Reading Lark (Andrea)

November 16 – Author Interview: Never Ending Stories Book Blog (Ta’Necia)

November 17 – Guest Post: My Guilty Obsession (Ali)

November 18 – Author Interview: Cover Contessa (Brooke) 

Whimsically Yours,

PnC