Tuesday, May 27, 2014


***WINNERS have been randomly selected and emailed! Congrats Alice, Chanpreet, & Quentin!!! Thank you all for entering! Please check back for more giveaways and writing news! Happy Reading!***

In honor of the release of PERFECTLY MESSY (the sequel to Effortless With You) by Lizzy Charles I'm giving away THREE ecopies!!!

I absolutely adored EFFORTLESS WITH YOU by Lizzy Charles and if you haven't read it you can check out my review here. I've been eagerly awaiting the release of PERFECTLY MESSY since I finished the first book and finally the day is here! Charles is an incredible writer who creates characters and worlds so real you feel like you've lived them yourself and diving into her second novel is like visiting old friends. To learn more about Lizzy Charles and her work visit her site here!

From Goodreads: Popularity isn't everything it's cracked up to be. Justin Marshall knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business owner, and son of Minnesota's next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for the man he’s trying to be.

But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen kisses and whispered promises just aren't enough. That is, until scandalous photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal during Justin's dad's gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect her: he breaks her heart.

For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.

Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can’t live without.

My take: PERFECTLY MESSY, the sequel to EFFORTLESS WITH YOU by Lizzy Charles is a breath of fresh air in the contemporary young adult market. The characters are well rounded and extremely likable, jumping off the page so much you feel like they’re a part of your lives. Charles places these wonderful characters in real-life high-stress scenarios that would even make adults buckle, let alone the two teenage leads. Yet, these experiences define and shape who they are, and that is what is so beautiful about the young adult genre. Charles’ characters handle the situations thrown at them in a real and raw way that only teenagers could and that is what makes PERFECTLY MESSY so undeniably fantastic...the sheer ‘reality’ of this beautiful piece of young adult fiction.

Charles decided to alternate the points of view between main characters Lucy and Justin, and if you’ve read EFFORTLESS WITH YOU then you know how much of an awesome treat it is to finally get inside Justin’s gorgeous head! The decision, in my opinion, was a brilliant one because it allows readers to get a more in-depth look at the characters and the obstacles that are pushing at them from both sides. It gives insight into their characteristics, seeing how they each react differently to the same situation, and it strengthens them as individuals, separating them both from the relationship that makes them whole. The technique is beautifully done and Charles gives readers two unique and clearly distinct voices which weave effortlessly between chapters. 

The chemistry between Justin and Lucy that readers fell in love with during the first book is doubled if not tripled in PERFECTLY MESSY. This time Charles raises the stakes, putting their relationship under the scrutiny of a political-fueled media and the harshest kind of judges--their peers. No matter how perfect their relationship was, or they were for each other, they were going to run into obstacles, and Charles didn’t pull any punches, placing our beloved Lucy and Justin in the tensest of situations, forcing them to question their love, their family, and their true sense of self. And it is well-written, with a sharp pace that keeps you turning pages, and dialogue that is so realistic readers will feel transported to high school, in a good way. Another thing I love about Charles, like I stated before, this is a real story. Too often in the young adult genre we find characters behaving in a manner that teenagers wouldn’t dream of and her characters are extraordinary in their believability. 

And if nothing of the above hooks you, then let me give you this...the HEAT between Justin and Lucy is enough to pick up this book. Their relationship is intense, with a love the sings every time their in each other’s presence, and an electricity that sizzles off the page. Lucy isn’t the girl who stands behind Justin (though she does have his back) she’s the girl who stands beside him, matching each of his confident strides, as well as each of his screw ups. That’s what I love about Lucy, she’s a strong female character who is able to love the male lead while knowing who she is and this enhances the relationship between the two rather than deter it. I mean, what is better than two strong characters joining together and embarking on a true tale of love, complete with the ups and downs and trials that come naturally during that time period in their lives?

PERFECTLY MESSY is all and more than fans of EFFORTLESS WITH YOU could hope for and will have readers cheering for Justin and Lucy one second and fanning themselves from the heat the next. 

This is definitely a read you don't want to miss! So I'm giving away three ecopies! Simply enter the rafflecopter below! 

Happy Reading!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

WINNER! GIVEAWAY!!! Dark Days of Summer SIGNED books!

***Congrats Tamara! Rafflecopter chose your entry and I've sent an email to confirm. Thank you to everyone who entered and please check back for more giveaways and writer news! Happy Reading***

GIVEAWAY! WIN signed copies of THE TAKING by Kimberly Derting, DOROTHY MUST DIE by Danielle Paige, THE ONE by Kiera Cass, & SEA OF SHADOWS by Kelley Armstrong! 

There is nothing quite like stepping into a bookstore. The scent of freshly printed books waiting to be cracked open, the hushed silence that surrounds discovery, and the enchanting visual of a thousand different covers begging to be chosen. Add to that FOUR stunning authors and what do you get? The best birthday ever! 

A snapshot of a very special birthday cupcake!
My husband went out of his way to research when my favorite author would be signing near us and as luck would have it, she was signing in the Dark Days of Summer event in Kansas City! Not far from us and the week of my birthday? Could it get any better? Turns out...It could! 

Not only was my favorite author--Kimberly Derting--signing that night, but three other incredible authors--Kiera Cass, Danielle Paige, & Kelley Armstrong--were singing as well!

Here they are! Only got the top of Kelley Armstrong's head!
They opened up with an amazing panel where they answered commonly asked questions regarding their most recent work--everything from their choice of secondary characters to how much fun it is to write kissing scenes :) 

Next they answered questions from the audience. I couldn’t ask for a better source of information than from four different authors, each with a unique take on the writing process, and an insider’s view of the wonderful genre that is Young Adult! And, honestly, I can’t thank the stars enough for whatever power kept my little 10 month old Lexi happy throughout this segment, where we all listened in revered silence. My husband was prepared to walk the store with her if she got fussy, but she ended up being as enamored with the authors as I was! 

Kimberly Derting & Me
After Q&A we were all lucky enough to get our books signed! This really is a testament to the authors and the wonderful workers at Barnes & Noble because the turnout was fantastic! The seats filled up an hour before the event started and there were groups of people standing on either side and still each author was able to sign, speak to, and snap photos with the readers that turned out! 

Not only are these ladies fantastic writers, they are incredibly kind individuals. Nerves can get in the way when you’re approaching rockstars of the literary world (I speak from personal experience) and yet their approachable air plus their love for the genre made the experience unforgettable. That and the fact that Lexi snuggled with two of them ;) 

Naturally I want to share this cloud nine high :) I’m giving away a signed copy of each of their books! Below is a description of each book and then the rafflecopter to enter to win them! This is open to US only due to the amount and weight of these books :)
Happy Reading! 

THE TAKING--From Goodreads.com:

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day. 

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men. 

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

DOROTHY MUST DIE--From Goodreads.com:

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

THE ONE--From Goodreads.com:

The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers' hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey... Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.

SEA OF SHADOWS--From Goodreads.com:

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.