Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Spies and Prejudice

For this week, I'm taking you into the world of contemporary YA.  I know, shock and gasp!  And yes, this one has already been published as well.  It actually came out June 11, the same day as last week's posting.  But I think you'll agree that this one looks interesting.

Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance
About the Book:  Fields’ Rule #1: Don’t fall for the enemy.

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.

So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.

But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?

With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.

There's just something about a good spy book.  Or a good spy movie.  Don't know what it is, but they rock (if done right).  And add in a little Jane Austen?  I'm hooked.

By the way, if you like spy books and you haven't tried Ally Carter's Gallagher Girl series yet, where have you been?  You really, really need to try them.  They're very good.  Seriously.  I recommend them highly.  A high school for proper spy ladies?  I know it sounds weird but just trust me on this one.  That is, if you haven't tried them yet.  :)

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Born Of Illusion

Okay, so I'm doing really bad again.  Today's WOW pick is another book that was actually recently released.  So this isn't a pre-release waiting post per say.  But since I don't have my hands on this yet, I think I'm definitely still waiting to read it.  This week I'm breaking away from the fairy tale theme (and trust me, I could have featured another fairy tale book this week.  There are TONS about there I'm waiting to read).  So let's try a little bit of historical fiction this week, shall we?

Born of Illusion by Teri Brown
About the Book: Anna Van Housen is thirteen the first time she breaks her mother out of jail. By sixteen she’s street smart and savvy, assisting her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, and easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums and mentalists in 1920’s New York City. Handcuffs and sleight of hand illusions have never been much of a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic mother, who will stop at nothing to gain her ambition of becoming the most famous medium who ever lived. But when a strange, serious young man moves into the flat downstairs, introducing her to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, he threatens to reveal the secrets Anna has fought so hard to keep, forcing her to face the truth about her past. Could the stories her mother has told her really be true? Could she really be the illegitimate daughter of the greatest magician of all?
In case you didn't catch the reference, that "greatest magician of all" refers to Harry Houdini.  Yeah.  Why don't we have more YA about Harry Houdini anyway?  The guy was awesome...

Apparently this is the first in a series, but I'm not sure they're all about the same characters?  Maybe they're just connected by this mysterious society.  All I know is there isn't much info about the second one yet beyond that it deals with Rasputin.  Interesting.  I'll have to keep my eye out for that one.

And what do you think of the cover.  Hmmm.  Something so unique and intriguing and yet slightly disturbing.  I think it might be the color of her eyes.

Currently available for purchase from in  Hardcover  or  Kindle
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Monday, June 17, 2013

Sync Audiobooks 2013: Week 3

If you're new to Sync audiobooks, check out my introduction on them in this post.  

The theme for this week's sync audiobooks is hearing voices.  The selections this time are The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater paired with the classic title Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anay.

I haven't read either of these books yet.  Maggie Stiefvater tends to be a little more dark than I like to read, although I know a lot of people really like her books, and The Raven Boys has gotten some great praise.  I actually could have read Bless Me, Ultima for my AP Lit class in high school.   But I chose the group that was reading Pride and Prejudice instead, which was way more fun.  :)

So if you'd like to give either book a try, head over to Sync Audiobooks to download them both (or either one) for free.  But hurry, because the last day is June 19th!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The School for Good and Evil

So this is going up kind of late in the day, but better late than never, right?  Today we have the return of Waiting on Wednesday!

Today's post is a little different, because this book has actually already been released.  It was released on May 14th (according to Goodreads).  But since it's still a recent release, and I haven't gotten my hands on it yet, we'll count it for today's entry.

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani and Iacopo Bruno
About the Book: “The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.”

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

The School for Good and Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.  

So, what do you think?  You know me, I love fairy tale books, and this one sounds like an interesting angle.  Apparently it's the first in a series, so we'll see where it goes from there.  

Available for purchase from Amazon:  Hardcover  or  Kindle
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Monday, June 10, 2013

Sync Audiobooks 2013: Week 2

So for those of you who've been around for awhile and have been hanging in there during my absence, you may remember I talked about something called Sync Audiobooks last summer.  This year I'm happy to announce they're starting earlier and going longer, which means even more books this summer. 

For every week during the summer months SYNC offers up 2 free audiobooks a week: one contemporary YA offering, and a classic book that goes along with the theme.  If you listen to audiobooks already, you know they can be expensive.  So 2 free audiobooks is a pretty amazing deal!  And if you don't do audiobooks already, well, it's free, so this is your chance to try them.  All you need to do is provide your name and email address when you download the book, and you'll need to download Overdrive Media Console to download the MP3 books with (which is also free to download).  It's pretty neat, so check it out. 

At the very least, you might as well download the classic title.  It's free (as I mentioned already) and you never know when you might have to read one of those books for school.  And sometimes listening to those books makes them much easier to understand than reading them!

This weeks offering features Victorian age governesses in strange circumstances.  It's The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood paired with the Charlotte Bronte classic Jane Eyre.  By the way, if you want to see the best movie version of Jane Eyre (in my opinion) you definitely need to check out the BBC's Masterpiece Theater miniseries version.

Head over the Sync's blog to download both books.  But you'll need to hurry, because June 12 is the last day!  Keep an eye here for more Sync news the rest of the summer.   I'm going to try and remember to update every week.  Try being the key word in that sentence of course.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

I'm back!

Or, at least I hope to be. 

I know I haven't been around much lately.  It's been almost a year since I posted.  Yikes.  Let's just say that life has been crazy, I've had some health problems (one of which makes me feel tired all the time) and well, life is crazy. And unfortunately because of my job I'm away from home for about 12 hours a day.  So it doesn't leave a lot of time in the evening for other stuff, and weekends are spent doing all the other stuff I never get done during the week. Sometimes it sucks being a grownup and needing to have a job so you can pay bills and rent and buy food and stuff.  I miss college...

Anyway, I've missed blogging over the past year.  Yeah, it had kind become yet another task I needed to cross of my "to-do" list.  I think I lost my focus.  I forgot why I was blogging in the first place.  All the social events and things are fun, but I really started this blog to share my love of books with other readers.  So in trying this restart that's what I want to get back to.  Hopefully a few of you stuck around long enough that I'll still have readers when the posts start flowing again. 

I do want to send a big thank you to Jennifer, Katherine, and Suzanne.  You know who you are.  :)  It's been the thought of all of you over these last few weeks that's made me want to get back into doing this.  You've definitely been my motivation, so thank you for that.  I hope all of you are doing well!

I haven't posted reviews in a long time, and I feel like that's a "get back to basics" thing I want to start.  But in the meantime, my tastes have branched out.  So although you'll still see me review lots of YA and MG like I always have, I might sneak a few other genres or picture books in there (because I'm finding I'm quite the picture book junkie lately). 

My goal right now is to put up at least 1 post per week.  I know, I was doing about a post a day back in my peak (right around 2009).  But with life the way it is right now, that's kind of a worthy goal.  We'll see how that goes for awhile and maybe step things up along the way. I'm also sprucing up the template a bit.  But not much, since I'm really not that tech savvy, and even more so since I don't do Twitter and Facebook and Google+ and all that stuff.  But I'm making some tweaks here and there and updating my sidebars and things. 

So what's coming in the next weeks?  Well, like I said, I would like to get back to doing reviews.  And maybe I'll get back into doing a few of the regular features I used to have going.  I'd also like to continue the YA Book Battle, as unfortunately we only got halfway through last year (since things fell through right in the peak of that).  I don't think I'll pick it up again this year, since I'm easing into things.  But next year?  We'll see.  September will be my blogoversary, and the blog will be turning 7 years old this year.  Yikes!  And by December I hope to have A Shady Glade Christmas again.  But that's 7 months down the line, and getting a little ahead of myself.

So let's try this again, shall we?