In The Mail #17

inthemailbookhaul17Hello ladies and gentlemen of blogland! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted an In The Mail, and I figured it was about time. I’ve gotten quite a few new books lately as long with a few bits of swag, and I wanted to let you take a sneak peek!

So with no further ado, let’s take a look at what I’ve received lately. Most of these are books won in Good Reads Giveaways, obtained through the Kindle Scout program, or were sent directly to me by authors/publishers.

You’ll find book descriptions and links to where you can find them below if any of them sound interesting to you!

itm-1Your Body Is My Prison by Oksana Leslie

Science Fiction->Horror, Young Adult

Humanoids from Cassiopeia don’t feel pain and they have chose Earth as a perfect place for punishment of their perpetrators. Cassiopeians call that process “the rehabilitation”. A soul of a criminal has to suffer and die with its human host in order to learn about the pain and appreciation of a life. The bloodshed measures the sentence.
An eighteen-year-old girl from Florida, Michelle, really enjoys fiction and UFO footage videos. Her biggest dream is to meet an alien from another world and feel connected to the universe.

Tavy used to be a healer in his world. However, jealousy turned him into a murderer. He is sentenced to suffer in Michelle’s body.

Tavy feels everything she does; her personal path lies with Tavy’s as she tries to help the alien prisoner to get his freedom back. They both have to experience different executions and deaths in other people’s bodies when Michelle is asleep. Tavy found many weird things about the Earth. Michelle was wondering before, why aliens do not contact humans? She finds the answer during bloody rehabilitations, when she and Tavy learn about creepy rituals and traditions people of the modern day still practice.

I received my copy of Your Body Is My Prison through a Good Reads Giveaway. The author was a gem and signed, dated, and personalized my copy, as well as sending me a photo greeting card along with it. I can’t wait to start reading it!

itm-2The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction->Dystopian

As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, sending the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.

In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland (“landlockers”) and those who float on the sea (“damplings”), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives–offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.

This was another book I received through a Good Reads Giveaway. The cover is so gorgeous!

5x8TemplateDiscovering April by Sheena Hutchinson

New Adult, Contemporary Romance

April Landau thinks she has everything she’s ever wanted. Her high school sweetheart, a house she can’t afford, her bipolar tabby cat, and she’s all set to begin her Junior year of college. Just when she least expects it, her life gets thrown for a loop. When things between her and her long time boyfriend unravel, she becomes stuck in a downward spiral of emotion. Finally, opening her eyes to the fact that she may have given up more than she ever could have imagined in this relationship. She finds herself struggling to keep her head above water.

Enter April’s next door neighbor— Jared Hoffman. He’s her complete opposite. A high school drop out who was forced to take over his parent’s business after their untimely death. It’s no surprise this tragedy affected him greatly, causing him to recede almost completely from society.

But he has one secret. A secret he’s been carrying around for years.

What happens when their worlds collide? Can an old friendship be the one thing that brings these two back to life?

Yet another book obtained through a Good Reads Giveaway. The author was nice enough to sign the book, and also sent along a bookmark and a post card with a personal message attached. So nice!

itm-4Trusting Liam [Taking Chances 2] by Molly McAdams

New Adult, Contemporary Romance

When Kennedy Ryan moves to California, she never expects to come face-to-face with Liam Taylor—the intriguing man who has haunted her thoughts for a year. A man who led her to breaking every one of her rules for a single night of passion that ended up meaning more than it was ever supposed to. Accustomed to disastrous experiences with men, Kennedy shields herself before he can break down more of the carefully built control she’s clung to for the last four years. But every time she sees Liam, she feels her resolve weakening.

Liam Taylor has been asked to help socialize his boss’s nieces. But what he thinks sounds more like a babysitting job ends up leading him to the only girl who ever slipped away before morning—a girl he thought he’d never find again. And now that she’s within reach, Liam’s determined to never let her go.

But when a secret from her past tests their relationship, will they be able to cling to the trust Liam has worked so hard to build?

…And again, I obtained this book through a Good Reads Giveaway. I haven’t read the first book in the series, but I’m looking forward to giving this once a chance. It’ll be released June 9, 2015.

itm-5Weakest Lynx by Fiona Quinn

Fantasy->Paranormal, Adventure, Romance

20-year-old Lexi Sobado is a woman with a psychic gift caught in the middle of a sinister web of crime and corruption. The victim of a stalker, Lexi finds herself romantically entangled with the special agent charged with protecting her. Thing is, Lexi herself has worked for the intelligence community in the past. What she hides, what she reveals and what she keeps trying to uncover become the juggling act our heroine deals with as she tries to save her own life and stop the killer.

This is one of many books I’ve recently received through the Kindle Scout program—which I adore at this point. If you haven’t checked out the Kindle Scout program, you should. Basically, you get to nominate up to three books at a time that Kindle’s press is evaluating for print… the more nominations the books get, the more likely they are to be accepted into the program. At the end of a brief waiting period, each nominated book is reviewed by staff, and if it’s chosen for print, anyone who nominated said book gets a free e-book copy once it’s published. It takes awhile for each book to go through the process, but I’ve gotten quite a few books through this program already. It’s completely legit, free, and you get the warm fuzzies for helping an independent author get published.

itm-6The Billionaire’s Bodyguard Bride by Lisa Weaver

Contemporary Romance

Bodyguard Lauren Reynolds grew up lying to survive, while billionaire Rafe Dimitriou was raised to uphold a strict code of honor. The sexy billionaire’s most formidable competitor, Milton Payne, isn’t as scrupulous.

Both Rafe and Milton are vying to gain control of Gracious Living. In order to make an offer, the company requires the buyer to be married.

Knowing Lauren will do anything to protect brother, Rafe threatens to destroy her only sibling’s career if she doesn’t agrees play the role of his wife. Lauren accepts his proposal, but her motivation is far more compelling than family loyalty. She’s been assigned to covertly protect Rafe in the wake of threats made against the Dimitriou family. As his wife, Lauren knows she’ll have the perfect opportunity to watch over him without arousing his suspicion.

She’ll guard him with her life, but who will protect her heart?

I obtained my copy of The Billionaire’s Bodyguard Bride through the Kindle Scout program!

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In The Mail #16

InTheMail16Hello people of blogland~ First, let’s address some updates on my recent progress. I’m dreadfully behind on my reviews. In fact, by the time this post goes up, I’ll be 5 books behind. That number makes me cringe. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I’ve been busy. Very busy. Between my initial computer problems, spring break, birthday parties, working on Khet, dealing with my yard turning into a watery sinkhole, a bout of food poisoning, and homeschooling, as you can imagine, it’s easy to get behind.

To be honest, it’s probably going to take me awhile to catch up—I just don’t have the time to read right now. However, I am trying to keep posts showing up on my blog throughout the interim, so even though there aren’t two reviews going up every week at this point, you can look forward to more writing related posts as I try and fill up the gaps. I am keeping on top of Free Fiction Fridays. Hopefully things will get back to normal in the next few weeks.

Right now it’s down to ‘Do I want to work on Khet today?’ or ‘Do I want to read a book today?’, and so far, Khet is winning. I’ve made a lot of progress on the outline in the last week—I added another 6 chapters and filled a few plot holes—so even though my TBR list has gone nowhere recently, I do feel like I’m getting things accomplished… and that’s what matters, right?

Anyways, on to the meat of this post. I’ve had a few books added to my “In The Mail” pile recently, and I thought I’d share. I actually have more on the way (Thank you Kindle Scout and Good Reads) but they won’t show up for another 4 weeks… so we’re just going to pretend they aren’t floating around the US with my address attached to them, and get right down to it.

inthemail-death wish-megan tayteDeath Wish [Ceruleans 1] by Megan Tayte

Young Adult, Fantasy->Paranormal, Romance

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Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. But suicide? It makes no sense.

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to the isolated cove of Twycombe, Devon, with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need.

As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power.
What transpires is a summer of discovery. Of what it means to conquer fear. To fall in love. To choose life. To choose death.

To believe the impossible.

inthemail-chimera-nj tangerChimera [Universe Eventual 1] by N.J. Tanger

Science Fiction, Young Adult

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The Stephen’s Point colony is dying. Desperate, the colony must restore the ancient colony ship Chimera for a dangerous return journey to Earth.

To sixteen-year-old Theo Puck, the Mandate to crew the Chimera seems like a game—one he isn’t invited to play. A brutal murder changes everything: left with no choice, Theo has to complete the Selection training and make it aboard the Chimera or face terrible consequences.

Selena Samuelson wants to do what she does best—fly. Piloting her father’s ore trawler is the only life she’s known before a horrifying accident strands her aboard the Hydra, the station responsible for rebuilding the Chimera. Forced into the Mandate testing against her will, Selena encounters an unexpected ally, forever changing the way she sees the Chimera and herself.

Forced to make dark choices in order to survive, Theo and Selena’s fates intertwine. But behind the scenes, someone else sets into motion events that could destroy everything they’re fighting to protect.

inthemail-royal date-sariah wilsonRoyal Date by Sariah Wilson

New Adult, Romance, Contemporary

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Kat MacTaggart is a girl who has a plan for everything—including her holiday ski trip to Monterra with her best friend. Everything is going according to plan until she finds herself careening out of control down a mountainside and being rescued by a guy who looks like Superman’s hotter Italian cousin.

HRH Prince Nico is intrigued by the woman he saved on the slopes and her refusal to date him. He offers Kat a deal—let him show her his country and he’ll pay her to write articles that will help Monterra’s tourism industry. Kat agrees, but given her past and lingering distrust of men, she has one condition—absolutely no kissing.

Thanks to the claims of a jealous British noblewoman and the schemes of a meddling paparazzo, Kat’s rule doesn’t seem to be a problem at first. But the more Kat gets to know Nico and the people around him, the harder it is to remember her keep-your-distance plan. Should she stick to it or risk everything for a chance at happily ever after?

inthemail-captain and countess-alice gainesCaptain and Countess by Alice Gaines

Romance, Historical->Regency

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Captain Jason Northcross desperately desires his sister, Lily, to marry into noble society. To achieve a duchy for his sister, he needs a proper marriage for himself. His status guarantees an easily achieved betrothal, and he should have no trouble selecting one of the eligible young ladies during his party in the countryside. However, distracted from his goal, he has a hard time keeping his hands off his neighbor, Lady Rushford.

The late Earl of Rushford’s widow, Bess Webster, believes romance has passed her by. So why can’t she keep Captain Northcross out of her dreams? And how does he inflame passions she didn’t know she had? While she should be focused on penning novels and finding husbands for her friends, her thoughts center on broad shoulders and laughing green eyes.

Will these misaligned engagements be set straight before the final vows have been spoken?

inthemail-a highland knight's desire-amy jareckiA Highland Knight’s Desire [Highland Dynasty 2] by Amy Jarecki

Romance, Historical->15th Century

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In 15th century Scotland, Sir Duncan finds himself rescuing Lady Meg from the clutches of the Earl of Northumberland, and he is knocked off guard by the sassy, redheaded lass. And aye, the tall, dark, and rugged Highlander challenges Meg’s piety with his every stare.

Sir Duncan focuses on returning Lady Meg to her family and collecting his bounty before the lass can further sink her wiles into his heart. Lady Meg’s kidnapper, Northumberland, is plotting his revenge and is out to ruin them both. If Northumberland’s ruse is not exposed, Meg may end up becoming a nun, and Duncan a pawn in a deadly game. Join us on this passionate adventure as Lady Meg discovers herself – and her desires. Book two in the Highland Dynasty Series; stay tuned for book three!

inthemail-back to the heart-sky corganBack To The Heart by Sky Corgan

Romance, Contemporary

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The past few months have been hard on Ana White. After being seduced by her boss, fired from her job, and discovering she’s pregnant, she’s forced to give up her dream life in New York City and return home to Texas.

Disgraced A-lister Ryan Black has spent the last six months pretending to be someone else and putting his bulging muscles to good use laboring on the ranch once treasured by Ana’s late father. His little white lies and secret identity never seem to hurt anyone until he meets Ana and falls in love.

After being betrayed, Ana had sworn to guard her heart, but Ryan isn’t giving up so easily. He knows what he wants, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make Ana his. Will Ryan’s devotion be enough to allow love back into Ana’s heart?

inthemail-total surrender-rebecca zanettiTotal Surrender [Sin Brothers 4] by Rebecca Zanetti

Fantasy->Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Contemporary, Military

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Piper Oliver knows she can’t trust him. They warned her that the tall, dark, and sexy black-ops soldier Jory Dean would try to win her over with his steel-gray eyes and deadly charm, but she won’t be conned by this man they call a traitor. All she has to do is figure out the science necessary to save his life, and she’s done. Something isn’t adding up, though, and she won’t rest until she uncovers the truth-even if it’s buried in his deep, dangerous kiss.

Jory will do anything to reunite with and save his brothers-even kidnap the gorgeous woman who’s working to deactivate the deadly chip in their spines. But the forces determined to destroy his family won’t let them go so easily. Keeping Piper alive is more than he bargained for-and so is his burning desire for her. But with every second bringing him closer to certain death, can he afford to lose himself in her hot and willing embrace?

inthemail-sea air-jule meeringaSea Air by Jule Meeringa & Terry Laster

Romance, Contemporary

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Between raising her seven-year-old daughter and maintaining her job, single mom Nele needs a break. When friends offer to take her daughter, Paula, on vacation with them, it’s the perfect opportunity for Nele to have an adventure of her own.

Nele’s track record with men is bleak, so when she goes on a North Sea getaway, the last thing she expects is romance. But that’s what she finds in the beguiling Mathis, a man twenty-five years her senior. Like Nele, Mathis longs to break free from the ordinary. But are their circumstances too complicated to allow a future together? Nele has her doubts—especially after she returns home to find that her ex, a handsome doctor, is back and ready to settle down.

Now Nele faces a choice, between two different men and two very different lives. Which is the path to her future—and her truest self?

inthemail-ready player one-ernest clineReady Player One [Ready Player One 1] by Ernest Cline

Science Fiction->Dystopian, Young Adult, Adventure

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It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We’re out of oil. We’ve wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS – and his massive fortune – will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle.Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions – and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.

inthemail-the white giraffe-lauren st. johnThe White Giraffe [Animal Healer 1] by Lauren St. John

Children’s->Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery, Cultural->Africa

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The night Martine Allen turns eleven years old is the night her life changes completely. Martine’s parents are killed in a  fire, so she must leave her home to live on an African wildlife reserve with a grandmother she never knew she had.

When Martine arrives, she hears tales of a mythical animal living there—a white giraffe. They say no one has ever seen the animal, but it does leave footprints behind. Her grandmother insists that the white giraffe is just a legend, but then, one stormy night, Martine looks out her bedroom window straight into the eyes of the tall silvery animal. Could it be just Martine’s imagination, or is the white giraffe real? And if so, why is everyone keeping its existence a secret? Does it have anything to do with the rash of poaching going on at the reserve? To find out, Martine will use all of her courage and smarts, and an emerging gift for healing, in a doing adventure to save her new friend.

In The Mail #15

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It’s been awhile since I’ve done an In The Mail article—but I can’t put it off any longer. I’ve gotten so many books in the mail lately that I felt the need to share before the number of books on my In The Mail bookcase is so large that I can’t fit all the new literature in one photo. (Okay, I’ll admit, it still barely fit. I should have done this ages ago).

As you can see by my bookshelf in disarray to the left hand side of your screen… I’m not big on organizing my bookshelf. The closest it gets is a card, bookmark, or postcard inserted between the half I’ve already read and reviewed, and the half that are still just sitting pretty in my To Be Read pile. (If you look really closely, you can in fact, see said postcard). Obviously, the amount of books I’ve received lately has been quite dramatic.

Yes, I do realize that my shelf looks relatively barren compared to some people’s. There’s a good reason for that, I promise: Most of my library consists of e-books. 22,000 of them to be exact. Actually, I went through my physical-book library just a few weeks ago, weeded out four boxes full of books that I already had e-book copies of, and donated them to my local library. The few I saved were these ones—mostly because a great number of them are marked Advanced Readers Proof, ARC Copy, or they are signed by the author. I just can’t bear to part with them.

So, to return to the subject at hand, I present you with a list of the books I’ve gotten in my mail lately—complete with pictures, because… why not? Also, just as a side note: Taking pictures of books when you have a curious cat is pretty hard to do. I had to cut my cat Bella out of several pictures.

 

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The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth

THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES tells the story of three generations of women devoted to delivering new life into the world—and the secrets they keep that threaten to change their own lives forever. Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy—including the identity of the baby’s father— hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. For Floss, Neva’s grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva’s situation thrusts her back 60 years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s—a secret which, if revealed, will have life-changing consequences for them all. Will these women reveal their secrets and deal with the inevitable consequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?

[Won in a Goodreads Giveaway.]

DSCN0339From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas

KYLIE: Mexico? What a nightmare! I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY! Wait! Is this a wedding band on my finger??

MAX: It started with Kylie’s laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics and it ended in Ensenada. It was hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we’re stranded here, with less than twenty-four hours before graduation.

WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border but there’s no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.

LILY: This cannot be happening. It’s like some cruel joke. Or a bad dream. I close my eyes and when I reopen them, they’re still there. Max and Kylie Flores, freak of the century. In bed together. If Kylie thinks I’m giving him up without a fight, she’s dead wrong.

[Obtained as a giveaway from a friendly local librarian.]

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Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name-but it would mean giving up her one true love … someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting … at Somerton.

[Obtained as a giveaway from a friendly local librarian.]

DSCN0341Villain Keeper by Laurie McKay

Unexpected magic, villainous teachers, and dragons in disguise await readers in the first book of a delightful new tween adventure series by debut author Laurie McKay.

All his life, Prince Caden has dreamed of being sent on a quest to slay a dragon. But before he has the chance, he is ripped from his home in the Winterlands of Razzon and finds himself in Asheville, North Carolina—a land with no magic and no dragons. But a prince must always complete his quest. And the longer Caden is in Asheville, the more he realizes there is magic in this strange land after all. More important, there may just be dragons here, too. But what if Caden’s destiny isn’t to slay a dragon, like he’s always believed?

Fans of Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil and Chris Colfer’s: The Land of Stories will be transported by this first book in an epic new series for middle grade readers about a brave young prince’s quest to find answers, honor, friendship—and what it really means to be a hero.

[Won in a Goodreads Giveaway.]

DSCN0343The Acolytes of Crane by J.D. Tew

Theodore Crane finds solace in goofy everyday pranks, in order to cope with living under the shadow of an abusive father and dealing with a belligerent bully who seeks him out at school.

One day, intervention from outer space strikes as a mysterious amulet soars into his room bearing enigmatic clues.
This causes Theodore to question everything about the universe, and the answer comes in the form of two battling intergalactic warlords who, unknown to Theodore, have been analyzing him all his life, fearing that he can unlock the secret to their defeat and demise. But this curiosity over Theodore comes at a price, for many people.

To protect his loved ones, and to avenge what has torn his family apart, Theodore must leave Earth. He is given just fourteen days to assemble a team of trustworthy friends and then convince each one to go with him on this dangerous mission.
The Acolytes of Crane is two parts; a coming-of-age story that delights us when it turns into a blast ’em, rock ’em space odyssey. In the words of one reviewer, it’s “something like Sandlot to more like Ender’s Game.”

[Won in a Goodreads Giveaway.]

DSCN0342The Ghost of Sephera by J.D. Tew

Having left his innocuous childhood on Earth behind for the adventures of outer space, Theodore Crane now thrusts himself into desolate conditions, vowing to find two valued members of his crew that were lost in battle. Despite Theodore’s prior victories, the war between two all-powerful demigods rages. Yet the despotic Zane continues to stalk Theodore and his crew, believing that they will one day meet again.

After falling into a state of disarray from the perils of this war, the Opposition must retrench in order to rid the universe of the two demigods who threaten the freedom of the Galaxy. Somehow, Theodore must help the Opposition’s freedom fighters–and give them hope.

Along his journey, Theodore and his crew learn of an all-powerful omnipotent mainframe, Eppa. Records of her existence suggest that she knows everything and sees everything. If Theodore can find Eppa, he may determine the outcome of the Galaxy.

[Won in a Goodreads Giveaway.]

DSCN0344I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

[Won in a giveaway from Fierce Reads]

DSCN0345The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.

Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet’s obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book’s final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick’s gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.

[Won in a giveaway from Fierce Reads]

DSCN0346To Whatever End by Claire Frank

The thriving kingdom of Halthas was founded by Wielders and Shapers: people who can manipulate either energy or matter. Cecily’s noble birth and strong Wielding ability made her a favorite of the king, until she and her husband Daro were caught up in the war that saw him deposed. Although they were hailed as heroes and a new king sits on the throne, Cecily and Daro chose to leave the politics of the Halthain court for a peaceful life, far outside the city.

Their quiet retirement is interrupted by an unexpected attack, leaving Daro captive and Cecily injured after a narrow escape. With no trail to follow and few clues, Cecily desperately tracks rumors of a madman who is trying to bend the laws of Wielding magic. The subjects of his human experiments rarely survive with their sanity, if they survive at all.

Only their bonded soul assures Cecily that Daro is still alive – but for how much longer and in what condition, she can’t tell. Her best hope is to gather old friends, try to repair the bridges she burned when she left her old life, and muster every resource to find her husband. No sacrifice is too great to bring Daro back, if his mind isn’t already gone.

[Won in a Goodreads Giveaway.]

DSCN0347Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman

Vince Luca is just like any other high school guy. His best friend, Alex, is trying to score vicariously through him; his brother is a giant pain; and his father keeps bugging him to get motivated. There is just one thing that really sets him apart for other kids… his father happens to be the head of a powerful crime organization. Needless to say, while Vince’s family’s connections can be handy for certain things-like when teachers are afraid to give him a bad grade as they can put a serious crimp in his dating life. How is he supposed to explain to a girl what his father does for a living? But when Vince finally meets one who seems to be worth the trouble, her family turns out to be the biggest problem of all. Because her father is an FBI agent-the one who wants to put his father away for good.

[Obtained as a giveaway from a friendly local librarian.]

DSCN0348The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark

Maddy Spier has been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls—lots of other girls.

Gabe can’t imagine skating with anyone but Maddy, and together they have a real chance at winning some serious gold medals. So, he’s determined to keep thinking of her like a sister. After all, he’s never had a romantic relationship that lasted for more than two weeks.

But when their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?

[Won in a giveaway from Fierce Reads.]

DSCN0349Save Me by Jenny Elliott

Something strange is going on in the tiny coastal town of Liberty, Oregon. Cara has never seen a whale swim close enough for her to touch it—let alone knock her into the freezing water. Fortunately, cute newcomer David is there to save her, and the rescue leads to a bond deeper than Cara ever imagined.

But then she learns something about David that changes everything, and Cara is devastated. She turns to her best friend for support, but Rachel has changed. She’s suddenly into witchcraft, and is becoming dangerously obsessed with her new boyfriend….

Cara has lost her best friend, discovered that her soul mate is off limits, and has attracted the attention of a stalker. But she’s not completely alone. Her mysterious, gorgeous new friend Garren is there to support her. But is Garren possibly too perfect?

[Won in a giveaway from Fierce Reads.]

DSCN0350Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Sixteen-year-old Sera is the only survivor of an explosion on a plane. She wakes up in hospital to find that she has no memory. The only clue to her identity is a mysterious boy who claims she was part of a top-secret science experiment. The only adult she trusts insists that she shouldn’t believe anything that anybody tells her. In a tense and pacy novel exploding with intrigue and action, Sera must work out who she is and where she came from. Eventually she will learn that the only thing worse than forgetting her past is remembering it.

[Won in a giveaway from Fierce Reads.]

 

DSCN0351The Rule of 3: Fight For Power by Eric Walters

After sixty-six days of a catastrophic global blackout, life in the suburbs is not what it used to be for Adam and his fortified neighborhood of Eden Mills. Although an explosive clash has minimized one threat from outside the walls, Adam’s battle-hardened mentor, Herb, continues to make decisions in the name of security that are increasingly wrenching and questionable. Like his police chief mom and others, Adam will follow Herb’s lead. But when the next threat comes from an unexpected direction, nobody is ready for it. And someone is going to pay the price—because of Adam’s mistakes and mistaken trust.

[Won in a giveaway from Fierce Reads.]

 

That’s all for now. Omgosh. So many good books to read through! And to prove I wasn’t kidding about the cat thing:

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Simon & Schuster Insider & UPS Foibles

simonschusterprizepack

If you’ve never heard of Simon & Schuster’s Insider program, let me give you a little info. Simon & Schuster has a program they call “Simon Insiders”, it’s a program where anyone who loves the publisher, or books in general can gather up Tweetable and Facebook-postable articles straight from the Simon Insider’s website and spread it among their followers. There’s some incentive to it, mostly being on the front lines of knowing some publishing news as it comes out and being entered into contests for things like free books or Audible downloads. It’s a pretty neat program and you can queue up all kinds of articles to automatically post for you over a period of time. I joined it a few months back (to fill my twitter/Facebook feed with book-related posts).

One of the perks to being a Simon Insider is that every month, the top re-tweeters and posters of Simon Insiders articles get thrown into a short list of people who are eligible to win a Simon & Schuster prize pack… as sort of a Thank You for spreading the publishing news. In November, I was one of those top contenders, and they shipped me out a swag-pack. That pack arrived today.

Honestly, it’s pretty cool stuff. As you can tell from my shoddy picture up there at the beginning of this post, I got a size Large Catch-22 vintage book-cover T-shirt… which is pretty awesome. I also got a shiny Pocket Books notepad, a little blurb about Japan Town, a thriller by Barry Lancet, a Sabrina Jeffries tote, an Astor Place Vintage mirror/sewing kit, as well as two books: Song of Spiderman by Glen Berger, and The Secret Recipes by Dominque Ansel.

I’ll be honest, it’s pretty neat getting new stuff in the mail. The books look interesting, the shirt is awesome, and the other items are useful. I couldn’t be happier… except one thing…. UPS wrecked the package. Let’s take a look:

shippingnightmare

Can we just take a moment to look at this nightmare? This is only one side. There were rips and re-tapes on both ends and both sides of the package. It was so beat up that the interior had ripped open and the padding between the layers of paper (which I can only refer to as handfuls of recycled fluff) had spilled out into the contents of the package.

handfullsoffluff

So unfortunately, in the end, the mirror/sewing kit was shattered, leaving splinters of mirrored glass all over my floor, and the book tote was ripped (see the corner of the first picture) and covered in fluff. It’s a little sad. I was hoping for the contents of my package to arrive intact, but I’m still happy with what Simon & Schuster sent me—I’m just not so thrilled with UPS.

In The Mail #14

I tend to post these a little late, trying to get more than one book in my “in the mail” posts, so I’ve had these for awhile now, but here are my recent accumulations.

ImageThe Reason is You by Sharla Lovelace:(Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance) In the small town of Bethany, Texas, Dani never fit in. Being different pushed her to the fringes of society, and even leaving town for two decades didn’t stop the talk. Now she’s back, trying to settle in with her daughter and have a normal life. But the men in her life might not make it that simple. First, there’s her old friend Alex. He’s mischievous, sexy, and still hot enough to melt her shoes. And he’s a ghost—a real one, who’s always been there for her when she most needed him. Of course, there are actual men in Bethany, too. Like Jason with his hard body. Dani seems to have a habit of running into him—literally. Now she must decide between a man who long ago touched her heart and a man she can actually touch.

ImageTo Stand Beside Her by B. Kristin McMichael: (Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance) To be the best courier in the world, eighteen-year-old Benét Leila follows three simple rules: always work alone, never stay in one place too long, and never fall in love. Too bad she didn’t follow her own advice.

Leila is a courier. To the people she takes from, she is seen as a common thief; to the people she helps, she is a savior.

Nalick is your typical king. He’s rich, powerful, and always assumed to be right. When Leila crosses paths with King Nalick, she finds herself trapped. In a rush to save her best friend Kay from a prison sentence for a crime Leila committed, Leila trades her hand in marriage in exchange for Kay’s freedom.

Tomboy Leila does not want to grow up, but in three months’ time, she will be married to King Nalick, if Nalick can keep his end of the bargain. First, Nalick must make Leila fall in love with him, a hard task since Leila is not ready to love again after losing her first love to a greedy king. Second, Nalick must keep her safe. He is not the only king trying to hold onto her. Leila has made many enemies over the years, and even more admirers that want her as a prize. Lastly, Nalick must convince Leila that ten years of love is better than a lifetime without. Unless Leila can trust her destiny, she might not reach her wedding day at all.

ImageStranded, Stalked, and Finally Sated by Amelia Rose: (Western, Romance) Clara Roberts has found herself forced to flee across country, pursued by a madman who seems to have access to every aspect of her life. Consequently, she is off the grid and under the radar when her truck breaks down in a small corner of Southwestern, Oklahoma, and she finds herself at the mercy of a local cowboy. While she knows that she will eventually have to keep running to stay one step ahead of her stalker, she begins to find herself drawn to this man. With his support she decides that her life is something worth fighting for.

Shad Brandt wasn’t sure what to expect when he pulled over to help out the girl on the side of the road, but it isn’t long before he realizes that she was a lot more than he bargained for. He knows that she is running from something, but he can’t quite place his finger on what it is. However, he cannot turn his back on this woman in need and when he opens his home and his heart to her he finds something else entirely. So when danger comes to lay claim to Clara, he finds that he is willing to sacrifice everything to make sure she stays safe.

in The Mail #13

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I was completely floored today when I checked the mail. Sitting outside on my porch was a rather large box – too large for just one book, I thought. I knew I had some books coming in the mail soon that I’d won in various Goodreads Giveaways, but it still struck me as rather strange. Nevertheless, it was marked “Media Mail” and my name was scrawled across it in beautiful cursive, so I took it inside, and after several minutes of wrestling with the tape, managed to get it open.

ImageImageImage

ImageThe box weighed a TON, and when I popped open the cardboard lid, inside I found not one, not two, not three, but FOUR signed books by the lovely Caroline Clemmons along with a very pretty post card. I’d won Blue Bonnet Bride in the goodreads giveaway, but had no idea just how generous Ms. Clemmons was planning to be.

Anyways, the books are:

I’m so excited to start reading these, they’ve all gotten great reviews on Goodreads. This may have made my week. :3

In The Mail #11

ImageToday in the mail I received two books (or at least I’m trying to space these out a little so I have more than one book to show off at a time). The first is Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh:

Description/Synopsis: Hailed as a major new talent in paranormal romance, Nalini Singh takes us deeper into the world of the Psy and the changelings in her latest extraordinary novel, where a gifted woman sees passion in her future–a passion that is absolutely forbidden by her kind. In danger from fellow Psy, Faith NightStar’s fragile sanity will be tested by an all-consuming passion for a changeling who can take the form of man or jaguar.

Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous-aching need . . . exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.

Changeling Vaughn D’Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar’s instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith’s sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced – and keep her from Vaughn . . .

*****Image

The second was Superb and Sexy by Jill Shalvis:

Description/synopsis: Despite his brooding bad-boy attitude. Brody’s luxury charter airline, Sky High, provides the perfect escape route whenever things get complicated. And lately, things have become very complicated, thanks to the insanely passionate, or perhaps just insane, kiss he shared with Sky High’s gorgeous, wisecracking, concierge, Maddie. He’s tried to keep his distance, but now Maddie desperately needs help,and it’s triggering alpha-male urges Brody didn’t even know he had–especially after he finds out that Maddie and her twin sister Leena are in big-time trouble. To save Leena, Maddie and Brody must pose as husband and wife. Good plan, except it’s hard to tell if the heat in bed is acting or something too good to pass up…

*****

Both were won in Goodreads Giveaways. Visions of Heat is already out in stores, and Superb and Sexy will be released May 7, 2013.