Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: Introductions (The Academy #1) by C.L. Stone

Introductions (The Academy, #1)
C.L. Stone
Series: The Academy
Print Length: 276 pages
Publisher: Arcato Publishing
Release Date: December 23, 2012

With an agoraphobic mother and a barely-there father, Sang abhors the isolation keeping her in the shadows. The only thing Sang craves is a fresh start and to be accepted as ordinary by her peers, because for her being different meant being cast out alone.

When her family moves to a new school district, Sang infiltrates a group of boys nearly perfect in every way. Grateful for an influence outside of her parents’ negativity, she quickly bonds with the boys, hoping to blend in and learn from them what it means to have a natural relationship with friends.

Only the boys have secrets of their own and they’ll do anything to keep her safe from the knowledge of the mysterious Academy that they've sworn allegiance to. Bit by bit, Sang discovers that her friends are far from the normalcy she expected. Will her loyalty change when she's forced to remain in the dark, or will she accept that she's traded one house of secrets for another?

Meet Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North in a story about differences and loyalty, truth and mystery, friendships and heart-throbbing intimacy.

The Academy, ever vigilant.


I never would have thought I could sit down and enjoy a book dedicated to introducing characters in series. I had seen Introductions by C.L. Stone around on numerous Stacking The Shelves post for some time as it is a Kindle Freebie for now, so I decided to check it out. I had no Idea what The Academy series was about but sometimes it’s good to go into a book blind. I was taken by surprise at how much fun I had meeting these characters and just how fast I went through each chapter.

Introductions takes place over the course of the few days before school begins. As a lot of you know I am a big fan of YA manga and anime. Introductions has that manga/anime story line feel… A girl who has no support system, and no friends is doing her best to get through life with her head up. Then enters this group of awesome people (In this case seven hot guys) who decide they are going to become amazing friends to this weakling girl and protect her from whatever bad in the world they can. (Fruits Basket anyone???) I know it doesn’t sound great, but it was fun and for some reason this formula worked for me in Introductions.

Sang, is living in a very abusive home. I loved how even though Sang has been oppressed so much through her life she still has this openness about her and goes into situations whole heartedly. She is a little too naïve acting for my taste but I really like her character as a whole.

Since Introductions only covers the course of a few days for these characters I ended up with more questions about the plot than answers. I want to know what all the boys Sang has befriended are really hiding. I want to know why they are all so obsessed with keeping Sang safe. I really want to know what the Academy is and why all seven guys have been a part of it for such a long time.

As you can tell my interest is still fully in this story thankfully for me there are three other books for me to read now. Reading this first book was like opening a bag of chips and trying to eat just a few. I just can’t do it! I’m about to go grab the other books now and hope that C.L. Stone writes more fast because I am fully intrigued.

Happy Reading,

3.5 Moons: While I think some will want more of a plot this worked for me and reminded me of reading the first volume in a fun manga.

Other Books in this Series
First Days (The Academy, #2)Friends vs. Family (The Academy, #3)Forgiveness and Permission (The Academy #4)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

A few things I am thankful for:
  • I am thankful for books that I can lose myself in.
  • I am thankful for the authors that write said books.
  • I am thankful for the blogs I daily read. (Even though I am horrible for not commenting often.)
  • I am thankful for all the wonderful people that take the time to read my blog.
  • I am thankful for my family who put up with my crazy book obsession.

I hope that all of you have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Review: Rua by Miranda Kavi

Rua (Rua, #1)
Miranda Kavi
Print Length: 248 pages
Publisher: Midnight Blackbird LLC
Release Date: August 27, 2012

A girl with an unknown destiny.

A boy from a hidden world.

When Celeste starts at a new school in a small, Kansas town, she hears whispering voices, has vivid nightmares, and swarms of blackbirds follow her every move. She is oddly drawn to aloof Rylan, the other new student who has his own secrets. The exact moment she turns seventeen, she wakes to a bedroom full of strange creatures, purple light emanating from her hands, and Rylan breaking in through her bedroom window. He knows what she is . . . Intriguing and deeply romantic, RUA is page-turning YA novel with a supernatural twist.


Before I start my review I want to say something about the cover. I’m not sure if the author had all the say in this, though this being an indie I would think so, but this cover is not just beautiful, it matches this story perfectly. I always love it when the cover of a book and what is inside actually go together.

All right y’all, I’m just going to go ahead and put this out there. I have been burned by a lot of books that start out with that Twilight feel. You know what I’m talking about right? New girl comes to live in this small town with an even smaller high school where everyone knows everyone, so she sticks out right away. Rua, had that same kind of feel and I will let you now that I almost stopped reading it. Then something happened and it deterred from the formula a bit, and I really started to enjoy myself. There is even a moment that it makes a bit of fun of itself.

They all walked into school together. To Celeste, it was like a scene from a cheesy teen movie. Most of the students milled around the lockers and classroom doors. When she and Rylan walked down the main hallway, hand in hand, everyone literally stopped what they were doing and watched them pass. Most of them smiled.

Celeste (our main character) was adopted as a baby and has a wonderful relationship with her parents. One of the things I really enjoyed about Rau, is that this is a YA book with strong parental figures. Celeste parents love and support her. They are actually a part of her life and know who her friends are. (Not that she has many friends.) I hate it when I’m reading a book filled with teenage characters and the parents are never around. For that reason I found Celeste interaction with her parents refreshing.

I also liked Celeste best friend, Tink. Though I felt like Celeste and Tink became BFF’s super fast, especially with the immediate loyalty they show to one another, I just loved Tink. He is one of those characters that if actually real you know they would be fun to be around. You know that person that can always make you a little more brave, That’s Tink.

One thing I want when reading any type of romance is that magnetic draw to the love interest… I have to say, I just didn’t have that in Rau. I think I may have needed a little more on Rylan’s character before all the insta-love started to occur. Yes, Rylan is good looking, mysterious, and shows up when Rau needs him. But in all honesty in the beginning of them getting to know each other he is kind of a dick, and that turned me off. Rylan does redeem himself many times by the end, I just wish they started out a bit different.

The plot of Rua was good. At one point I looked down to see how much of the story I had left to read only to find I was almost done. This is so fast paced, I got so caught up in the story I didn’t even realize how much I had read. Also the twist actually got me in the end. Miranda Kavi did an amazing job at weaving all the details of Rua together that by the end I was surprised by the ending. That rarely happens to me so I now want to read more.

This YA PNR is fast paced and fun to read. Though it starts off with a bit of that Twilight feel, (Not that there is anything wrong with that.) it detours from it quickly, and has its own surprising twist and turns. I plan on continuing this series soon.

Happy Reading,

3 Moons: I enjoyed Rua and hope to read more of the series soon.
Bonus: This is free on kindle right now!

Other Books in this Series
Rive (Rua, #2)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Reads!

Hi y’all! Like most of you during this time of year I am strapped for time. Between eating as much as physically possible of my momma’s dressing and other Thanksgiving side dishes, and going to all the family festivities It can be hard to find down time. But even though I am busy during the holidays I do still love to read any chance I get. My solution a lot of times for this is novellas and short stories. Today I am spotlighting two Thanksgiving shorts that I plan on trying out in the next couple of days. Bonus! They are both FREE at the moment!!!

 The Bird Day Battalion
The Bird Day Battalion
Genevieve Dewey
Print Length: 54 pages

The Bird Day Battalion is a short, sweet and sexy little Thanksgiving story. Meet Katelyn Anderson, a play by the rules, temporarily out of work archaeologist desperate to pull off the perfect Thanksgiving dinner for her family. Enter Dominic Valentini, her oldest friend and former neighbor, a take chances, take control, think outside the box kind of man. She needs his help. He just needs her.

This is a quick, hot and fluffy read served up free on a platter of gratitude to my readers for all your kind support. It's the usual blend of family shenanigans, love, and romance in a small uncomplicated dose. Enjoy!

After reading the description and a few reviews The Bird Day Battalion sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun to read. Maybe it will even help me unwind a bit as we travel from one set of grandparents to the next with my little ones:)

Homecoming: A YA Werewolf Thanksgiving Story
Rusty Fischer
Words: 5,470 (approximate)

It’s Thanksgiving and all Sarah and her Mom want to do is celebrate the holiday in peace. But that peace is shattered when Sarah’s sister, Shannon, shows up, a fugitive from the The Research Facility for Lycan Readjustment and Reprogramming, better known as Werewolf Rehab. Just like that, Thanksgiving dinner turns into a fight for survival.

I have been a Rusty Fischer fan for a while. His stories always put a smile to my face, and I am so excited about grabbing a moment in the next few days to gobble this story up;)

Do you know of any other Thanksgiving shorts I should check out?
Happy Reading,

Sunday, November 24, 2013

ARC Giveaway + Bonus Scene: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood, #1)

Fire & Flood
Victoria Scott
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: February 25, 2014

A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

As part of the V Mafia I get emails from Victoria Scott from time to time with these excellent extras and giveaways. I am very glad that I get to share these fun post with you! I hope you enjoy this bonus scene:) Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a signed ARC at the bottom of the post.

FIRE & FLOOD Bonus Scene
Harper Shaw, Minor Character
  The Brimstone Bleed started four hours ago, give or take. I’ve traveled as far as necessary for now, put adequate distance between myself and the other Contenders. There will be plenty who travel without stopping, without making a plan.


Like the others, I don’t know anything about this race, only that I need the prize—the Cure—more than I need my own beating heart. I can still remember my mother’s words as I left our home.

“I don’t know where you think you’re going, Harper,” she said. “But you can’t just leave us like this. Not now.”

But I did leave. It’s not like I could tell her about the invitation. Or explain what would happen next. Because the truth was, I didn’t know. Two days ago, I was lounging on my bed, listening to Linkin Park and watching MTV on mute. Today, I’m here, in a jungle, fighting to save the most important person in my life.

A caw rips through the late afternoon, and the dense canopy overhead rustles. I breathe in the smell of rich, damp soil that is almost invigorating. The air is thick and damp and clings to my skin, and everywhere I look is a plant I’ve never seen before. The world is a canvas of purple vines and orange flowers and greenery that swallows the ground beneath my feet. It’s both horrific and captivating at once.

Every few seconds, I stop to swipe insects off my skin. It doesn’t bother me. I’m not the squeamish type. The only thing I’m worried about is the egg in my Brimstone Bleed issued bag. A Pandora, the device said. An animal that will help me win this competition. My heart roars in my chest when the bag against my hip stirs once again.

Now that we’re alone, I drop to my knees and remove the egg. When I see a prominent crack down the side, my entire body buzzes with anticipation. I’ve never had a pet before. Not a dog, not a cat…not even a goldfish. And now I’m supposed to travel with an animal that could potentially save my life and Lillian’s? It’s hard to absorb.

The egg cracks again, and I freeze. My hands hover over the iridescent shell, unsure of what to do. But this Pandora doesn’t need my help. It’s eager to escape its prison, eager to fulfill its destiny. I admire its tenacity already, but my stomach churns wondering what my Pandora will be like. Will it be ruthless? Endearing? Will it make it so that I don’t feel utterly alone?

The egg burst open and I fall back, a gasp escaping my throat. I glance around to ensure we are alone. And when I look back, my hands shaking, my eyes widening, I see it—
A feather. 

This giveaway is international!
One signed ARC of Fire & Flood.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck and Happy Reading!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stacking The Shelves #30

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is a post for bloggers to share what books they've received to review, bought, won, borrowed or were gifted.

What I got this week

Kindle Freebies
The Language of SoulsThe Nightlife: New York (The Nightlife, #1)Rua (Rua, #1)Nolander (Emanations, #1)
Book covers link to Goodreads. List below links to Amazon. I can’t grantee titles are still free.

For Review
Poison Dance: A Novella
Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne

Livia Blackburne’s book Midnight Thief was my Waiting on Wednesday this week. I was so excited when Livia contacted me to review Poison Dance! This is a prequel novella in the Midnight Thief world. I hope to get to this very soon!

Have you read any of the books above?
Can’t wait to see what you got!

Spotlight and Giveaway: The Color of Heaven Series by Julianne MacLean

I am so excited to share with y’all an awesome contemporary romance series that anyone can enjoy. This series is getting amazing reviews. Check out the covers and blurbs below. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post:)

The Color of Heaven

The Color of Heaven

A deeply emotional tale about Sophie Duncan, a successful columnist whose world falls apart after her daughter’s unexpected illness and her husband’s shocking affair. When it seems nothing else could possibly go wrong, her car skids off an icy road and plunges into a frozen lake. There, in the cold dark depths of the water, a profound and extraordinary experience unlocks the surprising secrets from Sophie’s past, and teaches her what it means to truly live...and love.

Full of surprising twists and turns and a near-death experience that will leave you breathless, this story is not to be missed.

The Color of Destiny (The Color of Heaven Series #2)

The Color of Destiny

Eighteen years ago a teenage pregnancy changed Kate Worthington’s life forever. Faced with many difficult decisions, she chose to follow her heart and embrace an uncertain future with the father of her baby and her devoted first love…

At the same time, in another part of the world, sixteen-year-old Ryan Hamilton makes his own share of mistakes, but learns important lessons along the way. Twenty years later, Kate’s and Ryan’s paths cross in a way they never expected, which makes them question the possibility of destiny. Even when all seems hopeless, could it be that everything happens for a reason, and we end up exactly where we are meant to be?

The Color of Hope (The Color of Heaven Series, Book 3)


Diana Moore has led a charmed life. She’s the daughter of a wealthy senator and living a glamorous city life, and is confident her handsome live-in boyfriend is about to propose.  But everything is turned upside down when she learns of a mysterious woman who works nearby – a woman who is her identical mirror image.

Diana is compelled to discover the truth about this woman’s identity, but the truth leads her down a path of secrets, betrayals, and shocking discoveries about her past. These discoveries follow her like a shadow.

Then she meets Dr. Jacob Peterson—a brilliant cardiac surgeon with an uncanny ability to heal those who are broken.  With his help, Diana embarks upon a journey to restore her belief in the human spirit, and recover a sense of hope - that happiness, and love, may still be within reach for those willing to believe in second chances.

About the author


Julianne MacLean is a USA Today bestselling author of more than 15 historical romance novels, including her popular American Heiress series published by Avon/Harper Collins, and her recent Highlander Trilogy, published by St. Martin’s Press. She is a three-time RITA finalist with Romance Writers of America, a two-time winner of the Bookseller’s Best Award, and winner of a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for her novel LOVE ACCORDING TO LILY. Her books have been translated into many languages, and she is currently working on another book in the Color of Heaven Series.


Up for grabs:
One signed print edition of THE COLOR OF HEAVEN.
This giveaway is for US and Canada only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fierce Reads Giveaway Winners!


And the winners are…


Congratulations, Kelly and Jenelle! I hope you both enjoy your new reads.
Thanks to all that entered. There will be more awesome giveaways soon:)

Quickie Review: Scott Pilgrim Series by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life (Scott Pilgrim, #1)

Scott Pilgrim's life is totally sweet. He's 23 years old, he's in a rock band, he's ""between jobs,"" and he's dating a cute high school girl. Nothing could possibly go wrong, unless a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties. Will Scott's awesome life get turned upside-down? Will he have to face Ramona's seven evil ex-boyfriends in battle? The short answer is yes. The long answer is Scott Pilgrim, Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life

Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (Scott Pilgrim, #2)

Does Scott and Ramona's burgeoning relationship have a future? Isn't Scott still supposedly dating Knives Chau? Who is Ramona's second evil ex-boyfriend, and why is he in Toronto? Who are The Clash At Demonhead, and what kind of bizarre art-punky music do they play? Who's their hot girl keyboardist, and what is Scott's relation to her? Why are they Knives Chau's new favourite band? Fights! Drama! Secrets revealed! The answers to all these questions and more!

Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness (Scott Pilgrim, #3)

Ramona's third evil ex-boyfriend, Todd Ingram, is currently dating the former love of Scott Pilgrim's life! Envy Adams broke Scott's heart a year and a half ago. Now she and her evil art-rock band are back, and they're getting Scott's band to open a show two days from now! That's just enough time for Scott to fight Todd, keep Ramona happy, fend off demented ex-girlfriends, and practice that new setlist. Right Don't miss the latest chapter in the graphic novel saga The Globe and Mail calls "Canada's answer to Tank Girl!"

Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together (Scott Pilgrim, #4)

That's right, folks! Put down the video game controller! Skip that rehearsal for your band! Make whatever sacrifices you must to those comic gods you hold so dear! Just make sure you're ready because Bryan Lee O'Malley and Scott Pilgrim are back! Well, a couple months have passed since the last time we caught up with our intrepid hero, but what can change in a few short months? Well, not much has... Scott's still living with his roommate Wallace Wells. He's still playing in a mediocre rock band named Sex Bob-omb. And most importantly, he's still dating the lovely Ramona Flowers while working his way through the gaggle of superpowered, superstylish, superevil ex-boyfriends determined to take him down. But something is different. Don't look now, but Scott Pilgrim may actually be getting it together. And it's a good thing, too, because Scott is about to confront Ramona's most intimidating ex yet!

Scott Pilgrim Vs. the Universe (Scott Pilgrim, #5)

Scott Pilgrim just turned 24, and things couldn't possibly be better This means things are about to get infinitely worse Suddenly, TWO of Ramona's evil ex-boyfriends are in town, and they're playing dirty. His band is in turmoil, and his own exes aren't making things any easier. And what's up with Ramona, anyway? She's been acting kinda weird ever since they moved in together Scott's precious little life is coming back around to bite him in the butt, and it may not be pretty.

Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour (Scott Pilgrim, #6)

It's finally here Six years and almost one-thousand pages have all led to this epic finale With six of Ramona's seven evil exes dispatched, it should be time for Scott Pilgrim to face Gideon Graves, the biggest and baddest of her former beaus. But didn't Ramona take off at the end of Book 5? Shouldn't that let Scott off the hook? Maybe it should, maybe it shouldn't, but one thing is for certain - all of this has been building to Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour.


I have loved Scott Pilgrim since I saw the movie.  At the time, I had no idea that this was a series of graphic novels.  My wife informed me of this.  Recently, she went to our public library and saw they had the entire series available, and checked them out for me.

I enjoyed reading these books so much!  I love that there was an almost literal translation from book to movie.  I knew what to expect going in.  The books and the movie take different roads, and though there was some major awesome in the movie, the books are full of more awesome!  I read all these books within a few days.  The artistry, use of videogame themes, all of it makes the Scott Pilgrim series so much fun!  If you watched the movie, but haven’t read the graphic novels, DO IT!

5 Moons: Scott Pilgrim is infinite greatness!