Sunday, August 31, 2014

But What Books Do I Pack!?: A Look Inside My Dorm Room

Hello lovely readers. About a week or two ago, I asked the Twitterverse if they would be interested in a post about what I packed in my dorm room. More specifically, interested in what books I packed, since I mentioned that I only allowed myself to bring exactly one crate of books with me. (And some in my backpack, but shhh those don't count.) I was pleasantly surprised when people other than my girlfriend and I were interested in learning what I packed and why. So, this post came to be. Below is the list of books that I decided were worth packing for a five hour long journey from their cozy shelves at my house to my new dormitory. I have also included some interior pictures of my room as well because, well, why not? Shall we begin?

First, I should mention that I have a single room. This means no roommate struggles, and my room is mine all mine.
This is my bed area. On my wall, there is a poster from The Hobbit (because Orlando Bloom and Lee Pace), a signed photograph of Ian Somerhalder, and a signed Aurelio Voltaire poster. And if you have never read or listened to anything by Voltaire, you really should do so. Click here to get addicted.

And this is my desk-ish area, covered with all things My Little Pony, Disney, and Hello Kitty. And of course, more Ian Somerhalder on the wall.

I may or may not have a book light on a giant fake lollipop on my headboard.

This is the aforementioned backpack. It is where I shoved all of my erotica books during the move. I am in total love with Cleis Press, and I definitely wanted to make sure I caught up on all the books of theirs I had.

This, however, is the crate in question. The one crate I allowed myself to take with me. The one box that got picked among a dozen shelves. Let's look inside.

Because I Can't Leave it Behind:
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. This is a book that blew my mind. It is one of my favorite books, if not the #1 favorite. It made me sob and broke my heart and I fell in love with it. This book has moved everywhere with me since I got it in the mail. Plus...
This copy is signed and personalized to me. I could try and leave it at home, but I just love having this close by. I guess that's what happens when you overattach yourself to fictional characters.

Because It's About Damn Time:

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone. I have been wanting to read this forever. I have owned it forever. I need to read it. I won some swag in a contest and the author was amazing enough to send me a signed copy instead. She is a complete and utter sweetheart, and I WILL read this book, damn it!

Because They're in Progress:
A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn & Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. These came along for the ride because I had started reading them before I had to move into the university. I wasn't about to leave them behind unfinished!

Because They're First Reads:
Rebels: City of Indra by Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner & Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas & Salvage by Alexandra Duncan. These are all books I won from Goodreads. I've heard hype for all three of them (good, bad, or otherwise) and I decided I needed to give them a shot.

Because of You:
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell & Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta & If I Stay by Gayle Forman & Delirium by Lauren Oliver & The 100 Kass Morgan & The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. These are all books that I have seen discussed everywhere on the internet, and I don't want to miss out. So, in the crate they went.

Because I Want to Love Them:
Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear & Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire & Splintered by A.G. Howard & The Selection by Kiera Cass. These are books that I DESPERATELY WANT TO READ. I have heard great things, they have stunning covers, and I need to read them. I have a mighty need.

Because Hiddles:
The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner. Tom Hiddleston narrates the audiobook of this. Need I say more?

Because Football Season:
The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton. I am a HUGE football fan. I am also a huge romance fan. Football season fast approaches, so this book just seemed like, well, the perfect play ;)

Because Manga:
Alice in the Country of Hearts by QuinRose, Soumei Hoshino & Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, Masayuki Taguchi & Tokyo Mew Mew by Mia Ikumi, Reiko Yoshida. My girlfriend is a huge manga fan, and I'm in a few classes this year that involve Japanese culture. It seemed natural to take them along.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Review: Summer Loving

Title: Summer Loving
Editor: Alison Tyler
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: July 21st, 2014
Source: Netgalley & Fido Publishing


Three and a half stars.


Summer Loving is an anthology of super short erotica stories that all follow one central theme: summertime. This collection contains twenty stories from some of my favorite naughty authors, and these stories were written for a great cause. For more information on that, check out my earlier post here.

Overall, this is a fast read of stories that are good to read while you're laying out on the beach or by the side of a pool. I knew that these stories would be short, but I will admit they were even shorter than I anticipated. This gave the tone of the collection more of a teasing edge to it, because just when things would get interesting, it'd switch to another story.

Like with any other anthology, I enjoyed some of these stories more than others. If I didn't like it, chances are it was because I didn't enjoy whatever kink was being addressed, or I didn't like the narrative style. I am not going to review all twenty stories, but I will mention the two that I liked best, in no order. "To Hell with Sunset" by A.M. Hartnett is about a boat tour that is much hotter than the sun they're sailing under. "Summer in December" by Tamsin Flowers is story about a chef who is dying to get her boss's attention, and the nearby beaches might be just the way to do so. These were both steamy, enjoyable reads that I definitely recommend.

This is a good anthology for anyone who enjoy short stories, or who is looking for a hot but breezy read for their beach e-reader. Thanks so much to Netgalley and Fido Publishing for my chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Stacking the Shelves [59]

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to show off the books we've won, bought, or otherwise received in the past week. If a book catches your eye, *click* the picture to go to the Goodreads page of that book.

Soooo I was being good this week, but the damn Netgalley fairies decided to accept my requests all at once. And while yay new books, also ;-; read ALL of the things? But, I am feeling pretty accomplished this week. I have completed a few books, sent out a few interviews, and amazingly kept up with my schoolwork, including teaching an English class in front of my peers. I'm glad I got it over with, and I think I did pretty well! Now, shall we get to the titles?

Glitterville's Handmade Christmas by Stephen Brown
Downtown Italian by Joe Campanale, Gabriel Thompson, Katherine Thompson
Melt by Selene Castrovilla
Circus of the Damned by Cornelia Grey
The Vampires' Last Lover by Aiden James
Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin
Dark Redemption by Angie Sandro

Charlie's Angel by Shauna Allen
Used by Kate Lynne

In My Inbox:
Jumped by Colette Auclair
Try Me On for Size by Stephanie Haefner
Love Like the Movies by Victoria Van Tiem

Thanks to Julie for these three.

Sleeping Beauty and the Demon by Marina Myles

Thanks Marina!

I also got an Amazon card. Thanks to Frank & Jean.

In My Mailbox:
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Thanks to WinterHaven Books

The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst. Thank you, Sarah!

The Jewel by Amy Ewing Huge thanks to Ramblings on Readings for this. I AM SO EXCITED.

Dracula's Guest and Other Victorian Vampire Stories by Michael Sims

This was a pleasant surprise sent to my Kindle from my girlfriend's mother. Thanks, Lisa!

Congratulations to Karen and Lisa for winning last week's giveaways. If you're over 18, be sure to check out my current giveaway! Click here. Check the column on the right and click the banners for all the other giveaways hosted this week! What did you get?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Pieces of Me

Title: Pieces of Me
Author: Kira Adams
Release Date: 08/11/14

Book Description via Goodreads:

For sixteen year old Peyton Lane, life has never been easy. She’s not popular, overweight, and oh yeah, her sister is embarrassed of her. But over the course of a tumultuous year, everything changes for Peyton.

Suddenly all eyes are on her and it’s not because she’s fat. From a pair of handsome twins to a couple of dangerously sexy rockers, Peyton will have to find out who she can trust with her heart. From the ups and downs to the twists and turns—this is Peyton’s story of finding one’s voice and growing into your own.

This is a coming of age romance that involves realistic situations and raw emotions. This is Pieces of Me.


“You know I took a punch for you.” He pointed to his injury.

“Don’t act like you did anything for me,” I hissed under my breath, loud enough so only he could hear. I could see Jace inching forward out of the corner of my eye. My cheeks were burning up and I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.

“Oh, she’s got some bite to her!” Jax exclaimed, hurling himself back dramatically. “That must be what it is…I mean look at you, you’re not his normal ‘type’.” Jax used air quotes to prove his point.

Jace finally made his way to us, grabbing his twin by the shoulder roughly. “What the hell is going on, Jax?”

“Oh, I was just getting to know your new girlfriend,” Jax replied, sarcastically.

Jace’s face was redder than a crimson rose at the mention of me being associated to him in that way. “We’re just friends, and you’re just a douche bag.”

I shook my head more to myself than anyone, laughing under my breath. If this incident didn’t help me move past the Austin twins…I wasn’t sure what would. I noticed Brooklyn, Madison, and Isaiah off to the side of the crowd. Sympathetic looks spread across each of their faces.

“What’s so funny?” Jax asked in a condescending tone.

A voice rose up out of me I wasn’t expecting then, powerful and strong, “Oh you know, for me being so ‘beneath’ you.” I used air quotes to mock him. “It’s funny how much my popularity has skyrocketed just from all your attention and focus on me.”

Jax looked dumbfounded, unable to form a good comeback. Jace’s expression was a mix of shock and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but it looked a hell of a lot like sadness. I didn’t waste another breath on the twins, turning on my heel and heading straight for my group of friends…who by the way, were all smiling ear to ear.

Buy it from Amazon | B&N | Createspace

About the Author
Krista Pakseresht has always been a dreamer. From the first time she opened her eyes. Creating worlds through words is one thing she is truly talented at. She specializes in Young adult/New adult romance, horror, action, fantasy, and non-fiction under the pen name Kira Adams.

She is the author of the Infinite Love series, the Foundation series, the Darkness Falls series, and the Looking Glass series.
Blog | Goodreads | Facebook


$10 Amazon gift card (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Rival Love

Title: Rival Love
Author: Natalie Decker
Release date: August 26th, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Source: Blog Tour Host

Summary from Goodreads:
Skylar Fletcher is a proud Harris Academy Bulldog! She has everything she’s ever wanted: a perfect boyfriend, great friends, and her dream college waiting for her in the fall. But nothing lasts forever. Skylar's world shatters when her mom decides it is time to move and drags Skylar, kicking and screaming, into Bobcat territory.

At Delmont High School, home of the Bobcats, Skylar has no friends and is often bullied. To make matters worse, her home life sucks thanks to all-star quarterback Caleb Morgan, nephew of her mom's live-in boyfriend.

At first Skylar and Caleb want nothing to do with one another. But they soon discover they're not that different after all--and each is harboring a secret attraction to the other. But can a Bulldog and a Bobcat ever really be more than friends? And are Skylar and Caleb willing to risk everything to find out? Rival Love is a debut young adult contemporary romance from Natalie Decker.

But it now on Amazon

About the Author:
Natalie Decker is the Author of Rival Love. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn’t her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She’s a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she’s not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she’s off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!
Website |Goodreads | Twitter Facebook



Three and a half stars, rounded up.


Rival Love is a book that I sped through in a day. It was a gripping and entertaining tale of young love that isn't always as easy as the television and movies seem to be.

A large reason of why I liked this book is Caleb. He's the star quarterback and is a pretty alpha-minded young man. He is both protective and insufferable, while managing to have just the right amount of teenage angst. I feel this way largely about Skylar as well. At first I thought she was really whiny and annoying, but I grew to like her the more I got inside her head. I loved seeing what would happen next, and how this forbidden high school romance would come to be. This book offers sides of both characters' stories, so you get a well-rounded opinion as the plot unfolds.

A plot that I really liked, from the get-go when I first read the summary. I really, really like the idea of this book. This is probably in large part to the fact that I was in a school district where loyalty was pretty fierce. The other school was the "rough school", and it would have been horrid to go there. (I am sure it was lovely and all, but pride is pride.) I think a lot of readers will relate to this idea of rivalry.

That being said, I do feel like this die hard high school loyalty is a bit extreme, to the point of violence. So were her old "friends" and boyfriend. It felt a bit over dramatic, which annoyed me a little bit. But really, it's high school. Don't we all think we're the kings of the world when we're there, before we're out in the real world? High school is full of drama, so while annoying it is not entirely unbelievable.

Another thing that hung me up about this book a bit is the use of slang/profanity. I have no issues with either clean reads, or ones that are rather colorful. But I felt that in Rival Love that it was a weird blend of the two. Sometimes swears were greatly avoided, like hitting Caleb in his "bad area". But other times, f-bombs were dropping. It just didn't gel quite right, and it was something that I noticed.

However, even with these hang ups, this was a pretty good read for me. It had a good sense of humor to it but also addressed some relatable, real issues like bullying and divorce. This is a great read for anyone currently in high school, especially for the athletes or those in schools with notorious rivalry. As mentioned earlier, this book does contain some language and bullying content, so be aware of that.

I was given a copy in exchange for my honest review.


$10 Amazon gift card + ebook of Rival Love (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: In the Rearview by Maria Ann Green

Check out Maria Ann Green's In the Rearview promo event hosted by Itching for Books. Continue for an excerpt and enter the giveaway:

Release date: August 19th 2014
Publisher: Astraea Press
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:

When Meagan’s secret is found out, and she realizes there is no way to outrun her habit of cutting, she tries to work through it, and her depression, before she cuts too deep, making a mistake that can never be undone.

Meagan's problems aren't like every other adolescent's no matter how much she wishes they could be. Hers are worse. They've pulled her down into the depths of a depression that is anything but normal. She begins her pattern of self-harm as her depression threatens to drown her. She starts with one cut that leads to the next, and the next. After starting, it's apparent that there's no stopping, and Meagan spirals into a dark and cruel world she doesn't understand. Meagan cuts to feel better, but that comfort doesn't last long enough, and soon life is worse than it ever was before.

While learning to quit cutting Meagan faces life-altering obstacles and grows up in the process. IN THE REARVIEW is a story of pain, loss, confusion, and hope told through Meagan’s poems, journal entries, and a splash of narrative.

Maria Ann Green


Maria Green currently lives in Minnesota, despite its bitter winters, with her husband. She graduated with a degree in Psychology and a minor in English. When she isn’t writing, Maria loves to read with a cup of strong coffee or a glass of sweet wine, craft, and spend time with her family. This is her first published novel. 



 Meagan stared down at her desk. Her focus moved beyond the assignment in front of her without actually seeing what she was looking toward. There were lines, spaces of white, and blobs of writing, but nothing seemed important enough to consider closely.  Truthfully she didn’t care. 

 She didn’t feel the need to focus. 
 Her gaze slowly moved up to the front of the classroom, and again she fixated on a point past what was before her. She did not concentrate on the teacher. There was a face, a moving mouth, but she didn’t connect it with the sounds struggling slowly, like sticky sludge past her ears. She didn’t hear the instructions being uttered; each word fell on deaf ears as she mindlessly doodled. 

 Twisting her hair around her finger, she thought about how nice it would be to be at home, in bed, with the curtains closed instead of in this loud and hyper school. It seemed her classmates had recently started caring too much about what was going on around them. There was too much drama, too much noise, too much concern jumping all around her. It was all so taxing. 

 It was such a bother. 
 Meagan, in contrast, was usually in a world of her own. Her head felt fuzzy most of the time, and unless she used a lot of energy, most conversations sounded muffled, like there was cotton in her ears. She didn’t feel the need to engage anymore. Her desire to try so hard just to do what had once come easily had dwindled to nothing. At first she’d tried, but not now. Not anymore. It had become too difficult to care. 
 And that was her biggest problem. Meagan didn’t care much about any of these changes. She was fine walking through school without any effort. Her feet felt a little heavier as each day passed, and her head felt a little more under pressure of a crushing fog that numbed her, but she pushed through it all. She didn’t mind neglecting what used to bring her excitement. In fact, it was just easier not to give a crap. 
 Everything was distinctly lackluster these days.