Top Off Tuesday #23

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What better way than to top off a good book than with a GREAT Cover!

 

Amanda from On a Book Bender, Christi from Smitten with Reading, and Felicia from Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog want to see the covers that made you swoon!  Feel free to play along and show us your favorite covers. Button made by Missie.

 

I don’t know about you guys, but I love a guy in uniform and this book brings a Navy, can you see any better?

 

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White Hot by Nina Bruhns

Men in Uniform #2

Expected publication: August 7th 2012 by Berkley

 

From multi-award-winning author Nina Bruhns comes a steamy new high-stakes romantic thriller of uncontrollable desire and danger…

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Clint Walker is on the run across the icy Alaskan Bering Sea from Chinese operatives who’ll do anything to retrieve the stolen military plans in Clint’s possession—and to kill him for their trouble. Desperate to safeguard the intell, he stows away aboard a cargo ship—and comes face to face with the most enticing ship’s captain he’s ever seen… For the first time ever, he’s sorely tempted to put his mission on hold…for just a few hours. What could it hurt?

Captain Samantha Richardson won’t let anything—or anyone—stand in the way of her career. Especially now, with her whole future riding on this single shipment. Sam has a firm rule about not fraternizing onboard ship, but the sight of her brash stowaway’s enticing bedroom eyes and his hard, muscular body has Sam fantasizing about indulging in a small indiscretion, just this once. After all, sexy Clint Walker is her ideal man: hot, intriguing, and conveniently temporary.

But when Clint and Sam give in to their simmering passion, they awaken to face an exploding danger and lethal situation that threatens to put an all too permanent end to their blossoming feelings . . . as well as their lives.

Can I say that I loved the tattoos? Very well placed too.

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May Page Count Contest at Reading Angel

Page Count Contest

 

I’m having so much fun being part of this challenge that I’ve decided to sign up for the next month and here are the details. Come join and let’s get to reading!!

 

Here’s how it will work-

  • Each week this month I will post a google doc where you submit each book you read as you finish it, including your name, email, book title, author, page count, and a brief sentence telling me whether or not you recommend the book.
  • At the end of each week I will post a Top 10 or Top 20 for THAT week (depending on how many people sign up) with the new google doc.
  • At the end of the month I will post the Top 10 or Top 20 OVERALL.

THE GIVEAWAYS-

  • 1 Winner will get either a $10 dollar Amazon GC, or a $10 book of your choice from book depository.
  • 1 Winner will receive a book of their choice from my giveaway pile of books.
  • One RANDOM winner from the OVERALL FOR THE MONTH Top 20 readers will win Prize #1 (the GC or Book Depository book)
  • One RANDOM winner from ALL 4 WEEKS lists of Top 20 readers will win Prize #2 (random book from my giveaway pile)

The Nuts and Bolts

  • I know that some books have larger font and less words on pages, but there’s nothing to be done about that. It all just kinda works out in the end. Just read what you normally read.
  • There is nothing I can do to PROVE that people are reading what they say they are reading. We are working on the honor system here people. I keep track the best I can, but I am not super-human (wouldn’t that be kinda cool though?).
  • What books count? Any adult, or YA book – fiction or non-fiction. NO children’s books, NO picture books.
  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • Must be able to receive books from book depository or amazon GCs to enter giveaway 

Page Count Contest

Like it? Join too!!

Showcase Sunday #1

It has been awhile since I talk about the books received, so this is a new meme that I decided to join and I’ll try to post every Sunday about my new eBooks. You can find more informations clicking on the image, it will take directly to the explanation post or visiting Books, Biscuits & Tea. All the book covers are links to the GoodReads pages.

Bought:

Bloodright (Blood Moon Rising Trilogy,   #2) The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2) Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls, #3)
Bloodright by Karin Tabke
The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
Taken at Dusk by C. C. Hunter
Coveted Kiss of Pride (Deadly Angel, #1) Warrior (The Fallen, #3)
Coveted by Shawtelle Madison
Kiss of Pride by Sandra Hill
Warrior by Kristina Douglas
Under a Vampire Moon (Argeneau, #16) Obsidian Flame (The World of Ascension, #5) Storm (Elemental, #1)
Under a Vampire Moon by Lynsay Sands
Obsidian Flame by Caris Roane
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer
Social Suicide (Deadly Cool, #2) The Selection (The Selection, #1) Deadly Descendant (Nikki Glass, #2)
Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Deadly Descendant by Jenna Black
Temptation Rising (The Shadow Shifters #1) Unraveling All Things Wicked (Dark Mission #3)
Temptation Rising by A. C. Arthur
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
All Things Wicked by Karina Cooper
Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling, #10) First Frost (Mythos Academy, #0.5)
Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
First Frost by Jennifer Estep
I know it looks like a big haul, but this is over a month buying ban so I decided to buy several of my wishlist for April and a couple that were released last year and I had forgotten. I have no idea when I’ll get to read any of this, but a couple are for Debut Challenge, so hopefully I’ll get to them soon.

Guest Post with author Courtney Vail

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Today I have author Courtney Vail making a guest post on the blog. She’s currently on tour for her book Kings and Queens and agreed to talk about the cover and her design inspiration for the colors and fonts.

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I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on the cover for my novel Kings & Queens, but it was also briefly on a list for worst cover designs on Goodreads, so I guess you can’t win with everyone.

Maybe you’re wondering how the cover design came about. Let me fill you in.

In Kings & Queens, seventeen-year-old Majesty manages her high school’s baseball team, the Cedar Creek Colts, on which her two best friends, Derek and Alec play. With the Colts running hot in an undefeated streak and just a few wins away reclaiming the state crown, baseball has become THE game in her sleepy, rich town Cedar Creek. Only, she’s about to learn there’s a secret, much darker contest in her region’s underbelly that has turned violence into a sport, and she gets yanked into it when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. So, the cover, both with the red swirl-splash explosion and the chunky type are representative of the fun and frivolousness that violence has become in the story’s context. And the hints of purple and blue imply royalty.

I love symbols. The book has nothing to do with chess itself, but it encases the move-for move-strategy of it. It’s like a living match. Every move, made or not made, has repercussions on others and what they do or don’t do. The roles of King, Queen and Pawn are constantly in flux, so readers, and Majesty too, don’t know who to trust, and those who assume they’re in control may or may not be after all. So, I wanted some kind of crown to convey this but not as blatant as some model wearing one on her head. I think the lipstick and the rhinestones are perfect. It makes it look like Majesty is marked, which she is.

For the text, I wanted something bold and strong because nearly everyone in the story is, and I wanted it slightly girly because, even though it would appeal to guys too, I expect that girls are going to be my main market. Even more remarkable, the font is called Romantic Fatal Serif, which is soooo my book. If I had to pick a font that represents my plot, that would be it. But I didn’t want the font too wispy, thin or scripty. I like what was chosen. There were several designs and early readers and teens picked this one.

And so, that’s the deal on what inspired and influenced the cover. In the process, I most appreciated the feedback of others while the decision was still being finalized, and then, finally being able to hold it in my hands. The back almost didn’t turn out like I wanted with the gradient, the printer was having problems, but it worked out and I love it the way it is.

Today, on this blog, I would also like to reveal the standing design for the sequel, Sapphire Reign. I’d love some feedback on it, to know if it works or doesn’t. I like the two juxtaposed, with the closeup style and all skin in the shot. Sapphire Reign is slated for release at the end of the summer through Little Prince Publishing. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Thanks so much for having me!

Kings & Queens (Kings & Queens, #1)

Kings and Queens by Courtney Vail
 
Kings and Queens #1
 

Publisher: Little Prince Publishing
Genre: Young Adult
Release date: January 27th 2012
Number of pages: 328


Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Majesty Alistair wants police to look further into her father’s fatal car wreck, hopes the baseball team she manages can reclaim the state crown, aches for Derek…or, no…maybe Alec…maybe. And she mostly wishes to retract the hateful words she said to her dad right before slamming the door in his face, only to never see him again.

All her desires get sidelined, though, when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. She doubts cops will follow up on her tip since they’re sick of her coming around with notions of possible crimes-in-the-works. And it’s not like she cries wolf. Not really. They’d be freaked too, but they’re not the ones suffering from bloody dreams that hint at disaster like some crazy, street guy forecasting the Apocalypse.

So, she does what any habitual winner with zero cred would do…try to I.D. the nutjobs before they act. But, when their agenda turns out to be far bigger than she ever assumed, and even friends start looking suspect, the truth and her actions threaten to haunt her forever, especially since she’s left with blood on her hands, the blood of someone she loves.
 

AUTHOR BIO

Courtney Vail
COURTNEY VAIL writes totally twisted YA and adult suspense. She enjoys braiding mystery, suspense & romance with some kind of weirdness. Her addictions to crazy coffee concoctions, Funny Bones, Ben & Jerry’s, and bacon keep her running and writing. She currently lives in New England with a comedian stud and a wild gang of kidlets.

Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa 

e-ARC provided by NetGalley courtesy of the publisher
Iron Fey #4
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Genre: Young Adult 
Release date: October 26th 2011
Number of pages: 394
Rating:

 

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Book Blurb:

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.
And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

My Thoughts:

I never thought I would miss Meghan, but this book was almost all about Ash journey to became a human and be able to live with Meghan on the Iron Realm.

 

Puck as always is the fun part on the travel, plus we get to see again the Wolf and of course Grimalkin, he’s such a smarty cat. I liked how Puck chose to help and decided to trust Meghan and his longtime friend Ash.

 

At first when I first read about the return of Ariella it got me thinking of what Ash would do, because he blames himself and Puck, but after some more reading I realized that Julie was right again and both needed closure. Mostly to became again friends because their relationship was going really bad.

 

So the journey made this book the darker so far and I thought in moments that somebody would die and I kept hoping to not be Puck or Ash. It would be devastating.

 

I wanted more time with Meghan and to get to know more about her way of ruling the Iron Fey.

Books in this Series:

#1 – The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1)
#1.5 Winter’s Passage (Iron Fey, #1.5)
#2 – The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, #2)
#3 – The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, #3)
#3.5 – Summer’s Crossing (Iron Fey, #3.5)
#4 – The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)
#4.5 – An Iron Fey Valentine

Trailer:

Quote:

“I have come from the End of the World…. From the River of Dreams, through the gauntlet and the Briar and the Deep Wyld, in order to stand before you today. I have but one request – to take my place at your side. To resume my duty as your knight, and to protect you and your kingdom for as long as I draw breath.”

Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Of Poseidon

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Of Poseidon #1
e-ARC provided by NetGalley courtesy of the publisher
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Young Adult 
Release date: May 22nd 2012
Number of pages: 324
Rating:

 

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Book Blurb:

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .

My Thoughts:

When I first saw this book, the cover alone made me want to read it, then I started reading several bloggers also wanting because the summary is great. Among several books about vampires and werewolves, this one is a fresh start for a series about mermaids, or syrena as they call themselves on the book.

 

This was perfect and it got me hooked since the first chapter. Mostly is set in Florida and we got to met Galen when Emma bumped into him, literally. He’s a prince on the waterworld and an ambassador with the humans, but only few actually know what he really is.

 

Emma was really fun to read and I enjoyed reading how she handled finding out about her true heritage and how she fell in love for the first time. This was fun and there’s also a bit of investigation, plus Galen is topless most of the book, can you really blame Emma for falling for him?

 

I loved the characters and Toraf was perfect, with his love story. And it was really different how the author focused on the secondary stories, that’s really important for me. Because Emma and Galen are not alone on the book and the friends supporting is very helpful in dangerous situations.

Books in this Series:

#1 – Of Poseidon

 

Trailer:

Quote:

“It’s easy to remember, because dating rhymes with mating, and they’re almost the same […] So your mom thinks we’re ma– Uh, dating?”

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa 

Blood of Eden #1
e-ARC provided by NetGalley courtesy of the publisher
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult 
Release date: April 24th 2012
Number of pages: 504
Rating:

 

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Book Blurb:

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

My Thoughts:

When I first read the summary the only though crossing my mind was something along the line: “It sounds like Morganville Vampires from Rachel Caine.” But when I started reading things changed pretty fast.

 

I have to say that after so many ravishing reviews I expected more of this book. I read the Iron Fey series this month and loved How Julie can create an world completely different and sometimes terrifying, but The Immortal Rules was a bit dull for me. Shocking right? But sometimes I was bored, and things take like forever to happen.

 

The vampires rules the world but we got to actually see them only for short times, except Allie and she has more feelings like humans than vampires. I liked her and her principles. But sometimes she needs to think more of herself, because the rest won’t.

 

I liked Zeke, he has lived in fear and still can be gentle with kids and try to save everyone around. Jeb was someone that really made me sick, was it really necessary for him to act so uptight the hole book, and them he made a really bad them to Zeke. Totally deserved what happened.

 

Overall, it’s a big book and if you like vampires, try this one, but remember is more dystopia than paranormal.

Books in this Series:

#1 – The Immortal Rules

#2 – Untitled

 

Trailer:

Quote:

“We are vampires, Kanin had told me, on one of our last nights together. It makes no difference who we are, where we came from. Princes, Masters and rabids alike, we are monsters, cut off from humanity. They will never trust us. They will never accept us. We hide in their midst and walk among them, but we are forever separate.

Damned. Alone. You don’t understand now, but you will. There will come a time when the road before you splits, and you must decide your path. Will you choose to become a demon with a human face, or will you fight your demon until the end of time, knowing you will forever struggle alone?”