The Verve and Stacking the Shelves (14)

The Verve is our Sunday edition of the weekly memes “The Sunday Post,” hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer,
and “Stacking the Shelves,” hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. We feature the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted and given for review,
as well as share blog news from the past couple weeks and what you might see in the next two.

Grapevine Book Tours

Hi, LUVs! It’s been a much slower week than usual with a small stack all around but no less sweet. Did you see we launched Grapevine Book Tours last week? We did, and we’re so excited! We’re connecting even more with authors and bloggers and really enjoying it. As beta readers, editors, and (once) aspiring authors, we’ve always been involved in the writing community and understood the need to connect with readers, but now we’re delving deeper and get to be a part of another facet.

More exciting news … this week, we’re sponsoring NA Lit Chat. Grapevine Book Tours is giving away one complimentary blitz and one complimentary tour! Join us, NA authors, and fans of the genre this Thursday night at 9pm EST on Twitter for an all NA discussion. Follow @NALitChat or search #NALitChat. We hope to see you there!

Become a Grapevine Book Tours host and you can enter a giveaway for
a Kindle Paperwhite and two $25 Amazon or B &N gift cards here.

 

 

RECENT REVIEWS:

EXCERPTS:
A Good Time

  by Shannyn Schroeder

(Adult Contemporary Romance)
Silence of the Wolves

  by Hannah Pole

(Adult Urban Fantasy)

INTERVIEWS:
Devon Ashley, author of NA Romantic Suspense Nearly Broken

CHARACTER PROFILE:
AJ from Banished from Grace, NA Paranormal Romance by Aria Williams

WON/IN THE MAIL

Much LUV to Devon Ashley for signing and sending me her NA Romantic Suspense novel

Nearly Broken

RECEIVED FOR REVIEW

An enormous “Thank you” to Forever (Grand Central Publishing)!

UPCOMING REVIEWS

EXCERPTS, GUEST POSTS & GIVEAWAYS

What did you haul in this week?

Link us to your recent Stacking the Shelves or Sunday Post, or share in a comment what you’ve added to your pile (book or fic).
Is there anything you’d like to see reviewed soon from our pile? Let us know. It’s always wonderful hearing from you.
Until next time …

Feature & Follow Friday

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post. This post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friend Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow follow follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow; comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI.”
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love…and the followers
  8. If you’re new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

 

The question for this week is:
We always talk about books that WE want. Let’s turn it on its head.
What books have you given other people lately?

Well, the past LUV’NV-sponsored giveaways were from me. 🙂 If I really want people to read a book, and because I enjoy supporting a little-known author, I usually host a giveaway for it myself. Away from the blog-oriented, I bought my hubs World World Z  by Max Brooks and The Devil in the White City  and In the Garden of Beasts  by Erik Larson. I gave my mom A Game of Thrones  (love this series!), and my grandparent-in-laws were recently gifted Cross Roads  by Wm. Paul Young. I rarely lend anyone my books, but I gave my only copy of The Hunger Games  to my teenage niece to read. I don’t think she ever will, sadly. She’s not a reader; the book was my attempt to persuade her to become one, and I know I’ll never get the book back. 🙁

What about you? What books have you given to other recently?
Let us know in a comment below. We enjoy hearing from you! And feel free to leave us a link to your F&F Friday. We love discovering new blogs. Thanks for stopping by!

Our GFC can be found at the bottom of the blog. We’ve added a Linky, too!
You certainly don’t have to follow, but if you do, be sure to check out our V Follower Appreciation Giveaway.
We’re giving away a $50 gift card and winner’s choice of book here. Both giveaways are open internationally.
Good luck, and happy reading!

Blog Tour {Review & Giveaway}January Black by Wendy Russo

Stopping by The LUV’NV today is the January Black  blog tour, organized by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. I got to read this absolutely amazing novel. In fact, it was so amazing, I added a new rating!

January Black
by Wendy S. Russo
Publication: January 15th 2013 by Crescent Moon Press
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his schools headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Mattys future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a masters diploma.

More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.

What was January Black?

Its a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Mattys journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He’s been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost … or call the kings bluff.

*** WARNING ***
Review contains no spoilers or hints to the story whatsoever. It consists mainly of:
fan-girling, a loss for words, arm-flailing, and bowing to the awesomeness that is this book and its author.
Okay, I’m being a little dramatic.

To give credit due to January Black and Mrs. Russo, I will attempt to get a grip and write a coherent review. Here we go:

January Black  is what great books are made of. Like life, it’s about the pursuit of happiness. Yours, mine, the world’s. It’s about succeeding, flourishing, and having the freedom to do so. To make your own choices, to make mistakes, learn from them and then correct them, is one of the greatest liberties. Suffering the consequences of those mistakes is the price, which is made more valuable, heavy, when you’re not the one who made the choice in the first place. Like life, the actions of one (or many) can affect a single life or more. They can hurt, but they can inspire too.

With her debut novel, Wendy Russo took what could be a trivial pursuit and unfolded it to be a GRAND one. The question is simple enough: What was January Black? Of course, I’m not telling you, but I must say I was astounded by the answer, by the essence and magnitude of it. While I had ideas, the delicate, complex unraveling kept me guessing until the reveal. But it was upon the very end that I was left breathlessand still am. When I picked up this novel, I wasn’t expecting such an intricate, profound storyline.

I didn’t expect such a rich world, full of original details, with its own unique hints of medieval, sci-fi, and fantasy elementsa world that was beautiful and otherworldly and that wasn’t so unlike ours, if we would only look or pay attention. I didn’t expect such relevancy of real-world issues, either.

Neither did I expect themes and love stories that moved me. I criedand I mean the ugly, blubbering mess kind of cry from a deep, gut-wrenching ache, as well as misty eyes because of an explosion of warmth in my chest. I didn’t expect to fall in love with all the characters, each so different, refreshing, and strong, and definitely not as fast as I did.

That’s not to say I read books without those expectations that are more like hopes. Every time I pick up a book, I’m hoping for the best, to find it. I want to be wowed. I’m begging to be.

And I was with January Black.

This little journey of a book had me falling so fast and hard for it, over and over again. I didn’t want it to end. It’s been a couple weeks and I’m still going through withdrawals. There is no other fictional man for me other than Hadrian. If I could bestow the universe upon one couple, it would be Matty and Iris. If I could write a YA novel that could be enjoyed by teens and adults alike, I’d hope it would be as all-encompassing and well written as this one.

Don’t make the mistake of missing out on one amazing story. Read January Black.


Favorite lines (out of many):
“The world is a different place when you fall in love … when you have something to lose.”
****
“There are two types of liberty. One is having means and opportunity to do what you want, and the other is an absence of obstacles that would prevent you from doing what you want.”
****
“The blessing and curse of creation is that a work, be it art, or writing, or software, is only truly finished when it has elicited some sort of emotion from someone.”
****
“Old books are like people … They are more than the sums of words within. They have unique histories and personalities that change with time. Each one has a spirit that attracts its kindred souls within its readers.”
****
A man who would convert his freedom to currency deserves nothing he can buy with it.

Feature & Follow Friday: Book Vacay

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post. This post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friend Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow follow follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow; comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI.”
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love…and the followers
  8. If you’re new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

The question for this week is:

Book Vacay: Where is the best destination reading spot for you?
(Where do you like to go to read other than your home?)

Choice place to read for me always depends on the season and weather. By a fireplace during the winter, inside a screened porch when it’s raining, or in a large, body-hugging arm chair in an air-conditioned room if it’s over ninety degrees outside. Right now, during the summer, the best place is my in-laws’ lake, Lac La Belle (Oconomowoc, WI). With the view, the pontoons chugging by, the sound of the water lapping against the stone, and a gravity chair, which I’ve just discovered is awesome for laying out on once you get the over the falling feeling the second you lay all the way back, the place is so relaxing. I’m there every weekend. Wouldn’t miss the chance.

Now if I were fortunate enough to have an actual book vacay with no distractions or interruptions, best place would be a cabin at Lake Tahoe or in Napa Valley or the Alps in the late fall. While I enjoy reading outside the best, I’m not a fan of burning hot weather and the sun beating down on me and my Kindle. 😛
What about you? What’s the best or favorite place to read?

Let us know in a comment below—we enjoy hearing from you. And feel free to leave us a link to your F&F Friday.

We love discovering new blogs. Thanks for stopping by.

You certainly don’t have to follow, but if you’d like to, our GFC, Linky, and Bloglovin’ link can be found at the bottom of the blog. Everything else is top of the sidebar. And while you’re here, we’d appreciate it if you checked out the new tours open for signups on Grapevine Book Tours. There’s a giveaway for a Kindle Paperwhite and Amazon/B&N gift cards. Hope you have a great weekend!

 

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
spotlighting upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Raina’s pick this week:

These Broken Stars (Untitled Trilogy #1)
Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Publication: TBA 2013, Disney-Hyperion

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Goodreads

Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen never should have met. She’s the socialite daughter of the richest man in the galaxy, and he’s a decorated soldier fighting back rebellions on newly terraformed planets. But when the vast luxury spaceliner they’re both traveling on crashes, they find themselves thrown together as the two sole survivors on an unknown planet.

As they survive harsh conditions and dwindling supplies—not to mention each other—the two begin to uncover a mystery surrounding the abandoned planet that neither of them could have guessed.

The first in a trilogy, These Broken Stars  sets into motion a series of timeless, standalone love stories that span galaxies—and are linked by their shared worlds and one mysterious enemy.

After

reading and reviewingShades of Earth

, book three of the

Across the Universe

series, by Beth Revis, as well as Lissa Bryan’s dystopia romance,

The End of All Things

  (blog tour stop and review coming on The LUV’NV January 27th), I’m suffering a book hangover and searching for more to feed my current Sci-Fi/Dystopia addiction. The fact

These Broken Stars

  is part of a standalone love story series made it stand out. I crave non-stop action, but I also want a book that focuses more on the love story. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Too bad the release date is looking to be near November this year. :{

What book release are you itching for?
Or what are some other great Sci-Fi reads? Do you have a favorite?

Let us know in a comment, or link us up to your own WoW post!

Waiting on Wednesday: Parallel by Lauren Miller

Abby Barnes had a plan. Get into a great college, major in journalism, and land her dream job at a major newspaper. But on the eve of her 18th birthday, she’s stuck on a Hollywood movie set instead, wishing she could rewind her life. But the next morning, she’s in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. A collision of parallel worlds has left Abby living a new reality every time her younger parallel self makes a new decision. Forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn’t choose, Abby must let go on her plans for the future and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that’s finally in reach.

 

Advance praise for Parallel:

“A fun, twisty novel about the paths you choose and the paths you don’t…to follow your heart’s desire. Deeply romantic and entertaining!“

— Melissa de la Cruz,

New York Times

bestselling author of Blue Bloods and

Witches of East End

“Penetrating, jaw–dropping, and so real, Parallel had me turning pages at warp speed, hoping for the best tomorrow. Read this book.” — Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of My Life Next Door

“Best. Debut. Novel. Ever.” — Lauren Barnholdt, author of Two-Way Street

Parallel beautifully tackles the universal themes of fate, destiny, and the search for a soulmate, proving that there are no wrong turns. Your heart will soar and you’ll be cheering at the end.” — Jordanna Fraiberg, author of In Your Room

“Wildly inventive and wonderfully romantic, Parallel takes readers on a journey that will open their minds and their hearts.” — Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Waiting on Wednesday: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.


After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
spotlighting upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Raina’s pick this week:

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3)
Richelle Mead

Publication: February 12th, 2013, Razorbill

Genre: YA Paranormal

AmazonB & NGoodreads

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch—a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood—or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

A little piece of me died when the

Vampire Academy

ended. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters, and I immediately picked up each book in the spin-off series,

Bloodlines

, when they were released. I couldn’t be happier with how the series is progressing. I mean, c’mon … warm-hearted, bad-boy vampire Adrian Ivashkov and prim, vampire-fearing Sydney Sage, and as a possible item, with appearances from most of the VA characters we loved—I couldn’t be more thrilled! Thank you, Richelle Mead, for another unforgettable YA Paranormal series. I am impatiently waiting for book three, especially with how you ended book two. And then there’s this …

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4)
Publication: 2013, Razorbill
Goodreads

The fourth book in the Bloodlines series.

The Fiery Heart is going to be told from both Sydney and Adrian’s points of view. That’s right. If you’ve ever wanted to get inside the crazy world of Adrian Ivashkov’s head, this is it. It’ll still be in first person, but the POV will alternate chapters. I’m so excited about this, it’s not even funny. Well, actually…since it’s Adrian, it’ll be hilarious. I think you guys’ll love it, and for those who still haven’t made the transition to the Bloodlines series, now’s your chance! #1 and #2 are out, and it’s not too late to catch up before February.

Oh MY GEE! I cannot wait until we get a publication date or cover reveal for

The Fiery Heart

, let alone read the book! But I am tap dancing inside!

What book release are you itching for?
Let us know in a comment, or link us up to your own WoW post!

Blog Tour {Review & Giveaway}The Children and the Blood by Megan Joel Peterson

Stopping by The LUV’NV today is The Children and the Blood blog tour, organized by Xpresso Book Tours. We got the pleasure to read and review this fabulous YA Urban Fantasy. We also have the privilege to be one of five blogs to give away a paperback copy.

The Children and the Blood
by Megan Joel Peterson
Book #1 of The Children and the Blood  series
Publication: February 28th 2013 by Megan Joel Peterson
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy

 

A forgotten life.

A secret war.

Eight years ago, an exploding gas main killed Ashleys family and left her with a childhood she cant remember. Eight years later, the forgotten past is behind her and life on her isolated farm is all she knows.

Until that past comes looking for her.

Until men with superhuman powers hunt her down in the night, determined to take everything she loves away from her again


Refreshing and suspenseful, The Children and the Blood  is a YA Urban Fantasy that took me by surprise and impressed me so many times I lost count. The writing is technically superb and wonderfully descriptive without being overdone. For a self-published book, it has to be one of the better written and edited.

The characters are strong and well developed. After losing her mother and most of her family in a fire when she young, Ashley is a responsible teen who provides strength and stability for her young sister, Lily. Although their father is alive, he’s absent for long periods of time, and Ashley has been the parent, even though they stay with close friends of the family. She is also courageous, protective, and driven, facing every punch life has thrown at her alone when her world is tipped over once again in single night. I could feel her warring emotions and see the fiery battle within her.

Cole, a lonely young man adopted by a couple who are not as they seem, may act like trouble in the beginning, but he is actually one of the most caring and genuine guys to have around. He jumps to rescue people he doesn’t know and goes to lengths to keep them safe.

The entire world hidden in the shadows of our own is unique and well thought-out. I was kept guessing, never knowing what to expect, and when I thought I had everything figured out, I was thrown for another loop. The plot only got thicker, more suspenseful, and the background was fluidly delivered, with the information paced and continuously clicking into place. All the characters and story lines intertwine, and while the entire picture isn’t revealed yet, I don’t mind and can’t wait.

There’s a vast cast of characters with their own distinctive personalities and agendas. I didn’t have any trouble keeping up with who was whom, and they all kept me intrigued for more scenes with them. I liked each for their own reasons, whether it was innocence, villainy, incorrigible sidekick-status, or unfortunate bystander. And the character introduced at the end of the book made me gasp. The first thing I did when I finished reading was look for book two (expected later this summer :(). I just had to know where the turn of events would lead; I’m itching all over to know.

The Children and the Blood  is a chilling story that makes the heart pump faster. In a world of magic, war, and violence, it is full of mystery, twists, and a new take on a race that makes it exciting and seem never-before-written. I’d recommend the book to anyone who loves secret societies and war between races. It’s an engrossing read that blends fantasy and thrilling mystery.

 

The Verve and Stacking the Shelves

The Verve is our Sunday edition of the weekly memes “The Sunday Post,” hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer,
and “Stacking the Shelves,” hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. We feature the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted and given for review,
as well as share blog news from the past couple weeks and what you might see in the next two.

** Click on the individual bookcovers for the respective book’s review or Goodreads page **
REVIEWS:

EXCERPTS:
Avoiding Mr. Right

  by C.J. Ellisson

(Erotic Romance)
Speak Easy

  by Melanie Harlow

(NA Historical)
Norse Jewel

  by Gina Conkle

(Historical Romance | Viking)

INTERVIEWS:
Ivy Sinclair, author of New Adult Contemporary Romance Bittersweet Junction

GUEST POSTS:
On Heathcliff and Retellings by V.J. Chambers, author of Wuther
Romancing the Bookworm  Character Profiles by Kate Evangelista

COVER REVEALS:
Homecoming  by Cecilia Robert (NA Steampunk Paranormal Romance)
Courage  by Carrie Butler (NA Paranormal Romance)

SPOTLIGHTS:
Kinetic  by S.K. Anthony (NA Urban Fantasy)
Unbreakable  by Kami Garcia (YA Urban Fantasy Suspense)

NEW GRAPEVINE BOOK TOURS:


 

EBOOKS BOUGHT

GIFTED

House  andShowdown (Paradise #1)  by Ted Dekker (Thanks, Mom!)

WON

Muchos gracias to Goodreads and Raine Thomas for swag and a signed copy of For Everly

RECEIVED FOR REVIEW

Much love to Random House Loveswept, Stacey Kennedy, and EgmontUSA for these lovelies

 

An enormous “Thank you!” to the authors, AToMR Tours, Kismet Book Touring, and CBL Tours for these!

 

UPCOMING REVIEWS

EXCERPTS, GUEST POSTS & GIVEAWAYS

INTERVIEW:
Gwendolyn Field, author of Escape from Paradise

What did you haul in this week?

Link us to your recent Stacking the Shelves or Sunday Post, or share in a comment what you’ve added to your pile.
Is there anything you’d like to see reviewed soon from our pile? Let us know. It’s always wonderful hearing from you.
Until next time …


And enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite and two $25 Amazon or B&N gift cards!