Friday, 19 December 2014

Box of Book Giveaway #7

Hello readers, I'm still on a blogging break, but I have another Box of 10 Books giveaway because it seems I never have enough room on my shelves! Don't forget about Box of Box #6 because it's still running, too.  Prodigy and The Diviners are both SIGNED by the author and this time they are not personalized to me.  This giveaway is open to US Residents only but I currently have a giveaway running for our International readers HERE.

 Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins-Hardcover
Hex Hallby Rachel Hawkins-Hardcover
Spell Boundby Rachel Hawkins-Hardcover
Hereafter by Tara Hudson-Hardcover
The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker-Paperback
Prodigy by Marie Lu-ARC copy Signed by author
The Calling by Kelley Armstrong-Hardcover
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong-Hardcover
The Rising by Kelley Armstrong-ARC copy
The Diviners by Libba Bray-ARC copy Signed by author

Box of 10 Books (listed above) open to US Residents only.  Please fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Bold Tricks by Karina Halle

The Artist Trilogy was an edgy, exciting series and so I'm thrilled to be part of the Book Blitz celebrating the fact that Bold Tricks is now in print and with a sexy new cover.  As part of this blitz I have a giveaway to share as well as an excerpt.

Print Publication Date: December 16th 2014 by Grand Central Publishing

The Faster They Live, the Harder They Fall . . .

Raised by con artists, Ellie Watt has a lot of crazy childhood memories-but none crazier than being scarred with acid by the demented crime boss Travis Raines. Now Ellie is a full-grown woman who lives for revenge, and Travis is a full-blown drug lord who kills for pleasure. The sadistic bastard has kidnapped her good friend Gus as well as her mother, whom he's been holding as prized possessions in his heavily guarded lair. And Ellie has only one chance in hell of getting them out alive-using two dangerous men who love her to death . . .

One is Camden McQueen, a talented tattoo artist who's made a permanent mark on Ellie's heart. The other is Javier Bernal, her fiery ex-lover who's busted more than a few heads in his time. From the crime-ridden streets of Mexico City to the predatory jungles of Honduras, this unlikely trio forms an uneasy alliance in the deadliest game of all-a gun-blazing battle to the finish that will pit enemy against enemy and lover against lover. And Ellie must choose the right man to trust . . . or die.

This is an ADULT series and so the excerpt is ADULT and may not be suitable for the younger crowd due to language and content.

The motel room was a lot nicer than the one we stayed at before. Sort of a Best Western, middle-ground quality of place. No roaches on the floors, no geckos on the wall. Shit mattresses, I discovered as I pounded my fist on the bed, but I didn’t care.
Camden had just put the final box on my bed, Violetta sprawled out on hers in a state of drug-induced euphoria, when I noticed Javier lingering at the doorway.
“I’m going to be meeting Dom in about twenty minutes,” Javier said to me. “Is that enough time for you to get ready?”
I frowned and he quickly added, “You know he’ll want you there, if this is going to get anywhere. I figured you might want to shower and look nice.”
He rapped his fingers along the doorframe, his mouth opening as if to say something else, then he turned and walked off.
Camden eyed me. “I’m going with you.”
“You might be kind of drunk, Camden,” I told him, though the determination in his voice warmed me like the finest cognac.
“I’ve never felt better,” he said, enunciating each word. His eyes, my god they were still such a clear fucking blue, even in the pallid light of the hotel room. They bore into me with such startling clarity, sending shivers down my back like trailing fingertips. He would be coming with me.
I wished he’d be coming in me. A vision of us in this hotel room, alone, him nailing me to the bed, the headboard banging, slammed into my head.
“Are you okay with that?” he asked.
I suppressed the thought, the flare of heat between my legs, and smiled quickly. “Yes, of course.”
Meanwhile Violetta’s head flopped to the side, her arm still bound to her stiffly in the sling, and started snoring lightly. I motioned to her. “Do you think it’s safe to leave her here?”
He watched her for a few moments, blinking a few times, before saying, “I think she needs to sleep it off.” He went and sat down on my bed. “I’ll be here when you get out.”
I grabbed my bag of clothes I had brought out of the car and brought it into the bathroom. I had a quick shower, trying to rub off all the grim – both real and imagined – with the flimsy hotel soap, then picked through my clothes. Everything that had been in my trunk was musty and wrinkled, some even dirty. I had a packet of unopened (and decidedly unsexy) Hanes underwear, a bra, another pair of jeans, a pair of gladiator sandals that I thought were dressy enough, a pair of Timberland hiking boots, a plain white tee shirt, a couple of wife-beaters, a coral-colored blouse, a plaid shirt, and a light blue tank dress that went to the ground. I wasn’t exactly known for my fashion sense and even with the cherry blossoms covering the scars on my leg, bringing me beauty that I didn’t have before, I didn’t see myself branching out anytime soon. Dressing up in my old clothes for Javier hadn’t exactly helped either.
I slipped on the tank dress, opting to go commando for the evening, and put on the sandals. I looked at myself in the mirror. Once again, I felt like a different person was staring back at me. This me, this Ellie, was tired and hardened. I rubbed the residue mascara away from under my eyes and applied a new coat. My skin was brown from the sun now and I didn’t need much else.
When I came out of the bathroom, Camden straightened up on the bed. I felt strangely shy in front of him, especially as his eyes trailed up and down the length of me.
“Do I look okay?” I asked him, feeling the need to say something. “I mean, if you can see me, that is.”
He bit his lip and stared, a multitude of emotions flashing through his eyes, too fast for me to pick up on each individual one. I thought I saw lust in there – maybe that’s what I wanted to see.
When he still didn’t say anything, I walked over to the dresser where I had my clutch purse left over from the other night at Travis’s and rifled through it for my lip stuff. His silence at my back was a heavy weight, laden with too many uncertainties between us. It was eating at me, burning through me, rendering me with a lead heart. There were so many things I had to focus on, to worry about, fucking impossible things, and yet I needed him to tell me I looked beautiful. I needed him to tell me I was something to him.
I heard him get off the bed and walk toward me, that heaviness, that warmth that he brought with his bones, teased at my back. He stopped, close enough to touch me, and I was about to turn around, perhaps to do something foolish, when he crouched down.
“How is my art?”
His hands found my leg, one of them lifting the hem of my dress, the other slowly moving over the cherry blossom tattoo. I sucked in my breath, holding completely still, trying to contain my nerves that were firing wildly as his fingers ran along the ridges of the ink. He touched me gently over every vine, leaf and petal, until I had to supress a shaky moan that that tried to escape from my lips.
“It feels fine,” I said softly when I found my voice.
“It looks beautiful,” he said.
“I had a beautiful artist,” I told him. I turned at the waist and look down at him, my blue dress glowing in his tanned hand, his other one placed firmly around my calf, his strong fingers imparting heat that sunk deep. He was looking up at me, lips parted slightly.
I couldn’t take a second more of this.
I turned and dropped to the ground, my knees rubbing against his.
I grabbed his face, his rough stubble pressing into my palms, and kissed him.
There was surprise for a second, a hesitation, a pulse that refused to beat on. Then Camden kissed me back, his soft lips enveloping mine, his mouth opening to give me life. He put his hand behind my head, holding it there with power and control.
My heart was an elevator car, the cable suddenly snapped, and I was freefalling and falling and falling as his lips and tongue and hot, wet mouth took away every inch of my resolve. The more he kissed me, the deeper and longer we found each other, the thirstier I got for him. I felt like if we stopped, I would die, empty on the inside and forever longing.

About Karina Halle:
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and the USA Today Bestselling author of Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, and other wild and romantic reads. She lives in a 1920s farmhouse on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.
Connect with Karina Halle:

The publisher has generously provided the entire Artist Trilogy to 10 lucky winners! Just fill in the rafflecopter for a chance to win. The giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I read in 2014


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week they post a new top ten list and ask fellow bloggers to share their lists on that topic.

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday topic is: Top Ten Books I read in 2014

2014 was a great year for books for me, these are the handful of books which stood out for me, they kept me awake until the early hours, made me even more anti-social than ever, had me constantly laughing out loud, or just breaking my heart to smithereens. They are books which I know I will look forward to reading time and time again!

Which books were your favourites of 2014?

Friday, 12 December 2014

Box of Books Giveaway #6

 I'm currently on a blogging break but it's been a while since I (Rachel) did a Box of Books Giveaway. I have some goodies here to clear off my shelf.  The giveaway is open to US Residents only. For our International readers I have a giveaway currently running HERE.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare-Hardcover
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare-Hardcover
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare-Hardcover
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver-Hardcover (Signed by author to me)
Delirium-Hardcover (Signed by author to me)
  Spells by Aprilynne Pike-Hardcover
Wingsby Aprilynne Pike-Hardcover
Destinedby Aprilynne Pike-Hardcover
Illusionsby Aprilynne Pike-Hardcover

Box of 9 Books (listed above). Giveaway open to US Residents only. Simply fill in the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Review: Top Ten Clues you're Clueless by Liz Czukas

Top Ten Clues you're Clueless by Liz Czukas
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication date: 9th December 2014
My rating: 3 stars
Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day 5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market 4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi 3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm 2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3) 1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000 Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

I loved Czukas debut novel Ask Again Later earlier this year. It was funny, fresh and it was exactly what I was in the mood for at the time. When I devoured her book in a few days I made the decision there and then that I would read all of her future books. So when I heard about Top Ten Clues you’re Clueless, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Unfortunately this story ended up falling flat for me in a few places.

Chloe was a great character, I liked how she had this obsession with compiling lists (it reminded me of myself a lot of times, but I’m one of those that never used to get hardly anything completed from my lists) and how she would notice a lot of things around her that a lot of people missed out on. Czukas was also once again able to bring in a wonderful set of characters just like in Ask Again Later; they were all unique in their own way, bringing a lot of variety and fun to the story.
I think my biggest downfall from this book was that I was expecting more from the mystery and the romance. The mystery in the story ended up being that someone had stolen most of the Christmas fund from the store. However instead of interviewing all the store staff individually, the manager decides from a tip off that only select few of the staff members can be responsible. So he ends up keeping them in the store after closing hours on Christmas Eve until the police get there and start questioning them. At first I didn’t get how he could come up with the conclusion that these youngsters could be the ones responsible, through their individual questioning, they had all denied it and none of the evidence suggested that they could have done it. Although being locked in store together sort of did bring these characters much closer together. In the past they had been quick to make assumptions of each other’s characters without having said a few words to one another. So it was great that they were able to break these judgements they had made of one another and actually form some sort of friendships. But the whole waiting around for the police to arrive sort of ended up kind of boring for me, yes it was great that they could all start over, but I sort of wanted more from this part. What was the point of keeping everyone behind without any real evidence? Also I was kind of able to guess who the real culprit was kind of early on, it kind of bugged me that not everyone else was able to realise this.

Then there was the romance, we were told very early on who Chloe had been crushing on for some time, I think because of this I was expecting to see more from it over the course of the book, however we kind of got it all in the end instead. I know so far it may seem as if I’ve just been complaining about this book, but this isn’t the case at all. I think I just went into this book with really high expectations after thoroughly enjoying Ask Again Later. However despite the irks I did have, Czukas once again was able to give us a super cute read, despite knowing who the culprit was I still found myself invested in reading until the very last page. Although this book wasn’t for me, I’m sure it will be for many other readers who are the lookout for a cute read full with many quirky characters.

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