Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams Giveaway!

So when I received my ARC of Miles From Ordinary, I also received an additional copy. Well, I don’t need two do I? So I’m hosting a giveaway! Unfortunately, I can only limit this giveaway for the United States, but international readers, fear not! I will soon be hosting a giveaway for everyone, not just US residents so keep an eye out for that in the next few weeks!

You do not have to be a follower to enter this giveaway, but new followers are always appreciated! If you’re new, let me know in a comment and I’ll follow you back if I’m not already! Tweeting is appreciated and beneficial!

You must be 13 years of age to enter this giveaway.

GIVEAWAY WILL END: March 9th, @ 8:00PM Pacific Time. The winner will be announced that evening, and if an address is provided the book will be sent out on the 10th. Good luck everyone!


Author Spotlight – New Releases

Because I’m beside myself with excitement, I figured this would be a good outlet. This Tuesday, March 1st, there are two books I’m especially excited about that are being released, and fair warning: They’re not YA. The Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop is a rich and dark fantasy that I absolutely love. I reread every book by her every single year. And let me tell you she has quite a few. The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs is a paranormal romance, heavy on the paranormal in the beginning, and more evenly balanced between the two later on in the series. I only discovered her about a year or so ago, but I’ve almost read all of her books as well now too. On to the book descriptions!

I featured Twilight’s Dawn by Anne Bishop a while ago on a Waiting on Wednesday post, so to see more about that go here!

Now this book, the author has a signing in the Tri-Cities where the series is set on Tuesday, the release day. And since I live in Washington State, only a 3 hour drive from the Tri-Cities, I have asked for Tuesday off from work so I can go! I’ll also have Wednesday off to devote to my two new books. I’m so excited!

Summary from Good Reads:
Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She’s never known any others of her kind. Until now.
An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River—one that her father’s people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help…

As I said, beside myself with excitement. I have Twilight’s Dawn pre-ordered and should have it Tuesday morning before I leave to acquire a signed copy of River Marked! It’s going to be a great Tuesday! Hopefully I’ll have pictures to share.

In My Mailbox (7)

Before we get things started I wanted to draw attention again to my giveaway of TWO COPIES of Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney! Go here to enter!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, showcasing what you received in the mail, bought, or borrowed from friends or the library for that week. So here’s what I got this week! All links lead you to their Good Reads page.

Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams
Quicksilver by Joy Spraycar
You by Charles Benoit
Num8ers by Rachel Ward
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Girl, Stolen by April Henry
And that’s everything I got this week, what did you guys get?

Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney + Giveaway!

Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Source: ARC from publisher.
Rating: 4/5 – Really really really liked it
Cover: 4/5 – Really really liked it, fits the story.
Purchase: Amazon or Book Depository

Summary from Good Reads:
Lady Victoria Mansfield, youngest daughter of the Earl and
Countess of Fairmount, is destined for a charmed life. Soon she
will be presented during the London season, where she can choose a mate worthy of her status.

Yet Tory has a shameful secret—a secret so powerful that, if
exposed, it could strip her of her position and disgrace her family forever. Tory’s blood is tainted…by magic. When a shocking accident forces Tory to demonstrate her despised skill, the secret she’s fought so hard to hide is revealed for all to see. She is immediately exiled to Lackland Abbey, a reform school for young men and women in her position. There she will learn to suppress her deplorable talents and maybe, if she’s one of the lucky ones, be able to return to society.

But Tory’s life is about to change forever. All that she’s ever known or considered important will be challenged. What lies ahead is only the beginning of a strange and wonderful journey into a world where destiny and magic come together, where true love and friendship find her, and where courage and strength of character are the only things that determine a young girl’s worth.

My thoughts on Dark Mirror:
Given that I’m not the biggest fan of WWII fiction, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. While starting off a little slow for me, it soon grabbed me and just would not let go. I was reading this every spare moment I had the last  few days.

Lady Victoria Mansfield, better known as Tory, was a remarkable character for me. I loved that she adapted so quickly to the drastic changes in her life, with little drama. She handles her new roommate exceptionally, taking everything in stride, and easily makes friends with some of the other ladies.

Quickly learning more about her powers drew her ultimately to the Labyrinth, where she was able to get much closer to a number of fellow students and one of her teachers. And it is in the laybrinth that Tory finds the mirror that takes her to World War II era England. Putney is incredible at painting the picture in your mind of this wartorn nation and what it was like for them. I could almost imagine myself there as a spectator to their unfolding story.

The romance in this book is such that it develops somewhat in the second half of the book, leaving the first half open for more development of friendship bonds between the mages from the school and the ones from the village. I was very satisfied that while they seemed to click instantly, as they often do nowadays in YA fiction, the development was more of a slower pace that some other novels.

I’m excited to see what happens to everyone in the next book, Dark Passage, coming out hopefully this Fall! And now onto the giveaway.

Dark Mirror Giveaway!
St. Martin’s Griffin has generously allowed me to hold a giveaway for two copies! Here are the rules:

  1. Must be 13 years or older to participate
  2. Open to United States and Canada only
  3. Following is not a requirement, but is appreciated! If you’re a new follower let me know and I’ll follow you back!

The books will be shipped directly from the publisher. Contest is open until Sunday, March 6, 2011 – 9:00PM Pacific Time.


Follow Friday (5) & Book Blogger Hop (4)

Q. Share your current fav television show! Tell us a bit about it…

I actually like quite a few shows right now. Castle, where author Rick Castle trails Detective Cate Beckett on her cases for writing inspiration; Grey’s Anatomy, who doesn’t know about that show? Private Practice, the Addison Montgomery spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy. Glee is freaking awesome. Bones, I looooove Seeley Booth. I also like the new show Off the Map, by the same creators of Grey’s Anatomy, only set down in a clinic in the South American jungle.

Book Blogger Hop

“Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?”
Not really. Once or twice I thought of something else I might have liked better, but overall I’m pretty happy with Starry Sky Books.

Stylish Blogger Award

Kelly at The Bookscape Report awarded me the Stylish Blogger award, and it’s my first one. Thank you very much. I have also since received two more, so I’ll be posting about those soon to get caught up on that. Here are the 15 other blogs that I’ve also chosen to give this award to!

  1. Midnight Bloom Reads
  2. Alexia’s Books and Such
  3. Bibliophilia – Maggie’s Bookshelf
  4. Christi the Teen Librarian
  5. Emilie’s Book World
  6. Far From Reality
  7. I Want to Read That
  8. Ink & Prose
  9. Just Another Story
  10. Lost in Literature
  11. My Bookish Fairytale
  12. The Naughty Book Kitties
  13. Overflowing Shelf
  14. The Reading Cat
  15. The Secret Dream World of a Bookaholic
Congratulations! Here’s what you do after you win:

  • Thank the awesome person who gave you the award
  • Post 7 random things about yourself
  • Give the award to 15 other blogs
  • Contact the blogger and let them know they have won!

Here are seven random things about me
  • I love cats
  • I hate tomatoes
  • I have been to Europe
  • I love to be lazy on my days off
  • I’m a book-buying addict
  • I love going to the theater for movies
  • I like quilting, even though I don’t do it very often.

Congratulations to everyone! Can’t wait to see what you guys do.

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer
Release Date: January 4, 2011 (Paperback)
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5 – Really really liked it
Cover Rating: 3/5 – It’s good.
Purchase: Amazon

Summary from Good Reads

What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?

My thoughts on The Espressologist
The Espressologist was the perfect book to read while under the weather. Light and fluffy, a very cute read. I loved the idea of Jane keeping her notebook about different coffee orders and the types of people ordering them. Too bad I’ve given up caffeine, otherwise I’d want her to match me!

Overall I think the whole thing helped Jane grow as a person and a character. She finds her backbone and uses it. In regards to a certain regular hottie customer, I knew the deal behind that the whole time, and hoped Jane would figure it out, as she soon did near the end. Character development overall did not go very deep, but for a short book like this, I didn’t mind that as much because I still liked everyone, even Derek.

I definitely recommend this book if you just need a nice short read, just for the day or even when you’re not feeling well. But make sure you have a coffee maker at home, or read this at the coffee shop because you’ll definitely be craving it while reading!

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams
Releases on March 15, 2011
Thirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is supposed to start work at the grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother’s ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control….
I haven’t read anything by this author yet, but I heard good things about The Chosen One. So I’m thinking if I like this one I’ll probably read the other one.
Also, I received two copies of this, one extra. So keep an eye out for a giveaway starting tomorrow or Thursday!

Teaser Tuesday (1)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should Be Reading, a weekly meme where you post two sentences from your current read, as long as they are not spoilers. So let’s get started!

Since Miss Macklin couldn’t be avoided, Tory reached for the pot of gooseberry preserves. Facing a difficult teacher would be easier on a full stomach.

~ Page 64 of Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney

I’m nearly done with this book, so keep an eye out for my review in a few days!

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel (Penguin Imprint)
Release Date: October 19, 2010
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5 stars – Really really liked it.
Cover Rating: 4/5 stars – Really really liked it.
Purchase: Amazon or Book Depository

Summary from Good Reads:
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

My thoughts on Nightshade:
Wow. Nightshade starts with a bang and keeps the surprises coming. To quote the coworker who borrowed this before I read it, “This book was addictive.” Before I go any further, I first need to say that it needs to July 26 right now so I can read Wolfsbane.

When it comes to love triangles, most of the time I pick early on who I’m rooting for, but sometimes as the story develops I change my mind. That did not happen this time. Normally with a book like this I’d be Team Shay, because he is not what is mapped out for Calla, he’s the wild card. But this time I became attatched to Ren early on, and stayed firmly on Team Ren.

In terms of development for Ren and Shay, I was very satisfied with Ren. At first, while he was portrayed as loyal to his pack, he was not necessarily seen to be loyal to the upcoming commitment that was being forced upon him. But digging deeper, you see that that is totally wrong. Even though he is a Guardian, throughout the story you see things that humanize more, make him someone you can connect with. Shay on the other hand was not as well developed. I couldn’t connect with him. He becomes less human the more you read. And while you eventually learn who he is, you’re still left not knowing why. But I assume that will be covered in Wolfsbane.

The writing was fluid, very easy to read. Andrea Cremer did a wonderful job in making this story come alive in my mind. Even when I stopped reading I had the feeling that I was still in the story, and very few books have that effect on me. Fans of werewolves will love this unique take.