Sunday, June 30, 2013

In My Mailbox (16) & Stacking the Shelves (11)

Welcome to this week's In My Mailbox. In My Mailbox (IMM) is hosted by The Mod Podge Bookshelf. It features books I have bought or received for review.

Stacking the Shelves by Tynga`s Reviews is about adding books to my shelves I received during the past week whether it is physical or virtual.

Bought from Amazon:

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

I love the covers of these books. One of my favourites. I read Shatter Me awhile ago and loved it, because of my blogging schedule I wasn't able to read Destroy Me or Unravel Me but hopefully I will be able to soon. My review of Shatter Me will be posted in the next week or so.

Reason to Breathe #1 by Rebecca Donovan

I have heard so many good things about this book I decided it was time for me to buy it. I am really excited to start reading it. I love the new cover of the book as well.

Leo (A Sign of Love) by Mia Sheridan

I read the book description and it sounded interesting so I decided to buy it.

I am extremely happy with my book purchases this week and eager to start them. The Midsummer's Eve giveaway is over, I will be picking a winner on Sunday or Monday. Thank you to everyone who entered! I will be participating in another giveaway which starts on Tuesday so there will be another chance to win a prize. I hope everyone has a good week!


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review: With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent

Title: With All My Soul
Author: Rachel Vincent
Release Date: March, 26, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 377
Source: Bought ebook from

What does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America? It's time to kick some hellion butt...

After not really surviving her junior year (does "undead" count as survival?), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She's going to find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another in order to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.

But then she meets Wrath and understands that she's closer to the edge than she's ever been. And when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realizes she can't save everyone she loves without risking everything she has....

My Thoughts:

With All My Soul starts off 2 weeks after the events of Before I Wake; the gang is at Emma’s (body) funeral and still reeling from everything that happened. Avari lets it be known that he would do anything to get Kaylee’s soul, ANYTHING.

The world of the soul screamers series is unique and I absolutely love it. I love how there is a whole world within the normal human world portraying bean sidhes, reapers and demons. I really enjoyed the whole series. In my opinion, the story got better and better in each novel.

I have been waiting for With All My Soul for awhile to be released. I was so excited but when reading it, I found that there was something missing from this book; something that the other books had and was lacking a little. I found it to be a little irritating how Avari would always be a step ahead of Kaylee and the gang. It was like they couldn’t catch a break, not even a little one and because of that, things got progressively worse.

My favourite thing about this book was the ingenious plan Kaylee came up with to save herself, and her family and friends. I had tears in my eyes when everything came together at the end because that is how GOOD the plan was. I was happy everything worked out the way it did. This was one of the best plans and the best outcome I could have hoped for. This is what made the book great.

Another great part was when Nash finds out what his brother did for him. This was another moment where I was teary eyed, seeing the brothers get along, finally. There was no anger, no sarcasm, just brothers having a heart to heart moment. I read that part over and over again because I could not get enough. I really wanted this to happen in this book and was very happy when it did.

With All My Soul is a fast paced and enchanting read that will make you want to stay up all night reading just so you know what happens next. I am really going to miss Kaylee, Tod, Nash, Sabine and their family and friends.

My Rating:

4 out of 5 stars


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review, Dream Cast and Giveaway: Shutdown by Heather Anastasiu

Shutdown (Glitch, #3)

Synopsis via Goodreads:
The battle is all but over, and hope seems to be lost. Zoe and her fellow Resistance fighters are on the run, having lost their home, their protection, and their leader. They are outnumbered and outmatched by the powerful corporation that controls the world, and the cruel Chancellor is inches away from completing a scheme that would kill most of humanity. Zoe's only remaining option is to chase the impossible dream of upending the Link system, freeing the world from the hardware that controls their thoughts and emotions, and hope it will trigger a revolution. 

The plot requires a nearly impossible mission to infiltrate the dangerous Community, and it is a task that Zoe must unfortunately complete alone. With challenges and surprises at every turn, nothing goes according to plan. Adrien's visions of the future now show two possible outcomes: one in which they succeed, and one in which humanity falls. It all lies in Zoe's hands. 

Full of romance, high-adrenaline action and shocking twists, Shutdown is a heart-pounding conclusion to an exciting sci-fi adventure trilogy for young adults. 

The thrilling conclusion to an action-packed sci-fi trilogy.

Release Date: July 2nd 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Purchase: Amazon

About the Author
Heather Anastasiu grew up in Texas and recently moved to Minneapolis with her family. When she's not busy getting lost exploring the new city, she spends most days writing at a café or daydreaming about getting a new tattoo.


Glitch (Glitch, #1)  Override (Glitch, #2)

My Thoughts:

I found Shutdown to be the best in the Glitch series. It was fast paced, engaging and addictive. I couldn’t wait to finish this book because I wanted to know what was going to happen.

We start off with the Rex fighters still reeling from the major twist that happened in Override. Zoe is trying to bring down Chancellor Bright and the Link system but things are not always what they seem; I won’t say much because I don’t want to give anything away from the story. But you definitely need to read it. I loved the world Heather Anastasiu created. It is unique yet dangerous, especially if you are a glitcher or Rez fighter. I found myself completely immerged with this world as it just got better and better with each book.

I think my favourite thing is the character development between Zoe and Adrien, throughout the series but mainly in this book. Zoe changed a lot from when we first see her in Glitch. She didn’t understand emotions and everything in the outside world was new to her. In each book, she got stronger and stronger emotionally and through her Telek power.  I loved her determination, fierceness, loyalty and protectiveness in this novel. On the other hand, with Adrien, it was the opposite; he knew about all about emotions and feelings but had to learn all over again what they were after what was done to him. I really liked how Zoe never gave up on him even she may have wanted to.

Shutdown is a gripping novel, full of twists and turns.  I am so grateful I was given the opportunity to read this book.

My Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Dream Cast:

While reading this series, they were certain people I kept on picturing in my head that would play Zoe, Adrien and Max. So without further ado...

I think Lucy Hale would be a perfect Zoe. Every trait I like in Zoe I have seen it in Lucy Hale's work one time or another.

Adrien would be played by a younger Jesse Williams. I remember reading in Glitch, Zoe describing Adrien`s skin colour as caramel with blue green eyes. I think he would be perfect as Adrien.

Alexander Ludwig would play a perfect Max. This is the same actor who was Cato in The Hunger Games movie and I see a lot of similarities in these 2 characters.

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Lauren DeStefano has a beautiful writing technique. With  simple sentences she has this way of making you feel so much. I know this book will be as good as her Wither series and I am really looking forward to reading it.

Expected Publication Date: October 1, 2013

On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.

I would love to hear from you!

Raquel xoxo

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blog Tour Review, Playlist and Giveaway: Fading by E.K. Blair

Book Description:

Can a guilty conscience keep wounds from healing?

Fine arts major, Candace Parker, grew up with a mother who thinks image is everything, and her daughter’s perfection will never be good enough. About to graduate college and pursue her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina, Candace decides it’s time to let go and have a little fun. But fun is short-lived when a brutal attack leaves her completely shattered.

The memories that consume and torment Candace are starting to destroy her when she meets Ryan Campbell, a successful bar owner. He feels instantly connected and tries to show her that hope is worth fighting for. But is Ryan harboring his own demons? As walls slowly begin to chip away, the secrets that are held within start to become painful burdens.

At what point do secrets become lies?

(17+) This book contains mature subject matter that is not suitable for those under the age of 17.

Author social media links:

My Thoughts:

I don’t even know what to say about this book other than, it is AMAZING. Fading is an intense, emotional, heartbreaking and beautiful piece of art that left me wanting more even after reading it. This book had me in blubbering tears multiple times.

We start off with Candace, a dance major, who grew up in a household where she was thought that image is everything. Her parents don’t agree with her choices but she decides to pursue her dreams and become a ballerina anyway. Candace needs things to be a certain way and organized, she needs to have order and control. About to graduate, Candace decides to relax a little and have some fun. After going out a few times with a guy (her parents choice for her), Candace is brutally attacked.

I have never read a book like this before. It is utter perfection. After reading the prologue, I knew the attack was coming but it didn’t take away anything from when it actually happened. I was still left feeling devastated. When Candace is in the hospital and the nurse tells Jase what happened, I was a blubbering mess because I felt all of that pain.
The author, E.K. Blair did an excellent job portraying different emotions throughout her writing. She has this way of making you feel every torment or emotion Candace went through. Ms. Blair did a great job writing about such a taboo subject without compromising the ugliness of the situation. Sometimes I would think, if I were in the same situation, would I shutdown emotionally? Would I blame myself? Would I be scared of doing everything and anything? I found my answer to be yes on all three questions. This is one way I know the author did an amazing job.

I really like the character growth, little by little, in Candace throughout the book. It shows how strong she is. I absolutely loved the other characters: Ryan, Jase and Mark. They were an AMAZING support system. Ryan is by far my favourite character in the book. He pushed himself to the top of my favourite book boys list. He is patient, kind, understanding, supportive, loving, protective and possessive; everything I love in a book boy. The thing that stood out for me about him was the small things he would do to help Candace overcome her fears and grow stronger. He made her come out of her comfort zone like going out in big crowds and surfing.

Fading is a beautiful story that shows you even through complete darkness, love is extremely powerful. I am so happy I was given the opportunity to read this book for review. Make sure you have a box of tissues nearby because you will definitely need it.

My Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

Playlist for Fading:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cover Reveals: Keeping the Peace by Linda Cunningham and Until Next Time by Justine Dell

  Title: Keeping the Peace (Small Town Girl, #3) 
  Author: Linda Cunningham 
Publisher: Omnific Publishing 
  Genre: Romance 
  Age Group: Adult
  Expected release date: August 6, 2013   

 John Giamo juggles his career as police chief in the small town of Clark's Corner, his marriage to the beautiful, flirtatious Melanie, and his role as father to three teenagers. When a celebrity stranger comes to town causing disruption and danger, John must protect his community while making sure his own family and marriage do not end up as collateral damage.

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About the Author
 Linda has written steadily throughout the years, but usually other people’s papers, speeches, or articles for agricultural trade magazines. Her only published work of fiction was a children’s book, “The Copper Angel of Piper’s Mill”, written in 1988 when her children were still small. Now that the kids are out of the house, Linda is writing fiction again, and this time it’s personal! She writes full time and it’s Romance! Her romance series, “Small Town Girl”, is published by Omnific Publishing. Linda lives in a romantic stone house in the green mountains of Vermont surrounded by her gardens and her animals who include horses, sheep, cats, dogs, chickens, a parakeet and various wildlife visitors who wander in and out at will. When time permits, she also enjoys sketching and painting.

 photo AToMRToursC66a-A00aT03a-Z_mdm_zpsa3cc6896.jpg

New Batch (14): New Books

Books Releasing June 23- June 29

Release Date: June 25, 2013

In The After by Demitria Lunetta
Release Date: June 25, 2013

Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsay
Release Date: June 27, 2013

Hidden by Marianne Curley
Release Date: June 25, 2013

A Moment Comes by Jennifer Bradbury
Release Date: June 25, 2013

Ink by Amanda Sun
Release Date: June 25, 2013

Have a good week in reading!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

In My Mailbox (15) & Stacking the Shelves (10)

Welcome to this week's In My Mailbox. In My Mailbox (IMM) is hosted by The Mod Podge Bookshelf. It features books I have bought or received for review.

Stacking the Shelves by Tynga`s Reviews is about adding books to my shelves I received during the past week whether it is physical or virtual.

Received for Review

This week I received Dirty Little Secrets by Jennifer Echols. It is a part of a blog tour happening in July. Look out for my tour stop on July 12 with my review and favourite quotes. Thank you IFB Blog Tours and book publisher, Simon and Schuster. I didn't receive much books this week but I absolutely love books that include music in some shape or form. I am really looking forward to it :)


Friday, June 21, 2013

Blog Tour: Insight by Jamie Magee


Before that fateful summer night, Willow had balanced the insight of emotion, and the vivid images. That night, the figure in her nightmare marked her wrist with a star, giving her father no choice but to tell Willow a family secret that would abruptly change life, as she knew it, forever. Before Willow had time to absorb the shock of her father's secret, her soul mate that had shared every stunning dream with her, found her, and darkness captured her closest friends. In order to save them, she must weave through broken myths and the undeniable power of the Zodiac. In the end, Willow discovers that at the moment of our birth we are all given a divine gift.

Purchase your copy

About the Author:
Jamie Magee has always believed that each of us have a defining gift that sets us apart from the rest of the world, she has always envied those who have known from their first breath what their gift was. Not knowing hers, she began a career in the fast paced world of business. Raising a young family, and competing to rise higher in that field would drive some to the point of insanity, but she always found a moment of escape in a passing daydream. Her imagination would take her to places she’d never been, introduce her to people she’s never known. Insight, her debuting novel, is a result of that powerful imagination. Today, she is grateful that not knowing what defined her, led her on a path of discovery that would always be a part of her.

You can follow the tour here for more chances to win!

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop

I am giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card

Follow me and you could win!

Enter below:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (15)

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This book sounds AWESOME. I can't wait to get my hands on it and I love books about time travel. There I said it, now you know one of my weaknesses, lol. Now I just have to wait until September to get it, urghhhh.

Expected Publication Date: September 3, 2013

Synopsis: (taken from Goodreads)
"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

I would love to hear from you :)


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blog Tour and Interview: Alyx Rayer Chronicles by S.J. Pierce

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the Alyx Rayer Chronicles Series. The author gave a great interview to share. Enjoy!

Marked for Vengeance by S.J. Pierce 
Series: Alyx Rayer Chronicles #1 
Publication date: October 10th 2012 
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance


Alyx Rayer’s existence in Atlanta, the eternally bustling capital of Georgia, is one of routine and blending in among the worker bees. But her ‘normal’ life is actually a façade for a higher calling; she's a three hundred year old soul, encased in a human vessel and sent from the darkness between heaven and Earth to capture her Marked when summoned by her superiors.

During the initial, routine stake-out of her Marked, a dream prophet named Isaac Walsh, Alyx is thrown for an emotional loop when his allure captivates her heart from two rooftops away. The event marks the very instance when her sense of what’s right and what’s wrong is brutally challenged as her contact with him is strictly forbidden.

While already trapped between honor and desire, her emotional struggles are further challenged by a man in a black suit who continually pops up when she least expects it, his presence evoking a strange response from the scar she was branded with at birth. The scar tingles like a warning beacon, alerting her that something is amiss. Because her superiors never told her what this would mean, or much of anything except what to do when they summon, she can only conclude to try and keep her sanity, and her life, from completely shattering to pieces.

This engaging first book of the series is a Paranormal Romance novel interlaced with twists, turns, and thrilling suspense that is sure to satisfy readers of any genre.

***Book is on sale until June 28

Tethered by Fate by S.J. Pierce
Series: Alyx Rayer Chronicles #2
Publication date: November 29th 2012
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Where fate would take the both of them now, Isaac wasn’t sure, but either way their paths were irrevocably tethered."

Hurled into the midst of a holy war between the sinister fallen Angel of War and their beloved Creator, gifted humans, Angels, and Spirit Guides unite to create a formidable, ethereal army. With the imminent battle only days away, continue to follow the story that captivated your hearts as a Protector Angel named Alyx struggles with her own inner conflicts between right and wrong, love and honor.

Passionate, engaging, and filled with surprising twists and turns -- see which path fate will lead our beloved Angel down next in this second book of the Alyx Rayer Chronicles.

***Book is on sale until June 28

1. What inspired you to write the series?

I’ve always had a fascination with angels and demons, which coincidentally, happen to be big right now in the Paranormal Romance genre. I’m also a sucker for Fantasy; my first introduction into this genre was with The Chronicles of Narnia as a child. So the series is a good blending of both – paranormal and fantasy, my two loves.

2. What were your favorite elements of the story to write?

I can’t say all of it, can I? lol If I was forced at gun point to choose, I’d say the characters because they move the story along. They need to be multi-faceted, interesting, and surprise you from time to time. In real life we all have our weaknesses and skeletons. We might be inherently good, but struggle with temptation and our darker sides. In my opinion, a hero/ heroine who always makes the right decisions and knows all the right answers and never does anything wrong is unrealistic and boring, so it’s no surprise that I put a lot of effort into constructing my characters and love every minute of it.

3. Were there parts of the story you didn't enjoy writing?

I can honestly say no to this one, even at gunpoint. :) I enjoy writing so much that even the heavier subjects are enjoyable for me. Not that I like putting my characters through tough situations, but I recognize every element of a story is necessary. I will admit, though, that I do cry sometimes as I’m writing certain scenes.

4. Do any of the characters personalities resemble your own, or people you know?
In a way, I think a piece of me is in every character. A favorite quote of mine is by Ernest Hemingway, who I love:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

It’s so true. I pour everything I have into my writing, so it only stands to reason that – even if it’s a small percentage – at least part of every character is a reflection of me.

5. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

GREAT question! During promotional blasts and blog tours, it’s easier to only focus on all of the good things that have been said about your book. After all, we’re all trying to create a brand and make a sale. But hidden behind all of those gushing, enthusiastic reviews lurk the *gasp* negative ones! I’d say the toughest for me to swallow was one of my very first. He said my dialogue was stilted and I used too many descriptions, and I’ll tell you, NO amount of coaching will truly prepare you for your first blow. I knew it would eventually come, but it didn’t ease the sting. I just did what I thought was best – take what he had to say into consideration and use it to better my work.

Now… on to the fun part! :) One of my most memorable compliments came from a woman who reads and reviews a lot of indie novels. She emailed me to tell me that my Alyx Rayer series was so refreshingly different than everything else that was out there, it made her want to delete everything she had on her Kindle. Talk about a monumental compliment! And it couldn’t have come at a better time – right on the heels of my first negative review. I burst into tears. My fans really are my angels… God seems to send them when I need their encouragement the most.

6. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you for giving a debut author a shot! Your support has been the fuel that keeps me going on days when doubt and exhaustion want to win the battle. You rock!!!

About the Author:
Susan James Pierce has a degree in Marketing Management, works for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, Georgia, and devotes her precious, spare time to writing Fantasy and Sci-fi novels. 

Even though her full-time career has nothing to do with books at all, she has always enjoyed complex storytelling with fascinating characters, and has had a penchant for the written word since grade school. As a matter of fact, her first publishing credit was a poem she wrote at the age of twelve. Why her love for writing never translated into a career, she can only attribute to 'life happens', but her wish is that she can redirect her career path into something that satisfies her creative inner-self.

Monday, June 17, 2013

New Batch (13): New Books

Books Releasing June 16- June 22

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood
Release Date: June 18, 2013

Proxy by Alex London
Release Date: June 18, 2013

Release Date: June 18, 2013

Tarnish by Katherine Longshore
Release Date: June 18, 2013

Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller
Release Date: June 18, 2013

Release Date: June 18, 2013

A lot of great treasures coming out this week. Have a good week!