Thursday, May 24, 2012

Night Sky blog tour: Guest Post: Top 10 YA contemporary romance reads

As part of the Night Sky blog tour, I must say that I'm very, very excited about today's post. You see, today I have Jolene Perry, author of the book, stopping by on my blog to chat about her favourite YA contemporary romance novels.

Now one of the reasons I'm excited about this post is because I've been reading a lot of contemp fiction lately, and as someone who generally prefers paranormal reads over realistic fiction, have to say that the more I've been reading, the more addicted to them I'm becoming.

From Twenty Boy Summer to Anna and the French Kiss and The Sky is Everywhere, up until recently, I really had no idea what I was missing out on. 

So, with this in mind, and after being invited to partake in the Night Sky tour (Night Sky, is obviously a contemporary romance), I simply had to ask Jolene to tell us about her favourite realistic YA romance novels.

Before we move on to her post, here's some more info about Night Sky.

About the book: 
After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honesty become addictive fast. 

This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her.

As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums - she's way more than distraction. Jameson's falling for her fast.

But Sky’s need for honesty somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl to keep him distracted from the disaster of his senior year.

You can click here to add Night Sky to your TBR pile.

On to Jolene's favourite YA reads (with commentary in-between from yours truly. Because I'm a chatterbox like that)!

Top 10 contemporary romance reads
1. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles because the scene where he teaches her to drive gets me every time.

(I should add that this book is still sitting on my shelf. Must get around to reading this - almost everyone who's read this has had nothing but great things to say about it).

2. The Summer Series by Jenny Han because being with a girl as she comes into her own, and getting the boy she wants, and then not getting the boy she wants, and then not knowing which boy she wants is all very fun.

3. Fixing Delilah By Sarah Ockler because that Patrick with his honey voice, and guitar slay me.

(I just recently read Sarah Ockler (Twenty Boy Summer) for the first time and fell in love.
You can bet your last dollar I'm going to be getting my hands on both Fixing Delilah and Bittersweet. Sarah's writing is BEAUTIFUL.)

4.Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins because of Cricket. Favorite. Book. Boy. Ever.

(Also a must-read. Read Anna and the French Kiss not too long ago and fell in book love. It goes without saying that I now want to read the rest of Stephanie's books).

5. Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay because I adore re-tellings and I NEVER knew what would happen next in this one. Ever.

6. Grounding Quinn by Stephanie Campbell because I read her book, and still re-read some parts when I don't know what to read.

7. Catching Jordan by Miranda Keneally
because a girl who plays football, who hangs with the guys? Lots of guys?? Yes, please.

8.The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott because the end was really, really, good, and I felt each and every moment of those "forbidden" kisses. 

9.The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson because I can't resist the characters in that story, and I still sometimes open the book just to read the poems.

(This is without a doubt, one of my top 5 favourite reads of all time. Seriously, if you don't like this book, you can't be my friend. And that is all.

And if you don't like it, you better lie to me and tell me that you did. *grins* << This should give you an indication of just how much I love this book).

10.Saving June by Hannah Harrington because sometimes it's fun to be with two people who annoy the crap out of each other as they fall in love.

(Also want to read. Two characters + road trip = win).

Thanks for having me!! This was fun :-D

Thanks for doing this Jolene - I had even more fun featuring you.  

About Jolene:
Jolene grew up in Wasilla, Alaska. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in political science and French, which she used to teach math to middle schoolers.

After living in Washington, Utah and Las Vegas, she now resides in Alaska with her husband, and two children. Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible.

She is also the author of The Next Door Boys and the upcoming Knee Deep.

You can catch Jolene on:
Her website
Her blog

Special thanks to Tribute Books for inviting me to be a part of this tour. Be sure to check out their website and Facebook page.

To check out her next stop and the rest of the blog tour schedule, click on the banner below.

So, to end off with, what's your favourite contemporary YA romance read and why? I'm always on the lookout for new ones to read, seeing as I've become such a junkie for them of late.
Please feel free to recommend some - better yet, if you've reviewed it, leave a link so I can go and check it out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Spectral Blog tour: Author guest post: Top 10 romantic places to rendezvous

As part of the Spectral Blog Tour, I'd like to welcome the author of the book, Shannon Duffy to my blog today.

When I first came across the book I was immediately intrigued, especially when I read the description of the main character that has to travel around the globe with her family, in much the same way that gypsies do.

Now as someone with a keen interest in travel, the idea of being nomadic and travelling from place to place is incredibly appealing to me, and it's with this in mind that I've asked the author to do a guest post in which she'd share to the 10 romantic places she'd send her two lead characters (Jewel and Roman) to.

But first, for those who don't know what the book is about, check out the summary below.
About the book:
Convinced she’s a part of the witness protection program, sixteen-year-old Jewel Rose is shuffled around the globe with her family like a pack of traveling gypsies.

After arriving at lucky home twenty-seven, she stumbles upon a mysterious boy with magical powers claiming to be her guardian . . . and warning of imminent danger.

Despite the obvious sparks between them, Jewel discovers a relationship is forbidden, and the more she learns about dark, brooding Roman, she begins to question who she can even believe — the family who raised her, or the supposed sworn protector who claims they’ve been lying to her all along.

As she struggles to uncover who her family has really been running from, she is forced to hide her birthmark that reveals who she is.

With new realities surfacing, unexplained powers appearing, and two tempting boys vying for her heart, Jewel battles to learn who she can trust in an ever growing sea of lies, hoping she’ll make it through her seventeenth birthday alive.

To add this book to your TBR list, click here

Onto Shannon's guest post:

Here are the top 10 places Jewel and Roman would visit while on a romantic rendezvous together:

1.    Definitely all over Italy (Since they are both Italian and it is so romantic there). Also add in more gondola rides.

    Paris. (I think it would have been a crime if Shannon hadn't included the romantic capital of the world, don't you?)

3.    A cabin in the woods with a crackling fire for alone time and hanging out.

4.    A warm beach anywhere.

5.    An old fashioned drive-in movie.

6.    To dinner and then the NBA finals. (Jewel likes sports).

7.    Niagara Falls—Canada.

8.   A private island. Hey, not only can they be romantic, but Jewel can practice some of her new skills.

9.    L.A.—cause it’s so beautiful and there’s so much they could do together there.
10.    A theme park with roller coasters followed by watching an amazing fireworks display.
Check out the book trailer below:

About Shannon:
Shannon Duffy writes young adult and middle grade fiction. She grew up on the beautiful east coast of Canada and now lives in Ontario, Canada. She is the mom of one boy, Gabriel, her angel.

She loves writing, reading, working out, soccer, and the sport of champions-shopping. She is the author of the young adult paranormal romance, SPECTRAL. Her upcoming middle grade fantasy novel, GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA is scheduled for a January 2013 release.

(Tried including a pic of Shannon but Blogger was being an idiot. Will have to try later again.)

You can catch Shannon on:
Her website
Her blog

Special thanks to Tribute Books for inviting me to be a part of this tour. Be sure to check out their website and Facebook page.

To check out her next stop and the rest of the blog tour schedule, click on the banner below.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Top 10 Tuesday: Favourite book quotes

So, this is my first time I'm taking part in Top 10 Tuesday, a weekly meme brought to you by the team from The Broke and the Bookish. I've been meaning to take part in this feature for so long, but have either :

a) not had time and;
b) forgotten about it

Having said that, I'm hoping to take part in this more regularly - it is a fun way of getting to know what people like when it comes to all things book related.

For future themes, you can head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and check out the features page, where the team have a list of all the past, present and future topics for Top Ten Tuesdays.

This week's theme is all about favourite book quotes.  I've done a similar post to this in the past, but for me, you can never have enough of these kind of posts. There's always a new favourite book, which means there'll always be a new favourite quote.

That said, I've also decided to include some of the quotes I've done previously, simply because I love them so much. In no particular order, here are 10 of my favourite book quotes.

1. “So now you must choose... Are you a child who has not yet become world-weary? Or are you a philosopher who will vow never to become so? To children, the world and everything in it is new, something that gives rise to astonishment. It is not like that for adults. Most adults accept the world as a matter of course.

"This is precisely where philosophers are a notable exception. A philosopher never gets quite used to the world. To him or her, the world continues to seem a bit unreasonable - bewildering, even enigmatic. Philosophers and small children thus have an important faculty in common. The only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder…”
― Jostein Gaarder (Sophie's World)

I've always had a taste for books with a bit of a philosophical theme to it, and for me, Sophie's World, along with The Solitaire Mystery (another Jostein Gaarder favourite of mine), were such great reads for me.

Personally, even though I think that The Solitaire Mystery is better, this specific quote from Sophie's World is one that has stayed with me for all these years. I reckon it would be good to re-read this book.

2. “It's a weird smile, but it reaches his eyes and I bottle it. And I put it in my ammo pack that's kept right next to my soul and Justine's spirit and Siobhan's hope and Tara's passions.

"Because if I'm going to wake up one morning and not be able to get out of bed, I'm going to need everything I've got to fight this disease that could be sleeping inside of me.”
― Melina Marchetta (Saving Francesca)

Saving Francesca is one of the saddest, funniest and most heart-warming books I've read. It's also, a book, that has helped me through the worst of my depression last year.

In fact, and I don't s
ay this about many books, but if there's one book that saved my life during the course of last year, then Saving Francesca was and is that book for me. I can't recommend this book enough. 

3. “Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative.

There's magic in that. It's in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose.

"That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that... there are many kinds of magic, after all.”
― Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)

(One of my favourite reads of 2011, The Night Circus is a book filled with phantasmagorical and vivid imagery. The settings, the writing and the story was and is just incredible. 

It's one of those books that I think shouldn't be talked about too much, but should be experienced, because no amount of praise on my part will be able to accurately capture just how phenomenal this book really is.)

“I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul.”
― Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss)

(If this quote doesn't convince how just how charming and swoon-worthy this read is, I don't know what will. :-))

5. “Maybe it was true, and being a girl could be about interest rates and skinny jeans, riding bikes and wearing pink. Not about any one thing, but everything.”
― Sarah Dessen ( Along for the Ride)

(A review of Along for the Ride should be coming soon, but suffice to say that I'm in utter book love with this one.)

6. “Outside, the ocean was crashing, waves hitting sand, then pulling back to sea. I thought of everything being washed away, again and again.

"We make such messes in this life, both accidentally and on purpose. But wiping the surface clean doesn't really make anything neater. It just masks what is below. It's only when you really dig down deep, go underground, that you can see who you really are.”
― Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye

(You can tell how much I love Sarah right? She didn't get one quote, but two. If I could fit more in, trust me... I would) 
7. “Life's a freaking mess. In fact, I'm going to tell Sarah we need to start a new philosophical movement: messessentialism instead of existentialism: For those who revel in the essential mess that is life.

"Because Gram's right, there's not one truth ever, just a bunch of stories, all going on at once, in our heads, in our hearts, all getting in the way of each other. It's all a beautiful calamitous mess.

It's like the day Mr. James took us into the woods and cried triumphantly, "That's it! That's it!" to the dizzying cacophony of soloing instruments trying to make music together. That is it.”
― Jandy Nelson (The Sky Is Everywhere)

(This book broke my heart into little pieces and then put it back together and made my soul sing. Joe and Lennie are without a doubt two of my favourite fictional couple and characters ever.)

“Allure goes beyond appearances to the way they grace the world. Some women propel themselves by means of an internal gyroscope. Others glide through life as if on ice skates. Some women convey their tortured lives through their eyes; others encircle you in the music of their laughter.”
― Keith Donohue (The Stolen Child)

(The book that awakened my dormant love of all things fantasy and fey. Read this a few years back, but I think it's time for a re-read.)

9. “We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”
― Veronica Roth (Divergent)

(It's Veronica Roth. I don't think I need to say more. :-D) 

“Live each day as if it's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you.

"Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at...something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.”
― David Nicholls (One Day)

(Another one of my all-time favourites, One Day is a book that taught me, broke me, made me laugh and made me cry. Most of all, it made me believe in love and in the power of change - all one step at a time.)

That's my list for today. What are some of your favourite bookish quotes? Feel free to share your posts below. I'd love to check them out.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Author Guest post: Georgia Cates: For the love of a bad boy

Hi everyone

Today I'd like to welcome Georgia Cates, author of the YA contemporary novel, Going Under and The Vampire Agápe series, to my blog.

Because her book features a very hot and sexy bad boy, I thought I'd ask her to write a post on what she thinks it is that make bad boys so irresistible and to tell us about some of her favourite bad boys in fiction.

What's even better is that Georgia has generously offered one lucky reader a chance to win an E-book of Going Under, so make sure you stick around to find out how you can win a copy.
For the love of a bad boy
Good girls crave bad boys in real life and fiction.

They come in all forms-fallen angels, vampires, werewolves, shifters, jocks, rakes and boys with bad attitudes. The list could go on and on, but there is one thing that is certain - bad boys are our guilty pleasure.

Some of us might be too afraid to act on our inner bad boy desires in reality, especially young women and teens, so we choose to get our “fix” through fiction.

It’s safe.

Fictional bad boys don’t hurt us like bad boys in real life will and we’re almost always guaranteed a happy ending.

But...what does a happy ending with a bad boy mean?

We have to begin with why we love a bad boy to understand how to get the happily ever after with him. It’s a simple fact that bad boys are damaged and we want to save them. We want to change them. We want to be the first woman he ever loves. And the last...sigh.

Bad boys don’t fall in love easily, so you’ve accomplished the near impossible when you win his heart. When the right woman breaks through his icy exterior, he will fall hard and forever, so you better watch out.

There is no limit to the extremes he will go to in order to protect the love of his life. We crave that powerful protection. It’s sexy and being protected makes us feel wanted and sexy. In short...a bad boy makes for the perfect boy to fall in love with instead of the worst.

We all have our favorite bad boys and I’d love to share some of my list toppers with you.

1. Jessie Boone from Going Under by Georgia Cates. (He’s my character, so I had to list him first. Man... he is so hot with all of his tattoo yumminess.)

2. Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.

3. Beau Vincent from The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

4. Daemon Black from Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout

5. Keilor from The Charmer by Autumn Dawn (Not a YA book, but definitely Bad Boy nomination worthy.)

A special thanks to Georgia for writing this post. I'm sure many of us out there (including myself) can relate to this.

More about the book:
Going Under
Jessie Boone is a self proclaimed bad boy and doesn’t march to the beat of anyone’s drum, but his own.

Growing up in less than desirable circumstances has made him no stranger to the hard knock life and his determination to leave it behind is fierce.

When he finds himself transferred to East Franklin High School, he sees his opportunity to use his athletic ability to snag a college football scholarship, but Forbes Henderson, the player Jessie means to replace isn’t giving up his spot willingly.

In fact, Forbes is willing to go to extreme measures to retain his place as first string quarterback.

When Forbes’ malicious plan to injure his replacement fails, Jessie is furious and determined to show him he messed with the wrong person; not only is he going to take the position of first string quarterback, he’s going to take his girl, too.

Claire Deveraux is perfection at its best. She is beautiful, intelligent and unaware that she just became Jessie Boone’s conquest as revenge against her boyfriend, Forbes Henderson.
Like her flawless performance as the perfect daughter and student, Claire’s production of being the perfect girlfriend has everyone fooled, except Jessie Boone, and she fears this tattooed bad boy will see her secret desire to explore his crude threats and promises to rock her perfect world.

If she decides to give in to one uninhibited moment with Jessie, will she learn too late that it was all an act of vengeance or will Jessie learn the taste of first love is sweeter than that of revenge?

Georgia is giving away an e-version of this book to one lucky reader. All you need to do is leave a comment and tell me who your favourite bad boy is and why. Please make sure you leave your contact details so that I can e-mail the winner as soon as the giveaway has been closed.

UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed.

You can catch Georgia on the following sites:

Her Blog


Going Under at Amazon