Saturday, May 31, 2014

Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)To All the Boys I've Loved Before
by Jenny Han
Release Date: April 15th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 288 pages
Content: YA Romance, chick lit
Get a Copy:
       Amazon | B&N

Goodreads Summary: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all. 

Cindy's Review:
At a Glance/The Cover:
This book caught my eye because it kept on coming up on blogs. There were so so many reviews of it. Not those astonishing 'FAVORITE BOOK OF THE CENTURY' reviews. Maybe there were some 'favorite book of the year!!!' ones and 'now I finally like chick lit!' ones. Also, not much bad reviews came up. All I got was that 'it's funny how she isn't teased by everyone at her school for her letters and none of the boys were weirded out by her'. 

So I decided to read this book. Not because of 'omg. There's romance! And it's chick lit! I love chick lit!' It was simply out of curiosity. AND I DID NOT REGRET IT ONE BIT.

The Characters/My Opinion:
Lara Jean - She's a very funny, quirky girl. She's random, but she can make conversations. She can make new friends. If I were her, I would be stuttering and won't be able to think of anything to say. Conversation wise, I want to be like her. She can talk about random topics really easily. Either way, I enjoy her thoughts and narration. Interesting and enjoyable. Not dramatic at all. I like that. Too dramatic is too icky. I like her chillish, cutish, quirkyish, stealing some of Peter's words. Haha., funnyish way of talking. 

Peter Kavinsky - He just sounds perfect. After finishing the book, I just can't get over him. Like. How come I never met someone like him? Really fun to talk to. He's outgoing and chatty. Not chatty like super yammering. But he's funny. He makes you happy. He seems so perfect even though everything he does is pretty average. Okay. Maybe I'm getting some of this from Lara Jean's point of view. But he sounds so so perfect. <3. And I'm not even talking about that physical aspect of him. 

The one and only other time I couldn't get over a boy after I finished reading a book was Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss. Despite the height, everything about him is lovable. I really like boys who can talk. Who has a happy atmosphere kind of personality. Outgoing. *sigh. They sound fake. Or maybe I just have to be more talkative, so they'll talk to me. :D 

Josh - Josh is the other third of the love triangle. Lara Jean likes him. The first 15 chapters were basically about him. He's not the big-star athlete type. He's the quiet, the boy next door, whom you fall in love with type. And honestly, I have no problem with that. Those boys tend to be cute. Josh is like that. Pretty average looks. Friendly personality. Why not? P.S. Josh was also taken by her sister, Margot. 

Plus, I swear up and down that Lara Jean is going to end up with him. Or is she? Because there was no, absolutely no mention of Peter at all. Till like 15 chapters after the book started. So typically, I thought Josh was 'the one'. Until I Peter. Then, he took the romance to a whole new level. Throughout the book, I was literally begging Peter to be the one Lara falls for. 

The letters - Okay. Not a character. But a very interesting aspect of the book. I love her letters. Gee. I wish I wrote letters like that. They let out her whole heart. And they're really random. Like how do you find such random things to talk about? In a good way. Either way, they're kind of what started everything. 

Overall Thoughts:
Absolutely love this book! I couldn't get over the whole Lara Jean <3 Peter Kavinsky. So cute. So cute. :) And I died at the end. IT WAS SUCH A CLIFFHANGER. Thank god for that sequel, cuz I need more Peter and Large. :D

The Rating: (1-10): 9.5~
It's one of my enjoyable chick lits. :)

Happy Reading~


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Marvelous May Releases~

There are so many great books coming out in May!
If you guys haven't heard, I'm so excited for The One~
Okay. I know it's at the end of May already. So most of these books are already out. But still.
:) Let's move on to all the book newbies.

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)
by Cassandra Clare
Release Date: May 27th, 2014.

My Thoughts: Well, I haven't been really thinking about this series all day and night, but I'm ecstatic that it's finally coming out. :) Can't wait to see what happens in the end. Plus, there's Jace. :) Clary and Jace are sooo cute together. Clace. :) Okay. Enough fangurling. 

I'm definitely reading this one. 

Tagline: Î•RCHOMAI, SEBASTIAN HAD SAID. 
I am coming.


The One (The Selection, #3)The One (The Selection #3)
by Kiera Cass
Release Date: May 6th, 2014.

My Thoughts: Been waiting for this book forever. *cries. It's finally coming. I REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHO AMERICA ENDS UP WITH. #TEAMMAXON. Maxon. Maxon. And that gorgeous wedding dress. I just can't. As I was checking out Goodreads reviews, I saw that it was a red, white, and blue concept. And her name is America. *Mindblown. Good concept you have there. :) Anyways, CANNOT WAIT. Yee! Wait for my raves later on. :)

Tagline: The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.


Rush Too Far (Rosemary Beach, #1.1; Too Far, #1.1)Rush Too Far (Too Far #1.1)
by Abbi Glines
Release Date: May 6th, 2014

My Thoughts: Okay. Why not? Since I read the whole series anyways. But I really wouldn't be caught at school carrying this around. Cuz forreal. Gee. Can't imagine. Rush looks kind of old in this picture. Okay. Maybe not that old. But he looks older than 26 or something. I feel like a horny teenager. Ugh. I'm not. Please. I don't really fangirl over anyone over 20. Yep. 

Okay. I should get the awkwardness out. Haven't created a new post in awhile. :o

Tagline: Fallen Too Far was Blaire's story. Now it's time for Rush to share his side.


by E. Lockhart
Release Date: May 13th, 2014

My Thoughts: Despite the very descriptive synopsis, I have no idea what this is about. The blurb sounds like those trailers you see about shows and movies. It sounds good. It gives suspense. And it just makes you want to read it. I'll definitely check this one out.

Tagline: Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.


After the End (After the End, #1)
After the End (After the End #1)
by Amy Plum 
Release Date: May 6th, 2014

My Thoughts: Another series to follow! This one is historical fiction. And I like that. I've reading a lot of dystopian series after a long, long while, like 4 years, you kiiiindaaa get tired of it. Not really. I would still read a dystopian novel if it's actually really good. But some just wards me off. Because it's so repeated, it gets boring. I like lively characters. And seriously, those historical characters are adventurists. They like to sneak to places and win battles. Lovely. Although I like historical fiction as in fantasy or medieval time period and this one is about World War III. Ha. I read it all wrong. AGAIN. Nvm, this is dystopian. Omg. But it sounds different. It sounds fresh. 

Tagline: She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.


by Morgan Matson
Release Date: May 6th, 2014

My Thoughts: Ooh. Morgan Matson! She's one of my chick lit authors. After reading Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, I've a been a fan of hers. Looking forward to reading of her more awesome books! I hope. Cross fingers. Sounds interesting though. Fulfilling an epic summer list. Kissing a stranger. Skinny dipping. Everyone does that. I see romance. But really Frank Porter is not an attractive name. Hope it's not him. But I also Roger wasn't attractive either, so..... 

Tagline: Go skinny dipping? Um....
Why not?


Dangerous Creatures (Dangerous Creatures, #1)Dangerous Creatures (Dangerous Creatures #1)
by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Release Date: May 20th, 2014

My Thoughts: The story of Lena and Ethan is over. Now it's time Ridley and Link. I love Ridley. She's this dark, but full of humor and adventure kind of girl. She's suppose to be evil, but you can't help but think she's nice. Not good. Nice. Helpful. I can't say she has a heart though. Haha.

Tagline: A new series returns to the world of Beautiful Creatures. Some loves are cursed...others are dangerous.


The Falconer (The Falconer, #1)The Falconer (The Falconer #1)
by Elizabeth May
Release Date: May 6th, 2014

My Thoughts: Historical fiction. Omg. Omg. But there's paranormal involved. And I've been getting tired anything to do with faeries lately. Faeries. Angels. Werewolves. Nephilims. I don't know why. Maybe vampires. I ended up reading Julie Kagawa's Blood of Eden series and loved it so...maybe it depends on the book. But I've looking for historical fiction books so...that's a perk.

Tagline: One girl's nightmare is this girl's fairy tale.



by Jamie McGuire
Release Date: May 9th, 2014

My Thoughts: This book kind of reminds me of Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. Not because of the plot. No. Not even close. It's just a really random book I think I'll enjoy. I don't consider this to be chick lit. I think it's contemporary. But either way, I think it will be very enjoyable. It'll be something I read randomly. Not for the romance. Not for a contemporary plotline. Just because.

Tagline: Erin Easter, one of three Erins in the small senior class of rural Blackwell High School who not only share a first name, but also their birthday.


by Lauren Miller
Release Date: May 13th, 2014

My Thoughts: This book reminds me of Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Even though an app is supposed to make everything in her life perfect or happy, it doesn't feel true. In Delirium, the government controls all the citizens' love life aka happiness. And of course, it doesn't work. It never works. If everyone is happy and successful, how is there an economy. If there's no competition, the world will overrun. 

Tagline: What if you never have to fall?


Renegade (MILA 2.0, #2)Renegade (MILA 2.0 #2)
by Debra Driza
Release Date: May 13th, 2014

My Thoughts: I read Mila 2.0 awhile back. Way back. Like when it was first released. I think it was more than a year ago. Either way, don't really remember what happens. Just that the main character finds out she's actually a clone or something. Maybe I'll pick up the series again. Hmm. I'll have to see.

Tagline: Fighting to live. Unable to die.


by Susane Colasanti
Release Date: May 20th, 2014

My Thoughts: Interesting twist we have here. Normally, in a boyfriend rock star book, he's famous first, then you meet him secretly or something, then you fall in love, and you end up with him. Hmm. Well, this is in reverse order. But the final question is still 'will you end up with him?'

Tagline: What if you're boyfriend is the world's biggest rockstar?



There are some interesting books this month. 
The two I'm mostly anticipating for is City of Heavenly Fire and The One.
:) Hope the rest will be just as enjoyable.

Happy Reading~

Friday, May 23, 2014

Blog Tour: The Gondola Maker by Laura Morelli

Welcome to my stop on The Gondola Maker Blog Tour
hosted by iRead Book Tours.

Displaying The Gondola Maker Book Cover.jpgBlurb:

In 16th-century Venice, the heir to a family boatyard rejects his destiny but is drawn to restore an old gondola with the dream of taking a girl for a ride.

Venice, 1581
Luca Vianello is the heir to the city’s most esteemed gondola-making family. But when an accidental tragedy strikes the boatyard, Luca believes his true calling lies elsewhere. Readers will appreciate the authentic details of gondola craftsmanship along with a captivating tale of artisanal tradition and family bonds set in one of the world’s most magnificent settings: Renaissance Venice.

Cindy's Thoughts:
I enjoy historical fiction. It's fun to read and imagine what it's like back then. There are so many different lives. You can either be a poor farmer or a wealthy merchant. You can even be the king. Life is a lot different back then and it's interesting to see the differences compared to now. So I chose to read The Gondola Maker. 

The main character, Luca Vianello, is a young man creating gondolas. His father is very strict and firm. His mother ends up dying. Luca finds himself not being able to be happy anymore, working for his father and continuing his family legend. One day, he accidentally sets the gondola courtyard to fire. It didn't end well. Luca believes that he is no longer needed in the gondola making business. He wants to do something else. He wants to see a different view of life.

So he does. He starts working as a rower for gondolas. And soon, he was hired to be a famous artist's personal rower. The salary was not too high, not too low. Luca also finds a girl he likes. It's all fine. He's living the life he wanted. But his family isn't with him.

This book talks about a young man's adventure in Venice, learning how to listen to his heart and how to truly care about someone. 

This is a great book for readers who like historical fiction. There is a little bit of romance and family bonds. 

The Rating: (1-10): 7.5

Author Bio:
Displaying Laura Morelli new.jpgLaura Morelli earned a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, where she was a Bass Writing Fellow and an Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Fellow. She has taught college art history in the U.S. and at Trinity College in Rome. She is the creator of the authentic guidebook series that includes Made in Italy, Made in France, and Made in the Southwest, published by Rizzoli. Laura is a frequent contributor to National Geographic Traveler and other national magazines and newspapers. A native of coastal Georgia, she is married and is busy raising four children. The Gondola Maker is her first work of fiction.


Book Trailer:


Links:


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Monday, May 19, 2014

Missing Lily Book Blast

Missing Lily Tour
Welcome to my stop on the Missing Lily Blog Tour
hosted by I Am a Reader.
missing lily

Missing Lily “You don’t know who I am,” I whispered. He didn’t move—either away from me, or closer—and after an interminable moment, I stepped back and hurried out of the house. He didn’t follow me as I fled into the night. Lylin was not used to being alone—much less alone, hurt, and lost. So when she is separated from her guard and forced to abandon her horse, she counts herself lucky to stumble upon a manor house. Still frightened by those who chased her into the night, she keeps her identity a secret, calling herself Lily as she accepts the help of kind servants, and the compassion of Lord Fallon. When they fall into an easy friendship, she wonders if her secrecy was too hasty. However, as she gets to know the manor and its residents, Lylin discovers that she’s not the only one hiding secrets, and it may be a very good thing that her host doesn’t know her true identity as a member of the royal family.  
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Author Annette K. Larsen I was born in Utah, part of a crazy, fun family of nine. I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and St. Louis, MO before striking out on my own college adventure in Virginia. I decided to try my hand at writing novels after I was married and living in Idaho. I write clean romance because it’s my favorite genre, but often difficult to find.
I have Charlotte BrontĂ« to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to face the reality of sacrificing what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but in the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it. I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.

Not yet read Just Ella?
It is on sale for $3.99 for the duration of the blog tour.
Grab your copy on Amazon.



Book Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/10/14
 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Blitz: Book Reviewers Yellow Pages

Book Reviewer Yellow Pages Front CoverAre you trying to promote your books? Are you a writer, publisher, or agent? Promote your book with this bestselling author's reference, the Book Reviewer Yellow Pages. Make your book promotion easier, and get the publicity you need from book reviewers. Learn how and where to submit your book for review. There are hundreds of new book reviewers listed in this book. Each listing details the individual book reviewer's:
  1. Contact information,
  2. Pet peeves,
  3. Preferred genres, and
  4. Submission guidelines
Reviewers are rated for quality and influence. This new edition includes several blog tour sites and their submission guidelines. Learn how to get the exposure that your book deserves! Authors and book reviewers can sign up for alerts at: http://www.stepbystepselfpublishing.net 

*Note: This book is enrolled in the Kindle MATCHBOOK program. If you purchase the paperback from Amazon, the Kindle edition is free. The paperback has a genre index, which makes searching for accepted genres easy. The Kindle version has clickable website links (which is impossible to do in a paperback), so you can click directly to the reviewer's site and contact page. The publisher of this book recommends purchasing the paperback and then downloading the Kindle edition for free using Amazon's Matchbook program, and using both versions to maximize your promotion efforts. 

PROMO TIP: This is a reference book with active hyperlinks in the e-book. It is easier to view and use the Kindle edition of this book on a computer using Amazon's free Kindle app. That way, you can use the full screen to check genre preferences and submit your query right from your desktop.  


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Book Reviewer Yellow Pages EditorInterview with Christine Pinheiro, Editor, Defiant Press The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages is a bestselling author’s promotional reference, designed specifically for authors who need book reviewers for their books. 

Where did you get the idea for the Book Reviewer Yellow Pages? At first, I did it purely out of self-interest! I wrote a nonfiction book in 2007, and I had a very difficult time finding book reviewers. It seemed like an impossible task. All of the regular outlets were closed to me—where do you go when you can’t get a review in the New York Times? Where do the “little guys” go when they need to promote their books? So I started the Book Reviewer Yellow Pages out of my own frustration. At first, the Book Reviewer Yellow Pages was just a big list on a simple website. I added to the list when I had spare time. Book reviewers started seeking me out, and asking to be put on the list, and it just grew from there. In 2009, I published the first “Book Reviewer Yellow Pages,” and the rest is history. The list just grew organically. Now we have hundreds of book reviewers on our list, and thousands of authors subscribe to the newsletter. 

How about the book reviewers themselves, what do they get out of it? Many book reviewers just do it for fun, and they get the benefit of free books and ARCs (advance review copies). Quite a few of them also earn money, either from sidebar advertising, blog tours, or other author’s services. There are so many self-published authors out there right now, trying to promote their books without the help of a traditional publisher, so there’s a lot of little business ventures cropping up to serve them. 

Many reviewers list their “pet peeves,” is this something that the authors really want to know? Yes! It’s the most popular part of the questionnaire—all the reviewers have their own horror stories. Sadly, many authors have terrible etiquette when they request book reviews. Many don’t take the time to even spell-check their queries, or find out if the reviewer is a man or a woman, so they can address them correctly! I used to review books myself, and it’s amazing how many times I’ve gotten a review request with nothing but a link to the book. No signature, no salutation, nothing! Why would I review your book, when you aren’t even willing to take a few minutes to send me a proper review request? We also added an “author etiquette” section to the front of the book, and that seems to help a bit. 

Do Book Reviews really help sales? They’ve helped my own book sales tremendously, and I know hundreds of authors who would say the same. Look, everyone knows that book promotion is boring work. Contacting dozens of book reviewers is time consuming, and you have to deal with rejection, but the payoff from a positive book review is enormous. That’s been the case in my own writing career. Reviews really help sales, and it’s nice to have a public testimonial that customers can refer to when they purchase. On the flip side, many of the reviewers accept ARCs and also work as beta-readers, so if you can get a few good reviewers to read through your manuscript before publication, they might be able to give you valuable feedback. I found a big plot hole in one of my novels that way—a reviewer found the problem, and I was able to fix it before the book went to publication. 

Do reviewers ever drop off the list? Can authors get updates? Yes, on our website. Reviewers get added and removed on a regular basis—and the list goes through a complete overhaul once a year. I do a formal update every April. That’s when we put out a new edition of the book, as well as update the reviewer list on the website. The abbreviated list on the website is free, and authors and publishers can sign up for updates to the list here: http://www.stepbystepselfpublishing.net. The newsletter is also free. 

Do you have any advice for authors? Be polite to book reviewers, always. Not everyone is going to like your book, that’s just the nature of game. But publishing is a business, and it pays to be professional. It’s just like any other creative business. Reviewers are our critics, and they give us valuable feedback that we need to improve. One of the best reviews I ever received on the Book Reviewer Yellow Pages was mildly negative. The writer gave me tons of feedback on how to make the book better. I followed his advice, and the book has been more profitable since. Book Reviewers really want to help authors—I’ve never met a single book reviewer that was interested in just tearing an author down. We are all in this business together!   


For more information visit: The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages Website * Facebook

          
Blast Giveaway $100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/31/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Blitz: Roadtrip to Redemption by Laurie Larsen

Cover Reveal - Roadtrip to Redemption
by Laurie Larsen
Inspirational Romance

Blurb:
It started out a trip to lose old memories.  It became a journey to find her heart.
Leslie Malone faces an empty, lonely summer.  Her marriage is over. Her daughter is overseas, living her dream.  Her students are enjoying a carefree summer break.  What's the purpose of her life if she's not a wife, mother and teacher?  The idea of a roadtrip beckons her.  Aimless wandering? Or inspired discovery?  A woman of faith, she asks God for His guidance, then does her best to follow His direction. 
Hank Harrison is a quiet man, good with his hands, but short on words.  He's paid a heavy price for not forgiving his son for horrible mistakes made years ago, mistakes with vast consequences.  Leslie is an answer to his prayers, and together, they begin to mend their futures.
Neither of them plans to fall in love.  Will the worst summer of Leslie's life become the season that redeems them both?

Author Bio:

A Project Manager by day in the fast-paced world of Information Technology, Laurie escapes to her fictional worlds by night.  About to celebrate 15 years as a published author, Laurie has released eight full-length novels and one novella, with plans to release a new series, starting with Book 1, Roadtrip to Redemption in May.  Laurie has written in a number of romance subgenres:  contemporary romance, women's fiction, Young Adult fiction and inspirational romance.  Her 2009 release Preacher Man, won the EPIC Award for Best Spiritual Romance.  Her new series, Pawleys' Island Paradise returns her to her award-winning genre of Christian-themed love stories.  Laurie is known for her tender treatment of everyday life with just a touch of worst case scenario.

Links:

Website:   www.authorlaurielarsen.com
Facebook
Twitter
Blog:  http://www.authorlaurielarsen.com/author-laurie-larsens-blog/
Goodreads

Giveaway:

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