Release Day Party for Thorn by Intisar Khanani

thornbanner

Today we’re celebrating the release day party of Thorn by Intisar Khanani. Thorn is a young adult fantasy novel that I very much enjoyed reading, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as well! There’s also a $20 Amazon Gift Card giveaway today! Fill in the form below to participate!

14059999Title: Thorn
Author: Intisar Khanani
Genre: YA Fantasy
Princess Alyrra’s strength lies in silence. Scorned by her family, she avoids the court, spending her time with servants. When her marriage is unexpectedly arranged with the prince of a powerful neighboring kingdom, Alyrra feels trapped. As the court celebrates her match, dark rumors spread about the unexplained deaths of the women of her new family. Alyrra begins her journey with mounting trepidation. Betrayed while traveling, she seizes an opportunity to start a life away from court.

Walking away from a prince whom she doesn’t know should have been easy. But from the moment she sets eyes on him, Alyrra realizes that her freedom could cost him his life. Without any magical defense of her own, she is plunged into a lethal game of sorcery and deceit. Now Alyrra must decide whom she can trust and what she’s willing to fight for—before her silence proves fatal.

Author Bio

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and young daughter. Intisar writes grants and develops projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which is as close as she can get to saving the world. Her approach to writing fantasy reflects her lifelong passion for stories from different cultures. She is currently writing a trilogy set in the same world as Thorn. This is her first novel.

Author Website | Facebook | Purchase from Amazon

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In My Mailbox (39) / Mailbox Monday (48) / Stacking The Shelves (5)

mailbox

The purpose of this meme is to share the books that came into our house last week with our readers. These can be ARCs, books we purchased ourselves, books requested for review by authors and publishers, eBooks, free reads we stumbled upon and audiobooks. The only thing that doesn’t count are library books.

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Cindy’s Love of Books.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Click HERE to view all my ‘In My Mailbox’ posts.

   

Thanks to Llewellyn Worldwide, Capstone and Flux Books for the review copies.

 

Thanks to J. Meyers and Natalie-Nicole for the review copies. I purchased Bitterblue myself.
What’s in your mailbox this week?

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer and its purpose is to recap the events of the last week.

This week on the blog I wrote a review for Want by Stephanie Lawton, an excellent upper YA contemporary romance novel. I hosted a release day party for Dancing Naked in Dixie and one for Familiar Ties.

What have you been up to this week?

 

Book Review: Want by Stephanie Lawton

13432648Title: Want
Author: Stephanie Lawton
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 7th, 2012
Publisher: InkSpell Publishing
Rating: 5 stars
Website | Purchase from Publisher | Goodreads
Review copy provided by the publisher.

Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche.
Julianne can’t understand why Isaac suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it before she inherits her mother’s madness. Isaac knows he must resist his attraction to a student ten years his junior, but loneliness and jealousy threaten his resolve.
Their indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.
Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?

Want is a rollercoaster of emotions. Trust me, you don’t want to read this book while you’re on the train back home, and a myriad of strangers is glancing at you and wondering why the heck your face looks like you’re experiencing a bazillion emotions at once. A powerful and strong novel, filled with a wide variety of characters, strong emotions against a southern setting, this is young adult contemporary romance at its best. You don’t want to miss out on this book, believe me.

The main character, Julianne, lives and breathes music. I would go as far as to say that not only is it her greatest passion, it’s also the only thing keeping her alive. Why? Well, because Julianne’s family is about as dysfunctional as a family can get. Her mother is abusive, and this abuse causes Julianne to start hurting herself. Her father chooses to ignore the abuse and most of the problems going on in their family, only adding to Julianne’s despair. Her only solace is music. But when her music teacher grows ill, it looks like Julianne is on the verge of losing absolutely everything, including her music.

But fortunately, her teacher’s talented nephew Isaac becomes Julianne’s new teacher. But it soon becomes clear that Isaac is perhaps just as troubled as Julianne is. He carries with him a lot of secrets and mysteries. He’s the epitome of the proverbial “hot and cold” male: he draws Julianne closer, and then pushes her away. Sometimes he opens up a little, then he closes himself entirely from the outside world. He’s also roughly ten years older than she is, which puts them in an almost impossible position.

While Julianne’s relationship with Isaac is tumultuous to say the least, the reader is quickly thrown into a love triangle. Now, I’m not usually a big fan of love triangles. Alright, who am I kidding…I LOVE love triangles. It’s my secret passion. But not all of them are equally well done. I have to admit that the love triangle in Want is miles above most young adult love triangles. It’s also a very close call, which only shows how good of a writer Stephanie Lawton is. It’s very difficult to write a love triangle without giving away the ‘endgame’ relationship too soon. Mrs. Lawton definitely succeeds in this department – I was biting my nails all the way to the end, hoping, pleading, begging that Julianne would pick the ‘right’ guy.

The second potential love interest for Julianne is Dave, a typical gentleman, and the only one who’s there for Julianne in her time of need. The kind of friend you can always rely on. I loved him as a character. He is the stability Julianne needs in her life, the shoulder to lean on when it all gets too much.

Want is a must-read novel for fans of contemporary romance in general – even people who aren’t a big fan of young adult novels: this book has enough mature concepts to appeal to a mature audience as well. It’s definitely not for younger YA readers, because it contains some very dark and depressing themes. I can’t wait to read more by this author, and I recommend everyone who enjoys a good romance novel that will keep you glued to your seat, to try out Want. I guarantee you’ll be amazed.

Waiting on Wednesday (17)

waiting_on_wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases bloggers are eagerley anticipating. These can be debut novels, sequels, eBooks,…as long as they aren’t released yet.

Click HERE to view all my ‘Waiting on Wednesday‘ posts.

   

What books are you waiting for this week?

Teaser Tuesdays (17)

Teaser-Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. In this meme, we grab our current read, open it to a random page and share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page with our readers.

Click HERE to view all my ‘Teaser Tuesdays‘ posts.

One of his hands rested on my arm, closing the space between the two of us. “You deserve better friends.”

I didn’t respond. I just stared up at those two shining eyes that were reflecting my own face back at me. His face was coming closer to mine. My knees knocked together, and I wavered in my spot before his other hand came up to anchor my other arm.

“I think I should kiss you.” He raised his eyebrows. “To really drive the point home.”
~ The Carny by Brooke Moss

I picked a teaser from The Carny because it’s one of the books I’m currently reading. Don’t you just love the cover? This is the perfect summer romance read. And there’s more! You can now win this book through Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Carny by Brooke Moss

The Carny

by Brooke Moss

Giveaway ends July 08, 2012.
See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Release Day Party Dancing Naked in Dixie

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Today I’m hosting the release day party for Dancing Naked in Dixie by Lauren Clark, a southern fiction chicklit novel. There’s also a giveaway! Feel free to participate by entering the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

13550676Title: Dancing Naked in Dixie
Author: Lauren Clark
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary
Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook | Visit Lauren’s Website | Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | B&N

Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired.With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she’s offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage.
Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia’s story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?

Author Bio: Lauren Clark writes contemporary novels set in the Deep South; stories sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets.

A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends. Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.

Giveaway

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (17)

itsmonday

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. It’s where book bloggers gather to talk about what books they read and reviewed last week, what books they’re currently reading and what books they’re planning to read. This is a great way for me to plan my reading week, and to take a sneak peek at what others are reading.

Click HERE to view all my ‘It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?‘ posts.

Finished Reading Last Week

   

Currently Reading

   

In My Mailbox (38) / Mailbox Monday (47) / Stacking The Shelves (4)

mailbox

The purpose of this meme is to share the books that came into our house last week with our readers. These can be ARCs, books we purchased ourselves, books requested for review by authors and publishers, eBooks, free reads we stumbled upon and audiobooks. The only thing that doesn’t count are library books.

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Cindy’s Love of Books.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Click HERE to view all my ‘In My Mailbox’ posts.

   

What’s in your mailbox this week?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (16)

itsmonday

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. It’s where book bloggers gather to talk about what books they read and reviewed last week, what books they’re currently reading and what books they’re planning to read. This is a great way for me to plan my reading week, and to take a sneak peek at what others are reading.

Click HERE to view all my ‘It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?‘ posts.

Reviewed Last Week

   

Click on the links below to read the review.

Finished Reading Last Week

   

Currently Reading

   

Book Tour Stop for Thorn by Intisar Khanani and Giveaway

thornbanner

I’m proud to be hosting a tour stop for Thorn by Intisar Khanani today. I’m in the middle of reading the book, and loving it so far. You can read an excerpt from Thorn here. I’m also glad to host a giveaway for a signed bookmark for Thorn, and one lucky commenter during the tour will win a fantasy cloak! Scroll down to participate in the giveaways. I’m going to review this book tomorrow.

14059999Title: Thorn
Author: Intisar Khanani
Genre: YA Fantasy

Princess Alyrra’s strength lies in silence. Scorned by her family, she avoids the court, spending her time with servants. When her marriage is unexpectedly arranged with the prince of a powerful neighboring kingdom, Alyrra feels trapped. As the court celebrates her match, dark rumors spread about the unexplained deaths of the women of her new family. Alyrra begins her journey with mounting trepidation. Betrayed while traveling, she seizes an opportunity to start a life away from court.
Walking away from a prince whom she doesn’t know should have been easy. But from the moment she sets eyes on him, Alyrra realizes that her freedom could cost him his life. Without any magical defense of her own, she is plunged into a lethal game of sorcery and deceit. Now Alyrra must decide whom she can trust and what she’s willing to fight for—before her silence proves fatal.

Book Excerpt

I reach to scoop up more water from the river and then pause, staring. There is something odd about my reflection but I cannot make out what, for the water does not run smoothly but in ripples and eddies. I dip my fingers in, breaking the image. But it does not break.
A hand reaches up and closes around my wrist. I choke on a cry of terror, jerking away, but it pulls down—hard—and I lose my footing on the muddy bank, falling headfirst into the rushing waters. The world is strange, blunted, beneath water. I twist, striking out, but cannot quite find my attacker. The hand still holds my wrist in an iron grip. I kick, desperately trying to tear myself away, push my way to the surface. The air burns in my lungs, spots dancing before my eyes. Something touches my throat—a knife? I flail away from it, feel a slicing pain, and abruptly I am released. I find myself on my hands and knees, coughing up water, gentle waves lapping around my chest.
I look up in terror, my hair sending an arc of droplets flying over the quiet waters. The river runs clear. But the birds are silent.

Author Bio

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and young daughter. Intisar writes grants and develops projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which is as close as she can get to saving the world. Her approach to writing fantasy reflects her lifelong passion for stories from different cultures. She is currently writing a trilogy set in the same world as Thorn. This is her first novel.

Giveaways

There are two giveaways for this tour. One is limited to US/CA only, and the winner will get chosen from participants over all tour blogs. He/she will win a fantasy cloak! The other contest is for this blog only, and the winner will get a signed bookmark for Thorn. The second contest is international.

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