Best of 2013 Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Best of 2013 Giveaway Hop! This hop is hosted by BookHounds and I am a Reader, Not a Writer.

It was so, so difficult to narrow down my favorites from 2013 – there were so many great books that released this year! So I picked out my top nine favorite books!

ONE winner will get to pick ONE of the following books in their choice of hardcover OR eBook (Kindle or Nook)

Splintered Spellcaster1 Shadowlands1
CIY Matter of Truth The_Program
Promise of Amazing Two Centuries Eternal cover

*If any of the above are NOT book one in their respective series, you may ask for book one as your prize*
*The above mentioned book, The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine, will release on December 31, 2013. If you select this book, please know you will not receive it until January*

Just a few rules:

-Giveaway is US only

-Winner has 48 hours to respond. If winner does not respond, a new winner will be selected.

-You must be 13 or older to enter OR have your parents’ permission.

-I am not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.

-I reserve the right to change any rules as I see fit for each individual giveaway

*The above giveaway rules were borrowed and modified from Jessica @ Just a Book Lover.

With that being said, I wish you luck! May the odds be ever in your favor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to check out the other blogs participating in the Best of 2013 Giveaway Hop!

That Time I Fell in Love with an Indie Bookstore

In the past, I have only stepped into a a few independent bookstores. The biggest being the Northshire Bookstore in Vermont. Other than that, I usually just go to used bookstores when I’m not hitting up Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or the Strand.

Until now.

I have now discovered an amazing independent bookstore, and I’ve fallen in love.

Voracious Reader

The Voracious Reader is located in Larchmont, NY near New Rochelle. Its focus is on children’s and Young Adult books. And it’s amazing. From there website:

The Voracious Reader began, in part, for want of more bookshelves and always, always, more books. Perhaps, just as wonderful as an overabundance of books, was the thought of scores of eager young readers with whom they might be shared.

We had the very good fortune of opening our doors to just such voracious readers in the spring of 2007. In they flocked with their delighted parents, beloved aunts and uncles, doting grandparents, attentive nannies … and best of all, their insatiable appetites for wonderful books of all sorts.

From babies’ first board books to the latest novels for teens, our shelves are brimming with splendid offerings. Our cheerful and knowledgeable staff is pleased to help with your selections.

More than a bookstore, The Voracious Reader hopes to serve as a community hub for young readers and their families and helpers, offering reading clubs, workshops, story times, book-themed birthday parties, author signings, events and more.

We are family friendly with a deep caring and respect for young people of all ages and abilities. Our mission is to do our part in nurturing the next generation of book lovers. We do not subscribe to the pedagogical view of “making learning fun.” We believe learning IS fun, and challenging, and joyful and very individual and something humans innately desire.

The selection was amazing. I found two books I have never seen anywhere else, one I was looking for and one the proprietress, Francine, suggested.

Level 2 Bloodspell

I had heard about Level 2 (written by Lenore Applhans) from Christina at Ensconced in YA via some signed swag she sent me. When I spotted the book, I flipped out, because I and never seen it at Barnes & Noble. The Voracious Reader had one copy, so I grabbed it.

And Francine (the proprietress) recommended Bloodspell by Amalie Howard based on what I liked to read. She also gave me a bookmark for Amalie’s new book Waterfell, book one of The Aquarathi series, which also looks amazing.

I also found a signed copy of Shadowlands by Kate Brian. I already own this book, but I love Kate Brian and I don’t have anything signed by her, so when I saw this, I flipped out and bought it!

Shadowlands Picture 1

And, to make my visit even better? Francine and I started talking about blogging, BEA and ALA. I expressed my regret at having not gotten to go to either, and she asked me which ARCs I had hoped to get while there. And then she surprised me.. And she went in the back and she came out with two ARCs. Two ARCs that she was willing to part with. And then I got to go in the back and see what else she had, and I snagged a third ARC. I was shocked, humbled, grateful… It made my day. I don’t think I was able to truly express to her how much it made my day! Her kindness nearly brought me to happy tears. So in addition to the books I brought home with me, I also came home with these ARCs:

Picture 2 Picture 3

If my insane gushing and millions of pictures didn’t get my point across, let me simply state it: If you live within 10, 15, 25, even 50 miles of The Voracious Reader, you MUST go there. It will be worth the trip, trust me! It was an incredible visit, and I’m completely in love with this Independent bookstore.

I do ask you, kindly, not to go there just to ask for ARCs. This would be rude. I didn’t ask for the ARCs I was given; they were gifted to me, and it would be unfair to go simply for a chance to get your hands on them. They didn’t have many they could part with, and to expect them to just hand them over would be – again – rude.

BUT, if you’re looking for a cool Indie bookstore, then head on over ASAP!

One last thing before I go: If you live nearby and are a Veronica Roth fan, The Veracious Reader will be doing an Allegiant Midnight Release party on October 21st, 2013. And if you Pre-order Allegiant, you will be entered into a raffle to win this awesome poster:

Allegiant Pre-Order

So go forth and pre-order! Their contact information can be found here.

I switched to WordPress! (And it wasn’t that scary)

Hey everyone!

For those of you who don’t know, I started out on Blogger by Google. I was only on Blogger for about three weeks when I decided to make the switch to WordPress. Why? Well, if you haven’t heard, Blogger has not been kind to blogs lately. They have marked as spam, and removed, several blogs, most (or all) of which have done nothing wrong, are not spam, and did not violate the Terms of Service.

As soon as this began, there was a mad dash among many bloggers to quickly make the switch, before their blogs were lost. Supposedly, it IS possible to request Google remove the ban from your blog – but who wants to take the risk of losing all that hard work? Whether you’ve been blogging three weeks (like me) or three years… Is it worth the risk?

So why did I switch? I decided I didn’t want to continue blogging with that constant, niggling worry in the back of my mind: Would today be the day blogger decided to axe my blog? I started having trouble keeping up with blog maintenance, and I wasn’t writing as many posts. I became hesitant to put the time and effort into something I had just started, had already fallen in love with, and might potentially lose. Okay, maybe I was being a bit dramatic. I mean, so many people had been using Blogger forever, with no problem. So why was I worried? I don’t know, to be honest. I just was.

Finally, I decided to at least check into making the switch. I didn’t know anything about it, and I had so many questions. I didn’t even know where to begin. So, I went through my Twitter feed and found a bunch of people who, when I tweeted about moving to WordPress, offered to help if I made the decision. I contacted them all for more information. In the end, Shannon @ Twilight Sleep offered to help me with hosting and the transfer, and my mind was made up.

The switch itself was pretty painless, thanks to Shannon, as well as Ashley @ Nose Graze. Without them, I would not have switched when I did, if at all. A lot of bloggers say they don’t want to make the switch because they’re scared and don’t know how to do it or where to start (How does the transfer work? Will they lose their followers? Which host is the best?) But with the right people by your side, it’s not scary at all. I promise. (Okay.. maybe a little, still, but it’s less scary, at the very least.)

I want to thank everyone for being patient during my move. I know it was a little chaotic, and I haven’t posted new content in a long time. But I will definitely be getting back into the swing of things this week. There might be a little bit of an adjustment period, so I thank you for your continued support and understanding during the next few weeks. I have some great things coming, including new reviews, a great giveaway (or two) and a Roswell Read-a-Long and guest review on Mel, Erin + Regina Read A Lot, which you can read more about here.

In addition, if anyone has any questions regarding the Blogger to WordPress switch, I’m happy to answer those questions to the best of my ability.

So again, special thanks to Shannon and Ashley for all their help, and special thanks to everyone reading this blog – your patience and support are much appreciated!

Expect new content soon!

Want to Win An ARC of Frozen by Melissa de La Cruz?

There are so many books coming out this year that I can’t wait to get my hands on! I’m excitedly adding them all to my TBR list! I’d like to bring your attention to one book in particular:

Title: Frozen (Heart of Dread #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
Release Date: September 2013

Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she’s heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

This book looks so amazing for so many reasons. For more details, check out the Waiting on Wednesday I did for Frozen here!

UPDATE: This contest is now over. I hope everyone enjoyed, and congrats to the winner! If you didn’t win, then head on over to Amazon and go pre-order it! Like, right now! Click here to pre-order Frozen!

Want to Win an ARC of These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman?

There are some truly amazing books coming out this year. I’m excitedly adding them all to my TBR list! For now, though, I’d like to bring your attention to one book in particular:

These Broken Stars

Title: These Broken Stars
Authors: Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman
Release Date: December 10, 2013

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

This book looks so amazing for so many different reasons. It’s science fiction and fantasy, and it’s set in space. Those two things alone have me wanting to read this book! Also, it has a gorgeous cover!

So, the lovely Meagan Spooner is doing a really cool giveaway in celebration of her birthday. She’s giving away a signed hardcover of two of her books, Skylark and Shadowlark, as well as a pre-order of These Broken Stars, which she co-authored with Amie Kaufman. Exciting right? Only one Grand Prize winner, but there are also some cool prizes for second and third place!

So what are you waiting for? Click here to enter!

Want to win ARC of Vicious by V.E. Schwab?

There are so many amazing books coming out later this year, it’s hard to decide what to read next. To help you out, I’d like to bring your attention to one book in particular:


Title: Vicious
Author: V.E. Schwab
Release Date: September 2013

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

That’s right, folks! Vicious is releasing in September – just THREE MORE MONTHS! I’d really love to write a more comprehensive blog post on this, as well as The Archived (written under Victoria Schwab), and I will – soon, I promise!

For now, I want to draw your attention to an awesome giveaway in which you can enter to WIN an ARC of VICIOUS!

Need I say more?

I really want to win this ARC, so bad. I loved The Archived and Vicious sounds so incredible! I can’t even put into words how excited I am for this book.

So since the contest ends in, oh, about 30 minutes… GO CHECK IT OUT! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??

UPDATE: This contest is now over. I hope everyone enjoyed, and congrats to the winner! If you didn’t win, then head on over to Amazon and go pre-order it! Like, right now! Click here to Pre-Order Vicious.

Top Ten Tuesday (#1): Top Ten Books I’ve read in 2013 (So Far)

Hey everyone. This is my first official blog post! Yay for that! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Broke and the Bookish, and the theme for this week is: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2013.

I’ve read some truly incredible books so far this year, so narrowing this down to just ten books was difficult. I thought really long and hard before finalizing this list. So here it is:

1. Shadowlands by Kate Brian released on January 8, 2013 and it immediately became my favorite book of 2013. It’s almost July, and no book has surpassed this one so far. The ending alone is enough to put it in the top spot. I was so mind-boggled by that ending, I had to re-read the last few pages about five times.

2. I don’t think there are words to describe how I felt about The Program by Suzanne Young. I felt angry, violated, shocked, helpless… Basically, all the different emotions Sloane felt, I felt. It’s scary to think something like this could actually happen. I’m really glad there’s a sequel to this, and I’m dying to see what happens next for Sloane. Will she get her memories back? Who will she end up with? How will the rebellion fight back? So many questions!

3. I absolutely adored Spellcaster by Claudia Gray. It was Charmed meets Buffy meets The Secret Circle. But it was still unique and original. Does that make sense? I loved the way Nadia practiced her magic and the rules that made up the Craft – it was different from everything I’ve ever read/watched with witches. And, of course, Verlaine was Nadia’s very own Willow – in my opinion, at least. I’m excited for Steadfast!

4. Chapter 21 of With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent was, by far, the most heartbreaking in literary history. I just sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed some more. And the ending was a truly unforgettable, and perfect, ending. It was very fitting, and words can’t describe how much I loved it. I truly enjoyed the little sneak peak into what the characters were like after so many years had passed. It made the ending feel more final, more complete. Definitely one of my favorite endings to a YA series.

5. Mind Games by Kiersten White was such a fun read. It was raw and emotional with tragedy, drama and mystery. And the ending was just… It blew my mind. I’m really excited for Perfect Lies. I need to see what’s going to happen to Fia and Annie next!

6. I’m actually planning to do a blog post for The Archived by Victoria Schwab, as well as for her upcoming Vicious. At the risk of being repetitive, I’m just going to say that this book was a truly original, edge-of-my-seat mystery until the very end. I loved Mackenzie. She was take-charge; she didn’t just sit around waiting for other people to save her. Oh, and I never trusted Owen. Not at all.

7. Really, you guys just need to read The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa. It is made of awesome. And for anyone who is sick of vampires? It will change your mind, IMHO. The ending had me sobbing like a little baby. Enough said. Go read this. Now!

8. Chapters 6, 24, and 28 of Sever by Lauren DeStefano gave me heart attacks! Never has a book had me so on the edge of my seat. I nearly died each time something huge happened. I was scared, I was shocked and I was blown away. There are no words. The ending was amazing and satisfying.

9. First off, reading Parallel by Lauren Miller was a nice change from all the supernatural books I read. Don’t get me wrong, I love vampires, werewolves, witches, etc. But it was nice reading something different. And seriously, parallel lives? It really made me stop and think. Every little thing we do in our everyday lives can have an effect on our future. Even the small things matter. The real lesson here: Your path in life might change and deviant from your original goals, but in the end, you’ll do what you’re meant to do.

10. And last, but definitely not least, is Elegy by Tara Hudson. I had the privilege of reading this as an ARC, courtesy of Tara Hudson and the Amelia’s Birthday Giveaway. And let me tell you, it was incredible. The ending was so different from what most authors do. (SPOILERS AHEAD) Most authors end with the main love interests all happily ever after. But in this case, Amelia had to say goodbye to Joshua, until the day that Joshua joins her on the other side. And even though it was sad, I found this to be really refreshing. Because in real life, nothing is happily ever after.

So, that’s the end of my Top Ten Books of 2013 list! And the end of my first official post as a blogger. So exciting! Hope you guys enjoyed!