Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bookish Doodles

Hey there, booklovers!

Had some fun just doodling around today!



We're going to be having quite a few fun things happen over the coming months! We're looking forward to showing you guys everything!

Happy Thursday and we'll see you tomorrow!


Don't forget the "Abyssal Sanctuary" GIVEAWAY!



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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday


Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme where we list the one book we wish for the most! Auggie and Tori will both list theirs. Add your wish to the Linky and at the end of the month maybe you'll get a surprise!

Auggie's Pick



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Title: Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2)
Author:  Alethea Kontis
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 304
Publication Date: October 1, 2013

Synopsis: 

Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she's the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world. Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, "Did romance have to be part of the adventure?" As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance.

Why It's On My List: 

I love love love LOVED "Enchanted" the first in the Wodcutter Sisters series. I actualy stumbled upon the first book quite by accident and didn't realize it was a series until I went to Goodreads to add it to my list. I am aching to get a hold of "Hero" the second in the series! I adored Alethea's style of writing and her imaginative and intelligent twist on the fairytales we all know so well.


Tori's Pick


Talon (Talon, #1)



Title: Talon
Author:  Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 400
Publication Date: October 28, 2014

Synopsis: 
Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.



Why It's On My List:
I am a dragon fanatic. Sign it, seal it, and deliver it to me in a shiny package... and it will be devoured in one sitting. So a book about dragons hiding in human form, as teens no less, will certainly carve a space for itself on my to-be-read-at-once pile. 



So What's on your wishlist?

Link up for a fun Wednsday hop! Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme where we list the one book we wish for the most! Add your wish to the Linky and at the end of the month maybe you'll get a surprise!










Don't forget the "Abyssal Sanctuary" GIVEAWAY!
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Giveaway! "Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned" by Gavin Hetherington



We're participating in a giveaway from a lovely author! You'll see the giveaway link the rest of the week so be sure to get your entries in and keep a look out for my review of "Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned" by Gavin Hetherington  on June 2nd!


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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Introducing: "Black Bear Lake" by Leslie Liautaud





ABOUT THE BOOK


Adam Craig, a forty year-old stock trader in Chicago, finds his marriage teetering on the rocks and his life at a standstill. Desperate and on the edge of personal collapse, Adam takes the advice of a therapist and travels to his childhood family compound on Black Bear Lake with hopes of making peace with his past. Stepping onto the northern Wisconsin property, he relives the painful memories of the summer of 1983, his last summer at the lake. 

In August 1983, a self-conscious fifteen year-old Adam carries a world of worry on his shoulders as he arrives at Black Bear Lake for a month long family reunion. Between anger and fear of mother’s declining health as she quietly battles a quickly spreading cancer and his cherished cousin’s depression over her parents’ bitter divorce, Adam is swept up in smothering familial love among the multiple generations and heartbreaking misunderstanding and betrayal. The arrival of a sensual but troublesome babysitter throws the delicate balance of his family into a tailspin. Blinded by his attraction to the newcomer, Adam fails to see his cousin's desperate cries for help and the charged electrical current running through his family's hierarchy. Crushed in the middle of it all, Adam is forced to learn that there's a fine line between self-preservation and the strength of family blood, all the while unaware of the impending tragedy that will ultimately change his life forever.


PURCHASE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leslie Liautaud is the author of Midnight Waltzes (2006), He Is Us (2008), The Wreck (2009), SALIGIA (2011), The Mansion (2012) and Summer Nights and Dreams (2012). She is also the author of the coming-of-age novel, Black Bear Lake (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2014).
Leslie is originally from Kansas City, MO where she worked in the performing arts. Currently, she divides her time between between Key Largo, FL and Champaign, IL with her husband, three teenage children and three rambunctious dogs.

Excerpt
As we went farther into the lodge the sounds of kitchen chaos grew. Shrieks of laughter were drowned out by belly laughs. The noise grew louder as the adults tried to talk over one another, while waves of enthusiastic shouting were followed by exuberant backslapping. The smells of the family meal enveloped us. It was the smell of our summers.

Granny, in one of her well-worn cotton lake dresses, stood at the stove, one hand stirring a buttery slow-cooking spaghetti sauce, the other holding her wine glass. Dannie’s mom, Patty, had the same sun-streaked blonde hair as her daughter and wore it thrown in a loose ponytail. She and my mother stood side by side at the butcher block, hips touching, as they peeled, scooped and chopped cucumbers for our salad. Gramps’ older sister, Genevieve, sat hunched over the long kitchen table, cane resting on her thigh, and kneaded the dough for her biscuits. They always turned out too dry and hard to eat but no one had the heart to tell her. My Aunt Tammy, tall and athletic, came in to thekitchen from the back yard where she had been grilling bratwurst. The dense smells, mixing and swirling, were so strong I swore they were visible before my eyes and immediately my mouth watered.

Tammy slammed the tray of sausages on the island counter, grinning amicably. “I’m of the personal opinion that any grilling should be done by the men of this family.

"I’m sweating like a pig out there”

“I’m of the opinion that I’d rather not have my brats turned into rubber, so the men grilling is not an option”,

Mom muttered loud enough to send the women into another fit of giggles. Noticing our arrival, she winked mischievously, “You weren’t supposed to hear that. Don’t tell your father.”

“Your secret is safe with me. For a price.” I reached for a brownie from the pile stashed in the corner.

Grannie’s head snapped up abruptly. “Not so fast, Mister. Here,” she said gently, taking my elbow, ”try this. I just want to make sure it’s alright.” She scooped a large portion of her sauce into a love-worn wooden spoon and handed it to me, smiling softly. Dannie slid into place beside her mother and began peeling carrots.

I held the spoon at my mouth, blowing away the steam. As I watched the group of women I felt an unfamiliar sting of jealousy. They danced around the kitchen, around each other, in a beautifully choreographed waltz that only they knew. Arms weaved above and below, reaching for salt, tomatoes and lettuce. Hands nudged and patted hips to the side, out of the way of opening drawers and the hot oven door. They silently stroked a lock of hair or kissed a forehead when passing through the narrow aisle between the island and sink. They were their own clan, set apart from the boys and men. It was an intangible relationship. The weight and mass so undeniable but at the same time so elusive it slipped through my fingers before I could grasp it. I watched my mom and ached for this bond with her.


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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday



Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme where we list the one book we wish for the most! Auggie and Tori will both list theirs. Add your wish to the Linky and at the end of the month maybe you'll get a surprise!


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Title: Walk of the Spirits
Author: Richie Tankersley Cusick
Genre: Middlegrade Paranormal
Pages: 328
Publication Date: April 17, 2008

Synopsis: 

When Miranda Barnes first sees the sleepy town of St. Yvette, Louisiana, with its moss-draped trees, above-ground cemeteries, and her grandfather’s creepy historic home, she realizes that life as she knew it is officially over. Almost immediately, there seems to be something cloying at her. Something lonely and sad and . . . very pressing. Even at school and in the group project she’s been thrown into, she can’t escape it. Whispers when she’s alone, shadows when no one is there to make them, and a distant pleading voice that wakes her from sleep. The other members in Miranda’s group project, especially handsome Etienne, can see that Miranda is in distress. She is beginning to understand that, like her grandfather before her, she has a special gift of communicating with spirits who still walk the town of St. Yvette. And no matter where she turns, Miranda feels bound by their whispered pleas for help . . . unless she can somehow find a way to bring them peace.

Why It's On My List: 

I love middlegrade fiction and I love paranormal. Put them together and you've got the genre that I practically lived for as a young reader! I'm still in love with these types of books and this one looks particularly fun. This is one that I'm definitely after! Not to mention... the cover... wowie. 

What's on your wishlist?






 

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Review: "We Are The Goldens" by Dana Reinhardt

Happy Tuesday, springletts!

Review for you today on a really good contemporary YA. Enjoy!

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Title:
We Are The Goldens
Author: Dana Reinhardt
Genre: YA
Pages: 208
Publication Date: May 27, 2014

Synopsis:
 


Nell knows a secret about her perfect, beautiful sister Layla. If she tells, it could blow their world apart.

When Nell and Layla were little, Nell used to call them Nellaya. Because to Nell, there was no difference between where she started and her adored big sister ended. They're a unit; divorce made them rely on each other early on, so when one pulls away, what is the other to do? But now, Nell's a freshman in high school and Layla is changing, secretive. And then Nell discovers why. Layla is involved with one of their teachers. And even though Nell tries to support Layla, to understand that she's happy and in love, Nell struggles with her true feelings: it's wrong, and she must do something about it.






"We Are The Goldens" was not what I was expecting. It was probing, and heartbreaking, and full of personal and moral dilemmas. The reader is dragged into the inner turmoil of a young Freshman, Nell, whose love for her sister, Layla, is put to the test in an extreme way. What's the right thing to do when someone you love is spiraling out of control?

And it's not just Layla. Nell is facing her own struggles. Rumors, cruel boys, and a friendship that's slowly but surely changing into something she never expected.

The author captures the trials of being a teen navigating the treacherous waters of love and identity in a gritty and unexpected way. She throws open the door on the topic of predators, and not the obvious ones. She brings up the issue of the predators that lurk in attractive skin, kind smiles, and pretty words. At the same time Reinhardt makes a solid statement about the importance of knowing that sometimes a secret is a dangerous thing to keep and speaking up is the only way to set things right, regardless of the consequences.

Readers, both young adults and adult, will be able to relate to the potent emotions relayed in "We Are The Goldens" and memories of all of those times you were caught between what you knew was right and your sense of loyalty will come easy.

This book was beautifully written, engaging, and thought provoking. My only qualm was that it ended too abruptly and I was left wondering if Nell ever really did manage to find the courage to"lovingly" betray her most beloved person. The reader is, however, left with a sense of hope that things could be set right. A great teen read that really hits right in the heart of the difficulties of high school romance and being a not-yet-adult in an increasingly adult world.


Until Next Blog,

Read On!



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Monday, May 19, 2014

Summer Reading Challenge Update #1

Happy Monday, bookworms!

We're posting a little late because we've been working today trying to sort out some of the images throughout the site that still have the white backgrounds. It's going to take some time but it'll eventually be done!



SUMMER READING CHALLENGE UPDATE

Link up your goals or updates for a fun Summer Reading Challenge hop!

Below you'll find my and Tori's goals. Click on the book to go to its goodreads page. Titles with a slash through them are books that we've read! Links to their reviews will be added as they happen.


Auggie-Talk's Summer Reading Challenge is a 2014 summer reading hop that takes place between May 1 and September 1 on Mondays. Every Monday participants can recap their reading week, which books they read towards their goal, and hop to other reader's posts to cheer them on! This is an all-for-fun way to connect with other readers and maybe find a few new favorite books!

 




Auggie's Goals



TBR Current: 4/31 TBR



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Tori's Goals



TBR Current: 7/31

Opposition 

Feel free to join in every Monday with links to you SRC updates! You can link up for the next few weeks on this post with a goal post of your own! If you miss the linky sign up on this post, no problem. You can still join by linking up your hop-posts every Monday!







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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Auggie-Talk's New Design!

I know you've noticed it!

We've got a new design, and we're so very excited. We're still working out some kinks (such as the white background behind a lot of things) and a few more things will be changing over the next day or two, so if something is funky just be patient and it'll be fixed in no time!

We'll still be doing some overhauling with the way you see things.

  •  Some SIDEBAR NAVIGATION
    • Some of the navigation is now located on your right instead of at the top of the posts.
       
  • Cleaning Up and New Images: Currently there are some white outlines around old images. These will all eventually be removed except in the very old posts.
  • New Post Previews: We'll feature our latest and greatest on a slideshow conveniently at the top!

  • Advertising: We're going to start advertising blogs, authors, and publishing houses so keep a look out for new people, books, and things to see!
  • Authors Services: Starting in June we'll begin offering services such as Editing, Research, Proofreading, and New Media Marketing.
  • That's not all! There will be more great changes on the way so keep watching and reading! More than anything we hope that you'll choose to become part of our community by submitting a review.

I'm so very very excited and so very thankful to Lea Christine at LeaChristineDesigns.com!

We're back from holiday with all sorts of new and fun things ahead!

We can't wait and THANK YOU for sticking with us during this transition.

Love and hugs to you, my dears!

Until Next Blog,

Read On! 


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Monday, May 12, 2014

In Vegas!

Hey, book babes!

No posts lately because we're in Vegas!!!

I was supposed to return Tuesday but unexpected change of flight schedule means I'm staying through Wednesday. Regular posting to resume next week!

Expect to see a random post honoring my Nevada book purchase! (My goal to buy a book from every state!)

Love you all and we'll be back soon!

Read on!


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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Contributor Review: "Stolen Songbird" by Danielle Jensen

Happy Wednesday, booklings!

Contributor review today from the lovely Tori!


Contributor Review


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Title: Stolen Songbird
Author: Danielle L Jensen
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 469
Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Synopsis: For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.


 

       

         Chest heavy and teary eyed... I closed Stolen Songbird and wished fervently that I had taken my time and traveled slowly through this book. But alas, as with all truly wonderful books, it ended much too soon. I wanted tos cream my frustration and reread the last page just to make sure that I wasn't missing the next book tucked behind the Acknowledgements section.   
          I was nervous when I ventured into the first few pages because Chapter 1 did not amaze me as much as I'd hoped. Shoulders slumped, I decided to keep trudging along. But before long, I was hooked beyond hope. As in up-late, eyes-beginning-to-twitch-from-sleep-deprivation kind of hooked. It was starting to seep into my little private cubbyhole and dive back into this world beneath the mountain. Of course, my lunch sat next to me all but forgotten and touched. 
           Cecile de Troyes was my ticket into a buried city. An aspiring singer, she was plucked off her horse on the way home and sold to beings the likes of which she had never dreamed in exchange for her weight in gold. She was to wed a troll to fulfill a prophecy that would save an entire city of trolls that had been cursed to live beneath the mountain for centuries. 
           Cue Tristan e Montigny who quickly puts an end to the stereotype that all trolls are ugly. Oh no, he is tall, brooding, sarcastic, and of course completely gorgeous. But his impending bond to the redheaded prisoner, Cecile, is a command that he has no choice but to follow. 
           Once the two are bonded, they are literally linked. Their emotions flow in and out of each others mind and they are able to find each other anywhere within Trollus. Ah yes, Trollus. We cannot forget such a beautifully envisioned city. Jensen equisitely crafted this underground world so that you feel like you are walking its cobblestone streets right along with Cecile. 
            It didn't take me long to realize why I liked her so much. She was human, no pun intended. She made mistakes and she vowed not to make them again. Cecile was almost completely alone in a foreign city where her humanity did little at first to procure her any allies. Her persistent attitude is what I wanted to see - a strong and compassionate main character that decided to fight instead of fade. Fight for new friends and a new found love. 
            My only teeny-tiny complaint would be the major twist in the plot line. With a few very large hints placed here and there I was able to quickly ascertain the true origin behind the inhabitants. Which of course, I will NOT reveal. I was just hoping for a little more intrigue behind that specific bit of story.
I give this book 5 quills, regardless of teeny-tiny complaints. I feel in love with the characters and a brilliantly rendered story. I am now however forced to wait until next year for the second book in the Maediction Trilogy. I'll be grudgingly patient I suppose. Good books and happy endings are worth waiting for if you ask me. 

Happy Reading my dears!
  
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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Review: "Streetlights Like Fireworks" by David Pandolve

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Title: Streetlights Like Fireworks
Author: David Pandolfe
Genre: YA
Pages: 268
Publication Date: March 19, 2014

Received from: Publisher

Synopsis:  Psychic flashes, haunting visions, missing persons and visits from ghosts. That's just their first date.

Jack has been getting on his parents' nerves for some time. Bad enough he's a rock musician, has crappy grades and hangs out with his "loser" friends. But Jack's ability to predict the future-well, that just annoys the hell out of them.

Jack's classmate, Lauren, is said to have unique abilities too. The town still talks about when she kept badgering her mother about the money in their wall. For the longest time, Lauren's mother didn't listen. Finally, she did and Lauren's mother hasn't had to work since.

Jack would really like to connect with Lauren but can't figure out how. She's never looked at him twice. But when he experiences a mystifying event involving visions, voices and spectral visits, Jack figures there's only one person to help him understand who's calling out to him and why. Before long, Jack and Lauren are off on a road trip of discovery that could provide answers to a mystery left unsolved for twenty years. More importantly, they might even unravel the greatest mystery of all- how every so often someone will accept you for who you are.






I had a odd sense of unease when I agreed to read this book. Not because I thought it would be bad, but because the "Young Rock Musician on a Road Trip" theme isn't one that I normally gel with. However, I got pulled in by the possibility and promises of psychic/paranormal  phenomenon and decided to give it a whirl.

Well, dang.

I'm learning more and more everyday that trying new things is GOOD FOR YOU. "Streetlights Like Fireworks" included multiple themes that resonate and I appreciated the writer's talent for crafting a story with the ability to SPEAK to its readers regardless of their age or personal experiences. I believe that many readers will be able to see a piece of themselves in Jack, or Lauren, two individuals who are coming face to face with the scary yet exhilarating fact that they're different. Yet, it's not the realization that they are unique that's so brilliant but that it is absolutely, beyond a doubt, in all ways okay.

Jack is a psychic to put it plainly, which explains a lot. The problem is that puts him in a rather lonely and confusing situation regarding being able to talk to and relate with others. Enter Lauren. This secondary character, who does sometimes outshined Jack, has her own special abilities along with her own struggles with identity.

An intense psychic vision connected to a guitar sends the two hurtling on an road-trip adventure that takes them across country where they run into a slew of interesting people and circumstances and learn little by little how important it is to embrace who you are

In a time filled with struggle for the right to be exactly who you are this book whispers through the commotion, "Hey, who you are is okay. I promise."

Much recommended.


    

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Displaying DavidPandolfe.jpgDavid Pandolfe is the author of two novels, Jump When Ready and Streetlights Like Fireworks. Currently, he’s working on a sequel to Jump When Ready, to be published in 2014. His short fiction has also appeared in literary reviews.

While he’s still writing about himself in third-person, David should probably also mention that he lives outside Richmond, VA, with his wife, two kids and a dog who’s terrified of thunder (not the best situation since it thunders from spring until fall in Richmond).

Website
  

GIVEAWAY

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Until Next Blog,

Read On!



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