Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from Abbi Glines

The fabulous Abbi Glines posted on facebook just a few minutes ago that her newest book Fallen Too Far is currently on sale for only .99!

To want what you’re not supposed to have…

She is only nineteen.

She is his new stepfather’s daughter.

She is still naïve and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick mother.

But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no.

Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. She isn’t prepared for the lifestyle change and she knows she’ll never fit into this world. Then there is her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also getting under her skin. She knows he is anything but good for her and that he’ll never be faithful to anyone. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that…

Blaire just may have fallen too far.

For Kindle readers, get your copy here!
For Nook readers, get your cope here!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Legend by Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

I was pleasantly surprised when I read this book. I have had it for a while, but never picked it up.

Day was a character fiercely loyal to the people he cares for. He's the villain to the government and June - the smartest person ever (well according to test scores) wants to catch Day. Day killed her brother, after all. But, when they meet, unannounced to each other, they get a glimpse of the other side. The other side that the government doesn't want them to see.

The romance in the book is minimal in kissing scenes and steaminess. But the relationship being built between the two is undeniable and well-paced. No-insta love there.

I think something I haven't seen in a long time in books is the devotion to family. Day and June both love their families and the devotion given back, is humbling. A great read!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review: Reached by Ally Condie


Author: Ally Condie
Genre: Dystopian
Publisher: Penguin
Published: November 13th 2012

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without

First, I just want to say that Ally Condie writes beautifully. Her books are almost soothing to read because she has such a poetic writing style. I always feel so calm and relaxed when I am reading her work. Which is kind of unexpected for a Dystopian, right? With most you expect a lot of blood, guts and gore but you don't get that with the Matched trilogy.  Instead, what is disturbing about these books is that it is believable. You can see how the society could potentially exist and I think that is what makes a good Dystopian.

I loved Matched but wasn't that fond of Crossed so I was a little reluctant to begin Reached. You see, for me, usually the first book hooks me, the middle book is boring (only exception I can think of is The Hunger Games, I actually enjoyed Catching Fire a lot, even more than Mockingjay) and the 3rd book makes or break the trilogy.

Reached is far more character driven then the previous installments. There are three POVs so we are able to get to know more about Xander since he is introduced as a new narrator. Each character has a unique voice and it was easy to tell them all apart which was good because I had to put down this book a lot, but whenever I picked it back up, I always knew exactly who was "talking".

If you were expecting a lot of action going into Reached, you will be disappointed. There isn't any.

 If you were expecting a lot of romance in Reached, you will also be disappointed. There's not much of that either since Ky and Cassia spend most of the book apart.

We basically follow Cassia, Ky and Xander as they adjust to the changes in their society and grow as individuals. It is definitely not your typical love triangle that is for sure.
I will say that though it wasn't what I expected, it was a very nice, hopeful conclusion to the trilogy.

I'd recommend this thought-provoking novel for people who have started the trilogy already because I think you should always see things through to the end, but if you desire an action-pack, heart-pounding, can't-put-it-down-read, this isn't really for you.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Poll It Monday (10)

Poll it Monday (10) Poll It Monday is a great way for us at Dash to know more about the YA community. It's a chance to give a little voice in your likes and dislikes. Let us know if you have anything you want to poll.

This week's poll has to do with love triangles. I think when the "world" became "in love" with love triangles had to do with a certain vampire, a certain werewolf, and a certain klutz. Yes, twilight. But now, years later (yes, it's been years), do you still love them? Do you still wonder who is she going to pick? Or are you more of the "What the hell? Again?"

surveys & polls

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dashers Panel: Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Here on A Dash of YA we are starting a new feature called "Dashers Panel" where all the Dashers get together and analyse a book we have all read.

Recently the Dashers discovered we all had read Deity by the fabulous Jennifer L. Armentrout. I have to say, we are a bit divided on who's team we are on. So without further delay - here are how the teams turn out.

Michelle: Team Aiden - love you Seth, but no. 

Molli: TEAM AIDEN all the way.  Early in PURE, Seth stood a small chance with me but throughout that book and DEITY...Aiden stole my heart.  I fell just as in love with him as Alex is, if not more so.  

Erica: For Alex, I am definitely Team Aiden but for me I have always been Team Seth....until I read DEITY. After that, I found myself completely torn. Even though DEITY showed me a side of Aiden that I REALLY liked, I am still holding on to the small sliver of hope that Seth returns from the "dark side".

Komal: Okay, guys, I'm with Erica on this one. I think Alex and Aiden should be together. Their love is epic and they genuinely care about each other. For me, however, I am Team Seth all the way. I really hope Seth makes it through everything!

Why are you a Team Aiden member or a Team Seth member?

Michelle: Team Aiden here, checking in. Aiden is this cool, collected, charmer. He's sincere when ever Alex is concerned, even when he pushes her away, it's for her. Let's also talk about his abilities, his strength, his ability to kick butt, even Seth's. Or we could move on to his physical appeal. Um, hello salty goodness. And a romantic at heart? Let's all remember what he wears around his neck. 

Molli: Aiden completes Alex.  He lets her be who she is, isn't afraid to push and challenge her when he can tell she can do better, and he always, always makes her safety and well-being his first priority.  He cares so much for her, wants her to be happy, and even puts her happiness above his own.  Aiden is a friend to Alex, and loyal to her, but at the same time it's clear there's a great deal of passion between them. 

Erica: I love Seth's "devil-may-care" attitude. Plain and simple, he makes me laugh.

Komal: There is something I love about Seth's darker side. He is so mysterious and intriguing. And nuts. He is really nuts. I don't think I would ever want to be with a guy like Seth in real life, but there is just something so compelling about him. He is such a complex character.

What was your favorite scene in the book?

Michelle: While I'm a huge fan of Aiden's, but my favorite scene didn't really have anything to do with him. Leon. Can we just take a minute for the curve ball JLA threw with him? Sigh. Leon got expotenially hotter in this book because of his big reveal. I loved how Alex interacted with him. She wasn't afraid and he was his snarky self. I know - I'm being vague but I can't ruin it for you. But when you read the book, you're going to get it! 

Molli: Mine is a sequence of scenes.  I'd say it's the entire time Alex spends at Aiden's house.  I loved getting the glimpse of him "in the wild," so to speak, when he isn't just doing his job.  I feel like JLA let the reader, as well as Alex, get to know the REAL Aiden.  And the real Aiden is swoon-worthy, protective, and just amazing.  I definitely fell all over for him then, and I LOVED the Aiden/Alex scenes we got!

P.S. Leon is pretty awesome! 

Erica: Oh gosh, this has absolutely nothing to do with Seth but I am going to have to say the bedroom scene....you know....when Aiden and Alex finally....well, you know. I was so happy for them.

Komal: For me it would have to be (I'm trying very hard not to give away any spoilers) when Seth and Lucian keep Alex captive in Lucian's house. You see such an ugly side to Seth; it gave me chills! And, the ending! Loved it! Also, the Leon curve ball was pretty awesome!

What was your reaction to the end?

Michelle: I immediately tweeted JLA and told her she needs to take into consideration her pregnant readers, because they are hormonally imbalanced. I cried. Yep. Cried. I was shocked and mad as a reader. As a writer, well played JLA. While some of it was what I expected, but the last three lines, it was a full twist. 

Molli: I won't even lie: I screamed.  Out loud.  And there was a lot of "no, no, no!" involved.  I immediately requested an ARC from Spencer Hill Press and pretty much offered to wash their cars or WHATEVER it took to get me on their list.  JLA has definitely upped the stakes for APOLLYON.  

Erica: Well, if I am totally honest....I cursed....out loud....a lot! Seriously! What the heck?!?! Does Jennifer get some sort of sick pleasure out of tormenting her readers with such cliff-hangers? I don't know how I am going to survive until APOLLYON.

Komal: I didn't react as strongly, but I was definitely affected by the ending. I was kind of expecting something like that to happen, but it was freaking unbelievable when it actually did happen. Also, I need APOLLYON now. NOW!

So that concludes our first Dashers Panel. What did you love about Deity? Are you Team Aiden or Team Seth? Let us know!

Next month we are going to focus on another JLA book - Opal. If you have a book you wants us to "panel", let us know. :) 

The Dashers. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Interview with A. Meredith Walters

 A. Meredith Walters has been writing since childhood and is the author of Irresistible Fear, the first book in a paranormal romance trilogy and Find You in the Dark, a contemporary romance. Having recently made the big move from America to the other side of the pond, to jolly ol' England, she has been afforded the opportunity to write full time. Before that, Meredith spent a decade as a counselor for troubled and abused children and teens.  Working first at a Domestic Violence shelter and then later in a therapeutic program for at risk youth. The experiences and interactions with her clients has been the creative drive behind most of her writing.

When not pecking away at the keyboard, Meredith loves spending time with her husband and daughter exploring the English country side and attempting to cook. While she may not be very good at it, that doesn't stop her from trying.

Recently I got to read A. Meredith Walters' book Find You In The Dark. I really liked it and I knew I couldn't wait to interview her! I love getting to know new authors!
Little did I know that not only did Ms. Walters previously worked in the same field as me, but she shares my passion for all things paranormal, lives in England (my mom was born there and I can't wait for the chance to visit some day) AND has my dream job of being a full time writer. I think I've decided we need to be friends. ;)

Without further ado, please welcome A. Meredith Walters to A Dash of YA!
1) What inspired you to write Find You In The Dark?

I spent the last ten years as a counselor for children and teens with emotional and mental health issues. Every day I saw their struggles and it was difficult to see. I came up with the idea after a particularly great day with one of my clients. This was a child who at one time was headed for an institution, their issues were so severe. But after years of therapy and support, they are now an amazing, functional individual. I realized that hope was always there, even for people who others think don't have a chance. I wanted to write about a couple, trying to find that hope, even when it all seems...well, hopeless.

2) When will the sequel be released and are there plans for more books about Maggie and Clay?

I plan to release the sequel, Light in the Shadows in February or March. I also plan to release a novella, entitled Cloud Walking, about Rachel and Daniel in January. This will be a sort of companion piece and takes place during the events of Find You in the Dark. I plan to wrap up Clay and Maggie's story in Light in the Shadows. I want to conclude things realistically but make people happy.

3) What made you decide to indie pub vs traditional publishing?

Well, finding an agent who will take the time to look at your work is difficult. After numerous rejection letters I was feeling pretty low. But then the Kindle happened. And I saw how many people were doing the whole "indie" thing. And I'm so glad that's how it worked out. It's wonderful to have total control over your work like that. Yeah, you have to do everything yourself, but I feel a sense of accomplishment that can only come from that control over it all. And it's worked out really well for me so far.

4) What genre is your favorite to read?

Paranormal romance definitely. I grew up devouring L.J. Smith's The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle. I LOVE authors like Kelley Armstrong and Maggie Stiefvater. Romance with that dash of darkness is my absolute favorite.

5) Do you have a favorite author?
Hmm, well I have a bunch actually. I have a big love affair with Indie writers like Jessica Sorenson, Abbi Glines and Jamie McGuire. But I also love authors like Anne Rice, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris.

6) What is your favorite book?
My favorite book ever is Wuthering Heights. I read it hundreds of times when I was a teenager. There's something about that Heathcliff that really gets to me.

7) When is your next book due to release and can you tell us a little about it?
My next book comes out this month actually, December 21st. It's called Bad Rep and is a New Adult Contemporary Romance. It's about a college aged girl who meets this hot drum player and there's this instant connection...until she finds out he's dating one of her sorority sisters. There's a lot of angst as she struggles to resist the temptation and the fall out when that doesn't go so well. It's a romance but also a story about accepting yourself and learning to do what you want and not to worry about what other people think about you. It's definitely a story about a girl trying to find herself.

8) Do you outline before you write or do you just let the story develop as you write?

A little bit of both. With Find You in the Dark, I just wrote it. There wasn't an outline. But with the sequel, I had things I definitely wanted to cover, so I've outlined it. I think it really depends on where my mind is at as to whether I outline or not.

9) How many hours a day do you spend writing?

That changes from day to day. I'm a feast or famine sort of writer. When I'm in the zone, I will write ten hours a day. But then I can go days without writing anything.

10) Do you have an office or do you write wherever you can?
I have a designated office in my house. When we moved to England and I gave up counseling to become a full time writer, that was one of my necessities. A place to write, where I can separate "home" from "working." I need to be able to close the door and get away from it all.
And just for fun:
Apples or Pears? Apples all the way
Lipgloss or Chapstick? Chapstick
Sunset or Sunrise? Sunset
Early bird or Night owl? Night owl
Edward or Jacob? TEAM JACOB!!!

Thank you very much A. Meredith Walters! I am definitely looking forward to reading more of your work! You can find her books on Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cover Reveal: Falling for Hadie

I'm so excited to share the cover of Falling for Hadie with everyone today! You might have already seen it around the internet, so I am also going to direct you to a post I did over on my blog about how the cover of Falling for Hadie was made. Check it out when you have time!

I want to thank Eden Crane for working so hard on this one. She is seriously the best!

Running away from his old life in New York City, Lincoln Bracks ends up in the small town of Statlen, Iowa. He isn’t interested in making friends or getting to know anyone. He just wants to keep his head down and disappear amongst the crowd.

Nursing a broken heart and the realization that the boy she’s loved her entire life isn’t Prince Charming, Hadie Swinton is set against ever falling in love. But when new boy, Lincoln arrives in town, she may have to eat her words.

Hadie fears being hurt and Lincoln fears hurting her, so when they begin spending more time together and form a connection, they try to fight it at all costs. When they finally start to give into their feelings, Lincoln’s secret stands in the way of them ever being together.

Falling in love was the last thing Lincoln wanted to do, so how will he convince himself to fall out of it?

Friday, December 7, 2012

JLA - Feature author

I haven't done an author's focus in awhile and I thought I would do one on the fabulous Jennifer L. Armentrout. I have read all of her Lux and Covenant books. ALL. And pre-ordered most of them. If you havent read something by her - you are missing out. We here at Dash are big fans, like go into battle fans. 
So what is it about JLA? 

She creates plots that are gripping. I mean her hott characters are not bad either, but she weaves these plots and sub-plot lines that pull you in. I needed to know what happened to Katy, Dawson, Alex, Leon, Seth. I mean even the bad guys, I want to know what happens. She makes you want to turn the page. She gives you enough so you can make it through your work day, but when you get done with work, you pick up the book immediately to know what happens. 

How does she do it exactly? Yeah, I don't know, but I hope to be like that one day. 

JLA also released this week Opal, an installment in the Lux series. Give her credit; she makes up some seriously hott aliens. 

I would start with these.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Review: Find You In The Dark

Author: A. Meredith Walters
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self
Released: October 10th 2012

Summary from Goodreads:
Maggie Young had the market on normal. Normal friends, normal parents, normal grades...normal life.
Until him.
Clayton Reed was running from his past and an army of personal demons that threatened to take him down. He never thought he had a chance at happiness.
Until her.
Maggie thought their love could overcome anything. Clay thought she was all he needed to fix his messy life.
That together, they could face the world.
But the darkness is always waiting.
Sometimes the greatest obstacle to true love is within yourself

This was one heck of a roller coaster read! Normally I am a butterflies, sunshine and rainbows kind of girl and this book definitely wasn't any of those things but it didn't matter, I still loved it. Maggie and Clay's relationship, in a word, is dysfunctional and as an adult there were certain situations that were difficult to read about. But after I sat and thought about it (and remembered what a drama queen I was when I was in high school) I realized it was actually a fairly accurate portrayal of the intensity teenagers are capable of feeling.
I found myself torn between wanting Maggie to run to the hills just to get away from Clay and other times where I wanted her to stick around and love Clay despite all of his...uh....issues.
I used to work with troubled teens and I know how important it is for them to have someone there no matter what to offer stability, but at the same time what Clay was doing to Maggie was abuse. And my heart was broken for the both of them because neither one of them realized it.
This book was intense and hard to put down. It had some really funny parts, some really mushy-gushy parts, some really steamy parts and some "I want to slap you across your face" parts thrown in there as well.
You know I won't ever give away any spoilers but I will say this, while the ending definitely wasn't happy, I was content with the ending because I knew there really couldn't be any other way. I am definitely looking forward to reading more from Ms. Walters and seeing where she takes Maggie and Clay's journey next (because yes there is supposed to be a sequel!).

Favorite Quote: "I have learned that sometimes 'sorry' is not enough. Sometimes you actually have to change."
 I really liked this book and I would definitely recommend it to most people who enjoy this genre but especially those who don't require their stories to end in sunshine and rainbows. I think this is a story that will stick with readers for a long time after they've finished it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Poll It Monday (9)

Poll it Monday (9)! It's hard to believe A Dash of YA has been around for over two months! Thanks for everyone who has participated in our giveaways, hops, and been leaving us comments.
Poll It Monday is a great way for us to know more about the YA community. It's a chance to give a little voice to your likes and dislikes.

This week's poll has to do with the upcoming releases this holiday season. Which book are you looking forward to. If you end up picking "other", leave us a comment telling us what it is so we can check it out!

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