Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cover Reveal: Light in the Shadows by A. Meredith Walters

You might remember I read Find You in the Dark by A. Meredith Walters a few months ago and really liked it! I thought the story was amazing and guess what? There's a sequel coming out March 26th and we get to reveal the cover today here on Dash!

Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations designed this beauty:

How do you keep going when you feel like your life is over?

Maggie never thought she’d see Clay again. So, she attempts to put her life back together after her heart has been shattered to pieces. Moving on and moving forward, just as Clay wanted her to.

Clay never stopped thinking of Maggie. Even after ripping their lives apart and leaving her behind to get the help he so desperately needed. He is healing...slowly. But his heart still belongs to the girl who tried to save him.

When a sudden tragedy brings Maggie and Clay face to face again, nothing is the same. Yet some things never change. Can the darkness that threatened to consume them be transformed into something else and finally give them what they always wanted? And can two people who fought so hard to be together, finally find their happiness? Or will their demons and fear drive them apart for good?

The thing about love, is even when it destroys you, it has a way of mending what is broken. And in the shadows, you can still see the light.

Doesn't that sound amazing? I can't wait to read it!
Sarah Hansen also did a little revamping of the Find You in the Dark cover:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cover Reveal: Wrong Side of Town by Komal Lewis

Eep! I've been meaning to do this post for a while, but I've been crazy busy the last two weeks so I'm only getting to it now. WRONG SIDE OF TOWN is the third book in the With Me series and will release sometime in August, 2013.

Once again, the brilliant Eden Crane was responsible for this, and I love it to bits and pieces! She is truly amazing if she can design gorgeous covers like this while I'm annoying her with random, meaningless messages.

What do you guys think?

Estella Markson is a good girl. She studies hard, stays out of trouble, and is struggling to hold together her family that is falling apart because of her alcoholic father.

Vincent Madden is the guy your mother warned you to stay away from. He doesn’t follow the rules, is in a notorious motorcycle gang, and doesn’t care if he breaks the law or someone’s bones.

One night after a chance encounter, Vincent starts to take an interest in the innocent girl who is so different to him. Despite Vincent's infamous reputation, Estella is also intrigued by him. There is something about this bad boy that gives her an escape from her world of problems, and she can’t stay away.

As Estella slowly strips away Vincent’s defenses, she finds that underneath the tattoos and tough exterior is someone who is just as broken as she is. And Vincent will do anything to hold onto the girl who makes him want to be a better man.

Everyone warned Estella to stay away from the boy from the wrong side of town, and now she’s in too deep.

Add WRONG SIDE OF TOWN on Goodreads here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review: Exposing Kitty Langley

Author: DeAnna Kinney
Publisher: Self
Released: Jan 2 2013
Format: E-book

For almost four years, Kitty Langley has been part of a ‘mean girls’ group called the Bee Hives, the most hated and feared girls at West Windrake High. That is until she witnesses their relentless attack on her former childhood friend. Making a drastic decision, she takes a stand against the dreaded B’s and thus becomes their new enemy and number one target. Now an outcast, not only of the B’s but of the entire school, she will have to pull from her inner strength as she prepares for the persecution she will face in the name of revenge.

Reed Reynolds is not looking for trouble. He just wants to get through his senior year and work on his music in peace. But when he mistakenly kisses Kitty Langley at their annual Masquerade Dance, he is both appalled and intrigued, never having experienced a kiss so powerful. Reed soon finds himself drawn in by this new Kitty and her tolerance for her so called ‘deserved punishment’. But will he endanger himself to defend her against the B’s and the entire school in the name of honor—or more importantly, in the name of love?

A Charity Series Novella, or a stand-alone

First, isn’t the cover pretty? I love the purple mask and the gorgeous green eyes!

This is a great, quick read with a strong message.  I would recommend it to teenagers, especially anyone dealing with bullying. The bullying Kitty suffers is a pretty extreme case, but the fact that she stays so strong and eventually stands up for herself was pretty inspiring. I enjoyed it!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Feature Follow

I had some free time and I thought I would post a follow friday brought to you by Parajunkee and Alison can Read! 

 This weeks question is: What is the craziest thing you did to get your hands on a book? 

Michelle: I, as a child, promised to clean up dog poop for a week. Yeah - and the book wasn't that great. :)
Erica: I don't know if this counts, but last summer I drove 2 hours just to get my hands on a signed paperback of The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines. Though I'm sure LOTS of people would drive further than that for one of her books!

What was the craziest thing you did? Follow us and we will follow back under our personal names :) 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Author: Colleen Hoover
Published: Dec 19th 2012
Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Oh my goodness! I can't even begin to express how much I absolutely LOVED this book. It is the first book in a while that I actually stayed up into the wee hours of the morning because I HAD to finish it. I HAD to know what happened next.

I am a little sleep-deprived today, I probably more closely resemble a zombie then myself this morning, but it was completely worth it. This is only the 3rd book I've read this year but I gotta tell you, it's going to be hard to top it.

This book left me completely speechless. I can't recall a book that made me feel so many extreme emotions. I felt Sky's attraction to Holder which was remarkably intense and real. I had butterflies more times then I can count and laughed out loud so much my face hurt.

But this novel evoked some pretty scary, sickening, make-me-want-to-throw-up, cry-my-eyes-out-and-punch-something (or someone)-as-hard-as-I-can feelings as well.

I loved that little hints are dropped throughout the entire book but that they aren't super obvious. Most of the "clues" seem like completely ordinary things that don't really scream out at you until the very end when all is revealed and then there is an "OMG! It all makes sense!" moment that will make your heart thunder painfully.

I want to tell everyone: You MUST READ THIS BOOK!
I very rarely feel so strongly about a book that I will recommend it to EVERYONE.

There are so many lines in this book that I love (oh there are so many wonderful, romantic, funny quotes, I think I highlighted practically every page) but since I can't very well share them all, I am going to share my favorite passage:

"You're attracted to me?"
"Oh, God," I groan. "That's the last thing you need for your ego."
"That's probably true," he laughs. "Better hurry up and insult me before my ego gets as big as yours."
"You need a hair cut," I blurt out. "Really bad. It gets in your eyes and you squint and you're constantly moving it out of the way like you're Justin Bieber and it's really distracting."
He fingers his hair with his hand and frowns, then falls back onto the bed. "Man. That really hurt. It seems like you've thought that one out for a while."
"Just since Monday," I admit.
"You met me on Monday. So technically, you've been thinking about how much you hate my hair since the moment we met?"
"Not every moment."
He's quiet for a minute, then grins again. "I can't believe you think I'm hot."
"Shut up"
"You probably faked passing out the other day, just so you could be carried in my hot, sweaty, manly arms."
"Shut up."
"I'll bed you fantasize about me at night, right here on this bed."
"Shut up, Holder."
"You probably even..."
I reach over and clamp my hand over his mouth. "You're way hotter when you aren't speaking."

Oh my goodness I was laughing so hard! I actually went back and re-read this passage at least 3 times!

 Holder is currently holding the #1 spot of my 2013 Book Boyfriends, and let me tell ya, the fictional guys will have a hard time measuring up this year.
So what are you waiting for? If you haven't picked up HOPELESS yet, go do so RIGHT NOW! Trust me, you won't regret it!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Dash of YA's Giveaway for our followers!

This is a giveaway to thank all of our followers for following us on Facebook, Twitter, and our blog and for being so awesome!

We love giving away prizes so this time each of us has pitched in with a prize of our own to make this a super fun giveaway!

The giveaway is International and ends on Sunday the 20th of January, so don't forget to spread the word and do as many activities as you can!

Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Interview with Eden Crane

Today, I have a treat for all the lovely followers of A Dash of YA. I had the opportunity to interview my cover designer, Eden Crane, for a behind-the-scenes look on how the cover designing process works. Eden recently did the cover design for another fellow Dasher, Erica Cope. Go and check out Erica's post to see the beautiful cover for LARK!
Please welcome Eden to A Dash of YA!

Thanks so much for agreeing to do the interview, Eden!
No, thank you for having me!
What made you want to start professionally designing covers?
Last summer I was visiting my dad in Alaska for three months, which can get incredibly boring when everyone works and I can't drive, so I decided to take up Photoshop. I did tons of tutorials on photo manipulation, and when my mom, Julia Crane, saw them she asked me to do her cover for Freak of Nature. I said no, but eventually she talked me in to it haha. After that some of her friends, including Heather Marie Adkins and Lizzy Ford, asked me to do covers for them... Eventually it just blew up.
Can you take us through how the design process works for you? How do you approach a new project?
Generally I'll send the author a list of questions about their book regarding what they are looking for in their cover, the mood, character and book descriptions, etc. Then I'll tell them any ideas I have, and we'll start looking for stock photos. Then I start doing a mock up and usually throw it away at least three times before I feel it's ready for the author to see. Then I sit around and freak out until they reply because I need to know their opinion haha. Sometimes they love it right away, others I have to start over. From there, I pretty much do whatever the author says until they are happy. I can't stop working on a cover until it's done so this process also involves a lot of tea and coffee.
What are your three favourite covers that you didn’t design?
Hmmm number one is easy, but I'll have to think about the next two, because I just love so many covers. Ugh!
1. Hands down my favorite cover is Splintered by A.G. Howard. Once I read an article where Maurice Sandak, the author of Where the Wild Things Are, said that he sent a little boy an original drawing of one of his monsters and the boy loved it so much he ate it. That is how much I love this cover... I would eat it.

2. Ok I had to think about this for awhile. I'd say my number two is Entangled by Nikki Jefford. It was designed by Najla Qamber Designs, ugh Naj is such an amazing designer, and I'm in love with this cover

3. I think number 3 would be Witch Born by Amber Argyle because it's just really pretty and painted.

All these covers are beautiful! I love the cover for Splintered too!
What are three covers you designed that you absolutely love?
This is really hard to because originally I hate everything I make and then I end up loving them all. Can I pick 4?...I think I'm going to do four haha.
1. I'd say probably Reviving Bloom by Michelle Turner because I just made it so I really like it at the moment.

2. I think Freak of Nature by Julia Crane because I got to do a lot of photo manipulation with that one, and it was my first cover.

3. I loved making Dark Summer by Lizzy Ford and it's just really sparkly and pretty, and it's also an amazing book!

4. I also absolutely love your cover for Runaway Mortal. You had some really good ideas right off the bat, and I think we came up with a beautiful cover. :)

My ideas for Runaway Mortal were all over the place, but I love how you were totally psychic and came up with a great cover anyway! And I think the cover for Dark Summer is stunning! One of my favourites for sure!
I know you design covers for many genres, but which genre is your favourite to design for: fantasy, romance, contemporary or something else?
I think my favorite genre to design for would definately be fantasy simply because I get to be a lot more creative with the covers.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Well my "working" is what I like to do haha, but I spend a lot of time at the wind tunnel practicing for when I get my skydivivng license. I also spend a lot of time with friends eating tofu and playing Monopoly.
We know you love to design book covers, but are you also an avid reader?
I absolutely LOVE reading, but I go through phases where reading is pretty much all I do, and then suddenly for a long stretch of time, I don't read anything at all. Luckily, I'm just getting off a not reading streak, considering I got 11 books for Christmas, and I just got an advanced copy of my mom's new book Freak of Nature which I'm extremely excited about!

I would like to thank Eden Crane for joining us today! It was interesting to take a behind-the-scenes look into cover designing and see how everything works! Eden is super fun, prompt and professional to work with, and I can't recommend her enough!

To find out more about Eden or commission her for a design, visit her on her website or Facebook page.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cover Reveal: Lark by Erica Cope

I am so excited to share the cover of my debut novel LARK with you! It is perfect and gorgeous and I love it to pieces!

Komal recommended Eden Crane Design to me after the amazing job Eden did on Komal's covers for Runaway Mortal and Falling for Hadie. I knew Lark was just about ready to be published so I decided to browse through Eden's portfolio, just to get an idea.
All of her covers were beauitful but I kept going back to one of her pre-made covers because, with just a few changes, I knew it was exactly what I was looking for.
I sent her an email shortly after lunch and by that evening she had sent me this:

The last time she checked, Mia Carrington was pretty sure that she was a normal girl with a completely ordinary life.

She goes to high school, has a crush on the gorgeous and mysterious new boy in town, and has strange dreams that she can’t help but feel are real somehow.

Okay, so maybe she’s not all that normal after all.

A freak accident changes Mia’s life forever when she is thrown into another world and left to deal with the revelation that she is the daughter of the King of the Light Elves. Throw in an ominous prophecy predicting that Mia will break a curse unleashing the Dark Elves on the world and well, things don’t look too good.

There is danger lurking at every corner in this strange world and Mia isn’t sure who she can trust…
The only thing she is certain of is that the Dark Elves know about her, and they will stop at nothing until they have her.

Release Date: March 2013
But in the meantime, you can add LARK on Goodreads!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Poll It Monday (12)

Poll It Monday (12) is a way we get to know our readers. What I wanted to do this week was get a little more of a personal response from everyone. We are all avid readers and have our favorites, right down to our favorite villain. So this week - I wanted to poll who your favorite leading female in YA is. I am just requesting the name and the book - but feel free to leave a little blurb as to why you like her.

Thanks and here is to a great year of reading!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Dashers' Favorites of 2012

2012 was a great year in books and over here at A Dash of YA we had a lot of trouble picking our favorites of the year. There have been so many wonderful books, beautiful covers, compelling stories, and relatable characters, but we finally managed to narrow it down to a special few that captured our imaginations.

Check out our favorites of 2012 below and let us know what you think and weigh in with your own favorites. We'd love to hear your favorites, too!

We can't wait to see what the literary world has in store for us in 2013!

Which book's release were you most looking forward to in 2012 and did it meet your expectations?

Erica: Reached by Ally Condie or Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan or perhaps Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout....oooh! I know! It was The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead and yes, I loved it! Team Adrian!
Michelle: Unwholly by Neal Shusterman - it was pretty good.
Komal: I was most looking forward to ONYX by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It was a good read, but I was expecting more because OBSIDIAN was so good.
Molli: Maybe DEITY by Jennifer L Armentrout (trying to choose one that wasn't a debut!) and yes it not only lived up to my expectations - it surpassed them.   

Favorite book cover of the year (Please provide picture)

Erica: Reached by Ally Condie. I like the simplicity and the symbolism

Michelle: Picking one was tough but I loved this cover by Joesphine Andelini!

Komal: There were a lot of great covers this year, but one in particular caught my eye in August: STITCH by Samantha Durante. The cover is freaking beautiful!

Molli: This was a year of gorgeous covers, but one in particular STILL makes me swoon: SWEET EVIL by Wendy Higgins.

Best Kiss

Erica: Beau and Ashton (The Vincent Boys)
Michelle: Beau and Ashton in The Vincent Boys
Komal: Beau and Ashton from THE VINCENT BOYS by Abbi Glines or Alex and Aiden from DEITY by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Molli: Mac and Jason from HEMLOCK by Kathleen Peacock!

Favorite Couple

Erica: Wendy and Loki from Amanda Hocking's Trylle trilogy (which I technically read in 2011 when it was self-pubbed, but it was re-published this year so I am counting it because it had added material and I read it again....3 times!)
Michelle: Kate and Henry from Goddess Test series by Aimee Carter
Komal: Jacqueline and Lucas from EASY by Tammara Webber
Molli: SO MANY.  Mal/Alina from SHADOW AND BONE.  I really connected emotionally with them.

Hottest Female Character

Erica: Katy from Jennifer Armentrout's Lux series
Michelle: Tris from Divergent/Insurgent
Komal: Alex from Jennifer L. Armentrout's COVENANT series
Molli: Gonna go with Erica - Katy is pretty kick-butt and awesome!

Hottest Male Character

Erica: Beau from The Vincent Boys , Adrian from The Golden Lily or Loki from the Trylle trilogy
Michelle: Four/Tobias (Sigh) or Kaiden Rowe (Sigh)
Komal: Lucas from EASY by Tammara Webber or Beau from THE VINCENT BOYS by Abbi Glines
Molli: Logan from DEFIANCE by C.J. Redwine.  He is just amazing. 

Best Debut Author of 2012

Erica: Gotta say Komal Lewis!
Michelle: Wendy Higgins
Komal: Samantha Durante! I loved how her debut novel STITCH spanned not one, not two, but three genres!

Best Debut Novel of 2012

Erica:  Impossible by Komal Lewis

Michelle: Throne of Glass - by Sarah J. Maas

Komal: STITCH by Samantha Durante

Molli: SEND ME A SIGN by Tiffany Schmidt!  I cried my way through it...such a heart-wrenching, genuine story.  

Best (Worst?) Villain of 2012

Erica: Is it weird that I can't think of a single one? 
Michelle: Valentine - City of Lost Souls
Komal: Can I say Seth from DEITY by Jennifer L. Armentrout? He was kind of villainous in the book.
Molli: WARNER.  Definitely Warner. I read DESTROY ME (and UNRAVEL ME) this year and he is...there are no words. Just...everyone get ready. These books will change how you see him. 

Most Surprising Find of 2012

Erica: Fall from Grace by Christine Zolendz. It was sorta similar to Lauren Kate's Fallen only way HOTTER

Michelle: Legend by Marie Lu or Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Komal: EASY by Tammara Webber or THE VINCENT BOY by Abbi Glines (it kicked off my Contemporary obsession)

Molli: Gonna say THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray.  I expected to like it, but I fell IN LOVE. I literally screamed with happiness when Little, Brown sent me a finished copy.

Favorite Author

Erica: Abbi Glines
Michelle: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Komal: Tammara Webber and Abbi Glines...I can't pick just one!
Molli: So many possibilities...going by established authors, not debs...Jennifer L Armentrout!  Girl brings it with every book. 

Favorite Novel

Erica: Too many to choose from but one that I remember specifically saying there wasn't a single thing I would change about it was:

Michelle: Obsidian - JLA

Komal: It was so hard to pick just one, but I'm going to say EASY by Tammara Webber because I thought the book was perfect.

Molli: SO HARD because there were SO many good ones I read.  I'm going to go with the one that gave me ALL THE FEELINGS though.  SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo.

Most Anticipated Release of 2013

Erica:The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead! Apparently it's jammed pack full of Adrian snark and a lot of romance!

Michelle: Goddess by Josephine Angelini

Komal: APOLLYON by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I'm DYING to find out what happens next!

Molli: SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo.  (No final cover yet.)  I'm all antsy to see what Leigh has planned next for her characters.

We would love to hear what you have to say about our favorites, so don't forget to leave us a comment. :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

At First Sight by Tammy Blackwell (FREE!)

Tammy Blackwell's Timber Wolves trilogy is one of my favorites. I love, love, love Scout! She is an amazing heroine and a freakin' hilarious narrator. If you haven't read these books, you are seriously missing out!

Throughout the month of December Tammy shared short stories on her blog of scenes from the Timber Wolves trilogy but from other character's POV. It was great!
And guess what? She has compiled all of the short stories in At First Sight and you can get them for FREE right now on Amazon!

Go get it!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Poll it Monday (11)

Yes - Poll It Monday has been a little absent lately! My bad!!! Holidays and baby! and just life!

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 I am gearing up for a couple of sequels that I have been waiting to read. The first one is the follow up to the novel The Pledge by Kimberly Derting. It has inspired this weeks question. Do you re-read novels to freshen up on a book's plot line if you haven't read it in awhile?