Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Summer Reading List

Hey ya'll soooooo I haven't finished anything since Suddenly Royal to review because I'm trying to finish the first draft of In the Shadows (Lark #2) before my surgery on the 12th. Sooooo instead of a review this week, I'm posting my summer To Be Read list...that is my To-Be-Read-After-I-Finish-First-Draft-of-In-The-Shadows List anyway.
These books are my reward to myself for finishing---Motivation people! (PS I'm about half way done--eek!)

First up is On an Edge of Glass by Autumn Doughton.
You can't plan for everything...
That's what Ellie Glass realizes after she has a chance encounter with a young musician. Long-haired, a bit scruffy, and undeniably sexy, he's the exact opposite of her "type," but now Ellie can't stop thinking about him. When fate intervenes and the two are thrown together, Ellie gets more than she bargained for. Pretty soon she finds herself feeling and doing things that she never thought were possible.
This is the captivating story of an undeniable attraction, the choices that we make, and ultimately, the unexpected power of love.

I've heard such wonderful things about it so I can't wait to check it out.
Next is The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard
Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

After that I'm on to Drowning in You by Rebecca Berto

Secretly crushing

Crushed by a tragedy

Charlee May’s been crushing on Dexter Hollingworth since she was fifteen. Five years later, a horrific skiing disaster at Mason’s Ski Lift Resort leaves her millionaire dad critically injured and her mom dead at the hands of Dexter operating the lifts. Charlee is suddenly the sole caretaker for her little brother while their world falls apart.

Dexter couldn’t be more different from Charlee. He’s tattooed, avoids exclusive relationships and his Dad has a fair share of illegal dealings. With Dexter’s reputation, almost everyone believes he planned the Mason’s skiing disaster.

And after all these years he’s still crushing on Charlee May, the girl who’s too good for him.

When this cruel twist of fate ties Charlee’s family and Dexter’s reputation together, Charlee and Dexter wonder if their feelings are reciprocated, while Dexter discovers his dad is trying to steal the May’s millionaire fortune.

But like an addiction, one look, one touch, one taste—they’re hooked no matter the consequences.

I have an addiction to Abbi Glines Books. Seriously. A-D-D-I-C-T-E-D. So I definitely will be reading Forever Too Far this summer as well.  Even though this blurb totally makes me nervous:

Rush promised her forever... but promises can be broken.

Torn between his love for his family and his love for Blaire, Rush has to find a way to save one without losing the other. In the end one has to be more important. Letting go isn’t easy.

Blaire believed in her fairytale... but no one can live in a fantasy.

Her love for Rush and desire to have a family keep her believing that they can find a way for this to work. Until she has to make the right decision for her and the baby. Even if it breaks her heart.

Can they find the forever that they both want or has it all just gone... too far?

And finally, another must read (and it's a little embarrassing that I haven't read it yet) before I go to Book Bash at the end of next month (per my best friend. She refuses to be seen with me if I haven't read it yet) is.........Sea of Tranquilty.

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.
Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

I'm sure I'll be adding more to the list as I finish these. After all, my Kindle is full of books that are just patiently waiting to be read. I swear, I need at least 10 more hours in my day!
So what about you? What are you reading this summer?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Iron Butterfly By Chanda Hahn

Iron Butterfly by Chandra Hahn. 
Firstly, this is the first book in a trilogy.  Book 2 is Steele Wolf and the third book is yet to be released, so I will review only Iron Butterfly and not the entire story.
Brief Summary
Thalia, was held in a torture prison, where the evil Septori performed medieval style torture on her.  It is unclear why or for how long until she escapes with the help of Kael, a worrier who fight the Septori guards and directs her to safety.  With no memories, Thalia is found by two Denai travelers on their way to the Denai capitol city of Haven where the younger of the two, Joss, is to be a student at the Denai School called the Citadel.
Thalia is brought before the Denai high council and found to be harmless and I put to work at the school.  A series of events leads her to become a student at the school and because of attacks against her from an unknown source, she begins combat training with the schools professors and eventually learns of her heritage. 
So many questions were raised in this book that were left unanswered.  Who are the Septori? Who are the Denai? Where and in what time does this story take place? Why was Thalia taken? Why is she so special? Who is Kael and why does she have this pull to him and why does he want her to hate him?
I understand that this is part one in a series, but as an author, you can’t leave so many questions unanswered and then open more in the last chapter-why does her family suddenly show up? Why do the Denai just let them take her? Why does her family clan hate the Denai so much? 
I was confused most of the book because I felt like I was already supposed to know the people who lived in this (unnamed) land.  I have no idea what everyone looks like and how Thalia is different from them physically (because it’s mentioned more than once that there are physical differences between Denai and other races). 
I felt that there wasn’t good flow throughout the story.  The author just told me what was happening instead of taking the time to create a story, setting the scene and showing me what was happening.  It was choppy and storylines seemed to be introduced out of convenience instead of necessity.  For example, Thalia had apparently been spending time in the stables with horses, but no mention was made of it until she had to meet Faraway the horse.  And then Faraway ends up being her guardian that she called upon, but then it’s not explained what a guardian is or why he was summoned, only that Thalia is the first person to call upon one in hundreds maybe thousands of years. 
This story is also written in the first person, but when new characters are introduced Thalia seems to know their names and who they are and what they do.  She also knows the names of buildings and places even though she has no memories and has never been to Haven before. 
Even with all the confusingness, I’m still drawn into this story.  I’m invested in Thalia and finding out who she really is and where she comes from, and what makes her so special.  I want to find out her relationship with Kael and Joss. 
I will continue to read the series and hopefully find out the answers to all the questions. 
Over all, it was well written, the ideas needed to be fleshed out a little, but the story is very intriguing and I can’t wait to continue with it.  

Thanks for reading!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Jennifer Phillips Russo's Message - Indie Author

If you follow my personal blog, you already know that Jennifer Phillips Russo came to my district this past month.  It was a great experience. But I wanted to share with you today is the story of her novel: The Dragon’s Birthmark.

She has three children and her son was struggling with identity and accepting his sisters, so Jennifer being a good mom, helped out. She began to write the her novel as a means to help her son. It did, but by then, the story had taken off. Her children encouraged her to publish and now the second one will come out this fall.  I thought this was a great story of how inspiration can be found when you are not looking for it and then once you have that inspiration how you can “run” with it.

Where do I find inspiration? I use the people in my life, sometimes my dogs. Sometimes an idea just pops in my head. Sometimes it’s a fantasy or daydream of my own (these ones tend to be easier to write, because I’m the main character (or what I would like myself to be) and the development is done. 

What about you? Where do you find inspiration?

Here is a blurb of Jennifer’s book:
Eleven year old boy, Giovani, feels smothered by three younger sisters and drowning in their Sea of Pink. Bored with ordinary life, his only escape is to journey into imaginary adventures, while longing for real companionship away from all things frilly. On his twelfth birthday, his eccentric Aunt bestowed upon him a mysterious gift that she thought he was finally old enough to handle; it changed his life forever. Immediately he was thrust into a curious world that has always been there in the shadows, protecting him, so that one day Giovani might help protect them. For over one thousand years, his bloodline has been part of an elite order that has fought against evil, and now, ready or not, it was his turn. His new reality full of adventures with dragons, elves, and magic await his arrival. Evil forces threaten his family’s existence and have already killed others. The Order needs his help. It is his birthright; his duty. How will he handle his newfound responsibility and quest? Will he rise to the challenge or sink back into the Ordinary?

What would be your message? 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Become a Dasher! Apply With In

Hi everyone!

We at Dash have been uber-busy with outside, non-book things. We know – it’s wrong, but sometimes the real world interferes with what we love the most. Someone put out a memo saying no more real-life distractions for book bloggers!

OK – so our point. We are wondering if any of you would like to be a Dasher. We are looking for someone who has the time to post once a week and will help promote. The topic of posting could be a consistent topic – like writing tips or whatever you read that week or feel like posting, as long as it has to do with YA in some way.

FYI – The three of us are in constant communication on facebook, twitter, and email. We are helpful to one another with editing, book suggestions, writing, support in general. We are looking for people who want to build this type of relationship with us. We help you. You help us. We are all successful!

 You can also fill out this form online. Let us know if you can't access it or if you have any other questions at: :)

We are looking forward to meeting you all! We are in the “market” for one to two Dashers, but if you are all awesome, we won’t say no to someone. We really want to build a community for YA. We have some great inspirations from other bloggers and have some big aspirations!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Dasher on the Block

We have a new Dasher!
Komal, Michelle and I have been so busy that we didn't feel like we were keeping up with the blog as often as we would have liked. After a few emails back and forth we decided to add on another Dasher and even include some Guest Bloggers from time to time (if you are interested in being a guest blogger, shoot us an email!

After we came to this decision, one of the first people I thought of was a friend of mine from High School. She is a very active reader and has been super supportive of my book as well was Komal's---that's just the kind of person we were looking for! Someone who not only loves to read and write herself but who is also willing offer up support for other authors!

I'd like all of you to meet her properly so I asked if I could interview her---Everyone please welcome our new Dasher, Heather Diemer!

Heather, since this is a book blog I have to ask the obvious question: What is your all-time favorite book?

This is hard! I've read so many great books.
I think its a tie between The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton and Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Here at A Dash of YA we definitely love YA but we tend to read a little bit of everything. Do you have a favorite genre to read?

My favorite genre to read is YA and NA. Occasionally I read Adult Contemporary.

Komal, Michelle and I discuss our book boyfriends pretty frequently. There are so many swoon-worthy characters out there! Who are your top 5 book boyfriends?

Noah (The Notebook)
Finn (Trylle Trilogy)
Jacob (Twilight-Team Jacob forever!)
Peter (My Blood Approves)
Lincoln (Falling for Hadie)

I've actually "met" every single one of those on your list! And I have to agree--I loved Peter way more than Jack in My Blood Approves. Especially after reading his novella. *sigh* I may have to re-read that series soon.

What do you like to do when you aren’t reading?
Writing! Playing outside with the kids, sewing, cooking.

What are you currently working on?
I'm currently working on a contemporary romance about a girl who rekindles an old flame, but he reminds her of her dark past. Will she follow the same path as before or can he save her from herself?

That sounds so good! You know who to call when you need a Beta Reader! *wink,wink*
Finally, describe yourself in 3 words:

Ambitious, giving, nurturing

Thanks Heather for taking the time to answer my questions and allowing our readers to get to know you a little bit. We are really excited to have you on board here at Dash!

Book Review: Suddenly Royal

Author: Nichole Chase
Released: April 23 2013
Genre: Romance

Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.

While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders

When I heard about this book I knew that I would like it. Modern day fairy tale? Count me in!
I started reading this while in the waiting room at the dentist office and I couldn't put it down until I finished it.
Suddenly Royal is a super sweet story, with a super swoonworthy lead male. I loved the main character. She was feisty, intelligent, and compassionate.  Her lines had me cracking me up throughout most of the story and Prince Alex left me feeling all giggly and such.  I'm pretty sure I had a smile plastered on my face throughout the entire story (well, minus what happened at the end. Even though it was expected, it was still pretty sad. However after the sad part was over, I was right back to smiling again)

I really loved the unfolding of the relationship. I kept waiting for the ball to drop but there wasn't any soap-opera-esque drama. On the contrary, the only "drama" in the relationship was a very real, believable, reluctance which I enjoyed immensely. It was a nice change of pace from the usual "main-character-has-a-deep-dark-secret-that-will-ruin-everything-only-it-never-really-does" story lines I've been reading lately. Not that I don't love those too! Suddenly Royal was just refreshingly different!

And holy cow when Alex was helping Samantha with her zipper......*swoon* That part earned the book 5 stars on it's own!

This was definitely a book that I will go back and re-read over and over again whenever I'm in the mood for a sweet romance with a real Prince Charming. Which will probably be pretty often. ;)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Feature and Follow

This weeks Feature and Follow! The question *drumroll please*

School is out! What is your favorite Summer Reading book?

Michelle: Sadly, I'm still in school until June 7 (but only because of maternity leave.) Up North, we don't get done until the last weeks of June. OK back on topic. - Favorite summer book - I have a go to - I love Unwind by Neal Shusterman. I can read and re-read, back to back and I love it. There a whispers of a movie! AHHHH! I also have a series that I have been reading - A Discovery of Witches - the third installment comes out soon and I am very much looking forward to getting back to that series. 

Erica: For years (I'd guess  from 2001-2008) I just re-read the Harry Potter series over and over again. Then it was Twilight (2008). then The Hunger Games (2008-2009). I just became so attached to those books that I never ventured out of my comfort zone. These days I try not to re-read my favorites (as often) because there are so many wonderful books out there still left to be read! The genre I generally prefer in the summer are romances. Especially summer romances! I just finished Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase and that, to me, is the perfect summer time read. Looking forward to reading Autumn Doughton's books and of course anything Abbi Glines, Richelle Mead or Jennifer Armentrout releases I'll be all over as well!

What's yours? 
Let us know and leave a link. One of the Dashers will stop by and follow... Maybe, you'll be lucky and get all three of us! :) 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Book Review: All We See and Seem by Tammy Blackwell

All We See and Seem
A Timber Wolves companion novella
(AKA 88 pages of awesomeness)


Jase Donovan always knew exactly what to expect from college: frat parties, coeds, and a spot on one of the most prestigious college basketball teams in the world. It was the life he was destined for... until his sister became the Alpha Pack's Most Wanted. Now he's playing a dangerous game of espionage and subterfuge with the most powerful Shifters and Seers in the world, and if he loses, his life won't be the only one on the line.
Talley Matthews has always been able to look on the sunshine-and-rainbows side of life, but it's getting harder and harder every day with the knowledge that one friend is on the run and another is barely clinging to life.
To complicate matters even more, after being pegged as an Alpha Pack Potential, she's having to fend off advances from Shifters who want to use her to gain a little power. The attention might be nice if her heart didn't already belong to someone else.

In this companion to the best-selling Timber Wolves trilogy, readers will finally discover the path Jase and Talley took to discovering their love for one another
I absolutely love Tammy Blackwell. Adore her! Her books are so wonderful. Her characters are always well written and I love the wit that oozes off the pages.
I was given this ARC in return for my honest review and well, my honest review is that this is such a deliciously sweet story.
We see in the final book of the Timber Wolves series that Talley and Jase are madly in love. I had a hunch they loved eachother in Time Mends but I don't think either of them knew at that point.
All We See and Seem shows how Talley and Jase finally became, well, Talley and Jase.

In AWSaS Talley FINALLY got to see inside Jase's head---Oh my goodness! It was amazing!
Jase just moved up on my Book Boyfriend list.

I have so many favorite lines but this one is particularly sweet:

“See, you’re in a different kind of hell. This one is known as a guy’s college dorm room where unknown funguses and germs abound. At least, that’s what my best friend tells me.”

Talley sat up. “I’m the one who has told you that. Repeatedly.”

“Isn’t that what I just said?”

Seriously, how adorable is Jase?
I <3 him.

Reading this novella makes me even more excited about the upcoming Shifters and Seers series!
Get busy writing Miss Tammy this fan is getting impatient! :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

As some of you may know- I am a huge Wendy Higgins fan. Like terribly huge. Like counted down the release of Sweet Peril after I read Sweet Evil, the first day it came out. So if you haven't read Sweet Evil, go get on it. Seriously - you're going to meet the lusty Kaiden Rowe and love him. 

On to my review! 

The novel picks up about 6 months after the first. Anna has half-heartedly embraced the substance abuse side of her. She has changed her reputation around from the sweet innocent of her high school to the full-fledged party girl, but after each party she wakes up the next morning scared to death she has ruined someone's life. The innocent that allows her to hold on to the hilt remains. 

Her dad, plays a bigger role in this novel, as the big gruff dad, but ultimately he's a great dad - Yeah - OK so he has a substance abuse problem. Her father sets Anna to go on, what I will call, missions. She travels the world completing her missions and working toward the ultimate goal and I mean ultimate. 

My gripe with this book: Kaiden is missing. I mean he appears for a few pages and then is gone.  I got frustrated because he's it for me. I want to see him be redeemed. I need to see his "colors" for Anna. But don't worry - half-way through Wendy comes through for me and delivers. Thank you Wendy! 

On a side note - I'm getting married in 113 days and my last name is going to be Rowe. I actually loved Kaiden so much - I tried to convince my fiance to put that name into our baby pool of names. He didn't go for it - but I haven't given up yet! 

What did you think of it? 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

On an Edge of Glass by Autumn Doughton

So I bought On an Edge of Glass by Autumn Doughton a couple of weeks ago but I haven't let myself read anything new this month because I'm trying to concentrate on writing the first draft of In the Shadows (Lark #2). So basically I've just been hoarding books lately! LOL

Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know that On an Edge of Glass is currently FREE!
It looks amazing and I can't wait to read it so I'm off to go get some work done so that I can finish and reward myself with this book. :)

Happy reading, ya'll!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Feature and Follow!

Feature and Follow!  This week is all about the mommas! Stop by, follow us, and one or all three of us will follow you back! If you are a mom - Happy Mother's Day!

Q: Happy Mother's Day! Who is your favorite mom from fiction?

Michelle: I had to think about this. I think a lot of the books I read are mother-less. But the one who stands out to me is Clary's mom, Jocelyn. I think she's awesome because she is a consistent mother with all the good mother qualities, she was willing to give up a life to protect her child, and let's face it, she can be a bad ass when she needs to be. 

Erica: Ooh! This was tough! So often in YA parents aren't exactly front and center so they kind of get forgotten after I finish reading a book. This isn't always the case. I mean, I remember Hadie's mom from Falling for Hadie and Brenna Blixen's mom was pretty cool too. And Katy's mom from the Lux series seems nice but since I have to pick a favorite, I think I'll go with Natalie Prior from Divergent. Apparently Michelle and I like good moms with a steak of bad ass. LOL

Ashley Judd will be playing Natalie in the upcoming Divergent movie

What about you? Who was your favorite mom? 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cover Reveal: Losing Francesca by J.A. Huss

I'm so excited to share the cover reveal of J.A. Huss' new book with you guys! Losing Francesca looks like a must-read and the cover is gorgeous!

Francesca Sabatini came to America to take in the sights, celebrate her high school graduation, and have fun wasting time before college starts in the fall.

That’s not what happens.

Fresh off the plane and barely on American soil more than a handful of minutes, Francesca’s face is recognized by TSA scanners to be a match for a child who was kidnapped twelve years ago.

Brody Mason remembers the day Fiona Sullivan went missing during a family vacation in Italy and it’s haunted him his whole life. So when Francesca shows up at the Sullivan farm down the road, he’s compelled to figure out if this girl really is his long lost friend.

But Francesca knows she’s not Fiona Sullivan. She knows exactly who she is. At least she thinks she knows – until Brody Mason relentlessly pursues her and she begins to have feelings for him. Maybe being Fiona isn’t so bad?

Reality becomes blurred, secrets are revealed, and life will never be the same when the final questions are answered: Is she Francesca or Fiona? And where does she really belong?

Add Losing Francesca on Goodreads!