Release Day Launch: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout!

I am so excited to be participating in the Release Day Launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout’s White Hot Kiss!

*On a side note, I totally had this set to go live this morning and that obviously didn’t happen. But as they say, better late than never!*

*On another side note, I am so freaking excited for this book! I have heard absolutely AMAZING things about this book!*

White Hot Kiss

Title: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Release Date: TODAY!! (2/25/2014)

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

SNEAK PEEK:

“I don’t think of Zayne that way!”

She laughed. “What man-parts-loving female in this world doesn’t think of Zayne that way? I can barely keep myself breathing when I see him. All the guys in school have squishy waists. I can tell Zayne doesn’t. He’s the awesome sauce with extra sauce.”

That he was and he so didn’t have a squishy waist, but I tuned Stacey out at that point. I really did need to cram for this test and I also didn’t want my fantasies involving Zayne to occupy my mind right now. Especially after I’d woken up this morning, carefully tucked under the covers. The bed had smelled like him: sandalwood and crisp linen.

“Oh, sweet baby Jesus in a manger,” Stacey murmured.

I clenched my jaw, cupping my hands over my ears.

She jabbed me in the side with her elbow. At this rate I’d be covered in bruises before lunchtime. “Our bio class just got a billion times more interesting. And hotter, lots and lots hotter. Holy mother, I want to have his babies. Not now of course, but definitely later. But I’d like to start practicing soon.”

The cell wall is a thick and rigid layer covering the plasma something, something plant cells…

Stacey stiffened all of a sudden. “Oh my God, he’s coming—”

Composed of fat and sugar—

Something slender and shiny fell from who knew where, landing in the middle of Sam’s notes. Blinking tightly, it took me a couple of seconds to recognize the faded and half peeled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sticker covering the back of the silver cell phone.

My heart slammed against my ribs. Gripping the edges of the notebook, I slowly lifted my gaze. Unnaturally beautiful golden eyes met mine.

“You forgot this last night.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jennifer L. Armentrout

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads

WHERE TO FIND THE BOOK:

Series Website // Goodreads // Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Kobo // iTunes

GIVEAWAY:

Now that you have a taste for this fabulous new series, here are the details for the AMAZING international giveaway!!! Harlequin Teen is giving away a large Harlequin Teen Tote.

Tote Includes:

Harlequin TEEN branded tote

The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa (trade)

Pawn by Aimee Carter (hard cover)

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry (hard cover)

Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter (hard cover)

2 copies of White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

1 pair of black harlequin branded socks (they are so comfy!)

Click here to enter the giveaway!!

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Tune In Tuesday (145)

Tune In Tuesday Love Song Edition Part 2

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature in which bloggers get to showcase another one of their loves, music! This feature was originally created by Ginger over at GReads! but you can now find it here at Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands. If you would like to participate in this weekly feature, make a blog post showcasing a song (or a few!) and link up at the bottom of this post by clicking the cute blue guy! While you’re here make sure to check out all the other awesome blogs that have decided to participate!

How is the month of February almost over with!?! It feels like Love Song Edition just started and here we are at the end of another fun themed month. I had fun picking out and listening to new love songs and I hope you all have enjoyed it too! Don’t forget that next month we will return to our normal, random, and awesome song-sharing selves but then once April hits, we will have another great theme to do!

Have a great Tuesday everyone and happy listening!

I Like to Be With Me When I’m With You by Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors

This song is adorable. I love the lyrics and the message behind them; to be with someone you can be yourself around.

You My Love by Marcus Foster

How have I never featured Marcus on Tune In Tuesday before? I just love, love, love his voice and this song is so sweet.

Cowboys and Angels by Dustin Lynch

I couldn’t go this whole special edition without a little country. As you guys probably know by now, country music was a HUGE part of my childhood and I love turning to it now that I am an adult. This song in particular is a newer favorite. I saw Dustin in concert a few nights ago and it was just as beautiful and touching live.

Love Is War by American Young

Okay, maybe the title of this song doesn’t scream “FEATURE ME ON LOVE SONG EDITION” but once you listen to the lyrics, it all makes sense. I promise!

Ends of the Earth by Lord Huron

I featured these guys a while back but I am not done sharing their awesomeness. This song to me is absolutely beautiful in every single way. When I hear it, it gets stuck in my head for days and days and days and days.

Giveaway: I Want To Hold Your Hand by Stephanie Blackburn

I Want To Hold Your Hand

Title: I Want To Hold Your Hand

Author: Stephanie Blackburn

On a frigid February night in New Hampshire the car Penny is riding in loses control and crashes passenger-side first into a tree. When she wakes up the next morning she can’t understand why her mother and sister are ignoring her, until she accidentally sticks her hand through her mother and remembers the night before.

A town away, Will is going about his senior year of high school on autopilot. He can’t work up the courage to tell his overbearing father that he doesn’t want to go to Boston College and study Business, his ex-girlfriend doesn’t understand the concept of being broken up, and he’s tired of feeling like his life is all an act.

Thinking she’s dead and wishing for a respite from her family’s grief, Penny is drawn to a house party where she meets Will, who miraculously can see her though no one else can. In the off-limits living room at the back of the house, with music thumping and their peers making fools of themselves nearby, Penny and Will begin a relationship that will make both of them question the decisions that have brought them to where they are and force them to jointly take a leap of faith.

Hi there everyone! I have an awesome giveaway for you here today so I hope you are all sorts of excited for it! YA author Stephanie Blackburn is oh so graciously offering up 3 prizes today. Two runner-ups will receive an e-copy of her book I Want To Hold Your Hand (International) and since the book takes place in New England, one grand prize winner will win a “New England Winter Essentials” gift basket that includes a signed copy of the book (US only)!! See, I told you it was awesome!! Now be sure to click the link below that will lead you to the Rafflecopter form and also make sure to check out all the places you can find Stephanie and her book at the bottom of this post! Thanks in advance for participating!

(Giveaway runs from today, 2/23 until 3/3 at 12:00 A.M.)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Stephanie Blackburn grew up in a small town outside of Boston where she spent a good deal of time daydreaming about adventures. She spent her childhood shuffling between soccer practices, dance classes, horseback riding, and clarinet lessons. It wasn’t until high school when she took a writing class that she realized her passion and decided to pursue it.

While home on summer vacation from college Stephanie was bored with reading romance novels and decided to write her own. In the process of writing she realized that the relationships, both romantic and non, were really the essence of the book and it wasn’t simply about a teenage romance any longer. College got in the way of the book’s completion and it wasn’t until after graduation from Ithaca College Stephanie finished Summer At Nineteen.

She currently resides in Boston with her two cats, Bug and Beans.

Website // Goodreads // Twitter // Facebook

WHERE TO FIND THE BOOK:

Goodreads // Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Smashwords

Blog Tour + Book Review + Giveaway: I See London by Chanel Cleeton

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I See London

Title: I See London (I See London #1)

Author: Chanel Cleeton

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Source: I received this book in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review

Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change— and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for.

When Maggie meets Hugh, a twentysomething British guy, she finds herself living the life she always wanted. Suddenly she’s riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can’t seem to keep her hands off of.

Half French, half Lebanese, and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn’t do relationships. He’s the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted…and he’s everything she can’t resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.

I See London by Chanel Cleeton is a fantastic example of a well-written New Adult book. It had all the parts I like best about NA; the well, new adult characters, a bit of romance, and a whole lot of self discovery. Becoming an adult is a scary thing that includes growing up, making decisions, and making even more mistakes. All of the characters, not just the main character, in this book were facing their newly found adulthood and all in different ways. I loved feeling like I was a part of this group of friends as they embraced the good and the bad parts of growing up while living in London.

The main character, Maggie was enjoyable yes, but what I liked about her was the fact that she was incredibly normal. I don’t mean any of this in a bad way but she wasn’t extraordinary, or at least in the beginning; she was an average girl from an average town in the U.S. She had a few friends from high school but never really fit in there. Her home life was good but her mother left and her father was never around leaving her grandparents to care for her. She went to school, worked hard to get good grades but really that was about it. Whether it was intentional or not, Maggie being this normal, typical girl, made this story totally work for me. Even though there was nothing super duper extra special about her, she still got the chance to travel all the way to London to go to school, she was able to go on these fun, exotic trips, meet people from all over the world, and experience all sorts of awesome things. It made me believe that me or my friend, my sister, or really any other normal girl out there could experience something like Maggie’s story too. I especially loved watching Maggie blossom throughout this book. She starts off so quiet and shy but with the help of her new friends, she soon learns to come out of her shell.

Maggie’s experience was a whirlwind, one I am still trying to wrap my head around. She got to explore London on her free time, she was able to travel to Venice and Paris, she partied in hot new night clubs. and hung out with people from Lebanon, Paris, and Nigeria. To say I was a little jealous of her is a bit of an understatement. I loved this aspect of the story because through Chanel’s writing, I felt like I was right there with her characters. The imagery was beautiful and even though I have never been to these exciting places outside of my dreams, I truly felt like I was there.

I absolutely adored the characters we met throughout the book. All of Maggie’s friends are coming from different walks of life. Fleur is this stuck-up, beautiful rich girl. But the more you get to know her, the more you learn she is really a great friend once she lets you in. Mya is funny and supportive but underneath the brave face, she is struggling through parental issues. And Samir, well where to even begin with him. Maggie says a few times in the book that he is hard to figure out and honestly, that couldn’t be more accurate. On the outside he is this hot, rich player but as him and Maggie slowly get closer, the more you see that there is more to Samir than his sly grin and effortless shrug. Maggie and all of her friends couldn’t be more different from one another but I appreciated and grew to love them

It wouldn’t be a story about a girl figuring herself out in a new, exciting city without a little romance, right? Maggie and Samir have an attraction to one another from their very first meeting but it is an attraction that Maggie tries to fight with all that she has. Despite her best efforts though, Maggie and Samir always seem to find a way to each other time and time again. Samir makes a pass at Maggie, Maggie gets embarrassed and/or angry, she says something sassy to him, he counters back, there may or may not be kissing involved. Rinse, wash, repeat. The banter and back and forth between these two was so much fun and it had me wishing for more of it. While I loved that their relationship was filled with fun moments, there were a lot of hard moments too. They both are fantastic at pushing one another away, they both know how to push buttons, and they both know when to walk away from something truly great. Despite all of this though, I absolutely adored that they didn’t have a picture perfect relationship. It, pretty much like everything else about this book, seemed very real to me.

I See London by Chanel Cleeton was an adventure of a book. The setting was brilliantly written and it made me feel like I was the one taking classes in London and vacationing in places like Paris for spring break. The relationships and friendships that were created between the well-developed characters were very realistic and Chanel wrote it in a way that made me feel like I was part of their little group too. This book was definitely an enjoyable read and I cannot wait to see where the next book takes Maggie, Samir, and all of their friends!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chanel Cleeton

Originally a Florida girl, at seventeen Chanel moved to London to attend an international university.  In the four years that followed, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, learned how to dance, travelled through Europe, and made lifelong friendships.  Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever.  But fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise, when an American fighter pilot with smooth dance moves, swept her off her feet.

Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in South Korea.  An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she is happiest curled up with a book.  She has a weakness for handbags, puppy cuddles, and her fighter pilot husband.  Chanel writes New Adult contemporary romances and Young Adult thrillers.  Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON, will be released by Harlequin (HQN) on February 3, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, later in the year.

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

WHERE TO FIND THE BOOK:

Goodreads // Amazon // Barnes & Noble // iTunes

GIVEAWAY:

Make sure to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card and an I See London inspired necklace!

Click here to enter the giveaway!

HOSTED BY:

Inkslinger Button

Blog Tour + Book Playlist + Giveaway: Embrace February Titles

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I am so excited to be bringing you lots of Embrace fun today! In Bloom by Katie Delahanty and Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros are two of the newest releases from the Entangled imprint and they are certainly ones I am super pumped to read! I am going to be sharing all about both books today AND a super special book playlist from Full Measures. There also happens to be an incredible giveaway at the bottom of this post. I hope you enjoy!

IN BLOOM

In Bloom

Title: In Bloom (The Brightside #1)

Author: Katie Delahanty

Publisher: Entangled Embrace

My name is Olivia Bloom and I. Am. Free.

I left for LA with everything I owned piled into my old Volkswagen and dreams of becoming a costume designer. Little did I know I’d wind up designing for a lingerie company—yeah, not sure how I landed this gig—and taken under the wing of two young Hollywood insiders. The fashion shows and parties were great, but life really got exciting when the seriously hottest lead singer of my favorite band started to fall for me.

How does someone like me, an ordinary girl from Pittsburgh, wind up in the arms of the world’s sexiest rock star—surrounded by celebrities, fashion, and music—and not be eaten alive? Berkeley is everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, but the paparazzi, the tabloids, the rumors, it’s all getting a bit too crazy. My life has become every girl’s dream come true, if only I don’t blink and lose it all…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katie Delahanty

Katie Delahanty is a fashion designer turned novelist. She holds a BA in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Professional Designation in Fashion Design from FIDM. It never occurred to her that she was a writer until an economic-crisis-induced career shift from lingerie designer to e-commerce webmistress led her to start the company blog. Not being an expert in lingerie, she decided to write the blog as a fictional serial starring a girl named Olivia Bloom who worked for the lingerie line. And that’s when Katie fell in love with storytelling. She hasn’t looked back since. Katie lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads

WHERE TO FIND THE BOOK:

Goodreads // Amazon // Barnes & Noble

FULL MEASURES

Full Measures

Title: Full Measures

Author: Rebecca Yarros

Publisher: Entangled Embrace

Three knocks can change everything…

“She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead.”

Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart.

Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction.

Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.

BOOK PLAYLIST:

Rebecca has put together and awesome book playlist/mini guest post for all of you today! Sit back, take a listen, and bask in the musical awesomeness!

I’m so excited to share the playlist for IN BLOOM! Back when In Bloom was being told in blog format I tried to include music as often as possible to showcase bands I loved and the music that was inspiring the story. In the final novel all of Berkeley & the Brightside’s lyrics are taken from songs by the Remainers (to listen to the music in the story check them out on iTunes!), but the original playlist was:

1. “Gonna Get Over You” by Sara Bareilles

” And I’m not the girl that I intend to be, I dare you darling, just you wait and see, But this time not for you but just for me, And I say, Ooh, how’m I gonna get over you? I’ll be alright, just not tonight…”

2. “Come Back Home” by Two Door Cinema Club

“So now you’re on your own….won’t you come back home…..to see you’re not that kind… and find the strength to find another way.”

3. “Rich Girl” performed by The Bird and the Bee

“So far gone, on your own, but you can get along if you try to be strong, but you’ll never be strong…Oh you’re a rich girl, and you’ve gone too far, but you know it doesn’t matter anyway, Cause there’s too much to give, cause you’d rather live for the thrill of it all…”

4. “When You Need Me” by The Remainers

“You’ve got to give me a break, I’ve got my own smile to fake, Got enough on my plate, Without the lines you want to feed me”

5. “Fader” by The Temper Trap

“And the sweet, sweet sun’s comin’ down, Hard, the sun’s comin’ down, Hard, it burns the bones, So hold a hand for cover, Hold a hand for cover, Hold a hand for cover from harm…”

6. “House” by The Remainers

“I don’t know how else to tell you, there ain’t no other way ‘round, only one road I’ll be driving down, If you want you can come, I don’t know if you’ll have much fun, but at least you’ll get yourself out of the house.”

7. “Delta Boy Blues” by Badly Drawn Boy

(instrumental)

8. “Impossible” by Anberlin

“You make my teeth clinch and my hands shake, do you ever see what you do to me? You’re wearing me out, just wearing me out…”

9. “How” by Maroon 5

“I’m asking for your help, I am going through hell, afraid nothing can save me but the sound of your voice, you cut out all the noise, and now that I can see mistakes so clearly now, I’d kill if I could take you back…”

10. “If You Go” by Javier Dunn

“I said goodbye to your face, knowing I could never really feel that way… If you go, please don’t write, please don’t call ‘cause your voice will make me cry, nothing good in this goodbye, so let me go on without you…”

11. “Not So California” by Dawn McCoy & Chris Richards

“All of these dreams beneath the stars—I guess they never needed us—Maybe we’re not so California, after all”

12. “Houdini” by Foster the People

“Got shackles on my wings on tight, Beggin’ makin compromise, Fast enough it’s hard to hide, Sometimes I want to disappear”

13. “Magic” by B.O.B feat. Rivers Cuomo

“I’ve got the magic in me

Everytime I touch that track it turns into gold

Everybody knows I’ve got the magic in me…”

14. “Only the Young” by Brandon Flowers

“Look back in silence

The cradle of your whole life

There in the distance

Losing its greatest pride

Nothing is easy, nothing is sacred, why?

Tonight, baby, you can start again

Laughing in the open air

Have yourself another dream

Tonight, baby, we can start again”

15. “Skip the Charades” by The Cold War Kids

“Drinks after dinner—your friends will get you to unwind—let’s skip the charades—can’t we just speak plain? You’re seeing right through me anyway…”

16. “Howlin For You” by The Black Keys

“I must admit, I can’t explain, any of these thoughts racing through my brain, it’s true, but baby I’m howlin’ for you…”

17. “Puzzle Pieces” by Saint Motel

“(I gotta say) Honestly, when you look at me, it’s like a gun goes off, deep inside of me. I can hardly move, I can barely breathe, near your features.”

18. “Under Cover of Darkness” by The Strokes

“Get dressed, jump out of bed, you do it best, are you OK?—I’ve been all around this town, everyone’s singing the same song for ten years—I’ll wait for you, will you wait for me too?…so long my friend”

19. “Tighter” by Fitz and the Tantrums

“Cause I was blind, I let you drift away. I didn’t give you enough to stay, so you made up my mind, and you walked away. And why didn’t I, hold you tighter and tighter, when I could do no wrong…”

20. “Holding Out” by The Remainers

“No one knows you like I know you now, No one needs you like I need you now, and no one loves you like I love you now…but I’m holding out…”

21. “Don’t Say Oh Well” by Grouplove

“So do you got that sweet devotion?  Oh, will you follow your heart’s plan?…’Aint it enough to find the truth, the pain again then say oh well, don’t say oh well, don’t say oh well…”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rebecca Yarros

Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and lover of all things chocolate, coffee, and Paleo. In addition to being a mom, military wife, and blogger, she can never choose between Young Adult and New Adult fiction, so she writes both. She’s a graduate of Troy University, where she studied European history and English, but still holds out hope for an acceptance letter to Hogwarts. Her blog, The Only Girl Among Boys, has been voted the Top Military Mom Blog the last two years, and celebrates the complex issues surrounding the military life she adores.

When she’s not writing, she’s tying on hockey skates for her kids, or sneaking in some guitar time. She is madly in love with her army-aviator husband of eleven years, and they’re currently stationed in Upstate NY with their gaggle of rambunctious kiddos and snoring English Bulldog, but she would always rather be home in Colorado.

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads

WHERE TO FIND THE BOOK:

Goodreads // Amazon // Barnes & Noble

GIVEAWAY:

From Katie Delahanty, author of In Bloom:

One gift basket with the following in it (US and Canada only):

$75 gift certificate to www.InBloomIntimates.com

$25 Amazon gift card

The Remainers Formal Fridays CD

Pink Champagne Cupcake Bath Bomb from www.soapybliss.com

Peach & Coconut Milk Push Up Lotion Pop from www.soapybliss.com

Berry Buttercream Soy Candle from www.JaquaBathandBody.com

Sees milk chocolate foil hearts

Autographed copies of STARSTRUCK and LOVE ME from author Rachel Shukert

Plus, $25 international gift certificate to either Amazon or B&N

From Rebecca Yarros, author of Full Measures

US and Canada only- A Kindle e-reader

Plus, $25 international gift certificate to either Amazon or B&N

Click here to enter the giveaway!

HOSTED BY:

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Blog Tour + Book Review + Giveaway: The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

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The Deep End of the Sea

Title: The Deep End of the Sea

Author: Heather Lyons

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Source: I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review as part of this blog tour

What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.

But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.

This book was such a fascinating, beautiful story that includes a unique twist on Greek Mythology, a love story that made me swoon more than I should probably admit to, and a girl’s quest to overcome the crappy hands that life keeps dealing her.

Medusa, or at least the version of Medusa in this story, was a character I loved from the very first few pages. As the story went on, she changed from not only a character that I loved, but also a character that I was rooting for and learned to appreciate more and more. At the beginning, she is this scared, lonely girl who was forced into a wretched life on an isolated island. The only rumor that proves to be true concerning Medusa is her hideous appearance and eyes that can turn people to stone. Otherwise she is a caring, sweet, compassionate person. She lets only two people into her life not because she prefers to be alone but because she worries for their safety in her presence. The first of her friends is Mikkos, an old sailor who happens to be blind and therefore immune to Medusa’s curse. The other is Hermes, you know THE GREEK GOD HERMES, who becomes Medusa’s closest friend after years and years (and by “years and years” I do in fact mean “thousands”) of slowly chipping down the wall Medusa has built around herself.

It is within these first few chapters of the book, the chapters in which we are introduced to the real Medusa, not the one of myths and legends, and meet the few people she lets into her life, that I first fell hard for this story and for Heather’s writing. I knew early on that I would adore any outcome of this story because it was already so different from any other Greek retelling I have ever heard about before. Mix that with the manner in which Heather tells this story and you have something that is just beautiful and incredibly unique.

While I loved meeting Medusa and reading about her friendship between Mikkos and Hermes, this story doesn’t really begin until Hermes petitions for the reversal of Medusa’s curse. From that moment on, the book was an emotional roller coaster for sure, but an emotional roller coaster I would not change a single second of. Medusa goes from what she considers herself as, a monster, to a practically normal girl. She goes from a person totally closed off from the rest of the world to a girl surrounded by not only people, but Gods and Goddesses! This transition and all of the changes that Medusa goes through cause an onslaught of emotions which I thought were written and handled very realistically, or I guess as realistic as you can get in a Greek mythology retelling. She has struggles, moments of intense feelings of grief and confusion, moments where she wishes she were alone on her island again. But then there are moments where she opens up a little more, lets more and more people in, and then finally begins to embrace this second chance she was given.

During this transition period for Medusa, we are introduced to several characters that you thought you know about before. For instance, Hades and Persephone. Did you know that they enjoy throwing parties (okay, this one mostly belongs to Persephone), know each others coffee preferences, and how to make each other smile on a regular basis? And what about Aphrodite? Did you know she enjoys shopping, is the kindest person you could ever meet, and is incredibly loyal to those she cares about? We also get to see a whole lot more of Hermes and oh my, that God is as dreamy as you can imagine a Greek God being. He is fiercely loyal and protective of Medusa, he cares for her whether she is half reptile or totally normal, and he can be this mix of understanding, totally goofy, and super sweet. This twist that Heather puts on these Greek Gods and Goddesses is so much different from the stories already out there and I love The Deep End of the Sea even more for it.

It wouldn’t be a story about Greek Gods and Goddesses without a little bit of romance, now would it? I am going to start off by saying that the romance in this story is my ultimate favorite kind of romance. It is one of those romances that start off as friendship. Learning each others like and dislikes, knowing one another inside and out, being supportive and kind when the other needs it most. And then that friendship oh so slowly and delicately blossoms into something more. It blossoms and blooms and causes all the feels because you want it so bad and saw it coming from a mile away but were excited beyond words for it anyways. Yes, this book includes this kind of romance and no I am not going to spill the beans on just who it is but rest assured, you will fall in love, you will swoon, and you will root for this couple just as much as I did.

If I were to list out the reasons why I loved this book, we would be here all day long. And as much as I love your company, I am sure you don’t have the time for that. So because of that, let me be short, sweet, and to the point: this book is brilliant. Heather’s writing is beautiful, the story she crafted is unique in all of the best ways, and the journey Medusa takes from page one until the very end, is a journey you will not want to stop reading.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Heather Lyons

Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

Website // Goodreads // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest

WHERE TO FIND THE BOOK:

Goodreads // Amazon // Barnes & Noble

GIVEAWAY:

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Cover Reveal + Sneak Peek + Giveaway: Deep Surrendering by Chelsea M. Cameron

Title: Deep Surrendering (Episode 1)

Author: Chelsea M. Cameron

Release Date: March 20th

She’s all about rules. He lives by none but his own. When these two meet, the results could be disastrous.

When Marisol Everly’s friend Rory sets her up with Fin Herald, Marisol doesn’t expect that it will amount to anything, but that was before she saw Fin’s searing blue eyes and mischievous smile. Not to mention, he seems absolutely fascinated by her mundane life. He’s everything that a girl could want, but there’s something else that ripples under the surface of his flirty behavior. Something darker. Something that fascinates Marisol, but scares her at the same time. Is she willing to risk falling into an abyss she might not get out of?

Today is a super special day because not only is it a cover reveal but it is also a new project reveal for Chelsea M. Cameron! Her super secret project has been kept on the down low for some time now so I am super excited to be able to share it with you today!

Each month Chelsea will be releasing a series of contemporary adult novellas set in the world of her Surrender series! How awesome is that!?!? And do you know what makes it even more awesome? You will be seeing a new one every month! If you are a fan of her Surrender series or even if you are new to her books, this is an awesome opportunity to delve deeper into the world that she’s created!

Now that I’ve got part one of the exciting news out of the way, let’s get on to part two, the cover!

Deep Surrendering

So what do you think? I LOVE that it is unique in its own way but at the same time it just goes with the other covers from the Surrender series. I’m just OCD like that.

And because Chelsea wanted to make this series reveal even more awesome, she has put together a very teasing teaser for you today as well as a giveaway (which you can find at the bottom of this post!). Enjoy!

SNEAK PEEK:

“So what are you going to do about it?” He pulled me closer as we barreled through the streets.

“I’m going to pay attention to the things that matter. Like this.” His hand went under my chin and pulled my face up. “I’m going to pay attention to you, and the way the sun catches the darker streaks in your hair, the pink in your cheeks and your beautiful eyes. That’s what I’m going to pay attention to right here, right now.”

I nearly melted off my seat.

“But you don’t even know me,” I said. This was too much, too fast. Even though I’d been hearing about him from Rory, I still didn’t really know what mattered. The important things. Life was all about the little details.

Like if he was a morning person, what his favorite breakfast cereal was, what song did he always get stuck in his head, how was his relationship with his mother.

He shrugged one shoulder and pulled my face closer.

“I know that right now I’m paying very close attention to your lips and I’d like to pay even closer attention to them…” I turned my head at the last moment, so he missed and got my cheek.

“I’m sorry,” I said, hoping he wouldn’t hate me. “I have a no kiss on the first date rule.” It sounded even worse out loud. I sounded like some sort of stick-up-her-ass prude.

“No kiss on the first date?” Fin said, turning his head to the side as if he was fascinated by me.

“Is that a problem?” God, I hoped not.

He grinned at me and flicked my hair over my shoulder.

“Not at all.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chelsea M. Cameron

Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world’s worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman). She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Her New Adult Contemporary Romance titles include My Favorite Mistake, which has been bought by Harlequin along with a sequel, Deeper We Fall and Faster We Burn (April 20, 2013)

Her Young Adult books include Nocturnal, Nightmare and Neither, the first three books in The Noctalis Chronicles. The fourth and final book, Neverend will be out in 2013. Whisper, the first in The Whisper Trilogy is also available, with the second book in the series, Silence and the final book, Listen coming out in 2014.

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads

Add DEEP SURRENDERING on Goodreads

GIVEAWAY:

Enter for a chance to win one of two $25 Amazon gift cards by clicking the link and filling out the form below!

Click here to enter the giveaway!

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