Monthly wrap-up: February

February is a tough month every year. That's probably why it's short, but then, being short is part of the problem. Lose-lose. I've had some setbacks and frustrations this month in every aspect of my life, and that sent me spinning. To be very honest with you, I have depression so there were days when I didn't know if I could push myself out of bed at all, let alone read and blog and work and function like a human being. My trip was utterly restorative, however, and I had a blast meeting authors and bloggers and readers in several cities across three states. I've got a couple of really amazing pieces of news coming very soon, and I can't wait to share them with you.


And that's part of what makes March so exciting and also part of my super awesome upcoming news!

Looking back...
List of February reads

Jodi Lynn Anderson - Tiger Lily
Elizabeth Eulberg - Better Off Friends
Abbi Glines - Take a Chance (Rosemary Beach #6)
John Green & David Levithan - Will Grayson, Will Grayson audiobook
Sophie Jordan - Uninvited (Uninvited #1)
Richelle Mead - Shadow Kiss graphic novel
Megan Miranda - Hysteria
Sarah Ockler - #scandal
Veronica Rossi - Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) audiobook
Rainbow Rowell - Eleanor & Park audiobook
Leila Sales - This Song Will Save Your Life
Philip Siegel - The Break-Up Artist (Break-Up Artist #1)
Jennifer E. Smith - The Geography of You and Me
Courtney C. Stevens - Faking Normal
Kasie West - On the Fence
Kiersten White - Perfect Lies (Mind Games #2)

Looking ahead...
March releases I'm excited about:
Let the Storm Break - Shannon Messenger: 4th
The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski: 4th
Nil - Lynne Matson: 4th
Side Effects May Vary - Julie Murphy: 18th


March TBR:
February was short and I had a lot of events with books to read so I only got to two of the four books I had earmarked in my January wrap-up
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart
The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton

Also, I want to get to these:
Open Road Summer - Emery Lord
The Treatment - Suzanne Young
The Taking - Kimberly Derting
After the End - Amy Plum

Resolution Progress:
You can check out my full resolution post HERE, but I'm just going to gloss over these really quickly.
1. Post more reviews: I posted 6 reviews this month, which is the same as January. Better than almost any month in 2013, but still fewer than I'd like. Part of it was the short month and my weeklong break, but I really want to be a better reviewer.
2. Create a backlist for schedule-able reviews: Nope nope nope. Will it ever happen? Let's hope March is kinder!
3. Read 150 books: Still doing well, I'm at 33 right now with a couple more sure to be finished by March 2, but this is not a resolution I'm worried about. I can hit 150 so easily in a year.
4. Reread 20 books: Still going strong! 9 down!
5. Listen to 20 audiobooks: Again, doing well on this one. I'm having trouble finding new audiobooks in my library so please give me some suggestions. Part of the problem is the library has a lot of book 1 and 2, but they're missing some series enders, and that makes me not want to pick them up until I can binge-listen.
6. Read 5 classics: Didn't work, but The Outsiders is one of the first books on tap for March.
7. Blog redesign: This is still a resolution I'm going to have to wait for, but it's well worth it.
8. Make more blogger friends: YES! Working! I actually met several bloggers in the flesh this month, which was SUPER COOL, and I've struck up conversations with many people I've never talked to before.
9. Read at the gym: I'm failing miserably at this. Short month. Weeklong travel. Long work hours.
10. Be more organized: Also failing miserably. I left my blog notebook at my grandmother's house while on my trip. It's like being without my brain. Also, I brought so many books back that I'm seriously cramped for space at the moment. Today, I went on a cleaning binge so things look a bit nicer. I just have a lot more work to do in this particular arena.

Challenge Progress:
I signed up for a LOT of challenges this year. I wondered if I was crazy or suddenly decided I liked masochism, but so far, it's going really well. The good thing is that some of my books count for multiple challenges, which is really helpful. You can check out the full details of my challenges HERE or track my progress in the challenges tab at the top, but here's a quick rundown on where I am today:

2014 New Challenges:
Standalone Challenge: 4/15 (and working on #5 right now!)
Series Challenge: 9/12. There's not an option to increase this goal so this is pretty crazy. I'm already 75% finished!
Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge: 12/25. I'm doing great with the reading, now I need to make sure to catch up with the reviews!
Real Book Challenge: 13 of 21-30
Jumble Your Genres Challenge: 2/12
TBR Pile Challenge: 15 of 11-20. Need to update my goal on this one because I'm about to pass the reach goal!
A-Z Challenge: 4/26

Challenges already in progress:
50 State Challenge: 32/52
50 Countries Challenge: 18/50
YA Challenge: 4/25

Cover Reveal: Rush Too Far

It's here! It's finally here! I know you Rushaholics have been aching for this cover for months, ever since Abbi promised it during the Crush Tournament so I won't distract you for long. Make sure you keep scrolling, though, to find out how you can win this tattooed hunk of muscled man for your very own!

 
Rush Too Far
Too Far/Rosemary Beach #1.1 
by Abbi Glines
May 6, 2014
Atria Books

 

Summary:
Everyone in Rosemary Beach thinks they know how Rush Finlay and Blaire Wynn fell in love. But Rush is back to tell his side of the story...

Rush has earned every bit of his bad-boy reputation. The three-story beach house, luxury car, and line of girls begging for time between his sheets are the envy of every guy in Rosemary Beach, and Rush handles it all with the laid-back cool of a rock star’s son. All he needs are his best friend, Grant, and his sister, Nan.

Until Blaire Wynn drives into town in her beat-up pickup truck with a pistol under her seat. The Alabama farm girl instantly captures Rush’s attention once he discovers that the angelic beauty is his new stepsister, but he vows to keep his distance. Even if she needs his help. Even if he craves her.

Because Rush knows why Blaire is all alone in the world, forced to ask for help from the father who abandoned her three years ago. And he knows if he gets too close it will destroy Nan, who has a secret connection to Blaire.

He has every reason in the world to stay away from her. Find out why he doesn’t.


Pre-Order Links:

The series starts with Blaire's side of the story! Check out the entire Rosemary Beach Collection!
Pub Date: January 20, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: new adult contemporary romance 
Summary: The Rosemary Beach Collection brings together Fallen Too Far, Never Too Far, and Forever Too Far, three sensational new adult novels by #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines. 

Fallen Too Far: A story of summer love in the coastal resort town of Rosemary Beach, tough Alabama farm girl Blaire Wynn can’t resist gorgeous but spoiled stepbrother Rush Finlay, but she doesn’t know he has a secret that could destroy her entire world. 

Never Too Far: Continuing the gripping romance of Fallen Too Far, Blaire is crushed by Rush’s shattering revelation and moves back to Alabama, but unexpected news complicates her plans to stay away from the bad boy.

 Forever Too Far: The conclusion to the intensely passionate story of Rush and Blaire, the two embrace a future together after Blaire forgives Rush for the past, but Rush’s family stands in the way between them.


Available from:
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About the Author
Abbi Glines is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Rosemary Beach, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, and Existence series. A devoted booklover, Abbi lives with her family in Alabama. She can often be found hiding in her office pretending to write while actually watching episodes of Buffy on Netflix. If she’s not in a Vampire Slayer mood she can be found watching Friday Night Lights. But please do not tell her husband. He has no idea she isn’t always hard at work. 


Author Links:
   


Giveaway:
Now, I just met Abbi last night, and although I couldn't get my hands on any of the Too Far books to get signed, I did come away with an awesome Rush Too Far poster, which Abbi signed for me. Open to US only. Giveaway ends 12 AM March 7.


Cover Reveal & Name Contest: Pretty Dark Nothing #2

Heather L. Reid is a good friend of mine; she's one of the Dallas-local authors I'm always so excited to get to hang out with on a regular basis, and today, I'm helping to reveal the cover of the second book of Heather's Pretty Dark Nothing series! This cover reveal is a little different, but it is SO COOL. See, there is a cover for the book...but there are two titles and YOU get to help pick the final name for the book!


Help Month9Books choose a title for the second installment of the Pretty Dark Nothing series!

Book 2, a follow up to Pretty Dark Nothing, will be released this fall, and we need your help picking a title.  Below are two covers, each with a proposed title for Book 2 on it.  We can't call it "Book 2" forever, so please take a look and comment HERE to vote on which you like best. 

The winning title will be revealed at BEA 2014 and if you commented to vote and will attend BEA, we will give you a signed copy of the galley (limited to the first 20 commenters attending). Voting opens today and ends on Friday, March 14, 2014.  Thanks to artist Christel Michiels for the amazing cover!

Which do you like best?

Title One: Perfect Dark Sacrifice


Title Two: Pretty Dark Sacrifice


Please remember to comment at Chapter by Chapter for your vote to count and to qualify for the galley giveaway, but feel free to leave Heather some love here too! Personally, I'm leaning toward Pretty Dark Sacrifice myself. I like the parallelism with the title. Which do you prefer? And OHMYGOSH can we please talk about how lovely this cover is with the purple and the flowers and the font?! Gorgeous!

Pretty Dark Nothing #2
by Heather L. Reid
September 2014
Month9Books

 

Summary:
It’s been five weeks, two days, and eight hours since the demons forced Quinn to throw herself into the raging river, since Aaron sacrificed himself to save her, since he disappeared without a trace. No body, no sign of him at all. Everyone wants her to move on, but Quinn can’t. She’s convinced Aaron’s trying to contact her, but Azrael, her angel Sentinel, insists these visions are nothing more than the demons preying on her guilt, bent on distracting her from her true destiny as the reincarnation of Eve. With Aaron’s fate forever entwined with Quinn’s true Sentinel, Kaemon, they both find themselves prisoner of the underworld. For Aaron, death in the river would have been easier than ending up in Lilith’s dungeons.

Quinn's story starts with Pretty Dark Nothing!
Pub Date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Month9Books
Genre: young adult, paranormal, urban fantasy
Summary: It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

Available from:
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About the Author

Heather L. Reid is both American and British and has called six different cities in three different countries, home. Her strong sense of wanderlust and craving for a new adventure mean you might find her wandering the moors of her beloved Scotland, exploring haunted castles, or hiking through a magical forest in search of fairies and sprites. When she’s not venturing into the unknown in her real life, she loves getting lost in the worlds of video games or curling up by the fire with good story. For now, this native Texan is back in the Lone Star State, settling down with her Scottish husband and working on the sequel to her Young Adult paranormal debut, PRETTY DARK NOTHING.


Author Links:
   


Cover reveal organized by:
http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/

Spotlight: Side Effects May Vary

Today, I want to tell you about a book you guys have been hearing a lot about in the last few months. This is Julie Murphy's Side Effects May Vary. It's getting a lot of attention for being a bucket list book, a book about cancer (which has forced comparisons to that other book about cancer). I read SEMV a few weeks ago, and OHMYGOSH, it's so good. Julie has taken this book beyond being A Book About Cancer and truly explored how the relationships that mean the most to us can be either healing or toxic and what to do when it's the second type. I was so surprised that I was able to relate so much to the story considering I've never been sick the way Alice is, and I am awed by Julie's talent and the rawness of Alice and Harvey's story. This is one of those books that's going to have people talking for months and years. I don't want to give away too much right now because I'm actually posting a full review as part of the SEMV blog tour in a few weeks, but I wanted to spotlight it now and get you guys excited!


Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: young adult contemporary, realistic fiction
Status: standalone

Summary:
What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?


Available from:
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About the Author:
Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cat who tolerates her. When she's not writing or trying to catch stray cats, she works at an academic library. Her debut contemporary young adult novel, Side Effects May Vary, is out from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins on March 18, 2014. Julie’s follow-up novel, currently titled Dumplin’, is due out in 2015.

Author Links:
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Giveaway:
I happen to be in possession of an extra ARC of Side Effects May Vary as well as a little swag so I'm going to pass that on to two lucky winners! First place winner will receive the arc (signed) and second place will win a signed SEMV poster and bookmark. This giveaway is open to the US & Canada for the arc only. Second place is available to the US. Ends 12 AM March 4. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Weekly wrap-up: Februay 16-22

This week was a mad scramble to attend events, work, and pack before my big road trip Thursday so not a lot of reading or blogging got done, and sadly, I wasn't thrilled with any of the books I did read. I started listening to Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick, and I'm sure it's going to be an awesome book, but I haven't read it yet, and the audiobook isn't the best. I think I'm going to have to postpone the audio until I can read it.

Completed:
Tiger Lily - Jodi Lynn Anderson: 2 stars. I can't say I wasn't warned. This book started off soooo slowwwly. I had a really hard time getting into it to the point that I wondered if I should abandon it. I just wasn't feeling the characters, and there wasn't exactly a primary plot going on, just a series of events that happened to or because of Tiger Lily.

Reread:
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell, Rebecca Lowman & Sunil Malhotra: 3.5 stars. Regular E&P got 4 stars from me, possibly 4.5, but the audio just wasn't what I exactly wanted. Again, I was distracted by Rebecca reading for Eleanor because in my mind, she's Cath from fangirl. Sunil's character voices weren't distinct enough, but I did love his voices for both of Park's parents, who are wonderful. I gotta say, listening to this audiobook in the car on a long trip with lots of construction wasn't the smartest idea I've ever had because of course I cried. That ending! I mean, how can you not?!

Currently Reading:
I am positive it is one of the following, but at the time I wrote this (feverishly Wednesday night, just before leaving on my epic adventure!), I had not yet started reading one.
Fracture - Megan Miranda
On the Fence - Kasie West
Pivot Point - Kasie West

New to my bookshelf this week:
Library:
Under the Never Sky audiobook - Veronica Rossi
Airhead audiobook - Meg Cabot

Bought:
Postponed until next week because, really, wouldn't you rather see a picture of the whole group from all my events? Of course you would!

Events Attended:
2/17: Marissa Meyer's Cress Tour @ Austin, TX
2/20: Dark Days Tour feat Sophie Jordan, Tahereh Mafi, Veronica Rossi & Kiersten West @ Nashville, TN (feat bonus appearances by Ransom Riggs, Stephanie Perkins, Beth Revis, Victoria Schwab & Courtney C. Stevens)

Best Kind of Broken Blitz


Author: Chelsea Fine
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Forever
Genre: New adult contemporary romance
Status: Book 1 of the Finding Fate series

Summary:
SOMETIMES MOVING ON MEANS MOVING IN
Pixie Marshall wishes every day she could turn back time and fix the past. But she can't. And the damage is done. She's hoping that a summer of free room and board working with her aunt at the Willow Inn will help her forget. Except there's a problem: the resident handyman is none other than Levi Andrews. The handsome quarterback was once her friend-and maybe more--until everything changed in a life-shattering instant. She was hoping to avoid him, possibly forever. Now he's right down the hall and stirring up feelings Pixie thought she'd long buried . . .
Levi can't believe he's living with the one person who holds all his painful memories. More than anything he wants to make things right, but a simple "sorry" won't suffice--not when the tragedy that scarred them was his fault. Levi knows Pixie's better off without him, but every part of him screams to touch her, protect her, wrap her in his arms, and kiss away the pain. Yet even though she's so close, Pixie's heart seems more unreachable than ever. Seeing those stunning green eyes again has made one thing perfectly clear--he can't live without her.


Praise for Best Kind of Broken:
"By turns humorous and heartbreaking, Best Kind Of Broken has become one of my favorites!" — CORA CARMACKNew York Times bestselling author of Losing It.

"You'll fall for Pixie and Levi, just like I did!" — JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT (J. Lynn), #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait For You

"Tangled with friendship, history and heartbreak--not to mention a huge dose of humor--Chelsea Fine's New Adult novel is not to be missed! Beyond an incredibly HOT read, Pixie and Levi's longing for each other will have you rooting for them till the very end." — JAY CROWNOVERNew York Times bestselling author of Rule

"This book destroyed me. Tore me into little tiny pieces. But somehow with lots of laughs and some very steamy times, Chelsea put me back together again! Chelsea Fine's style is witty, visceral and fresh. All I wanted to do was crawl inside this book and live with the characters. And now all I want is MORE." — CHELSEA M. CAMERONNew York Times bestselling author of My Favorite Mistake

"Sandwiched between laugh out loud moments and some serious heat, Best Kind of Broken is an unforgettable story of loss and forgiveness that will leave your heart aching." — LISA DESROCHERSUSA Today bestselling author of A Little Too Far

Read an exclusive excerpt of Best Kind of Broken HERE.

Available from:
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About the Author:
 Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She’s ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.

Author Links:
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