Monthly Wrap-up: November's safe to say my November did not end how I wanted it to. I got started with a novel for NaNoWriMo, but a couple of days early in the month with a full work schedule prevented me from getting a solid foundation. That put me off my schedule, and I never got my groove back. Think I'll just stick to reading and reviewing for a while. But I also went through a reading funk so my numbers are way off from what they usually are. Oh, well. That's life. I did get to some really lovely and incredible books this month so I'm happy with that.

Looking back...
List of December reads

Jennifer L. Armentrout - "Bitter Sweet Kiss" (Dark Elements #0.5)
Tera Lynn Childs - "Goddess in Time" (Oh. My. Gods. #2.1)
Cassandra Clare - The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Prince manga
Kady Cross - "The Wild Adventure of Jasper Renn" (Steampunk Chronicles #3.5)
 Josh Grayson - Sia
Cindy Ray Hale - Destiny (Destiny #3)
Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner - These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Marie Lu - Champion (Legend #3)
Katie McGarry - Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1)
                        - "Crossing the Line" (Pushing the Limits #1.5)
                        - Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)
                        - Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3)
Richelle Mead - The Fiery Heart
Sarah Ockler - Bittersweet
Veronica Rossi - "Brooke" (Under the Never Sky #2.5)
Victoria Scott - The Collector (Dante Walker #1)
Laini Taylor - "Night of Cake & Puppets" (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5)
Gabrielle Zevin - All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1) audiobook
                        - Because It Is My Blood (Birthright #2) audiobook

Looking ahead...
December releases I'm excited about:
Racing Savannah - Miranda Kenneally
These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Roomies - Tara Altebrando & Sara Zarr
The Promise of Amazing - Robin Constantine
"Fracture Me" - Tahereh Mafi

Psst. In case you didn't know about it. YALit is a really good place to go for book release dates. Sometimes they're a little off, but if you want pretty good idea of what's coming out when, it's a great resource.

December TBR:
Her Dark Curiosity - Megan Shepherd
Perfect Lies - Kiersten White
Let the Storms Break - Shannon Messenger
Being Sloane Jacobs - Lauren Morrill

And those are the only ones I'm going to commit to beforehand. I've been bad about not reading everything in previous months. I really need the freedom to choose my next read, rather than feeling boxed in by a schedule.

Book Tour: Sia by Josh Grayson

Today, I'm hosting a spotlight stop on the Sia book tour. Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for hosting! Full tour schedule can be found here.

Pub Date: November 20, 2013
Publisher: self-published
Genre: young adult contemporary romance, realistic fiction
When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

Book Links:

Reviews for Sia:
"A compelling read full of intrigue, romance, and lots of surprises! I couldn't wait to see what happened next!" –Jennifer Read Hawthorne, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"There have been very few books that made me think they were made to someday become a movie (i.e. Warm Bodies, The Host). And I guess Sia can join the club, because this book, I say, is perfect for it. I felt like I was reading a script for a movie, the plot is fantastic and the characters are great, there's a little of humor as well as tragic situations." –Bookish Randomness

"Well I finished this book amazingly fast. This whole book will leave you amused, intrigued, in awe, and most importantly in love with the whole story line until the very last word. I'll have to go with 5 stars for this book." –Lovely Reads

"Beautifully written...this one will have you reflecting on your current and past actions. Although a fiction, Sia inspires." –A Starry-eyed Heart Review

About the Author:
Josh Grayson was born in Mexico, raised in Massachusetts, and now lives in Virginia. It was his move to the South that stirred his imagination and gave him the courage to start writing. During his free time, Josh enjoys jogging, swimming, reading and dreaming up new stories.

Sia is his debut YA novel. 

Author Links:

Up for grabs across the whole tour are 5 print copies of Sia (US only) and 5 ebook copies (INT). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekly wrap-up: November 24-30

I'm on vacation and it feels so good! There's a definite difference between have time off from work and staying home vs going somewhere on vacation. It's been a good week, full of family and food and games and reading and babies. I feel very blessed right now. How was your holiday week?

"Bitter Sweet Love" ( The Dark Elements #0.5) - Jennifer L. Armentrout: 5 stars. Love the first look at JLA's newest series, and holy cow, is it sexy!
The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) - Richelle Mead: 5 stars. Because REASONS.
"Night of Cake & Puppets" (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5) - Laini Taylor: 5 stars.

Because It Is My Blood (Birthright #2) audiobook - Gabrielle Zevin & Illyana Kadushin: 5 stars.

Currently Reading:
I haven't decided yet!

New to my bookshelf this week:
nothing cause I'm out of town!

"Brooke" (Under the Never Sky #2.5) - Veronica Rossi
"Night of Cake and Puppets" (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5) - Laini Taylor

Severed - Dax Varley
Providence - Lisa Colozza Cocca
The Chance You Won't Return- Annie Cardi

Waiting on Wednesday: Side Effects May Vary

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Side Effects May Vary
by Julie Murphy
Coming March 18, 2014
Balzer + Bray

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?

Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.

Why I want it:
As many of you know, I absolutely love Jennifer Echols. When I met her at the TLA conference, she told me that SEMV by Julie Murphy was a must-read. Hours later, I was behind a woman in a signing line. She mentioned to the author signing that she was also an author. She pulled out a bookmark, and I interrupted her, saying, "I know who you are! Jennifer told me to read your book!" Since then, I've hung out with Julie at all our local events, and she's seriously the coolest. A lot of people around here have been lucky enough to snag early copies. I held a copy for about fifteen seconds one time. I thought I was going to cry when I had to give it up. So, basically, I want this because I love Julie, and I want to support her. Also because everybody keeps saying it's awesome.

Why I think you should want it:
I think it's safe to say it's one of the most hotly anticipated 2014 debuts, but it's also just one of the most hotly anticipated books of 2014 period. This is because everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, is talking about SEMV, and the reason for that is the reviews of this book are out-of-control crazy good.I've done a really good job of avoiding spoilers so far, but I have a source who declares Harvey is one of the best ya guys ever. I've heard this book compared to The Fault in Our Stars several times, and not just because of the cancer plot. It really is just that good.

Because Julie is the best ever, she signed a whole bunch of SEMV bookmarks for me to give away. Open to US & Canada (I promise an INT giveaway coming soon!). Ends 12 AM CST December 4.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! I know this is two days early, but I'm on vacation as of today. Currently, at this very moment, I am in a minivan with two adults and an infant, headed to my grandmother's house. This will probably be a long day as said infant will need to be fed and changed several times. Because, you know, that's how babies are. Here's to hoping I get plenty of reading done via audiobooks!

I am posting this because I will not be around very much this week as Nana does not have internet at her house (I'll be busy babysitting or playing cards with the fam anyway. Also, eating). I've got some posts scheduled, but I won't be available on here or Twitter to chat or to remind you of all my fabulous giveaways! So go ahead and enter those when you can. Heads up: there will be another giveaway added tomorrow during my WoW post so keep an eye out if you can!

Anyway, I wish you and yours a happy holiday week. Hug your family. Eat some turkey. Eat some pie. Watch some football. Read a book. Go see a movie. Freebirds (my friends MADE that movie!!!) will put you in the spirit, but Catching Fire, The Book Thief, Ender's Game, and Thor 2 (because Hemsworth & Hiddleston, obvi!) are all excellent choices as well. Have a good week!

Hugs & warm wishes,

Top Ten Tuesday #25: What I'm Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week the girls at B&B think up a fun theme, and participating bloggers post their favorite 10 books in that category. This week's theme is:

Top Ten Things I'm Thankful For
Going mostly outside of blogging and books for today's TTT, but if you would like to know the list of things that I'm grateful for in regards to blogging, you can go here. Also, if anyone featured in these photos would like one removed, let me know.

1. My family. Always the top of my list, I am grateful for the group of weirdos with whom I share a percentage of DNA. We're a ragtag group with extremely varied interests and skills and taste in everything, but we love each other something fierce. Most of the time.

I am not in this picture because as the youngest & least
loved, I was forced to take this pic. Also, I'm the only
single one in the fam so there's that too. We're also
missing the two latest additions, but they didn't
exist when this picture was taken.

Oh, THERE I am. As the youngest, I am also, naturally, the most adorable.

2. My friends. Despite being a complete introvert, I have been very blessed with the most insane, ridiculous, loyal and loving groups of friends at every stage of my life.

We took about 200 pictures with a computer over
the course of a couple hours and uploaded them
ALL onto Facebook. I was blocked from
Facebook's image center for tagging
them all in one day. Ah, college.

Guys, it's Maura of Whimsical Mama! Don't let the
innocent faces and lack of red solo cups fool you;
we were totally at a crazy band party in this pic.

3. My religion. I am very grateful for my parents for instilling in me a sense of spirituality very early in my life. I only really talk about religion with people I'm close with because religion is enormously personal, but I love my faith.

4. My education. My parents also made sure that I got a darn good education. I'm a public school kid and proud of it. From elementary to middle to high school, I was fortunate to have amazing teachers who challenged and encouraged me. My English/language arts teachers were particularly helpful. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am now or love reading so much. My college career was long, confusing, and a little torturous at times, but I'm grateful for it.

Oh, yeah. I make red polyester look dang good!

5. Marching band. Oh, boy. Being a member of a high school band and moving on to college was quite the experience. Music education is wonderful for many things. I love band music. I loved every minute that I played the flute, the piccolo, and percussion. I gave up a lot of things to be part of marching band, and I would make those sacrifices again. If I could, I'd go back right now to do it all over. Marching band gave me a home in high school and again in college. When I was bullied by a "friend" in HS, I had over a hundred people with my back. When I went to college, I never felt lost because I knew I had three hundred instant friends. I miss you guys terribly! Thanks for all the good times. Red Devils and Big Loud & Funky Band o' Blue forever! Also, yes, marching band is very life educational as well. ;) ;)

Oh. You want it.

Oh hai blog reader Aleesha!

Maura and me again (sorry, Maura!)
Pretty sure I was staring at the cutest
basketball player. Otherwise I'd have
been yelling my head off.

Kinda like that.

6. Books. You didn't think I'd go an entire blog post without mentioning reading, did you? Books have been my constant companion since I learned how to read. When I couldn't face being around people, I always had literary friends to turn to.

Yes, this was posed, but who cares?

I see this every time I open my closet door.
And this is just the Dallas bookshelf. It pales
in comparison to the Tennessee shelves.

7. My job. Oh, man, this frustrates me to no end. My job is at times the most ridiculous thing ever, but I am endlessly grateful for it. It not only gives me the funds to support myself comfortably, but I always have enough left over for giveaways too. Plus, when work isn't a drag (and what job isn't sometimes?), it's SO much fun. I basically get paid to play around with toys all day.

Why, YES, that is a pumpkin-launching catapult! Jealous?

And while there are many, many, many other things for which I am endlessly grateful, I think I'll leave the list at that today. Happy Thanksgiving week, everyone!

Cover Love 6: An update

I have only two new(ish) covers to share this week, and an update to a previous cover love post.

First off, I want to share the cover of Grim, which is an anthology I discovered A LONG FREAKING TIME ago. I've had it on my TBR for ages so I'm really glad to finally have a creepy cover and a release date to go along with it. If you haven't heard of Grim yet, go ahead and add it because, seriously, look at the list of authors contributing. Kagawa. Pearce. Hopkins. McEntire. Gray. Derting. Gensler. Gratton. Rees Brennan. Smith-Ready. Hopkins. Hocking. Oh, yeah. It's gonna be good.

February 25, 2014
Harlequin Teen

CLAIRE DE LUNE and NOCTURNE author Christine Johnson, ed.’s GRIM, an anthology of dark fairy tale retellings, featuring stories by New York Times bestselling authors Ellen Hopkins, Amanda Hocking, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Julie Kagawa, and others, to Natashya Wilson at HarlequinTeen, in a nice deal, for publication in Winter 2014, by Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (World).


I admit, I'm pretty disappointed with this. With "Unite Me," Harper had the opportunity to do one last lovely cover for the Shatter Me series. Instead, I think they took the lazy route by reusing the covers of "Destroy Me" and "Fracture Me" (which will be on the back cover). There is added material as well, for the record, which is my extra reason for wanting another cover. Recycling is all well and good, but not for book covers.

"Unite Me"
Shatter Me 1.5/2.5
Tahereh Mafi
Harper Collins
February 4, 2014

Perfect for fans of Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me trilogy, this book collects her two companion novellas, Fracture Me and Destroy Me, in print for the first time ever. It also features an exclusive look into Juliette’s journal and a preview of Ignite Me, the hotly anticipated final novel of the series.

A few weeks ago, I shared the cover to The Treatment, Suzanne Young's hotly anticipated sequel to The Program. PPersonally, I loved it. However, response was so positive for the case cover (the special, secret image to be printed directly on the book) that they SWITCHED images. The old jacket cover with the pill is now the case cover, and the case cover is now the jacket cover. Not gonna lie, I'm a little disappointed with this move because I preferred the pill as the cover (I thought it fit well with the original better) and the new cover as the case cover, but I won't split hairs. It's going to be an amazing book regardless.

The Treatment
The Program #2
Suzanne Young
Simon Pulse
April 29, 2014

Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”

How do you stop an epidemic?

Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.

Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.

Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?

 So, to recap a bit, here is the JACKET cover of The Program:

And the full jacket cover: 

 And this is the case cover, the secret image underneath the jacket 
that is printed directly on the book.

Here is the full jacket cover for The Treatment:

And this is the case cover, the image that will be printed on the book itself:

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: young adult science fiction, romance
Format/Source: ARC, received at TLA conference
Status: First book in the Starbound trilogy

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

A timeless love story,
THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Funday: My big blogging adventure

This month, the lovely Jodi Meadows is celebrating the anniversary of the Newsoul trilogy. As part of that celebration, she's issued a challenge to readers to talk about new beginnings and adventures. The best part is that Jodi's holding a giveaway for signed copies of all three books in the trilogy.

So today, I'm going to talk about my big blogging adventure. Ironically enough, this week marks my one year anniversary of blogging...sort of. Double irony: Jodi was one of my major motivations for starting this blog. December 1, 2012 was the first time I posted a review of Incarnate, and I did it because Jodi was holding a giveaway for an ARC of Asunder. So yes, this week last year was the start of Mary Had a Little Book Blog. Or was it?

Actually, no. It wasn't entirely. In 2011, I was an intern with a big company, and I was BORED OUT OF MY MIND. There wasn't always enough work for me so I spent much of my time daydreaming about books. That was when I joined Goodreads, and I thought to myself, "Hey, I read a lot of books, and I spend a lot of time telling other people what to read. I should start a blog." And you know what? I did. I had an intense internal debate about my blog name (MHALBB was my second choice, actually, after Bookie Monster, but 1. BM has a different connotation. I didn't want people to think I was blogging about gambling, and 2. I found out BM was already taken! Decision made!) I even wrote up AND PUBLISHED a hello post and everything. Life was good. My problem was, I didn't post ever again. I sometimes have a hard time following through with my big ideas. After that summer internship, I was in school full-time, and things were just not so good all around. I had some pretty big real life problems going on, and my big blog idea fell by the wayside.

Reading, however, did not. In January of 2012, I got a library card to the local library in my college town (for some reason, I'd never gotten one before then), and I spent SO MUCH TIME there during spring semester. I discovered a lot of amazing authors and series like Jodi's Newsoul trilogy, Delirium, Divergent, Iron Fey, Everneath, Under the Never Sky, and many, many more. I didn't have a lot of money so the library was the best place for me to get books. When I got home from school that May, I got a job, but I continued going to the library. I absolutely hated my job. I was miserable there. Things were still not-so-good. My sister invited me to move in with Dallas. 14 hours away from the only home I'd ever known. I'd applied for a dream job in Tennessee, but when it fell through, I realized I had nothing holding me there except my own fear.

I packed my stuff (sadly, leaving most of my books behind), and moved to Dallas. When Jodi issued her challenge, I realized I had the opportunity to start new, not only with a new city but a new hobby as well. I started off really slow, only posting 4 or 5 posts during each of my first couple months blogging, but it felt so good to start putting my thoughts out there. I was really excited when I saw page views and comments and followers because I felt like I was making an impact on people. But more than anything, blogging made an impact on me.

I went to the Texas Library Association annual conference in April, and I really felt like a kid in a candy store. I realized that book events just make me happy. I'm naturally a very introverted person, but being surrounded by books and bookish people made me super outgoing. I made a bunch of friends at the conference that I remain close with and I met a couple of my author heroes like Ally Carter and Jennifer Echols. For the first time, I felt really at home with my life and the paths that got me there, and I began to realize that if I let it, blogging could make my life so much better.

I love my blog dearly. It's a lot of fun, and I've met so many amazing people because of it, authors, bloggers, readers, publishers, everybody! Sometimes, I've occasionally gone through periods of lethargy, but I never feel like my blog ties me down. Am I one of the big players in blogging? No. But that's okay. Blogging has helped me find my voice among my family, my friends. I've found common ground with people I never imagined. I have the freedom to do what I want, to do what I love. And that right there is the best adventure I could ever hope for.

Fire & Flood exclusive exerpt

As a member of the V Mafia, Victoria Scott's street team, I get access to a lot of cool bonuses. And today, I am really glad because I have the opportunity to share an exclusive excerpt of Tori's upcoming novel Fire & Flood PLUS an amazing giveaway for a chance to win a signed ARC.

Fire & Flood
Victoria Scott
Scholastic Press
February 25, 2014

A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

Weekly wrap-up: November 17-23

Not a good reading week, but I have a good feeling about this upcoming week (even though it's a holiday week).

Champion (Legend #3) - Marie Lu: 4 stars. Oh, my, the FEELS. Full review here. Beware, there be some series spoilers. But there's also a giveaway.
These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner: 4 stars. Very enjoyable. Amie & Meagan sure know how to get the emotions going! Full review (and a giveaway) coming soon.

All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1) audiobook - Gabrielle Zevin & Illyana Kadushin: 5 stars. Really impressed with this audiobook.

Currently Reading:
The Fiery Heart - Richelle Mead
Because It Is My Blood - Gabrielle Zevin (audiobook)
Sia - Josh Grayson

New to my bookshelf this week:
Library: I'm going on a road trip, and I get carsick if I read in a moving vehicle. I'm fully hooked on audiobooks now.
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell (audiobook)
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell (audiobook)
Cinder - Marissa Meyer (audiobook)
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer (audiobook)
Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Laini Taylor (audiobook)
Days of Blood & Starlight - Laini Taylor (audiobook)
Legend - Mari Lu (audiobook)
Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi (audiobook)
Because It Is My Blood - Gabrielle Zevin (audiobook)
In the Age of Love and Chocolate - Gabrielle Zevin (audiobook)
Waterfell - Amalie Howard
The 100 - Kass Morgan
Being Friends With Boys - Terra Elan McVoy

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) - Richelle Mead. I actually bought this in February. In February, I lived in another house. I forgot to update the address. It took two full days, but I was able to connect with the current owners and pick up my book! Very nearly had a tragedy on my hands!
Callum & Harper - Fisher Amelie
Thomas & January - Fisher Amelie

Giveaways & Contests:
Hemlock - Kathleen Peacock. Thanks to Kathleen, Christine of Ensconced in YA & Crystal in Bookland for this beauty, which I won during the #C2bookexplosion Twitter party last week!

The Moment Before - Suzy vitello. Thanks, Diversion Books!
"Bitter Sweet Love" Dark Elements #0.5) - Jennifer L. Armentrout. Thanks, Harlequin Teen!!

Events attended:
Texas Most Wanted @ Betty Warmack Library feat. Rachel Harris, Fisher Amelie & Amanda Havard

Bitter Sweet Love excerpt

Today I'm talking about The Dark Elements, Jennifer L. Armentrout's sexy new series from Harlequin Teen about the "extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons." I'm still new to Jennifer's books, but I've enjoyed every one I've read so far, and I'm really excited to start this awesome new series from the beginning!

"Bitter Sweet Love"
The Dark Elements #0.5
Jennifer L. Armentrout
December 1, 2013
Harlequin Teen

Dez wasn't just Jasmine's crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining balance between good and evil. He was her everything...right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn't help that Jas's father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he's back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn't taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again...

Even though "Bitter Sweet Kiss" comes out next week (!!!), Harlequin Teen is offering an exclusive sneak peek to this awesome novella. Head on over to Jennifer's blog to check it out and enter to win a bundle of books!

Make sure you also add White Hot Kiss to your TBR Goodreads. While you're there, you can enter to win an ARC!

White Hot Kiss
The Dark Elementals #1
Jennifer L. Armentrout
March 2014
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.

Review: Champion by Marie Lu

Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Genre: young adult, sci fi, dystopian
Format/Source: Hardcover, bought
Status: final book in Legend trilogy :(

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

A word of caution: Although I am going to avoid major spoilers for Champion, there will be some spoilers for Legend and Prodigy in my review. If you haven't read the series yet, you may want to turn away from my review, run to your preferred bookstore/library/reading app to snag copies of the series.