Friday, January 23, 2015

Summer On The Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

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Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of handicapped hell.

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows close to fellow counselors. Now, if she can just convince a certain Zac Efron look-alike with amazing blue eyes that she finally realizes there's life after Gucci, this summer could turn out to be the best she's ever had.

Summer on the Short Bus is a very non-P.C., contemporary YA with a lot of attitude, tons of laughs, and a little life lesson along the way.

After she's busted at a party, Cricket’s dad feels that he’s at his wits end with her shenanigans. She doesn’t take him seriously when he threatens to dole out his next punishment. After all, he’s been a pushover all these years so what makes this time different? Well, he means business. She gets shipped off to "Camp I Can" where she is to be a counselor to special needs children. Cricket has absolutely no experience taking care of herself much less anyone else. having grown up self-centered. She's in complete shock to find herself in the middle of nowhere (Michigan without cell phone reception feels like nowhere) and all she can think of is escaping. The only thing that keeps her from having an ugly meltdown is the hottie counselor, Zac Efron doppelganger, Quinn. She resigns herself to situation when her one and only escape plan fails. It doesn’t mean that she embraces camp life. In fact, it’s the opposite – she’s horrified that she has to be there all summer and work with these kids who make her feel so uncomfortable.

It would be incredibly easy to misconstrue Summer On The Short Bus as a vulgar and insensitive view of people with special needs. But as I laughed out loud several times at the sarcastic humor, I realized that it’s really more about the people who interact with them. Cricket doesn’t experience any immediate “aha” moments as she learns to get used to her new environment. Her no filter of a mouth lands her in all sorts of ridiculous scenarios.  Her peers share stories with her that demonstrate that she’s not the only one who has ever felt out of their depth at the camp. The best laughs come from her interactions with the camp kids, specifically the two she's in charge of, Claire and Meredith, who don’t see themselves as anything different. They’re so funny saying whatever comes to mind, instantly glomming on to Cricket like she’s their best friend. She doesn’t know what to make of her little fan club but soon finds herself enjoying their strange company and idiosyncrasies. As it turns out, may be she's the one who's been taken under their wings.

Cricket makes a mess of things due to a giant faux pas. When she realizes that she has hurt someone she truly cares about, she's stunned and helpless. Even she can't defend her own actions. Asking for forgiveness is unfamiliar territory and this new perspective gives her much to think about. 

Crandell says in her notes that she didn’t intend to send some message with this book. Instead she was searching within herself for a way to connect with her own special needs child while simultaneously staying true to her personality. I had seen Crandell at a book signing last year and her sarcastic, dry humor is what drew me to buying her book. I thought a lot of the dialog felt very authentic. And as I finished it, I concluded that it's not so much about changing people's minds but about how you can grow to be a more empathetic person and still be true to who you are.  

~ Bel

Thursday, January 22, 2015

That's What HE Said Thursday #13

Image courtesy of Kei at The Lovely Pages Review

That's What He Said is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies at Chapter Break, where we spotlight a quote from our book crush to the object of his desire. We like to pretend it's us.

What better way to celebrate our book boyfriends?

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I remember distinctly reading Clockwork Princess on my drive to Texas for spring break and crying buckets by the end. Cassandra Clare does snark very well but she also sneaks in some of the most passionate lines you'll come across. This one left me a mess.  ~ Bel

"Tess," he whispered. "Tess - if you want to stop -" 

She shook her head silently. The fire in the grate had nearly burned down again; Will was all angles and shadows and soft and hard skin against her. No.

"You want this?" His voice was hoarse.

"Yes," she said. "Do you?"

His finger traced the outline of her mouth. "For this I would have been damned forever. For this I would have given up everything."

She felt the burn behind her eyes, the pressure of tears, and blinked wet lashes. "Will ..."

~ Tessa and Will
Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

All Played Out by Cora Carmack Cover Reveal

BLEED RUSK RED!!!  We have the cover reveal for All Played Out by Cora Carmack!!!!!   ALL PLAYED OUT is a New Adult Contemporary Romance and is the 3rd book in the Rusk University Series, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. It is due to be released on May 12, 2015!! If you haven't had a chance to read this sexy, fun series yet, be sure to grab ALL LINED UP and ALL BROKE DOWN!   Check out this super sexy cover!  

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Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iTunes

Add ALL PLAYED OUT on Goodreads!

About ALL PLAYED OUT: First person in her family to go to college? CHECK. Straight A’s? CHECK. On track to graduate early? CHECK. Social life? …..yeah, about that…. With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay... Scratch that. She knows she hasn't had the full college experience). So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a "to do" list of normal college activities. Item #1? Hook up with a jock. Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it's impossible to get hurt... again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it. Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she's never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he's willing to take the chance when it's more than just a game. Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.  

And don’t miss the first two books in the Rusk University Series…

RU books 1and 2 Banner  



If you haven't read All Lined Up and All Broke Down, I highly recommend both!  Hot football boys, smart, sassy girls, hilarity and love - who could ask for more?

About Cora Carmack: Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.      

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads

Waiting on Wednesday (136)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights future releases that we are excitedly anticipating.

Salt & Stone (Fire & Flood, #2)By Victoria Scott
Publication Date: February 24, 2015

What would you do to save someone you love?

In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can't quit--she has to win the race, save Cody, and then fight to make sure the race stops before it can claim any more lives. In the next legs of the race, across the ocean and over mountains, Tella will face frostbite, sharks, avalanche, and twisted new rules in the race.

But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone's keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you'd relied on most suddenly isn't there for support? How do you weigh one life against another?

The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the start of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the final part of the race, just forty-one are left--and only one can win.

Waiting for the FloodBy Alexis Hall
Publication Date:  February 23, 2015

People come as well as go.

Twelve years ago, Edwin Tully came to Oxford and fell in love with a boy named Marius. He was brilliant. An artist. It was going to be forever.

Two years ago, it ended.

Now Edwin lives alone in the house they used to share. He tends to damaged books and faded memories, trying to a build a future from the fragments of the past.

Then the weather turns, and the river spills into Edwin’s quiet world, bringing with it Adam Dacre from the Environment Agency. An unlikely knight, this stranger with roughened hands and worn wellingtons, but he offers Edwin the hope of something he thought he would never have again.

As the two men grow closer in their struggle against the rising waters, Edwin learns he can’t protect himself from everything—and sometimes he doesn't need to try.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

When We Collide by A.L. Jackson Promo

Guys!  Check it out - When We Collide is only $0.99 January 18th thru January 24th.  If you haven't read A.L. Jackson yet, you definitely have to check her out!   


From the New York Times bestselling author of Lost to You and Take This Regret comes a gripping new tale of loss and love.

William has spent six years running from his past and the last eight months trying to rid his mind of the dreams that increasingly haunt his nights. Trapped in a world of false ambitions and feigned affections, William knows he’s reached a breaking point and something’s going to give.

Maggie had lived her entire life without hope until one man showed her what it meant to be loved. He’d been her light in a lifetime of darkness. Six years ago, that darkness stole him away. Without him, she’s surrendered herself to an existence she doesn’t know how to escape.

When the family William left behind is struck by tragedy, he is called back to the one place he’s sworn to never return to again.

In a moment that will change his life forever, William comes face to face with the girl who, with one look, captured his heart. He is unable to ignore the buried desires and the hope for the future they’d once believed they’d have.

Now William is ready to fight to take back what had been stolen from him six years before.

But he never imagined what that fight might cost him. 

Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble

Instagram: @aljacksonauthor

When We Collide Excerpt ~ Copyright 2012 A.L. Jackson

“You know him?” Amber asked.
I glimpsed the confusion on her face.
My secret, my heart.
The beautiful man I’d lain with for hours under the stars, our lives poured out in a torrent of stories and words. The way he held me while I shared the ones that hurt me the most. How he touched me, the way he made me feel incredibly safe. How that hold had escalated from safety to ecstasy as the soft pads of his fingers would dance across my lips when he locked himself to me, the perfect weight of his body, the expression on his face when he came.
The heartbreak in his eyes when I told him goodbye.
I knew it all.
“Yeah.” My voice was soft. “I know him.”

Now run out and get this awesomeness for just $0.99!!!

Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross

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Available January 27, 2015

An edgy fairy tale retelling of "Snow White" set in the world of Kill Me Softly for fans of Once Upon a Time and Grimm.

Faced with a possible loophole to her "Snow White" curse, Viv goes underground, literally, to find the prince who's fated to rescue her. But is life safe in the Underworld worth the price of sacrificing the love that might kill her?

Tear You Apart is follow up to Kill Me Softly and is the second in the Beau Rivage series. Ever have it happen where you’re done with a book, thought it was good and don’t think about again until months later?  That’s my experience with Kill Me Softly. I thought it was such a creative but frightening spin on those age-old stories, wrote my review and that was it. Months later it popped into my head and I found myself wanting more from this crazy town of Beau Rivage where people live out their fairy tale curses. Some manage to break them. Some find loopholes. Others succumb to them.

It took me a few pages to get back into the rhythm of this bizarre town. It seems like any average modern town except here, everyone is looking over their shoulder for the inevitable to happen.  Viv has the unenviable Snow White curse and has known this forever. It wasn’t so bad at first especially since her boyfriend Henley, who's also been her best friend since childhood, had sworn to protect her from the huntsman who would eventually come for her. So guess who turned out to be that Huntsman? Yep. Talk about ill-fated. Each page seems like another punch to the gut as you see what Viv has to endure – fear of being killed and by whom, her wicked stepmother Regina, who’s had it in for her, her own father who’s about as affectionate as a rock.

It’s easy to get annoyed with Viv at times because she’s not the sweet, innocent Snow White we know from folklore. No, in this rendering she is paranoid, obstinate and confused. And I had to remind myself that I couldn’t blame her for being that way. Worst yet are her unresolved feelings for Henley. They’re so in love but neither can deny that the curse hangs over them. She’s in constant fear that any day now she’ll die at the hands of the huntsman and fate being as cruel as it has so been far, it’d be at the hands of Henley. It’s a tug of war between these two lovers throughout the story as they fight their feelings and one does what they think is right to protect the other.

Viv jumps at a possible solution head first without really thinking it through and you know how that goes. I won’t spoil the rest but she does her best to work out her curse to see if she can find any gaps in it that she can use to her advantage. What I did like to see was her change in attitude – from being victim to having a say in her own fate. 

When you analyze fairy tales closely, they’re freaking disturbing. We don’t see that as kids but as we get older, that realization becomes more apparent. Obviously we need to remember the context they were originally written in. Which is why I have to hand it to Sarah Cross for undertaking this task of reimagining folklore and giving it new life, especially when it comes to giving young girls voice and strength in a medium that has historically been undermining of the female gender. She achieved this in Kill Me Softly, and Tear You Apart is perfect for anyone who wants to experience an even more twisted side of these fairy tales and see how these characters rescue themselves. It's very dark and grim with plenty of dysfunctional relationships happening. But getting lost in this world of Beau Rivage and its people is absolutely magical!

~ Bel

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Peek In The BiblioBin #132

Welcome to our Stacking the Shelves post! Stacking the Shelves (or as we like to call it, A Peek in the BiblioBin) has been created by the lovely ladies at Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, bought from the bookstore, borrowed from the library or friend, etc.

For Review:

Pretty Wanted (Pretty Crooked #3) by Elisa Ludwig (via Edelweiss)

Meeting The English by Kate Clanchy (via NetGalley)

The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Ellen Forney

Imhotep (Imhotep #1) by Jerry Dubs

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

The Light Fantastic (Discworld #2) by Terry Pratchett