Jul 31, 2012

Summer Giveaway Hop!

Hey all! Welcome to my stop on the Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by I'm A Reader, Not A Writer and BookHounds/Forever Young (Adult)! My prize is..

A book of choice $10 or less from the Book Depository
$10 Amazon.com Gift Certificate

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Duplicate, fraudulent entries will disqualify you. Giveaway ends 8/7/2012. Comments are welcome but they are not giveaway entries. Questions? Email me at imabookshark at yahoo. Thanks and good luck!

Don't forget to enter the rest of the awesome giveaways!

Cover Reveal: Miranda Kavi - Rua

BB Book Tours presents the cover reveal of RUA by Miranda Kavi! Check it out!

A girl with an unknown destiny.
A boy from a hidden world.
When Celeste starts at a new school in a small, Kansas town, she hears whispering voices, has vivid nightmares, and swarms of blackbirds follow her every move. She is oddly drawn to aloof Rylan, the other new student who has his own secrets.
The exact moment she turns seventeen, she wakes to a bedroom full of strange creatures, purple light emanating from her hands, and Rylan breaking in through her bedroom window.
He knows what she is . . .
Intriguing and deeply romantic, RUA is page-turning YA novel with a supernatural twist. 

Find Miranda and Rua:

Jul 30, 2012

Leigh Michael - Annabelle's Story Release

Annabelle's Story by Leigh Michael

Annabelle Walsh thought she had it all. She was the star of her swim team, had a loving family, a great boyfriend, and to top it off, she’d be starting at UCLA in the fall. One day, she’d be referred to as Dr. Annabelle Walsh.

She was living every girl’s dream – until her life was turned upside down. All starting with finding out that she's not just a human, but also a water spirit. Half-human, half-sprite to be exact. Although not just any sprite, Annabelle is prophesied to be the only one who can save both the sprites and mankind.

With a mix of current events, anecdotes from Greek mythology, tidbits of folklore, and Leigh’s own imagination, we join Annabelle in her journey to restore order beneath the sea. Each step of the way her mind, body, and soul are pushed to the limit begging the question, how much can one half-human, half-sprite take? 

Jul 29, 2012

ARC Review: Roxanne St. Claire - Don't You Wish

Roxanne St. Claire - Don't You Wish

Pub Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Net Galley

When plain and unpopular Annie Nutter gets zapped by one of her dad's whacked-out inventions, she lands in a parallel universe where her life becomes picture-perfect. Now she's Ayla Monroe, daughter of the same mother but a different father—and she's the gorgeous, rich queen bee of her high school.  

In this universe, Ayla lives in glitzy Miami instead of dreary Pittsburgh and has beaucoup bucks, courtesy of her billionaire—if usually absent—father. Her friends hit the clubs, party backstage at concerts, and take risks that are exhilirating . . . and illegal. Here she's got a date to lose her V-card with the hottest guy she's ever seen.

But on the inside, Ayla is still Annie.

So when she's offered the chance to leave the dream life and head home to Pittsburgh, will she take it?

The choice isn't as simple as you think.

It took me a while to read this one. I set it aside for a bit to read something else and came back to it. I had to read quickly because I was annoyed most of the time with this one. It's an ARC, so it needs editing. A lot of it. I wasn't really a fan of the MC until maybe the middle of the novel. And I couldn't tell her age half the time. When she's with Ryder, some mature things are talked about, but then she seems younger the rest of the time. Maybe that's just me.

I will say that I liked the very last page a lot. It put a smile on my face. I was wondering how it would all work out, but I think Roxanne did it just right. I really liked Charlie, but I didn't like Annie/Ayla as much as I would have liked. She was kind of annoying with "knowing" stuff all the time. I'm glad that she was trying to make a difference, and hopefully she did make a big change at that school.

The story is creative, even if it's an old idea. It's a bit of a fresh take on it. I'd like to see what happens to everyone in the end. We only get one side of it. I wanted a bit more, even though this book is long enough. I would have preferred to read a finished copy though. Maybe that would help change my mind.

Bottom line: It's up to you to try this one. It's fun but not a must read.


3/5 book sharks

ARC Review: Katie McGarry - Pushing the Limits

Katie McGarry - Pushing the Limits

Pub Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: ALA ARC

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Holy wow. As fast as I read this, I still took my time because I wanted to linger over every word. Echo and Noah have such deep stories to tell. They're troubled by totally different things but find each other in all the chaos. And they have struggles and setbacks, but don't we all? This book really struck a chord with me. I'm so glad Jenny recommended it so highly.

Like I said, I plowed through this one. Each chapter ends in such a way that you just can't put the book down. I just couldn't stop reading. I had to know what was going to happen to Echo and Noah! And I couldn't get over the fact that Echo didn't want to change Noah at all, but he was changing anyway. But this book shouldn't just be about the romance and relationship. Echo and Noah have a lot of difficulties going on in their separate lives. That part is so important to this story! It makes it so complex and unpredictable in a way. Noah is kind of a firecracker, and Echo is so innocent and sad. It all comes together for this great, heartstring-tugging novel. So glad I read it.

As I mentioned above, Echo changes Noah without even trying. To me, this is a bit unrealistic, and I'd hate for teenage girls to read this thinking it may happen to them. Maybe that's just the cynic in me, but all of it seemed like a lot for a high school boy to deal with. Somehow he makes decisions that work, but I couldn't see it happening in real life. Echo changes, too, though. And maybe that helps Noah's transformation as well. Either way, this is a fantastic novel. Can't wait for Beth's story!!

Bottom line: Definitely read this, but don't read it for the romance.


4.5 / 5 book sharks!

Jul 28, 2012

Review: Tammara Webber - Easy

Tammara Webber - Easy

Pub Date: May 24, 2012
Publisher: Tammara Webber
Format: Paperback/ebook, 318 pages
Age Range: New Adult (mature YA)
Source: Amazon

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night--but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

What a crazy way to start this novel! Right from the beginning, Jacqueline's life is a mess. Her boyfriend just broke up with her and this oaf tries to force her into having sex with her. Luckily she has a savior by the name of Lucas. He stops the asshat from the act and doesn't leave Jacqueline alone after that. Plus, she needs a tutor for her Econ class now, and she's just trying to get on with her life. Easy is the story of what happens in Jacqueline's life after all this, and it's a great read!

Jacqueline and Lucas are great main characters. They're flawed and freaked out about stuff in their past. But this book is lighter than super serious thanks to some of the amazing secondary characters. That might be my favorite part of this book: Erin and Benji were SO great! Benji isn't in many scenes, but I really liked his character. And Erin is a badass friend. Loved her too! Then there's Landon, but I'm not getting into all that. ;o)

Some of this was predictable, but then some shocked me. I did the "awwwww" thing a couple times, and I almost cried once or twice. In the end I was very happy though. That's all I will say about that. But I also loved that this book wasn't just about romance. This book deals with some really deep issues, like death, rape, and morality. Definitely read this one if you get a chance! Now I can't wait to try out her Between the Lines series! 

I also liked that this was edited pretty well. Easy is a self-published book, but you can hardly tell. I'm glad, because it's really hit or miss with self-published books. Now if only a major publisher would pick up these books so they could gain some well-deserved attention. It happens, but it seems with the wrong books. That's for another time..

I really enjoyed this one. It's a "new adult" book since they're in college, and as you read above, there are some adult themes. It's not YA because they're a little older, but it's not adult since, like I said, it's college students. I seem to really like this age range. I'm old enough for adult novels, but I enjoy YA. New Adult seems to bridge this gap nicely.

Bottom line: If you want mature YA, DO check this one out!! It's great!


4.5 / 5 book sharks!

Review: Huntley Fitzpatrick - My Life Next Door

Huntley Fitzpatrick - My Life Next Door

Pub Date: June 14, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 395 pages
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

Yes, the exclusive 5-star rating. I know. This hardly happens. But here it is.

I started this book because I've heard so many good things about it. I have a zillion review books lined up, but I've been reading fast, and my library was going to snatch it away from my ereader. I'm just so glad I did. This book was such a roller coaster. It didn't make me cry, but it made me smile and FEEL. A LOT. It reminded me of my own past for a while, and I was worried for Samantha for a while, but Jase is not my ex-husband, so I needn't worry. Thank goodness for Samantha. But it wasn't all without tragedy. That's where the roller coaster sets in. Ayeee.

It starts out on a bit of a sad note, really. Samantha's mom is pissed about the new family moving into the house next door because they have a ton of kids who only bring trouble and messes with them. For 10 years, Samantha watches the forbidden family like they're her favorite TV show. She wouldn't dare break her mother's rules. The rebel role is all for her sister. Until the day Jase notices her and welcomes her into the Garrett home. And a home for Samantha it is. She falls right into place there, and it changes everyone forever.

When the bad stuff starts happening, you absolutely can't put the book down. You have no idea one way or the other how this is all going to go down. The predictability goes out the window when the bad stuff happens. And that part made me happy. I know it's an unfortunate event, but it tests ALL of the characters in the book. And I had no clue how it would all work out. It's such a challenge for everyone in the novel, and that's not something you see very often.

All the characters popped for me. Even the kids in Jase's family stood out. They were all different, had their own personalities and quirks. It was great fun to read this one with all the fab characters. One of my favorite characters turned out to be Tim! Just read it to find out why, because he certainly shows up acting like a giant a-hole. And Jase. Oh Jase. Samantha and Jase are hot on the pages. HOT. And I'd like to punch Clay in his face. Doucheface. Gah! Such passion for this book. READ IT!

Bottom line: As I said above, READ IT!


5/5 book sharks!!

Jul 26, 2012

Blog Tour: Harlow Drake - Life in Death

Today I am hosting Harlow Drake, author of Life in Death. At the end of the post there is a giveaway where Harlow is giving away 3 autographed paperbacks and a $15 Amazon Gift Card. Check out this great novella and enter to win!

When a girl that social worker Kari Marchant places in foster care is brutally murdered, she’s compelled to learn why. Her quest for the truth pits her against friends and coworkers. As Kari works to solve the horrific plot, more people die. How far should she go to learn the truth—even if it threatens her life?




I remember everything. 

“Bitch.” Jefferson Winton stared at the letter in his hand. Last month, he had announced his intention to run for mayor. Today, he got this letter.

Kari Marchant. She’d tell everything if he ran.

He’d heard her name mentioned over the years in various circles and had been surprised they knew some of the same people. Still, she’d never attempted to contact him directly before.

He pushed the button for the elevator and paced. He hadn’t expected to see anyone at 2 a.m. The elevator opened to an empty cab. He breathed a sigh of relief and pushed the second floor button.

He didn’t want to worry about that bitch again. He smiled. His henchmen, Ren and Stimpy, could handle this.

He pulled out his phone and placed the call.

“I have some work for you boys. Kari Marchant at 2612 Osceola Street. Get rid of her, but make it look random.” He hung up as the elevator door opened again.

Jefferson waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness of the parking deck before he scanned the lot for his car and strode toward it. A shuffling sound startled him from behind as he opened his car door A sharp pain stabbed at the back of his head before he could turn around.


A douse of cold water jolted Jefferson back to consciousness. His head throbbed like a heartbeat and the rusty taste of blood filled his mouth. He squinted his eyes and tried to focus through the stickiness that plastered his eyes together. He stared at the person in front of him; dull recognition seeped into his brain. He couldn’t believe who’d done this. He lunged forward but couldn’t move. Twine bit into this forearms, stomach, and ankles as he fought to free himself from the chair.

“What the hell is this?” he yelled and struggled wildly.

“There is always a reckoning for one’s misdeeds, in this life or the next. For you, today’s that day.”

The glint of the shiny steel scapel caught his attention. “Shall we begin?”

Author Harlow Drake was born in Kansas City, MO, but grew up in Denver, CO. She relocated to North Carolina five years ago with her husband, two dogs, and 16-year old twins.

She shares a birthday with the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. In keeping with his legacy, she is currently working on taking over the world. Harlow's positive attitude and fresh take on life are her tools and conquest is certain. She spends her free time writing, dancing, traveling and defending mailboxes from her 16-year-old twins’ driving.

Her debut novel, LIFE IN DEATH, is a murder mystery which pulls from real-life situations from her own family history. She felt compelled to share her story with the world while offering a thrilling, entertaining, and amusing escape for readers.

In keeping with her commitment to improving the lives of children, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her book will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club in her home state of North Carolina.

She loves to connect with her readers and can be found on Twitter, her blog, or on Facebook

Giveaway Alert!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 25, 2012

"Waiting on" Wednesday - Speechless

Hosted by Breaking The Spine, this section will feature future upcoming releases that I personally am excited about. These will generally be coming up later in the year. Let me know what you're looking forward to, or even what you're writing, and maybe I'll feature it here as well.

Hannah Harrington - Speechless
Pub Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Age Range: Young Adult

The story of a girl named Chelsea Knot who takes a voluntary oath of silence after her gossip-mongering ways yield unexpected consequences…

Saying she’s sorry isn’t enough.

Sounds so good! I liked Saving June enough, but this one sounds better! Let me know what you're waiting for! 

Jul 23, 2012

Guest Post: Amy Metz - Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction

Pub Date: July 26, 2012
Publisher: Iconic Publishing LLC
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Age Range: Adult

When Tess Tremaine starts a new life in the colorful town of Goose Pimple Junction, she thinks she's moved to a quiet little burg. Curiosity leads her to look into a seventy-five-year-old murder, and suddenly she's learning the foreign language of southern speak, resisting her attraction to local celebrity Jackson Wright, and dealing with more mayhem than she can handle. 

If brains were dynamite, Willy couldn't blow his nose. Could a murderer be that stupid? Jack can charm the dew right off the honeysuckle. Surely a fine southern gentleman isn't a murderer. But Tess is determined to find out, and Goose Pimple Junction will never be the same.

A bank robbery, murder, and family tragedy from the 1930s are pieces of the mystery, which Tess attempts to solve. As she gets close to the truth, she encounters danger, mystery, a lot of southern charm, and a new temptation for which she's not sure she's ready.

Top Ten Characters I’d Invite To Dinner
By Amy Metz

It’s easy to become wrapped up in characters’ lives and to feel you know them. Some people joke about fictional characters becoming their imaginary friends. So which ones have stayed with you long after you finish that last page? Which characters can’t you get enough of, and you’re in a state of mourning for a while after you read that last book in the series? Which ones would you love to invite to dinner? This is my top ten list:

1.    Spenser, Robert B. Parker
2.    Jesse Stone, Robert B. Parker
3.    Sunny Randall, Robert B. Parker
4.    John Corey, Nelson DeMille
5.    Virgil Flowers, John Sandford
6.    Lucas Davenport, John Sandford
7.    Kay Scarpetta, Patricia Cornwell
8.    Sam Acquillo, Chris Knopf
9.    Harry Bosch, Michael Connelly
10.    Stone Barrington, Stuart Woods

Amy Metz is the author of Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction. She is the mother of two sons and lives in Louisville, Kentucky. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or spoiling her dog Cooper, and granddogs Gage and Arlo, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in her hands.

Find Amy:

Jul 22, 2012

ARC Review: Susan Dennard - Something Strange and Deadly

Pub Date: July 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover / ebook, 400 pages
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Edelweiss

The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

I wanted to like this more than I did. I did enjoy it, but not as much as I hoped. I liked all the 1800s stuff, the clothes, the etiquette, the trains, etc. Daniel was likable. But this book was predictable. I called the brother situation from the very beginning. And Eleanor just didn't work for me as a strong female MC. She doesn't seem like the type to go through all the adventure in this book at the beginning. Oh well.

I'd recommend this book to people who like zombies. They're not all gory and all that, eating people all over the place and what not. But there are headless bodies, murders, and the walking dead. Hopefully more people like this more than I did. And is this a series? The end lends itself to sequel, but I don't know if I'd read it.

Bottom line: If you want historical zombies with some action, check this out.


3.5 / 5 book sharks

Review: PT Michelle - Lucid

PT Michelle - Lucid

Pub Date: July 7, 2012
Publisher: PT Michelle
Format: ebook, 274 pages
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Author

Once Nara combines her prophetic ability with Ethan's power to outsmart Fate at his own deadly cat-and-mouse game, she's more determined than ever to help Ethan learn the meaning behind the raven sword tattoo that suddenly appeared on his back after their confrontation with Fate.

During her quest to uncover the tattoo's secrets, Nara enlists the help of some new friends and discovers her own surprising connection to Ethan.

While Nara digs deeper into the mystery, her desire for answers leads her down a dangerous path full of powerful and ruthless enemies. Swept into an age-old battle, Nara quickly learns that keeping one's enemies close can be a necessary evil, making an intangible enemy she can control far more preferable to the human enemies she can't.

I almost felt like this was two different books. There's the beginning while Ethan is gone, which is totally unfortunate because I love Ethan and Nara. This is where she meets some new characters like Drystan and Harper. I was never sure how to feel about Drystan, and something told me not to trust Harper even though she was really sweet. But I liked Drystan anyway, and I hope he sticks around. He helps Nara, and he kind of mixes up the pot. I like it.

Then there's where Ethan comes back. I can't say much because that's like the last 20% of the book, so that's where all the stuff goes down. And this is part of the reason why this isn't a four star book. Unfortunately I can't say much without being spoilery, and I'm not about to do that to anyone. I'm just kind of over the raven stuff now.

Another reason why this isn't four stars: some of it is predictable. Too predictable. I totally saw some stuff coming. Said stuff was fine, but I don't like when I see it coming. Not everything was predictable, of course. The end is REALLY intriguing. I'd like to see where it goes in the next book, which I'll definitely be reading. I just hope it's better edited than this one. There were some editing boo-boos in the ebook.

Let's focus on some positive stuff. I wasn't sure about Drystan at first, but I almost like him more than Ethan. I know, I know. I felt bad even typing that. I haven't said it out loud. But I'm just not sure about Ethan anymore. You'll have to read this in order to see what I mean. I'd like to know if anyone got that feeling too. But I loved Lainey in this one. She was almost off her rocker, but she made up for it in the end, big time!

Overall, I enjoyed this one. I read it pretty quickly. I got up early this morning and couldn't help reading it some more since I was so close to being done. Like I said above, I was getting tired of the raven stuff, but the end really got me. I hope to find out more about what happened to Nara!

Bottom line: If you have read Brightest Kind of Darkness, definitely continue on!


3.5 / 5 book sharks