Review/Giveaway: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

By: Colleen Hoover

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.
Buy Your Copy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The thing about the above synopsis is that it DOES tell you the plot, yet it totally does NOT do this book justice.  Unfortunately, I don’t want to spoil anything for you guys.  So all I am going to say that this is a story of appreciation of life, in all its forms and meanings.  Sky is a girl who thinks she has it all figured out, and her best friend Six is right there next to her at all times, until she isn’t.. Sky is luckily able to find another awesomely-awesome totally witty best friend, Breckin.  As per USUAL, Hoover’s secondary characters are top notch, and I can promise you that you will be wanting some more Breckin in your life!  He’s so animated and so perfectly matched with Sky, its just great.  Anywayyy, (sorry, total Breckin obsession).. we bring Holder into the picture [the deliciously delicious specimen] and Sky is in for a rude awakening.  Everything she thinks she knows about life and love, is about to be turned UPSIDE DOWN by Holder.  And so the storyline continues.. *I’m sorry I can’t give you more, but I just.. can’t.  You need to experience this on your own, guys!*

OH MY FREAKIN GOD.  Number one, I can’t believe that it is possible for me to love characters as much as I loved in Slammed and Point of Retreat.  But honestly.. guys.  I just did.  I had to relax for a little after completing this book.  It was just so beautiful and poignant and perfect.  I can’t even think of anything that I didn’t like.  There were things that I had figured out shortly before I was told, but that always happens. And then there were the THINGS that I was like, “OH NO WAY! No, no, let me re-read that to make sure..”.  Seriously.  This book.  Just.. this book.  Sky and Holder captivate you from the first page, and they will not let you out of their grasp until you finish.  Its too good.  The thing is, Colleen Hoover knows exactly how to tie together a pretty little book just right every SINGLE time.  The woman writes like she’s written forty books before, not three.  Its mind boggling how good this book is.  Its just.. Love.  This book IS love.  I don’t live it, I love it.  [You’ll understand that part when you read the book].  AND for the amazing price of $3.99, I mean, you CAN’T pass this up, and if you do, you’ll have ME to deal with!


Who Should Read This?:
Anyone with a pulse.  Any fan of Slammed, Pushing the Limits, or My Life Next Door.  This book has heart and soul that is sometimes hard to find in a contemporary novel.  It leaves you with so many emotions, and it will stay with you for a LONG time to come.  I finished this and OFFICIALLY named Colleen my FAVORITE author.  There’s no one that competes with her anymore.  There just isn’t.  First she gave me Will and Lake, and now she brings me Sky and  Holder.  She can’t be topped!  The woman is unstoppable.

PS.- BECAUSE I adored this book so so much, I am doing a giveaway for it!  Anyone with a Kindle or Nook can win an e-book copy of Hopeless!

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Black Friday Giveaway!

In honor of Thanksgiving, and Black Friday.. I will be offering a giveaway for all of you to enjoy!  The prizes are an ebook of your choice.  This prize is available for either Amazon or Barnes and Noble eBooks.  The choice is yours!

And they are as follows..

Happy Entering!
[Disclosure: The giveaway is US and Canada Only, and ends 11/26]

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Hello dear friends!  Firstly, to enter this contest, 
we need you to be PARTICIPATING in the Read-a-Long..
Second, be creative!  
Entries will be accepted for the next five days, 
and a winner will be chosen by Margie and I.

Challenge Week!

The Question:  In the world of YA there seems to be an abundance of female authors, but Dan Wells is among the males present in this genre.  Which male authors would you highly recommend? Let us know in the comments below!

The Challenge Winner will receive an ebook copy of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. This way you can participate in the Immortal Rules Read-a-Long next month!

Author Interview: TRISH DOLLER :)

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you today, Trish Doller!  Trish is the author of Something Like Normal and she has generously agreed to answering all of my insane questions today!  Let’s give her a warm welcome, shall we!?
Trish: Thanks for having me. I’m honored!
Trish, may I ask where it is you got the idea for Something Like Normal?
Trish: Back in 2003, I was working as a reporter for my hometown newspaper and was assigned to interview a Marine home on leave after being deployed to Iraq. When I met him, it struck me how young he was and that he’d experienced a lot for a nineteen-year-old…sleeping in the desert with a rock for a pillow, wearing a special uniform to protect against chemical weapons (which also meant not showering for a month), and having to kill someone. I found that out because I plowed right ahead and asked. Only later did I learn that it’s not always something Marines want to talk about. In any case, he stuck with me for a long time and I remembered him when I started writing Travis.  

Did you need to do much research for this book? (because there were some CRAZY details in there!)
Trish: I did quite a bit of research. I read books on war, Afghanistan, the Marine Corps, and post-traumatic stress disorder. I also watched a lot of YouTube videos–most of which were shot by the Marines themselves–of Marines in combat and goofing around, downloaded a ton of pictures that I used as reference, and printed up dozens of articles about the 3rd Battalion/6th Marines, who were in Afghanistan while I was writing. Also, I joined an online forum for Marines, where I was able to ask questions about the Marine Corps and Afghanistan. 
Pretend real quick we’re filming the MOVIE for Something Like Normal (swoooon!) who would play your ideal Travis and Harper?
Trish: There is a stuntman named Riley Harper who looks almost exactly like the Travis in my head. I don’t know if he acts, but he’d be my first choice. If not, I think Bobby Campo would be a great Travis. As for Harper, Brie Larson is the only actress I’ve ever pictured. 

So when you are not writing, what can we expect to find you doing?
Trish: Well, I have a day job, so you’d find me working in a Very Large Bookstore in the teen/kids department. I also spend a bit of time in the Florida Keys, and I’ll be taking diving lessons in August, so look for me underwater! 
What is your every day must have? (Mine is coffee, I’m an addict!)
Trish: I need a Coke (or Pepsi) in the morning to get me jumpstarted. And I have to spend some time on tumblr every day or I go through withdrawal.  

What do you enjoy reading, and who are some of your favorite authors?
Trish: I like reading YA best, and my favorites include Melina Marchetta, Kirsty Eagar, and Cath Crowley. I recently did a book swap with Kirsty and I totally fangirled out when I received a signed copy of her book, Raw Blue, which is probably my favorite YA novel. I also love Neil Gaiman, Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series, and Diana Peterfreund’s Secret Society Girl series.  

What do you have in store for us next? We are WAITING on more! (And I for one, can’t wait!)
Trish: My next book is called ALL THAT WAS LOST and hopefully I will have something official to say about it soon. What I can tell you is that it’s about a seventeen-year-old girl named Callie, who returns to her home in Tarpon Springs, Florida, after being away for a long time. That’s very vague, but it includes Greek culture, sponge diving, and a very hot guy.  

You brought a very realistic feel to the life of a Marine, and what it is they experience; do you have personal experience with the Marines?
Trish: Aside from the Marine I interviewed back in 2003, I didn’t really know any Marines. But I’ve gotten to know quite a few via the forum I mentioned, including the Marine to whom the book is dedicated. He was a huge help in answering questions about Afghanistan–because he is a member of the 3/6 Marines–and his real life experience as a bomb dog handler directly inspired a part of Something Like Normal. 

Your writing is amazing, and having a male lead in YA is very rare! Was there ever a point when you were not going to write Something Like Normal from Travis’ perspective? (or even switch narrators)
Trish: Thank you! The book I originally started writing was going to be about a girl who was an outcast after having been branded a “slut” when she was younger. Travis was meant to be the boy who trashed her reputation, now grown up and kind of an outcast himself after being wounded in Afghanistan. Her story stalled out, so I attempted to write from both perspectives. When Travis took up residence in my head, he made it very clear it was his story, not hers, so I switched to his perspective and never looked back. And while some of her story carried over into Harper’s life, the original main character never made it into the final book.

You’re on an island, right.  You can only bring three things, what do you bring?
Trish: I suppose it would be cheating to bring a boat, right? So I’ll bring a fishing pole, a book (probably Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman), and my husband. (And I’ll hope he thinks to bring a boat.)

TRISH, thank you SO SO much for being here today! As a thank you to our readers, I am going to be giving away a copy of Something Like Normal!  I hope you will come back soon Trish, it was a pleasure having you!
Trish: The pleasure was mine. I’d love to visit again, and good luck to everyone who enters!

Connect With Trish: Facebook | Twitter | Web
Buy Something Like Normal! : Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Seriously, Something Like Normal made me cry, made me happy, and then it made me want to dive right in and help Travis! If you haven’t pick it up! Or enter to win a copy below!

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Katie McGarry Q&A & Pushing the Limits Giveaway

We are very lucky to have with us today, 
a Q&A with Katie McGarry!  
Katie is the author of the fabulous new novel, 
Pushing the Limits!
Pushing the Limits is out today! And in honor of the release, we are hosting Katie here today, and offering up a finished hardcover copy of Pushing the Limits (US ONLY)!

To brief you, here is a bit about Katie.

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and she remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings and reality television, and is a  secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Writing has given Katie an excuse to pursue her passions. Research for her books has provided her with the amazing opportunity to train with baseball players, ride along in a drag car at ninety-six miles per hour and experience boxing and mixed martial arts. Katie loves to visit schools and talk to teenagers about her research, writing and the truth that no dream is out of reach.

Connect with Katie twitter | facebook | web

Question and Answer with Katie

Q: What was your inspiration for writing Pushing the Limits?
A: I had two main inspirations: One, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write a story in which my characters felt strong enough to leave their pasts behind and create new futures for themselves. The first scene I ever saw in my mind was Echo and Noah leaving town after graduation. Two, I wanted to write two characters who were facing over- whelming issues and who, through battling these issues, found hope at the end of their journey.
Q: How did you come up with Echo’s name?
A: Echo went through several name changes as I wrote the man- uscript. For a while, she had a very normal name, but it alwaysfelt off. It wasn’t until I looked at Echo from her mother’s point of view that I found her name. Echo’s mother loved Greek my- thology so it made perfect sense that she would name her chil- dren after the myths. I read several Greek myths and the mo- ment I found Echo’s, I fell in love. Echo, to me, was the girl who lost her voice. Thankfully, she finds it by the end.
Q: Which character is the most “like” you?
A: All of them. I gave each character a piece of me (though some have larger slices of me than others). Overall, I’d say I’m a strange combination of Echo, Lila and Beth. Echo has my need to please, Lila has my unfailing loyalty to my friends and Beth encompasses my insecurities.
Q: Did you experience friendships with Grace types when you were in high school?
A: Yes. And the more people have read this story, the more this question comes up. Grace has struck a stronger nerve in people than I ever would have imagined. It seems most of us have un- fortunately experienced a relationship where a person wants to “like” you and wants “be your friend,” but only if it serves their needs. In case anyone is wondering, that isn’t friendship.
Q: Are there any parts of the story you feel particularly close to?
A: Yes. The relationship between Noah, Isaiah and Beth. Beyond my parents and sister, my nearest family members were over fourteen hours away. My friends became my family. The peopleI grew up with were more than people I watched movies with or talked to occasionally on the phone. These were people with whom I shared life’s most devastating moments, but also my hardest laughs. These were people who I would have willing- ly died for and I know they would have done the same for me. They shared my triumphs with smiles on their faces and con- gratulatory hugs. They held me when I cried and offered to beat up whoever hurt my feelings. These were also the same people who were more than happy to get in my face if they thought I was making a wrong decision.
Q: Did anything that happens to Echo happen to you?
A: Sort of. I was bitten by a dog when I was in second grade and repressed the memory. It felt very strange to have no memory of an incident that other people knew about. It was even strang- er to have injuries and not have an inkling where they came from. In college, I finally remembered the incident when a dog lunged at me. I relived the horrible event and sort of “woke up” a few minutes later to find myself surrounded by people I loved. Even though I “remember” the incident, I still don’t remember the whole thing. I only see still frames in my mind and there is no blood in any of the memories. 
I would like to thank Katie herself (who is a doll!), Karen from MediaMasters, and HarlequinTeen for helping set up this Q&A session as well as sponsoring the giveaway!  Be sure to enter! Here is a bit about Pushing the Limits.  In case you didn’t know, this is one of my FAVORITE books of 2012 thus far.  It is emotionally gripping, and an absolute must read. 
Pick up your copy today: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | IndieBound

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. Echo and Noah couldn’t be more different, but they find themselves united by a common goal: to sneak into their court-ordered social worker’s case files in order to learn the truth about themselves and their families. What they didn’t count on is falling in love — and now 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.

Here is my review of Pushing the Limits 
From my own review…

United States Only! Sorry Guys!

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AUTHOR Interview/Giveaway – Rebecca Rogers!

We are VERY fortunate to have Rebecca Rogers, author of the Silver Moon Series 
and Last Summer here with us today.

Hey Rebecca, it is wonderful to have you here with us today! 
Thank you so much for agreeing to an author interview!

Firstly, after looking around your website (which is awesome, by the way) I see that you went the self-publishing route. How has that been for you?
It’s been great! I was a little apprehensive at first because of the stigma self-publishing receives from the general public, but I think times are changing, and it’s becoming easier for writers to achieve their dreams, especially in the new digital era. I’m glad I took the plunge, because I’ll never have to ask myself, “What if?”

I also see that Last Summer was very different than anything else you have written. Where did you get the idea for this novel?
Originally, Last Summer was going to be a paranormal book in which a girl finds a ghost in an abandoned cottage. Creepy, right? Later, I decided I wanted to branch out from paranormal books and try contemporary. So, instead of finding a ghost, the main character finds a ghost of a boy. I added the drug addiction and homelessness, and voila! The idea for Last Summer was born. 🙂

Before I read Last Summer, you informed me it is not YA, it is New Adult. What made you want to try out the New Adult genre?
I wanted to see how far I could push the envelope with a book. All of my previously published novels had a minimal amount of language, sex, and violence, but with Last Summer, I didn’t want there to be any boundaries. I knew that if I wrote a book with drug addiction as a main theme, I wanted it to be raw and edgy. Also, considering the ages of the main characters, they were slightly too old for Young Adult, yet too young and less mature for Adult. Thank goodness someone dubbed a genre titled “New Adult”; otherwise, I might still be questioning what genre Last Summer fits into.

Did you have to research much to write about addiction as in depth as you did in Last Summer? That was some pretty heavy stuff!
I did, actually. I’ve only watched a few episodes of Intervention here and there, and I could see how tough it is for someone to give up their addiction. I know it doesn’t happen overnight, but at the same time, I couldn’t pack years worth of addiction into a novel; it would never end! So I lessened the length of time Logan (one of the main characters) actually used drugs, hoping he could hop off that wagon sooner than, say, drug addicts who have been using for years and years. I researched what the symptoms were for withdrawal, but really, it depends on the person, what drug they’re addicted to, and how long they’ve been using their drug of choice as to how severe their symptoms become once they stopped. It was very tricky finding a balance, and I’m sure plenty of people will disagree with the way I wrote it.

I love that on your website, you not only promote yourself, but others as well, but reviewing other books. What are some of your favorites?
Thank you! I love reading; it helps with writing, too. 😉
I’ve read so many great books, it’s tough to choose just a few. Some of the best YA books I’ve enjoyed so far this year are Red Heart Tattooby Lurlene McDaniel, Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, and Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. They’re definitely worth a read.

Continuing on that note, let’s hear it! Top three favorite authors, and top three writing inspirations:
Tolkien and Rowling are my top authors. I wish I had the ability to dive into their imaginations for one day, just to see what it’s like to be that gifted. They’re very inspiring, along with authors such as R.L. Stine, Annette Curtis Klause, and Lois Duncan, whose books I read growing up. I think they’re what inspired me to press forward with my writing.

What do you have coming up next? And what is your favorite TYPE of book to write?
I plan on finishing the Silver Moon series. I have the prequel lined up for release in late September, and I plan on releasing the final book the beginning of next year.
My favorite type of book to write would have to be paranormal. I just love dark and eerie books; there’s something otherworldly about them.

If you weren’t a writer, Rebecca, what would you be doing?
Probably sitting behind a desk somewhere. I was a legal secretary for six years before I quit to write full-time. It wasn’t a dream job, but it definitely paid the bills. 😉

Any plans you want to tell us about coming up in the next year or so?
I’ll be finishing up the Silver Moon series, and then I’ll start two new series to be released hopefully next year. I have one or two more standalones in mind, as well. 🙂

When you’re not writing, what do you love to do?
Read, read, read, or watch TV. I’m also shamelessly addicted to reality television. Don’t judge! 😛

Rebecca, thank you so much for being here today, and also for giving our readers a chance to win LAST SUMMER! You are super awesome and I can’t wait to dive into some more of your books! Last Summer was so different, and raw. I just fell in love with it. Despite the heavy subject matter, I thought it was a breath of fresh air from the typical contemporary. (Although those are nice sometimes as well!) I think the New Adult genre is going to begin to explode, I personally love it! Anyway, thank you again and I hope to have you back here soon!
Thank you so much for having me, Cass! 😀

Rebecca can be found a few places, find her:

Want to win Last Summer? 

Enter the Giveaway!

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Hello My Lovely Readers!

UPDATE: I purchased both Delirium and Divergent.  So you can still sound off in the comments which you’d like to win.  Please don’t repeat which you’d want to get if you already put your opinion.  Don’t forget, tell everyone about the giveaway, its worth 5 points! 

One of the following will be given away:

US Only.
Giveaway hosted by Rafflecopter.  Enter as much as you can 🙂
Giveaway ends Monday!