TTT

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Sites I Visit Daily

TTT

Since I was away the week on the May 10th prompt I decided to do it today. There are a lot of site that I visit online that have nothing to do with books. Some are informational purposes like weather and the news, some are to window shop, some are an addiction, and some are so I can decide what I will buy the next go around. All of them are very different but I need my daily fix anyway.

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What are your daily web visits that aren’t book related?

*Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
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Review

Review: Violent Ends – Shaun David Hutchinson, et al.

Review: Violent Ends – Shaun David Hutchinson, et al.Violent Ends by Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal Shusterman, Brendan Shusterman, Beth Revis, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Courtney Summers, Kendare Blake, Delilah S. Dawson, Steve Brezenoff, Tom Leveen, Hannah Moskowitz, Blythe Woolston, Trish Doller, Mindi Scott, Margie Gelbwasser, Christine Johnson, Elisa Nader, E.M. Kokie
Published by Simon Pulse
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon, Goodreads

In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, seventeen of the most recognizable YA writers—including Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal and Brendan Shusterman, and Beth Revis—come together to share the viewpoints of a group of students affected by a school shooting.

It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto the school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others.

But this isn’t a story about the shooting itself. This isn’t about recounting that one unforgettable day.

This is about Kirby and how one boy—who had friends, enjoyed reading, playing saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before—became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing on his classmates.

Each chapter is told from a different victim’s viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he’d become. Some are sweet, some are dark; some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kisses or late-night parties. This is a book of perspectives—with one character and one event drawing them all together—from the minds of some of YA’s most recognizable names.

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review

I went through a span recently where I had trouble finding a good book. Everything just felt blah or just okay. I wanted to be wowed but I was scared to read something I was super excited to read. Instead I went on gut instinct and picked a back list book that I had been excited to read. I went with Violent Ends and I’m so happy I just picked it and didn’t over think the selection. It really helped my semi reading slump.

I say this a lot but I just don’t know what to really say about Violent Ends. I’ve read a few school shooting stories over the years but there was something different about this one. This one really made me think. It isn’t told from the point of view of the shooter. It isn’t told from the point of view of a victim or girlfriend/boyfriend. It is told from a variety of point of views. Each one is different in terms of connection to the shooter. Some are very close, some are in small ways. But each story just makes you think about how you would feel if you were that person and this tragedy happened to you or around you. By the story being written this one you really got to see all sides of the shooter and a variety of aspects of people’s lives.

Did I love all the stories the same? No. Some I thought were stronger than others and one I thought was just weird. But they all lead to one thing, a story of a group of people effected one way or another by a troubled boy.

I do warn you that this book isn’t something you can read in one sitting or even over a short span of time. I took almost 2 weeks to read it because it is heavy and emotional and thought provoking. I had to take breaks and step back because I was just sad reading it. That right there is a testament to all the authors and the reason why you should check Violent Ends out.

 

blogtour

Blog Tour – Review/Excerpt: Charged by Jay Crownover (giveaway)

CHARGED - Tour Banner

 From New York Times bestselling author Jay Crownover comes CHARGED, the latest in her sexy The Saints of Denver Series, releasing May 24th! Known for her strong heroines and alpha males, you won’t know what hit you as you read Avett and Quaid’s story. Keep reading for more about the Leagle Eagle and Avett and order your copy today.

Blog Tour – Review/Excerpt: Charged by Jay Crownover (giveaway)Charged by Jay Crownover
Series: Saints of Denver, #2
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon, Goodreads

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the second installment in the Saints of Denver series featuring a bad girl and a by the book attorney who could be her salvation...or her ruin.

Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.

When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.

Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.
As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review

There is something about a Jay Crownover story that just makes me happy. She has a way about writing her couples that sucks me in and Avett and Quaid’s story was no different. Crownover managed to take people from two totally different life styles and backgrounds and make them perfect for each other.

Charged is Avett’s story. We originally met Avett in Jay’s Marked Men series and saw her again in Built (a favorite of mine) with Quaid, her love interest. Avett is a very very lost soul that always seems to get herself in trouble and makes the wrong decisions.  When she gets herself in real trouble and may face jail time Quaid is hired to help her. Soon the two of them find themselves in a whirlwind romance and see that maybe your kindred spirit is the complete opposite of what you thought and expected.

I guess what i enjoyed the most about Charged is Avett and Quaid. Both of them are lost souls but not in the way you would expect.  Avett has never figured out who she is and Quaid has lost the idea of who he wanted to be. They are on separate paths of self destruction in different ways and when those paths merge they are explosive.  There was something about these two characters that just worked for me. My heart went out to both of them but I just knew they could figure it out.

In the end I really liked Charged. Was it as good as Built was? No. But it was nice to connect with the characters I loved from the series and the companion series. And it was nice t get to know Avett and her family a little more. I look forward to Church’s and Wheeler’s books, which I hope we get soon. All in all a good book.

Amazon ** iBooks ** Barnes & Noble ** Kobo

CHARGED - Tour Teaser 1

And don’t miss the first titles in The Saints of Denver Series!

 

LEVELED - cover

LEVELED

Studio portrait of young bearded man --- Image by © pinkypills/Corbis

BUILT

Jay Crownover - author picAbout Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denverseries. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

 

Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter

CHARGED Goodreads ** Jay Crownover Goodreads

excerpt

Quaid

I tapped the edge of my thumb on the black-and-white mug shot photo and couldn’t stop the grin from tugging at my mouth.

She tried to fire me.

She was five-foot-nothing, a lifetime younger than me, had multicolored hair that had seen better days, wild eyes that couldn’t decide if they wanted to be green, gold, or brown, while dressed in convict orange and obviously scared out of her ever loving mind, yet she still tried to fire me. If it had been any of my other clients—the cop accused of sexual battery, the frat boy accused of manslaughter over a bet on a football game gone wrong, the middle school teacher accused of pedophilia and having an inappropriate relationship with several of her students, or the pro football player accused of domestic abuse—I would have tipped my proverbial hat, wished them luck while I cut my losses, and walked away without a backward glance. People always committed crimes. People always needed a good defense, so it wasn’t like I was hurting for clients, but there was something about the girl. Something about the defiant tilt of her chin and the raw desperation in her tone when she begged me not to call her father.

I don’t want your help. I don’t want anything from you.” She sounded like she meant it when she said it, but I figured she was too young and too scared to know exactly what she wanted or needed. Regardless, it was still refreshing to hear.

Everyone always wanted something from me and my help was usually the least of it.

I tapped the picture again, wondering why I found it so easy to believe that she really hadn’t been a part of the boyfriend’s plan to rob the bar. She wasn’t anyone’s idea of a model citizen and she had the shady track record to prove it. She was too young, and frankly too adorable, to have a file this thick. From what I could see, she had a set of parents always willing to ride to the rescue when she got herself into trouble. She looked like some kind of colorful woodland fairy from a Disney movie with her odd hair and delicate features. None of it added up, but the sincerity in her tone when she said she would never have gone with the boyfriend if she knew his intent and the fear in her eyes when I mentioned her father seemed genuine.

I learned long ago to treat everyone like they were guilty of whatever it was I was paid to defend them against. I didn’t want to know the truth. I didn’t want to know the circumstances. I wanted my clients to listen to me and let me do my job as I tried to convince the rest of the world they were innocent, regardless if they were or not. But this girl with her faded, rose colored hair and turbulent eyes oozed innocence through the cracks of a very guilty façade.

Because I was intrigued and actually believed the girl might be innocent, I wasn’t going to let her fire me. I was going to call her father and hope that he would help me keep her out of the slammer while I figured out how to plea bargain her charges down or get them dismissed altogether. Again, because a cop was involved in the robbery and because the boyfriend, junkie or not, was offering up a pretty plausible explanation for Avett’s involvement in the crime, nothing was a slam dunk, yet. I was going to help her whether she wanted me to or not.

 

CHARGED - Tour Teaser 2

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May 16th

Ramblings From This Chick – Review & Excerpt

BJ’ S Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

2 Girls & Their Kindles – Review & Excerpt

She Hearts Books – Review & Excerpt

Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

BookWorm221 – Review & Excerpt

Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt

Three Little Birds Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Gemma Reads Too Much – Review & Excerpt

Read more sleep less – Review

Ticket to Anywhere – Review & Excerpt

May 17th

Never Judge a Book by its Cover – Review & Excerpt

The Book Disciple – Review & Excerpt

Desert Divas Book Addiction – Review & Excerpt

Literati Literature Lovers – Review & Excerpt

BFF Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Hot Guys in Books – Review & Excerpt

This Wacky Momma reads! – Review & Excerpt

The Rambling Book Junke – Review & Excerpt

A Reader Who Reads – Excerpt

Books to Breathe – Review & Excerpt

Disheveled Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

May 18th

The Book Bellas – Excerpt

HotPressedBooks – Review & Excerpt

The Book Reading Gals – Excerpt

Books by Migs – Review & Excerpt

Emilie’s Book World – Review & Excerpt

Dirty Birdie Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Pages Abound – Review & Excerpt

NC 2 DC – Review & Excerpt

kimberlyfaye reads – Review & Excerpt

The Book Maven – Review & Excerpt

Julalicious Book Paradise – Review & Excerpt

The Dirty Book Girls – Review & Excerpt

May 19th

Ineffable Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Much Loved Books – Review

Reading is Sexy – Review & Excerpt

Pretty Sassy Cool – Review & Excerpt

About That Story – Excerpt

An Asian Chick & Her Cat Walk into a Book Blog – Review

Shanoff Says… – Review & Excerpt

Krista’s Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt

Home. Love. Books. – Review

Girls With Books – Review & Excerpt

Milky Way of Books – Review & Excerpt

Rachel Reads Ravenously – Review

May 20th

Naughty and nice book blog – Review & Excerpt

Take Me Away To A Great Read – Excerpt

Waiting For Wentworth – Review & Excerpt

TjLovesToRead – Review & Excerpt

Zili in the Sky – Review & Excerpt

From the TBR Pile – Review & Excerpt

Jack of All Trades, Master of None – Review & Excerpt

Typical Distractions – Review & Excerpt

Blog of Books – Review & Excerpt

Belle of the Literati – Review

Lea’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

This is the Story of My(Reading) Life – Review & Excerpt

May 21st

Random Book Muses – Review

Morning Books and Coffee – Review

Dark Faerie Tales – Review & Excerpt

three chicks and their books – Review & Excerpt

Ali’s Reviews and More – Review & Excerpt

Little Red’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

Andi’s ABCs – Review & Excerpt

StarAngels Reviews – Review & Excerpt

We stole your book boyfriend – Review & Excerpt

City of Fandoms – Review & Excerpt

Natasha is a Book Junkie – Review

May 22nd

Best Book Boyfriends – Review & Excerpt

The Bookworms Obession Blog – Review

Bookcrack – Review

Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous – Review & Excerpt

Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess – Review & Excerpt

Guiltyindulgencebookclub – Review & Excerpt

Cocktails and Books – Review & Excerpt

Ceres Books World – Review

Reese’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

May 23rd

Lazy Book Lovers – Review

People Like Books – Review & Excerpt

The Book Lovers Codex – Review & Excerpt

Tash – Review & Excerpt

Obsessive Book Nerd – Review

Under the Covers – Review & Excerpt

Princess Reads – Review & Excerpt

Shelf_life – Review & Excerpt

The Bookmark Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

May 24th

RELEASE WEEK BLITZ!

May 25th

Escaping Into Books – Review & Excerpt

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

True Story Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Lili’s Books – Review & Excerpt

Two Book Pushers – Review

Book Sojourner – Review & Excerpt

Reviews by Tammy & Kim – Review & Excerpt

Romance Addict Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Babbling Chatter Reads – Review & Excerpt

Rentastic Reads – Review

Smut Book Junkie Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Total Book Geek – Review & Excerpt

My Girlfriend’s Couch – Review & Excerpt

The Book Avenue – Review & Excerpt

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Excerpt

Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt

May 26th

RELEASE WEEK BLITZ!

May 27th

Mistress of Romance – Review & Excerpt

Live Read and Breathe – Review

The Revolving Bookcase – Review & Excerpt

Red Cheeks Reads – Review & Excerpt

The Romance Reviews – Review

BFD Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

lyssagabriellee_books – Review

Read-Love-Blog – Review & Excerpt

Renee Entress’s Blog – Review & Excerpt

Lucie Lu’s Book Reviews – Review

Oh My Shelves – Review

I Heart Books – Review & Excerpt

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absees

Andi’s AB”Sees” with Lauren Smith

absees

Next Destination: Russia (Fingers Crossed)

Ever have a place that just calls to you? The one that whispers your name and tempts you to buy that plane ticket or book that hotel? Russia is that place for me. I’m not even sure why Russia has snuck to the top of my “where to visit” list. (As far as I know, I have no connection to it ancestry-wise.) But I’ve since stopped questioning it and jumped into research. (Hello! Lawyer and writer here!) So today I’m sharing some of the spots I’d love to visit there when I have a chance:

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  • The Winter Palace – Think of that famous scene in the animated movie Anastasia where the adolescent grand duchess is dancing in the ball. The opulence, the decadence, the glowing lights and laughter of the beautiful dancers. It’s all part of the tragic story of a fallen empire and a family that was brutally slain at the beginning of a social revolution. (http://stpetersburg-guide.com/history/winterpalace.shtml)

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  • Yekaterinburg – This is apparently a very quirky town and they have a huge monument in the ground that is essentially a keyboard — like the kind you find on your computer. I’m not kidding! (http://snarkynomad.com/places-to-visit-in-russia/)

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  • Basil’s Cathedral – The iconic association of Russia worldwide is always linked to the beautiful onion style domed architecture. I find it fascinating and beautiful and would love to see it up close. There’s no better place to do that than St. Basil’s. Urban folklore says that Ivan the Terrible, who commissioned it to be built, had the builders blinded so they could not build anything as beautiful ever again! (http://www.moscow.info/red-square/st-basils-cathedral.aspx)
The Hermitage Museum

The Hermitage Museum

  • Hermitage Museum – It is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world (and technically part of the Winter Palace) and founded by Catherine the Great — one of my favorite historical figures. (I actually dressed up as Catherine in my high school for a historical roundtable discussion.) The Hermitage is technically part of the Winter Palace but is the museum portion. (http://www.bestourism.com/items/di/6914?title=The-Hermitage-Museum&b=248)

 

I’m sure part of my fascination with Russia has to do with its rich history. The mysticism! The tragic fallen empires! The beautiful sights! They all offer so much to someone like me —  who lives and breathes the stories of the past. If you’ve been lucky enough to visit Russia before, be sure to leave me some suggestions!

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Lauren Smith is a romance author, living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her series include The League of Rogues from Samhain Publishing, and The Surrender and Her British Stepbrother series from Grand Central Publishing. She has also written for Heroes & Heartbreakers Blog, The Daily Quirk, and Bustle. For more (including cute animal photos), follow Lauren on Twitter @LSmithAuthor or laurensmithbooks.com.

absees

Andi’s “AB”Sees” the World – Sarah (2)

absees

Hey guys, it’s me again! Sarah from What Sarah Read! I’m back with another guest post for Andi’s AB “Sees The World” feature. Last time I talked about my bookish bucket listbut today I wanted to share a little bit about one of my very favorite travel destinations!

DISNEY WORLD!!!

There is so much I love about “The Happiest Place on Earth” and I’m so excited to talk about all of my favorite rides, sights, sounds and bites! Let’s start off with The Magic Kingdom! It’s a sentimental favorite for my husband and I. We love the classic Disney feel to it and it’s always the first park we go to when we arrive to Disney World. There’s nothing better than the feeling of walking through those gates, hearing the classic Disney music and looking down Main Street USA to Cinderella’s Castle. Ummm…no….YOU get teary eyed every time!

Disney - Welcome

Source: disneytouristblog.com

Our favorite rides at this park are old-school Disney classics! They are original to Disneyland Park out in California and I am so happy they brought these favorites out to Orlando when they first built the parks. Splash Mountain is such a blast with all of the funny scenes throughout, and who doesn’t love a big plunge at the end with the very real chance of getting completely soaked? I’m a total diva and suit myself up in a poncho before we hop in our log. As much as I LOVE this ride I really don’t want to walk around the park afterwards soaked from head to toe. Out of all the parks in all of Disney World our absolute favorite ride is Pirates of the Caribbean. Don’t ask me why cause I don’t really have a reason for you. It’s probably because it’s the first ride we went on together during our first trip to Disney together, but we always rides it at least twice a day when we’re at the Magic Kingdom.

MK FAVE RIDES

Source: disneytouristblog.com

Animal Kingdom is another favorite park of mine because they really do an amazing job of immersing you into the experience. The theming is top notch…I mean would you look at this view!

AK

Source: disneytouristblog.com

My favorite rides at Animal Kingdom are Expedition Everest and Primeval Whirl. Expedition Everest is this amazing roller coaster that takes you through the Himalayan Mountains on a broken track and the mythical Yeti to attack! It’s a fast-paced and fun roller coaster with some of the best ride theming in all of Disney World. My other favorite ride is Primeval Whirl, and although it may be classified as a “kiddie coaster” this ride makes laugh so hard with all of its sudden twists and turns. Both coasters are a MUST ride for my hubby and I when at The Animal Kingdom.

AK FAVE RIDES

Source: disneytouristblog.com

Next up we have Disney’s Hollywood Studios! This park is like stepping onto an old Hollywood movie set. I love all the neon lights and art deco architecture. It’s my husband’s favorite park theme-wise and I must say, it’s absolutely gorgeous at night.

DHS

Source: disneytouristblog.com

My very favorite THRILL ride in all of Disney is here as well…Tower of Terror! I love to hate this ride! When I get into that elevator car I seriously start to freak out and wonder what the heck I was thinking. But the second I hear that bell *DING* and the elevator drops I remember why I love the ride so much. You’ve also got Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at this park and if you love indoor coasters this one is for you. Plus, it’s all themed to the music of Aerosmith and this 80’s kid loves that!

DHS FAVE RIDES

Source: disneytouristblog.com

Ohhh Epcot, I mean, I do love you. You’re in Disney after all! I just wish you had some newer and more relevant attractions. Out of all four parks Epcot would have to be my least favorite. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy my time spent there but the theming really doesn’t do it for me and none of the rides really get me overly excited.

Epcot

Source: disneytouristblog.com

What I DO love about Epcot is The World Showcase! I am a wanderlust at heart and have such an appreciation for different cultures, varieties of food and unique architecture, so World Showcase is like someone dropped me in the middle of travel bug heaven. I can get a margarita at the Mexico pavilion, a glass of wine in Paris, or a stein of beer in Germany! Are you sensing a theme here? The World Showcase at Epcot is such a beautiful area to stroll through and take in all the sights. Stopping at each pavilion to get a taste or a sip of something that each country is known for. Quick bit of advice, it’s better to go in the evening when the temperatures are cooler and you can check out the amazing fireworks show that takes place out on the lagoon.

WORLD SHOWCASE COLLAGE

Source: disneytouristblog.com

So, there you have it! Some pretty great reasons why I love Disney World so much! Be sure to check out the hashtag #sarahsdisneyvacay on Instagram for lots of photos from my latest trip back in February! I just can’t help but take a million photos when I’m surrounded by the happiness and magic that is Disney World! Here’s some of my faves…

DisneyFaves

Thanks so much for having me again, Andi! I always love to find an excuse to tell people all about my love for Disney World. If you’re planning an upcoming trip and need some tips, tricks, or help with planning, don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter!

“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age,
dreams are forever.”

– Walt Disney

CLOSING

Source: disneytouristblog.com

All of the gorgeous professional photos in this post are courtesy of the fabulously talented Tom Bricker of the Disney Tourist Blog!

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Thanks Sarah for guest posting!

You can find her here:
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