Jan 31, 2013

Tour Stop ~ Review: Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane

Because of what you are, the Believers will hunt you down.

Voices told Lucas Darby to run. Voices no one else can hear. He’s warned his sister not to look for him, but Rayne refuses to let her troubled brother vanish on the streets of LA. In her desperate search, she meets Gabriel Stewart, a runaway with mysterious powers and far too many secrets. Rayne can’t explain her crazy need to trust the strange yet compelling boy—to touch him—to protect him even though he scares her.

A fanatical church secretly hunts psychic kids—gifted “Indigo” teens feared to be the next evolution of mankind—for reasons only “the Believers” know. Now Rayne’s only hope is Gabe, who is haunted by an awakening power—a force darker than either of them imagine—that could doom them all.

Rayne Darby has had a pretty rough go of things in her seventeen years. She's lost her parents; her sister, Mia, is a snobbish control freak; and her brother, Lucas, has been committed to the looney bin. She's alone, with the exception of her pet iguana, Floyd, and she suffers some massive guilt over the fact that her family has fallen apart. It's only until that fateful night that she goes in search of Lucas, who had escaped from his medical prison, that she meets Gabriel and things begin to change ~ for better and for worse. 

Indigo Awakening is a dark, mysterious, and rather intense read. It draws a connection between what we would consider the paranormal and the science of evolution. It's interesting and unique because we automatically assume that beings with extraordinary powers are fiction, but what if the human mind evolved? There is a myth that we humans only use 10% of our brain power. What if that were true, and we grew to use our brains in their entire capacity? According to Jordan Dane, you'd get Indigos. 
Supposedly Indigo kids had high IQs and were the next evolution of mankind with their special gifts.
But of course, when you have something that folks don't understand, there tends to be aggression. In this case, there's a church ~ a group that others may hesitate to question ~ that plays the role of a coverup for what's really going on. They collect Indigos, do some research and probing, and then discard whatever's left. They are afraid of what they do not know, and this begins a silent war between the "church" and the future of humanity.

Indigo Awakening is reminiscent of X-Men, but it's got its own unique flair. There are connections to the dead, psychic visions, mental bonds, and the fact that these kids are pretty much on their own ~ they live in underground tunnels and constantly live in suspense that they will be found out. 

There are so many characters to fall in love with in this novel ~ although it is difficult to determine which is the focus. The multiple POVs were a little confusing and distanced the characters from the reader. It felt like we were just skimming over the surface, and as soon as it started digging deep, we were switched over to another character's story. There is never a dull moment in this story, but there is so much going on, that it can be difficult to stay connected to everyone. 

BUT the characters do feel genuine and there are some dynamics totally worth mentioning. I adored Rafe and Benny's relationship. Rafe, this bad dude with a rap sheet, wants to be better because of this little boy he considers to be the younger brother he never had. They take care of each other. Kendra, the leader of the group, felt like one of the more dominant characters, but I'm not sure if I like her or not. I admire her strength and wisdom, and while she wants to save everyone, I feel like she's blind and inconsiderate of those closest to her (*ahem* like Rafe, a sweety she obviously loves but won't admit to it). Lucas ~ well... he just plays the role of the domino that starts the whole effect. 

Then we have Gabriel and Rayne. If I had to choose who the main character is of Indigo Awakening, I'd probably pick Gabriel. Like all the young people in this book, Gabriel has a pretty heart-breaking past, something Rayne helps him come to terms with. They meet when Rayne finds herself in trouble, and Gabriel scares her just as much as he piques her interest.
She didn't know anything about him, except that he had a thing for rain, knew how to lie, could spontaneously combust and was a real party animal.
He looked normal - sort of - if she didn't  count his Pied Piper bat entourage and the fact that she could roast marshallows on him.
I really loved Rayne's voice, and I'm a little bummed that we didn't get more of it in this novel. She starts out as the strongest character and then kinda fades into the background. I'm hopin' we get more of her in future novels.

The relationship between Gabriel and Rayne was... Sorry guys, it was totally insta-love. *cringe* For a badass girl who emancipated herself, has a pet iguana, and rides a Harley, I had hoped Rayne would live up to her image, but she immediately went soft and gooey under the gaze of Gabriel's eyes. *sigh* I love a little love, but it felt rushed.

But ya know, even with the insta-love, I found myself rooting for Gabriel and Rayne, their cause, and the group that they've become a significant part of. They have a battle to fight, and hopefully win, and while their spirits falter and they doubt themselves sometimes, together they are discovering that they are stronger than they could have ever imagined.

All in all guys, I'd recommend this one. It's totally action packed, loaded with mystery and unique questions, got a hint of romance, and ultimately it raises the issue of accepting yourself no matter what and fighting for the right to be who you are.

4/5 stars :)

Visit Jordan Dane via

Get a copy of Indigo Awakening via
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

AND keep scrolling for the GIVEAWAY!

Favorite Quotes

She needed the distraction of being in a crowd with a drool-worthy boy buffet on stage, guys who knew how to dish out a heaping side of decibels.
Sometimes it did her good to picture Miss Perfect Mia with a ripe zit - ready to harvest - in the middle of her forehead.
Now or never, she flipped onto her belly and backed her way out of the vent shaft. She hoped she looked like a beautiful butterfly emerging from its cocoon, but more than likely, she resembled raw bratwurst being squished into a sausage.
He could've stayed there, watching her sleep, but that would only be torture over a life he could never have. 
The man's eyes bugged out like a pug on meth.
She could be strong one minute but need him the next. He liked that.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty romantic thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She also pens young-adult novels for Harlequin Teen. Formerly an energy sales manager, she now writes full time. Jordan and her husband share their Texas residence with two cats of highborn lineage and two lucky rescue dogs.

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Jan 26, 2013

Tuesday Prelude

Oh, sweet freedom. I'm on vacation this week, so I'm thoroughly enjoying all the reading, writing, and relaxing I get to do for ten blissful days.

On a more focused note, Tuesday Prelude stems from Should Be Reading's Teaser Tuesday. Since I could never limit myself to just two sentences, I decided to take this post a step further. You might meet characters, get involved in their relationships, or experience the places they live or the history they have.

This week's Prelude is inspired by Oxford Whispers by Marion Croslydon:

Madison Lebon is from the humid bayous of Louisiana. She has a ancestry filled with voodoo priestesses and visits from the dead, something she'd rather not discuss... with anyone. She escapes to Oxford for school, hoping for a fresh start and to possibly find another version of herself.

She's shy, maybe a little awkward, and she's never had a real relationship with a guy. At twenty-two, she finds this to be a strange quality about herself. But she's never really found anyone to make her want to be in a relationship... Until Rupert.
Madison was surprised her brain could still function in spite of the testosterone flaunted before her.
Rupert's not inexperienced ~ in fact, he has a pretty heavy reputation, something that Madison isn't ignorant of.
Bad boys were so not advisable for virgins. Whatever they wrote in romance books. 
C'mon Madison. Just because they aren't advisable, doesn't mean they are easy to resist.
She had read about those moments when time stopped, when life froze and turned upside-down. Now was one of those moments. 
Such a sucker, Madison, and I don't blame you... Rupert, he's....
He's hotter than the hinges on the gates of hell. 
Hook. Line. Sinker. It's all over.

Stop by February 1st for my review of Oxford Whispers :)

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Random Rambles: Cover Love

HAHA, but we know we do, don't we? It's the first thing we see, that little spark that catches our eye, and we can't help but be superficial when it comes to picking out books. Or at least I can't.

The story is the most important element of any novel, so don't get me wrong, but you gotta market it, and that means you gotta make it look good.

That saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover," only really works when used as a metaphor to describe people, dogs, cats, or anything that's living and gets handed a genetic code they can't change. The cover of a novel, on the other hand, should reflect what's inside. This is something authors and publishers have control over, and they should take pride in it. What's the point in working your ass of to write this incredible story when people might just skim by a weak cover and pass it up? Make that baby strong, appealing, and breathtaking. It's a work of art and should be treated as such.


It's not bad.... I guess... but, I mean, c'mon, this book is about four women whose lives get cut short by their husbands, and their anger transcends death. That's pretty heavy stuff, and the cover just doesn't do the synopsis justice. (Check it out.)

It's a book I definitely would like to read after reviewing the little blurb, but initially, I passed it up. From what I gather through my own reading habits, the book collecting process occurs in steps.

  1. See the cover...
  2. Read the synopsis...
  3. Get freakishly excited and buy that sucker...

There are SO many books out there just waiting to be read, so it's imperative have a cover that stands out among the crowd. I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend my time reading books rather than thousands of synopses just to keep my risk of being shallow low. And that's where the covers come in. I see what catches my eye and go from there.

I'm not a designer, so I don't have any real advice on how to create that eye-popping cover, but from what I can tell, simplicity works just as well as complexity.

Check this one out...

So simple. But it's eye catching with it's black and white color scheme and a font that exudes mystery and danger. The beach looks harmless enough, fun even, but the shadows cast by the pier give it a dark look, as if there is something lurking behind the smiling faces and splashing children. You can immediately determine that this novel will be full of suspense and thrills. (GoodReads)

"What you see is what you get." That's the phrase that comes to mind when I think about what makes people buy one product over another. Books are more than just a product to a book lover like myself, but it's the same concept. People are more likely to be drawn to what attracts them the most. And not only that, but like I said before, authors work their passionate tails off to make the content of their book extraordinary... And that work deserves to be showcased and represented by a cover that's just as magnificent. 

What's your opinion? Do you look for what catches your eye or do you go by the synopsis alone? 

Do you "judge a book by its cover?"
pollcode.com free polls 

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Jan 25, 2013

Feature & Follow

Q: What is the last book that kept you up late into the night just to finish it?

One of my current reads, Oxford Whispers by Marion Croslydon. I haven't finished it yet, but I've been consumed by it the past two days and have fallen asleep with it in my hands the past two nights.

Madison LeBon is dead set against the dead. 

Her fresh start at Oxford University is a brand new beginning. She finally has a chance to turn the page on her psychic powers and cumbersome voodoo heritage. Snakes, dolls, ghosts, and spirits: Farewell…

Not quite.

When the tragic lovers in a painting—the subject of her first history class—begin to haunt her, she must accept her gift before life imitates art. The lovers warn her against their own nemesis, a Puritan from the English Civil War. Unfortunately, said nemesis is now going all homicidal on Madison. 

College becomes more complicated when she falls hard for Rupert Vance, a troubled aristocrat and descendant of one of the characters in the painting. With the spirit of a murderer after her, Madison realizes that her own first love may also be doomed…

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Jan 24, 2013

E-Books vs. Print Books: My Promise

I've been looking at my "library," doing a kind of inventory of what books I still have yet to read and what books I've finished. I have this obsessive habit of buying books even when I have ten (or more) just sitting there waiting to be read, and I figure it's time I stop out-collecting my ability and time (or lack there of) to read.

What I noticed was that I have a lot more ebooks (mostly on my Kindle app) than I do printed books.

I'm little ashamed of myself, actually. If you asked me which format I prefer, there is no doubt that I would lean toward the side of having a real book in my hands. I love the feel of them, the smell of them, and I love the fact that each one is like it's own little work of art and you can display them as such. But let's face it, the world of the printed word has changed and is continuing to do so, and it's affecting everyone.
Amazon now sells more ebooks than paperback and hardcovers combined, and while I'm guilty of simply clicking away and downloading books, that outrageous fact has got me a little anxious. Are print books going to wiped out to extinction by convenience?

It is really simple. Ebooks can cost lest than $10 (even less than $5) and it can be at your fingertips with ever-present WIFI and the simple push of a button. That's my weakness ~ seeing this great book for $0.99... How in the heck can any book lover with limited funds possibly resist that?

It's also simple and more cost effective for publishers and authors. Being in the book blogging world, I've noticed that most ARCs I receive come in a digital format. It's just easier and less expensive. You attach an entire, beautiful book to an email, click send and it reaches its destination in mere seconds. No paying for print or packaging. No waiting and hoping that the mailman delivers in a timely fashion. It's win, win... right?

With the world becoming more and more technological and social networking allowing us all to connect via our computers, phones, and tablets... I mean, the book world didn't stand a frosted chance in hell. It's either change or be left behind in this fast paced world.

Take a look at the Kindle app. You can share quotes on Facebook or Twitter by simply highlighting the words that strike your fancy. You can "x-ray" the book to see where characters are mentioned. You can place multiple bookmarks and add notes. And it's all right there, neatly organized, saved, and laid out for you.

Kobo is another one that has taken reading to a social level. You can see who else is reading that very book displayed on your screen and what they might have to say about it. If your friends on Facebook are signed up, there's a little tab especially for interacting with them via Kobo. You have "reading stats," telling you how many pages you've read and how long it takes you to finish a book. You even receive "awards" for your reading such as The Twain Award, bestowed on those who have read daily for two weeks or the Page Turner award, honoring readers who haven't put their book down for two hours straight. It's akin to a game and takes reading to a whole new level.

But you know, even with all the wonderful things that ebooks and e-readers have brought to the table, there's nothing like a real book in your hands. There aren't any stats or a long list of fancy attributes like I've listed with the e-readers, but still... Nothing compares. Book lovers understand. No amount of conveniences or features can take away what it feels like to turn that first page, to smell the ink and paper, to physically hold someone's heart and soul in your hands.

My hope is that printed books don't turn into collectible relics that cost a fortune due to their rarity. Already, some books are only available in a digital format, and I'm sure that number will increase. After taking stock of my book shelves, virtual and wooden, I've realized that I've fallen into that hole. Drunk the koolaid. Followed the masses. There's nothing wrong with ebooks, but could you imagine a world where paperbacks and hardcovers were no longer created? Makes me short of breath... It's like a friggin' nightmare...

Realization has struck, so as a method of atonement for my "sins" against the printed word, any books that I buy from here on out will be solid, real, physical things that take up actual space on my shelves.

Real books all the way.

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Jan 23, 2013

Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them. 

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

If there's one thing I can say about Altered, it's that it's a joyride... A thrill... A test of the nerves... This book hits the ground running and it doesn't stop until the very end... and even then, there's still a battle to be fought.

Sam, Cas, Trev, and Nick find a way out of the lab, and when Anna gets caught in the crossfires, she is forced to go on the run with them, leaving everything she has ever known behind. She feels like this was all an accident, a grave mistake. Like she had a choice to get involved with the boy's dangerous undertaking for freedom. She questions herself about her decision, if she would have made a different one, but the lurking truth is, she's a part of them and they are a part of her.

The boys are a group of supercharged misfits. I just love them. Even Nick with his surly attitude and hatefulness towards Anna. Then there's Cas with his "innocent-but-mischievous way that only five-year-olds can pull off;" Anna's best friend, Trev, with his myriad of quotes from the books he loves to read; and then we have Sam ~ "The things that truly defined him were still a secret."

All these guys have their own personalities and distinct voices ~ it's impossible to get them mixed up. And Anna's in the middle of them all. She grows so much throughout this novel, beginning as a naive teenager just trying to finish high school at home, baking pumpkin cookies for the four boys locked up in her dad's lab, to this kick-ass, courageous female who can take care of herself and those she loves. She didn't suffer from damsel-in-distress syndrome like so many female characters tend to do. While the boys do feel the need to protect her, she soon proves that they need her just as much as she needs them. Anna takes quite a few massive hits, both physically and emotionally, and while she doesn't come out unscathed, she accepts the weighted truth and allows it to make her stronger.

Of course, there's hardly ever a good story that doesn't include a little romance. Maybe I shouldn't call it "romance," as that sounds a bit on the cheesy side for Anna and Sam, but there's no denying their feelings for each other go beyond friendship. "It wasn't just love. It was a million other things all woven together. Emotions I couldn't even name." What I loved about their relationship is that it wasn't head-over-heels from day one. There was no need to rush and force them to be together, and it felt real and believable and left you hoping.

This book just doesn't stop, and there's not a single dull moment that I can think of. Stolen identities. Secret experiments. Wiped memories. Hidden messages. And that constant motion of watching your back to make sure no one is following you. It's definitely a whiplash-worthy ride.

I highly recommend this book, guys. There's no way you'll be able to put it down once you get going.

Five stars!

Visit Jennifer Rush via

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Jan 22, 2013

Teaser Tuesday Prelude

The Tuesday Prelude is a meme that was inspired by Should Be Reading's Teaser Tuesday. Since I could never just stick to two lines, I decided to expand this weekly post a bit by introducing you to more than just a little piece of the story.

This week, I'm diving into Altered by Jennifer Rush ~ I'm currently listening to this little beauty on audio, and it's incredible... Especially with the complexity of Anna and Sam...

Anna has grown up knowing Sam, Cas, Trev, and Nick, four genetically altered boys who are contained in the lab where her father is constantly working to study their every movement. But Sam has always been special.
The whole time I'd known the boys, they had suffered from amnesia, an unplanned side effect of the alterations. Despite that, I felt like the others had shown me parts of who they were, deep down. All of them but Sam. Same gave only what he thought was necessary. The things that truly defined him were still a secret.
Despite this mysteriousness, or perhaps because of it, Anna sneaks down into the basement most nights to play a game of chess with Sam. She's curious about him, and, more importantly, she feels different around him. More.
For some reason, everything I said and did around Sam felt weightier. As if merely his presence could shake my soul, make me feel. He savored every detail I gave him, as if I was his last link to the outside world. I guess in some ways I was.
Their relationship is... tense... in more ways than one. Sam acts more like a machine than a human being, doing what needs to be done to escape the basement, even if that means using Anna.
"We were never friends, Anna. I was a prisoner in your basement for five years. ... I wanted out, so I did what I needed to do to win your trust. If you had been in my position, you would have done the same thing." 
Sounds a little cold, but you have to imagine what Sam's been through, being used as a lab rat for some genetic experiment. But as their fight for their lives continues and grows more dangerous, something changes or is at least brought to the surface.
"It's written all over your face." He pushed a lock of hair out of my eyes. "I'm not going anywhere." 
What I love about their relationship is that it's believable. It's push and pull, up and down, hesitation and diving in head first. They care about each other, but it's not all googly eyes and promises of forever. It takes time to develop, overcoming obstacles, secrets, and revelations. It feels real.
I didn't know what Sam and I had, if we had anything at all, but the void opening in my chest told me that it was enough, that maybe the connection between us was real...

Love this book SO much! Review coming soon :)

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

(P.S. It was brought to my attention that I should include a linky for this post, so keep scrollin' and you'll find it (: ...)

Jan 19, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Stitch by Samantha Durante

Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa's body screams at her to run... but yet she's powerless to move.

Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees - and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell - Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.

Because what Alessa hasn't figured out yet is that she's not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university's idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface...

The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.

First of all, I want to thank Samantha Durante for the opportunity to read and review her novel. :)

This story... took a popular genre and made it into something unique. At first, I thought I was reading a ghost story... then there were suspicions about time travel and wormholes... and after all that "drama," the truth came out, and it was... shocking. But the thing is, the truth is there the whole time, it's just that we don't see it for what it is ~ the real story.

Yes, it appeared that Alessa had stumbled upon some fantastically twisted kind of hell.
There's so much that I would like to say about this story, but I feel that I must bite my tongue at the risk of drawing blood in order to keep from giving it all away. Just trust me on this... the truth is so much better than the lie. You start out wondering where everything is going to lead ~ how can this possibly end well? But you end up surprised, doing a double take, as the story goes from being... a little off the wall... to relaying events that dig much deeper than we would have thought.

Stitch is beautifully written ~ the descriptions completely draw you in, building this world that you can almost touch. I really fell in love with the characters, especially as the pieces of their stories fell in to place. We learn about them, dream by dream, bit by bit, and I found that they were easy to connect to, although I also feel that this first novel just scratched the surface. We learn about the characters as they discover their true selves, and our perspective is changed as the novel progresses, making us want to learn more about them and the relationships they've formed. It felt like an introduction, but it does a fabulous job in laying the groundwork for the rest of the trilogy.

Stitch holds nothing that you expect. It got me thinking, left me perplexed, and had me reeling. This story starts out on one side of the spectrum, takes you for a loop, and finishes on the other.

My review is short this time around because a lot of what I would love to say would spoil it all! But I will say that I highly recommend this novel, and I will absolutely be looking out for future books.

(Don't forget to enter the giveaway below!)

Five out of five stars :)


Visit Samantha Durante via

Enter the giveaway HERE!
Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, is a weekly meme in which we showcase the lovely new treasures on our shelves...

I feel like I had quite a haul this week...


The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself? 

Wake up, Caitlin

Ever since she started going out with Rogerson Biscoe, Caitlin seems to have fallen into a semiconscious dreamland where nothing is quite real. Rogerson is different from anyone Caitlin has ever known. He's magnetic. He's compelling. He's dangerous. Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else--her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life. But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him?

courtesy of netgalley 

"I dare you..." 

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does.... 

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him. 

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.


Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Jan 17, 2013

A Playlist for Dante Walker

He makes good girls...bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big, red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

Over the past couple of months, I've been getting to know Dante. I wouldn't quite call it stalking, but I've been to his website a few times, followed that "random chick" who wrote a book about him (Victoria Scott), and been keeping track of excerpts of that book on the web. Like I said, not stalking. I like to call it staying informed and quenching my thirsty curiosity.

What I've learned about Dante, so far, is that he's good with words, and he has a knack for getting "pretty little souls" on his side. Seriously, though. How can you not just turn to jello when he starts sweet-talkin' you, painting a picture of you... with him... in the woods with a homemade drive-in movie setup.... or on the beach... or just going for a ride in his favorite car... You're brain just kind of turns to mush and you're at his mercy, like play-dough in his hands, and he can mold you into whatever he wants. Like it says, "He makes good girls....bad." (Visit Dante Walker)

But even with all his confidence, he still has regrets and emotions that he buries. He's got another side, which I doubt he'd like to admit, that's a little more raw than the guarded, yet flirtatious, game he plays. I'm curious to see more of it...

He collects souls for the Boss Man. His favorite color is, without a doubt, red. He's a Taurus, which says a lot (sensual, stubborn, lover of beauty and pleasure, strong, and persistent in his tasks ~ ahem, collecting souls).  He doesn't like to read (bummer). He's got blue eyes. And he's single.

But he's also a demon. A dead demon. Who collects souls... *shrugs* Ah, who am I kidding? Minor details...

Everyone has a playlist, a list of songs that seem to be written for or about you... Even Dante... Or at least, he has this playlist that I've put together... We'll see if it's up to par...

Well, I'm sure you've seen the trailer for his - um, Victoria Scott's - book, The Collector. LOVE the Deftones in the background... 

The Collector by Nine Inch Nails ~ Well, the title kind of speaks for itself... and the lyrics

I pick things up
I am a collector
And things, well things, they tend to accumulate
I have this net
It drags behind me
It picks up feelings
For me to feed upon

It's kinda perfect...

Rogues by Incubus ~ The title itself reminds me of Dante ~ rogue. He's unconventional, doesn't ask questions as to why he's given the "assignments" he's given.. He just wants a way out..

I’m keeping an eye on the future/an eye on the past
& the present in my pocket/just in case I need a door…
I’m keeping an eye on the pulse
an ear to the track & penance in a locket
I’m dropping from the highest floor.
When it hits ground I watch it smash to pieces.

Needles and Pines by Deftones ~ This song reminds me of Dante's talents for seduction...

Well I'm here if that's what you want

Here we are - You're pins - I'm needles - Let's play...
Here we are - You want this? - Then come on...
Tune out everyone in the crowd because now it's just me and you

Send the Pain Below by Chevelle ~ So, according to the synopsis, Dante has "emotions deeply buried." Why do you bury emotions? Either they scare you or they hurt, so you "send the pain below."

Follow by Breaking Benjamin ~ This song always makes me feel a lot when I listen to it, but looking closely at the lyrics... 

I'll follow you if you follow me
I don't know why you lie so clean
I'll break right through the irony

Enlighten me
Reveal my fate
Just cut these strings
That hold me safe

It reminds me not of Dante, but of the souls he collects... They'll follow him because he makes it so easy, and he'll "reveal" their "fate." 

Highway to Hell by AC/DC ~ Well...

Asking nothing, leave me be
Taking everything in my stride
Don't need reason, don't need rhyme
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Like a wheel, gonna spin it
Nobody's gonna mess me round

Pretty much sounds like Dante.. He's gunna do what he's gunna do, say what he's gunna say... because he's awesome just the way he is, and no one's going to mess with him. That, and he's experienced the literal highway to hell. 

Buried Alive by Avenged Sevenfold ~ Dante's situation, in a nutshell... He's dead, but not really.. He does the Boss Man's bidding, "buried alive," looking for his ticket out.

I walk the fields through the fire,
Taking steps until I found solid ground
What's it feel like? Took the wrong route
Watch it fall apart now you're knockin' at the wrong gate!
For you to pay the toll, a price for you alone
The only deal you'll find, I'll gladly take your soul

Black by Kari Kimmel ~ This describes the souls Dante usually collects ~ the "fun ones," as he sees it. 

All the rules are changing now
You’re living in sin
Everything around you is caving in
All you’re holding on to 
Slipping like water through your hands
Opposition all around
Feeding off your soul
Trying hard to swallow up you whole
And the demons all around you waiting
For you to sell your soul

Fight Inside by Red ~ After reading about what Dante had to say about his parents and seeing in the synopsis that he's not made up of just charm and confidence, this is how I imagine he feels about his situation and regrets.

Enemy, familiar friend
My beginning and my end.
Knowing truth, whispering lies
And it hurts again.

What I fear and what I've tried,
Words I say and what I hide.

Sexy Ladies + Let Me Talk To You (Prelude) by Justin Timberlake ~ LOL I couldn't help myself, I just had to do it. Dante exudes confidence and it's apparent that he has a certain affection for his female fans. He knows he's awesome, and he knows we think he's awesome too.

These dudes don't know me from Adam and Eve
That's why they can't mess up my flow
And when this beat drops, your heart stops
You feel it from your head to your toes
All my other people that dance around
When they hear me rocking the groove
Now it might sound cocky
But is it really cocky if you know that it's true
Let's put it on cruise control
Let me take you to the crib, let me ease your soul

 Counting the days til April 2nd :)


Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Jan 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we spotlight upcoming new releases we can't wait to add to our shelves.

This week, I'm waiting for:

The Murmurings by Carly Ann West
Release Date: March 5, 2013

A teen girl starts hearing the same voices that drove her sister to commit suicide in this creepy, suspenseful novel.

Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not….

They hear the most silent of footsteps.

They are faster than anything you've ever seen.
And They won't stop chasing you...until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Jan 15, 2013

Teasin' Tuesday Prelude

Tuesday Prelude is a meme that stems from Should Be Reading's Teaser Tuesday. I found I was never able to keep my teasers to two sentences, so I changed things up a bit and created a post that was a little more in depth, introducing you to the character(s) and the story (without giving anything away of course).

This week's Prelude introduces you to Stitch by Samantha Durante:

As you can read in the synopsis of this book, Alessa is trying to pick up the pieces of her broken life at college after her parents tragically pass away. But something strange is going on at her suspiciously haunted sorority house. She keeps seeing flashes of this beautiful, yet troubled man. Is he a ghost? And how can someone from the past, someone who has already died, elicit such emotions within her, such an urge to find out more?

How did this strange apparition invoke such turmoil in her?
She feels like she knows him, like they are connected in some irreversible way, and they can save each other.

What had woken her? A scream. Her own scream. One word cutting through the blinding light and ringing clearly into the night. One word filled with all the pain, all the loss, all the hurt that one person could bear. Her own ravaged voice, desperate to bring back the one thing that meant everything to her, the one thing that would enable her to survive. "Isaac!" 
There's this feeling Alessa has that tells her that Isaac is more than just a ghost, that their lives are intertwined somehow. She's discovering "that she's not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university's idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface..." (GoodReads synopsis).

Yes, it appeared that Alessa had stumbled upon some fantastically twisted kind of hell. 

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

Jan 14, 2013

Monday Montage

I honestly don't know anyone who enjoys Mondays. I'm one of those people who'd rather just skip the day altogether and go right into Tuesday... or Friday... whichever...

In an attempt to give the loathed day a redeemable quality, I created the Monday Montage, in an effort to lighten the mood and shake the "Monday Blues."

Hope that made you smile :)

I know I feel better....

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~