Friday, February 28, 2014

Review: Kiss the Sky by Becca Ritchie & Krista RItchie

Source: Purchased for my Kindle from Amazon.com
Release Date: Already Released.
Number of Pages:


Description from Goodreads:
Virgin. Sex addict. Daredevil. Alcoholic. Smartass … Jackass. Her five friends are about to be filmed. Reality TV, be prepared.

Rose Calloway thought she had everything under control. At twenty-three, she’s a Princeton graduate, an Academic Bowl champion, a fashion designer and the daughter of a Fortune 500 mogul. But with a sex addict as a sister and roommate, nothing comes easy.

After accepting help from a producer, Rose agrees to have her life filmed for a reality television show. The Hollywood exec is her last chance to revive her struggling fashion line, and boundaries begin to blur as she’s forced to make nice with a man who always has his way.

Twenty-four-year-old Connor Cobalt is a guy who bulldozes weak men. He’s confident, smart-as-hell and lives with his equally ambitious girlfriend, Rose Calloway. Connor has to find a way to protect Rose without ruining the show. Or else the producer will get what Connor has always wanted—Rose’s virginity.

This New Adult Standalone Romance can be described as Friends meets The Real World. Expect fist fights, drugs, sex of varying degrees, crude humor and competitive alpha males. Definitely for mature readers audiences only.

***Authors' Note***
Kiss the Sky CAN be read as a standalone, but it's also a spin-off of the Addicted series. If you'd like to read the Addicted series beforehand, you should read them in order (see below) before starting Kiss the Sky or else the time jumps will be jarring.

Addicted Series Recommended Reading Order
Addicted to You (Addicted #1)
Ricochet (Addicted #1.5)
Addicted for Now (Addicted #2)
Kiss the Sky (Spin-Off)
Hothouse Flower (Spin-Off)
Thrive (Addicted #2.5)
Addicted After All (Addicted #3)

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N
I've already gushed about my love for the Addicted series by Krista and Becca Ritchie, so it shouldn't be too surprising that I loved Kiss the Sky, too! Kiss the Sky isn't directly part of the series though, it's actually a spin-off, and it focuses on Lily's sister, Rose, and her boyfriend, Connor Cobalt...you just have to use his full name sometimes, it just sounds too good to not say fully! :P Plus, Connor totally demands that respect. ;D

While Kiss the Sky does take place chronologically after Addicted for Now, Rose and Connor create a very different narrative than Lily and Lo do...but that's not a bad thing at all, just different. I love Lily and Lo, but I did really enjoy getting to know Rose and Connor better. It was also interesting to see things from a perspective outside of Lily and Lo. It kind of helped show how addiction can affect those who aren't addicted themselves, and that while we may have thought we knew Rose and Connor through Lily and Lo's narrative...there are definitely things we had no clue about...I really wasn't expecting some of them, but I must admit that it was pretty interesting and exciting to read about. People definitely aren't always what you expect them to be. ;)

As far as the plot and story goes, I loved it! The reality show was fantastic, and I loved that I was so absorbed in the story that I genuinely got annoyed about the way the show was being run just like Rose and Connor did. :P The character development was awesome, especially seeing Rose and Connor's relationship evolve...it was definitely intense! I also love that the narrative stands out so much compared to the Addicted series. It genuinely feels like each character is fully defined and is there own person. You would never confuse one character's narrative with another's, and I think that requires a lot of skill as an author. Becca and Krista Ritchie do an amazing job with their characters whether they're the main ones or secondary, they all feel fully rounded...even the butthead, Scott. :P

Overall, I absolutely LOVED Kiss the Sky! While it was quite a bit different from Lily and Lo's narratives in the Addicted series, it still maintained the same funny, and dynamic feel as the previous books, which made it the perfect spin-off! I'd recommend Kiss the Sky to both Addicted series lovers and newbies to the series! It works as a standalone, but I think you would enjoy it a bit more having read the previous books because then you'll love Lily and Lo already, too. ;) This is the perfect book for people who like smart characters (who know they're ridiculously smart and totally flaunt it :P), and enjoy relationships where you can feel the sexual tension as the characters have intense, intellectual debates. ;D

What do you think?
Does Kiss the Sky sound like a book you'd like to read?

Fangirl Fridays(1): VERONICA MARS!!!!

"Fangirl Fridays" is pretty self-explanatory: you fangirl about something/someone on Fridays. :) It's a meme-of-sorts that's seen on a lot of tumblr blogs, and I thought it would be a fantastic idea to bring to my blog! I couldn't find someone specific to credit, so whoever first thought of "Fangirl Fridays"...you are awesome! :D I love to fangirl so I'm definitely excited for this!

And for my first "Fangirl Friday", I'm going to focus on VERONICA MARS! :D

I was a HUGE fan of the TV show, but unfortunately, I had basic cable and so once it changed channels after its first season, I didn't have access to it anymore! That means I didn't get to finish it until I asked for all three seasons for Christmas one year when I was in high school...and then I proceeded to watch the show nonstop over my Christmas break. My best friend and I even had a Veronica Mars marathon! 

Since I loved it so much, it shouldn't be too surprising that I was upset that it got cancelled, and when given the chance to be a part of the Veronica Mars Kickstarter...I jumped at the chance, and I absolutely CANNOT wait to watch the movie! I already have my ticket for the opening weekend, and am planning to see it multiple times...plus, I'll be getting a digital copy and hard copy thanks to the Kickstarter, too! :D 

Have you seen the EPIC (I had to!) movie poster yet?


There's also a really neat website called Veronica Mars - Race to the Box Office, which has a bunch of Veronica Mars extras that get unlocked the more its shared and the closer we get to the release date.

These awesome images are from the website (Source)! You can click on them and open them in a new page or tab to make them bigger, too. :)

I also made sure to get a copy of Entertainment Weekly last week because Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring were on the cover! Don't you just LoVe it? ;D


All of the info about Veronica Mars in the magazine was super interesting, too! I'm really glad that I made sure to get a copy! Entertainment Weekly also has some awesome Veronica Mars pictures on their website right now, and you can find them HERE! :D

I'm just ridiculously excited for this movie!! I'm also excited for the books they're making, which I'll be talking about on Monday because I have a cover to show off! :P And, there's even talk of continuing Veronica Mars somehow...and I am SO on-board with that, no matter how it happens! :D 

What about you?
Are you a Marshmallow?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

VoxBox Review: The Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser #VoxBox

I don't post very many reviews that aren't book related, but I really couldn't pass up the chance to share this with you all. :)

A while back, I signed up for a website called Influenster, where you "turn your social influence into rewards," and if you have enough influence in certain areas, you can get chosen to receive VoxBoxes. Each VoxBox is different, and I've received two in total. This post is about the second one. Before, the bigger product box arrived, we were all sent a Mystery Vox Box with product samples, and we were supposed to guess what the product was. Unfortunately, my mystery box arrived a little late, and I ended up getting the bigger product box just a few days later.

The mystery product line was revealed to be Garnier Fructis's new Damage Eraser line! The line consists of Shampoo, Conditioner, Strength Reconstructing Butter, and Split Ends Bandage Serum.

Our smaller samples didn't have the reconstructing butter, but when we received the full products, they came like this:


I've tried all of the products now, and I have to say that they're fantastic! 

They smell amazing, and I think they make a pretty big difference, especially the strength reconstructing butter. They left my hair soft, and silky. I also thought that the products were very easy to use since the instructions are really simple, and it's a very convenient line that you can use all at once. I really loved the strength reconstructing butter though, and I'm excited to use it again soon since it's recommended you use it weekly! :D

 I do wish that the line also had something to help with frizz though...this winter is seriously causing brutal static for my hair lately! The hair serum helps with split ends, but not so much with frizz. That's just a personal issue though, but honestly, if you have tips to avoid static-y hair, I would love to hear them. ;)

Overall, I absolutely love the Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser line. It smells amazing, and left my hair feeling soft, refreshed, and silk smooth. My favourite product is definitely the Strength Reconstructing Butter though; it's amazing! :D

What do you think?
Does Garner Fructis's Damage Eraser line sound like a product you'd like to try?
And are you interester in Influenster? It used to require an invite to become a member, but you can just sign up on your own now. If you want me to still send you an invite though, let me know if the comments. :)

(**I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.)

What I'm Listening To: Score Galore!!!


I've done a few music related posts in the past...one that I actually titled "What I'm Listening To", too, but I'm hoping to talk about music a bit more regularly. Maybe not every single week, but at least every other week. :)

This week, I'm going to focus on musical scores! I definitely listen to a little bit of everything when it comes to music, but I must admit that over the last couple of years I have totally become obsessed with musical scores! So, I'm calling this post:

SCORE GALORE!!!

I love to listen to scores when I'm writing papers or doing something that I want to concentrate on. They help me get into the zone and stay focused! But, I also love to listen to them when I'm having trouble falling asleep because I find that lyrics can sometimes keep me awake, while instrumentals tend to lull me to sleep...at least they do if they aren't loud ones. :P They're also great for those times when you get a horrible migraine, which I unfortunately do every once in a while.

I have a few favourite scores, but my ABSOLUTE favourite is definitely the score for 2003 version of Peter Pan starring Jeremy Sumpter. The score was composed by James Newton Howard, and it is DIVINE! I listen to it all the time, and I just love it so freaking much! I'm pretty much a James Newton Howard fangirl now to be honest...I love all of his scores. Just so you know, he also did the scores for The Hunger Games, and Catching Fire! ;D


I also love The Hobbit and Lord of the Ring movie scores...and the ones for Game of Thrones, too! I couldn't really tell you what makes me like or dislike a score, but I definitely like the whimsical, or fantastical ones the most. I love that the Hobbit and LoTR ones always have a Celtic vibe, and I love that I cannot help but think of fairies when I listen to the Peter Pan score, plus, I absolutely ADORE that movie! And for GoT, well I just love the music...probably because I'm obsessed with the show, and who doesn't love that main theme *starts humming the GoT theme here*. :P

So, what about you?
Do you listen to scores?
If you don't, do you think you might try some now?
And if you do, do you have a favourite or favourites?

Re-Vamped Cover Alert! Book Blitz for HEARTBREAK RANCH by Anastasia Ryan


Heartbreak Ranch
by Anastasia Ryan
Release Date: 10/15/13
Publisher: Swoon Romance
New Adult 17+

Summary from Goodreads:
Recent college graduate, Graysen Beaufort, resigns herself to two weeks of boredom at a dude ranch honoring her parents’ wishes for one last family vacation.

She doesn't plan on meeting Colt McCord, an irresistible cowboy who threatens to bring disorder to Graysen's ordinarily ordered life.

Dodging an overprotective family, an unwelcome suitor, and certain heartbreak, Graysen struggles to break free of her limitations and submit her heart to Colt’s love. But learning to let go isn't easy, even with a man like Colt.

Colt McCord, White Pine Ranch’s head horse trainer, loves the busy, back-breaking work of a cattle ranch.

But when he meets a beautiful and spirited woman from Iowa, she makes him forget everything he'd known before, and he risks everything to be with her.

Colt is accustomed to breaking horses, but can he tame Graysen’s wild heart before it is too late?

On sale right now for only $.99!

About the Author

Anastasia Ryan is a native New Yorker, but lives in Iowa with her family. She loves the beautiful chaos of raising six children. She is her husband’s girlfriend, but is also quite smitten with the written word. As the daughter of teachers, she has had a love of both great literature and writing in her blood since she was a baby. At a very early age, you would have found her perched on her father’s lap as he typed out his Master’s thesis for English. She is addicted to great books she can get lost in, finds cooking relaxing, is a sometimes web geek, and loves spending time with family and friends. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Creative Writing.

Anastasia Ryan's debut new adult novel HEARTBREAK RANCH will be released by Swoon Romance in the Fall of 2013.

  
Book Blitz Organized by:
 

Awww! I love the new cover! It's so cute...and I definitely love the whole "country" feel that it has going on!

What do you think of Heartbreak Ranch's cover?
And will you be getting yourself a copy since it's only $0.99?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (1): City of Heavenly Fire!!

 

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It gives us the chance to fangirl over all of the books that we can't wait to read!




CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE
(The Mortal Instruments #6)
by Cassandra Clare

Hitting the shelves on May 27, 2014 from Margaret K. McElderry

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8755785-city-of-heavenly-fire





MY THOUGHTS

I have been waiting for the final book in The Mortal Instruments for a long time...and it's finally almost here! :D I already have my copy pre-ordered from Indigo/Chapters in Canada, and I seriously cannot wait to read it...I plan to devour this book and not do anything else as soon as I get it in my hands....so if you message me in any way, don't expect to hear from me for a bit. :P haha 


So, for my first ever Waiting on Wednesday post I decided to use one of the books I am most excited for this year! I seriously cannot wait for CoHF to come out! I also decided to leave the book description off of this one to avoid spoiling anyone. :P

What about you, are you waiting eagerly for City of Heavenly Fire, too?
What else are you excited for?

Discussion: Procrastination! How Do You Keep Yourself Motivated?


So...this is my very first self-professed "discussion" post on my blog. I have done a few discussion-type posts previously, but I'm going to try to do them more regularly starting now. :)

For my first big discussion post, I'm going to go with a topic that I'm sure most of us can relate to:

PROCRASTINATION.

I don't think anyone can really say that they've never procrastinated before, and I guarantee there have been times where you've put things off until the last minute. I even thought about procrastinating with this post...oh, the irony.

Since we've all procrastinated once...maybe twice...or maybe even many, many times (but who's counting really :P), I was wondering what everyone else does to keep themselves from procrastinating. 

How do you keep yourself motivated?

Personally, I'm pretty bad at not procrastinating.

I try to do things early, but sometimes I feel like I need the pressure of the deadline to get motivated enough to finish something. I can motivate myself better when I plan though, and I like to make to-do lists so that I have a reminder of what I need to do. Sometimes, I still manage to procrastinate though, or I just make myself feel really pressured because of all of the things I have to do.

I think the biggest problem that I have with procrastinating is that my school deadlines often end up really close together, so even if I try to get ahead on one of the assignments, the ones closely following the first quickly catch up to me! I also just seem automatically start to procrastinate whenever I have something I need to do right away...technically, I'm procrastinating right now as I write this because I should be reading Frankenstein for one of my classes, but instead I'm writing this post.

Sometimes, I even find it hard to determine what's procrastinating and what's just a hobby, or necessity. There are certain situations where I really do wonder, like these ones:
  • If I have a book to read for class, but I get hungry and need a break from reading...does cooking myself dinner become procrastination itself? 
  • If I'm getting really frustrated while writing an essay, is taking a bath or having a snack also procrastinating? 
  • Are these rhetorical questions yet another way for me to procrastinate? 
  • Am I finding Frankenstein so boring that I just keep asking myself questions? 
That last one I will answer....it's yes. Fingers crossed it picks up soon. :P

I find that when I'm doing work, my brain works MUCH better if I do take breaks, so I don't really consider those procrastination...that's why I usually fill my study or essay-writing breaks with things like food and bathing...they're essential, so I don't feel guilty about using them for breaks, and I'm fulfilling the things I need to do every day for survival and comfort. It's a win-win!

This discussion is getting super ramble-y, and I've probably told you all way too much about myself, so I'm gonna end it there!

Any fellow procrastinators out there?

Do you have any good tips to get motivated and NOT procrastinate?

Also, just because I posed that weird rhetorical question and made myself super curious...do you consider taking breaks while doing a big task or project to be procrastinating, or do you think the breaks make you work better?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tea Tuesdays! (1): Today's Tea is...REDBERRY TONIC!

Since this is my very first post about tea on my blog, I wanted to show you a bit of the process! I've recently gotten obsessed with loose tea, and there are quite a few ways you can make it. You can get yourself a tea ball, a mug with an infuser inside, bags to put the tea in, a french press, a steeper, or even a tea pot with an infuser. :)

The first thing I bought to make myself loose tea with was a steeper, and the tea I'm sharing today is Redberry Tonic from DAVIDsTEA! I'm going to give you a bit of a step-by-step to let you see just how easy loose tea really is...I know I was personally SUPER overwhelmed with even the idea of loose tea before I started to drink it, but don't worry, it's really not hard at all!


Each tea is a little different. For each cup of tea you need a specific amount of loose tea, and each tea has a specific water temperature, and steeping time that you follow to get the best tea. And for DAVIDsTEA, all of that info is right on the little label on your bag or tin of tea.

For the one that I made, Redberry Tonic, you use 1.25 tsp of loose tea per cup. I was making two cups in my steeper, so I just doubled it. I put the tea on the small plate in the above photo to show you what this particular tea looks like. It's got rosehips and goji berries which add that lovely red colour...and they're super tasty, too! Anyway, that tea that I scooped out went into my steeper next. :)

Once your tea is added to your steeper, you pour your boiled water (preferably to the temp. that is listed for the tea you're brewing) right into the steeper, and onto the tea. You let it steep and once it has steeped long enough, you place your steeper onto the rim of your cup, and the tea will pour right in...but make sure if you're doing two cups, like I was, to watch how much is going into the first cup, or you'll have a bit of a mess on your hands. :P

Here's the finished product:

DAVIDsTEA Link: REDBERRY TONIC

Here's what DAVIDsTEA has to say about Redberry Tonic:
MAGIC ELIXIR
Ladies and gentlemen, step right up and get a taste of our revitalizing, tantalizing, exhilarating, invigorating tonic. Put some zip in your sip with tart and tangy hibiscus, rosehips, lemongrass and immortality-boosting goji berries. But that’s not all! We’ve harnessed the power of the legendary sea buckthorn wonder-berry, prized for centuries in Chinese, Indian and Tibetan medicine. You’ve got to see it to believe it folks, so get your hands on a cup today.

INGREDIENTS
Apple, rosehip, hibiscus, lemongrass, sea buckthorn, goji berries, natural sea buckthorn flavouring

I absolutely LOVE Redberry Tonic! It's kinda fruity, and is a bit sweet already on its own, but it's also a bit tart. It's caffeine free as well, so it won't keep you up, and it's REALLY REALLY good for you. ;P

As for the whole loose tea process, it that wasn't so hard, was it? :)

It's simple really:
  • 1. Pick a tea to drink!
  • 2. Measure out the right amount per cup. 
  • 3. Add to steeper/tea ball/tea bag/etc.
  • 4. Add boiled water.
  • 5. Steep!
  • 6. Pour (if in press/steeper/teapot) & Add sugar, milk, agave, etc.
  • 7. DRINK & ENJOY!
Honestly, steeped tea is pretty much exactly like tea that's already bagged for you! Hopefully, I've made it a little less daunting for you, and if you're already into loose tea, maybe I've just introduced you to a new awesome one to try! :D

Redberry Tonic is one of my favourite teas! 
I'm always up for tea recommendations though, do you have a favourite tea?

Hard As You Can Release Day Blitz: Excerpt, and Giveaway!!

Happy Release Day to HARD AS YOU CAN by Laura Kaye!!! :D 

I absolutely loved the first book in the Hard Ink series, and I seriously cannot wait to read this one! ;D

For the release of Hard As You Can today, I've got some awesome stuff from Laura Kaye for you all! Here she is to introduce an excerpt of her book for you: 
 


It’s release day! And I’m thrilled to share Hard As You Can, the second book in the Hard Ink series, with all of you here today! Hard As You Can follows the surviving members of a disgraced Army Special Forces team as they fight to regain their stolen honor, and finds their investigation crossing paths with a waitress willing to do whatever it takes to stay alive and protect her younger sister. For Shane McCallan, saving Crystal Dean is a mission he refuses to turn down.

Today, I’m excited to share Shane and Crystal’s first kiss! Don’t you love first kiss scenes? Gah! I so do. *grins* Here we go:
“Tell me not to,” Shane said, his voice a raw scrape.

“I can’t,” Crystal whispered in a shaky voice. “I don’t want to.”

Shane’s body took over then, all urgent need and basic instinct. The rest of the world be damned. He pulled her in and kissed her, his lips devouring, his tongue exploring deep. Nothing held back. Nothing denied. Not even as her lips reawakened the sting from the cut on his lip. Totally worth it.

Crystal’s arms came up around him. She trembled against him, and Shane wasn’t sure if it was caused by adrenaline or fear. Unable to tolerate the thought that she might feel forced, he eased off.

She moaned and held him tighter, like his retreat had made something snap within her. Their kisses deepened, and her body moved against his, sinuously, maddeningly, desperately.

They tasted one another again and again, giving in to the heat that had sparked between them from the moment Crystal had collided with him at Confessions. Little nips and bites of lips and teeth warred with long, sensual strokes of tongue that stole his breath and made him instantly hard. The sting in his lip, the throb of his GSW, the aches from Nick’s asskicking, every bit of it faded away—no, her touch made it all go away.

The few times they’d spoken, Crystal had most often been guarded, tentative, fearful. Just as she’d been when he first kissed her. But, now, she was revealing a passionate woman who could be fearless, giving and receiving openly and without hesitation. Christ, the thought that this fierceness was the real Crystal slayed him because it meant she was burying and denying her true self, not because she wanted to, but because she had to.

No, because someone forced her to.

The thought reminded him of the bruises on her arm. Shane had known this woman for three days, and twice in that time she’d been hurt by another man. And both as a consequence for things Shane had done.

A crack of thunder echoed from the heavens, making Crystal jump and gasp into his mouth.
“I’ve got you,” he rasped around a kiss.

Part of him wanted to say more, to tell her he had her and he’d keep her safe. But he couldn’t make himself give up her heat, her sweetness, her obvious hunger—for him.

So he made her a silent promise instead.

Never again, Crystal. He’ll never hurt you again. Not on my watch.

Because Shane McCallan had made a mistake like that once. And, as bad as his sister’s disappearance had been, something’s happening to Crystal would actually be worse because Shane knew it was coming. The one break he’d ever given himself over Molly was that he’d had no way to know she’d be abducted. Didn’t excuse the role he played in allowing it to happen, but he couldn’t have known. But with Crystal, while he might not know when or how this Bruno asshole would strike out to do the ultimate damage, it was all but a done deal at this point. Always was with guys like him. And Shane would go to the grave before he let it happen, before he failed another female for whom he cared.

Because he did care. Made no damn sense given how long he’d known her. And the timing was beyond piss-poor. But there it was all the same.
So that’s Shane and Crystal starting to give in to what they feel for one another – I hope you enjoyed! Did you have a favorite line? Thanks for reading!
~Laura

 
“Edgy, sexy, and full of suspense! A great read from a great new author!”
~J.R. Ward on Hard As It Gets

About Hard As You Can:
Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.

Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he's shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister's sake, Crystal can't get too close. Until her job and Shane's mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed. 

Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn't want him to uncover. Too bad. He's exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can--and never let go.

Read an Extended Excerpt of Book 1, Hard As It Gets
Buy Hard As You Can at Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo
Add it to: Goodreads

About Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

GIVEAWAY

TO ENTER FILL OUT THE RAFFLECOPTER BELOW:



Also, don't miss out! Today Laura Kaye is having release day celebrations all over the place:

Click on the above image, or this LINK to check out all of the stuff Laura has going on for Hard As You Can's release today! Hint, there's a release day party and everything! Don't miss it! ;D

What did you think of that excerpt?
Does Hard As You Can sound like a book you'd want to read?
Are you already planning on reading it?...I know I am! ;D

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cover Catch-Up (1): These Covers are Heating Things Up!


On Mondays, I'm going to start sharing covers with you all! These might be recent cover reveals, or they might be older reveals that I just love and really want to share....they'll probably overlap with my Waiting on Wednesday picks, but I think that's alright. ;)

I'm going to share two covers today! :) 

The first cover is for City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare!

 

If you haven't seen this cover yet, I'm not sure where you've been! I saw it the day it revealed, but I just REALLY wanted to share it with you all! It's absolutely gorgeous, and I can't wait to see it on my bookshelf with my other books from The Mortal Instruments series!!! :D

And the second cover I have for you is for Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4) by Maggie Stiefvater!
 

This is the spin-off book from The Wolves of Mercy Falls featuring Cole St. Clair and Isabel Culpepper! I actually just saw this one for the first time last week!!! Somehow I missed Sinner's cover when it actually revealed, but I just have to say that I absolutely love it! It fits with the redesign of the covers, but is also still pretty close to the The Wolves of Mercy Falls's original hardcover covers, so I feel like it will still look amazing on my shelf next to my other Shiver books. ;)

 If you're excited for this one, you can also read the first three chapters of Sinner on Scholastic's website, HERE.

What do you think of these covers??
Do you love them, too?

Mani Monday (1): Gradients and Dots!


I've always loved painting my nails, but recently, since I've gotten totally obsessed with Julep, I've been doing my nails A LOT more! And since I've been doing my nails more, I've been wanting to share them with you all. :)

I even became a Julep Maven a while ago! When you sign up as a Maven, you can actually get your first Maven box FREE! Here's a referral link if you're interested in joining: Become a Julep Maven! To get the free box after signing up, just make sure to put FREEBOX (all one word) in the promo code box. Note: that is a referral link of my own, so I do get rewarded "Jules" per referral, but if you're really interested in signing up as a maven, I'd really appreciate you using my link. Even if you don't though, make sure you remember the code or your first box won't be free. :)

Anyway, back to my nails! :P

I bought myself a pack of nail dotters a while back, and I've been wanting to try out gradients so with these nails, I tried out both! :D 


The four polishes I used were: Celeb City (silver), Black Out (black), Blizzard Blue (blue), and Hot Magenta (pink) from Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear line. I did silver as my base, and then I did a gradient of pink and blue with a makeup sponge. And finally, I used my dotter to do black (Black Out) dots all over my nails. :)

Here are some closer shots of my nails once I finished: 


I think the pink showed up really well, but the blue is harder to see. I do still love the effect of both though because at certain angles, the blue added a bit of dimension, and I just absolutely loved the whole pop of colour gradient on top of the silver background. It ended up being a little messy near the edges of my nails, but all in all, I was very happy with my first attempt at gradients, and with dotting my whole nail. :D

What do you think?
Do you like the gradients and dots?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Random Sundays: Resting it up at home and starting the week off right! ;D


As I mentioned on Thursday last week, I'm trying out some new stuff on my blog! :D Today is the start of all of that. I'm going to be posting random stuff on Sundays. It'll most likely be a weekly recap with some puppy pictures, and will probably have something in it that I hope will cheer everybody up, be it a joke, a funny meme or video, or just some awesome news! :D

So, I've had an awesome, and seriously restful week! It's been fantastic! All this last week, I've had my Reading Week, which is a week-long break from classes...it's pretty much the equivalent of Spring Break, but doesn't take place in the Spring. I used it to catch-up on the sleep I'd been missing over the past couple of weeks since I had several essays, assignments and midterms all in the two weeks before Reading Week. I also spent time with my family, both my parents and brother, and our furry family members. :P 

Koodo's a bit crazy sometimes...you'll notice my face not looking too impressed as Koodo squirms on my shoulder. He was taking turns trying to eat his foot...and my head. :P 

Oh, Marvel. I swear he doesn't sleep ALL the time, but I'm pretty sure I am his favourite place to nap when I'm home. :P He's a super snuggler, and he's pretty adorable if I do say so myself. :P

And here the brothers are together. :)

I hope that even if you weren't fortunate enough to get some time to relax last week, that you have an awesome week coming up, and to start you off right, I've got a video for you! Heads up, this video may not be appropriate for all ages. It's from Funny or Die, and it's called "The Landlord"...some of you may have seen it already. I pretty much always watch this video whenever I'm in need of a laugh because it always...and I mean ALWAYS cracks me up!

Here it is: 

The Landlord from Will Ferrell     

And if the embedded video isn't working, or if you prefer to open a new window, you can find it, here: THE LANDLORD

haha I really do love that video! :D I hope you did, too...or that you enjoyed getting to see my puppies. :)

Have an awesome week everyone!! :D 

All the best!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Review: Addicted for Now (Addicted #2) by Becca Ritchie & Krista RItchie

Source: Purchased for my Kindle from Amazon.com
Release Date: Already Released.


Description from Goodreads:
He's addicted to booze. She's addicted to sex...staying sober is only half the battle.

No. More. Sex.

Those are the three words Lily Calloway fears the most. But Loren Hale is determined to be with Lily without enabling her dangerous compulsions. With their new living situation—sleeping in the same bed, for real, together—Lily has new battles. Like not jumping Lo’s bones every night. Not being consumed by sex and his body.

Loren plans to stay sober, to right all of his wrongs. So when someone threatens to expose Lily’s secret to her family and the public, he promises that he’ll do anything to protect her. But with old enemies surfacing, Lo has more at stake than his sobriety.

They will torment Lily until Lo breaks.

And his worst fear isn’t relapsing. He hears the end. He sees it. The one thing that could change everything. Just three words.

No. More. Us.

New Adult Romance recommended for readers 18+ for mature content
With each book that I read in this series, I just fall more and more in love with the story, the characters, and with Krista and Becca Ritchie's writing styles. :D Addicted for Now is the second book in the Addicted series, and I thought it was an amazing followup to Addicted to You! :D

I loved that we got to know both Lo and Lily more, and that we also got to know all of their friends better, too, including Lily's sisters! I just love how the books have evolved from being totally Lo and Lily-centric to including a bigger group of friends, and I love that the evolution is pretty much the perfect way to show how Lily and Lo have changed from the beginning of the first book.

Lily and Lo have both grown so much, and in Addicted for Now we really got to see how much they've changed, and how much effort they both were putting in to change! The dual point of view worked really well to show how they both were changing and how both of them were affected by their own addiction and by each other's addiction. In Addicted to You, the first book, I really did love seeing Lily and Lo's relationship change, but I loved seeing them grow stronger in Addicted for Now! It was fantastic to see them work to overcome their addictions, and to see both of them mature as well.

Along with the awesome characters, one of the elements that I love about this series is how well the series as a whole is established. Each book soundly represents its own story, and they feel complete in themselves, but at the same time, there is just enough of an open-ended feeling to allow for sequels, and to allow for spinoffs...the spinoffs are another part I love. In the spinoffs, Becca and Krista Ritchie are also writing books about Lily's sisters, Rose and Daisy! The first one, Kiss the Sky, about Rose and Connor Cobolt has already been released. I've also read it and loved it! My review for that one is coming soon! The next book, Hothouse Flower, is Daisy's story...and it'll be releasing sometime in March, and I absolutely CANNOT wait!!! :D

Overall, I thought that Addicted for Now was fantastic! It was sexy, funny, and completely compelling. I was in a bit of a slump at the beginning of the year, and this one really helped snap me out of it because I didn't want to put it down! I find Lo and Lily really easy to relate to because they both tend to fangirl/fanboy and get obsessive about their fandoms. haha I also loved the banter, the story, and as I've mentioned already in this review, the characters! :D I'd recommend Addicted for Now and the Addicted series to contemporary romance fans who aren't afraid of stories that get steamy and are very intense!

What do you think?
Does the Addicted series sound like something you'd like to read?
And how do you feel about series with spinoff books?
Do you love them like me, or are you not a fan?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Review: Ricochet (Addicted #1.5) by Becca Ritchie & Krista RItchie

Source: Purchased for my Kindle from Amazon.com
Release Date: Already Released.


Description from Goodreads:
As a sex addict, Lily Calloway must do the impossible. Stay celibate for 90 days.

Cravings and fantasies become her new routine, but while Loren Hale recovers from his alcohol addiction, Lily wonders if he’ll realize what a monster she really is. After all, her sexual compulsions begin to rule her life the longer she stays faithful to him.

Progress. That’s what Lily’s striving for. But by trying to become closer to her family—people who aren’t aware of her addiction—she creates larger obstacles. When she spends time with her youngest sister, she learns more about her than she ever imagined and senses an unsettling connection between Daisy and Ryke Meadows.

With Lily and Lo’s dysfunctional relationship teetering and unbalanced, they will need to find a way to reconnect from miles apart. But the inability to “touch” proves to be one of the hardest tests on their road to recovery. Some love brushes the surface. Some love is deeper than skin.

Lily and Lo have three months to discover just how deep their love really goes.

------

Includes the first chapter to the sequel Addicted for Now.

Companion to the Sequel: A full-length New Adult Romance that continues where Addicted to You left off. As a companion novel, it bridges the gap between the first and second book. It is highly recommended to be read before Addicted for Now.
I was lucky enough to be a part of a blog tour for the first book in the Addicted series...and well, I totally got addicted to the books myself. :P As soon as Ricochet, a novella set between the first two books, came out, I quickly bought myself a copy, and over my Christmas break, I devoured it along with the sequel to Addicted to You, Addicted For Now...but I'll talk about that one in its own review. :P

What I loved about Ricochet was that while it was a novella, it packed quite a punch itself! Plus, if you chose to skip this one, you actually missed out on a lot of development on Lily's part. In Ricochet, Lily is dealing with being on her own and coming to terms with her own addiction. We don't get to see Lo's struggle, but I really enjoyed seeing Lily grow stronger and learning to stand on her own. She's definitely strong with Lo around, but she's got her own strength too, and I loved that in Ricochet we were able to see Lily realize that about herself.

If you're a fan of Krista and Becca Ritchie's Addicted series, you really don't want to miss out on this novella. I think it's essential to read this one before you move on from Addicted to You to Addicted For Now...you could always work backwards and read it if you skipped it the first time, but I definitely suggest making sure you check this novella out if you love the series because it really gives you an in-depth perspective on what Lily is going through while Lo is battling his own addiction.

Overall, Ricochet was the perfect in between novella for Addicted to You and Addicted For Now! It bridged the gap between the two books perfectly! You'll love this one if you already enjoyed the first book, and you'll love this series if you enjoy books about struggling with addiction, or if you just love awesome characters, great chemistry, and fantastic and fun banter!

What do you think?
Does Ricochet and the Addicted Series sound like something you'd like to read?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Changing it Up! Blog Schedule and New Focus!

HEY EVERYONE!

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about what I want to do on my blog. I've been wanting to do more than just book reviews and book related stuff on it for a while, and I've finally decided that I am now going to start bringing more things than just books onto my blog. I'm hoping to start doing posts on tea, nail polish, my puppies, and discussions soon! :D

I haven't quite decided on everything just yet, but starting next week, I'm going to be following this loose schedule:

SUNDAY: Random Day
  • This is just going to be my day to post random stuff. They might be posts on my dogs and puppies, random rambles I've been thinking about, jokes, or maybe even a mashup :P.
MONDAY: Mani Monday / Cover Catchup
  • I've always loved painting my nails, and recently, I've gotten super into Julep nail polish, so I'm going to start posting a manicure of mine every Monday. :) I'll also post any covers that I've found recently that I absolutely love. They might be new, or they might not be...but I'm going to gush about them all the same. ;)
TUESDAY: Tea Tuesdays! / Review
  • Yet another thing I've gotten obsessed with lately is Davids Tea, so I'll be posting about tea every Tuesday. ;) And this will be one of the days I regularly post a review, too. :)
WEDNESDAY: Discussion Day / Waiting on Wednesday
  • These ones are pretty self-explanatory. :) I'll be positing discussion on Wednesdays, and if I have any books I'm super excited for (which I'm sure I will), I'll be doing WoW, too. :)
THURSDAY: What I'm Listening To... / Review
  • I was originally thinking of having my fangirl-ish talk day on Thurdays (but moved it to Friday), so I think on Thursdays I'm going to focus mostly on music. I'll share a list of a few songs that I've been obsessed with all week, and we can all share music recommendations. ;) And this is yet another day where I may post reviews. :)
FRIDAY: Fangirl Friday / Review
  • Fangirl Friday is something that I see on tumblr a lot, and I love it! I'm always up for fangirling about stuff, so I'm going to start doing it on the blog, too. :) It'll be a day I just ramble and gush over the things I love: movies, music, TV...it could even be a book (shocker, right?! :P), and I'll also try and post reviews on Fridays, too. :)
SATURDAY: ???
  • I'm really not sure what I'll post on Saturdays yet. :P It might be a rest day from the blog, or it could be another random day. haha We'll see what I come up with. I have been thinking about doing some kind of interview feature on my blog though, so maybe I'll get that ready, and Saturday will be its day. ;)
Well...this schedule is looking pretty packed, but I'm going to try to stick with it! On the days where I have two options, I may just do one each week...we'll see how it works out. ;) And obviously, I may deviate from this, but right now...I'm going to try to follow this schedule! Hopefully, I can keep up! ;D

What do you think?
Are you excited to see some of these new things popping up onto my blog?
Any other nail polish, or tea lovers out there??
Also, do you have any suggestions? I'm open to those, too. :)

All the best!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Solving For Ex Blog Tour: Dream Cast and Tour Giveaway! #DreamCast #Giveaway

What better day to host the lovely Leigh Ann Kopans, author of Solving For Ex, on my blog than Valentine's Day, right?! 

Today, Leigh Ann is sharing her awesome dream cast for the book with us, and I'm sure you're eager to see it, so here it is:

Hi Ambur! Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today to celebrate the release of Solving for Ex! I’m so happy you asked me to do a Dream Cast post, because I LOVE to write using pictures as inspiration. 

So here we go!

I’ll introduce you to my main character first: Ashley. She’s one of those girls that has never thought she’s anything special to look at because she wasn’t popular, she was a math geek, and she has freckles. But in this book, the hottest boy at school is after her. Can you see why?

 (Meaghan Martin as Ashley)

Next up! The boy-next-door, best friend crush. Brendan is one of those guys who has a particular type of hotness that some girls see and some girls might not be able to. What do you think???

 (David Henrie as Brendan)

So that brings us to the hot new girl who tries to steal Brendan away. (Incidentally, I’m working on a followup book that’s all about her, that necessitates me writing about her without makeup. BIG difference.)
 (Victoria Justice as Sofia)

And last but not least, Sofia’s twin brother, Vincent – the cutest boy at school, who wants nothing more than a date – and more – with Ashley. Every girl on two legs thinks he’s dreamy, and half the guys to boot. What do you think?
 
 (Lucas Till as Vincent)


Cover by Hafsah Laziaf of Icey Designs

Summary of Solving for Ex  
 
1 crush on your best friend +
1 gorgeous, scheming new girl +
1 Mathletics competition =
1 big mess

SIMPLIFY.

Ashley Price doesn’t have much in life after being bullied so hard she had to leave her old school to live with her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh. But the camera she borrowed from her best friend and secret crush Brendan, and her off the charts math abilities, make things a lot more bearable. Plus, since Brendan is the captain, making the school Mathletes team should be easy.

But when gorgeous new girl Sofia rolls in and steals Brendan, Ashley's place on the team, and her fragile foothold on the Mansfield Park Prep social totem pole, it’s on. Sofia is everything Ashley left her old school to escape. The only thing Ashley didn’t count on is Sofia’s sexy twin brother Vincent.

Vincent is not only the hottest boy in school, he’s charming, sweet, and he’s got his eye on Ashley. He’s also not taking no for an answer. There's no real reason Ashley shouldn't like Vincent, but with the battle lines being drawn between her and Sofia, Ashley’s not sure which side he’s on. Or which side she wants him to be on.

She does know Sofia is trouble with a capital T, and she’s determined to make Brendan see it.

SOLVING FOR EX is a YA contemporary romance that remixes Mansfield Park as Clueless meets Mean Girls in a crazy mix of high school society, mathletic competition, and teenage romance.


Leigh Ann Kopan's Biography

Raised on comic books and classic novels, Leigh Ann developed an early love of science fiction and literature.  As an adult, she rediscovered her love for not only reading, but also writing the types of fiction that enchanted her as a teen.  Solving for Ex was born of her love for Jane Austen’s classics, and how they taught her that love stories could be funny and wickedly smart.

Leigh Ann, her husband, and four children live in Columbus, Ohio. When she’s not immersed in the world of fiction, you can find her obsessing over the latest superhero movie or using her kids as an excuse to go out for ice cream (again.)


Contact Links
Twitter: @LeighAnnKopans
Email: LeighAnnKopans@gmail.com
 Here are some awesome teasers for you (you can click to make them bigger :D):


Purchase Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble



BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY

TO ENTER FILL OUT THE RAFFLECOPTER BELOW: 




Ahhh, so I totally love Leigh Ann's picks!!! :D The girls are absolutely perfect!!! In fact, they're definitely all great matches for the characters...and I have to admit, I've had a total soft spot for Lucas Till ever since I saw him in X-Men: First Class. ;) And David Henrie is definitely geeky cute...although he's not quite as young as he is in that picture anymore. haha

What do you think?
Do you like Leigh Ann's Dream Cast?
And are you excited for Solving For Ex?