Blitz+Giveaway: Pixelated

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Title: Pixelated
Author: L.S. Murphy 
Release Date: 06/30/15
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Summary from Goodreads:

Senior Year. 

Middle of nowhere. 

What's the new girl to do?
For Piper Marks, the answer is simple. She’s determined to have her photography rock the cover of National Geographic someday, and moving to Clarkton, Iowa for her last year of high school is not going to stop her. Even if her usual subjects have changed from bright lights and skyscrapers to fields, cows…and more fields. 

But when photographer at the local paper quits in a huff, she steps into his spot. Her new job keeps Piper busy capturing tackles, and zooming in on first downs and end zone dances, not to mention putting her directly in the path of varsity football star Les Williams IV. Her new friends warn her off, but she can’t resist the pull she feels toward this mysterious country boy. But this small town is keeping a secret, and it’s one that could destroy any chance they have to be together.
It’s up to Piper to decide what to do with the distorted truth. Can she risk exposing her heart? It might be worth it, 'cause Les is about to change her world from black and white to fully saturated color. 

Buy Links:

Praise for Pixelated:

"In Pixelated, L.S. Murphy weaves a complex web of secrets and lies with a ‘will they or won’t they’ romance that kept me turning pages and holding my breath!" ~ Julie Reece, author of The Artisans and Crux

"Beautifully written, with a full spectrum of emotion and complex characters, Pixelated will tug at all your heartstrings. I easily lost myself in the world L.S. Murphy created and couldn't stop reading because I needed to see how the story ended." ~ Kelly Oram, author of Cinder & Ella

"L.S. Murphy brings something for every reader with Pixelated: romance, secrets, mystery, and a main character torn between two choices. Murphy's writing is sharp and steeped in emotions, deftly hooking her readers from the first sentence to the last." ~ Sarah Bromley, author of A Murder Of Magpies 

About the Author

L.S. Murphy obsesses about St. Louis Cardinals baseball, fangirls over her favorite authors, and watches every episode of Doctor Who like it's the first time. When she's not doing those time-consuming things, the former farm-girl turned city slicker turned suburbanite writes sweet romances for teens and adults.

Author Links:
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Blitz+Excerpt+Giveaway: Saving London

Friday, June 12, 2015

Title: Saving London
Author: Taylor Dawn
Publisher: Booktrope Publishing
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Purchase from: Amazon || B&N

The List. That Signified Finality.
The Journey. That Would Span The Globe.
The Sacrifice. That Would Decide The Outcome.
The Choice. That Could Unleash Evil On Earth.
The End Is Only The Beginning…

“You have terminal cancer.”

London Patterson, a seemingly healthy young woman, had her entire life ahead of her. That was until four little words brought everything to a screeching halt. As the shock and grief begin to fade, London decides to map out her last year and embark on an epic journey to complete a bucket list. She wants to do the things she’s been afraid to do in her life, step out of her self-contained box, and see the world. What she didn’t expect was for a mysterious stranger named Adam to breeze into her life like a breath of fresh air.

Adam offers to help London complete her list on one condition…that she sees it through to the end. Agreeing on those terms, the two set out on an adventure of a lifetime. But London soon realizes that Adam isn’t quite…human. Along their journey odd occurrences happen that cause London to question who or what Adam is and why he’s helping her.

Follow London as she checks off her bucket list in this inspiring new Urban Fantasy novel from Taylor Dawn.

The Prologue

I’d come to believe that we are privy to an overabundance of petrifying sounds in our lives. Noises that breeze through our ears enter our brain and cause chills to run down our spine. We attempt to shake off the feelings that these sounds illicit, but the sheer terror of them do nothing but brand our skin with gooseflesh and nervousness. I thought I’d heard most of them already. That I’d taken in the echoes that strike fear through most individuals. However, I was mistaken. I undoubtedly found myself absorbing the most chilling of them all. It was unexpected and I still have trouble convincing myself that what’d happened was tangible. No, it wasn’t the shrill scream of someone in grave danger. Or the fictitious screech of a science fiction creature with hefty teeth and an appetite for human flesh and blood. The one thing that I heard was something that stopped me dead in my tracks. It put my life at a stand-still, in only a fraction of a second. I developed tunnel vision when I grasped onto the spine-chilling noise, my entire body seized up as if I’d been taken over by another life form. The ability to control what I was thinking was gone, out the window it flew like a winged creature that’d been set free. What was it? It was the sound of fear in my own voice. There was an unstable quake when I’d open my lips to speak and nothing came out. The Words I’d tried to construct wouldn’t form themselves and I felt as if I’d lost the capacity to communicate. I’d never had a reason to be afraid of it…until now.
“That can’t be right. Maybe you need to check it again.” The wavering of my speech told me I was somewhere between disbelief and denial. Neither of which was welcome near me.
“We went over the results with a fine tooth comb, Miss. Patterson. Science doesn’t lie in this case.” The expression on the doctor’s face was dripping with subtle bleakness.
“Well, there must be some other explanation. Maybe you mixed the results up somewhere along the line.” I felt a tinge of hope color my weak words.
“Listen, I know this is hard. But I assure you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the tests.” The salt and pepper haired man sat down behind his desk.
“Okay, fine. I’m assuming there’s some sort of treatment I should start soon?”
I didn’t much care for the grim look that fell over his face like a mask of doom. “I wish I could say yes. But unfortunately there isn’t anything we can do. The surgery is too risky. You could undergo Chemotherapy and Radiation treatment, but if I’m being honest, I don’t feel as though either would do much good.”
So I don’t have any options. This is just…it?”
He slowly nodded. “At best, in a case such as this, I would say you have a year.”
“A year to do what exactly? Sit in my house and rot?” I felt my anger bubbling to the surface like an over baked pan of lasagna.
“I understand your indignation, I really do. I think maybe if there’re some things you’ve wanted to do, it’s time to start doing them.”
How could such few words have a blatant finality to them? How could I come down with a common cold and then find out my life had been reduced to a handful of months?
“I can prescribe some medication to get you through the general symptoms, but above that…” He trailed off. He was being somewhat compassionate I suppose. I wouldn’t want to tell someone they were dying either, what a crap job.
I’d thought medical professionals were supposed to heal you? They would diagnose the issue and bam you were handed a bottle of antibiotics and better within a week. But unless he had a freaking miracle stashed beneath that prescription pad, I was toast.
“If you’d like someone to talk to, I can recommend someone.” He began to extend some sort of business card across the desk toward me.
I abruptly raised myself from the chair that felt as if it were squeezing the life from me. “Thanks, but no thanks. I’d rather not waste the time I have left lying on a sofa and spilling my problems to a stranger.”
It was difficult holding my anger at bay. Counting to ten while I exited the medical facility helped but the urge to hit something was a fierce impulse to fight off. Did I cry? For some reason, I didn’t at that moment. I can’t say why either. I wanted to, but the tears wouldn’t come. They stayed hidden in their little duct homes while I walked around seeing red.
Cancer of the Liver is what they called it. Yeah, he’d given me some mumbo jumbo scientific name for it, but all I heard was the ‘C’ word. The word that no one wants to hear in their lives. The word that rips hope away from the person being diagnosed, and replaces it with desperation and depression. With a disease like that, you’d think I was a raging alcoholic who did nothing but fill her days by holding down a bar stool while finding the bottom of a bottle. But I wasn’t. I didn’t touch the stuff. So how was it I became strapped with a terminal disease such as that? Why was this happening to me of all people?
I know life isn’t some kind of tranquil state that we float through without a care in the world. I would be utterly stupefied if I honestly believed that. No, life is a series of unfortunate circumstances that lead us to make decisions we don’t really want to make. What to have for breakfast, what to wear, and even what to say to the person occupying the seat next to us on the city bus. We don’t really put much thought into it all, but what are we really doing here? Why were we put on this planet for only a miniscule amount of time? Is there some grand plan that we aren’t seeing, like a big picture that has our entire life mapped out already?
Up until the dreaded news, I’d thought life was something to take for granted. That I could wake up every day and be guaranteed tomorrow. It’s hard to believe that everything can be changed in the course of a few ounces of blood and a doctor’s visit. I continued to shake my head wondering what really happened, was I dreaming of all of this? I wish I was. Things would be easier that way. But such as life, nothing is easy. We’re screwed no matter which way we go, and end up paying the consequences for it every day of our lives.
I made a decision. I wasn’t going to sit around and watch myself waste away like a banana rotting slowly on a counter. Nope, I was going to live my life like I just didn’t give a crap anymore…well, not in a negative way. I was going to throw caution to the wind, balls to the wall, take no prisoners and do the things I’ve always wanted to do. You could call it my bucket list, or my death list, whatever you feel comfortable with is alright by me.
My life is timed; I have an expiration date stamped on my rear like a yogurt container in the dairy section. After my time is up, that’s it. I don’t get a free pass. I’m okay with it now. I have to be. If I weren’t, I’d be that banana…I am not a banana.
But in the end I’ll get to laugh and smile at the things I’ve accomplished with my time on this earth. I can’t wish my fate away, I can’t find a genie in a bottle on a desolate stretch of beach to grant me more time. I’m accepting it like you’d accept a second place trophy in a one-legged man’s butt kicking contest.
At least I was given a year. To some it might seem like a small amount of time, and truly it is. But when you’re given only that long to live, it can in a way, seem like an eternity. I’ll do the things I’ve wanted to do because in the end…no one can save London Patterson.

About the Author

C.D. Taylor/Taylor Dawn began writing as an item to check off her bucket list. She resides in the southernmost part of Illinois, right on the mighty Mississippi river. She enjoys the quiet country life with her husband, son and the many farm animals that make up the rest of the family. She. decided that farm life was just a little too mundane, so she started writing erotica and fantasy to liventhings up, so far so good. C.D./Taylor entered cosmetology school right out of High School and practiced the art of hair styling for 12 years. When she isn't writing, she can usually be found sitting around a table making people laugh. She has always wanted to be a standup comic. She loves pulling practical jokes, dresses up in a costume every Halloween and believes that dancing is the key to a happy life (even if you aren't a good dancer). She believes that life shouldn't be taken too seriously, we will never get out alive anyway. More than anything, she is a kid at heart, she doesn't believe in bedtimes, eating everything on her plate, or having ice cream only for dessert. Her favorite quote is by Dr. Seuss..."Why fit in, when you were born to stand out."


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Review: Since You've Been Gone

Saturday, June 6, 2015
Title: Since You've Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Synopsis from Goodreads:
It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um...

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?

My Thoughts

I first saw this title a few months ago, but I only got around to reading it the other week, and when I finished it, all I could think was why did I ignore this on my TBR for so long?! One reason might be that I read something similar (where the main character has this list of fears to overcome) some time ago and I never really got into it, so I couldn’t help not expecting much from Since You’ve Been Gone either. Man, was I wrong.

Matson’s writing sucked me right in; I couldn’t stop flipping pages! It was a big relief that it was not instalove (THANK YOU!) between Emily and Frank. Their relationship was actually allowed the time to develop, to form something that was actually believable. Their moments together were cute and sweet but they never got cheesy, which is another plus. Even the secondary characters were likeable, especially Collins who I found to be both really fun and a good, supportive friend.

Honestly, I thought the story might turn out a bit shallow at first, but it was actually quite meaningful. The ending may have been somewhat anticlimactic, but I found it nice all the same. There were some parts that weren’t given much closure for me, like Emily’s relationships with Gideon and Dawn, but I guess that’s okay. Overall, Since You’ve Been Gone is a hit for me! :)

My Rating

Review: Love and Other Foreign Words

Thursday, June 4, 2015
Title: Love and Other Foreign Words
Author: Erin McCahan
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 1, 2014
Publisher: Dial Books

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Perfect for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell, Love and Other Foreign Words is equal parts comedy and coming of age--a whip-smart, big-hearted, laugh-out-loud love story about sisters, friends, and what it means to love at all.

Can anyone be truly herself--or truly in love--in a language that's not her own?

Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue -- the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Kate is determined to bend Josie to her will for the wedding; Josie is determined to break Kate and her fiancé up. As battles are waged over secrets and semantics, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boyfriend who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn't always like, and the best friend who hasn't said a word -- at least not in a language Josie understands.

My Thoughts

The most interesting part of Love and Other Foreign Words is probably its main character Josie, who's extremely intelligent and sees words rather uniquely, separating them into different "languages" like Ohmigod (high school) and Ohmigod 2.0 (college). But there's one language that she lacks familiarity with, and that's love. 

It was fun to read about how Josie tried to analyze love; I caught myself laughing at her thoughts a lot. What made it even better is that she was never even trying to be funny, yet she still managed to be. I loved Josie's close relationship with her family, which was both endearing and realistic. The love aspect of it all never became cheesy either, making me like the novel all the more.

With great writing, great characters, and a great story, this one is definitely something that's hard not to love! :)

My Rating

Typography Tuesday #12: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Typography Tuesday is a new feature where I will post my lettering works of book quotes. Works will usually be black and white, but there may be at times that colored ones will be posted.

Review: The Geography of You and Me

Monday, June 1, 2015
18295852Title: The Geography of You and Me
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: April 15, 2014

Purchase from Amazon || B&N || iBooks || The Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

My Thoughts

*Thank you to Netgalley for the copy. This is no way affected my views.

Honestly, I've been putting my reading of this one off for a long time, ever since I've been hearing about how it wasn't really that good compared to The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Right now, I can say that, I'm not sure whether I regretted doing so or not. My mind is currently still in rumbles, and it is just simply incoherent, that I do not know what to think.

No, it wasn't because The Geography of You and Me was mind blowing, or whatever of that sorts. I think it was more of because it was heartwarming. Yes, it was that.

Admittedly, I felt that it was slightly boring, since not much was happening anyway. I was even surprised to see that I was already halfway through the book, when I thought I was just like, 1/3 of it. But, I was surprised to see that Lucy and Owen got separated from each other as they had to move away. I'm kind of glad that I didn't read the synopsis before diving into this book; otherwise, this surprise element would have been taken away from me.

Even so, the first few parts felt really magical. Spending one night together, when the city is on blackout, walking around and eating ice creams, was truly amazing. I mean, it was adorable, and it was really interesting (because okay, I totally don't even think that's going to happen in my life). Then, all of a sudden, the magic is gone.
“Instead, they were both heading in the exact opposite directions. The map was as good as a door swinging shut. And the geography of the thing - the geography of them - was completely and hopelessly wrong.”
That's where the entire story felt realistic - what is it like to be far away from the person you love? The transition between the two was great - I didn't even feel any lapses and all that. It all felt like it was the reality, that anything could happen, after all. At some point, I could even feel my heart breaking for them. </3
“There was no point in waiting for someone who hadn't asked, and there was no point in wishing for something that would never happen.” 
Although, I really had a hard time connecting with the characters. Actually, I can kind of say that I totally didn't feel connected at all. With this, I think I was more of invested into the things that were found in the story, rather than the story itself. Like, for example, I found the postcard sending thing very endearing. While it isn't conventional, I think it was one of the few things that made the romance between Lucy and Owen even more magical.
“There are so many ways to be alone here, even when you’re surrounded by this many people.”
Both of them had their own rocky roads to take, whether it be the relationship between the two of them or some familial matters. With their long distance relationship, it was actually hard to imagine that this one would have an HEA-type of an ending. But still, with Smith's brilliant writing, it gave me hope that everything could just simply work out in the end.
“Nothing is what it is. Things are always changing. They can always get better.”
I especially love the way that the book was sectioned: Here, There, Everywhere, Somewhere, and Home. It all felt very fitting, which added beauty to the entire thing. Although, I found myself having to readjust with the third person POV, since there were some instances that it just shifted to Owen, or to Lucy, without notice.

All in all, The Geography of You and Me is an easy, cute and magical read, that shows proof on how love can still be strong despite the distance. It might be a little bit draggy, but it still managed to make me feel warm and mushy inside.

My Rating

Real rating: 3.5