Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Review: Kissing Ted Callahan

Title: Kissing Ted Callahan
Author: Amy Spalding
Published: April 7th 2015 by Poppy
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review

"Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist meets Easy A in this hilariously realistic story of sneaking out, making out, and playing in a band.

After catching their bandmates in a compromising position, sixteen-year-old Los Angelenos Riley and Reid become painfully aware of the romance missing from their own lives. And so a pact is formed: they'll both try to make something happen with their respective crushes and document the experiences in a shared notebook.

While Reid struggles with the moral dilemma of adopting a dog to win over someone's heart, Riley tries to make progress with Ted Callahan, who she's been obsessed with forever-His floppy hair! His undeniable intelligence! But suddenly cute guys are popping up everywhere. How did she never notice them before?! With their love lives going from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye, Riley and Reid realize the results of their pact may be more than they bargained for."

Thoughts: Wait, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist meets Easy A? Those are two of my favorite things, so naturally I had to read this book. Now, the question is did it live up to such high regards? In this case, my answer is yes. This book promises to be quirky and fun, and it definitely delivers in that department. The only thing is, have you ever read a book where some of the circumstances felt a bit too childish for the age group? If so, this best explains some of my feelings towards certain aspects. I'll further explain, but for now know that all in all I found KISSING TED CALLAHAN to be an entertaining, often laugh out loud experience.

First off, let's talk about the journal. These girls swap love and relationship advice/experiences in a journal which they share. The cover is definitely great, because it looks like how I would assume the notebook would look. My only complaint about this is it felt like something a tween would do and not a 16 year old. Maybe times have changed since I was that age, but I remember my friends and I sharing something called a slambook back when we were in middle school (not high school). It basically noted everyone we thought were cute, smart, would be our version of the "prom" (i.e. 7th and 8th grade dance) king and queen, and so no. Nothing malicious, but basically our way of stalking our crushes with our friends pre-Facebook/Twitter/Instagram era. Anyway, my point of explaining this is the notebook concept felt like something that would be done in middle school, not high school. With that said, it was still entertaining, and the story would not have been the same without it. Just my two cents though.

Now that I got the negative out of the way, let's talk about everything I loved about this novel. I loved Riley. Riley is hysterical and hands down one of the funniest characters I have ever met in any book or even TV series. When I said laugh out loud, I meant it. Fair warning, you will find yourself bursting with laughter if you decide to read this book in public. Just saying.

I enjoyed reading about Riley's complicated, often messy life and how she dealt with friendships, crushes, and everything in-between. The novel would not have been the same without her, and I don't say that because she's the protagonist. I say that, because the author created a three dimensional character out of her. She has so much personality to the point of feeling real.

When it comes to Reid, she's in many ways Riley's opposite. Keep in mind, this all starts because the girls are in a band with Lucy and Nathan and caught them getting down and dirty. This sparks up their need to experience relationships with the opposite sex and document it, giving each other advice and kind of sharing their experiences together. Reid isn't as outgoing nor confident as Riley. More insecure, I guess? At any rate, the dynamics between the two is interesting and made for a great friendship.

Though this book deals a lot with chasing boys, I feel like it centered more around friendships and how easily they can be lost because of boys. It's a reminder that guys may come and go but the best friendships last forever. That part of the novel felt real to me. Overall, if you love slightly cheesy but fantastic 90's movies such as Ten Things I Hate About You and Never Been Kissed, KISSING TED CALLAHAN is the book for you.


4 Stars

Monday, April 6, 2015

Review: The Start of Me and You

Title: The Start of Me and You
Author: Emery Lord
Published: March 31st 2015 by Bloomsbury
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review

"Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live? "

Thoughts: After reading Lord's debut novel OPEN ROAD SUMMER (and completely loving it), I knew I had to get my hands on THE START OF ME AND YOU as soon possible. I knew it would be good, but what I wasn't expecting were the amount of feelings I'd endure over the course of this novel. Ups, downs, love, heartache, and above all else friendship- Those are only a handful of things you'll experience along this journey. Sit back and enjoy the ride, because once it end, all you'll want to do is flip to the beginning and read it all over again.

First and foremost, I must declare to the world my love of Max Watson. I'm a sucker for a nerdy boy but oh my goodness, just like the book, he's so much more than that. Everyone in their life deserves a Max, whether he merely is your friend or something more (hopefully something more!). I cannot imagine anyone not falling in love with this guy, and I cannot imagine this novel without him. To put it simply, he completely stole the show.

Paige was definitely a great heroine. Can you even imagine losing a boyfriend so young? To the adults out there, remember how all-consuming your first love was? Those feelings were so intense, and I can't fathom the hurt Paige went through and then having to move on. The author knows how to write raw and pure emotions making it easy to just feel everything Paige felt. I love her for it, even though there were times when I was reading this book in public and almost burst into tears. Okay, I lied... I totally started bawling in public and attempted to hide it behind the book. It was worth it though.

If you're looking for the perfect Spring-Summer-Fall-Winter read, THE START OF ME AND YOU is the book for you. Emery Lord sucked me out of a reading slump, and then threw me into another one. Of all the books I read this year thus far, this is definitely in my top two (the other being THE WINNER'S CRIME). I recommend this book over and over again and look forward to experiencing this journey multiple times. I see rereads in the future!


5 Stars

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review + Giveaway: Shadow Scale

Title: Shadow Scale (Seraphina #2)
Author: Rachel Hartman
Published: March 10th 2015 by Random House Children's Books
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review

"Seraphina took the literary world by storm with 8 starred reviews and numerous “Best of” lists. At last, her eagerly awaited sequel has arrived—and with it comes an epic battle between humans and dragons.

The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.

As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?"

Thoughts: Good gravy, I have been waiting a long time to read the sequel to SERAPHINA, especially since the ending for the novel leaves with a bit of a cliffhanger. Though I really enjoyed SHADOW SCALE, I must admit that it is not my favorite novel. It's definitely well-written to the point of being beautiful, but the ending left me with my head spinning. Once I put the book down, the whats and huhs starting pouring out of me. We'll get to that in a bit, but let's start from the beginning of this journey.

As you can see in the summary, Phina is in for a bit of a journey. I loved that the author chose to take her to new lands and exploring different cultures, languages, and people. The world building is incredible and felt remarkably real. Though I missed Kiggs, I'm also grateful this novel was more about adventure and deception versus romance. There will be new characters, but be careful in who you trust. Everyone seems to have ulterior motives, and it'll have you questioning whether they're good, evil, or something else all together. War is on the horizon, so be cautious.

Now, one thing I must admit is I did struggle with the pacing a bit. While it was interesting and I adored meeting the new characters (especially the ityasaari), I found myself struggling through some of this. Once the novel started picking up, I enjoyed it more, but then I would encounter a scene or two that fell a bit flat.

Also, the ending. I personally felt like it was a bit rushed. Everything happened so fast, especially in the last chapter or two. There was closure, some strange and some great. In regards to the Phila-Keggs-Selda love triangle, I just wasn't happy with how it was wrapped up. I'm not sure how I wanted it to turn out, but this was just too strange for me.

Overall, I liked SHADOW SCALE and would recommend it to those who enjoyed SERAPHINA. It's a good follow-up, and it has enough closure to satisfy any reader. Whether this is the last book or if there's more, the ending is fitting and doesn't leave the reader with too many unanswered questions. I still continue to look forward to Hartman's books and cannot wait to read whatever she's working on next!


3.5 Stars

Giveaway: Thanks to the amazing people at Penguin Random House, I am giving away a copy of SHADOW SCALE. This giveaway is only open US/CA participants and ends April 18th. No, this isn't an April Fool's joke, so what are you waiting for? Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review: Finding Mr. Brightside

Title: Finding Mr. Brightside
Author: Jay Clark
Published: March 24th 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review

"Abram and Juliette know each other. They’ve lived down the street from each other their whole lives. But they don’t really know each other—at least, not until Juliette’s mom and Abram’s dad have a torrid affair that culminates in a deadly car crash. Sharing the same subdivision is uncomfortable, to say the least. They don’t speak.

Fast-forward to the neighborhood pharmacy, a few months later. Abram decides to say hello. Then he decides to invite her to Taco Bell. To her surprise as well as his, she agrees. And the real love story begins."

Thoughts: First off, am I the only one who thinks the cover looks eerily similar to Jennifer E. Smith's books? Possibly a little too similar? Don't get me wrong, I love it, and it works well with the book, but I could see someone picking this up believing it's one of Jennifer's and not Jay's books.

FINDING MR. BRIGHTSIDE is a unique story about two teenagers caught between the crossfires of a marital, tragic, love affair. Both teenagers must pick up the pieces and take care of the parent that was left behind. It isn't until an encounter at the local CVS that their lives start turning into something more than this tragedy. Is it possible for two people to fall in love after everything they've been through, especially with the "enemy"?

The book is told through both Juliette and Abram's point of views. While both voices are distinct, both characters share similar attributes which will eventually (luckily sooner rather than later) draw them together. Of the two, I found myself pulled more towards Abram than Juliette. He's still hurt and dealing with it the best he can, but he also has this lightness to him that I appreciated. Juliette's spirit is shattered making her more cynical but still an interesting character and definitely a great contrast to Abram.

I enjoyed their relationship. I loved the way it developed and the way both characters matured because of it. As their relationship grew, so did they. This made me want to root and cheer for them. Finally, something that might lift the overbearing dark cloud, even if it's just for a scene or two.

The writing style is the only thing I had an on again-off again issue with. It's written well, but there were moments where I felt the story dragged a bit. It's not a very long book, yet these scenes kept me from finishing the novel faster than I originally thought I would. My favorite parts were the light moments that made me giggle and smile or the tender ones that had my heart reaching out for these two souls. Sadly, I felt like there were some filler moments I personally could have lived without.

Overall, I liked FINDING MR. BRIGHTSIDE, but I didn't love it. I adored the premise and felt like it had a lot of potential, however, it simply wasn't my favorite contemporary YA book. The ending was wonderful, and I think that is mainly what kept me from giving this book three stars instead of two.


3 Stars

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Orphan Queen Blog Tour (Review + Giveaway)

Welcome, welcome, to the next stop in The Orphan Queen Blog Tour.


I cannot tell you guys how much I loved, loved, loved this book. Wait, yes I can, ESPECIALLY since half of this stop involves a review. Woohoo! Let's start the show!

Title: The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1)
Author: Jodi Meadows
Published: March 10th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books

"Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world."

Thoughts: First off, thank you Jodi for reminding me of how much I simply adore fantasy novels. This book has it all- a beautifully sculpted world, a lovable herione, and a brooding, enigmatic guy who you'll want to pounce. ROAR!

First off, the title pretty much explains the book in a nutshell. Wilhelmina is the orphan princess of Aecor who must fight to overtake the kingdom that was taken from her. She only survived, because she pretended to be someone else. Since this worked before, the Ospreys decide to send Wil and her bestie Melanie back to the palace to spy and hopefully figure out a way to take Aecor back. Along the way, Wil begins to question this decision and those she trusts most. Is this the life she wants to fight for or should she simply move on?

Okay, can we please talk about what a badass Wil is? Often, when you hear the word "princess", you think of pretty dresses, proper, good manners, etc. Wil is so much more than that. Most kings and queens sit back and let their soldiers fight for them. Not Wil. She could kick all of our butts and still have time to grab a mani/pedi before lunch. As far as strong heroines go, she's the cream of the crop. She's also very humble. Sure she's the future queen, but that doesn't make her their leader. Wil feels like being queen and ruling is something she has to earn, and I cannot tell you how much this makes me respect her as their rightful queen and a person.

Next up, I cannot write this review without mentioning the Black Knife at least five or six hundred times. I loved how much he grew throughout the novel, especially with Wil by his side. He originally thought all magic was criminial and should be punished, but the more time he spent with Wil, the broader his views began to grow. He's strong, hot, and just oozing charm to the point where I wanted to jump inside the book and hug him. I could say he's swoon worthy, but that would be an understatement. Can we please have an "adult" novel that revolves around the Black Knife? Pretty please?

Overall, I devoured THE ORPHAN QUEEN and recommend it over and over again. It reminds me of a mixture between GRACELING, THRONE OF GLASS, and A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC (a great combination!). I personally cannot wait for the sequel and once you read the book, you'll see why.


5 Stars

Favorite Quotes:

“I was going to have to face the man who'd destroyed my kingdom, and the boy who was the reason.”

“'The pain of what happened – it won’t last eternity.' A lie. I knew very well how pain could last, and fester, and shape a person in unnameable ways.”

“'Try to be polite.'
'I'm always polite.'
'You're always eyeing people's valuables. That's hardly polite.'”

Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy and the forthcoming ORPHAN QUEEN Duology (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen). Visit her at www.jodimeadows.com

*a Kippy is a cat

GIVEAWAY: Thanks to the fabulous people at Harper Teen (And the fabulous Hannah at The Irish Banana Review blog for organizing this tour), I am giving away a signed copy of THE ORPHAN QUEEN. To enter all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is only open to US participants and ends March 28th. Be sure to visit the rest of the tour for more chances to win!

3/9 - Good Choice Reading
3/10 - The Irish Banana Review
3/11 - Reading W/ABC's
3/12 - Icey Books
3/13 - Alice Marvels
3/16 - No BS Book Reviews
3/17 - Supernatural Snark
3/18 - Book Shelfery
3/19 - Addicted 2 Novels (Me, duh!)
3/20 - Mundie Moms

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 9, 2015

Caged In Winter Cookies

The other day, as I was rereading CAGED IN WINTER, all I kept thinking about was I was craving steak, pizza, and cookies. If you guys haven't read this novel yet, you simply must. It's told in alternating points of views between Winter, our protagonist with loads of baggage, and Cage, a chef with his own baggage as well. At any rate, Winter is a student/waitress, and Cage is a, get this, chef in training. That's right, you heard me. This sexy, brooding, fantastic guy can also add cooking to his swoon resume. Yum!

At one point in the novel, Cade tells Winter that while he can cook, he can't bake. In fact, the only thing he can bake are cookies which are actually his mom's recipe. At this point, all I kept thinking about was how I needed cookies and needed them now. Thus, that's how this fantastic novel inspired me to bake a batch. While I'm not the best chef nor the best baker, I do think the chocolate chip cookie recipe I have (one that I've tweaked several times) is the bee's knees. Dare I say they rival Cade's? Oh dear!

I guess the only way to see is to bake a batch for yourself. Keep in mind, this is one of those cookie recipes that requires you to refrigerate it for 24 hours. Trust me, you want all of the flavors to absorb, and this also helps with texture.

Caged In Winter Chocolate Chip Cookies


*3/4 cups of butter (1 1/2 sticks)- softened
*1 cup of light brown sugar (packed)
*1/2 cup of granulated sugar
*2 extra large eggs
*1 tbsp vanilla extract
*1 tsp baking soda
*3/4 tsp salt
*2 cups of chocolate chips
*1 cup of chopped nuts
*2 cups of all-purpose flour

Yields about 3 dozen cookies depending on how big you like your cookies.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and butter and blend until smooth. Don't have a stand mixer? No problem! Combine the ingredients in a medium sized bowl, and blend with a hand mixer instead. Next, add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix using your mixer on medium speed until fully blended. After that, add the salt and baking soda. Switch your mixer to low, and gradually add the flour 1/2 a cup at a time until it's all blended.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chocolate chips and nuts with a spatula. Once it's all done, wrap the top in saran wrap, and place it in the fridge for 24 hours.

Fun trick: You can also place all of the cookie dough into a large freezer bag, zip it shut (But leave a small opening for air to escape. Just don't forget to zip it entirely shut once you're done), and press it down until there's no air left in there. You should end up with a giant rectangle of 1' thick cookie dough covered in plastic. Once it's time to bake them, open the bag, take a pair of scissors, and cut the block of dough out of the freezer bag. Place it on a cutting board, and cut the dough into 1'x1' cubes. No spooning necessary!

24 Hours later (This must be how Cage felt waiting for Winter outside of the bar)...

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of a baking sheet, and begin scooping a spoonful of cookie dough at a time onto the baking sheet. Be sure to leave enough space so the cookies do not touch while baking (see photo above). Bake for about 10-13 minutes, depending on how cold the dough is. The time will also vary as the dough begins to thaw a bit, especially if you place the spoonfuls onto a hot baking sheet. Just keep at eye on it!

Once the first batch is done, remove it from the baking sheet, and place it onto a baking rack. Repeat until all of the cookies are baked (or freeze the rest of the cookie dough and save it for later!).

Ta da! Behold, the glory that is the Caged In Winter Chocolate Chip Cookie. Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of milk, pick up your copy CAGED IN WINTER, and enjoy.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Seraphina Blog Tour- Review + Giveaway

Title: Seraphina (Seraphine #1)
Author: Rachel Hartman
Published: July 10th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: Finished copy courtesy of the publisher for an honest review
Goodreads / Buy

"In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy."

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life."

First line: "I remember being born."

Thoughts: Of all the genres out there, fantasy is probably my favorite. Being so, it comes as no surprise that I am beyond picky when it comes to fantasy novels, especially high fantasy. With that being said, I cannot tell you guys how much I absolutely adored SERAPHINA. Dragons, murder, secrets, forbidden love...I could really go on and on about all the things this book has to offer.

First, let's talk about the world building. It was spot on. Keep in mind, this book is more of a marathon and less of a sprint. If you're looking for a quick read, this isn't it. If you're looking to go on an adventure, a journey, than this is the book for you. I loved imagining dragons standing three stories high next to us pesky humans. Oh, and the music. I could probably hear the best music of my life, and it still wouldn't compare to Seraphina's talent. I'm not sure how the author did it, but I could hear the music coming out of the pages. What I wouldn't give to just hear her play one song.

Speaking of Seraphina (aka Phina), I cannot tell you guys how I reveled in her growth. In the beginning of the novel, she was a scared girl who just wanted to fade into the background. This is, of course, due to what she is. It also probably doesn't help that her father conditioned her to be this way. As the novel progresses, you see her become more of a woman and less of a girl. She's finding herself, and I'm assuming she'll continue to do so in the sequel.

Another character I couldn't get enough of was Orma. He's a saarantra (dragon) that mainly stays in his human form and mentors Seraphina. Like most saar, he thinks more with his head and less with his heart. Unlike most saar, he seems to care for Seraphina in his own special way. The ironic thing is, even though he's a dragon, he shows more affection for her than her father ever has. I enjoyed his quips and overall presence. He's definitely an intriguing character and one I think everyone will cherish.

Now, let's talk about romance for a bit, shall we? There's definitely some romance in this novel, but it's neither overpowering nor lacking. The porridge isn't too hot, too cold, but just right. There's definitely a lot of sexual tension between Phina and Prince Lucian Kiggs (Kiggs for short). Sadly, Kiggs is engaged to Princess Glisselda. It would be easy to outright hate her, mainly because you want to root for Seraphina, but it's not. Glisselda is a sweet character, one both Kiggs and Phina admire. I will admit, I originally found the concept of Kiggs and Selda being engaged kind of disturbing. They're cousins, but you have to keep in mind that almost all royal families, much like in world history, are married off to other royals aka relatives. With that said, I'll still continue to cheer for Phina and Kiggs because darn it, Seraphina deserves to be happy!

Like the majority of fantasy stories out there, this book includes a list of confusing names, places, beliefs, and words with many vowels. I probably spent more time attempting to say some of these phrases and name and still pronounced them incorrectly. If you're ever confused as to who's who, there's a glossary in the back of the novel. I don't know about you guys, but I love a good cheat sheet!

Overall, I cannot recommend this extraordinary novel enough. If you're a fan of GRACELING, FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK, and/or SHADOW AND BONE, you'll absolutely love this novel. Even if you're not or haven't read them, I highly recommend picking up SERAPHINA. All you have to do is read the prologue, and you'll fall for it the way I did.


5 Stars

Favorite Quotes

"Sometimes the truth has difficulty breaching the city walls of our beliefs. A lie, dressed in the correct livery, passes through more easily."

"We were all monsters and bastards, and we were all beautiful."

"I became the very air; I was full of stars. I was the soaring spaces between the spires of the cathedral, the solemn breath of chimneys, a whispered prayer upon the winter wind. I was silence,and I was music, one clear transcendent chord rising toward Heaven. I believed, then, that I would have risen bodily into the sky but for the anchor of his hand in my hair and his round soft perfect mouth."

Giveaway: Thanks to the fabulous people at Penguin Random House and to celebrate the paperback release of SERAPHINA, I am giving away a copy to one lucky reader. As you can see, this is one of my absolutely favorite novels, and here's your chance to win it. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to US/CA participants and ends on March 28th.

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

a Rafflecopter giveaway