Upcoming Titles We're Excited About – August 2015

Hellooo. Here I am, once again, bringing you the August titles we can’t wait for.
Ahh, August. It’s summertime here in the states and maybe in some other places, too. I dunno. I don’t feel like Googling to find out… You likely have fingers. You do it.

Summer’s that glorious time of year, best for cookouts, lemonade, sunbathing, and ice cream – not necessarily in that order. The season when the sultry heat and humidity give our skin that sexy, dewy glow.

 

What I think I look Like:

 

 

What I Actually Look Like:

 

( ̄ヘ ̄)

Whatever.

King of Hearts by L.H. Cosway

King of Hearts by L.H. CoswayKing of Hearts by L.H. Cosway
Series: Hearts #3
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on July 16th 2015
Genres: Love & Romance
Pages: 378
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Welcome to the City, London’s most prestigious square mile, where finance reigns and Oliver King is a rising prince.

I used to rule the world.
There might be wolves on Wall Street, but there were crocodiles in Canary Wharf. Some of us craved money. Some of us craved power.
I liked money, and power had its advantages, but what I really wanted was to excel, to surpass the men who came before me. I never cared much for love and romance until I met Alexis.
I could feel it the very moment she walked into the interview, with her outspoken charm and vivacious personality. She cast all the others in shadow, made me laugh when life held no humour. Our friendship should have remained professional, but it wasn’t long before the lines started to blur.
You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? Well, I never foresaw where my plans would lead, and only in my darkest hour did I finally see the light…
You can have all the money and prestige in the world and still be the poorest man alive. And love, well, I hate to use a tired old cliché, but love can be the thing that truly sets you free.

This was the ideal lazy weekend read. It grabbed me from the first chapter and I gobbled it up in one day. It’s a unique second-chance love story, one that starts on a whimsical note and ventures into the land of pulled heartstrings.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Vengeance Road by Erin BowmanVengeance Road by Erin Bowman
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on September 1st 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction, Western, Young Adult
Pages: 336
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When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there's room for love in a heart so full of hate. In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.   

I’m starting to wonder if I’m doomed to have the worst reading year of my entire life because nothing is working for me!

description

Here’s something you probably don’t know about me, but I grew up watching westerns thanks to my Dad (Bonanza was my favorite), and my first introduction to audio books were tapes of Louis L’Amour (One For The Mohave Kid is the one I remember most), but I don’t go out of my way to find western based books – and I haven’t watched westerns in probably 20 years now.
My point is that I went into this expecting to really enjoy it and feel nostalgic about my youth and just generally be entranced.
I was not.

One StarOne Star

Ten Characters Who Are Fabulously Bookish

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about BOOKISH characters–let’s put our hands up for them! Now, I don’t think I’ll be able to come up with ten characters, so I might add bookish characters from books I haven’t read yet. And I’ll count geniuses/characters who studied a lot as bookish, too. 😉
In no particular order…
*Links will lead to my review and photos will link to the book’s GR page!

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes by Sara RaaschSnow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Published by Harper Collins on October 14th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Survival Stories, Love & Romance, Family, Orphans & Foster Homes, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 432
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A striking fantasy tale of dark magic, dangerous politics, and discovering your true self—perfect for fans of Game of Thrones, An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now the Winterians' only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter's magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter's defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter's future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter's magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics—and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

I received this book for free from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Clarion Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mechanica by Betsy CornwellMechanica by Betsy Cornwell
Published by Clarion Books on August 25th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Steampunk, Family, Fantasy & Magic, Friendship, Girls & Women, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: ARC, digital ARC
Source: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Clarion Books
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Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.
But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.
Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn't want a fairy tale happy ending after all.

More often than not, when a book annoys the fuck out of me, I:
a.) Tell the characters to stuff it;
b.) Roll my eyes every five minutes; and
c.) Throw my book/Kindle across the room (and onto my bed!–no way I’m destroying my babies).

One StarOne Star

Upload by Mark Mcclelland

Upload by Mark McclellandUpload by Mark McClelland
Published by Mark McClelland on October 24th 2012
Genres: Science Fiction, Cyber Punk, Hard Science Fiction
Pages: 279
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His criminal past catching up with him, a troubled young man seeks escape into digital utopia by uploading his consciousness into a computer -- just as first love casts his life in a new light. In this thrilling near-future science-fiction novel, Mark McClelland explores the immense potential of computer-based consciousness and the philosophical perils of simulated society.
To escape the hacker crimes of his youth, Raymond Quan has worked out a brilliant but extremely risky scheme. Taking advantage of his position on the University of Michigan’s Human Mind Upload Project, he plans to upload his consciousness into a computer, but make it look like it failed. It will appear to others that he died, while he secretly whisks his uploaded mind off to a remote computer, to live out his life in a virtual world of his own creation, free from society and the far-reaching eye of the law.
In the midst of all this, he works up the courage to reach out to Anya, an attractive and outgoing scientist on the upload research team, and much to his surprise he discovers the attraction is mutual. He finds himself entering the first meaningful relationship of his life, just as pressures force him to accelerate his already-dangerous upload plan.
To make matters worse, the technology he intends to use has not yet been tested on humans — he would be the first person to make the jump to a pure-digital mind."Upload" is ultimately a story of love and self-discovery, and the crucial role of connection-to-society in the ability of the individual to achieve fulfillment.

You say words like “virtual” and “reality” and I get pretty excited. The truth is that we all seek escapism in some way. Some exercise, some bake, some drink, some meditate and some read. But what if you could escape into an entire virtual world? A world where you could do anything, have anything and be anything? A world of your own making. Would you have any qualms about leaving your old life behind? For those of us who have loved ones, the decision wouldn’t be so cut & dried. For the loner MC of Upload, the decision was a fairly easy one.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

Puddle Jumping by Amber L. JohnsonPuddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson
Published by Self-Published on June 29th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Mental Illness, Family, Romance, Friendship
Pages: 121
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When it comes to love there’s no such thing as conventional.
Everyone thinks Colton Neely is special.
Lilly Evans just thinks he’s fascinating.
Once friends when they were younger, their bond is cut short due to her accident prone nature and they go their separate ways. Years later, they meet again and Lilly learns that there is something special about the boy she once knew, but she has no idea what it all means. And she’s not sure if she’s ready to find out.
When he walks through the corridor of her school the first day of her senior year, she knows that it’s time to get to know the real Colton Neely. The more she learns, the deeper she falls.
Their friendship grows into love, even as Colton does not express it in words. But one decision threatens to break down the world that Lilly has tried so hard to integrate into and she must figure out if the relationship can survive if they are apart.

Puddle Jumping took me completely by surprise. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it, but I certainly didn’t think I would love it as much as I did.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Frisk Me by Lauren Layne

Frisk Me by Lauren LayneFrisk Me (New York's Finest) by Lauren Layne
Series: New York's Finest #1
on July 28th 2015
Genres: Romance
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Officer Luc Moretti had no idea that his dive into the East River would have him drowning in a media frenzy. No matter how many times he tells reporters he was just doing his job, they're determined to make him into NYC's newest hero. Coming from a long line of NYPD's finest, Luc knows that being a cop has nothing to do with headlines and viral videos, and he's more than ready to get back to life away from the cameras—until he meets the gorgeous but jaded journalist assigned to film a TV special on him.Ava Sims may be the only woman in NYC who isn't in love with Officer Moretti. That's why she's going after the real story—to find out about the man behind the badge. Ava's determined to keep things strictly professional, but the more time she spends around Luc, even she has to admit there's something about a man in uniform . . . and she can't wait to get him out of his.

Lauren Layne has become an author that I can count on to deliver an enjoyable light contemporary romance. Factor in a story about a humble man in uniform and I was sure I would fall in love with this book. Well, that is, once I got over my disdain for the cover. I’m a terrible cover snob. But seriously, NYPD Officer Luc Moretti is dark-haired, stubborn, and second generation Italian so naturally he looks like Owen Wilson posing on the cover?

One StarOne StarOne Star

Blood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1) by Anthony Ryan

Blood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1) by Anthony RyanBlood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1) by Anthony Ryan
Published by Orbit Books on July 4th 2013
Pages: 582
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We have fought battles that left more than a hundred corpses on the ground and not a word of it has ever been set down. The Order fights, but often it fights in shadow, without glory or reward. We have no banners.Vaelin Al Sorna's life changes forever the day his father abandons him at the gates of the Sixth Order, a secretive military arm of the Faith. Together with his fellow initiates, Vaelin undertakes a brutal training regime - where the price of failure is often death. Under the tutelage of the Order's masters, he learns how to forge a blade, survive the wilds and kill a man quickly and quietly.Now his new skills will be put to the test. War is coming. Vaelin is the Sixth Order's deadliest weapon and the Realm's only hope. He must draw upon the very essence of his strength and cunning if he is to survive the coming conflict. Yet as the world teeters on the edge of chaos, Vaelin will learn that the truth can cut deeper than any sword.

I love fantasy – I always have, though it’s not often that I find myself reading epic, or high, fantasy because I tend to prefer the shorter scifi/fantasy stories (though this has changed). This book is written with the finest precision, enabling people like me to not even realize they’re reading a book they normally wouldn’t, and loving every second of it. There are very few epic fantasies in my library (at all actually) that I can claim have pulled me in like this, and the only one I can think of that affected me as greatly was Finnikin of the Rock, by Melina Marchetta. I tell you this so that you might get an idea of just how good this book really is. Don’t let the size and genre put you off like it almost did me, because this book… this book is fantasy done right.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star