Saturday, 31 October 2015

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On
by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher:St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
Rainbow Rowell continues to break boundaries with Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller Fangirl.

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.
     



"You've slain a dragon, Simon. Surely you can manage a long walk and a few buses."

I want to marry this book. This bookie was amazing. If I could write a review and simply leave it this short and sweet, I would, but I can't so I shan't. Carry On is essentially me when I haven't had coffee or when I've had far too much of it - absolutely mind boggling, quirky, and sans filter.

"I should take this one off the list. F@#k the Wavering Wood."

Fans of Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl will remember Simon Snow and Tyrannus Basilton “Baz” Pitch, the stars of Cath's fanfics. When news broke that Rainbow would be adapting a novel solely dedicated to these quirky characters, I was pumped. Rainbow, who is absolutely lovely in person by the way, has yet to disappoint me and I was thrilled to learn that readers would be able to dive into the world of Simon Snow.

"If he's planning something, I'll find out," I say. "I always do." 
"So noted." 
"I mean it!" I shout after him. 
"Your sincerity is also noted!"

The world of Simon Snow, The Mage, and the Humdrum will resonate with fans of Harry Potter. Diving into Carry On, readers are immediately introduced to Simon's laid back and snarky narrative, who matter-of-factly points out that quite a bit has happened prior to the events in Carry On. As expected the events in Carry On move very quickly, sans character banter and melodramatics, and progresses quite smoothly to the end. Even so, I felt the plot of Carry On was thin and lacked the details any other novel of it's kind would possess. Whether or not this was intentional, I still enjoyed the ride that was Carry On. It was mysterious, thrilling, hilarious, and surprisingly romantic.

Regardless of thin plots, I absolutely loved Carry On's Simon, Baz, and company. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell was an extraordinary and unique reading experience, one I highly recommend.



Rating:
5 / 5 Cupcakes


This title was purchased by the blogger for their personal collection. No payment was received/accepted in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's

Friday, 30 October 2015

Cover Reveal + Giveaway - Bloodcraft by Amalie Howard



The wait is finally over! 

BLOODCRAFT by Amalie Howard, the sequel to BLOODSPELL (available NOW for only $2.99), will be releasing on December 15th, 2015!

Today, A Cupcake and a Latte, along with so many awesome bloggers are revealing the BEAUTIFUL cover to BLOODCRAFT.

Author Amalie Howard is also giving away TWO signed paperback copies of BLOODSPELL (book one- OPEN INTERNATIONALLY), and TWO eARC copies of BLOODCRAFT to TWO lucky readers. Contest details can be found at then end of this post.

And now... here is the cover to BLOODCRAFT.



BLOODCRAFT
Release: December 15th, 2015
Cover design by Alan Pranke

All magic has its price, and no one knows that better than Victoria Warrick. Gifted with a centuries-old blood curse, Tori has finally learned to master her blood’s demands and has emerged triumphant with Christian Devereux, a vampire overlord, at her side.

But the worst is yet to come …

In the infamous City of Lights, home to both the Witch Clans and the Vampire Council, Tori enrolls at the exclusive Belles Fontaines school in Paris, where she is faced with a devastating choice: choose Christian and be an outcast, or choose the coven and secure her place with the witches.

When the fate of the supernatural world is targeted by a sinister new threat, Christian and Victoria must unite their two warring species to defeat it. Their bond will be tested, twisted, and sorely weakened, and Tori will find herself in uncharted territory—a dangerous place to be when her blood’s magic has its own dark agenda.

But to save them all, she may have no choice but to invoke its deadly power.


Add to GoodReads

If you'd like to be a part of the Blog Tour, you can sign-up HERE

For those new to the series, copies of Bloodspell will be provided, as well as Bloodcraft. 
Limited paperback copies of Bloodspell will be provided. 



ABOUT BLOODSPELL



The spell was simple...

Cruentus Protectum (Defend the Blood)

But what do you do if your blood is your enemy?

Victoria Warrick has always known she was different. An outcast at school, she is no stranger to adversity. But when she receives an old journal for her seventeenth birthday, nothing prepares her for the dark secrets it holds -- much less one that reveals she's a witch with unimaginable power.

What's more, when she meets the dazzling but enigmatic Christian Devereux, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Enemies will hunt her. Friends will turn on her. The terrible curse that makes her blood run black will stop at nothing to control her. And Christian has a sinister secret of his own...

Without knowing whom to trust, can Victoria survive her blood's deadly desires? Or will she lose everything, including herself?


AVAILABLE ON
AmazonB&NBook DepositoryKoboBAM

Add to GoodReads



ABOUT AMALIE HOWARD


AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island (Trinidad & Tobago) where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 25 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts.

An aspiring writer from a young age, Amalie’s poem “The Candle,” written at age twelve, was published in a University of Warwick journal. At fifteen, she was  a recipient of a Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Award (a global youth writing competition). A Colby College graduate, she completed simultaneous Honors Theses in both French and International Studies, and graduated Summa Cum Laude/Phi Beta Kappa. At Colby, she was cited for research and criticism in Raffael Scheck’s article, “German Conservatism and Female Political Activism in the Early Weimar Republic,” and his subsequent book, Mothers of the Nation. She also received a distinction in English Literature from the University of Cambridge (A-levels) as well as a certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. Traveling the globe, she has worked as a research assistant, marketing representative, teen speaker and global sales executive.

agold-authorShe is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency and is a member of SCBWI.






  • This giveaway is sponsored by author Amalie Howard.
  • This giveaway is open to INTERNATIONALLY
  • Author Amalie Howard nor Good Choice Reading are responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged mail. 
  • Winner will be chosen at random.
  • Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or else a new winner will be chosen. 
  • Winner will be announced/contacted on rafflecopter, Amalie Facebook/Twitter, and via email. 

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



THE GLITTERING COURT
by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Format:Hardcover
Pages: 400
Release Date: April 12th, 2016
Pre-order: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
A dazzling new fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds that’s dripping with romance from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy.

Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies capable of arranging powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands. . . .
     



Why I'm Anticipating This Title:
I absolutely adore Richelle Mead's titles, so it's pretty much a given that I'm excited for The Glittering Court. Adelaide and Cedric sound like incredible characters and a possible new favourite duo for yours truly in the upcoming year. I look forward to seeing what Richelle Mead's latest will bring to the young adult fantasy sub-genre, and I'm eager to see how far this series spans (here's to a long and incredible series!)



What are you waiting for this Wednesday?
Let me know what you're highly anticipated upcoming release is in the 
comment section below =D




Happy Reading,

Monday, 26 October 2015

Review: The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch by Daniel Kraus

The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch
by Daniel Kraus
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 656
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 27th, 2015
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
May 7, 1896. Dusk. A swaggering seventeen-year-old gangster named Zebulon Finch is gunned down on the shores of Lake Michigan. But after mere minutes in the void, he is mysteriously resurrected.

His second life will be nothing like his first.

Zebulon's new existence begins as a sideshow attraction in a traveling medicine show. From there, he will be poked and prodded by a scientist obsessed with mastering the secrets of death. He will fight in the trenches of World War I. He will run from his nightmares—and from poverty—in Depression-era New York City. And he will become the companion of the most beautiful woman in Hollywood. Love, hate, hope, and horror—Zebulon finds them. But will he ever find redemption?

Ambitious and heartbreaking, The Death & Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume 1: At the Edge of Empire is the epic saga of what it means to be human in a world so often lacking in humanity.
     

The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch was absolutely divine - a fresh read that was stimulating for the imagination. Daniel Kraus' first installment in Zebulon's saga was deliciously addicting and heartbreaking all at once, a novel I highly recommend teens and adults read.

"Zebulon? So sophisticated for one so young." 
I shrugged. "Last name's Finch."

It's May 7th, 1896 when Zebulon Finch is gunned down by the shores of Lake Michigan. Mere moments later he is mysteriously resurrected. In his new found existence, the cunning and charming immortal seventeen year old begins to travel and experience young america. Along the way, Zebulon meets an array of quirky and fascinating characters, falls in love and witnesses utter devastation, knowing well that while everything around him will grow and change, that he will not.

"Fun facts for your enjoyment, Dearest Reader! I do not eat. I do not exercise. I do not sleep. I do not bleed."

Although a shocking 656 pages, I was unmoved by it's length and excitedly anticipated reading Daniel Kraus' latest. Upon beginning the prologue, I instantly found myself falling in love with Zebulon's narrative voice. His suave dialogue and cunning choice of words charmed me, and was almost purposely flirtatious. I would describe it as being one of the best experiences I've had reading a retelling of events from a character's perspective. From a war torn city to a loving embrace, Zebulon easily swayed my emotions with each new chapter in his life - I was wholesomely invested through his ups and downs.

Daniel Kraus' development of Zebulon Finch, although extraordinary, wasn't the only character to completely suck me in. Characters like Dr. Whistler, Wilma, Merle, and Margeaux, added a meaningful spin to Zebulon's growth throughout the novel. It was wonderful seeing the important roles these characters would take in Zebulon's life and how their relationships (romantic or otherwise) would set the tone for much of the tale's developments.

Despite it's arduous length, The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch was an extraordinary adventure! Zebulon Finch was a first-rate character that dazzled and wowed, begging the reader to fully submerse themselves and devote their time to his tale. I highly anticipate the second installment!


Rating:
5 / 5 Cupcakes

This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accepted in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Review: Binge by Tyler Oakley

BINGE
by Tyler Oakley
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
Pop-culture phenomenon, social rights advocate, and the most prominent LGBTQ+ voice on YouTube, Tyler Oakley brings you his first collection of witty, personal, and hilarious essays.

For someone who made a career out of over-sharing on the Internet, Tyler has a shocking number of personal mishaps and shenanigans to reveal in his first book: experiencing a legitimate rage blackout in a Cheesecake Factory; negotiating a tense stand­off with a White House official; crashing a car in front of his entire high school, in an Arby’s uniform; projectile vomiting while bartering with a grandmother; and so much more. In Binge, Tyler delivers his best untold, hilariously side-splitting moments with the trademark flair that made him a star. 
     



I've never quite enjoyed reading memoirs, that is to say it's typically the kind of book I'll only dare to look at last. I've read Tina Fey's Bossy Pants, Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl, and countless others that have all left me crestfallen. Going into a memoir I expect a strong impression of likability and realism, and unfortunately, in my experiences, that hasn't always been the case. As an avid Youtube user, it's fair to say that Tyler Oakley is one of my favourite of the high-ranking Youtubers. When I learned about his upcoming memoir filled with hilarious essays, I had to give it a try, past experiences be damned!

"Even at a young age, 
I had a profound distaste for offensive stereotypes."

Binge by Tyler Oakley is very unique in voice and experience. In his first book, Tyler talks about countless important issues, setting his memoir apart from other celebrity tell alls. In Binge, topics like life-long fears, relationships, family appreciation, friendship, offensive stereotyping, and anxiety are all discussed in an honest and down to earth manner, tying perfectly with Tyler's own personal experiences in those situations. Each chapter was a new and refreshing take on growing up different and not falling into unison with everyone around you.

All seriousness aside, Tyler Oakley is hilarious! Despite the severity of many of his encounters and the importance of each and every struggle or embarrassing moment, Tyler has a wonderful sense of keeping it lighthearted when talking about it. He doesn't play "holier than thou" for going through it, he wants you to relate to him which is something I greatly appreciated as a reader.

Binge by Tyler Oakley is an absolute must read for memoir lovers and Youtube subscribers. Binge was a phenomenal and breezy read with an insanely witty dialogue of random but oddly relatable events. Youtuber memoirs are definitely something I can see myself reading again in the future, and I would love to see some from Charles Trippy (CTFXC), Kandee Johnson, and Markiplier!



Rating:
5 / 5 Cupcakes


This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accepted in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Review: Bitterroot (Part 2) by Heather Hildenbrand and SM Reine

Bitterroot (Part 2)
by Heather Hildenbrand and SM Reine
Format: Ebook
Purchase: [Amazon] [B&N] [iBooks]
Part 2 of a 3-part novella series.

One month ago, Charlotte Vuk—Charlie—was living in a small town in Oregon with her mother, completely unaware she was next in line for alpha to a werewolf pack so steeped in tradition and rules that they banished her mother 17 years ago for being “the other woman.” Now, Charlie is here in Paradise to meet a family she never knew she had. And to compete for a title she never wanted in the first place.

Regan Vuk needs to be alpha—and fast. Her father has completely lost his mind; promising his daughter’s hand in marriage to their worst enemy in exchange for a peace the vampires ruined when they killed Regan’s mom is crazy. Regan needs to unseat him and bring order back to her people. Even if it means hurting Charlie in the process.

Charlie doesn’t understand why everyone hates the vampires so much. So far, Owen’s done nothing but help her. He’s the only friend she has, the only one who has taken the time to get to know her. But Owen isn’t the only one who sees her, and soon both girls realize there’s someone else out there against the idea of another Vuk becoming alpha. It might even be the same person who killed Regan’s mom. When they discover a vampire’s scent on their tail, Regan isn’t surprised they’re in danger.

For Charlie, it’s beginning to feel as if her world is crumbling in around her. For Regan, it’s just another day in Paradise.
     


Remember that time I told you Bitterroot part one from Heather Hildenbrand and SM Reine was amazing? Well, Bitterroot part two gave me everything I was begging to have answered in the first installment and more!

"In a flash, he closed the distance and stood before me. His smirk was gone, replaced by the most intense and studying gaze."

In the first installment of Bitterroot, readers are introduced to Charlie and Regan, two sisters that were raised in completely different worlds. Charlie was raised as a regular teen girl (minus her wolfish charm, that is) and Regan as an aspiring wolf pack leader. When Charlie is kidnapped on her way home from prom, she's thrust into a world where she now has a father and sister she didn't even know existed, and furthermore she's told she must compete with said sibling for the title of Alpha and the hand of a vampire prince.

"Cross my heart, hope to die." 
"Aren't you already...?" 
"Darling, you're hilarious. This is going to be so much fun."

In Bitterroot part two, I'm pleased to say that many of the questions I had at the end of installment one are answered. Readers who wanted to learn more about the pack, the contests, and Prince Owen, were given exactly what they wanted, although I have to admit that knowing more left me wishing I had part three ready to devour. Charlie grows into a fierce heroine in Bitterroot part two. She's grown out of her secluded shell and begins to accept her wolf side, although she's still reluctant to challenge her sister for title of Alpha. Regan, however, showed a completely new side of herself in this installment. She seemed more compassionate towards Charlie and was insistent on forming some sort of relationship with her.

Overall, I was very pleased with Bitterroot part two. I highly recommend the first two installments to readers who love well written tales of fierce female heroines.



Rating:
5 / 5 Cupcakes




This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accepted in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn + Giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Firsts
by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Format:Hardcover
Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Pre-order: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.
     



Why I'm Anticipating This Title:
I first came across Firsts through a blogger's Waiting on Wednesday post. It immediately sounded unique and although I was at first skeptical about it's premise, it's grown to become a highly anticipated title I'm excited to read/review. I'm looking forward to picking up my copy and sharing my thoughts with everyone. Also - she's a Canadian author!




What are you waiting for this Wednesday?
Let me know in the comment section below. Leave your blog link and I'll stop by =D



Giveaway (US/Canada)
Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn swag is up for grabs! Prizes: 1 swag set includes a Firsts lip gloss, postcard, and bookmark. 2 swag sets are up for grabs for a Firsts postcard and bookmark. Giveaway is open to US/Canadian residents.

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Happy Reading,

Monday, 19 October 2015

Review: Forever With You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Forever With You
(Wait For You #5)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: 384
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
In the irresistibly sexy series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, two free spirits find their lives changed by a one-night stand…

Some things you just believe in, even if you've never experienced them. For Stephanie, that list includes love. It's out there. Somewhere. Eventually. Meanwhile she's got her job at the mixed martial arts training center and hot flings with gorgeous, temporary guys like Nick. Then a secret brings them closer, opening Steph's eyes to a future she never knew she wanted—until tragedy rips it away.

Nick's self-assured surface shields a past no one needs to know about. His mind-blowing connection with Steph changes all that. As fast as he's knocking down the walls that have kept him commitment-free, she's building them up again, determined to keep the hurt—and Nick—out. But he can't walk away. Not when she's the only one who's ever made him wish for forever . . .
     


As a big fan of Jennifer L Armentrout's titles, Forever With You was an absolute must on my buy list.

“If I had a dollar for every time some random person told me to smile, I would have more money than the Queen of England.” 

In this contemporary series that follows the romance liaisons of an excellent cast of characters, new girl Stephanie meets the infamous one night stand Nick, and an unexpected twist of events brings them together. In Jennifer L. Armentrout's latest, readers are reintroduced to Nick and a brand new character that will pull you into an intense emotional roller coaster that will leave you utterly invested in their tale.

When it comes to Jennifer L. Armentrout, every character she write becomes your favourite character. Throughout the Wait For You series, I've flip-flopped between loving one couple only to move on to the next in the following companion novel. Her characters are real, engaging, and irrevocably charming. Whether it's a young adult or new adult, Jennifer L Armentrout is sure to create a tale filled with incredible characters that are sure to complete win over her readers, and in that case I constantly look forward to her books knowing I won't be disappointed.

New adult readers will want to have Forever With You on their to read pile. Stephanie and Nick, in my opinion, are Jennifer L. Armentrout's best characters yet in the Wait For You series, and have a whirlwind of a tale you don't want to miss.



Rating:
4 / 5 Cupcakes

This title was purchased by the blogger for their personal collection. No payment was received/accepted in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Recap: Fierce Reads Takes Toronto

For those who missed it, check out my Fierce Reads blog tour post here for a Q/A with this year's featured authors and reviews.

October 17th, 2015 was a day I was highly anticipating! The last time Toronto received a visit from Fierce Reads was back in 2013, when authors Anna Banks, Leigh Bardugo, Gennifer Albin, Emmy Laybourne, and Jessica Brody paid a visit with an incredible Q/A and signing. This year, Leigh Bardugo, once again, joined the Fierce Reads tour for her latest release Six of Crows, along with authors Emma Mills (First & Then), Leila Sales (Tonight the Streets Are Ours) and Josephine Angelini (Firewalker). I was incredibly excited to meet Leigh Bardugo in person again, and hear from the other ladies! With that said, I was pumped to arrive to the venue with books in tow, camera in hand, ready for a phenomenal Q/A and signing event - perhaps the most fun I've had at a bookish event all year! A big thank you to Fierce Reads for sending the authors all this way to meet Canadian book lovers, Chapters/Indigo for arranging the signing and venue,  and for Raincoast books for promoting the event and this month's fierce blog tour.



After a wonderful chat and lunch with Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit, we both made our way over to Indigo Yonge & Eglinton for this year's Fierce Reads event.  I was surprised to find that the line up of early arrivals for the signing was fairly short and that the event space was yet to be set up. With that said, I was glad for the chance to settle down and chat with fellow book readers and bloggers before the author arrivals, especially after devouring a huge strawberry milkshake! (Click here to view a photo of said milkshake.)

Ariel Bissett with authors Leila Sales, Josephine Angelini, Emma Mills and Leigh Bardugo.
This year the Q/A was co-ordinated by Booktuber Ariel Bissett, a wonderful change that was absolutely refreshing.  During the Q/A between Ariel and the Fierce Reads authors, they talked about cover processes, what inspired them to begin writing, how depression/anxiety influenced their writing process, and discussed the importance of including realistic issues. My favourite audience question was from Tiff, who asked the authors what characters from their titles they'd place into another Fierce Reads author's story. Their answers were fun!

Yours truly with authors Emma Mills and Josephine Angelini

Meeting Emma Mills, Josephine Angelini, and Leila Sales for the first time was quite the experience. Along with author Leigh Bardugo, these ladies were incredibly funny, witty, and enthusiastic with attendees.  I had an incredible time at this year's Fierce Reads book tour in Toronto. I'm highly anticipating more from these fierce authors and hope the tour joins Canadians again next year.

My Fierce Reads haul - signed copies of Trial by Fire, Firewalker, First & Then, and Tonight the Streets are Ours. Also included: Signed Fierce Reads poster, bookmarks, and buttons.



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Happy Reading,
 






Friday, 16 October 2015

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow - Map Reveal Tour

Today I'm pleased to be part of Simon & Schuster Canada's The Scorpion Rules Map Tour. If you've read The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow, you'll know how flipping amazing Erin's world and characters are. If not, here's a few quotes from my review which you can access here:

"I hate to break this to you under these circumstances, really truly I do, but...The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow is a book you can't miss. "
" - if I could give this book 5 goats stuck in a tree out of 5, I would."
"With a crazy terminator feel, The Scorpion Rules was phenomenal."



More about The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace - sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals - are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Precepture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.

Enter Elián Palnik, the Precepture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Precepture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages.

What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war?


Now onto the map tour!

Simon & Schuster Canada has created a digital map of the world of The Scorpion Rules. Between October 14th - 20th, book bloggers will be participating in the event and posting a puzzle piece, and it's up to you to piece the map together. Fun, right?!


Today's Map Piece:



Follow the Map Reveal Tour:

October 14th:
Amanda @ Books, Brain & Brawn - brainsbooksandbrawn.wordpress.com

October 15th:
Jenn @ Lost in a Great Book - lostingreatbook.com

October 16th:
Wendy @ A Cupcake and a Latte (that's me!) - acupcakeandalatte.com

October 17th:
Angel @ Mermaid Visions - mermaidvision.wordpress.com

October 18th:
Olivia @ The Candid Cover - candidcover.net

October 19th:
Giselle @ Book Nerd Canada - booknerd.ca

October 20th:
SimonTeenCA - simonteenca.tumblr.com




A big thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for organizing this incredible map reveal tour! Be sure to pick up your copy of Erin Bow's The Scorpion Rules - it's an absolute must-read!


Happy hunting!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Lady Midnight
by Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format:Hardcover
Release Date: March 8th, 2016
Pre-order: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.

Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim.

The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.
     



Why I'm Anticipating This Title:
I'm a big fan of Cassandra Clare and her Shadowhunter universe. It's been a part of my shelves for years (I actually started this series when I was in high school, wooo!) and I'm so excited for Lady Midnight to take us on a journey with brand new characters. How about you?




What are you waiting for this Wednesday?
Let me know in the comment section below. Leave your blog link and I'll stop by =D




In case you've missed it - Giveaways!
There are two giveaways currently running on the blog. 
Be sure to stop by for your chance to win some fantastic prizes






Happy Reading,

Monday, 12 October 2015

Release Day Launch - Touching Fate by Brenda Drake + Giveaway

Touching Fate by Brenda Drake

Hello, Cupcakes!
I'm so excited to take part in Brenda Drake's Release Day Launch for TOUCHING FATE! Check out the book and excerpt below, and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway!

Touching Fate by Brenda DrakeAster Layne believes in physics, not psychics. A tarot card reading on the Ocean City Boardwalk should have been a ridiculous, just-for-fun thing. It wasn’t. Aster discovers she has a very unscientific gift—with a simple touch of the cards, she can change a person’s fate. Reese Van Buren is cursed. Like the kind of old-school, centuries-old curse that runs in royal families. Every firstborn son is doomed to die on his eighteenth birthday—and Reese’s is coming up fast. Bummer. He tries to distract himself from his inevitable death…only to find the one person who can save him. Aster doesn’t know that the hot Dutch guy she’s just met needs her help–or that he’s about to die. But worst of all…she doesn’t know that her new gift comes with dark, dark consequences that can harm everyone she loves.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble



Excerpt from TOUCHING FATE

The spell was broken when some partiers ran up the beach screaming and laughing. Aster turned in the direction of the noise and spotted Reese standing there. He waved. A moronic move, he reprimanded himself. Strolling up the beach James Bond-style would have been better, but instead, struggling in the sand, he headed for her. He decided if she moved toward him as well, it would be proof that she was attracted to him. Aster spun around and faced the ocean again.
Reese stopped. She was still angry with him. Just when he made up his mind to leave her alone, she started down the beach toward him.
“Hi,” she said, staring up at him. The golden specks in her eyes were like stardust glinting in the low-lying sun.
“What are you doing here?”
“Leah invited Jan, and he brought me along.”
“I see.”
“Well, I didn’t put up a struggle. I have to admit, I was hoping to see you.” He held out the aster. “This is for you. A peace offering. One simple flower can mean so much more than a bunch, don’t you agree?”
A shocked expression crossed her face, and Reese thought he had blown it. But then she gave him a sweet smile and took the flower from him. “Stolen ones are even better.”
“Well, in all honesty, it was a spur-of-the-moment decision. A gentleman doesn’t court a lady without bringing a gift.”
“So you’re courting me?” She tried unsuccessfully not to smile. It was rather fetching, her pink glossed lips twitching at the effort. “You don’t even know anything about me.”
“Well, that is the point of dating, isn’t it? To get to know each other?”
“I’m not sure.”
When the silence between them got uncomfortable, she lowered her head and picked at the stem of the flower.
“Not sure, huh?” This girl was a hard nut to crack. Reese got an idea. “How about we play a game?”
She looked back up at him. “What kind of game?”
“One where I tell you something about me, then you tell me something about yourself.”
“Sure, why not?” She twirled around and padded across the beach, lifting up sand with her toes and flicking it into the air in front of her. “You go first.”
“All right, then,” he said, keeping pace with her. “My family lives in a castle just outside of Amsterdam, complete with towers and turrets. It’s been in the family for generations. We only live in a few rooms. The rest of the place is open for tours. It helps pay for the upkeep and taxes.”
“Really?” She knotted her fingers behind her back. “Does that mean you’re royal?”
“No. But my father is a count.” He hated talking about his lineage. “It’s just a title,” he said, as if it wasn’t a big deal, which it wasn’t, at least to him.
“That’s pretty awesome,” she said.
“Now you.”


Brenda DrakeAbout the Author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram
Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up are of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Giveaway

Giveaway is 3 winners of …
   Grand Prize of the Kindle + Swag Pack (US/Canada) $50 Amazon Gift Card (INT) $50 Amazon Gift Card (US/Canada)
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Sunday, 11 October 2015

Review: A Shot of Reckless by Maddie Paige

A Shot of Reckless
by Maddie Paige
Publisher: Elephantine Publishing
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 14th, 2015
Purchase: [Kobo] [B&N] [Kindle]
Art major, Roxy Thompson, is a ball of fun—but she's also careful to keep her walls intact when it comes to men. She likes relationships just like her coffee: light and sweet. After having her heart shattered once before, she’s determined not to ever feel that broken again.

College senior, Lake Foster, is just tempting enough to make Roxy rethink her rules of engagement. Suddenly, high-dollar shots and a no-strings night out aren't enough anymore. But Lake isn't looking for long-term. His future is set, and in four months, he intends to graduate and leave Georgia—and everything in it—behind. Luckily, short-term fun is Roxy’s specialty, and Lake can’t resist what he promises will be a fleeting taste.

Will Roxy and Lake really walk away when their time is up? They only have one shot to find out.
     


“Something tells me there’s more than a little trouble involved with you.” 

Author duo Maggie Paige's debut and the new adult genre's latest, read quite differently from other stand alone titles before it. Written in the alternating perspectives of Roxy and Lake, their narrative voices were pragmatic and down-to-earth, offering a true realistic feel to their interactions and relationships with other characters. Immediately diving into A Shot of Reckless, readers are introduced to art major Roxy Thompson, lucky in the fun department but not so much when it comes to relationships. After suffering from heartbreak, she prefers to keep her conquests simply as that - conquests - but when she meets college senior Lake Foster, Roxy begins to rethink the rules she's set for herself. Is Lake Foster worth a shot of being reckless?

Readers who enjoyed Sadie Munroe's All It Takes and Jennifer L. Armentrout's Wait For You series, are certain to enjoy A Shot of Reckless by author duo Maggie Paige. Roxy and Lake are fun characters with an irresistibly charming pull to their personalities, and as expected from a sexy and steamy read, their growing relationship and struggles gripped me to the very last page. A perfect read for those looking for a new flirtatious couple to fawn over, A Shot of Reckless is an absolute must on all to read lists.




Rating: 
4 / 5 Cupcakes





This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Review: Undaunted by Ronnie Douglas

Undaunted
by Ronnie Douglas
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback, Ebook
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
Being fearless has never looked so good . . .

Aubrey Evans needs to get her life back on track after her father is indicted for embezzlement. All she has to do to hightail it out of small-town Tennessee is save up money for college tuition and steer clear of hard-muscled boys on motorcycles. Yet there's no ignoring someone like Zion. A knight in black leather, Zion looks like every bad idea she's been told to avoid, but she can't resist him. Whenever she's in trouble, he's there. Appealing as his rough exterior may be, it's the protective, principled man beneath who tempts her like crazy.

Zion knows Aubrey doesn't intend to stick around. She claims to want only friendship, but he senses there's a naughty girl hiding on the inside—one whose intense desires match his own. For now, he'll be patient and play by her rules. But he knows it's just a matter of time before he weakens her resolve.

As they join forces to figure out who's behind a local crime spree, it's clear that the danger goes deeper than Aubrey guessed. And when she needs someone tall, dark, and undaunted to keep her safe, Zion intends to be there—now and always.
     

After binge watching Sons of Anarchy and adoring Katie McGarry's Nowhere but Here, I was desperate for another flirty and steamy biker read with a new kick-butt couple to fawn over. How happy was I when I came across Undaunted, the first in Ronnie Douglas' Knights in Black Leather series? Very happy, like a kid at Christmas waiting to open all those gifts happy. Furthermore, I was completely floored when I learned that Ronnie Douglas was actually NYT bestselling author Melissa Marr, who wrote the incredibly addicting Wicked Lovely series I fell for years ago. With that said, I knew she wouldn't disappoint!

"The scream of a house alarm woke me. Again."

Aubrey Evans needs her life to get back on track. After her father is indicted for embezzlement, Aubrey finds herself moving in with her grandmother in the middle of a town overrun by bikers. Desperate to get away from it all, Aubrey makes the last minute choice to go to the town fair, where one poor choice after the other leads her into the arms of Zion, a drop-dead gorgeous biker from the Wolves MC. Meeting him isn't supposed to change her plans of saving for tuition and getting far away from the small town, but when a crime spree spreads and falls right on Aubrey's front door, Zion isn't far behind.

I absolutely adored Zion and Aubrey! They were just the characters I needed after a long string of disappointing new adult reads. Their encounters were sweet, undauntingly sexy, and steamy - the perfect fluffy read. I couldn't wait to see where their story would go, and the intense action that all would expect from a title featuring a biker MC was utterly thrilling. Furthermore, although I enjoyed reading about the other characters in Undaunted, I continued to be curious about Echo and Maureen's past together. Although mentioned quite a bit throughout the title, it's never specified what exactly happened, although one can only assume whatever it was didn't end well.

With that said, I absolutely adored Undaunted by Ronnie Douglas. It was just the read I needed, and I'm highly anticipating the second installment in the Knights in Black Leather series "Unruly", a companion novel that follows the tale of Ellen and Alamo.



Rating: 
4 / 5 Cupcakes

This title was purchased by the blogger for their personal collection. No payment was received/accepted in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Review: Life and Death - Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer

Life and Death - Twilight Reimagined
by Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 752
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
Celebrate the tenth anniversary of Twilight! This special double-feature book includes the classic novel, Twilight, and a bold and surprising reimagining, Life and Death, by Stephenie Meyer.

Packaged as an oversize, jacketed hardcover “flip book,” this edition features nearly 400 pages of new content as well as exquisite new back cover art. Readers will relish experiencing the deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful love story of Bella and Edward through fresh eyes.

Twilight has enraptured millions of readers since its first publication in 2005 and has become a modern classic, redefining genres within young adult literature and inspiring a phenomenon that has had readers yearning for more. The novel was a #1 New York Times bestseller, a #1 USA Today bestseller, a Time magazine Best Young Adult Book of All Time, an NPR Best-Ever Teen Novel, and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. The Twilight Saga, which also includes New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella, and The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide, has sold nearly 155 million copies worldwide.
     


*Note: Review might contain spoilers for those who have not read the novel*


It's an unfortunate case that no matter what medium the tale that skyrocketed Stephenie Meyer's fame is presented, that it'll regardlessly receive a bad rap. If you were around the book scene when Twilight first made it's big debut, you'll recall the incredible positive remarks many readers made about the series but not without encountering a lot of the negatives. It was called out for being sexist, abusive, unimaginative, and the endless arguments caused a rift in the online community. Regardless of your thoughts on the Twilight series, positive or negative, you have to admit that without it the young adult community (authors and books alike) would not be what it is today. With that said, I was curious to see what Stephenie Meyer's re-imagined Twilight would bring the community. Would the changes be vast, a complete reimagining of it's predecessor, or would it be a simple gender-swap to keep the masses happy?

"I stared across the long room, into the dark eyes of the hunter, and she looked pleasantly back at me."

If you've read Twilight, and I'm going to just assume that you did, you'll remember the tale - girl meets sparkly immortal boy, girl falls in love with sparkly immortal boy, insert love triangle, a whole lot of crazy happens, the end. With the 10th anniversary hardback re-release, Stephanie Meyer chose to release a reimagined version of the title. With that said, I expected to see the story head a completely different direction than the original tale. I figured that due to the vastly different circumstances, Bella as male and Edward as female, that the chain of events would unfold differently and lead to new conclusions.

With that said, I am positive fans and readers who first fell in love with Twilight will adore the reimagined release from bestselling author Stephenie Meyer. This series brought along thousands of new readers and, even though most are reluctant to admit, revived the young adult genre. I look forward to seeing whether or not this genderswapped release will inspire other authors to do the same. Overall, I found Life and Death to be quite entertaining and a different look of what could have been. In fact, if compared to the original story, I much preferred this version.



Rating: 
3 / 5 Cupcakes



This title was purchased by the blogger for their personal collection. No payment was received/accepted in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


THE ROSE & THE DAGGER
(The Wrath & The Dawn #2)
by Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Format: Hardcover, Ebook
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Add it to your Goodreads
The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.


Why I'm Anticipating This Book:
While I didn't quite fall head over heels in love with The Wrath & The Dawn, I must say I'm highly anticipating it's sequel. The 'A Thousand and One Nights' inspired predecessor intrigued me, and I'm quite curious as to what Renee Ahdieh has in store for readers. Have you read The Wrath & The Dawn? Thoughts?




What are you waiting for this Wednesday?
Let me know in the comment section below!




ICYMI: GIVEAWAY
Click below to enter to win an October 2015 book release of your choice. One winner and open to everyone so long as The Book Depository ships directly to you. No need to be a blog follower to qualify. 





Happy Reading,