Saturday, May 28, 2016

Summer 2016 TBR

It's finally my favorite time of the year!  Warm weather means being able to open up all the windows in my house after the unbearable Wisconsin winter and relax with a fun summer read.  I haven't had any time to read more than a few pages lately, but making a big summer TBR seemed more exciting than smaller monthly TBRs.  As always, books will be added and removed according to my mood, but as of right now, these are the books I hope to read in the next few months!

What's on your Summer TBR?
Blogger Tricks

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May Book Haul

-Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
-Kiss Cam by Kiara London
-This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
-No Holding Back by Kate Evangelista
-Gap Life by John Coy
-Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall
-The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
-The Ones by Daniel Sweren-Becker
-A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith
(ARCs from Macmillan)

-The Gallery of Lost Species by Nina Berkhout
(Hardcover from St. Martin's Press)

-Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar
-Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
-Never Ever by Sara Saedi
-Summer in the Invisible City by Juliana Romano
(ARCs from Penguin)

-A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
-Penguin Problems by Jory John & Lane Smith
-Penguin Problems tote bag
(ARCs from Random House)

-Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
-Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
-Burning by Danielle Rollins
-A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
-Fell of Dark by Patrick Downes
-The Land of 10,000 Madonnas by Kate Hattemer



I recently began working at a bookstore, so although I hope to keep my book-buying to a minimum, I know that there will definitely be some things I won't be able to resist.  Some really awesome review books fell into my lap this month and I couldn't even wait to start a few of them.  I'm currently reading Never Ever and A Totally Awkward Love Story, which I'm really enjoying so far!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Blog Tour: Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano (Top 10 and Giveaway)

About the Book

John "Smoke" Conlan is serving time for two murders but he wasn't the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke's new home and the only one he believes he deserves.

But, unlike his fellow inmates, Smoke is not in constant imprisonment. After a near death experience leaves him with the ability to shed his physical body at will, Smoke is able to travel freely outside the concrete walls of the Y, gathering information for himself and his fellow inmates while they're asleep in their beds. Convinced his future is only as bright as the fluorescent lights in his cell, Smoke doesn't care that the "threads" that bind his soul to his body are wearing thin-that one day he may not make it back in time. That is, until he meets Pink, a tough, resourceful girl who is sees him for who he truly is and wants to help him clear his name.

Now Smoke is on a journey to redemption he never thought possible. With Pink's help, Smoke may be able to reveal the true killer, but the closer they get to the truth, the more deadly their search becomes. The web of lies, deceit, and corruption that put Smoke behind bars is more tangled than they could have ever imagined. With both of their lives on the line, Smoke will have to decide how much he's willing to risk, and if he can envision a future worth fighting for.

 Top Ten Places to Lose Yourself

People are always asking, “Where do you get your inspiration?” Sometimes, it’s an overheard conversation or observation… some random snapshot of a moment that struck a chord inside me. And sometimes, it’s a place. Here are a few places where I’ve lost myself in a story.

1. Haunting Places. The right setting can take on a life of its own and become its own character. I passed this old cemetery (and this mysterious tree) while driving down a windy country road on the way home from a school field trip. It moved me. Stuck with me. So I went back the next day to snap some pics. It became the inspiration for my next novel, THE SUFFERING TREE (2017).

A photo posted by Elle Cosimano (@ellecosimano) on

2. Beautiful Places. I’m lucky to live on one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in the Riviera Maya. I spend a lot of time here, plotting and thinking, getting lost in my stories.

A photo posted by Elle Cosimano (@ellecosimano) on

3. In Music. Some songs can carry my imagination in directions I never would have dreamed up on my own. (For a HOLDING SMOKE playlist, check out my stop at Such a Novel Idea Blog.) 

4. The Shower. Sorry, folks. No pics of this one. But I have two kids and sometimes, the only quiet place to think is alone in the shower. It’s kind of like my second office. 

5. The Car. The earliest memories I have of my debut novel – those glimmers of scenes that shot through my mind – came to me during my long commutes to and from work, the same songs running in the background like a soundtrack to the story. Long car rides can clear my head, or fill it with crazy new ideas. We’ll call this office #3. 

6. In Art. The spark that ignited my current WIP came from a photograph -- a GIF actually -- of a girl with pink hair and butterflies on her face. It was only a few seconds. A fraction of a moment. But the scene it painted inside me grew into a story of its own.

7. In Books. I love to lose myself in other peoples’ stories. It’s what I look most forward to after turning in a revision, and I reward myself by being swept away into worlds other people have written.

8. In History. I am fascinated by the way history repeats itself. That there are deep universal themes that we witness over and over again in different cultures, and places, and times. I love visiting places that relive history in dynamic ways. Williamsburg, Chichen Itza, Lincoln, New Mexico… they’ve all inspired a story inside me.

9. In Real Life Mysteries. I love reading about strange places and sightings and unexplainable occurrences. Haunted places, 17th century witch bottles, UFOs, and bizarre archaeological remains… It all fascinates me and poses so many questions. And each of those questions becomes a story prompt of its own. 

 10. With My Family. I try to remember to recharge my well and spend time with the people who matter most to me. I try not to miss the important day-to-day stories as they happen here at home. Even in the mundane moments, I find inspiration with them. Fans of the Nearly Gone books might recognize how moments like this – watching my husband teach my kids how to solve a Rubik’s Cube – seeded my own characters.

About the Author

Author of NEARLY GONE, NEARLY FOUND, HOLDING SMOKE, and THE SUFFERING TREE (Disney*Hyperion, 2017). Represented by Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


Tour Schedule:

Friday, April 29, 2016

March and April Book Haul


-When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez
-Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
-Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

-Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here by Anna Breslaw
-Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
-Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
-Exit, Pursued By a Bear by E.K. Johnston
(ARCs and Hardcovers from Razorbill, Dutton, and Dial Books)

-Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun
(ARC from Harlequin Teen)

-The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder
(ARC from Simon Teen)

-Holding Court by K.C. Held
(Paperback from Entangled Teen)

-Island in the Sea by Anita Hughes
-The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
(ARCs from St. Martin's Griffin)

-Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano
(ARC from Disney Hyperion)

-Something New by Lucy Knisley
(Paperback from First Second)



-The Society by Jodie Andrefski
(Paperback from Entangled Teen)

-My Mad Fat Diary by Rae Earl
(Paperback from St. Martin's Griffin)

-Klickitat by Peter Rock
(Hardcover from Amulet)

-My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
(ARC from Quirk Books)

-Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

-Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

I've acquired some really awesome books that I can't wait to read!  
It's taking all of my willpower just to read one at a time, because I know that if I start them all, I'll never finish any!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Where Have I Been?

You may have noticed my two month absence, and I would like to explain where I've been and why blogging hasn't been my main focus.

To simplify the answer, I've just been living my life.

There's so much to do, so I haven't had as much time as I would normally like to focus on reading and writing reviews.  I've also been pretty bad at following book news and other blogs, although two months isn't the farthest I've fallen behind.  Lately I've been picking up new books that I've been anticipating for months, only to read a few pages or chapters and put it down, never to be opened again (just kidding, I'll definitely get around to them, I just need to be in the mood to read).

I feel like I can't dive into another world at the moment because I'm so busy getting lost in my own.  It feels great to open myself up to new things.  Over the past few months, I've started rock climbing, going on hikes, riding bikes, traveling, and more!

My boyfriend's birthday was at the beginning of April, so we did something I've never done before: we went on a road trip.  It was always a dream of mine, especially after reading so many stories about road trips in the past.  The entire trip was spontaneous, which is unusual for me, seeing as I like to plan before I do anything.  Seriously...we didn't even know where we were going until the day before we left!  We drove about 15 hours south and ended up in New Orleans, Louisiana, the one city in the United States that I couldn't die without experiencing.  My boyfriend was in it for the journey, not the destination, but he fell in love with the city as soon as we got there.

From cafe au lait and beignets to cemetery tours and pouring rain, I couldn't have asked for a better trip...unless I could have asked for it to last longer.  Seriously, can I just live in a haunted house in the French Quarter?

Then, as if that wasn't enough excitement for the month, Felicia Day came to Milwaukee for a book signing this past Monday.  Being a huge fan of Supernatural (and Buffy!), I knew I had to meet her!  She's even more adorable in person, and I got her to sign my Charlie Pop figure, as well as her book, You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).

I've also been playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf with the time that I would usually spend reading.  Did you know how easy it is to get obsessed with that game?!  If you play and want to be friends, definitely let me know.

So...that's that.  I'm currently in the middle of reading Wink Poppy Midnight, which I hope to finish soon, so I can review it and bring my blog back up to date.  

Thanks for sticking around...I'd love to hear what you've been reading or doing since I've been gone!