Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

Official Synopsis: 

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world. Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

Print Length: 398 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (March 29th 2011)
Genre: YA paranormal romance

My rating for Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls, #1):
I was excited to read this because of the great reviews, but as I read it, I didn't think it really went anywhere. There was a conflict, many little conflicts for Kylie actually, but the book was slow and it took forever for the conflicts to go anywhere. Maybe that's more parallel with real life since a lot of what life is about is waiting and handling everything as best as you can...but reading it like this in a book just didn't cut it for me. I felt like I knew about every second of every single day Kylie lived at the camp. The conversations that Kylie and her friends had bored me too. It was just everyday conversation that didn't hold much significance to me/the story. It didn't pick up until action occurred in the last 50 pages of this 400 page book.

The love interests: Derek and Lucas...some of those scenes were quite cheesy. I actually really liked Lucas and wish there was more of him in Born at Midnight! I liked him a lot more than Derek. Derek bored me. The other character I liked is Holiday, but she was a side character so she wasn't present much.

Overall, I thought the book was pretty slow and I think Born at Midnight could have benefited from a good edit to quicken the pace. I think I might have liked it a lot more if the book had been compressed to about 250 pages rather than 400+.


To see more reviews for Born at Midnight CLICK HERE.
Find out more about C.C. Hunter HERE.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Release Day: Empyreal Illusions by Jake Bonsignore

Title: Empyreal Illusions (The Inferno Unleashed, #1)
Author: Jake Bonsignore
Genre: YA Fantasy/Thriller
Book Design: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design and Photography


Fourteen-year-old Breena Taljain’s dreary existence in the slums of Purgaire comes to a sudden end when a chance encounter with a criminal mastermind known as the Patriarch goes horridly wrong. His assault on her for refusing to pay for her mother’s addiction leaves her comatose and teetering on the edge of life and death.

Galbrecht Atalir is a washed-up doctor struggling to overcome his inner demons through alcohol and aggression. He never quite recovered from the unsolved murder of his family seven years prior. When he discovers Breena as his newest patient, he knows at once that the Patriarch is the one who eluded him for almost a decade.

The medicine Galbrecht gives Breena draws her into a heavenly paradise. When it ebbs away, though, the recurring trauma plunges her into treacherous hinterlands. There, Breena must learn to find power in courage, hope, and love to overcome fiends of hatred bent on permanently ending her existence.

With justice burning in his heart, Galbrecht begins a race against time to seek out the Patriarch in the underworld before Breena loses her struggle against the ever-darkening terrors of her mind….


Purchase Here:
Amazon (US) (Paperback or E-Book)
Amazon (UK) (Paperback or E-Book) 
Barnes and Noble (E-book for Nook)


Show Jake some love through the following social media networks: Amazon FacebookTwitterJake's Blog, and Goodreads!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #3: Freebie!!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find more TTT lists from book lovers and bloggers by clicking their blog name. 

As I mentioned last week, I'm posting my Top Ten Favorite Book Covers of Books I Want to Read since this week is a Top Ten Tuesday Freebie! I didn't have that many favorite book covers from books I HAVE read so I wanted to show you the ones that I've at least SEEN and love! It should be really interesting to check out everyone else's TTT lists this week since it's a Freebie! P.S. I'm sorry that the covers got all fuzzy when I collaged them :( If you check out the designers' websites though, you'll be able to see that clearer!

#1: Unravel: I have two covers listed here because the one on the left is the original cover and the other is the re-cover design. Although I think the newest one is nice, I absolutely LOVE the original and I was so sad to find out about the re-cover. It's just soooo pretty. The girl is beautiful; I love the colors and sun imitation. It's just PRETTY! It was designed by Okay Creations who is extremely well known for her (Sarah from Okay Creations) book cover designs for indie authors' books! Here's a link to the Okay Creations website.
#2: 4 Summers: I feel like I know the story just by looking at the title and cover design and I know that I love the story already! I'm really cannot wait to read it this summer. Very appropriate, right? It was designed by B Design.

#3: Tight Knit: Is this not SO FREAKING CUTE? Seriously, it's so freaking cute. The title is cute, the cover looks cute, and I hope the story is (at least) cute too! Designed by B Design.

#4: You Got Me: This is just so pretty. I just get this feeling of warmth and comfort when I look at. Designed by Okay Creations. You'll see a lot of Okay Creations covers on this list. I could easily make a list of all Okay Creations book cover designs because they're all just so pretty :)

#5: Light in the Shadows: Intriguing and I love how the contrasting words in the title are prominent in the cover design. Designed by Okay Creations.

#6: Lost in You: Another Okay Creations design. :)

#7: Apollyon: All of the cover designs for the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout are enticing! 

#8: The Forgotten Ones: A very sweet cover.

#9: The Sea of Tranquility: I love how the spilled food (yogurt?) makes the faces and it makes me curious to know how the cover represents the story!

#10: Stages of Grace: By Okay Creations.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. 

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. 

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now. 

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Print Length: 338 pages
Publisher: Harper (November 15th 2011)
Genre: YA paranormal/dystopian

My rating for Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1):
This was probably the best dystopian novel I've ever read.

I love how this story was written with words crossed out, numbers written in numerical form, and repeated words/phrases because they truly put me into Juliette's mind. They were the effects of how she's been treated and represented her sanity, her sanity, her sanity. Besides these writing traits, the rest of the writing made me feel like I knew exactly how Juliette thought and felt: crazy, defiant, longing, heartache, and most of all, love. Juliette is a strong M.C. that I really loved to death.

I really got a sense of what it was like to live in confinement from how Juliette's thoughts came through in Tahereh Mafi's writing. As the book continued, I really felt for her and how crappy her life had been. Never being able to touch people for fear of killing hurting them, for people being disgusted by afraid of her because she was a monster dangerous. I felt her heart ache as she wished someone would actually treat her like a human.

“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.” 

Which leads me to Adam. Adam was a boy Juliette used to know before she was taken away for years of testing and locked away from the public. Adam was the only boy person who didn't throw rocks at her when they went to the same school. He didn't treat her like a pariah. He sometimes even stood up to the bullies for her, like he did care. Then she meets him again after all these years and as it turned out, he can touch her without being hurt.

I loved Juliette and Adam together. The way they fought for each other and for a future made me want to fight with them. In fact, this entire book made me want to get up and do something to prevent this from ever happening to my own country. Books like this reinforce that fire in me that moves me to fight for everything a society should fight for. 

Shatter Me accomplishes what, in my opinion, all of the other YA dystopian series of the recent years have failed to do: This futuristic United States (as I assume it was) seemed MORE than just a government/society gone wrong, one that would never happen; The Reestablishment felt like a result that was highly capable of happening if our future continues to plunder. The Reestablishment is a militaristic government and Juliette lives on the base for a good portion of the novel, so we get to see what this government is actually like and capable of doing. In the future books, I hope to learn more about this aspect of this futuristic world to gain an even deeper sense of it.


Find Shatter Me on Goodreads, Amazon, and B&N.

Show Tahereh Mafi some love on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads! Also, CLICK HERE is a short interview with Tahereh. It just makes you want to read it, doesn't it? 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Official Synopsis: 

Restless souls and empty hearts Brooklyn can't sleep. 

Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams. Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface. As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.

Print Length: 412 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (January 5th 2010)
Genre: YA (dark) paranormal/realistic fiction + romance

My rating for Chasing Brooklyn:

This was my first experience of reading a book written in verse and it was a splendid one! Well, when you take out the depressing and serious context of the book, it truly was a splendid read! I was left with a feeling of warmth and a sense of hope in my heart.

So as you might have gathered from the synopsis, this is a darker read. Brooklyn still wasn't truly coping with Lucca's death and then to have another close friend kill left her with very depressing, hopeless thoughts to the point where I couldn't see the sunshine at the end of the tunnel either. After Nico and Brooklyn begin to talk again, they both realize (eventually, and at different paces) that they need the other to cope. Together, they're able to give each other hope to move forward after tragedy. They're reminded that there is a hope for a future and one with a sun so bright that you're able to stop to appreciate the beautiful day, instead of only seeing the bird that fell from its nest. I really liked this aspect of the story because we live in a world where tragedy seems to strike more and more and often times we only focus on how much everything sucks. This book is all about letting go of what is dragging you down, noticing what good there is left, and moving forward.

“She taught me to slow down.
To look up and enjoy the view.
To not worry so much about the end result
that I end up missing things along the way.”

*I labeled this as paranormal because of the ghost content, but realistic because of the strong subject and also because I will never say it's impossible to receive "signs" from our lost loved ones.

**The poetry was user-friendly so don't let that scare you off, nor should you let the page count scare you because sometimes, there were only four lines on a page, due to the fact that it was written in verse. Being written in verse only made the serious points more critical, the joy more blissful,  and the sense of hope more powerful. 


Find Chasing Brooklyn on GoodreadsAmazon, and B&N.

Lisa Schroeder is known for her dark subjects in stand-alone novels such as The Day Before and Falling for You and she also writes children's books. Show her some love on her website FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: Awaken by Jaime Guerard

Official Synopsis: 

Three things run through my mind at this very moment… ONE, my life as I once knew it will never be the same. TWO, the person I’m in love with might not even exist. THREE, the deception that has unfolded before me has the power of life and death. Sixteen year old, Breanna Davis, has heard the saying; life isn’t always what it seems…well, that saying rings true now more than ever. As horrifying visions appear before her, revealing tragedies that will forever change the fate of those she loves, she realizes that she may be the only person who can stop them from becoming reality. Amongst the chaos of this new discovery, Bre is faced with a stranger, Eve, who moves in on Bre’s friends and begins to follow her every move. As Eve’s true motives begin to surface, Bre must fight against, not only the visions, but the dangers Eve holds close. There is another secret kept- Collin, a boy held captive in Bre’s dreams, the boy she is secretly falling in love with but isn’t sure he even exists. As she tries to make it work with Austin, an old friend who could possibly be more, Bre battles against her feelings for Collin. Bre is faced with an almost impossible decision, to choose her life or follow her destiny. If she doesn’t intercede, people will certainly die. If she does, her own life could be at stake. In the end, if she fails, she’ll lose everything. 

Genre: YA paranormal/thriller 
My rating for Awaken:
I think I would have really liked this if the story had been condensed a bit. I feel like there were a lot of everyday stuff in here that took away from the paranormal aspect of the story. From the inconsequential stuff Bre and her friends talked about to her boyfriend issues, searching for a job, her family issues, reuniting with Austin again, and girl drama...I just thought it was all too much when you then add on Eve, Bre's dreams, the precognition, etc. The precognition idea was a really cool one, but I wasn't able to enjoy it with everything else that was going on in this book. For some of the dialogue, I didn't find it completely realistic and I found the overall pace to be on the slower side. I seem to be the one of the very few who gave Awaken a low rating on Goodreads, which means a lot of people were able to easily overlook what I was unable to overlook, or just completely disagree with my opinions, so if you think you will like it to, give this book a whirl, and I wish the best! I wasn't interested enough to finish it completely (I think I read about 60% of it) so maybe it got a lot better towards the end.

Awaken on Goodreads, Amazon, and B&N.
Jaime Guerard: website, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #2: Favorite Book Covers...

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find more TTT lists from book lovers and bloggers by clicking their blog name. 

This week's topic:
Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books I've Read

To my displeasure, I realize I have yet to read the books with covers I find lovely/awesome/beautiful/my-favorite-cover-ever so making this list was kind of hard, but I wanted to do it anyway because next week I'm going to be showing you my Top Ten Favorite Book Covers of Books I Want to Read and this will be kind of cool to compare the two! I'd love to read in the comments what your personal favorite covers are!

#1 Hopeless: You're crazy if you don't think this is stunning! I fell in love with the self-pub'd cover (left) and then fell in love again with the Atria pub' cover (right)! And the back cover of the self-pub'd? Ahhh me lovesss! I'm so happy I own both copies!

Half-Blood: It's just so mesmerizing! The flower of light (technically, it's smoke) flows like fire or's just so pretty!! And I love hibiscus(es?)! (what's the plural for that?)

#3: Pure: This one is more smokey than Half-Blood, but still pretty.

#4: New Moon: You can see I like flower covers, yeah? And the contrasting colors are stunning!

#5: My Life Next Door: It's sweet :)

#6: Tiger's Curse: I love this book and the cover is just such a powerful one. Ren consumes the entire cover!

#7: Fallen: I think this is super pretty, in a dark way. And I like blue :)

#8: North of Beautiful & Evermore: I just really like these because it's the same girl, the same picture, but flipped and edited :) I don't remember which book I read first, but when I picked up the second book, I had thought "Hey! Haven't I seen this already?" P.S. I recommend North of Beautiful! It has such a lovely message!

#9: Halo: I just like the light between their silhouettes. :)

#10: Wither: I thought it was cool that the cover designer added the pedigree lines to it!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review: Once Upon a Tag by Anna Adams (Short Story)

(A Short Story)

Official Synposis:

When David, a young French painter, unexpectedly meets Rita, an infamous Parisian street artist, his convictions are shaken to the core during a night he is unlikely to ever forget.

Genre: contemporary fiction

My rating for Once Upon a Tag:

Disclaimer: I was asked to give an honest review for Anna Adams short story, and to be honest, I was kind of hesitant to read and review it. I don't read short stories outside of classes and it's never fun outside of school so I didn't know what I would think. But I figured I'd give this one a try (why not, right?) and my overall conclusion...

is that it was a nice short story. :)

I liked the focus the story had on art and expressing one's views through it. I liked how it clarified that being politically engaged just by voting wasn't enough, that you must speak your mind through action and prove your point to those who won't listen to voice alone. The street artist in this story, Rita, tried to explain that just because something isn't socially acceptable at that specific time, it doesn't mean it's wrong or not admirable. I really liked these themes of the story.

It was short (duh), easy to follow, and it was well written. Although at a certain point I knew it would end soon, I wasn't expecting it to end where it did, and for that I'd say this makes a good short story because it held my attention until the end.

*I rated Once Upon a Tag based on a "short story" scale and not my typical rating scale, so this 4 star rating kind of means "As far as short stories go, this is one of the good ones."

Learn more about Anna Adams and her writing on her website and Goodreads account.
Add on Goodreads.
Buy on Amazon.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout


There is need. And then there is Fate... Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon... and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

Genre: YA mythology + romance + action

My rating for Pure (Covenant, #2):

Pure was an amazing sequel to the first book in the Covenant series, Half-Blood! Everything from the first book was raised a bar higher: the romance, the action, the emotions, the heart ache.

I really did NOT like Seth in Half-Blood. And I guess for a good part of Pure too. But then I did :) I also loved every punch Alex gave Seth. I felt very in-tune with Alex every time she wanted to punch him...or give him one of those embarrassingly cheesy smiles. Basically every scene they shared had me smiling because they fought and teased incessantly!

Seth threw me a mischievous grin. “I can’t have Marcus just walking in on us. What if I want to snuggle on these cold New York nights?”
My frown increased. “We don’t snuggle.” 

He dropped his arm over my shoulder, and the scent of mint and something wild tickled my nose. “How about we cuddle?” 

“We don’t do that either.” 

“But you’re my cuddle bunny. My little Apollyon cuddle—” 

I punched him in the side. 

color: #181818; line-height: 17.27272605895996px;">I didn't forget Aiden though. I love him. Although Aiden wasn't as prominent in this book, the scenes he was, just wow. *Clutches heart* 

“Ever since I’ve met you, I’ve wanted to break every rule. You’ll become the center of someone’s world one day. And he’ll be the luckiest son of a bitch on this earth.” 

The battles Alex and Aiden have between them and what their society dictates kept poking my heart until it was sore and sad. I hope their society changes their weird rules about who can be with who  because I really cannot wait until Alex and Aiden can be together. I know I said I like Seth, but I can't help wanting Aiden in the picture. Pure made me like him even more and I think I'm rooting for him in the end.

The danger increased in this novel too. More death (Waaah!!) and more threats to Alex's life. The threats brought out the protective instincts of Seth and Aiden, and therefore, the jealous sides of them and THAT was super fun to see (hehe!). There was one part that led to a particularly very interesting event. Without going into further details, I'm just going to share one of the funny results from it:

“You told me you wanted to marry Seth's bed, and then you told me you'd marry me if asked. After that, you started to-"

"Enough," I groaned, wanting to crawl under the blankets.

Apart from the Covenant series, Jennifer L. Armentrout has another series called Lux, a couple stand-alone novels, and she recently began writing new adult novels under the name J. Lynn. Find out more about Armentrout and her books on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads

Here are my reviews for the books of hers I've read so far:

Add on Goodreads
Buy on Amazon and B&N

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Exclusive Interview with Author Bayli Lane (+ Giveaway!)

About the Author: Bayli Lane didn’t realize how much she loved creating a world from nothing until college. She went to Marian University where she majored in Communications but in her spare time wrote and read. Her love for reading is what really brought out her desire to create her own novel. After starting loads of stories and not finishing them, she finally decided it was time to put her passion to work. Becoming More is her first novel but certainly not her last. Bayli lives with her husband, Tim, in Indiana where she is probably sitting with a large cup of coffee and her computer working on her next book.
To my extreme delight, my beautiful, fun-loving friend and soon-to-be-published author Bayli Lane sat down with me to talk about her new book Becoming More! It was an absolute pleasure so without further ado, here is my exclusive interview with the talented Bayli Lane: 

Holly's Reading Hollow: Hi Bayli!! Thanks for letting me interview you! Could you please start off by telling us a little bit about yourself? 
Bayli Lane: Well, I'm 23 years old! Graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communications. I married my high school sweetheart. I'm working on my first novel, Becoming More, and am excited for its release this July. 
HRH: What is Becoming More about? 
BL: Let's see... Picture this... A girl (Lilly) going off to college with her best friend (Lauren) and boyfriend (Sander). She thinks she knows what to expect for her future. But they are all changing and meeting new people. Insert hot, sexy, tattooed deliciousness that is Colton. She's conflicted between her past and her future and what she wants. The book is about her becoming the girl she was meant to be. So I guess you could say it's not just a love story it's about learning who you are and who you want to become. 
HRH: Ooooh, I like that picture!! It sounds wonderful! How has it been going for you, writing your first novel? Is the process what you expected? 
BL: Honestly? I had no idea what to expect. I had an idea pop into my head and I just started to write. There is a lot that goes into the process--things I never even thought about. Being a self published author means that every single thing is in your hands. There has definitely been more than I imagined! But I do love it. 
HRH: When did you first get the idea for your story? 
BL: The idea came to me in December. As funny as it sounds, I was reminiscing over some things that happened to me or my friends in high school and college. So it all started with some scene ideas that I had based loosely on some real life experiences. Then, I decided to make a few characters similar to a couple of my friends. 
HRH: After you had the initial idea and started playing around with it, did you know right then that you wanted Becoming More to be your first novel? 
BL: I did. I've started a few different story ideas in the past but this one felt right. I could relate to the characters and the ideas just kept flowing. I couldn't get the characters out of my head and knew that I wasn't going to stop thinking about them until I finished the book! 
HRH: Oh, that's awesome! So how's it all coming along? What stage of creation is your book in? 
BL: It's going well! My first draft will either be finished this week or next week and my editor has already begun the process! So here within the next month I'll be revising!!! 
HRH: Wow, so soon! It doesn't feel like that long ago that you first told me about your story idea...You said you think you'll be releasing Becoming More in July? 
BL: Yes! At the end of July! I am beyond excited for it!!! I don't have an exact date picked out, yet; that'll depend on how editing goes! 
HRH: What about the cover for your book? Have you started working on the cover design for Becoming More? 
BL: Yes, my cover artist has begun working on the cover and it should also be finished this month. It's going to be gorgeous! 
HRH: I'm sure! I'm so excited to see it! Will it be a steamy cover? 
BL: Hmmm... It focuses on the M.C., Lilly...I'm not going to give too much away! hehe! 
HRH: Aw, shucks!! I had to try, right? ;) What have you loved most about writing from inside Lilly's head? BL: Watching her struggle with her loyalty. She so incredibly loyal that it ends up hurting her. She holds on so hard to the people in her life that even when it's plain to see that she should walk away... she just can't. I know what that's like. Her inner monologues go from being funny and light hearted to serious and conflicted. HRH: You mentioned two love interests... can you tell us a little bit about them or will we just have to wait a see? 
BL: Sure! Sander is Lilly's high school boyfriend that goes to college with her. They have been together for 4 years! He's tall, dark and handsome. He has black hair and dark brown eyes with just a bit of gold in them. He's a very put together kind of guy and Lilly has never questioned whether or not they would be together. They've loved each other for so long it just comes natural. Colton is completely different from Sander. Where Sander is all business, Colton is all art. Colton is tattooed, has a lip ring and brings out a part of Lilly she didn't even know was there. Both men are attractive, of course, but they also hold a unique spot in her heart. Lilly is truly being pulled in two very different directions. 
HRH: Sounds like a tough choice for Lilly. Do you have a preference? I know you like yourself a bad boys. ;) 
BL: I do have my preference. But I think a lot of women will be able to relate to Lilly's struggle! 
HRH: You said previously that your own experiences/friends' experiences roughly shaped this book. Are there any specific experiences Lilly has in Becoming More that you also went through? 
BL: Well, I don't want to give too much away but I will share one scene in particular that I love... There is a scene where Lilly goes to Steak n Shake with Colton and they have a fun little conversation where he gives Lilly the cherry in his shake. First, my husband and I have had some really fun times there that go back to high school. AND he has always saved me the cherry in his shake. Always. So that was inspired by my man. :) 
HRH: Aw!! I LOVE that scene! (Seriously, love it!) And I love that it was inspired by your hubby! What does your husband think of you publishing a book? 
BL: He has been my greatest support. He's read some of my book and has told me "You're really talented, babe." He's the number one person in my life, so hearing that from him, well it reinforced that I CAN do this. HRH: Speaking of talent... do you have more writing plans in store after Becoming More is released? 
BL: I do! I know exactly what book I'll be working on next and the characters are AMAZING!!! They make me laugh with how they act together. But alas... I'm not revealing the name for it yet! Just know I'm hoping to have that story out by November (2013)! 
HRH: No way!! You're turning into a writing BEAST, Bayli Lane! Haha :) Do you think your experiences with writing your first book will really benefit you as you write your second? November doesn't feel so far off from your first deadline of July. 
BL: Haha! I think the experience of writing Becoming More has taught me how to go about creating this next story. I bought a new computer program that is going to help keep me organized which will help A LOT! I'm usually extremely scattered brained! I have Post-its everywhere for Becoming More and it started to stress me out, lol! I think this next book will fly by because I've already have the entire story line set up on this new program and I have already began writing a bit. 
HRH: Watch out, world! Bayli's gotten organized! Hehe. So how has your experience in the indie community been so far? BL: I love the indie world! I would say 99% of the books I read are indie books. I'm in multiple groups for Indie authors on Facebook and we all help one another. I love that it's kind of like a family. If you have a question, usually you can message an author and they will answer. If you need support and someone to share information about you--most are willing to do whatever you need. 
HRH: I've found the blogging community to be a tremendously supportive one, and from what I've seen of indie community online, I'd have to agree with you! Are there any authors who have inspired you to write? Whether from the indie world or from traditional publishing? 
BL: Oh tons! TONS!!! I feel grateful and thankful to all of the indie authors that have published thus far because without them I couldn't have ever imagined my stories being told and out there for others to read. HRH: What are your favorite books you've read recently? 
BL: This year my faves have been... Clockwork Princess, Dark Light series, Plastic Hearts, Wait for You, Losing it, Metamorphosis, Wide Awake, Rule, Running on Empty, If Only, and Shark Bait.... And probably a billion more. I have an addiction. HRH: All-time fave? 
BL: That's tough. I will forever love the Slammed Series by Colleen Hoover, The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski... Oh and The Mortal Instruments Series and Infernal Devices. But I could go on and on and on. HRH: LOL, I know how you feel! So could I! Apart from writing and reading, what do you like to do? 
BL: I like to do things outside whether it's just laying out or going to a baseball game, going on trails, to the zoo... things like that. 
HRH: Outdoorsy girl--nice! :) Thank you so much for the interview, Bayli! 
BL: Thank you, Holly! This was a lot of fun!

I hope you enjoyed the interview I had with Bayli Lane as much as I did! Remember that cherry scene Bayli mentioned? The one with Colton and Lilly? Well, here it is! (P.S. make sure to stick around until the very end of this post. I have a special announcement at the end that you do not want to miss!) 

Teaser from Becoming More by Bayli Lane 
**This teaser has not been edited! It can and probably will be changed in some way!** 

“So what kind of music do you listen to?” I question and lick some foam off my lips from the root beer.

He watches my tongue flick over my lips and smiles, “What kind of music do you think I listen to?” He answers with another question. Should have known he would do that.

“Well… Let’s see,” I openly look at his tattooed arm and slowly make my way to his mouth where I stare at his lip ring for a little bit longer than I should. He sucks the metal loop into his mouth and lets go of it with a pop. I quickly force my eyes away and look at his ears that have gages in them. They aren’t huge ones but they aren’t exactly small either. Then I look back into his eyes and give him a knowing smile, “Metal.” I state. It isn’t a question. I’m feeling pretty sure of my answer, actually.

He laughs and it makes my stomach flip. Crap. That laugh is something, “Are you judging me by my looks, Lilly?” He raises an eyebrow in mock horror.

I giggle, “Well, am I wrong?”

He laughs a little more, “No not completely. I do listen to metal, but that’s not all I listen to.”

“Uh huh, sure.” I tease.

“I’ll prove it to you.”

Biting my lip and cracking my fingers nervously, “How?” I ask.

“Come watch my band play tomorrow night.” He says seriously.

I almost laugh thinking he’s teasing me. He is not in a band, right? He does look like he could be in a band. I bet the girls would just love that, wouldn’t they? Like he needs any more sex appeal than what he already has. The more I look at him the more I realize he isn’t kidding. He really is in a band. Remember, Lilly, you have a boyfriend. Sure things haven’t been perfect but you love him.

“You’re in a band?” I say, stupidly. He already said that! Mentally I slap my palm against my forehead. “

Yup, Oliver, Jake, and Chris are all in it.” He takes a spoon and scoops the cherry out of his cup, “Want it?” Moving the spoon towards me.

“You don’t like the cherries?” I ask confused. I mean who doesn't like cherries! That’s the best part.

“I do, but yours didn't come with one. I figured after your night you could use a cherry.”

I laugh, “Because the cherry will fix all of my problems?”

“Okay I lied… This is my way of asking you to come to my band's gig tomorrow. Please. Please with a cherry on top?” he asks and plops the cherry into my float.

I start laughing so hard that I have to grip my stomach. Tears are welling up in my eyes. His eyes are sparkling as he watches me laugh and he’s pressing his lips together trying to keep from laughing.

I finally gain control of myself, wiping the tears from my face with the back of my hand, I reach for my spoon and fish the cherry out and pop it into my mouth, “I would have gone without you giving me the precious prize of your beloved cherry. But now you can’t have it back.”

“It was worth it to see you laugh like that.” He reaches over and wipes a tear from my cheek, “These tears are much better than the other ones from earlier.”

Becoming More full synopsis:
At first it was all freedom, fun, and games for Lilly Fairfield. Being a freshman in college was supposed to create some of the best memories of her life, especially with her best friend, Lauren, and longtime boyfriend, Sander, by her side. But the excitement begins to slip away when the people closest to her start to change. They begin moving in a direction Lilly doesn't want to go, forcing Lilly to be faced with a decision. Should she fight for her relationships with both Sander and Lauren or move on to something different? Something unknown. Someone like… Colton Davenport. Colton isn't Lilly’s typical type. He's shockingly sexy with his colorful tattoos, shiny silver lip ring, and ear gauges. His smile alone leaves her breathless. Then again, she hasn't had a specific type other than Sander. When she meets Colton she feels an automatic attraction that stuns her into utter stillness. She can’t look away, doesn't want to look away. Lilly must decide between a life with Sander, a life she always thought she wanted, and an unknown path with Colton. Will Lilly make the right choices for her future, Becoming More? **This book is a New Adult Romance- intended for a mature audience.**

Add Becoming More on Goodreads!

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**And NOW for the special announcement. You will be entered in for a chance to win an ebook copy of Bayli's debut novel, Becoming More, if you comment on this post! Just leave a comment below at any time from now until Bayli's book is released in July and you'll be entered! One entry per person (although, by all means, comment more than once if a comment chain occurs :) ) and I will choose a random winner(s?) from the comments the eve of Bayli's book release!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #1: Books with Tough Subjects

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find more TTT lists from book lovers and bloggers by clicking their name. Since this is the first Top Ten Tuesday I'm participating in, I'm really excited! This Tuesday's topic is:

Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects

I, unfortunately for this post, don't read that many books with tough subjects such as abuse, neglect, suicide, grief, etc, but I was JUST able to come up with ten books to give you guys! Please leave a comment telling me what your top books dealing with tough subjects are! As you can see, I don't read that many, but if they're super good, I would love to read them!

Here are my top ten books dealing with tough subjects:

#1: Hopeless: I don't want to give away any of the big reveals, but there are some major serious topics in this brilliant book! You need to read it if you haven't already!
Click here to see my review for Hopeless!

#2: Pushing the Limits: The thing I love about Katie McGarry SO much is that her characters ALWAYS have tough lives. In Pushing the Limits, Noah lost his parents in a house fire and his little brothers were swept up by a foster family while he bounced around from foster house to foster house. Echo was almost killed by her own mother and was left with scars, but no recollection of the event. LOVE this book! You also, MUST read this!
Click here to see my review for Pushing the Limits!

#3: Before I Fall: Samantha has to relive one day over and over until she rights the wrongs, and all these wrongs, as well as the conclusion, are very hard-hitting.

#4: November Blues: November just lost her boyfriend in a freak accident and is grieving his loss. And then she learns that she is pregnant. This is my FAVORITE book of Sharon M. Draper.

#5: Chasing Brooklyn: Brooklyn is still grieving the death of her boyfriend on the anniversary of his death and then she hears that her friend, Gabe, the survivor of the car wreck that her boyfriend didn't survive, takes his own life.

#6: My Sister's Keeper: Anna was purposefully conceived so she could be a bone marrow doner for her older sister Kate who has leukemia. Everyone wants and expects this of Anna, but the problem is, Anna doesn't want to anymore. *If you've seen the movie, but haven't read the book, you should SERIOUSLY read this. The movie completely defeats the purpose of the book and this book deserves so much better.

#7: All Unquiet Things: Neily's ex-girlfriend, his friend that he never stopped loving, is murdered and no one knows who did it.

#8: Speak: Melinda is never the same again after she is sexually assaulted at a party one summer night.

#9: Thirteen Reasons Why: Clay is left a box of 13 tapes--13 tapes previously recorded by Hannah, telling him and the others the 13 reasons why she killed herself, and each person who has the tapes somehow contributed to those 13 reasons why... 
Click here to see my review of Thirteen Reasons Why!

#10: Tears of a Tiger: Andy's consumed with guilt for driving the car that crashed and killed his best friend one night of drinking and partying.