Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {131}

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to share the books we've bought, been gifted, or received for review!

How was everybody's week? Mine's been pretty good! I am SO excited, because I'm going to Libba Bray's signing in New Orleans on Wednesday! Nothing else much is going on, honestly. :)

For review:

This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison

The Conspiracy of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin


Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog #2) by Anne Blankman

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Review: When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Friday - Review: A Little in Love by Susan Fletcher

Books I read this week (last two weeks, really):
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
A Little in Love by Susan Fletcher

I'm currently reading:
Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray

So that's been my week! I have not been doing as much reading as I'd like... I might be watching altogether much Bones. I decided to rewatch the whole series, because I stopped watching years ago, and wanted to catch up again. There are a lot of episodes! :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: A Little in Love by Susan Fletcher

Release date: August 25, 2015
Author info: Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Chicken House
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
(Pre-order the Kindle version for $2.99!)
Inspired by Victor Hugo's classic, Les Miserables, A Little in Love beautifully conveys the heartbreaking story of street girl Eponine.

Paris, 1832

A girl lies alone in the darkness, clutching a letter to her heart.

Eponine remembers being a child: her swing and the peach tree, and the baby brother she loved. But mostly she remembers being miserable. Taught to lie and cheat, and to hate the one girl, Cosette, who might have been her friend.

Now, at sixteen, the two girls meet again, and Eponine has one more chance. But what is the price of friendship--the love of a boy?
Les Miserables is, without a doubt, in my top two favorite musicals. And Eponine is a character who, despite my love of the musical, I never really connect with. "On My Own" isn't my favorite, a song I listen to often, or even cry at. (That title goes to "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables", which turns me into a blubbering mess every time.) So, as a diehard fan, of course I was dying to read A Little in Love, but I wasn't sure it could make me love Eponine. Boy, was I wrong. While I'm unsure at how supported much of her narrative is by the original book, A Little in Love does everything right by Eponine.

We follow Eponine's entire life, told as a flashback, and see how she thinks, how she grows, and her deep desire for love, something her family deprives her of in their constant fight to stay alive in the most nefarious of ways. She's torn countless times between pleasing her parents in hopes of making them care for her and following her heart, which proves itself over and over again to be deeply caring and loyal. Everything changes for Eponine when she meets Marius Pontmercy. 

If you're familiar with the musical, you know how Eponine's story goes. Susan Fletcher doesn't change Eponine's story, only gives her a voice and shows you into her head. We know why she takes each action and it removes any real villainy, without taking away her responsibility for her actions. 

The writing is simply gorgeous, with a strong retrospective tone that really works to convey Eponine's story. It benefits from having her look back on what she's done and why she did it, and her character evolution is stronger for it. 

While A Little in Love doesn't deliver surprises for those who know the story (and it tells you the end in the first pages, so even the uninitiated know where they're headed), the fresh look at Les Mis is just lovely. It adds a level of nuance to the story that not only makes it more beautiful, but also more tragic.

About the author:

Susan Fletcher was born in Birmingham and now lives in Stratford-upon-Avon. Her first novel for adults, Eve Green, won the 2005 Whitbread First Novel award.

She has since written three other adult novels – Oystercatchers, Witch Light and The Silver Dark Sea. A Little in Love is her first book for young adults.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas {104}

Title: Queen of Shadow (Throne of Glass #4)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release date: September 1, 2015
Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

I waited this long to feature QoS just so I wouldn't get too freaked out in anticipation. Yep. Now we're SO CLOSE that I can let myself get excited! What's going to stink is that I'll have work that day till 4:30 and won't get to read but a bit on my lunch... Maybe I need to request the day after off so I can read all night and not care? :)

 So what are you guys waiting on this week? :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy {127}

Title: Dumplin'
Author: Julie Murphy
Release date: September 15, 2015
Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

My teaser, from 71% in the egalley:
She's right. It's not fair to her or Amanda or Millie or Hannah. When I get home, the first thing I do is sit in front of my computer with Riot curled around my feet as I compose an email. The subject line reads: SOS.

I'm fully in love with Willowdean. This book is awesome. That's all I have to say. :)

I'll be visiting around and visiting back, so leave me links to your teasers! :) Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After #3) by Tessa Dare

Release date: August 25, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Avon
Pages: 384
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
On the cusp of her first London season, Miss Madeline Gracechurch was shyly pretty and talented with a drawing pencil, but hopelessly awkward with gentlemen. She was certain to be a dismal failure on the London marriage mart. So Maddie did what generations of shy, awkward young ladies have done: she invented a sweetheart.

A Scottish sweetheart. One who was handsome and honorable and devoted to her, but conveniently never around. Maddie poured her heart into writing the imaginary Captain MacKenzie letter after letter … and by pretending to be devastated when he was (not really) killed in battle, she managed to avoid the pressures of London society entirely.

Until years later, when this kilted Highland lover of her imaginings shows up in the flesh. The real Captain Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep—handsome as anything, but not entirely honorable. He’s wounded, jaded, in possession of her letters… and ready to make good on every promise Maddie never expected to keep.
I'd say it's fully official: I love historical romance. And thus far, Tessa Dare is my favorite. While the books in this series are wholly fun, they're also wonderful in that the heroines are so self reliant and headstrong.

Maddie is no different. But she's also desperately awkward around others, unable to be part of a crowd. In an attempt to avoid the season, she invented a fiancee, Scottish Captain Logan MacKenzie, a lie that spiraled out of her control but also spared her. She's lived with the guilt of lying to everyone she loves for years but she's been given a life that suits her. A real Captain Logan MacKenzie showing up in her life--definitely not dead--certainly throws a wrench in her plans.

But from the first moment, Maddie and Logan are simply wonderful together. Their relationship quickly proves itself to be compatible, even as they argue and work against one another. It's too charming and it's too fun, all the way through.

Truthfully, I don't have much to say, aside from how wonderful this book is. Tessa Dare is who got me started and this series never failed me. Even as the first two books are great, When a Scot Ties the Knot is probably the best. Just be prepared to grin like an idiot.

About the author:

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twelve historical romance novels and four novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award and multiple RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance," and her books have been contracted for translation in a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a pair of cosmic kitties.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {130}

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to share the books we've bought, been gifted, or received for review!

How was everybody's week? Mine's been good! I feel like I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off this week, and I'm pretty tired, but I'm really enjoying my new position. It feels good to use my love of reading and my degree a bit more. :D

For review:

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff
City On Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg


Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
The Nightmare Charade (Arkwell Academy #3) by Mindee Arnett
Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
Of Dreams and Rust (Of Metal and Wishes #2) by Sarah Fine
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Highlight of the week! Because she was in town, Julie Murphy came into our Barnes & Noble and signed our stock of Side Effects May Very. I might've told her how I'd been creeping on her Instagram and knew she was around, and got a copy signed for myself. Definitely one of my favorite inscriptions ever! :D

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Review: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: Nightborn (Thrones and Bones #2) by Lou Anders
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
Friday - Young Adult Giveaway Hop!

Books I read this week (last two weeks, really):
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

I'm currently reading:
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

So that's been my week! I bought a few books, eh? I finished up my big gift card I won a while ago, but they're all collection growers and not stuff I have to read. :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Young Adult Giveaway Hop!

Bonjour! Welcome to my stop on the Young Adult Giveaway Hop! :D

Today, I'm feeling excited about all the really wonderful sounding YA books coming out in the next few months, so I'm offering up the chance to win a pre-order of one of the books I'm most excited for! What are your options? Well... (Click on covers for the Goodreads pages!)

And yes, if there's a pre-order giveaway (now, or in the future for the titles farther away) and you qualify, I will submit the info--as in the case of Queen of Shadows. :D Did I mention this is international? Because it is.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman {103}

Title: Blackhearts
Author: Nicole Castroman
Release date: February 9, 2016
Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything. This is their story.

Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to CuraƧao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England? 

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

OOH. When we were in St. Augustine, we visited a pirate museum, which was way cooler and way less hokey than you'd imagine, and now I'm kind of obsessed. Did y'all know Blackbeard was only active for less than three years??

 So what are you guys waiting on this week? :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Nightborn (Thrones and Bones #2) by Lou Anders {126}

Title: Nightborn (Thrones and Bones #2)
Author: Lou Anders
Release date: July 14, 2015
For fans of Lloyd Alexander and Brandon Mull, comes Book 2 in the acclaimed Thrones and Bones fantasy-adventure trilogy that began with Frostborn.

Karn’s on a mission to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn. He travels to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), and learns how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem for a gamer like him). In order to find the horn of Osius, an ancient artifact with the power to change the world, he must decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves.

The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly?

My teaser, from pp. 31-32 in the ARC:
"Now," he said, "how is your Common Speech?" The dragon was referring to the language of the old Gordion Empire, which now served as a shared tongue amid the many countries on the continent of Katernia. Karn knew he couldn't expect his Norronian to be understood all the way in Nelenia.

"Rusty," he admitted.

:Ah," said the dragon. "Then I'm afraid you will like this next bit even less. Place your head in my mouth."

I'm excited to continue this series! Karn and Thianna's adventures were a lot of fun in the first book, so more please! :D

I'll be visiting around and visiting back, so leave me links to your teasers! :) Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

Release date: July 14, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 310
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children's young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret. 
We all have those books that, despite any faults, we love 'em. And Rebel Mechanics is one for me. There were certainly bits that I could find problematic, but I didn't care. It's too enjoyable an experience.

From the beginning, I loved the tone of Rebel Mechanics. There's a bit of levity thrown in with the chapter titles, and while the stakes of the story aren't nothing, the book is just fun. How couldn't a world where science is pitted against magic, where the American Revolution didn't happen, not be intriguing?

Verity is thrown into a world so unlike the one she's used to that she's fully shocked, and watching everything through her eyes is easy. Her awe is our awe. Verity is only frustrating because she becomes so easily enamored of Alec and her focus slides away from the action and more towards him. But I liked her fire and her understanding that no side of an argument is fully correct or incorrect.

And as much as I enjoyed Rebel Mechanics, I can only imagine I'll like its sequel better. There's so much good groundwork for a revolution, for romance, for friendship, and for Verity to become a truly wonderful heroine. Rebel Mechanics is a fun ride from start to finish (and even starts with a fun ride!) and just the kind of book I love.

About the author:

Shanna Swendson is the author of the Enchanted, Inc. and Fairy Tale series of humorous contemporary fantasy novels. She’s also contributed essays to a number of books on pop-culture topics, including Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl, I Learned from Judy Blume, Serenity Found, Perfectly Plum, and So Say We All. When she’s not writing, she’s usually discussing books and television on the Internet, singing in or directing choirs, taking ballet classes, or attempting to learn Italian cooking. She lives in Irving, Texas, with several hardy houseplants and a lot of books.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {129}

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to share the books we've bought, been gifted, or received for review!

How was everybody's week? Mine's been good! Life's been a little hectic and different the past few days, which is why I've been MIA here. If y'all remember, I just recently got the cafe lead position at work. But our children's lead got into law school late and had to go immediately, and they asked me to take the position. So I'm the children's lead at my Barnes & Noble! I'm so excited about it, since obviously that's exactly where my interest lies. I've been kind of thrown into it, though, so there's a steep learning curve on my 
responsibilities. I'm really excited to try and make it the best it can be, though. That also means I'll likely be reading quite a few more middle grade and picture books that I did before, so be on the lookout for that! :D

For review:

Reawakened by Colleen Houck
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston


Sisters' Fate (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #3) by Jessica Spotswood
Heap House by Edward Carey

Both in paperback, but I have no motivation to take a picture, so.

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Friday - Blog Tour: The Nightmare Charade by Mindee Arnett {Guest Post + Giveaway}

Books I read this week (last two weeks, really):
Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After #3) by Tessa Dare

I'm currently reading:
The Nightmare Charade (Arkwell Academy #3) by Mindee Arnett

So that's been my week! I feel like my life has been kind of all over the place the past couple of months, but it's looking like it'll be steadying out now, so hopefully blogging won't take any more hits for a while. (I'm so dreadfully behind on my reading challenge it's painful.) :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Blog Tour: The Nightmare Charade by Mindee Arnett {Guest Post + Giveaway}

I am so, so excited to be hosting a stop today on the blog tour for Mindee Arnett's The Nightmare Charade, the final book in the Arkwell Academy series! This has been one of my favorite series from the beginning because it's such a fun approach to magical creatures--nightmares are pretty much the coolest--and Dusty is the most endearing protagonist. And lucky me has a guest post from Mindee herself with her writing playlist for The Nightmare Charade, plus a fantastic giveaway! Read on, y'all!

About The Nightmare Charade:

The final installment in a thrilling fantastical mystery series.

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare. Literally. Dusty is a magical being who feeds on human dreams.

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy is hard enough, not to mention the crazy events of the past year. Dusty may have saved the day, but there are many days left in the year, and with an old foe back to seek revenge, she'll need all her strength to defeat him and save her friends. 

Mindee Arnett thrills again in this stunning final installment in the Arkwell Academy series.

Purchase The Nightmare Charade: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

The Nightmare Charade Playlist

When it comes to music, I have a magpie approach. I collect songs from everywhere in almost every genre. I have everything from classic rock to current pop to gangstagrass. My musical loves include both the old and new. In my most recent purchases list on iTunes you’ll find the brand new Mumford & Sons album, Girl Crush by Little Big Town, Hang on Sloopy by the McCoys, Bang Bang by Jessie J,, Could you Be Loved by Bob Marley and the Wailers and so on. 

The great thing about my music magpie collection habits is that when it comes to creating a playlist, I don’t have to go far to glean inspiration. Which is great when you’re past deadline like I was while writing Charade. I didn’t have a lot of time to find brand new music, but it didn’t get in the way. 

With that said, I present to you the playlist more or less as it exists on my iPad at this very moment. Going into Charade I really wanted to turn up the romance. These songs helped put me in the mood to do that. They’re a mixture of the romantic and the heartbreaking. You’ll notice a fair bit of them are from the 80s/90s. There’s a reason for this—some of these were songs I listened to as a young adult in the heyday of my romantic years. Hope you enjoy!

All for Love by Bryan Adams
All Too Well by Taylor Swift
As the World Falls Down by David Bowie
Bed of Roses by Bon Jovi
Big Girls Don't Cry by Fergie
Bother by Stone Sour
Cowboy Take Me Away by The Dixie Chicks (Fun tidbit: This is the song that played during my wedding after my husband and I had said our vows and were marching up the aisle as man and wife for the first time.)
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You by Bryan Adams
Glory of Love by Peter Cetera
Heavy in Your Arms by Florence + The Machine
I Don't Love You by My Chemical Romance
Into the Mystic by Van Morrison
The Last Unicorn by America
Lover's Eyes by Mumford & Sons
Say Hello 2 Heaven by Temple of the Dog
When We Dance by Sting
You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift
A Thousand Years by Christina Perri

About the author:

YA Author of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, a contemporary fantasy coming March 5, 2013 from Tor Teen (Macmillan) and AVALON, a YA sci-fi thriller coming Winter 2014 from Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins). Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. Addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space.

Find Mindee online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

The Arkwell Academy series:

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