Monday, May 22, 2017

Coming Soon: Sweet Summertime Reads 2017!

Next week I'll be kicking off another season of Sweet Summertime Reads here at GReads! I'm really excited about the upcoming authors who will be participating this year. Here's a sneak peek of those who will be involved:

I'll be chatting them up on their newest releases, plus future projects in the works. There will be opportunities to win these books, plus other cool prizes.  I'm also excited to be featuring two of my favorite bloggers: Andi & Estelle, with their own summertime goodies.  Be sure to come back & visit all summer long, so that you don't miss out on these awesome posts I have planned.

Summer is almost here!!! Are you ready??!!

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Golden Touch Prize Pack: Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

About the Book: A new epic fantasy by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around--and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries--including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.
How amazing does Strange the Dreamer sound? If you are interested in having your own copy, then you are going to want to enter this giveaway. Thanks to my friends at Little, Brown & Co., I am giving away a very cool prize pack. See more below!

THE GOLDEN TOUCH: Gold rules all in Strange the Dreamer – let the world know your power with this golden prize pack.

One (1) winner receives:
- copy of Strange the Dreamer
- golden earbuds, eyeshadow, and writing pen set.

Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Little, Brown & Co.

Share your own dreams! What is a dream that’s come true already, and what is a dream you are working towards? -- I'm opening up this question to my blog readers because I feel that dreams are so important to follow. As someone who mapped out her own dreams of becoming a teacher, I know firsthand what it's like to see those dreams come true. I'm just wrapping up my third year of teaching middle school and it's been the most exhilarating, inspiring, and humbling experience of my life. Here's to many more years in the classroom, living out my dreams.

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Such a Ginger Read: Purple Hearts by Tess Wakefield

Where I read a book and then label it as "Such a Ginger Read" because, well, it is such a Ginger read. To see my first edition post of this new feature, please click here.

Published: April 25, 2017 by Atria Books
Source: ARC from publisher
When a soldier with a troubled past and a struggling songwriter agree to a marriage of convenience for the military benefits, neither expects much after saying “I do.” Then tragedy strikes, and the line between what’s real and what’s pretend begins to blur in this smart and surprising romance perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks and Jojo Moyes.

Cassie Salazar and Luke Morrow couldn’t be more different. Sharp-witted Cassie works nights at a bar in Austin, Texas to make ends meet while pursuing her dream of becoming a singer/songwriter. Luke is an Army trainee, about to ship out for duty, who finds comfort in the unswerving discipline of service. But a chance encounter at Cassie’s bar changes the course of both their lives

Cassie is drowning in medical bills after being diagnosed with diabetes. When she runs into her old friend Frankie, now enlisted in the Army, she proposes a deal: she’ll marry him in exchange for better medical insurance and they can split the increased paycheck that comes with having a “family.” When Frankie declines, his attractive but frustratingly intense friend Luke volunteers to marry Cassie instead. What she doesn’t know is that he has desperate reasons of his own to get married. In this unforgettable love story, Cassie and Luke must set aside their differences to make it look like a real marriage...unless, somewhere along the way, it becomes one... [goodreads]

This is the type of novel that will stay with you, long after you've finished that last page. These characters will pop up in your mind, and you'll find yourself wondering what they're up to... how they're doing... whatever became of their story.  It's been about a month since I read this book, and yet here I am, still living inside its pages.

With this novel set in Austin, TX and a dab of the eclectic music scene sprinkled in, it hints at a Ginger Read.  But it's the emotional pull and the unexpected depth of its words that solidifies itself as Such a Ginger Read. I may be a Texas girl who loves her music, but I'm also a passionate reader who appreciates stories that make you feel way beyond just the words.

Cassie and Luke are complete opposites, destined to remain opposites just for convenience.  They are like oil and water when mixed together, a constant turmoil of tension and barriers.  What should have been an easy (yet dangerous) arrangement, spirals into an unexpected predicament that lands them as husband and wife, playing house. When Luke is discharged from the Army due to medical issues, Cassie finds herself tending to a complete stranger.  It was in these moments that their true colors shined, even as dark and dreary it had become.  I found myself rooting for their survival, for their individuality, but also for their commitment.  Their struggles felt real, authentic, and oh so heart breaking.

Purple Hearts is every bit real and tangible.  It's a story you can't walk away from, yet you're breaking into pieces the deeper you read.  My only objection is that I wanted more.  More of Cassie. More of Luke. More of their lives intertwined together. It's a slow burn, a sizzle, a spark, a big gush of wind threatening to blow you away. This novel is not one to miss for it's every bit Such a Ginger Read.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Such a Ginger Read: Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

Where I read a book and then label it as "Such a Ginger Read" because, well, it is such a Ginger read. To see my first edition post of this new feature, please click here.

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno
Published: April 18, 2017 by Harper Collins/ Balzer + Bray
Source: e-ARC from publisher
From Katie Cotugno, bestselling author of 99 Days, comes Fireworks—about a girl who is competing with her best friend to become the new pop star of the moment—and all the drama and romance that comes with it—set in Orlando during the late-'90s boy-and-girl-band craze.

It was always meant to be Olivia. She was the talented one, the one who had been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, was the level-headed one, always on the sidelines, cheering her best friend along.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, New York Times bestselling author Katie Cotugno’s Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness. [goodreads]

I had the honor of reading an early copy of this book back in 2016. Already I knew it was a 2017 release that would make waves, and definitely find its place as Such a Ginger Read. Katie Cotugno's writing has always captured my attention. She has a way of telling a story that is endless with its depth, yet so relateable at the same time. She's definitely one of my favorite YA contemporary writers and this novel only proves it more.

As someone who grew up in the 90s as a teenager, the beginning of the boy/girl-band craze is something I can so relate to. I loved how Cotugno takes us back to a time when 90s pop music was all the rage, along with the fashion, and iconic symbols. This novel screams nostalgia for me. There was potential for cheesiness though; however, as I've come to realize with Cotugno's stories, she took what could have been a two dimensional storyline and gave it lungs to breath on its own. The story was so rich, I found myself not wanting to put it down.

The friendship between Olivia and Dana is one I'll remember (and I have, all these months later since I read it). Their relationship was more than tangible, it symbolized so many great friendships from my past. The kind you can rely on and fall back on when life gets rough. But there was an honest portrayal of what can become of friendships through those crucial growing years. These two girls were definitely experiencing some major changes and it was interesting to witness their friendship change as they did. I really appreciated the authentic ending Cotugno delivers.

And then there was the boy. I was definitely picturing young Justin Timberlake as I read the character of Alex. His relationship with Dana was sweet and enduring, yet electrifying and thrilling, as all young first loves should be. It gave this already rich story the icing on the cake. 90s pop music + an emotional contemporary YA is definitely Such a Ginger Read! 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

GIVEAWAY: The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren

First and foremost, a very special HAPPY PUB DAY & congratulations goes out to author Sara Biren! I loved her debut novel so much that I wanted to celebrate the day by giving away a copy to a reader of my blog. To find out more about this book I adore so much, read below. Then enter the giveaway just after that. (This giveaway is open to US residents only) -- Good Luck!

The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren
Published: April 4, 2017 by Amulet Books
About the book: Last summer, Lucy’s and Ben’s lives changed in an instant. One moment, they were shyly flirting on a lake raft, finally about to admit their feelings to each other after years of yearning. In the next, Trixie—Lucy’s best friend and Ben’s sister—was gone, her heart giving out during a routine swim. And just like that, the idyllic world they knew turned upside down, and the would-be couple drifted apart, swallowed up by their grief.

Now it’s a year later in their small lake town, and as the anniversary of Trixie’s death looms, Lucy and Ben’s undeniable connection pulls them back together. They can’t change what happened the day they lost Trixie, but the summer might finally bring them closer to healing—and to each other. [goodreads]

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+Open to US residents only
+Must leave a blog comment for entry to count
+No giveaway twitter accounts allowed
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