Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Candace Reviews The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick

The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick
Hardcover, 256 pages.
Published: April 24th, 2007 by Simon & Schuster

Description from Goodreads:
The book club
is about to get
a makeover....
Even if Megan would rather be at the mall, Cassidy is late for hockey practice, Emma's already read every book in existence, and Jess is missing her mother too much to care, the new book club is scheduled to meet every month.
But what begins as a mom-imposed ritual of reading Little Women soon helps four unlikely friends navigate the drama of middle school. From stolen journals, to secret crushes, to a fashion-fiasco first dance, the girls are up to their Wellie boots in drama. They can't help but wonder: What would Jo March do?
Acclaimed author Heather Vogel Frederick will delight daughters of all ages in a novel about the fabulousness of fiction, family, and friendship.

This book is about four very different girls and their mothers (fathers and families too) and their highs and lows of one year.  We get the alternate perspectives of each girl and get to know them each quite well as they go through the tribulations of 6th grade, the pain of being made fun of, and the trials of a family separated. 

I really loved how we got to know each girl so well and saw the different sides of things while we were seeing the perspective from another girl.  Each one seemed very real and I could connect with them quite well.  It really brought me back to 6th grade, as it's not an easy time.   I loved how important family and friendships were in the book and how they stood by each other through thick and thin.  They went from not knowing each other very well (some of them anyway) to becoming very close. 

I'm a reader, so of course a book club is interesting to me.  But they took things further than just a book club.  They had parties and got togethers for the holiday's.  Since they were reading Little Women they dressed up as them and had special events.  Sometimes the girls thought it was completely dorky, but through these things they really grew and came to care for each other.

I most definitely recommend this one to middle grade readers, but I'm an adult and thoroughly enjoyed it as well.

Find the author on her website.

Disclosure:  I got this book from the library.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Candace Reviews Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Hardcover, 464 pgs.
Expected publication: July 10th, 2012 by Random House
Source: NetGalley/Random House

Description from Goodreads:
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page.

This review was first posted on Candace's Book Blog.
This book really had everything I look for in a fantasy.  First of all, absolutely fantastic characters that are incredibly brave and have a quality that stands out and personality that is memorable.  This book is full of those kinds of characters.  Not just Seraphina, but everyone around her.  
The romance is of the EPIC sort.  Epic and forbidden and very very sweet.  I knew it was coming, the vibe was there straight away, but I just cherished those moments they were together and only wished that it may all be figured out.  
The world building was phenomenal.  It was a fantasy world I could imagine and see clearly.  It was vibrant and full of life.  I loved how everything worked, the tension between the dragons and the humans and everything with the court intrigue.  It was fantastic!
The story line was brilliant.  As I mentioned, there is a bit of court intrigue and at times was slow moving.  Actually the first half of the book was on the slower side and I struggled just a bit, really hoping for some stuff to start happening.  But when it all started coming together it had my full attention.  I loved pretty much everything that went down and it was very unpredictable.  I'd think I had it all figured out, but then would be desperately wrong.  Even when I figured the author wouldn't make it obvious and would try to figure out someone less obvious, it really was different then I could have ever guessed.
All fans of fantasy, I highly suggest you read this book.  It's got the elements, the beauty, the epic'ness we demand from fantasy.  Just hang in there through the first bit as we're introduced to the world, because trust me, it's all important and once things start happening you won't be able to put it down!
Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way. 
 Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Big release and fantastic price! Used to Be by Eileen Cook

Used to Be by Eileen Cook is the bind up of two of her books, Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood and The Education of Hailey Kendrick.  Both of these stories are fantastic and this book, with two stories, is only $9.99!  Fantastic deal, in my opinion!  It is now out, so I hope you'll rush out and get your copy!

Buy the Paperback on Amazon Buy the Kindle Book

*Affiliate links were used.  If purchases are made I make a small amount of money which is used to help costs in running the blog.  Like giveaways, shipping, etc.*

Description from Goodreads:
Hailey is tired of always doing exactly what’s expected of her. She’s going to prove she’s not perfect by breaking a very big rule in a very public way…with a very unexpected partner in crime. When Hailey gets caught, she loses everything--her best friend, her boyfriend, her popularity, her reputation. Now Hailey is up for anything . . . maybe even the boy she never noticed before. But even with her new bad-girl image, she still has to ask herself: How far is too far?


Lauren and Helen used to be best friends…until Lauren betrayed Helen in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Now Helen is back, and she’s planning to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren--starting with her boyfriend.

Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.

Eileen Cook is running a giveaway for a signed copy.  Go HERE to enter!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WoW: Betrayal by Gregg Olsen

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and is to spotlight upcoming titles.

Because this is a blog featuring authors from the Pacific Northwest each WoW we participate in will feature authors from the Pacific Northwest.

This week we are super excited for:

Betrayal (Empty Coffin #2) by Gregg Olsen
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: Sept. 4th, 2012 by Splinter

In this action-packed thriller sequel to "Envy," foreign exchange student Olivia Grant is stabbed to death after a party--and the prime suspect is her best friend. As twins Hayley and Taylor Ryan get pulled into aftermath of this Amanda Knox-like crime, they realize nothing is what it seems. Could it be betrayal of the ultimate kind? "Betrayal" features real-life crime-solving techniques, heart-stopping suspense, plenty of red herrings, hard-hitting ethical questions, and information about the Amanda Knox case that inspired the novel. As the crime unravels, so does the twins' past...and they must face off against a family member who may unexpectedly have carried out the worst betrayal of all.

Why I want to read it:  While Envy didn't completely blow me away, I did enjoy it quite a lot and the description of this one has me REALLY curious!  I definitely can't wait to get my hands on it!
And lucky me, I get to meet Gregg Olsen at a lunch and tour of Port Gamble (where the books take place) in a couple weeks.  I can't wait!  And don't you just love that cover?!

So what are you waiting on? 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mel Reviews Weaving Magic by @mindyhardwick

Weaving Magic
By Mindy Hardwick
Release date April, 27, 2012
By MuseItUp Publishing, ebook, 124 pages

He loves magic. She loves romance. But the biggest illusion is the one Shantel and Christopher perform together. Sixteen- year- old Christopher fights to stay sober while fifteen-year-old Shantel struggles in the aftermath of her mother’s death and seeks refuge in a fantasy world. But the unacknowledged roots of their problems refuse to stay buried and soon, the two are headed toward a deadly magic trick. Can Shantel and Christopher move beyond magical illusions to find love?

This story opens with Shantel reading a letter that troubles her.  We don't find out until much later what the letter is, but the story gives hints as it goes along.  Shantel enjoys romance books to escape the sacrifices she makes for her dad and others.  She is still grieving her mother and has a lot on her plate.  She is doing her best to live up to her father's expectations but on the first day of summer school things go awry in a good way and Shantel starts living more in the moment.

Not only do we see things from Shantel's point of view but also Christopher's.  I really enjoyed this aspect of the story as Christopher is attending AA meetings and meets up with his sponsor.  I was fascinated by what Christopher was going through in his life.  And I enjoyed learning some of the steps he was going through in the AA program.  I think this is the first YA book I've read that included a teen who was going through the program.  Christopher not only has a lot on his own plate but his family is struggling with various issues as well.

Shantel is going to summer school to get ahead for college, and has a couple jobs.  She deals with the finances at home, works in a coffee shop as well as at a knitting shop.  I was definitely impressed with her fortitude and memory on where she needed to be when.  That would definitely be a struggle for me!  

I enjoyed the relationship between Shantel and Christopher.  It was interesting to see both perspectives for the time they spent together.  I definitely had some of those 'oh that's what the other person is thinking' moments.  I wish there were more of this story to read.  I'd definitely be interested in knowing how Christopher gets on as he continues through the steps of AA and how they affect him. 

Find Mindy on her website and twitter.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this e-book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.
This review is by Mel:
Mel is a bookaholic as well as loving music. She just recently moved to the Portland area from the Midwest and has been enjoying exploring the whole area, including the Coast and downtown Portland. She has been blogging at Shot in the Arm since May 2008 but has had a couple other blogs before that at various places around the web. Young Adult is her favorite genre but she loves to read most other genres including Romance, Fiction, Sci Fi and some Historical Non-Fiction. You can find her at her blog, her twitter and on Goodreads. Stop by and say hi!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Heidi Reviews Revived by @seecatwrite

Revived by Cat Patrick
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published: May 8th, 2012 by Little, Brown

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger—and more sinister—than she ever imagined.

This review will also be published at Rainy Day Ramblings.
 Daisy heads outdoors to enjoy the warm weather. A run around the track for P.E. starts
off pleasant, but soon Daisy feels the quick sting of a bee. Immediately she dials for
help on her cell phone and then collapses. Surrounded by a sea of faces, she thrashes
uncontrollably and then goes limp. Her eyes slide shut as her body is loaded into the
ambulance, and then she dies.....Daisy awakens to Mason's face. It is time for another
move. Mason is her guardian along with Cassie. The three of them are part of a top
secret program that utilizes a drug called Revive. This wonder drug has limited abilities
for bringing people back from the dead. The implications for this miracle drug of course
are far reaching and dangerous. So Daisy must live in secrecy. She has died several
times. After each restoration, she must move immediately and change identities. Her
life has been pleasant despite the hinderances. But when she arrives in Omaha, things
change. She makes a new friend and feels the butterflies of a first love. Of course,
when things are going well, disaster strikes. Suddenly Daisy is questioning the drug
and everything she has known. Is Revive truly a miracle?
What I Liked:
• I appreciated Ms. Patricks's writing style. It is simple, easy and it flows. I appreciated
how things that were discussed early on in the story that seemed insignificant later
resurfaced and played an important part of the story.
• I enjoyed Daisy's character. Despite her past she is well adjusted and likeable. I liked
following her as she yet again finds her way in a new school and makes new friends. I
especially enjoyed watching her experience her first butterflies of love.
• I was intrigued by the idea of a drug that can return people from the dead. The drug
has limited applications, such as: it cannot restore people who are terminally ill or
those with severe injuries. Imagine the possibilities of such a drug, the far reaching
implications are mind boggling and a bit terrifying, when you consider the drug in the
wrong hands. This is an interesting concept and I liked exploring this idea in Revived.

Revived is a book that explores the possibilities and implications of man playing God
when he is in control of a drug that can restore life. Imagine what could happen if
people were brought back from death! The idea is exciting and chilling. This book also
takes you through the fluttery feelings of a new first love and then drops you down into
the depths of loss. Revived is a quick and entertaining read with many thought
provoking ideas.
Favorite Quotations:
"My jerking limbs are like venomous snakes to the students forming a circle around me:
The kids jump back in fear. I gasp with my entire body but only one rationed breath
comes through."
"The principal shows up and tries to contain the crowd, but they're like magnets, drawn
in by the thrill of someone's misfortune."
"Her voice is sugary sweet like a doughnut this morning."
"In the halls we're in color and everyone else is in black-and-white. In the noisy
cafeteria, I hear everything he says as clearly as if I'm wearing earbuds and he's my
"There's something about spending time with someone who's known you forever. It's
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own and I received
no compensation for this review.

This review was provided by Heidi:
I am a recent transplant to the rainy, region of Portland, Oregon; thus the reason for my blog Rainy Day Ramblings.  The many rainy days here provide me ample time to snuggle up under a comfy blanket with a cat and read while the rain drips down my window.
I also, when I find time, enjoy baking, candle and jewelry making, cross stitching and spending ample time with family.
Find me on my blog, facebook, and twitter.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Interview with Linda Benson and Giveaway

Yesterday I reviewed Six Degrees of Lost and today I have the author, Linda Benson, on for an interview and a giveaway!  So let's welcome Linda for this fabulous interview!  (Seriously, I love the answers for this one!)

What 10 words best describe Six Degrees of Lost?
How many degrees does it take to find your way home?

Whoops, that’s eleven ;-) 

Okay - 
Thoughtful, funny, first crush, trouble, choices, journey, animals, poignant, coming-of age. (Is that nine or ten?)

Start over: Rain, run, raft, dogs, barn, hay, Greyhound, signs, strays, lost.

In Six Degrees animals are a very important part of the story, from information about how important it is to care for your animal and reminders that puppies grow up, etc, it's very there. Can you tell us a bit about why that's such a strong part of the book and if that's something you deal with in your real life?
Ha! Well, yes. I cannot open a door without being bombarded with a dog leaning on me to be petted, or a cat rubbing on my leg. Walk a little further and you’ll find a barn, and hay, and some kind of equine giving you slobbery kisses. Animals have played a huge part in my life, and they do seem to jump into every book that I write.

But I love animals as a literary mechanism, also. Just like in real life, you can show so much about a person’s character by how they treat animals; how they respond to animals.

Were any of the characters based on real people, or any of the story itself taken from real life experiences?
As a writer, most all of our stories are formed from an amalgam of the people we’ve known in life. Our memories inform our writing - that’s just a given. But in this story, some of the secondary characters and events were influenced by the small rural community in which I live.
I have a close circle of animal-loving friends who call each other whenever we spot a strange animal in the road, or loose livestock, or an unknown cat. Sometimes we’re able to find where it lives, and even take it back home. This inspired one of the subplots of Six Degrees of Lost.

What were your favorite and least favorite scenes to write?

Oh gosh, I have a lot of favorite scenes in this book. I loved writing the dialogue between Olive and David when she tells him how she, and her brother Pendleton, were named. Olive always spoke her own mind in this book, and I just had to type fast enough to keep up.
I can’t remember any least favorite scene, but there was one part in the middle that gave me a bit of trouble. Because this story is written in alternating point-of-views, with Olive and David both narrating portions of the story, there were a few tricky parts in the middle, deciding who would tell which part. One particular scene, where David first sees Olive riding a horse, gave me fits for awhile. First I had it in Olive’s POV, but then David arrived on the scene, so I ended up deleting Olive’s scene and writing the whole thing in David’s POV. I worked pretty hard to make that part come out the way I wanted, but was finally happy with the result.

Six Degrees is an in-between book. It seems like it could be middle grade, but yet the characters are growing into the age of being young adult. What made you decide to write about this age group?

I didn’t consciously decide to write about this age group. Olive and David were two characters in my head who wanted their stories told, and I wrote them down. But I do seem drawn to this age group – characters who know their own minds but feel trapped by circumstances and age and having no choices – characters on the edge of growing up, who are learning about life but who sometimes make bad choices– these characters speak to me, and I find myself writing about them.

I’ve been told by both agents and editors that a book needs to fall cleanly into the categories of either middle grade or young adult in order to sell. Why? Because you need to put them one place or the other in bookstores. Or in libraries.
But I chafe at these restrictions. What do you do with books for in-between readers? Don’t they deserve to find good reading material, too?

Do young teens have to immediately jump into the young adult world, which seems filled to the brim with darker tales of violence and sex? Some may be ready for this, but what about those younger, naïve teens – the ones who still play with puppies and don’t know if boys like them or not – the ones who are still trying to sort out their friends, and how girls think, and smoking, and which way their life is headed? Don’t they read also? Shouldn’t they have books (especially realistic fiction) for their age group?

As one who reads widely from ALL the shelves in the library – Middle Grade, Young Adult, Adult – I can tell you that I’ve seen blatant cases of inaccurate labeling and shelving of books for different ages of readers, and I really hate labeling in the first place. And it’s all about the story anyway. A particular story can speak to you at any age.
I’ve actually started describing Six Degrees of Lost - for lack of a better term – as a young, Young Adult book. Leaning toward the young side of young adult. I don’t particularly like the label “tween” fiction, do you? It sounds so, so in-between. Can we think of something better?
But the publishing world is changing on all fronts, isn’t it? Six Degrees of Lost is not (at the moment) shelved in the young adult or junior section of a bookstore. Although I’ll have some promotional print copies available soon, it’s currently available online as an ebook, which means that anyone, teacher, parent, student, librarian, teenager, middle grader, any-age animal lover, can now find and read this story – and isn’t that rather refreshing?
I think your answer is completely brilliant and perfect.  Finding a book for this age range specifically is hard.  You're right, which do they go to?  The middle grade or the young adult?  And they are so often found in the wrong sections anyway.  I guess it's not an issue now, but hopefully one of these days we'll be able to find it in both sections.

If you could travel anywhere in the world and in any time period, when and where would you travel?
I’d love to go back in time to the early West, when there was so much unsettled land and people used horses for transportation. Of course, this is assuming (unrealistically) that I could have a shower whenever I wanted. *wink*
Oh yes, missing those showers would be hard!  But I agree that it would be a fascinating time and place to visit!

Can you tell us a bit about your other books and what we can expect to see from you next?
My first two novels, Finding Chance and The Horse Jar, were solidly middle grade, and were published by Mondo, an educational publisher. They are still in print, and in fact The Horse Jar was translated into Spanish – La Alcancia de Los Suenos. In November of 2011, The Girl Who Remembered Horses was released by Musa Publishing. A post-apocalyptic horse story, this novel features Sahara, a young teen protagonist who dreams of horses, and seeks to bring the memory of the horse-human bond back to humans. Six Degrees of Lost, my fourth novel, came out in June 2012, also from Musa Publishing. And another novel, called Walking the Dog (yes, it has animals in it ;-)) is due for release in September 2012. I’m hard at work on a sequel to The Girl Who Remembered Horses, and also a YA novel in verse, which takes place in the 1970s. I love to push myself as a writer, to try different genres and to tell a story. I’ve never been a person to fit in a mold, and perhaps my novels don’t either.
All your books sound great, but the YA novel in verse that takes place in the 70's definitely has me intrigued!  I can't wait to hear more about that one!

One ebook of Six Degrees of Lost in the format of your choice.
Open International
Must be 13 or older to enter.
Ends July 30th, 2012
Fill out the rafflecopter to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 16, 2012

Candace Reviews Six Degrees of Lost by Linda Benson

Six Degrees of Lost by Linda Benson
ebook (available in paperback), 292 pages
Available now by Musa Publishing
Source: Publisher

Description from Goodreads:
Olive’s mother is headed to jail and her brother to join the Army, so thirteen-year-old Olive is uprooted from sunny California and dumped in Washington State like a stray. That's exactly what she feels like surrounded by her aunt’s collection of homeless dogs, cats, and horses.

Fourteen-year-old David’s future is already carved in stone. From a military family with two brothers serving overseas, he’s been pointed towards the Air Force Academy his entire life - but a rafting trip gone awry might ruin his chances.

When a runaway dog is almost hit by a car, the search for its owner leads Olive and David, two teens from entirely different backgrounds, to an unlikely bond. Will their growing attraction to each other be enough to keep Olive from a foolhardy journey to find her mother? Will David risk his family’s plans to save her?

While this alternates between Olive and David, I really felt like it was more Olives story than Davids.  But I really enjoyed that it alternated and in a way we get two stories in one.  Olive has been sent to live with her aunt in Washington while her mom is sent to jail and her brother is off to join the Army.  She feels a bit like a stray in her aunts house with all her stray animals that she rescues.  She feels a bit lost and sad and misses her family and life.

David is dealing with an overbearing father who is determined he is going to go into the Air Force and pushes David to excel at everything he does and to do more, and be better.  But David doesn't know that's what he wants, and he just want the option to make his own decisions.

David and Olive find each other and their mutual love of animals kind of helps bind them a bit.  Things are back and forth between them as they are just on the cusp of their teen years and are discovering new feelings and stronger emotions.  They both feel a little afraid of doing something stupid, but Olive is particularly sensitive as she's already dealing with so much.  She's afraid of pushing things too much, or of being made fun of, or perhaps, even a little afraid of getting too close to David when she has every intention of leaving.

This was a quiet and slower paced book.  It's a contemporary that's realistic and is one that so many younger teens can relate to.  Quiet and boring summer days, overbearing parents, feeling neglected and alone... everything these two kids go through are thing that happen to teens every day. 

I particularly enjoyed that animals were so important to the story.  There's a strong message of how important it is to remember that if you get an animal, it's your responsibility.  That you need to care for it and love it and not just tie it up and neglect it.  There are plenty of examples for people to see and hopefully kids will get this message and remember that when they want a dog or cat of their own.

This was an enjoyable read that sits firmly between middle grade and young adult.  The characters are 13 and 14 and they act like it.  It's a hard age, an in-between time, I would say.  It's also a clean read, so you don't have to hesitate about handing it off to a younger reader.

Find Linda Benson:
Website | Twitter

Disclosure:  I received this book from the publisher for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

This review is by Candace:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Giveaway of Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

 The fabulous Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings has an awesome giveaway up for Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake.  She has generously offered to share that giveaway with all of you!  Now, we plan to do a feature of the book in August and may have another giveaway then, but this is for Heidi's ARC copy of the book and she will be providing it for you.  (She first got it from the publisher for review.)

About Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)
It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.
His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live--not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.
Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.
Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

To enter the giveaway enter the rafflecopter below.
Open to US addresses only.
Must be 13 or older to enter.

*Please note that we are not responsible for getting the book to the winner, but will do everything we can to ensure it does get there.  We have not been paid or received any sort of compensation for this post.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Interview with Denise Jaden & Giveaway!

Author Feature

This week we've been featuring Denise Jaden to celebrate the release of Never Enough.  We've done reviews of Losing Faith and Never Enough and today we have Denise on for an interview.  There's also a giveaway at the end as well as an entry into Denise's own giveaway for each person who comments.

First of all, thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions! We are honored to have you here are Novels, News & Notes! Can you tell us just a little bit about each of your books?
Sure! Losing Faith was my first YA contemporary novel. It’s about a girl named Brie, who, after her sister Faith’s death, learns some dark and twisted secrets about the sister she always thought she knew. These secrets put Brie’s own life in danger.
Never Enough will be out July 10th. It’s another YA contemporary about two sisters who don’t feel like enough, and they both go to some pretty extreme lengths to try and change that.

Both books are contemporary and I know Losing Faith was a pretty hard hitting novel. Why did you choose to write contemporary books?
I’m just not one of those people who sees things in fantastical or otherworldly ways. I find it difficult to suspend my disbelief and feel truly involved with stories (or movies) that are not based in the real world. That is probably why I naturally gravitate to writing contemporary.
I think contemporary is very important, especially for teens.  So thank goodness we have people like you who are happy to write it!

Would you ever consider writing another genre?
Yes, I would consider writing anything, if it came to me in a way that I felt compelled to write it. I have a fascination with what our future will hold, and think about writing dystopian once in a while. That’s probably the most likely genre I would chose if I dipped my toe out of the contemporary pond.
I think writing a dystopian would be cool.  It's definitely something on my mind a lot!

Where did you get the ideas for Losing Faith and Never Enough?
Losing Faith is loosely inspired by a few events from my teen years. My best friend when I was sixteen was killed during that time, and then a little later I started to attend a church with a very vibrant and passionate (and sometimes spiritually questionable) youth group. When the characters of Brie and Faith first came to my mind, it was really early on that I had an inkling to incorporate some of these ideas from my own background into their story.
I first wrote Never Enough as an exploration into self-esteem and eating disorders. A friend of mine was really struggling, and I wanted to understand her more and learn to say things that would be helpful rather than hurtful. At first, I never expected it to be a publishable book, but it has grown and changed significantly in the last eight years (and taught me so much about both people and writing!)
 I think real life experiences make the books better.  When you really have that passion behind it where you've experienced it yourself in some way or another.

Do your characters ever reflect yourself or anyone you know?
At first they often do. But every character who has ever had a basis in reality has changed so much through revisions that they really don’t resemble their inspiration much in the end. Tessa in Losing Faith was loosely based on a tough girl I’d known in high school, and Marcus from Never Enough was originally loosely based on one of my best friends from high school.
In my own writing my characters also start as inspiration from people I know but they do often warp into someone completely different.

Who was your favorite character to write about? Why?
Oh, this is such a hard question! I loved writing about Tessa in Losing Faith (and I’m very slowly working on a companion novel in Tessa’s point of view, because I love her so much). Loann may be one of the closest characters to me and my growing up years, so she was also a lot of fun to write about. I loved writing any scene where Marcus and Loann were together. I have many extra scenes of them that didn’t make it to the final book.
I think a companion novel would be great!

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process? What works for you? (Do your outline, etc)
Oh, if only I knew what worked for me! To be honest, I seem to have a different process with each book. Some things I’ve learned that have worked though: I like to know where my book is going, and the approximate ending, before I start writing. I also love to fast-draft my first draft of a book (in a month or less). I find this process helps bring ideas out of my subconscious that I don’t think I would otherwise find. Other than that, I don’t have any hard and fast rules for my process of writing and revising a book.
I love that you fast-draft!  I've tried to do that but I grow frustrated and need to walk away.

Off the top of your head what is one book that highly recommend that you've read somewhat recently?
I LOVED The Fault in our Stars by John Green. It impacted me in so many ways (and I’ve already read it three times.)

I have to agree on that one!  I ADORE that book, SO MUCH!

If you could travel anywhere and in any time period, where would you go?
Hmmm. Probably about thirty years into the future. Like I said, the future does fascinate me. But part of me loves the mystery of it, too, so it’s hard to say…
The future is fascinating to think about, but I think I'd be terrified to see what we have done to our planet!
Other than writing, can you tell us about another passion of yours?
Sure. I’m a professional Polynesian dancer. I used to own my own dance studio and teach lessons, but now I mostly keep with it for fun and fitness, and because it feels like part of who I am.
That is SO freaking cool!  And how fun!

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I’m working on a couple of projects right now that I’m really excited about. One is another YA contemporary with lots of of romance and mystery. It’s called Foreign Exchange, and is about a girl who has to sneak away from a class trip in Europe, along with her crush, to find her missing best friend.
I also have my first non-fiction mini-book on writing coming out this fall. It’s called Writing With A Heavy Heart: Using Grief And Loss To Stretch Your Fiction. I’m really excited about both of these!
Okay, Foreign Exchange sounds absolutely up my alley!  I want it NOW! ;)

Find Denise Jaden:

In case you've missed it, Denise had this video made where authors talk about how THEY didn't feel like 'enough' as a teen.  It's very inspiring!


The Giveaway:
The folks at Simon & Schuster are giving away a copy of Never Enough to one of YOU!  (Thanks to Denise for setting it up!)
This is open to US/Canada
You must be 13 or older to enter.
Ends 7/24
Enter in the rafflecopter below.
But Wait!  Denise Jaden is having an EPIC (like, beyond epic) giveaway on her blog.  She has prize packs GALORE!  You could win up to 16 books (if I counted right) and she has multiple prize packs.  You enter that giveaway HERE, but she counts every comment on this post as an entry as well.  AWESOME, right?   Just make sure you stop by and let her know! (Her Giveaway ends July 15th)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vy Reviews Never Enough by @DeniseJaden

Featured Author
This week we are featuring Denise Jaden because of the release of Never Enough, which is out today! Yesterday I reviewed her first book, Losing Faith, and today Vy is reviewing Never Enough. Tomorrow we are interviewing Denise, so be sure to stop back by then!
 Never Enough by Denise Jaden
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 10th, 2012 by Simon & Schuster
 From the author of Losing Faith, a novel about two sisters and the eating disorder that threatens to destroy their family.

Loann’s always wanted to be popular and pretty like her sister, Claire. So when Claire’s ex-boyfriend starts flirting with her, Loann is willing to do whatever it takes to feel special… even if that means betraying her sister.

But as Loann slips inside Claire’s world, she discovers that everything is not as it seems. Claire’s quest for perfection is all-consuming, and comes at a dangerous price. As Claire increasingly withdraws from friends and family, Loann struggles to understand her and make amends. Can she heal their relationship —and her sister—before it’s too late?

This review was first posted at Vy's Blog
Never Enough tells a heart wrenching story of a family being torn apart by an eating disorder. Throughout Loann's life she looked up to as well as envy her sister, Claire. Her sister had everything she wanted which made Loann feel as if she was living under her sister's shadow. 

The main part that made everything fall apart was everyone's constant look for flaws. Loann's whole family was unknowingly obsessed with finding flaws and trying to cover them up. The relationship everyone had with each other in this story was deep and raw, but I wanted just a bit more detail that wasn't about the strain and difficulties. I understood that Loann's relationship and Claire was built around envy, but I wanted to know about the sister relationship without that. I wanted to know a rounder image on their behaviors with each other.

While life continued to go downward for Loann, she managed to find a true friend in the situation that kept her grounded. Marcus, her locker neighbor, was a character that I'm stil not sure how I feel about. He's the guy everyone enjoys picking on and the one that not a lot of people seem to care about. He does have issues of his own besides the bullying. The more Loann and Marcus' relationship developed the more his own issues and problems were revealed. Although I didn't exactly enjoy Marcus as I character, I did enjoy his interactions with Loann.

Never Enough was full of tough problems that continued to develop throughout the story. I didn't realize what a heavy read this was going to be, and I was not prepared for all of those emotions. Denise Jaden wrote a powerful story that only grows more intense by the page.

Find Denise Jaden:
  Her website
Disclosure:  This book was provided for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

 This review was provided by Vy:
Vy is the blogger behind the YA book blog, Vy's Blog. She’s currently a high school student living in the lovely state of Oregon. Her favorite genres to read are high fantasy, paranormal, and historical fiction. While reading is her absolute favorite thing to do during her free time, she also enjoys playing the guitar and being emotionally damaged while watching The Vampire Diaries. Vy can be found roaming the streets of Portland eating cupcakes, or via email or twitter.

Also Denise shared with us this awesome video about not 'being enough'. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Candace Reviews Losing Faith by @DeniseJaden

Featured Author

This week we are featuring Denise Jaden for the release of her second book, Never Enough.  To kick it off I have a review of Losing Faith.  Tomorrow you can see Vy's review of Never Enough and the following day we have an interview with Denise Jaden.

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
Paperback, 400 pages.
Released Sept. 7th, 2010 by Simon & Schuster

A terrible secret. A terrible fate.

When Brie’s sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie’s world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don’t line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night... a secret that puts her own life in danger.

This review was first posted at Candace's Book Blog.
This book felt authentic to me, right.  I know that some felt like Brie's grief wasn't real.  That she should have been more devastated.  But I think the way she dealt with it all was pretty real and we don't all deal with grief the same way.  She was incredibly strong through everything, while her family was drowning in sorrow and her friends turn against her.  I loved that she was strong enough to recognize everything that was going on though.  That her parents needed some time, but yet she didn't really make too many excuses for them.  She felt like they needed to deal with it and find a way to move on.  
When her friendship and relationships turned to crap she was smart enough to know that she deserved better.  That they weren't good friends, or boyfriend and that she could have better.  I loved that she didn't grovel just so she wasn't an outcast.
The mysteriousness of the death of her sister was pulled off phenomenally.  I was constantly guessing why so and so was so mysterious.  Why so and so ran away, or wouldn't talk to her.  Things turned out a little different then I expected, and Brie found some great new friendships and a relationship that are so much better then her old circle.  
Over all I thought this was a great read and I definitely recommend it!
Find Denise Jaden:
  Her website
Disclosure:  All opinions expressed are my own.  I was not paid or influenced in any way and borrowed this book to read and review.

This review was provided by Candace:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon Recommended Reading

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon
Over at my personal book blog I am a co-host for the Once Upon a Read-a-Thon.  This is the third year of this event and it's been so much fun every single year!  This hosted by me, Candace's Book Blog, Pure Imagination and Reading Angel.  It runs from July 9th-11th.  We have lots of fun things planned and are giving away a $60 gift card to one lucky participant.  To sign up click the button, or go HERE.

I thought that it would be fun to do a recommended reading post here since we have lots of Pacific NW authors that write books that are perfect for Read a Thons.  So what is a perfect book for a Read a Thon?  Well, in my opinion the perfect book is one that's a fast and easy read.  They can have a heavier subject, but only if the book is one that's difficult to put down.

Luckily my #1 Read-a-Thon recommended author lives right here in the Pacific Northwest!

Lisa Schroeder writes stunning verse novels that take a very short time to read.  She also writes an adorable middle grade series that are not in verse but are also perfect because they are light and loads of fun.
You can find all of Lisa's books on goodreads, HERE.  But my top two favorites are The Day Before and I Heart You, You Haunt Me.
From the author of I Heart You, You Haunt Me, an irresistibly romantic novel in verse.  Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.     Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.     The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.     Told in verse and brimming with raw emotion and pure romance, this is a gracefully woven tale of life-changing secrets and unexpected friendship.

 Girl meets boy.
Girl loses boy.
Girl gets boy back...

...sort of.

Ava can't see him or touch him,
unless she's dreaming.
She can't hear his voice,
except for the faint whispers in her mind.
Most would think she's crazy, but she knows he's here.

The boy Ava thought she'd spend the rest of her life with.
He's back from the dead,
as proof that love truly knows no bounds.

Another author that fits quite well is Kimberly Derting and her Body Finder series.  These are a bit paranormal and very much mystery and they are impossible to put down.  They aren't real long either, which is a bonus as well.
Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself.
April Henry's Girl Stolen was one that sucked me in and had me devouring the book, dying to see what happens.  It took only an hour or two to cruise through it and I was completely enthralled.

 Sixteen-year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of the car while her stepmom fills a prescription for antibiotics. Before Cheyenne realizes what's happening, the car is being stolen.

Griffin hadn't meant to kidnap Cheyenne and once he finds out that not only does she have pneumonia, but that she's blind, he really doesn't know what to do. When his dad finds out that Cheyenne's father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes--now there's a reason to keep her.

How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare?

Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis was unlike anything I've ever read.  It was one I was dying to get answers from and so couldn't put it down until I did so.  It was a fast read, but was absolutely amazing.

What if you forgot your identity and had to rely on other people to tell you who you were?

And what if to discover your true self, you first had to unravel a mystery so big and terrifying you were not sure you’d survive solving it?

When Marshall and Elyse wake up in each other’s arms with zero memory of how they got there or who they are, it’s the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future.

Terrified by their amnesia, the two make a pact to work together to find the answers that could jog their missing memories. As they piece together clues, they discover they’re in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls, where everyone seems mysteriously happy, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town’s perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything—not the death of Marshall’s mom, not the hidden shame in Elyse’s family, not even the day-to-day anguish of high school.

Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marsh and Elyse fall into an intense relationship...but the secrets they uncover could be the death of this growing love—and the death of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.

This one is also in verse, though it's longer it's still a very fast read.  Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe was a stunning look at a girl struggling to become the best dancer she can be. It wasn't really a light read in the sense that it was very hard hitting, but it was a fast read in that it doesn't take long to get through it.
When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she's deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem's muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she's chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? This debut novel in verse is as intense and romantic as it is eloquent.

We really have some amazing authors here in the Pacific NW and my list could go on and on.  Seriously, narrowing it down is proving difficult.  So this last one is one that's different from the rest.  It's more a boy book because of the male narrator and feel of the book, but it's one that I absolutely loved.  It doesn't get the attention it deserves so I hope some of you will give it a chance.
Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft is a look at a teenage boy who has suffered a great loss and struggles to find himself and his own strength within.

 When you piss off a bridge into a snowstorm, it feels like you’re connecting with eternal things. Paying homage to something or someone. But who? The Druids? Walt Whitman? No, I pay homage to one person only, my brother, my twin.
       In life. In death.
       Telemachus. Since the death of his brother, Jonathan’s been losing his grip on reality. Last year’s Best Young Poet and gifted guitarist is now Taft High School’s resident tortured artist, when he bothers to show up. He's on track to repeat eleventh grade, but his English teacher, his principal, and his crew of Thicks (who refuse to be seniors without him) won’t sit back and let him fail.

Want to do you own recommended reading post for the Read-a-Thon?  Link it up below!  And check out all the others.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Interview with Nikki Jefford & Giveaway

Mini Feature
Yesterday I reviewed Entangled and Duplicity by Nikki Jefford and today I have an interview with this lovely author. I hope you'll read to the end where you will find a giveaway as well. And some awesome news! Entangled made it into the YA Semifinalists in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2012! Check it out: http://thekindlebookreview.blogspot.com/p/ya-semifinalists.html
Without further ado, let's welcome Nikki to the blog!

Thanks so much for being on today Nikki!

Happy to be here!

What 10 words do you think best describe Entangled and Duplicity?
Magic, murder, romance, resurrection, witches, warlocks, mystery, adventure, betrayal, humor!

Entangled and Duplicity have an evil sister in them (well, mostly just Entangled), did you have an evil sister? Was there a certain thing that made you decide to include that as a big part of the story with a sister’s betrayal?
*Laughs* Tricky question. I have a difficult little sister. She’s not evil, but she’s no Pollyanna either.
I love siblings in fiction. I think it’s fun when they’re either really close and loyal (Elizabeth and Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice) or enemies of sorts (Stefan and Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries).
I was going for dark humor in Entangled so naturally I required a twin villain.

Who was your favorite character to write?
Raj! I love writing from the male POV. I must have a Y chromosome in me somewhere.
Honestly, it’s a tossup. Graylee Perez has such a quick wit and makes me laugh out loud with her dialogue. I’m really going to miss her at the end of the series.

I think we all know that covers are important to a story. It's the first thing we see. Unfortunately not all self published authors realize the importance, or don't have the resources. Can you tell us a bit about the covers and how they came to be? Did you describe what you want to a cover artist or have pictures you gave them to go by... how did it all go down?
I started by hiring Najla Qamber because I loved what she did for my friend Kira Saito’s book Bound. I scanned an image I liked in Vogue magazine and emailed it to Naj along with my thoughts for the cover. I also sent links to book covers I loved so she could get a sense of my taste.
What she sent back was hideous… LOL Okay, it wasn’t hideous, but it didn’t fit the book at all.
I spent an entire week (and untold hours) scouring royalty free stock sites until I found an image that grabbed me.
If you are interested in hearing more about the process on the Spellbound covers you can also check out an article author S.M. Boyce wrote on choosing cover artists. She did a feature on Spellbound at the end that goes into more detail. http://blog.smboyce.com/2012/06/25/how-to-choose-a-cover-artist/

What advice would you give someone who is thinking of self publishing?

Write several books. (I wrote seven “practice” novels before unleashing my work onto the world.) Attend writing workshops and conferences. Find critique partners who offer constructive feedback. Read lots of books in the genre you’re writing.

Hire professionals – no less than two copy editors. I only hired one for Entangled and five mistakes slipped through. An entire novel is a lot of ground for one editor to cover. Save yourself the embarrassment and go through two professional proof readers. If you don’t have the funds to hire two, don’t publish until you do.

Keep informed. I highly recommend (emphasis on highly) Jeff Bennington’s The Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe and J.A. Konrath’s The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing (Everything A Writer Needs to Know).

Tell us a bit about yourself and your writing process. How many hours a day do you write? Is it your job or do you have a job as well as write?
I write most of my books out of order. Maybe it’s ADD, but I jump back and forth and all around in the story. Beginnings are especially problematic for me so I just skip the opening and return to deal with it later.

I wish writing was my job! I haven’t quite made back the money I invested in the books, but I’m almost there… just in time to spend it on book three. LOL

When I was out of work during the winter I wrote for six hours a day. Right now I’m struggling to get an hour in. I love long uninterrupted chunks of time. It’s hard for me to feel like bothering when I have to squeeze 30 minute sessions in between work and all the daily tasks that need attention.

I usually don’t write in the summer time. I was born and raised in Alaska and you learn quick that when the sun comes out you better get out and enjoy! Washington State is similar.

And how quickly do you write a books first draft?
When I was writing historical romance it took me a couple years per book. Research really bogged me down. My YA novels take me about two months each unless I turn into a couch potato halfway through and take a month+ break, which keeps happening. Grrr First it was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then it was The Vampire Diaries, and now it’s Pretty Little Liars. I don’t do moderation – I go into marathon mode – and turn into a useless slug along the way.

If you could recommend one book that you feel hasn't gotten the attention it deserves, what book would that be?
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. It’s getting attention, but nothing like the Hunger Games, Divergent, or Delirium. (All books I love!) I suck at review writing. I’ll simply say it tops my list of YA favorites at the moment and I hope to see it gain in popularity.

If you could travel to any time and any place, when and where would you go?
Regency England, around 1811 when Jane Austen began publishing her books.

And last question: What can we see from you in the future?
A vampire slayer series set in Alaska. Book one has gone through several drafts and will undergo yet another as soon as I finish the last book in the Spellbound trilogy.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Thank you for having me.

Nikki Jefford is a third generation Alaskan who found paradise on the not-so-tropical San Juan Islands where she is, once more, neighbors with Canada. She married Sebastien, the love of her life, while working as a teaching assistant in France during the 1999-2000 school year. They reside with their Westie, Cosmo.
Nikki is the author of the Spellbound Trilogy, a YA fantasy series that takes place in Washington State. Entangled (Spellbound #1) was an amazon bestseller in children’s science fiction and fantasy.

Find Nikki on her Website & Twitter.

The Giveaway:
Nikki Jefford is offering up one ebook copy of Entangled or Duplicity, winners choice.
This is open Worldwide.
You must be 13 or older to enter.
Ends 7/18/12
Fill out the rafflecopter for entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Candace Reviews Entangled & Duplicity by Nikki Jefford

Mini Feature

Today and tomorrow we are featuring Nikki Jefford and her Spellbound Trilogy.  Today I'm posting the reviews and tomorrow we have an interview and giveaway with her, so be sure to stop back by!

Entangled by Nikki Jefford
Ebook, 303 pages
Published Feb. 20th by Nikki Jefford
Source: Author
Description from Goodreads:
A Resurrection Spell Gone Wrong

Two months after dying, Graylee Perez wakes up in her twin sister Charlene’s body. As a witch, can anyone blame her mother for attempting to bring her daughter back to life? Now Gray is stuck sharing her sister’s body in twenty-four-hour shifts.

Raj McKenna is rumored to meddle in the black arts, not to mention he’s after Gray’s invisibility spell, and worse—her heart. But Raj might be the only one powerful enough to save Gray from fading away forever.

The race is on for Gray to find a way back inside her own body before Charlene purges her from existence.


This book is intended for older teens.

This review was first posted at Candace's Book Blog.
This book ended up being really good!  It's about Graylee Perez who is a witch who has been seriously betrayed by one who should love her, no matter what.  She has died, but has been brought back. Unfortunately she has to share her body with her twin sister.  Who is EVIL.  
 I really liked the storyline and the characters in this book.
I was really angry with the horrible things that Gray had to go through and really felt for her that she was so betrayed.  The romance was really sweet and had an awesome build up, which I really appreciate.  And the love interest was pretty awesome! 
I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked the book and that it had some really great twists and most definitely the evilest sister EVER!  It was definitely one that got my blood boiling at time for the stupidity and cruelty of others and my frustrations with the stuff that Gray had to go through.  

Duplicity (Spellbound #2) by Nikki Jefford
ebook, 280 pages
Published May 20th, 2012 by Nikki Jefford
Source: Purchased

Description from Goodreads:
If Graylee Perez thought sharing a body with her twin sister was bad, dealing with a duplicate of herself is two times worse. Gray the second doesn’t seem to get that Lee’s boyfriend, Raj McKenna, is off limits. Then there’s the problem of Adrian Montez. He expects one of the Grays to be his.

Nearly a year later, the council is onto them for past misdeeds; Lee, along with the rest of the coven, has lost control of her powers; and Gray is being stalked by what looks like the Grim Reaper.

If they work together, they may stand a chance of setting things right and making it out alive.


This book is intended for older teens.

 This was a great sequel to Entangled! Somehow Graylee is in a bit of a pickle in this one and it was definitely interesting watching her try to figure it out. And talk about major twist!  This had stuff that was so completely different from anything I've read about, and I loved that.

Gray is very outspoken and says what's on her mind. This makes her a memorable character for me, which is always good. 

Graylee's boyfriend is really good to her and I really like him, but the personality we got in the first book wasn't so present in this one and I missed it. However, he was still a fantastic character and I loved that he still had his flaws. 

Overall it was an enjoyable read and I'm eager to read the next one!

Find Nikki Jefford:

Disclosure:  While I received the first book to review on my personal blog I did purchase the second book myself.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

This review was provided by Candace:
 Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.