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Friday, August 31, 2012

The Wild Ones by M. Leighton

Release Date: July 30, 2012
Publisher: M. Leighton Books
Age Group: New Adult
(Mature Content Warning)
Format: E-book
Source: Purchased
Pages: 330
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Description: Goodreads
Passion as hot as midnight in the South and love as wild as the horses they tame.

Camille “Cami” Hines is the darling daughter of the South’s champion thoroughbred breeder, Jack Hines. She has a pedigree that rivals some of her father’s best horses. Other than feeling a little suffocated at times, Cami thought she was pretty happy with her boyfriend, her life and her future.

But that was before she met Patrick Henley.

“Trick” blurs the lines between what Cami wants and what is expected of her. He’s considered the “help,” which is forbidden fruit as far as her father is concerned, not to mention that Trick would be fired if he ever laid a hand on her. And Trick needs his job. Desperately. His family depends on him.

The heart wants what the heart wants, though, and Trick and Cami are drawn to each other despite the obstacles. At least the ones they know of.

When Trick stumbles upon a note from his father, it triggers a series of revelations that could ruin what he and Cami have worked so hard to overcome. It turns out there’s more to Trick’s presence at the ranch than either of them knew, secrets that could tear them apart.

I’ve been reading more “new adult” books recently and don’t even get me started on that terminology that I wholeheartedly don’t agree with, I prefer to call this OLDER YA and so that’s what I’ll be doing from now on and it goes without saying that this book contains adult (or should that be NEW ADULT content).   I kept seeing five star reviews for The Wild Ones by M. Leighton and so I knew I had to read this.  

I will start by saying that I REALLY enjoyed the story and it was highly entertaining, so much so that I read it in one sitting.  But was it perfect? Sadly, no.  On the slightly more negative side, the writing didn’t feel tight enough or polished enough which is a damn shame!  Sure, there were a few spelling/grammar issues that always irk me a little but I can overlook those for a good story.  There was however a lot of repetition which I found a bit frustrating and different characters often used the same term of phrase which happened a few times and made their voices blur into one.  

Another little irk was that I got sick of Trick’s attributes being listed all the time.  He’s hot.  I GET IT.  And I really did, he’s just the right side of self assured before it’s in danger of spilling over into arrogance.  See, Trick is a natural with horses and a stable hand at Chez Hines but he’s also the guy that isn’t good enough for Cami, according to her father that is.  FORBIDDEN ROMANCE ALERT and you know I love me some forbidden romance.  Having read the story, I can see why the families didn’t want Trick and Cami getting involved but I didn’t agree with their reasoning AT ALL and was rooting for them the whole way.

There are a lot of great scenes in the book but there was one particular scene where I was all "WTF?", and that is when Trick paints Cami’s toenails for her.  I can’t decide if this is sexy or just plain weird.   First off, is it just me but how many guys do you know who would do that for you and more importantly, how many guys would you TRUST to paint your toe nails?!  It might just be me but I thought it was kinda weird.

So I’ve listed some of the negative aspects about the book which makes it sound like I didn’t like it but that’s actually not true and I think the fact that I read it in one sitting proves that.  The Wild Ones is definitely entertaining and I’m very happy to add Trick to my list of literary boyfriends.  If you’re looking for a hot love story with a touch of forbidden romance, this is the novel for you.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

More Author Insight: Trunk Novels

 How many trunk novels do you have, and is there one you'd like to revisit?

"Depending on how you count, I have anywhere from three to three-and-a-half. I plan to revisit all of them. They're all good, solid ideas with great characters -- I just wasn't a confident enough writer to pull them off at the time. One of these days, I'll start going through them and fixing them up." - Barry Lyga, author of I Hunt Killers

"I have four. I’m pretty fond of the second. The hero is an unregenerate cad, yes, I know, and he wasn’t even supposed to be the hero. But he outlasted the actual hero. So I really like him." - Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of My Life Next Door

"I have two, and I might revisit one. But the first novel I wrote is only useful as fodder for a Zombie Goat Apocalypse." - C.J. Redwine, author of Defiance.

"I have two. I would like to revisit the first one at some point because it’s a good idea, but it would need a fresh redo and my schedule’s too tight." - Lissa Price, author of Starters. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (23)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine 
that highlights eagerly anticipated books.

Butter by Erin Jade Lange

Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Author Website: http://www.butterslastmeal.com/

A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death—live on the Internet—and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn’t go through with his plans? With a deft hand, E.J. Lange allows readers to identify with both the bullies and the bullied in this all-consuming look at one teen’s battle with himself.

Why I can't wait?
Do I even need to explain myself?  Did you read that summary?  It sounds completely off the wall and like nothing I've even heard of before.  Clearly, I must read this.

Literary Lures: Sasha & Em from Sash & Em

Literary Lures is a new feature here at Wastepaper Prose that will run every Wednesday into the fall. Some awesome bloggers will be stopping by to tell you what hooks them on books and give some recommendations of books they love.

Sasha and Em from Sash & Em are here today to tell you what makes them pick up a book. They'll share their top three literary lures, what romances they love to love, and what types of stories always capture their attention. 

Where you can find them... 

List the top three things that hook you into buying a book.
Em: Gorgeous cover, non-contemporary, start of a series
Sash: Heartwrenching story, blurbs from authors I know, pretty covers!

What type of storyline never fails to grab your attention?
Em: Dystopian, post-apocalyptic, paranormal/supernatural storylines are always fun!
Sash: Anything that looks like it's going to be character driven.

What kind of love stories do you always fall for? What makes you want to root for those couples?
Em: The guy is usually tall, dark, handsome, brooding, silent, sexy, bad boy type. It helps if he is ACTUALLY a good guy deep down and really loves her. I want to root for them when they are in the face of evil or are sticking it to a nefarious enemy by working as a team.
Sash: When they have the odds stacked against them. I love seeing couples go through hard times and come out on top!

Some books get released as quickly as you snatched them up. What makes you put a book down and how do you know it’s time?
Em:  Unless it has a profound effect on me...I let it fall to the wayside mentally and physically.
Sash: Whenever I feel like I'm ready to move on and not come back to that story, I know it's time. I don't let re-reads go though!

Books that hooked Sasha & Em: 
Em: Vampire Academy Series!
Sash: Anything by Melina Marchetta (Saving Francesca is my favorite.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Author Insight: Trunk Novels

How many trunk novels do you have, and is there one you'd like to revisit?

"I really only have one, and it’s not even complete. All the others are maybe 2 or 3 chapters of something that I started and abandoned. I’d love to take my trunk novel out, but it would need some seriously re-tooling. It’s kind of dated, and is sort of in that 'New Adult' category that I’m told isn’t actually a thing. I’d love to rewrite the main character as a 16-year-old, though!" - Lauren Morrill, author of Meant to Be.

"Probably 8 to 10. There are some good things in the brick that I wrote as my first big fantasy novel, but I’d pare back the worldbuilding. The quartet about the bestiary had promise, too, but it also needs a few dozen tentacles lopped off." - Margo Lanagan, author of The Brides of Rollrock Island

"I think I have around 8. Some came after I signed with an agent, and after I got published. There are a few ideas I’d like to revisit, but there’s a reason they’re in a box. I have definitely cannibalized ideas from a few." - Dan Krokos, author of False Memory

"I have three and a half. I will revisit one and a half of them." - Martha Brockenbrough, author of Devine Intervention

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Release Date: Aug. 28, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Pages: 288
Buy: Amazon / Book Depository / IndieBound
Description: Goodreads
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

Speechless was exactly what I was expecting. Hannah Harrington weaves a strong and serious tale about the importance of words and the power they hold.  As a girl who has had her own troubles with secrets in the past, I related to Chelsea throughout the novel, and I absolutely understand her urge to keep her mouth shut.

While she didn’t win me over from the beginning, Chelsea Knot grows on you pretty swiftly.  She finds out a secret about someone she barely knows, drunkenly blabs it to her popular crowd friends, and a certain group of those popular boys take matters into their own hands in the very worst way.  From her introduction as the token yes-girl to the most popular (read: meanest) girl in school, I thought she’d be just another follower.  Turns out, she makes a choice (albeit, a bit of a late one) to do the right thing, and from there, she decides she needs to learn when it’s okay to speak.  Inspired by an article in National Geographic regarding a vow of silence, she decides to do the same: to begin her own vow of silence so she can concentrate on the importance of her words.

I must say, hands down, I loved Chelsea’s new Diner Crowd friends far, far more than any of those other folks she used to call her friends.  These are exactly the kind of people I would have wanted to hang out with when I was in high school.  There were times when they seemed almost too perfect in their zaniness, but that’s just what Chelsea needed to see.  Since she’d been part of the It Crowd for so many years, it’s a new concept to see how the other half lives.  I like that she takes it in stride, that she appreciates Asha and Andy and definitely Sam for being themselves when that’s often the hardest thing to be.  Of course, I really enjoyed her arc with Sam-- meeting him, doing their art project together, and slowly but surely falling for him.  Nothing quite like a boy who’s funny and who makes a mean tuna melt.  Aside from the utter cuteness factor, her time with the Diner Crowd gives great insight into the ramifications of her secret-telling as well.

Speechless centers on bullying, not only the bullying Chelsea receives for turning in her former friends, but the bullying Asha and most especially Nathan receive simply for being different. It’s the kind of story that’s important to tell, and Harrington maintains a healthy balance of stating the facts without inundating you in the issues.  While it doesn’t get as dark and twisty as some of the similar stories before it, Harrington keeps up the pace so the reader is never bored.  It’s a fairly quick read, and those flying pages pack a lot of punch.

I would recommend Speechless to anyone looking for a page-turner of a book with lots of heart.  Words matter, and Chelsea needed to learn that lesson for herself.  This journey is worth taking.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blog Tour: Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa

If you're a fan of the Iron Fey, I don't need to tell you that The Iron Legends, a bind up of the Iron Fey novellas, releases on August 28th. I'm delighted to be part of the blog tour for Julie Kagawa's latest release, hosted by Kismet Book Touring, and share my love of all things Iron Fey. Throughout the tour, blogs will be representing their courts, presenting books in the series and offering readers the chance to win some great prizes.
Winter is definitely the court that has my heart. I love the starkness and the snow-covered, sometimes sinister world of Tir Na Nog. Okay, okay... My adoration might have a lot to do with a certain dark, brooding, recently disaffiliated Winter Prince by the name of Ash.

Yeah, I know. Boys are always a terrible reason to make such big commitments, but... but... ASH.

I think a lot of it started back in 2010 when a group of bloggers and a certain author *cough* goaded me into driving nine hours through snowpocalypse to attend the very first signing for The Iron King. I met other die-hard fans of the series and got some insight into Meghan and the boys. Jokes flew, good-natured rivalries were born, and I've been in the Iron Fey trenches ever since.

But enough about me. I'll let Julie and Ash take it from here...

*Overheard conversation between author and Prince Ash before blog tour.*

"Why must I be the one to do this? I'm not part of the Winter Court any longer."

"Because I couldn't get Mab to agree without freezing my tongue off.  And besides, you know Tir Na Nog and the Winter Court better than anyone else."

"And we're encouraging mortals to explore Tir Na Nog now?  They'll just get themselves eaten or killed or something nasty."

"I'm sure you can think of something.  Come on, Ash.  Do this for me.  Please?"

*Heavy sigh* 

And so this guest post was reluctantly written. Thanks Ash!

Very well.  To everyone who is following this blog tour, my name is Ash, formerly of the Winter Court, now Prince Consort and husband of The Iron Queen, Meghan Chase.  I'm supposed to tell you the best places to visit in Tir Na Nog, but I think I'd rather tell you about all the places you don't want to be if you're ever stuck in Winter.  That's not to say that all of Tir Na Nog isn't dangerous; it is.  But these sites are some of the most deadly, and mortals have no business ever being here.