Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (78) The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, created by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week I'm waiting on: 

The Night We Said Yes
The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi 
A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti!

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.

But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.

And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.

Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.

In alternating then and now chapters, debut author Lauren Gibaldi crafts a charming, romantic story of first loves, lifelong friendships, uncovered secrets, and, ultimately, finding out how to be brave.
(Blurb via Goodreads)

Expected publication: June 16, 2015
What are you waiting on?

Clever Girl's 2014 in Review

Clever Girl's 2014 in Review

By the month:

January totals
58 # books read
18 # reviews
8 - 3 star reviews
9 - 4 star reviews
1 - 5 star review

Participated in blog tours for:
Rome by Jay Crownover
Alex's Destiny by Amy Gregory
Jesse's Soul by Amy Gregory
Chasing Forever Down by Nikki Godwin
Knowing Jack by Rachel Curtis
Savor by Kate Evanglista

February totals
55 # books read
13 # reviews
6 - 3 star reviews

6 - 4 star reviews
1 - 5 star review

Unite by Jamie Campbell
Rumor Has It by Elisabeth Grace
Solving For Ex by LeighAnn Kopans

March totals
55 # books read
15 # reviews
3 - 3 star reviews
7 - 4 star  reviews
5 - 5 star reviews

Everlasting by Candace Knoebel
The Star Thief by Jamie Grey
The Do Over by A.L. Zaun
It's Not Over by A.L. Zaun
Gabby Revealed by Amy Gregory

April totals
80 # books read
14 # reviews
4 - 3 star reviews
9 - 4 star reviews
1 - 5 star review

Psi Another Day by D.R. Rosensteel

May totals
58 # books read
17 # reviews
2 - 3 star reviews
13 - 4 star reviews
1 - 5 star review

Part of Me by AC Arthur
Picture Perfect by Elisabeth Grace
The Prophecy of Arcadia by MH Soars
Nash by Jay Crownover
Make Me Crazy by Codi Gary
Bound by MJ Stevens
Tryst by Cambria Hebert
Grooming the Player and Hiring the Player by Allie K Adams
Woo'd in Haste and Wed at Leisure by Sabrina Darby

June totals
83 # books read
15 # reviews
4 - 3 star reviews
10 - 4 star reviews
1 - 5 star review

The Lucky Charm by Beth Bolden
The Wilde One by Savannah Young
Better When He's Bad by Jay Crownover
Kick by Holly S. Roberts
More than Music by Elizabeth Briggs

July totals
101 books read
9 reviews
1 - 3 star reviews
7 - 4 star reviews
1 - 5 star reviews

Rival Love by Natalie Decker
Athena's Ashes (Star Thief Chronicles #2) by Jamie Grey
Country Love by Chelsea Dorsette
Storm Siren (Storm Siren #1) by Mary Weber
Revelation + Restraint by Randi Cooley Wilson

September and October 2014
114 books read
12 reviews
1 - 2 star review
3 - 3 star reviews
4 - 4 star reviews
4 - 5 star reviews

Conspire by Erin Noelle and S.E. Hall
Unrequited by Emma Grey
Dead over Heels by Alison Kemper
Cinder and Ella by Kelly Oram
Night Belongs to the Fireman by Jennifer Bernard
Chasing Luck by Brinda Berry

November 2014
56 books read
9 reviews
3 - 3 star reviews
4 - 4 star reviews
2 - 5 star reviews


#Nerd by Cambria Hebert
Evernight by Candace Knoebel

December 2014
49 books read
7 reviews
2 - 3 star reviews
3 - 4 star reviews
2 - 5 star reviews

Anomaly (Schrodinger's Consortium #1) by Tonya Kuper
Redemption (The Revelation Series, #3) by Randi Cooley Wilson


In total:


I read 709 books
I reviewed 129 books
22 books were 5 star reviews
72 books were 4 stars
36 were 3 stars
and 1 was 2 stars
I participated in 44 blog tours


All in all 2014 was a great year for me. I can't wait for 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (77) Let it Snow + Vixen in Velvet



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read(s)
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) -- or less or more -- “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
"It gets better?' she asked quietly.
He laid his cheek against the top of her head. "So I'm told."
She nodded. She understood what hadn't been said. Of course it didn't get better. How could it? One simply continued living.
"

location 1306, Let it Snow by Erica Ridley
"Leonie didn't so much as raise an eyebrow.
Inside, though, the Leonies were looking at each other and saying, What? How did he know?"
"

page 152, Vixen in Velvet by Loretta Chase

Monday, December 29, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (60)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme from Book Journey where we spotlight what we finished reading, are currently reading and plan to read next.
{Finished Reading}

The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior (Dukes Behaving Badly, #1)

{Currently Reading}

Princess Ever After (Royal Wedding, #2)


{Currently Listening To}

Crossing the Ice (Ice #1)


{What I'm Going to Read Next} 

This Shattered World (Starbound, #2)


What about you? What have you read lately? What's next on your list?

{Romance Minute Review} Let it Snow by Erica Ridley


Let it Snow
Adventurer Lance Desmond needs to produce a fortune before his arch-rival collects the bounty on his head. He risks an ancient curse to retrieve treasure hidden within icebound Castle Cavanaugh, only to become trapped inside. Not with the gold he so desperately needs, but with medieval Princess Marigold who's been cooling her heels since... well, medieval times.

The lonely princess refuses to acknowledge the blossoming attraction between them. Not just because she deserves a better future than a penniless rogue. But because at midnight, he'll vanish like all her other would-be heroes. And the evergreen in the parlor will have one more figurine hanging from its boughs...
(Blurb via Goodreads)
{Details} ebook, 200 pages. Published December 15th 2013 by Intrepid Reads (first published December 13th 2013). Source: ebook provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

{Rating} 4/5 - I really liked it!

{Review}
"After another long spell of swashbuckling and bounty hunting, Lance Desmond could barely wait to hang up his sword." (page 1, line 1)
It took me awhile to get into it. I picked it up and put it down several times, but I powered through and am so glad I did. I loved Lance and Marigold. Lance is brash and good-natured, quick to anger, quick to forgive. He's a tarnished knight with a really good heart. Marigold is a little quirky - no doubt due to hundreds of years of enforced solitude - but she's strong, resilient, haunted and guilty.

I liked the mix of worlds, magic and technology, the past and the present. It was amusing to see Marigold learning about the ever changing technology - and of course, her enthusiasm over ebooks. The romance was slow and sweet - with a bit of steam - and Lance and Marigold were perfect for each other.
 

{Book Blitz + GIveaway} The Winning Side (University Park, #3) by C.M. Doporto


The Winning Side (University Park, #3)
Release Date: December 21, 2014
Genre: New Adult Sports Romance 18+ for adult situations and language
Page numbers:  272 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Lexi’s determined to keep her word and stand by Raven’s side because her love for him is too strong to deny.  As Raven learns to deal with the issues that are destined to destroy him and their relationship, their love is taken to a new level. As doors are closed and new ones are opened, Lexi and Raven find themselves in a heavenly bliss, but not without the challenges from Raven’s past. With a true test of love, Lexi and Raven have to decide if they are willing to do whatever it takes to be on the winning side.


  

Pre-Order Links:
AmazonApple iTunesBarnes & NobleKobo

 {Excerpt}
Delaney held up a light pink sweater to her chest. “This is hideous. You have to trash this thing.” She flung it behind her.
“Hey, I like that sweater.” I dashed after it and then gave it a once over and agreed with her. It was something my mom had bought for me and it had Betty Homemaker written all over it with pearl buttons and a jacquard trim. I shoved it in the return-home bag. “I think coming back to the dorm will be good for both of us. When Raven’s having a bad day, I can just come back here so he can have some time to himself. Time to process whatever he’s going through.”
And time to fight his demons.
“And you trust that he will be okay.” She threw one of my skirts over her head. “He won’t plunge off the edge and go back to where he was, will he?”
“I’ll check on him. It’s not like I won’t see him. And if needed, you can take me to his apartment, right?”
“Yeah, of course.”
“Who’s apartment?” Raven stood in the doorway carrying my bags.
“Your apartment, silly.” I smiled at him, trying to displace any unnecessary fear or jealously. Although Raven hadn’t seemed liked the jealous type, I wanted to keep it that way. That was one less thing I didn’t have to worry about in our relationship.
“Hey, what’s this?” Delaney held up a pink and silver Victoria Secret’s gift card.
“Where did you get that?” I said taking it from her hand.
“It was buried in your clothes.” She pointed to the mound on my bed.
Raven looked over my shoulder as I opened the flap.
Have fun shopping with Raven. Love, Dad.
“Holy shit. Is he serious?” I looked at Raven and he smiled. Was my dad trying to make up for my mom going bat shit crazy and burning all the lingerie Raven had bought me?
Sweet.
“Damn!” Raven covered his mouth with his fist. “Three hundred bucks. We can buy you a lot of sexy stuff.” Raven cocked a brow. “When are we going?”
“Whenever you want.”  I eyed him with a hungry stare. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to get enough of him.
Of his taste.
Of his touch.
Of his scent.
I was permanently caught in The Raven’s trap. And I wondered if he was really done with setting out his bait and happy with the catch he’d caught. Time would only tell. I shook my head, trying to calm my ranging hormones.
 “Is that it?” I asked, looking at the two bags by the door.
“What do you mean, is that it?”  He huffed, gripping his waist. “I brought up like five bags. And there’s still more at my apartment.”
 “I’m sorry.” I walked past him and headed for the closet. “I didn’t ask my dad to bring me all of my clothes.”
“I know.” He grabbed my hand and spun me around. I slammed against his body and rested my hands against his broad chest. “If you’d just stay with me, then we wouldn’t have to be hauling all of your stuff back and forth.”
His scent laced around me, making it difficult to stand my ground. “But I am going to stay with you.”
“Yeah, but not every night.” He pressed his lips to the sensitive part of my neck and my mind quickly forgot why I had talked myself in to coming back to the dorm. “I need a little bit of this every night.” He popped me on the butt and I squealed.
“Okay, I’m outta here.” Delaney dropped the clothes in her hand.
“No. I need your advice.” I tried to wiggle out of Raven’s arms, but he only held me tighter. “I need you to help me pick out clothes that will make me look sexy.” I glanced up at Raven and he let out a low growl as he continued to nibble on my neck, not paying any attention to Delaney. I leaned to the side, trying to break free, even though I really didn’t want to. “Raven, stop.” I pleaded with a tone that said yes, more than it said no.
“Looks like you’re about to get undressed so I’ll help you later.” Delaney step aside and headed for the door.
“Thanks, Delaney.” Raven said as he kicked off his shoes and started to pull off his shirt. His stomach tensed and I caught a nice view of his elegantly chiseled abs.
“Shit, I almost forgot.” Delaney turned around before pulling the door shut. “Whoa! Can you wait until I get out? I don’t need a glimpse of the freak show.”
“Hurry.” Raven tossed his shirt on the chair. “I don’t have all day.”
Delaney’s eyes landed directly on Raven’s midsection for a full count of three before she finally tore them away and looked at me. “Do y’all want to grab a pizza with Luke and me later?”
Raven looked at me, waiting for a response. “I’m game if you are,” I said, feeling the hunger pains bubble up in my stomach.
His lips spread into a full smile. “Sure, but I’m game for something else first.” Raven encircled his arms around me and pressed his lips against my ear as his hands wondered up and down my backside.
“What time Delaney?” I grabbed his arms, trying to restrain him from feeling me up in front of my roommate. He stretched his neck, trying to kiss me. I laughed, unable to resist his tempting offer. After all, I was already in his trap and I was there to stay.
“Is an hour long enough?” Delaney appraised Raven from head to toe and then gave me a wide-eyed warning.
“No, but we’ll make it work.” He said, undressing me with his eyes.
I giggled as Raven picked me up and tossed me on the bed, landing on top of my clothes.
“I warned you, Lexi,” Delaney said, as she pulled the door shut.
“I know. But I can’t resist The Raven’s trap.”


Currently Opposing Sides, book 1 in the University Park Series is FREE for a limited time.

About the Author
CM Doporto lives in the great state of Texas with her husband and son enjoying life with their extensive family along with their Chihuahua, Mexican Redhead Parrot, and several fish.

She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from The University of Texas at Arlington. She briefly worked in the area of Public Relations and Advertising and then pursued a career in the field of Human Resources. CM considers herself a life-long learner and returned to school and earned her Master of Art’s Degree in Organizational Development from Dallas Baptist University.

She writes Young Adult and New Adult Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy stories about ordinary women who do extraordinary things, become a heroine, and find love along the way.

Author Links:
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GIVEAWAY:
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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (78)


 Stacking The Shelves, a weekly meme from Tynga's Reviews
where I list what I've read, what I've reviewed, what I've acquired
and anything else worth mentioning
  • Cookie Girl Christmas by Christene Houston
  • Tattoo Thief by Heidi Joy Tretheway
  • Starstruck by Brenda Hiatt
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
  • Two Weeks to Remember by Betty Neels
  • Heartless by Gail Carriger
  • Tempt by Cambria Hebert
  • The Alpha Meets His Match by Georgette St. Clair
  • Let it Snow by Erica Ridley - review to come
  • Dangerous Secrets by Abbie Zanders
  • Stone Solitude by A.C. Warneke
  • Closer by Sarah Greyson
  • Tank by M Malone
  • Burns So Bad by Anne Marsh
  • Full Contact by Sidney Halston
  • Spark by Jennifer Ryder
  • In His Keeping by Maya Banks - recommend and review to come
  • The Headstrong Ward by Jane Ashford
  • After Midnight by Sarah Grimm
  • A Christmas Promise by Alexx Andria
  • His Risk to Take by Tessa Bailey


Watch Me (Dark Obsession, #1)

4 Star Review


*Book image property of Microsoft  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (75) Heartless



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read(s)
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) -- or less or more -- “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
"Follow that porcupine."
"Certainly, madam." In his years of service to Lord Maccon, the poor man had received far more ludicrous requests.'
"

page 239, Heartless by Gail Carriger

Friday, December 19, 2014

{Chapter Reveal + Giveaway} I Heart Robot by Suzanne van Rooyen #M9BFridayReveals


M9B-Friday-Reveal
Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we are revealing the first chapter for

I Heart Robot by Suzanne van Rooyen

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
I Heart Robot
Sixteen-year-old Tyri wants to be a musician and wants to be with someone who won’t belittle her musical aspirations.
Q-I-99 aka ‘Quinn’ lives in a scrap metal sanctuary with other rogue droids. While some use violence to make their voices heard, demanding equal rights for AI enhanced robots, Quinn just wants a moment on stage with his violin to show the humans that androids like him have more to offer than their processing power.
Tyri and Quinn’s worlds collide when they’re accepted by the Baldur Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. As the rift between robots and humans deepens, Tyri and Quinn’s love of music brings them closer together, making Tyri question where her loyalties lie and Quinn question his place in the world. With the city on the brink of civil war, Tyri and Quinn make a shocking discovery that turns their world inside out. Will their passion for music be enough to hold them together while everything else crumbles down around them, or will the truth of who they are tear them apart?
add to goodreads
Title: I Heart Robot
Publication date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Suzanne van Rooyen
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Excerpt

Tyri

If today were a song, it'd be a dirge in b-flat minor. The androids cluster around the coffin, their false eyes brimming with mimetic tears. They were made to protect and serve their human masters, to entertain and care for us. Now, just one generation later, we toss them in the trash like nothing more than broken toasters.
The androids huddle in a semicircle, four adults and a child droid with synthetic curls. They all look so human; their grief real even if their tears aren't. The two male-droids are even good looking in that chiseled, adboard model kind of way. They're a little too perfect. With their machine strength, they lower the cardboard box into the dirt and the child droid begins to sing. His exquisite voice shatters like crystal in my ears, heartbreaking.
Asrid and I shouldn't be here—the only two humans amongst the machines—but I loved Nana. I loved her before I knew better than to feel anything for a robot. It doesn't matter how attached you get. A robot can never love you back, regardless of how human their advanced AI might make them seem.
“Why're they burying it anyway?” Asrid mutters beside me. My friend doesn't wear black to the funeral, refusing to acknowledge the passing of my nanamaton, an android that always seemed more like a mom and less like an automated child-minder.
“Should be sending it to the scrap heap. Isn't this against regulation?” Asrid's face scrunches up in a frown, marring her impeccable makeup. She’s a peacock amongst ravens, and I’m a scruffy crow.
“Nana was like a mother to me. I'll miss her.” Tears prick the corners of my eyes as the coffin disappears into the earth, and the droid keens a eulogy.
“I know you will, T.” Asrid gives me a one-armed hug.
Svartkyrka Cemetery is losing the battle to weeds. Human tombstones from back when there was real estate for corpses lie in crumbling ruin covered in pigeon poop. No one gets buried anymore—there's no space and, anyway, it's unsanitary.
“Can we go now?” Asrid hops between feet to fight off the chill. Autumn has shuffled closer to winter, the copper and russet leaves crunching beneath our shoes. The leaves look like scabs, a carpet of dried blood spilling into the open earth. Fitting for my nanamaton's funeral, but robots can’t bleed.
“Sure, we can go.”
Asrid wends her way toward the parking lot as I approach the grave. Nana loved yellow anemones, said they were like sunshine on a stick.
“Hope there’s sunshine where you are now, Nana.” I drop a single flower into the ground and wipe away the tear snailing down my cheek. Why Nana chose to permanently shut down and scramble her acuitron brain, I can only guess. Perhaps living in a world controlled by groups like the People Against Robot Autonomy, PARA for short, became too much for her.
“Sorry for your loss,” the child droid says in a tinkling voice.
“Thank you for letting me know,” I say.
“She would've wanted you to be here.” The other nanamaton, gray haired and huddled in a trench coat, doesn't meet my gaze.
I stuff my mitten-covered hands into the pockets of my jacket and hunch my shoulders against the chill. You'd think the universe might have had the courtesy to rain given the sullen occasion, but the sun perches in an acid blue sky.
“Tyri, you coming?” Asrid shouts from the gate, remembering too late that we're supposed to be stealthy. Government regulation stipulates cremation for humans and scrap heaps for robots. If the authorities discover us committing metal and electronics to the earth instead of recycling, Asrid and I will be fined. The robots will be decommissioned on the spot.
“I’m so sorry,” I whisper to the androids before turning away. Their artificial gaze follows me, boring into my back sharp as a laser.
“Botspit, I'm hungry. I could gnaw on a droid. Where're we going to lunch?” Asrid ignores the dead and grieving as if none of it exists.
“I think I'll just go home.”
“Come on, T. I know she was your Nana but she was just a robot, you know.”
Just a robot! Nana changed my diapers. My first day of kindergarten, Nana held my hand. When I came home from school, Nana made me cocoa and sat helping me with homework. Nana cooked my favourite dumpling dinner every Wednesday and made me double-chocolate birthday cake. Nana taught me how to tie my shoelaces and braid my hair. The day I turned sixteen, Mom decided we didn't need Nana anymore. She should've been decommissioned then, but Nana disappeared the day before Mom's M-Tech buddies came to kill her core and reprocess her parts.
“She was more than that to me,” I say.
“Ah, you're adorable.” Asrid casts nervous glances across the lot. Satisfied no policemen lurk behind the bushes, she slips her arm through mine and drags me through the gate. The wrought iron is warped and daubed with rust. Marble angels stand sentinel, broken and stained by time. One misses a nose, and the other has lost a wing.
“You didn't say anything about my new bug.” Asrid pouts when we reach her vehicle. The hoverbug is neon pink, matching her shoes, handbag, and the ribbons holding up her blond hair. The 'E' badge that stands for Engel Motors looks more like a spastic frog than the angel it's supposed to represent.
“Is it meant to smell like cherries?” Even the plush interior is unicorn puke pink. I put on my sunglasses in case all that color stains my eyes.
“Yes, in fact.” Asrid flicks a switch and the engine purrs. “Slipstream Waffles.” She assumes that monotone voice she always uses when addressing machines.
The last thing I want is to sit on sticky vinyl in a noisy waffle house, indulging in sugar and calories served by permanently smiling droids on roller-skates.
“Take me home to Vinterberg.”
“Tyri, don't annoy me.”
“Sassa, Don't patronize me.” I give her the glare she knows better than to argue with.
“Vinterberg,” I say again and Asrid heaves a melodramatic sigh.
“Be boring. Going home to make love to your violin?”
“Why ask when you know the answer?” Nana's coffin lowering into the ground replays in my mind to a soundtrack in b-flat minor.
“How does Rurik put up with being the other love of your life?”
It's my turn to sigh. Rurik doesn't really put up with it or even understand why I love music so much. But then, I don't understand why he gets so hung up on politics, and I definitely don't understand why he didn't show up for Nana's funeral when he knows how much she meant to me.
“We manage.” I stare out the tinted windows at the darkened scenery whipping past.
The hoverbug takes the quickest route, zipping along the street ways that skirt the chaotic center of Baldur. The jungle of concrete and steel thins out into a tree-shrouded suburb studded with modest brick homes. Rurik calls my redbrick bungalow quaint, and it is, complete with flower boxes and a patch of green lawn out back. It’s nothing at all like his dad's slick penthouse, all glass and chrome with a panoramic view of the city. The funny thing is, Rurik used to live right next-door till his mom had the affair and his dad became a workaholic, transforming the family business into an automotive empire.
The hoverbug slows and lands in my driveway.
“I'll call you later,” I say before disembarking.
“You heard anything yet?”
“No, but tomorrow is the last day so I'll hear soon.” I'm trying not to think about why it's taking so long to hear back after my audition for the Baldur Junior Philharmonic Orchestra.
“You'll get in T. I'm sure of it. You're brilliant.”
Asrid's words make me smile despite the morbidity of the day. She waves and the hoverbug zooms off, leaving me in the rustling-leave calm of Vinterberg.
I press my thumb to the access pad and the front door hisses open. Mom's at work like always. Taking off my coat and shoes, I whistle for Glitch. She pads into the hallway, her face lopsided from sleep. She stretches and sits down with a decisive humph as if to say, 'Well, human, I'm here. Now, worship me.' And I do.
“Hey my Glitchy girl.” I fold my cyborg Shiba Inu into my arms and sweep her off the floor. Her mechatronic back leg sticks out straight and stiff, the rest of her soft and warm. She licks my ear, one paw on my forehead.
“Good afternoon, Tyri. Would you like some refreshments?” Miles whirs out of the kitchen into the hallway. He's nothing like Nana, just a bipedal mass of electronics and metal with assorted appendages capable of mundane tasks. He doesn't even have eyes, only a flashing array of lights. Despite Mom designing a new generation of androids for M-Tech, we can't afford the new model housebot. Maybe it's better this way. I don't feel much for our bot, but I dubbed him Miles. It seemed to fit.
“Would you like some refreshments?” he repeats.
“Tea and a sandwich.” I carry Glitch into my bedroom at the back of the house. Glitch leaps from my arms, landing on the bed where she curls up in a knot of black, white, and tan fur amongst my pillows.
Still in my black lace skirt and corset, I stretch and flex my fingers. Twisting the cricks from my neck and rolling my shoulders, I ease out the graveyard tension. My violin lies in a bed of blue velvet, waiting for my touch. With the strings in tune and the bow sufficiently taut, the instrument nestles against my jaw as if I was born with a gap there just for the violin. It completes me.
I warm-up my fingers, letting them trip over the strings as my bow arcs and glides. Then I'm ready to play: Beethoven's Kreutzer violin sonata in A major, Nana's favorite. Glitch's ears twitch back and forth. She raises her head to howl but thinks better of it, yawning and curling back into sleep.
The frenzied opening of the sonata segues into a melancholy tune and in the brief moment of calm, my moby warbles at me. I have mail. I try to ignore the distraction and play through the screeching reminder of an unread message, but it might be the one I've been anticipating.
Vibrating in my hand, the moby blinks at me: One unread email. Subject: BPO audition.
“This is it, Glitchy.”
She raises her head as I sit beside her. One hand buried in her fur, I open the email. The words blur together, pixelate and run like wet ink across the screen. Disbelief makes my vision swim. I have to read the message several times over to make sure I haven't misunderstood.
“Codes! I got in.” Blood warms my cheeks as I whisk Glitch into my arms, spinning her around before squeezing her to my chest. She does not approve and scratches at me until I drop her back on the bed. Miles enters with a tray of tea and neat triangular sandwiches.
“Miles, I got in! I'm going to play for the junior BPO. This is amazing.” I'm jumping up and down.
Miles flashes orange. “Could not compute. Please restate.”
“I'm going to play for the best junior orchestra in the country. This could be my chance to break into the scene, to meet all the right people, and make an impression!” My one chance to escape the life already planned for me by Mom. The last thing I want to be is a robot technician.
Miles keeps flashing orange. “Apologies, Tyri. Could not compute, but registering joy.” His visual array flashes green. “Happy birthday!” He says in his clipped metallic voice before leaving the room.
I clutch the moby and read the email another ten times before calling Mom. I reach her voicemail, and my joy tones down a notch. I don't want to talk to another machine, so I hang up and call Rurik instead.
“Hey, Tyri. Now's not a good time. Can I call you back later?”
“I got in,” I say.
“To the orchestra?”
“Yes!”
“That's great.” He doesn't sound half as happy as I am.
“Thanks, I'm so excited, but kind of scared too—”
“T, I'm just in the middle of something. I'll call you back in a bit, okay?” He hangs up, leaving me babbling into silence.
Deflated, I slump onto the floor and rest my head on the bed. Glitch shuffles over to give me another ear wash, delicately nibbling around my earrings. I should've known Rurik would be busy getting ready to go to Osholm University. Getting a scholarship to the most prestigious school in all of Skandia is way more impressive than scoring a desk in the Baldur Junior Orchestra. Still, I received better acknowledgment from the housebot than my boyfriend. I call Asrid.
“Hey T, what's up?” Asrid answers with Sara's high-pitched giggle in the background.
“I got in!”
“That's awesome, except I guess that means more practicing and less time with your friends, huh?” Asrid sounds genuinely put out, as if she’d even notice my absence when Sara's around. Codes, isn't there someone who could just be happy for me? Maybe Mom’s right, and I am being selfish wanting the “Bohemian non-existence” when I could have a “sensible and society-assisting” career in robotics.
“Sorry, I . . . thought you'd like to know.”
“I'm happy for you, Tyri. I know it's a big deal to you. Congrats. Seriously, you deserve this considering how hard you practice,” Asrid says, and Sara shouts congratulations in the background.
“Thanks, Sassa.”
“Hey, our food arrived. Chat later?”
“Sure.” I hang up and reach for my violin. Nana would've understood. She would've danced around the living room with me. She probably would've baked me a cake and thrown a party. Determined not to cry, I skip the second movement of Beethoven's sonata and barrel straight into the jaunty third. The notes warp under my fingers, and the tune slides into b-flat minor.
Two days until the first rehearsal. Maybe I’ll be able to do something different with my life; something that makes me happy instead of just useful.
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Suzanne van Rooyen
Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing, she teaches dance and music to middle schoolers and entertains her shiba inu, Lego. Suzanne is represented by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
The book will be sent upon the titles release.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (77) Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After #2) by Tessa Dare



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, created by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week I'm waiting on: 

Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After, #2)

Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After #2) by

Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and . . . and . . . ?

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She's inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride's cold feet?
● He starts with flowers. A wedding can't have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.

● He lets her know she'll make a beautiful, desirable bride—and tries not to picture her as his.

● He doesn't kiss her.

● If he kisses her, he definitely doesn't kiss her again.

● When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.

● And no matter what—he doesn't fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own. (Blurb via Goodreads)

Expected publication: December 30, 2014
What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (76)



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read(s)
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) -- or less or more -- “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
"Goodness. She's seen pictures of gods and soldiers and kings and other leaders of men, but she'd never actually felt the impulse to follow one of the anywhere.
This one, though, she might consider following, even though that way led to things a young lady should not be thinking of.
"

page 17, The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior by Megan Frampton

Monday, December 15, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (59)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme from Book Journey where we spotlight what we finished reading, are currently reading and plan to read next.
{Finished Reading}

Keep Me Safe (Slow Burn, #1)Watch Me (Dark Obsession, #1)

{Currently Reading}

Princess Ever After (Royal Wedding, #2)
The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

{Currently Listening To}

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)

{What I'm Going to Read Next} 

The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior (Dukes Behaving Badly, #1)


What about you? What have you read lately? What's next on your list?