Monday, June 30, 2014

The Book Blogger Buzz Tour

Hey everyone! I'm going to be a part of this really cool tour this month. I hope you check it out. :)

The Book Blogger Buzz Tour is coming here!

Starting in July, a group of book bloggers are uniting together to talk books, blogging and everything in between. All sorts of book bloggers, all kinds of topics! We don't discriminate. And we want you to join the discussions! Follow the tour, join in on the conversation and maybe even win a Kindle Fire or equal Amazon GC or Paypal cash. Winners choice.

Book Bloggers promoting Book Bloggers!

It all beings July 1st!
I'm a particpating blogger!
Follow the Tour:

07/01/14 .............................................................. Mama Kitty Reviews appearing on Me & Reading
Topic: Reading for Enjoyment vs. Reading for Reviewing - the difference in the reading for enjoyment and the toll that reading review copies had done to our hobby.

07/02/14 .............................................................. Me & Reading appearing on Contagious Reads
Topic: Why are you a reader?

 07/03/14 .............................................................. Raw Books Online appearing on Delicously Wicked Books Topic: What I look for in the book blogs I follow

07/04/14 .............................................................. Reading is my Treasure appearing on Jenna does Books
Topic: What YA has taught me / how it has affected my life

07/07/14 .............................................................. Chapter Break appearing on Reading with ABC 
Topic: Ten reasons you CAN'T read and you are dying on the inside.

07/09/14 .............................................................. Contagious Reads appearing on Reading Black & White 
Topic: Organization tips and tricks

07/10/14 .............................................................. Second Run Reviews appearing on Bibliognome 
Topic: Books you feel need more attention. A top ten list. Tell why you think they need to be read by everyone.

07/11/14 .............................................................. Fiktshun appearing on Once Upon a Twilight 
Topic: Rant: Things you wish others would stop "judging" other book bloggers on

07/14/14 .............................................................. Bibliognome appearing on Chapter Break Topic: You've been asked to write a short story starring a gnome character, what would the gnome be named and how would the story go?

07/15/14 .............................................................. Gwynn White appearing on Reading is my Treasure 
Topic: What last books in a trilogy or series do you wish you had never read? Why?

07/16/14 .............................................................. Reading with ABC appearing on Ali's Bookshelf Reviews 
Topic: Your Favorite Blogger Moment. Recount it.

 07/17/14 .............................................................. Reading Black & White appearing on My Midnight Fantasies
Topic: What are those wonderful things you see in other blogger's reviews and think are wonderful? Or what do you like to see in other blogger's reviews?

 07/18/14 .............................................................. Ali's Bookshelf Reviews appearing on Second Run Reviews
Topic: Your Biggest Blogger Fail. Recount it.

 07/21/14 .............................................................. Parajunkee appearing on Midnyte Reader
Topic: Are you creative or just depressed? A mental survival guide for bloggers.

 07/22/14 .............................................................. Delicously Wicked Books appearing on Stephanie's Book Reports Topic: After Fifty Shades. What's the next big thing?

 07/23/14 .............................................................. Stephanie's Book Reports appearing on Raw Books Online
Topic: What trends do you hope are popular next in Romance/Erotica?

 07/24/14 .............................................................. Janelle Reads appearing on Parajunkee
Topic: What trends do you want to see next in book blogging?

 07/25/14 .............................................................. Midnyte Reader appearing on Harlequin Junkie Topic: Audiobooks vs. ...regular books?

07/28/14 .............................................................. Jenna does Books appearing on Fiktshun
Topic: Hardcover vs. Paperback

07/29/14 .............................................................. Once Upon a Twilight appearing on Gwynn White 
Topic: Rant: Things you wish other book bloggers would stop doing

07/30/14 .............................................................. My Midnight Fantasies appearing on Mama Kitty Reviews
Topic: My favorite animals to read about in fiction - or my favorite paranormal shifter characters and why.

07/31/14 .............................................................. Harlequin Junkie appearing on Janelle Reads
Topic: Dealing with your first negative review from an author you've enjoyed connecting with on social networks.  

Friday, June 27, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (25) ~ Ruin and Rising and Other Pretties

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we share what books we have recently added to our physical or virtual shelves.

My Haul
For My Kindle
Freebie
Mechanical by Pauline C. Harris
Boomerang (Part One: Chapters 1 - 19) by Noelle August

Purchased
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

For Review
Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
The Fall by Bethany Griffin

Salt & Storm is my first Little, Brown approval! (I did get Torn Away from them, but that was for a tour. It's not the same.) Now I'm just crossing my fingers for my other pending request to them. Thank you, Little, Brown and Netgalley. :)

Thank you to HarperTeen, Greenwillow Books, and Edelweiss for the other two e-arcs! I'm super exited to read both!

Bookshelf Additions

In the mail
UnWholly by Neal Shusterman (FINALLY. I've been meaning to get this one for forever.)
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima (I've been eyeing this series for years!)
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (So pretty . . .)
Weekly Wrap-Up

Read/Currently Reading
One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij (3 stars)
Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton (3.5 or 4 stars--I haven't decided yet)
Dark Days by Kate Ormand (3 stars)
Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis (I'm about halfway through this.)
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (I'm starting this after I schedule this post.)

Blog Posts
Tuesday
~ I posted a Top Ten Tuesday about book cover elements I've noticed in some 2014 covers.

~ I posted a random, fun gif post (my first one!) about reactions to cliffhanger endings. (Supernatural gifs dominate the post.)

Wednesday
~ I'm waiting on Lailah by Nikki Kelly

~ I helped reveal the new cover of Four Houses by Victoria Scott

~ I shared a excerpt on my stop of the Breaking Fences blog tour

Friday
~ I wrote a letter to Anna from Anna and the French Kiss for a Flashback Friday post

~ I helped reveal the cover of A Murder of Magpies by Sarah Bromley

~ I posted an excerpt and giveaway of One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij

My Week
UGGHHHH. I'm still behind in pretty much anything there is to be behind in. I procrastinated quite a bit this week. :/

The bright side: I've found a new obsession. :) Orphan Black is the best show I've seen in a LONG time. I start watching it at one in the morning and ran out of episodes somewhere close to five--the show was so good, I wasn't even tired!

This week was my tv week, it seems. Since my last STS post, I've watched Supernatural, Big Brother, So You Think You Can Dance, Rising Star, and of course, Orphan Black. This is rare for me to watch so many shows in one week. I haven't been into tv shows for a long time!

What's Happening This Week
Last week, I said I would have reviews, but I didn't write or post any. So, I'll just say that whatever is happening this week is a surprise! Maybe I can get stuff done if I don't try to commit to anything in advance.

How was your week? What books did you get?

One, Two, Three . . . Book Blitz ~ Excerpt + Giveaway


I recently read this one and I liked it! Enjoy the excerpt and giveaways. :)

One, Two, Three… by Elodie Nowodazkij
Publication date: June 26th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Kobo

Add to Goodreads
Synopsis:
When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love.

Last year, Natalya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.

But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her onetime prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.

At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present, and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell.

But when upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.

Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?

The shortcut to the lake from our home is a dirt road that isn’t well lit, but I know the way by heart. I hurry down the path, tuning my iPod to Chopin’s happier music. But I can’t drown out Mama’s voice. It resonates in my head. It’s my fault! I know she’s wrong because she’s not the one who killed him. I did. If only I didn’t get into an argument with him in the car. If only I had warned him about the truck. I bite back a sob and rip off my knee brace to walk even faster. At first, my knee is stiff, but at least I can extend my leg much better now.
Seeing the lake calms me down, soothes me. This place is always crowded in the summerbut on this crisp September night, there’s no one. The lights surrounding the area flicker, the tall trees leave interesting shadows on the ground, and a discarded pink umbrella stands next to the bench by the grilling area. I turn up the volume of my iPod even more, settle on the bench, and search through my backpack. My pointes show the wear and tear of the last years, and no matter how much I scrub, there’s one smudge that doesn’t want to go away.
Memories flash back when I slip them on: my father handing me a bouquet of lilies after each of my recitals, the crew from the School of Performing Arts sneaking out to get ice cream, the summers I spent on the raft at the lake with Becca and my babushka, the hours at the barre.
Everything’s gone.
Dancing’s always been my escape from reality: from the fights my parents had more and more often, from my babushka passing away all alone at the hospital because no one told me she was sick, from my fears of letting anyone get really close.
Dancing’s always been my future.
Dancing’s always been who I am. So even if I can’t dance like I used to, even if I can’t put too much pressure on my knee, I’m convinced I’ll train my way back to the top, that I’ll show Dr. Gibson and the rest of them that they got it wrong, when they said it was very unlikely I would ever go back on stage. Juilliard postponed my audition and the director of the School of Performing Arts said he was holding a spot for me if I wanted to come back. If I could come back.
I use the bench as my own personal barre, slowly bend my knees, keeping them over my toes. Grounding my heels on the ground, I stretch down as much as I can, but I don’t make it past a demi-plié. I warm up for ten minutes, losing myself in the familiar movements. The stars reflect on the water; it could be the perfect backdrop for a production of Swan Lake. I wish I could position myself for a grand jeté, feel the wind surround me as I fly into the air, but I know better than to jeopardize the progress Ive made. The last time I tried, my kneecap almost snapped again. Both my knees were smashed in the car crash, but my pivot leg suffered the most. 
I angle my feet for some small pas de bourrée. I go faster and faster, until I bump into a rock. Fear steals my breath away. I avoid landing on my leg and instead fall on my ass.

\
Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she'd never lose her French accent. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master's degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to her professors, she sometimes drafted stories in class. Now she lives in Germany with her husband and their cat (who doesn't seem to realize he's not human), and uses her commuting time to write the stories swirling in her head. She's also a serial smiley user.

Author links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook
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My Giveaway
- One (1) ebook copy of One, Two, Three . . . 
- Ends July 24th @ midnight PST
- I will contact winner via Twitter and/or email
- Winner will have 48 hours to claim his/her prize
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Tour Wide
-1 signed copy + $50 to either Amazon or B&N + $25 donation to the literacy project of their choice in donor.org
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Friday Cover Reveal (Guest Post + Giveaway) ~ A Murder of Magpies by Sarah Bromley

M9B-Friday-Reveal
Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

A Murder of Magpies by Sarah Bromley

presented by Month9Books!

This week's cover looks so cool! 

A MURDER OF MAGPIES cover art

Besides the dream of seeing your book in print, one thing so many authors daydream about is what the cover will look like. I come from an artistic background. My grandmother was a watercolorist, and I actually spent time in college as an art major before switching first to forensic pathology (don’t ask—it obviously didn’t last) and eventually English. As someone who’s visual, I was excited and, to be honest, nervous for what Month9Books would come up with as the design for the cover of A MURDER OF MAGPIES.

Georgia McBride asked for my input, which I know is rare because so often authors don’t get much say, if any, in their cover art, but I still didn’t know what to expect. Yet when I saw it, I adored my cover. How could there be any other cover for A MURDER OF MAGPIES? The design brings in details like the cobblestone roads of the book’s setting, Black Orchard, Wisconsin. I could imagine walking down that road in the fog and knowing someone was watching. The antique-style light plays off Vayda’s family’s business in the antiques trade as well as her ability to take emotion and turn it into electricity. Then the bird . . . I love the bird’s position as it is hunched over to peck at the ground as if uncovering a secret, and this is a story where everyone has secrets.


FINAL_ A Murder of Magpies_Bromley
Winter in Black Orchard, Wisconsin, is long and dark, and sixteen-year-old Vayda Silver prays the snow will keep the truth and secrecy of the last two years buried. Hiding from the past with her father and twin brother, Vayda knows the rules: never return to the town of her mother’s murder, and never work a Mind Game where someone might see.

No one can know the toll emotions take on Vayda, how emotion becomes energy in her hands, or how she can’t control the destruction she causes. But it's not long before her powers can no longer be contained. The truth is dangerously close to being exposed, placing Vayda and her family at risk.

Until someone quiets the chaos inside her.

Unwanted. That's all Ward Ravenscroft has ever been. To cope, he numbs the pain of rejection by denying himself emotions of any kind. Yet Vayda stirs something in him. He can't explain the hold she has on him--inspiring him with both hope and fear. He claims not to scare easily, except he doesn't know what her powers can do. Yet.

Just as Vadya and Ward draw closer, she finds the past isn't so easily buried. And when it follows the Silvers to Black Orchard, it has murder in mind.
Title: A Murder of Magpies
Publication date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Sarah Bromley
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Sarah Bromley lives near St. Louis with her husband, three children, and two dogs. She likes the quiet hours of morning when she can drink coffee in peace, stare into the woods behind her house, and wonder what monsters live there. When she's not writing or wrangling small children, she can be found volunteering at a stable for disabled riders.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads




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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Flashback Friday / Guilt Letters to the TBR ~ Anna and the French Kiss

Flashback Friday on Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare
This is a new meme hosted by Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare! It is a way to highlight older books (published at least two years ago) that we've read and loved or have been sitting on our TBR for a long time.

I realized this idea would work perfectly with a feature idea of mine where I write letters to books that I've been meaning to read or characters that I've yet to meet. I'm calling them my Guilt Letters to the TBR (title inspired by Love Letters to the Dead). I chose Anna from Anna and the French Kiss to write my first letter to.
(Click on the picture to go to Goodreads.)
Anna has everything figured out - she was about to start senior year with her best friend, she had a great weekend job, and her huge work crush looked as if it might finally be going somewhere... Until her dad decides to send her 4383 miles away to Paris. On her own.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna finds herself making new friends, including Etienne, the smart, beautiful boy from the floor above. But he’s taken – and Anna might be too. Will a year of romantic near-missed end with the French kiss she’s been waiting for?

Magical…really captures the feeling of being in love.” – CASSANDRA CLARE

“Very sly. Very funny. Very romantic. You should date this book.” - MAUREEN JOHNSON
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Anna,

I must apologize. Your story was published all the way back in 2010 and it has been on my bookshelf for almost a year now, and I still (for reasons unknown to even me) have yet to actually read it.

Anna and the French Kiss looks like such a sweet, romantic read that I would just adore. It seems like the type of contemporary that I would read from cover-to-cover in one sitting because it's just so darn addictive. I love those books! I just get so sucked in by the story and the romance and the sweetness (or sometimes bitterness) of it all.

I've heard so many amazing things about your story. I lot of people have said its an amazing contemporary and many people have mentioned how its set in Paris. The most I hear is about the romance, though. A lot of my fellow booklovers call Etienne St. Clair their book boyfriend (does that bother you at all--the fact that so many women love him?) and I'm feeling a little left out. I can only imagine that he is a great guy. Why else would the story about you two be written? Apparently he's very swoon-worthy . . . and I have to admit that I'm very curious about that. 


Writing this letter makes me wonder why on earth I haven't read your story yet. I guess I tend to push off reading amazing sounding books. (I know--that's a stupid thing to do.) It's only a matter of time until I finally read it. I've even ordered Lola's story and downloaded a sampler of Isla's because I'm sure that I'll love reading yours.

I'm looking forward to reading about your romantic story. :)


Sincerely,






P.S. Here are some things other people are saying about your story on Twitter:





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Please let me know if you liked the letter format! It's something fun that I want to keep doing for various books. (They won't always be posted with this meme. Many may be posted apart from Flashback Friday and they may either be posted alone or with other letters. It depends on whether you like them or not.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Breaking Fences Tour ~ Excerpt + Giveaway


Welcome to the Breaking Fences book tour! I am sharing an excerpt with you today as well as a tour wide giveaway. Enjoy. :)

Check out the other stops on the tour schedule

Breaking Fences (The Breaking Series, #2)
by Juliana Haygert

Genre: NA contemporary romance
Word Count: ~80,000
Release date: June 2014
Cover by: Okay Creations

Summary from Goodreads:
All Beatriz “Bia” Fernandes wants is to prove herself—to her family and friends—though it’s hard to prove anything with an overbearing father and three famous polo-playing older brothers. After her acceptance into college results in a heated family argument, the Brazilian girl leaves everything behind to find her own American dream.

College life away from home is perfect until the people she believes to be her friends turn on her. With lies and rumors threatening to suffocate her, Bia turns to her only freedom. Riding.

But one thing gets in the way of her escape. Garrett Blackwell and his bad cowboy attitude. Working at the ranch is his obligation, bugging Bia is his newfound hobby. His thick skin and easy grin don’t hide what Bia already knows—this misunderstood and lonely cowboy fights his own demons. Brushing horses’ coats and mucking out stalls shouldn’t be this sexy, and it isn’t long before he becomes a part of her distraction.

However, escaping won’t solve her problems, and it’s up to Bia to break down the fences around her and prove her strength—not to her family and friends, but to herself … and for Garrett. Because standing on her own doesn’t have to mean standing alone.

** Companion novel of Breaking the Reins. Can be read out of order.**
Excerpt

********************************************************

“Time’s up,” Garrett shouted. 

I pulled the reins and slowed Midnight, steering him toward the men.

I leaned over the horse and patted his neck. “Good boy.” I stopped him in front of Garrett and smiled. “He’s amazing.”

Garrett nodded, his face serious, and Tom looked at me with a frown.

I was about to ask them what happened when Garrett’s cell phone beeped. He glanced at it and sighed.

“Delilah will be here in ten minutes,” he said, jumping off the fence. “Can you cool him down, please?”

“Yeah,” I said. He stalked off and I glanced at Tom. “Something wrong?”

“When isn’t something wrong?” Tom answered before following Garrett inside the stables.

What the hell?

Midnight nickered, bringing my attention back to him. “All right, big boy.” I slipped off him. “Let’s get you cooled down for your practice.”

I didn’t take him inside to a wash stall since he would be out here again in a few minutes. I just tied his reins to a fence post, took off his saddle, and turned on the hose on the outside of the stable.

As soon as the cold water hit his hot coat, he advanced on me, in a happy gait. I laughed and got out of his way. To let him play, I untied his reins and held them in my left hand, while I hosed him with the right one.

He nipped at my shirt, biting the edge, and pulled me closer.

I laughed. “Hey. Are you trying to get me wet too?”

He nickered and I laughed louder. He tried nipping at me again and I stepped aside, turning around to escape him, and saw Garrett leaning in the stable’s doorway, watching us with his arms crossed.

That caught me by surprised, and I came to an abrupt halt, facing him. He held my stare, his expression impassive. I didn’t get him. Half an hour earlier, I could swear he was flirting with me, and now he was distant and looking at me as if I had stolen something from him. 

Midnight poked his muzzle on my waist, tickling me, and I laughed again. I pushed Garrett out of my mind and turned to the horse.

We played with the water for a while, and he did manage to get my legs soaked. Droga, I didn’t have any other jeans with me. Next time, I would bring a couple of extra pants, boots, and tops.

I was about to turn off the hose when Midnight bit my shirt again and pulled me back, away from the faucet.

I laughed. “Come on, big boy. We have to get you ready.”

“What’s going on?”

A chill wave rushed through me. Midnight let go of me and neighed.

I turned around and found Delilah tapping her foot on the ground, her hands on her waist, and her blue eyes about to murder me.

“I asked, what’s going on? What are you doing with my horse?”

“I was helping Garrett. He asked me to cool Midnight down before your practice.” I walked to her, pulling the horse with me. He snorted, not wanting to come, but I jerked the reins with force. I offered her the reins. “Here. He’s all yours.”

She took the reins, still looking at me as if she was going to jump at my throat at any moment.

“Excuse me.” She took a step closer, expecting me to move from her away. Oh, there was plenty of space by my sides. I jutted my chin out and didn’t move.

With a huff, Delilah walked around me, keeping her eyes on mine until she couldn’t turn her neck any farther.

I watched as she marched to the other side of the arena, fighting with Midnight all the way. He didn’t want to go with her, but she pulled him hard and hissed at him. That was no way to treat a horse.

Garrett was going after her, but before walking on, he paused by my side and offered me a hand towel.

“You’ve got some balls,” he said, his lips turned up.

I smiled, using the towel to dry a little of my pants. “I rather think I don’t.” He chuckled low, and I swear he almost smiled. Shaking his head, he said, “Gotta make sure the princess is well attended.” He tipped his hat and followed his half-sister to where the jumping poles were set up. 
********************************************************

Add Breaking Fences to Goodreads

Add Breaking the Reins to Goodreads

Buy Links for Breaking Fences:
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks




New Adult author and contributor at NA Alley blog.

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.


Author Links:


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Cover Reveal ~ Four Houses by Victoria Scott

As a member of the V Mafia (Victoria Scott's street team), I get to help reveal the new cover of Four Houses today! It was designed by Jeremy West of Red Creative Design. He did a pretty good job, didn't he? This short story was originally published in 2011, but is being re-released.

Here's the cover! What do you think?

Four Houses by Victoria Scott
Originally published in 2011
Extended version releases July 22nd, 2014
add to goodreads
Goodreads Description:
A frightened girl. 

An empty field. 

Four houses. 

Which house would you choose?
FOUR HOUSES is a dark short story told in an unusual format that leaves readers wondering how they'd react if found in the same situation as seventeen-year-old Maddy.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (25) ~ So Many Creepy Hands

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

What am I waiting on?

Lailah by Nikki Kelly
Releasing October 7th, 2014 by Feiwel and Friends
Goodreads description:

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is. 
 Why am I waiting on it?
I've been so curious about this one ever since I first saw the cover. It's just so . . . creepy. Creepy but so intriguing. Plus, a few of my blogger friends have read this and they really enjoyed it! I'm so excited for it!

That's my WoW this week! What's yours?