Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Belgrave Daughter

Today, we here at All Booked Up YA are pleased to introduce our readers to Zara Hoffman's debut novel, The Belgrave Daughter!  Let me just start off by telling you that this book has it all (at least in my mind): magic, romance, angels, demons, Eeeee!  I won't lie, there are definitely parts where I could tell that this was Hoffman's first novel, but this is easily looked over because the core of her writing is amazing!  I CANNOT wait for the rest of the series.  This new author definitely has some major potential!  We here at All Booked Up YA are eager to keep our eyes on this one!

The Septemgeminus Prophecy states: "A powerful sorceress with blood laced in gold sevenfold shall determine the fate of the world." 
Fawn Belgrave's magical powers are the coveted prize in a bet between God and the Devil. 
When she meets Caleb, the dark angel assigned to seduce her, Fawn's life is turned upside down.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Guardians Review + Guest Post + Giveaway!

So today is a pretty amazing day!  Today, we had a chance to participate in The Guardian's Blog Tour!  We're so happy to have brilliant writer T.M. Franklin participate and guest post for us as well as a giveaway!!  This is our first official guest post and from one of our fav writers! 

Before we get the guest post, please let me tell you that if you have yet to read the MORE series, you are missing out! 

The Guardians (More, #2), is the second book in the More series that follows our main protagonist, Ava, who’s life is . . . complicated.

After all, it’s not every day a girl learns she’s not entirely human, or unlocks hidden powers strong enough to make even the First Race sit up and take notice. After surviving an attempted kidnapping and standing up to the Race’s Ruling Council, Ava Michaels returns to college and what she hopes is a normal life. But Ava quickly realizes that for her, normal may not even exist anymore.

In fact, the Council wants her under their control, and they’re not the only ones. The mysterious Rogues have a plan of their own, and it turns out Ava’s a big part of it, whether she wants to be or not.

On top of that, her new relationship is tested in ways she never expected. Her boyfriend, Caleb Foster, has disappeared—accused of betraying the Race—and Ava herself stands implicated in a crime she didn’t commit.

Clearing their names will mean uncovering a web of deceit and intrigue with Ava woven right in the center. To unravel the strands, she joins forces with some unlikely allies; a Protector who once haunted her nightmares, a young girl with secrets as unexpected as Ava’s, and a group of rebel Guardians who have their own fight against the Council.

Together they stand in a battle to find the truth, bring Caleb home, and secure Ava’s freedom—not to mention save her life.

Wow, if you think middle series books are typically mediocre, you are in for one crazy surprise with T.M. Franklin's The Guardians (More, #2)!  Okay, so seriously, T.M. Franklin is a master at world building!  She has taken the super human race concept to a new level and adds in a great mix of mystery and intrigue, action and romance that will completely capture readers and have them hanging on the edge of their seat until the very last page!  This book seriously has it all! The settings are familiar and yet unique and create a whole level of wonderment that will leave you breathless.

Let me just say, that I absolutely adore Ava and her boyfriend Caleb.  More really solidified the couple in my mind and while The Guardians continues their story, I would definitely not have complained if there had been a little more relationship building between the two of them.  Also, as far as supporting characters go, Most Improved is hands down awarded to Tiernan and Katherine.  I will be honest when I say that in the first book I really disliked Tiernan and Katherine, however their story develops quite nicely and I have grown quite fond of the pair, especially Tiernan.  :)

If you have not read More (More #1) yet, stop what you're doing and go pick up a copy and if you have had the privilege of reading the first do yourself a favor and add The Guardians (More, #2) to your collection!  You will NOT be disappointed!  I didn't think it was possible, but this one improves upon the first! 

Now on to the guest post...

Getting into the Writing Groove
By T.M. Franklin

People often ask what I do to get into the right mindset to write, and if I have any weird rituals to help me get into the mood. Well, I do have things that make me more comfortable and able to focus, but I don’t always have to wear the same shirt (gross!) or turn around three times before I sit down or anything (my dog does, though.)

Still, here are my Top Five Must-Haves to Get Into the Writing Groove.

1.  Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

To clarify, it doesn’t have  to be coffee, although I do prefer it in the mornings (fat free half and half and two Splendas, or a Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte for those keeping track.) I usually switch to Diet Coke in the afternoon, and in the summertime it’s really strong iced tea or iced coffee.

But yeah. Caffeine is a necessity, and I have to admit I drink a lot (read: too much) of it.

2. Quiet
A lot of authors have playlists they write to, even several different ones, depending on the mood they want to create. I’ve found I can’t write to music, though. I get too distracted singing along. Even with instrumentals, I hum, trying to find the harmonies, and before I know it I’m dancing around the kitchen instead of writing.

So no music for me. I love it, but not when I’m writing.

I can, however, write with the television on. I think it comes from years working in a TV newsroom with the constant noise of different competing channels and satellite feeds and police scanners surrounding me. It’s just white noise to me, and it actually helps me focus. Go figure.

3. An Outline

I’ve found I have to be organized if I’m going to get any writing done. I’m not a seat-of-your-pantser when it comes to writing. I need to have a detailed outline, even broken down into scenes with notes to help me along. This way, even if I’m not feeling particularly inspired, I can push myself through, because I know where the story’s going. I can always go back and fix it later, but getting those words down is the most important thing, at least for the initial draft.

4. A Motivator

To go along with number 3, I need a deadline. I need a daily or weekly goal. I need to have accountability. Otherwise, I’ll procrastinate until the very last minute. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has been a big help to me as far as this is concerned. The goal to write 50,000 words in a month, 1,667 words a day, is really a great motivator. In fact, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo right now – so stop by and keep me on my toes!

5. A Friend (or Two or Three…)

And speaking of motivators and accountability, I love a good Word Challenge (WC.) I have a lot of writing friends and I’ll often meet up with one or more of them in a chat room and we’ll just write for an hour or two and compare word counts at the end of that time. Sometimes we’ll share a little snippet of what we wrote and give each other feedback.

It’s a great way to encourage one another, and to keep yourself on target for that limited amount of time. I’ll even turn off all social media during a WC (gasp!) so I can completely focus.

So there you have it. Nothing too strange. No dancing under the full moon or writing in my underwear. Just keeping alert, keeping organized, and keeping motivated with the help of some friends.

What do you do to stay focused? Share your tips in the comments!

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Of Neptune

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

Today is an exciting day, because today is the day that I am announcing that I am EAGERLY awaiting the release of Anna Banks' series finale, Of Neptune (The Syrena Legacy, #3)!  

The cover of this beauty was just recently released and really, wow!  STUNNING!  Looks very similar and in line with Of Triton.  Where Emma is definitely in charge in Of Triton and the romance and lust builds, this cover definitely shows her more trusting and Galen more caring...not that he EVER was not caring, but he clearly would do anything for her (lucky).

Anyway, I know a lot of you are thinking, "What, a third?" But really, who can ever get enough of Galen!  Seriously!  Can it be 2014 yet?  There are SOOOOO many books I am waiting on!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Where art thou?

Greetings lovely readers!  

I have received a few emails from my lovelies wondering where I have been and so I feel I should update you all...we MOVED! :)  

That's right, we picked up and left the beautiful Portland, Oregon area and landed ourselves in the mile high city of Denver, Colorado!  It's beautiful here...and so sunny!  I'm really loving it so far!  We had quite an adventure as we road tripped it across 5 states and drove nearly 1,300 miles with our pup and kitty in tow!   

Whew, but we made it in one piece!  Most of our boxes have been unpacked (my books being one of the first to open) and we're nearly set up!  I have read a few AMAZING reads and need to update the good ol' bloggy blog and will in the next few days!  Thank you again for your readership and support!  Love to you all from the lovely state of Colorado!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Hunted: Cycle Thirteen: Book 1

8; That’s how old I was when I found out I was special. I was given my rose quartz gem and taught about my past. 13; That’s how many times I’ve lived in this world. This is my thirteenth life cycle as a human. 1; That’s how many seconds it took to fall in love with Mike. It’s also the amount of time I had to say goodbye just before he was killed by Reggie, the hunter that’s been after me. Will Reggie succeed in killing me too, and eradicating the planet of the unicorn race forever?

Jill Kaelin brings to life a magical story that breathes air into the oftentimes overlooked mystical creatures - Unicorns, in her recent release, Hunted: Cycle Thirteen: Book 1.  It's true that we've all read the ever popular vampire, zombie and witch and wizard novels but take a moment to add to your ever-growing collection a story about a teen unicorn-girl name Skye has a great secret and reveals to us a unique and intriguing unicorn culture and it's traditions that will leave you absolutely breathless!

This was such a unique story that you can't help but fall in love for the characters and really fall for Skye's conundrum.  Kaelin writing style will engage you from the first page until the last and races us to through this fantastical story that you nearly wish would slow just to let you catch your breath.  This is an exhilarating and original story that you will certainly not regret.  If you're looking for something new, do yourself a favor and pick up Hunted! 

About the Author:

  Since elementary school, I remember being in love with words.  Spelling them, writing them, reading them…I even hang them up around my house.  I think I owe my love of language to my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Templeton.  I can recall sitting around in a circle in that old, red-brick school, listening to her read aloud Greek mythology.  The oxymoron there was that she was the most prim and proper teacher I ever knew, right down to the white buttoned up blouse held together at the collar with a cameo pin.  The way she read made words come alive.
  I had written a few things here and there throughout my life.  I used to think I’d be good at children’s books, and it wasn’t a far stretch since I worked with children every day and knew what they liked.  But then I read the series by Stephenie Meyer, maybe you’ve heard of it…Twilight.  This was the type of story I knew I had to write.  Teenagers were my audience.  It helped I had one at home to learn from.
  My idea didn’t come in a dream.  No, I wasn’t that fortunate.  It happened through research.  And lots of it.  The only criteria I had was that I wanted my story to be different from everything else out there.  I wanted my story to stand out.  No vampires or werewolves.  No witches or wizards.  Unicorns were my choice.  And I think the story that unfolded is definitely unique.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Perfect Ruin

Ok, Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStephano is the opener to a new series that you will want to pick yesterday!  How to explain this's seriously a dash of Matched, a little Across the Universe and a hint of Castle in the Sky all rolled up into one!  DeStephano is a master at storytelling and weaves and exciting and addictive plot that will captivate and intrigue you until the very end. 

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:
On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil. 
Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.
For lovers of YA Dystopian (like me) this is definitely one to add to your collection.  Perfect Ruin really has all of the necessary elements for a great series.  Restrictive government, check.  Thoughtful and curious protagonist, check.  Dashing love interest who would go to the ends of the world for said protagonist, check.  A loyal sidekick, check.  Snarky, bantering with potential bad-boy that has you breaking all the rules, CHECK!  A plot twist that pushes protagonist into action?  CHECK! 

Okay, let's break it down and look at the setting, the characters and the plot/pacing.  First off, the setting is incredible.  I mean, imagine living your whole life on a floating island.  Think Hawaii but in the air, with a King who is hiding societal secrets.  Seriously, that's pretty incredible right there!  So much can happen and does happen on this little floating island.    No one can leave and no one can come to Internment.  Births are regulated and the elderly live out their lives and then give their lives as offerings once they hit a certain age to make way for new births.  Crazy right?! Wowza!  

So next, let's look at few these characters.  We have our protagonist, Morgan, the patrolman's daughter.  Sheltered from more than she should being that her father is a patrolman and works for the king and her brother Lex was a jumper.  Typical law abiding, rule following teen who strives to do right by her family and society.  Next we have Pen, Morgan's best friend and sidekick (although Morgan feels more like Pen's sidekick sometimes).  Pen excels at academics and watches out and protects Morgan.  She can be sassy at times, but Pen and Morgan really help balance each other out.  Then we have the adorable and wonderful Basil, Morgan's betrothed.   I seriously love him and his altruistic ways.  Basil, is that guy who would take a bullet for the ones he loves, who accepts Morgan, flaws and all...think Darcy from Bridget Jones's Diary.  Swoon!  And finally we have Judas...Judas, Judas, Judas.  I really hope he comes to life more in the next books.  He is that mysterious lurks in dark corners, you feel like he's watching you kind of guy.  He has a very hard exterior shell and rarely lets anyone in.  He clearly comes with baggage, but there is something about him... Love these teens, who are about to embark on this amazing adventure! 

The plot was amazingly written and so packed that reading Perfect Ruin was a breeze.  DeStephano certainly excels at detail and no detail is spared.  Everything is so eloquently written that readers can feel the cool night breezes, and the dust on the streets.  Seriously, this book has all the makings for a wonderful series ahead.  I could not put this book down.  There were some questions that never really were answered that I'm hoping DeStephano will address in the future novels, but overall, her writing style kept me engaged through the entire read.  What a whirlwind of action, adventure and discovery!  Add this one to your TBR piles and enjoy!  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thirsting For Thursday: THE ONE by Kiera Cass

Okay, so did you guys catch the latest cover reveal this morning?  In case you missed it check out MTV Hollywood Crush's reveal of Kiera Cass' finale in her beloved series, The One (The Selection #3)!  Can we just all take a moment of silence and bask in the wonderfulness that is this cover?!  Well more like breathless.  I want that NOW!  Is that America's WEDDING dress?!  I do personally love how her name is America and her cover dresses have now been all: red, white and blue.  But really, let's be honest I NEED that book more than I could ever want that dress!  This has been such a wonderful series and I, for one am eagerly awaiting this little beauty to adorn my shelf!  

Also exciting things to come in Feburary to help tide us over until the May 2014 release of The One is The Selection Stories: The Prince and the Guard that will be available February 4th, 2014! Another absolutely stunning cover!  So what are you waiting for?  Add these to your TBR shelf today!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Wowza!  If you’re looking for an tale of courage, adventure, a dystopian era of mutation and manimals and a hit of attraction and love, then pick up InHuman (Fetch #1) by Kat Falls today!   Falls weaves together a horrifically beautiful story of bravery and love that will keep readers guessing until the very end.  You will not want to put this down and when you turn that last page, you will thirst for more!

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:

In a world ravaged by mutation, a teenage girl must travel into the forbidden Savage Zone to recover lost artifacts or her father’s life is forfeit.
America has been ravaged by a war that has left the eastern half of the country riddled with mutation. Many of the people there exhibit varying degrees of animal traits. Even the plantlife has gone feral.
Crossing from west to east is supposed to be forbidden, but sometimes it’s necessary. Some enter the Savage Zone to provide humanitarian relief. Sixteen-year-old Lane’s father goes there to retrieve lost artifacts—he is a Fetch. It’s a dangerous life, but rewarding—until he’s caught.
Desperate to save her father, Lane agrees to complete his latest job. That means leaving behind her life of comfort and risking life and limb—and her very DNA—in the Savage Zone. But she’s not alone. In order to complete her objective, Lane strikes a deal with handsome, roguish Rafe. In exchange for his help as a guide, Lane is supposed to sneak him back west. But though Rafe doesn’t exhibit any signs of “manimal” mutation, he’s hardly civilized . . . and he may not be trustworthy

Who wouldn’t want to read about an ordinary girl who breaks boundaries and expectations as she falls into a world that seemed only scary bedtime stories but ended up being more real than she would ever guess?  Falls builds amazing characters who each have their own story of perseverance, heart and survival.  I personally loved Lane’s story!  She is a girl like any of us, having her friends, going to parties and wrapped up in what others think of her or how she might appear (addicted to hand sanitizer).  Then her life shifts and instead of cowering or crying, she takes action and really steps up to stand up for herself and her beliefs.  This is an excellent coming of age story where our heroine really takes life by the horns and demands notice.  Even the secondary characters add unexpected depth to the already rich landscape. 

Falls also excels at building a rather believable and heart wrenching love triangle.  I know, I know, ANOTHER love triangle?!   It’s been done time and time again, but really, I fell for the two boys.  I mean what girl doesn’t love a choice?  Both Rafe (selfish and rugged) and Everson (upstanding, book smart soldier) are incredible young men…incredible but total polar opposites!  The relationship between Rafe and Lane starts off rocky and I honestly really enjoyed the witty banter back and forth, I mean who loves a guy who just falls into your lap.  There is definitely something to be said for the boy who has a rough exterior that takes a while to break into…but let me tell you, once you break that tough outer shell, you are rewarded with discoveries of the past and a love that goes beyond attraction…a love that has been in the making for years.  You can start swooning now!

The pace of this novel is fast, which makes this a quick read.  Perfect for a commute or a beach day or a weekend away.  Add this to your to read list today and hang on tight through this thrilling ride!  This might be the first Kat Falls book but I will definitely be reading more in the future!