october 2014 playlist

Oct 31, 2014

octahate // ryn weaver
you're not alone // owl city x britt nicole
medicine // the 1975
pretend // tinashe x a$ap rocky
take me over // tim white x erica gibson
be easy // ghost loft
new eyes // clean bandit x lizzo
ain't been done // jessie j
i can't stop drinking about you // bebe rexha
first flight home // jake miller
broken ones // jacquie

♥ happy halloween! ♥

Marie Lu's The Young Elites Signing | El Dorado Hills, CA

Oct 17, 2014

Marie Lu stopped by El Dorado Hills on her The Young Elites book tour yesterday at the beautiful indie bookstore Face in a Book, and safe to say, with how many readers came by to support and meet Marie herself that it was a fun and successful event. While many of us were locals, there were some dedicated fans who drove all the way from the Bay Area (2 hours away). Marie shared about the series, it's characters, and inspirations. She also answered fan questions and signed as well as took pictures with readers. It was a fun night with Marie and fellow readers, getting to know more about the book, characters, and Marie herself.

Also, congrats on making NYT bestsellers list, Marie Lu and The Young Elites!

Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Fantasy, Dystopia

Address: Face in a Book
4359 Town Center Blvd
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

{Story Diary} Between the Stars and Sky by David James

Oct 15, 2014


Welcome to my stop on the Between the Stars and Sky blog tour, hosted by Crazy Book Chicks! I found another gem in form of Between the Stars and Sky by David James, which recently released, so of course I had to create a story diary for it. Enjoy, and thank you for stopping by! And don't forget to enter the giveaway below!

BETWEEN THE STARS AND SKY is a vivid contemporary novel from Young Adult author David James.
Lyrical and romantic, BETWEEN THE STARS AND SKY is a heart-stopping, contemporary read for fans of Maggie Stiefvater and David Levithan.

between the stars and sky david james ingram ya contemporary romance
Between the Stars and Sky by David James
Young Adult Contemporary Romance
September 30, 2014 from Ingram

In the small, lakeside town of Huntington, the Firelight Festival marks the end of summer. A time to laugh, to live, to love. And for Jackson Grant, it is a chance to begin again.

But there is a darker side to the Firelight Festival, a deadly tradition known as the Firelight Fall. A secret game. A legendary lie. A test of bravery. Those who fall risk everything, and Jackson is on the edge. Until he meets a girl who pushes him over.

For Jackson, falling for Sarah Blake might be as dangerous as jumping in the Firelight Fall. As summer burns away, Jackson and Sarah ignite an unstoppable love game. For her, his heart is on fire. And soon, Sarah shows him life, saves him from loss, and opens his heart to an infinite and wild love found between the stars and sky.

Lyrical and deeply romantic, Between the Stars and Sky is a poetic and heart-stopping read for fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and E. Lockhart.




Huntington is a fictional place, but to help you visualize the setting, David said it is similar to the setting in Gilmore Girls surrounded by mountains. [see example here]






*Setting and places are fictitious for the books purposes*

So The Firelight Festival was mentioned in the book description, and now you're probably wondering what the hell it is. Well, it's a mystery in itself until you read the (entire) book to get the full gist of it. But to ease your mind a little, I'll throw you a bone with a vague description straight from the book...

the firelight festival

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I have so many favorite quotes, but they're all the good ones, or ones you have to read in it's entirety in order to get it...and some are spoiler-y.

**Quotes are from an ARC, and are subject to change in final copy**

I don't even know how to write a review for Between the Stars and Sky, let alone explain what it's about. It's minimal but beyond complex in context. The story-telling is unique and this book means so much to me, even if it broke me to pieces. I highlighted the hell out of this book...even a sentence in the acknowledgements and note from the author. Is that weird? I bought another copy so I can have a clean copy too. It's definitely one of my favorites of the year. I'm taking it to the grave with me (morbid, I know. No surprise there.).

Between the Stars and Sky starts off with Jackson's introspection and self-reflection on life, family, loss, insecurities, love, heartbreak, memories, lies, fear, and the future. There's a lot of thought that goes into all of those throughout the book, with new things added or changed to his perspectives on those topics. At the start, we also get a glimpse of Jackson's relationship with his father, and memories of how it was with his mom. And Jackson returns to his hometown of Huntington after moving away a few years ago. He reconnects with a couple of old friends he left behind. Attempting to adjust back to the town he once called home, reuniting with old friends and rekindling an old flame, deciding whether to follow his dad instructions for what to do with his summer there, and trying to find himself and figure out life in general, thinking about his mom and the upcoming firelight festival.

Jackson is a dreamer, an artist who uses words, metaphors and symbolism as his paintbrush to express his insights and feelings. I don't know whether I want to climb inside Jackson or David's mind and live there forever. It made my mind explode with color. David James articulated metaphors and vivid imagery to convey emotions and to tell this story. David threw caution to the wind in the best way possible and defied the odds by not being afraid to show Jackson's sensitivity and vulnerability. It's often easy to forget that guys can feel so fiercely. Jackson's dad tells him that he lives in his head just like his mom did and that is true in every sense. As the story progresses, Jackson's journey of self-discovery goes into war with what is expected of him and where his heart truly lays.  Jackson colors outside the lines of life and love. He's unwilling to be confined by the worlds expectations.

The Firelight Festival is a mystery with history and meaning behind it for which I will not elaborate on; you'll just have to find out for yourselves, and don't worry, it'll be worth it. Basically what it is, is like an inside thing that only people in the circle knows. To take a quote from the book, "The Firelight Fall is something no one ever talks about but everyone knows." So the whole town is in on it, whether they participate or not, and us readers are the outsiders who don't really know what goes on until we learn about the story behind it all. There's another side of the significance to the Firelight Fall that no one tells until it is revealed in a journal from one who knows it inside and out, from one who lived it. It takes a while until we get the full extent of what exactly the Firelight Festival is.

About halfway in, I was chanting please don't let this be foreshadow what I think it will as if it were a spell or a prayer or something. And then the Firelight Festival came around, I got anxious and it turned out for a very good reason. You know where you have that gut feeling that something very wrong is about to happen? Well...trust your gut is all I have to say and be prepared for feels. What a way to tear my heart out. Buuuuut, David doesn't leave us that way, he finds a way to mend hearts back together. And boy did Jackson need that in the end.

Jackson and Sarah may be OTP, but Miles and Sean are ENDGAME, THAT IS ALL. Oh, and Jackson and Miles are brotp, of course.

Between the Stars and Sky is vivid, evocative, profound, lyrical, metaphysical, timeless, imaginative, atmospheric and painfully beautiful. . .a story of self-discovery, love, loss, hardships, the finer points that are often overlooked and everything in between and out of this world. Makes you pay attention to the finer details, the little things we overlook. There's a lot of life-lessons between the pages, each line. It is beautiful and sad and everything in between. It made me break out in smiles and tears all at once. I thought I was going to explode into a supernova or something. Between the Stars and Sky tells of not one, but of a thousand stories.

So...If you were invited to the Firelight Festival, would you jump? Who would you jump with? Who would you jump for?

between the stars and sky david james book review

I received an ARC provided by Crazy Book Chicks in exchange for an honest review and as a part of the blog tour. However, it does not influence my review nor am I being compensated. Thank you, Crazy Book Chicks, for having me on the blog tour!

[spotify id="spotify:user:wolfcubriot:playlist:2jylBsZfbbP43pNcDPJbNs" width="300" height="380" /]

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/103593817"]
"Rescue You" by Jake Epstein

[spotify id="spotify:user:wolfcubriot:playlist:57jPeMSXOp1rsKcQdD0Mfj" width="300" height="380" /]

**Playlist was picked by author David James but compiled on my Spotify account per David's permission and can be found in the back of the book**

[Image credit to Crazy Book Chicks]
[Image credit to Crazy Book Chicks]

David James writes books about stars and kisses and curses. He is the author of the YA novel, LIGHT OF THE MOON, the first book in the Legend of the Dreamer duet, as well as the companion novellas, THE WITCH'S CURSE and THE WARRIOR’S CODE. A Legend of the Dreamer anthology, SHADES OF THE STARS, was released July 2013, and includes the exclusive novella, THE ENCHANTER'S FIRE. The final book in the duet, SHADOW OF THE SUN, will be released in 2015. Living in Michigan, he is addicted to coffee, gummy things, and sarcastic comments. David enjoys bad movies, goofy moments, and shivery nights. Visit David’s blog at djamesauthor.blogspot.com and facebook at facebook.com/djamesauthor to learn more about his novels.

*On sale for 99cents on online retail sites. Sale ends 10/17*

Enter to win an e-copy of Between the Stars and Sky below! Giveaway ends 10/17.

Thanks for having me on the tour, Crazy Book Chicks, and thanks for stopping by!

{Story Diary} Lailah by Nikki Kelly

Oct 10, 2014

Nikki Kelly's debut novel Lailah released earlier this month, so of course I had to create a story diary for it! Learn about the world the characters live in, the creatures and the mythology behind them, read my spoiler-free review and favorite quotes, and Nikki Kelly stops by to share a little something with you! Yes, YOU, so stick around. And don't forget to put your vote in for #teamGabriel or #teamJonah in the polls!

lailah nikki kelly feiwel & friends ya paranormal fantasyLailah by Nikki Kelly
Young Adult Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

October 7, 2014 from Feiwel & Friends

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.


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Gaultiero is of Spanish or Italian origin, and it generally means "strong and powerful warrior" or "ruler of the army." Seems fitting in context of Lailah for a Gualtiero is a Pureblood whom creates second generation vampires, which makes them their master of sorts.


Did you know that styclar is an anagram of crystal? I see what you did there, Nikki. ;)

Let's give a warm welcome to Nikki, who stopped by to exclusively bring us on location with her to the South of France!

On Location — Neylis, South of France.

Lailah, Book1 in The Styclar Saga, features some amazing locations!

The Prologue opens in Lucan, Ireland, and in Chapter One we find our heroine in Creigiau, Wales.

As the story progresses the characters eventually travel down to the South of France.

I like to write about places I have seen for myself and experienced first hand, so naturally I made several trips to the South of France, where I split my time researching the beautiful settings and also utilized my evenings, writing a large chunk of the book!

To detail every single location, well, we would be here a while… so instead, for the purposes of this diary, I am going to show you some snap shots of the barn conversion, which the property in the book is based on, and also highlight just a few of the locations used as settings, in a whirl wind tour!

Our group arrive in Carcassonne Airport; they then journey for around 40minutes to a small village called Neylis. This is in fact a real village, which sits at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains. I picked this spot, because as it happens my Aunty and Uncle live here and have a beautiful barn conversion, where I got to stay! (I know I am a lucky girl!) This was great, as it meant I didn’t have to search far and wide for a residence, as their home provided plenty of inspiration in which to draw from! In fact it’s nearly identical, except for some creative add-ons such as the amount of bedrooms!

A little tour…

Entrance to the property: This is the approach to the front of their barn. The front door is actually just ahead of where the car is parked in this picture.

Lailah’s basement bedroom was the room I slept, and as you enter through the ‘front door’ it opens onto this room.

The ‘basement’ level consists of: utility, yoga room, and bedroom with a set of stairs leading up to the living room come kitchen on the ground level.

lailah nikki kelly tour
[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]

Ground Level:

You can see here where the stairs come out (far left), into the open plan living room, come kitchen—complete, of course, with sloping floorboards, as in the book.

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[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]

The sitting room, where our gang watch movies:

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[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]

Just off the kitchen there are several bedrooms and bathrooms, and yes, that rickety set of stairs in the story that leads to the ‘attic’ room, is very much real, including the lack of railing!

(And yes, I nearly did myself an injury trying to get up and down, on more than one occasion!)

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[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]

Reading room, which Ruadhan frequents!

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[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]

Attic room: This photo shows the aspect looking down to the ground floor, and currently has an additional bed for guests, but behind what you can see in this photo is another room, which is used for arts and crafts—the same room where Lailah and Jonah have a private conversation shortly after they arrive, including slanted loft windows that show the stars overhead at night.

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[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]

Outside in the gardens:

Patio area—again, same as in the book, but also where I did much writing!

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[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]

One of the seating areas:

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[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]

View from the top of the gardens looking down onto the property:

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[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]


During the visit I popped over to Mirepoix Market, where a scene in the book is set.

The main point of interest on this visit was the garish carvings set within the arches. Not only was the busting market a great backdrop, but also the carvings helped add an eerie feel to one of the specific scenes in which Lailah has a ‘vision’ and comes face to face with a very old friend…

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[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]

And of course, here is a look at the properties in the market, which are described as the gang approach. What I liked most was that the owners had painted the shutters in bright colours!

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[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]

And next to the market is St Maurice Cathedral, which Ruadhan visits.

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[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]

I have to include the Pyrenees Mountains! I don’t want to give away *spoilers! But Lailah does eventually make a journey up Monts d’Olmes and sits next to a lake overlooked by St Barthelemy and Galinat’s peaks. This is truly a magical spot, and the most perfect setting for the ending of the book!

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[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]

The lake used in the ending scenes:

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[Image credit: Nikki Kelly]

And that concludes this quick-fire, whirlwind mini tour!

Thanks for taking us on a tour, Nikki, it was fun! I'm thinking about checking out these places the next time I go back to France!

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[polldaddy poll=8368138]

So... Are you team Gabriel or team Jonah?


I can't say that I've read Lailah when it was first posted on Nikki's Wattpad, but I'm so glad that she got a book deal(s) out of it. Lailah takes on a different spin on the vampire mythology. So the vampires in Lailah are not tiresome like the majority we read and see lately. The world-building, creatures and their history are organic, so this is a refreshing paranormal read with a plot that sticks.

Cessie (aka Lailah) is having an identity crisis of sorts becomes a journey of self-discovery for our heroine, all the while being on the run from a greater force. She knows she can't be human. For one, she doesn't age and she can't stay dead. She's also having recollections of memories that doesn't feel like hers. Cessie seems to have a Bounty over her head. Someone(s) or something out there is out for Cessie and thus begins a series of events and an epic game of cat and mouse full of twists. Whoever wants her for reasons no one knows. A guardian of angel of some sorts that goes by the name of Gabriel, whom Cessie finds an inexplicable connection with, comes to Cessie's rescue and runs to find protection and possibly answers, and stumble upon a wounded vampire along the way with a story of his own. They get the sense that somethings brewing and facts (or lack thereof) aren't adding up. This journey proves difficult for Cessie due to the many layers of events and the poor decisions she makes along the way. Meanwhile there's an ominous creature lurking in the dark in the shadows (reference intended). What's her role in all of this? All the while everyone's wondering what is Lailah? Who is after her and why? What do the memories mean? Is Gabriel keeping things from her? Can either of them be trusted? Does she like Gabriel and Jonah? Who will she choose?

Nikki Kelly is like the Jennifer L. Armentrout/Cassandra Clare of love triangles. I say this because they all have the knack for creating a solid love triangle that is so, so difficult to choose a boy who gets the girl in the end. And it's hard to pull that off. So hats off, Nikki! You can see where this is going... I can't choose between Gabriel or Jonah. They each offer something different like night and day; qualities to like in a person, and also qualities you're not quite sure about. And then there's the whole, which one is trustworthy ordeal. Le sigh. I'm on the fence, but I'm leaning towards team Jonah. Can't resist a bad boy. ;)

I admit that it was a little tough for me to get into it at first because almost immediately in the prologue, we're thrust into a sequence of events, so you're wondering what's going on, and I kind of got lost somewhere in there. Some creatures were introduced while all the action was happening, so we get a feel as to what we're dealing with and what is to come. No need to worry, though, for Nikki's rich and vivid writing it will all make sense in time. And the twists will have your mind moving in a retrograde -- like, it's hard for me to keep this review spoiler-free right now! But it's all needed for the direction the Styclar saga is going.

The ending made feel all kinds of feels, contributed by all the feels I've felt throughout the whole book. But it didn't stop there. It got even more mind-boggling after. From the bonus content from Gabriel's POV, to the ending of chapter 1 from the second book Gabriel. Actually, that ending took the cake. It'll make you gasp and itch for the second book. Possibly shake your e-reader or book. I know I did. There's a lot of things yet to be revealed and I can't wait to see where they go from here.

I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, however it does not influence my review, nor was I compensated.

I was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. So it will probably come as no surprise that when I'm not dreaming in Vampires & Angels, I dream in chocolate! For the past ten years I have lived in West London with my hubby and two dogs, Alfie - the Pug & Goose - the Chihuahua.

LAILAH is my debut novel, and first launched in serial form to wattpad, a readers & writers community. Within just 6months, LAILAH had over a million reads and thousands of comments and votes.

Since then, The Styclar Saga has gone on to pick up a traditional deal with Feiwel & Friends, and LAILAH, the first book in the series is due for release on October 7th 2014.

These days I spend my time balancing my amazing job of writing fantasy fiction, with my other, very important role of Chocolate Connoisseur. I like to multitask and do the two together. It makes me happy.

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