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Friday, January 24, 2014

ELEVATED Cover Reveal

About ELEVATED: The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she's been avoiding for five months.

Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.

But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.

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Praise for ELEVATED:
"ELEVATED will take you on an emotionally gripping journey through the highs and lows of first love."
~Carolee Dean, author of Take Me There and Forget Me Not

"Poignant, raw, and intense, ELEVATED is a novel that will grip your heart and linger in your mind long after you turn the last page."
~Stasia Ward Kehoe, author of Audition and The Sound of Letting Go

About Elana Johnson: Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist. School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.

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Rafflecopter Code: Copy and paste this into the HTML side of your website/blog. People can enter to win $15 Paypal cash by helping to spread the word about ELEVATED.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Review: BEING SLOANE JACOBS by Lauren Morrill

Out Jan. 7th, 2014 from Delacorte Press
*received via NetGalley for an honest review*

From Goodreads: Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.

Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.

When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.

This is another beauty I read over Christmas break during my "oh so brave," kindle-only road trip. This one reminded me of two of my all-time favorite movies: Parent Trap-- without the setting up the parents part, and The Cutting Edge--but with less romance ON the ice.
Though I didn't read this book in one sitting, I read it eagerly and happily. The story is told from the POV's of two Sloanes from two very different backgrounds, each running away from their issues and convinced that it would be easier to trade places (and master a new sport!), than to face their own lives.  There's plenty of scheming, pretending you know something you're clueless about, adjusting to different wardrobes, living environments, and hot boys. I'm still thinking about this book weeks later. It's not just hockey and figure skating, it's real family issues, sports performance, and yes, boy drama.

BEING SLOANE JACOBS has a believable plot (which considering the premise is rather amazing). Both Sloane Jacobs are funny, relatable, and walk-off-the-page real. Lauren Morrill, I've decided, is a master. She's now on my read-everything-she-writes, not-questions-asked list. So, no surprise here that Lauren's MEANT TO BE, is on hold at my library. I am confident I will enjoy it just as much.

Have you read BEING SLOANE JACOBS? What is your favorite book of 2014 so far? Your favorite of 2013?
My favorite surprise book (of 2014) that blew me into happy is Julianne Donaldson's EDENBROOKE.

Please sit down if you're not already.
Did you do it?
Are you seated securely? Do you have smelling salts close at head?
Okay, I'll tell you:
Julianne Donaldson was better than Jane Austen.

But back to BEING SLOANE JACOBS. Read it. You will love it whether you're a sporty girl or not.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy Birthday, DEFY!

The first I heard of Sara Larson's fantasy, girl pretending to be a boy, DEFY was through one of my CP's. She told me this was her second favorite book of all-time, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. When it popped up on NetGalley, I grabbed it, sent it to my kindle, and did my "I'm so cool I got this book" dance. But that I didn't open it. I was afraid.

What if it wasn't as amazing as my CP thought?

In seventh grade when I started to seriously work on my creative writing (and I had a gem of a teacher who encouraged me), I wrote so many stories of girls pretending to be boys at boarding schools, on soccer teams, in battle, etc.. And yes, I had the boob wrapping, awkward locker scenes, as well. I LOVE these types of stories, but they have to be done just right for me to be sucked in.

The other reason I was slow to open DEFY was because I'd met Sara at LDStorymakers and I rather like her. I didn't want to NOT like her book, so the safest course of action was to put off reading it. (Not only is she tall and gorgeous, but she is also outgoing, easy with everyone, and just plain fun.)

Finally, over my first road trip with only a kindle for my reading pleasure (scary!), I got over my fears and opened DEFY.
AND gulped it down in five hours straight. Any book that keeps me up late reading is a winner (IMO).
If you enjoy fantasy, butt-kicking heroines, love (triangles), and page turners, give this one a go. But I'm warming you, make sure you have time to set everything else aside because DEFY will suck you in to the last page.

From Goodreads:
A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.
The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?