Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cover Reveal: Under Different Stars by Amy Bartol

I'm so excited to bring you this stunning cover for Amy A. Bartol's new book, Under Different Stars, coming out Dec!! Check out below for blurb and a short excerpt!!! 

AUTHOR: Amy A. Bartol | GENRE: YA Dystopian
RELEASE DATE: December 17, 2013
Smashwords pre-order link:

All she wants is a home, but can she find one…UNDER DIFFERENT STARS

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?

I glance at Trey; he looks like an advertisement for Calvin Klein. Wearing only dark, athletic boxers, he’s something out of a catalog or a warrior movie. Blushing deeply, I want to crawl under the rock I’m on. “Wade into the water together. We should tie you two so that you’re face-to-face with both your heads above the water,” Jax says. Trey nods, extending his hand for me to take.

Avoiding looking at him, I stand up, walking to the water’s edge on my own. Dipping my toes in the water, I pull them back sharply. “It’s freezing!” I glower at them, hearing my voice echo off the walls again.

“It is,” Trey agrees, scooping me up in his arms and wading out quickly into the water before I can object further. When he is chest deep, he says softly in my ear, “Breathe.”

Clinging to him tightly with my arms around his neck, I inhale deeply before muttering, “Shh…you’re interrupting my revenge plotting.”

“If you survive this, I’ll insist that you learn to swim,” he says, sounding annoyed as Jax wades to us with a line, circling us.

“If I survive this, I’m killing you,” I reply dryly, feeling the rope tense, drawing me tighter against Trey’s warm body.

A small smile touches his lips at my comment. “How do you propose to do that?” He gazes into my eyes as Jax knots us together.

“I’ll let you spend some sleepless nights worrying about that,” I reply, my teeth beginning to chatter as the cold water is chilling me to the bone.

I live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. When I’m writing, they often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my “writing uniform” consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed.

Connect with Amy A. Bartol

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Playlist: Autumn in the Air

So. I promise I'm still around!!! I have been super busy with working on my book, grad school, and a bunch of other things. This is really one of my favorite times of the year. More often than not I just want to curl up with a cup of tea and find a good book to read or some great music to get lost in. Below is a playlist of tunes that have been playing on repeat this fall season. (That's right, Christmas, It's still FALL. Back off until it's your turn.) I promise I will have more info about my book and all that great stuff soon but for now I leave you with a playlist of some great tunes!!!! Enjoy your Monday !

Friday, November 15, 2013

Blog Tour: A Matter of Truth by Heather Lyons

I don't think it is any secret how much I LOVE this series!!! I am so excited to not only bring you my review of A Matter of Truth, the third book in the Fate Series by Heather Lyons, BUT I also have an exclusive interview with Chloe!!! Check it out and make sure to check out my review below!! And there is a GIVEAWAY at the end of this post! 


Not long ago, Chloe Lilywhite seemingly had it all: a prized spot on the Magicals’ Council as lead Creator, a loving fiancé and Connection, and a wealth of good friends. But the poised young woman she projected was nothing more than a façade. Her parents all but disowned her. Power plays and accusations of murder within the Council rocked her confidence. And most difficult of all, her secret, a secondary Connection to Jonah’s twin brother, Kellan, became painfully impossible to resist. Desperate to gain control over her rapidly unraveling existence, Chloe did the unthinkable: she ran away.

Now living and working in Alaska under an alias, Chloe is slowly discovering who she is and, more importantly, who she wants to be. But the more she tries to leave the Magical world behind, the harder it becomes to stay hidden. The Elders are back with a vengeance, and the stakes have never been higher. Chloe finally has to make a choice: embrace her pre-ordained Fate or pave her own way in the worlds. One thing’s for sure, though—she’s finally up for the challenge.

*This is a New Adult title, suitable for readers 18+*

Purchasing Links

Interview with Chloe

Hey Chloe, thank you so much for answering some questions today! I know things are pretty crazy for you right now, so I appreciate you talking to me today!

No problem, Caitlin. I’m glad to be here!

Well let’s get to it! Chloe, in your journey, we have seen you grow and in this book, A Matter of Truth, you continue your journey and try to find your truths. What has been the hardest part of finding your truth?

Well, I think a lot of it has to do with my struggles over what’s expected of me—and what Fate set in store for me—as opposed to becoming the person I wanted to be. It’s not so much that I relished the idea of shirking my duties, it’s just . . . it often felt like I was expected to be somebody I wasn’t comfortable being.

So, I needed to find who that person was. I needed the freedom to do so.

In AMOT, we get to meet Will, the wonderful sweet Will . . . Sorry, I got distracted thinking about him.

(practically chortles) Let’s not tell him, since his head is already too big.

Anyways . . . we get to see you meet Will for the first time at the end of A Matter of Heart and in AMOT we get to see how your relationship has developed and how much trust and love you have for him. Can you tell us about the exact moment you knew Will was more than a coworker and become more like family?

Hmm . . . I don’t know if I can pinpoint an exact moment, but I remember really early on, like not even a week after us meeting, accepting that I felt very comfortable with him. We just seemed to get each other on a level we hadn’t necessarily really felt with a lot of other people before. He and Cameron are truly my family—it just took me nearly twenty years to find them.

In AMOF you start out with having dreams of Jonah and by AMOT you have three very wonderful boys who all care a lot about you in their own special ways. If you could use one song to describe Jonah, Kellan, and Will, which would they be?

Oh, gosh. Let’s see . . .

Will’s the easiest. I would definitely pick Safe and Sound by Electric President, because that’s what we are to one another.

As for Jonah and Kellan . . . (stares off in the distance) This is hard, because I have several songs that make me think of them and what they mean to me. (is quiet) Maybe Gravity by Vienna Teng for Kellan and Today by Joshua Radin for Jonah.

Throughout your journey, you went from having distant parents and a handful of cousins to having a lot of people on your side who care for you, a family. Has that been overwhelming? Such a quick transition?

I don’t know if I’d call it a quick transition at all, since it took me several years to find my peeps. (chuckles) In all seriousness, it’s been wonderful. All my life I’ve been starved for a family. I think another truth I had to come to was realizing a family isn’t always defined by blood—and you can’t force a relationship when there isn’t one.

Every action has a reaction, or a consequence, and in AMOT there are many actions that have reactions and consequences. Are you ready to deal with these consequences?

I do. Good or bad, I’m ready to take responsibility for my actions.

Do you feel more ready to deal with them than before you went to Alaska?

Oh, absolutely.

I know things are pretty crazy right now, and you haven’t had a lot of time to thing about anything besides what’s going on in the worlds, but what are your hopes for the future?

I hope that I will always be the sort of person that deserves the level of power she’s been given.

What is one thing you wish for more than anything for your future?

(thinks about this for a long moment) One of my most fervent wishes has always been for the happiness of those I love. It still holds true today. It will always be my most cherished wish.

And a few fun quick questions.

If you weren’t a creator which craft would you choose?
Probably an Elemental.
Favorite Season?
Spring, because it’s all about new hope and growth.
If you could play any sport, what would it be?
I wish I were a better bowler. Gods, I hate losing all the time! *Caitlin's note* I as well suck at Bowling. Like really bad. I can feel ya on that one girl*

What is one typical teenage thing you wish you got to do more of when you were a teenager?

It’s going to make me sound like a dork, but applying for colleges.

Favorite pastime with Jonah?

Kissing. Because wow, is he . . . um . . . Is that TMI? (giggles) Okay. Trying out new restaurants.


I’ll keep it clean,  *Caitlin's note* You really don't have to keep in clean. I don't mind!* so I’m going to say . . . just hanging out together. Kellan Whitecomb is always a good time.
That came out wrong.

And Will?

Watching hockey together and fighting over the food he makes us. Did you know he plays? *Caitlin's note* Will plays hockey??? Oh well I will watch a hockey game with this guy ANY time. ;)*

Well thanks again, Chloe for stopping by and chatting with me! I wish you the best of luck in the future!!!!!

Aw, thanks, Caitlin! Thanks so much for having me.

My Review

I love these books something fierce. A Matter of Truth is no exception in another heart wrenching, emotional filled story of love, family and finding your truth. In this book, Chloe has ran off to Alaska to figure out things, figure out how to live her life how she wants but still be able to handle the responsibilities that are required of her. It is no small matter, the weight of the world Chloe deals with and while in most cases, I really hate when characters run away,  but in this- I got it. It made sense. She needed to do something in order for her to deal with everything that has essentially, been dumped on her.

"How do you know whether you made the right choice?"

My emotions were all over the place as I read this book. These are the types of books where you are so emotionally charged you have to physically take a break because you feel like Chloe, like you are going to break. In AMOT, though, there were so many sweet moments. Moments filled with love and comfort of finding your people. Life doesn't mean a whole lot without your people, the ones that love you regardless of circumstances and will be there to no matter what. I fell in love with how Chloe not only finds her family but also finds how meaningful a family can be, wether they are a blood relation or not.

"I haven't been fair to myself." 

I was also so proud of Chloe for finding her truth. Her truth. Not the truth that is expected of her. Not the truth she thinks she should have. Not the truth of the worlds, but the truth that lives deep inside her soul. Her truth that is not influenced by fate, but rather by her choice. To see Chloe find that truth, love, family, it just gives me all the warm fuzzy feelings inside. I was also proud of Chloe for not only realizing her trurth but knowing that her journey isn't over and it still won't be easy. It will be hard but I think Chloe has figured it out it will be worth it. There are also some really great things in this book. Will. Oh Will. I didn't think it was possible for Heather to write even more characters for me to fall in love with but I was so wrong! Will and Cameron and the whole gang she has in Alaska is amazing!!!

"It was because I wanted a chance to figure out who I am without Fate sticking its fingers in every one of my pies." 

You get to see more Chloe, Jonah, and Kellan in this book and there moments where my heart was ripped out. I was sad and happy and felt all the love in this book! I understood Chloe's actions. That was the most important, was understanding Chloe for me in this book. Did I swoon every time Kellan made an appearance....yes...yes I did. But this book, for me, was all about Chloe. Will, Jonah and Kellan- all great bonuses!!! :)

"I want to be able to come home and lean on you. Know that you've got my back. I want to be the same for you. I want us to be lovers. Best friends. Partners. Because, it's you I want."

Then of course the ending......with wide eyes I had to read it a few times and then throw out a few curse words and then calmly tell myself that I will burn the worlds down if this doens't end well!!

Overall, Heather Lyons takes every day words and weaves them into an enchanting heart filled story of a girl trying to find her truth, trusting in herself and having the courage to live the life she wants to live. You can't help but fall in love with these books, these characters, and this family Heather has created.

5  AMAZING stars and waiting on edge for the fourth book!!!

About Heather Lyons

Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

Author Links

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Book Review: Undertow by Amber Lynn Natusch

Today I am sharing my thoughts about Undertow by Amber Lynn Natusch as part of the blog tour. I loved loved loved this book! Check out my review below as well as a giveaway!!! 


How far does a girl have to run to escape a lifetime of pain and loss at the hands of Alaska's notoriously unforgiving Bering Sea? Twenty-seven-year-old Aesa Fredriksen thought landlocked Columbus, Ohio would suffice, and it does until the fear of regret drives her to return to Dutch Harbor in a final attempt to make amends with her nearly-estranged father. Intent on salvaging the wreckage of their relationship, she reluctantly agrees to join him—the only family she has left—as he heads out to fish for king crab, forcing her to brave the very waters that pulled him away from her as a child. The waters that stole her mother's life.

When the day finally arrives for the Norwegian Queen to sail off into an uncertain future, Aesa can't help but fear the worst. Beyond the violent swells and impending storms, there is far more than death and danger awaiting her on her journey: love awaits her too.

Decker, a young but seasoned member of her father's crew, is a force of nature as strong as Aesa, He's her perfect match, and even she can't deny it. But he too is a man of the sea, and with memories of tragedy and abandonment etched so deeply into her mind, can she overcome her demons and let him in or will she drown in her darkness, forever caught in its undertow?

My Review

There are so many things that are right in this book. When you read contemporary books, YA, NA or adult, you think you have seen it all, read it all, every plot twist that has been done before. Each time you pick up a new book you truly don't know what you are getting. Undertow? I couldn't have been happier because what I picked up was pure gold. Lets go through all the awesomeness, shall we?

The setting: Set in Alaska with the focus on crab fishing, I was totally sucked in from the setting alone. It's like this setting just writes it self, the beauty and danger jumps out of you and feel like you standing at the edge of something that can take you to places you never thought. You feel as succumbed to the setting as Aesa, you feel the love and hatred Aesa has for her home. The side characters are all great and you can tell this is a family and the bonds they have are strong. If one experiences heartache, it affects them all. They protect and love each other.

"I think your cold runs deeper than that, Aesa."

In this book you see the relationships Aesa has with her father, a relationship she is trying to mend, and the one she has with the sea. Truly moving and emotion filled, both relationships. Aesa struggles with so much but still has the strength to go on, to move forward in fixing what was broken in the past. Along this journey she meets Decker. I am a sucker for the quiet, strong, and kind type. Decker, well he is a whole lot of man who a lot of admirable traits. You see Aesa fall for this man and you love it because you can't help but not.

“Disappointment and sadness don't have to be your life anymore. You can choose to have more,” he whispered, his head hanging just above me. “You can choose me...”

This book is also filled with action, heart stopping moments when you are asking yourself, what next? What happens?? There was a something that happens in the end of book, I won't give it away, that usually in books I just really don't like, but in this book? It worked, it made sense, I understood why she did it and I loved how Decker and her figured it out. Together. Aesa is one strong woman who has gone through her share of heartbreak but she still comes out strong and you can't help but wonder if the same sea that has caused this heartache isn't also the balm that soothes parts of her soul. 

This is a book that is less about me telling you to read it but encouraging you to experience it. That is my best advice, just trust me and read it.

About the Author 
If you're dying to know more about me, allow me to put you at ease. I'm a sharp-tongued, sarcastic cancer, who loves vegetable smoothies, winter storms, and the word 'portfolio'. I should NEVER be caffeinated, and require at least eight hours of sleep to even resemble a human being. At thirty-four, I just now feel like I can keep a straight face while saying the word "rectum" (which is actually a huge lie because I just laughed out loud while reading this to my husband). I live with my iPod firmly affixed to my body, drive too fast, and laugh/cry at inappropriate times. I'm obsessed with urban fantasy... When I discovered that genre, I knew I had found my tribe. Now I write in that world because that's what the voices in my head tell me to do. And they are very, very loud.

Author Links

Purchase Links
Barnes and Noble 

1 winner will receive a $50 amazon gift card + plus an ebook copy of Undertow
2 winners will each receive a $25 amazon gift card + plus an ebook copy of Undertow

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Marriage and Musings

So this article: Marriage Isn't for You I have seen a lot on my news feed. Everyone is all gushing about it and as a critical student I can't help but see the other side.

First off, before you all freak out, I want to say this guy isn't totally off his rocker. There is truth in his words but I don't feel like it's the whole picture. Selflessness is an important part of marriage but I don't think it is the ONLY thing about marriage. I also understand it is different for every person.

But I just don't buy the whole being selfless thing. If BOTH people in a marriage give up or try to please the other person, HOW DO YOU GET ANYTHING DONE???

For example: And I have read this article four or five times to make sure I am reading it correctly but for D and I we are both looking for jobs this spring. So say I am this "selfless" type and I say: Even though I have been in school for 7 years and have a masters degree I want you to be happy and I want you to find a job and I will follow you regardless. And then D says, essentially the same thing. Then what? We both can't make a freaking decisions and then tip toe around the fact that we should be thinking about the other person and no one makes a move see where this is going. Or I decide that I want D to go find a job and be selfless and then later on I resent him because I had to give in and do what he wanted, giving up what I wanted?

I don't know....maybe I am reading this wrong. What I think is important in a marriage is a combination of selflessness, honesty, and communication. There is a time and place for one person to give to the other so the other can follow their hopes and dreams. Or it's a compromise where both can be happy. Tricky, yes, but it can be done.

I should also point out that D and I don't believe in traditional gender roles.  You wont ever catch me being a housewife or stay at home mom, cooking and raising the kids or whatever and again, nothing wrong with that AT ALL, stay at home moms do so much, it's just not how D and I work. It's not my scene.

D is much better at cooking than me, I pay the bills and we usually rock paper scissors over the laundry. Some days I am swamped with homework and he tells me not to worry about cleaning the house and some days D is stressed with studying and work that I usually will pop into work and give him a peach tea because they are his favorite and hope it brightens his day.

It's a balance. With many conversations we have had about our future I have been completely honest with D and sometimes with that honesty comes things that aren't as pleasant to hear. But I would rather be honest now than resent him later or vice versa. It's hard to honest, it's hard to know that you both are bound and determined to find great jobs and you know how hard it will be for both of you to be completely happy. But when I am being selfless and D knows how I really feel, it tends to mean more, have more weight behind my words.

I understand being giving to my partner. D is great at it, it is very much in his nature to be a giver, more so than myself. He makes me a better person when he takes interest in the things I do and supports me. I support him of course but there is a difference between supporting your partner and giving up things for them, giving up who are you for the other person. Giving up what made you fall in love with that person in the first place. Again, a time and place and it switched off as time goes on.

So yes, I am going to say it, There is a time when it's ok to be focused on you and what you want to do just as long as you know that your partner is supporting you and there will be a time and place for you to give back. Maybe that is what this guy was saying the whole time and we actually agree on it. I don't know. But I thought I would shed some light on how I see things.

In all reality, marriage is hard! True love is not killing your husband when you go to bed and he comes out of the office to only turn on ALL the lights and not turn them off again. Or when you are constantly saying, "D, your shoes don't go here." or "D, you keys don't go here." or "D, where in the HELL are my keys. We have a key hook for a REASON."

Or when you are driving and you say to your partner, "Take a left here." and he gets in the left lane for you to only say, "Oh shit I really meant take a right!" and then he cuts off traffic to get in the right lane, shooting you a dirty glare.

True love is when your partner says,

D: What are you reading?
Me: A book called Deity 
D: Oh, are you reading a book about Greek Gods?
Me: With hearts in my eyes Yes. Yes I am.

True love is this conversation:

D: I need a basket for my rocks.
Me: Can't you just put the know....outside?
D: WHAT! Rocks don't go outside. I can't put my rocks outside!
Me: Oh. Of course not.
Me: actually understand the importance of keeping his rocks inside our tiny apartment. 

True Love is when your husband, when you first started dating liked rap and punk music, now loves Josh Ritter as much as you and anytime "Kathleen" comes on in the car you both know all the words and sing it at the top of our lungs. With the windows open.

True Love is when you try to cook dinner for your partner but he politely tells you it's kind of bland and then adds a dash of this and a dash of that and suddenly it doesn't suck anymore. And you don't get offended.

Again, maybe I am just proving this guys point over and over again.