The time it was about Mara’s Retribution {4}

Hi everyone! Are you done with The Retribution of Mara Dyer?

Mara Dyer Banner Final

Today is the official day that you should be done.  I did read Retribution. Well, I would say that I devoured it…I do need to read it again and savor it a bit.  So again, my discussion post isn’t going to be super discussion-y. Maybe a bit flaily, but I think you guys all expect that, right?

We all know my undying and maybe a bit obsessive love for Noah Shaw, yes? {He’s mine. See here for proof.}

Team Noah Shaw copy

***THERE WILL BE SPOILERS BELOW.  CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK.***

Retribution was filled with awesome.  Serious, serious awesome.  We got some answers, but of course there was still a lot of fuckery. I was blown away by some of the things that happened in this book.  My main theory of the entire series was that Mara was in an institution and I was fully expecting some or all of the story to be a hallucination. And let’s be honest: after the ending in Evolution, my only concern was for Noah.

I’m beyond thrilled with what we got in Retribution. It was everything I wanted for the series to end.  There is only one chapter that really matters and it’s chapter 73:

tumblr_neksew4oCc1r72fe1o1_500

I mean…gah.  Chapter 73 is not a fade to black.  I REPEAT…IT IS NOT A FADE TO BLACK.

Fanning-Myself

And I think it’s no secret that I’ve loved a certain quote from Evolution. In Retribution, my boy said it again…

tumblr_neok3eg2eN1qdlit2o1_500

Seriously, I’m not sure how I survived this book.  And wait until I share the awesome inscription that Katie got me when she saw Michelle at Y’allFest.  Anyways, what did you think of Retribution? What was your favorite scene or line?

Don’t forget to have your discussion post up by tonight and go here to add the link to the rafflecopter for more entries to win the complete set of Michelle’s books!

Thanks so much for all of your entries! This readalong has been a lot of fun!  Huge squishy hugs to Rachel, Katie, and Danielle for flailing along with me in our WhatsApp conversations and not thinking this whole thing was a crazy hot mess of an idea.

The time Hubs was called princess

Hubs has always been a huge fan of Sons of Anarchy. He has religiously watched from the very beginning and we’ve even gone to a few fan events with the cast. Not to mention 2 panels at SDCC, complete with signing tickets. So, it sort of goes without saying that when I saw that Kurt Sutter was going to be doing a signing, I was going to see about going.

We got up to The Grove around 9:30 and I was really surprised that there wasn’t a line. While I was buying the book, I heard the people who were in front of me talking with the cashier. They were put in group E, so there had to have been a line at some point, we just missed it all.

1 22

We were told that line up wouldn’t be until 1, so with time to kill, we went to the movies and I found my new obsession.

2

The movie was done at 12:30 and we decided to head over to the store to see if people were already lined up. As we were going up the escalators, we saw they had the letter groups stationed at certain sections of the store.

3

By 1pm, the lines were starting to fill up. One of the girls — Sage, who was amazing — came by and starting flapping books and reminding people of the rules.  We heard that they had sold through to group H, but that Kurt was only going to be there for 60 minutes.

4

Caryn came by and I was able to introduce myself. We were told that we couldn’t take photos after passing system box. I asked about taking a photo of him signing the book and was told no. Everything but the book needed to be put away before we went through the line holder.

Kurt got there just after 2pm and took a few minutes to pose for the media.

5

6

When Caryn came over to unlatch the bar, I pushed Hubs in front of me and said, “Go ahead, Princess.” Caryn laughed and said, “Yeah, come on, Princess.” Kurt heard that and said, “Princess?” Caryn told Kurt that it was what I called Hubs, so Kurt said, “Get up here, Princess.”

We handed the book to Sage and she handed it to Kurt. I thanked him for being there and he thanked us for coming. Hubs told him that Happy was the best character ever and Kurt agreed while shaking hands.  From there, we had our wristbands cut off and I went over to Caryn to say thanks. Hubs went into one of the corrals to take a couple of photos.

8

As we were leaving, we saw all of the groups of people lined up. It spanned entire sections of the store.

9 7

Huge thanks to the awesome staff at The Grove. The event was really well run and we were done minutes after Kurt came out.  As for Kurt, even though all of our interaction with him have been a total of maybe 2 minutes, he’s always been super cool and polite.  It was pretty rad getting to see him in a different setting.

The time it was bookish mail {14}

Here we are for another round of Look What I Got in the Mail.  It’s been about 3 months since I last posted.  I had no idea that I had gotten so many pretties in the mail.  This is only part of the pile I have…

Ready?

right

The ever so awesome Jennifer went to RT and she ever so awesomely agreed to take some of my books to get signed.  The hardest part for me was deciding what to send her as she could only take a couple.  I finally chose on Ashley Elston’s books and For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund.  Both are ladies I’m dying to meet, but for now, I’m good with having these on my shelf.

ae1 diana

When Brighton Walsh first got published, her novellas were only available as e-books.  I saw something {a tweet? a photo? I have no idea} saying that she had limited amounts of physical copies and I may have demanded asked for copies.  And Brighton being so fucking awesome agreed to sign and send me a set of them.

I’m beyond thrilled that she’s published and I am so so so excited to have these gorgeous things in my collection.  Also, disregard the inscription.  It’s a very long story.

bw2 bw1

James Ellroy was appearing at Mysterious Galaxy and though I planned to go, I ended up not being able to make it.  The awesome staff let me drop off my copy of Black Dahlia to get signed.  I’m still a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to meet him, but I’ve loved that book for a while and now I have a signed copy.

je

I was able to meet Gena Showalter at Vegas Valley Book Festival in 2013.  When Queen of Zombie Hearts was released, Gena was having a signing in Texas and I was able to sweet talk Nancy into getting my arc signed for me. I still need to get a finished copy of Queen, but I’m going to hold out hope that I’ll see Gena again soon.

gena

Last but, never least…I feel fairly certain that everyone and their mother did the pre-order thingy of Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.   When I got the book from Malaprop’s, I was delighted to see how awesome their packaging was and of course, that Stephanie’s signature was on one of the title pages

1 sp2

And then I got to see Stephanie when she came out for Kiersten White’s launch party for Illusions of Fate.  And of course I asked for Josh.  The best part is that not only did Stephanie give him to me {squeeeeeeeeeeee!}, she loved that I asked for him.

sp1

I already know that I’m a spoiled brat.

dancing

What pretties have you gotten in the mail lately?

The time it was the October real book recap

Hi everyone! I’m a bit late on posting the October recap, but here it is!

real

In the month of October, I read 20 books with 10 of them being real books.

It’s kind of a small number {for me} and I’m not really sure why.  I did go to Vegas for the weekend to see friends and go to the Vegas Valley Book Festival, but other than that, I’m not sure where my reading time went.  The quality of books for October was pretty amazeballs.  I got my greedy hands on some perfect arcs and got my copy of Retribution a few days early.

Without further ado…

1 2 3

4 5 6

8591107 7 8

9

A good portion of these books are some of my favorite reads of the year. With these books, my new total is 110.  I need 40 more books to hit my goal.  That number is a bit daunting for some reason…I still need to step up my game.

How many books did you read for the month? Which one was your favorite?

The time it was about Caged in Winter

I think I’ve made it perfectly clear that I’m a huge fangirl for Brighton Walsh.  I’ll brag forever that I’ve known her for a while, been able to read her early stuff, and lovingly refer to her as my nCBB.  When I saw that she was getting published, I was so excited for her and basically told her that I was going to have her on the blog as much as possible.  I may or may not have invited myself onto this tour.

PA-9705 Brighton Walsh Blog Tour Banner.indd

Before we get to the awesome guest post that Brighton indulged me with, let’s check out her book.

19101162In this emotional and sexy New Adult debut from Brighton Walsh, the only thing more frightening than commitment is hope……

Aspiring chef Cade Maxwell is immediately, viscerally attracted to Winter Jacobson. But it’s not her mouthwatering curves he’s drawn to—it’s the strange emptiness in her eyes. When Cade saves her from a drunken customer with grabby hands, he’s shocked at her response……

Winter doesn’t need Cade’s help. After a lifetime of getting by on her own, she’s happy to rely on herself. She’s exactly seventy-six days away from graduating college, and if she can hold it together that long, she’ll finally be able to rise above the crappy hand she was dealt.

But now, every time she turns around, Cade is there, ready to push her, smile at her, distract her from her plans. Winter knows she can’t afford to open up—especially to a man she’s terrified to actually want….

Sounds good, right? {It totally is.}

right

When Stacee started tossing out ideas to me on what she wanted me to talk about on the blog, we went through several before one really clicked. When she mentioned doing something on Cade and Winter’s top dates if money wasn’t an issue, I knew that was the winner. Who doesn’t want to think up dream dates, amirite?

Without even really thinking about it, I had Cade’s answer. He’s not complex, when it comes down to it. What he loves most beyond his family and Winter is cooking. It’s been his dream to travel to Italy and train at a restaurant there. Getting two out of those three things he loves most at the same time would be a no-brainer for him. He’d jump at the chance to hop on a jet and take Winter to Italy. No place specifically. I think he’d want to wander a bit (dream dates don’t have to end, right?!). Rent a tiny car that he can barely fit into and roam the back roads. Find a little bistro in Venice maybe, and set it up ahead of time so he and Winter could assist in the kitchen (which they’d totally let him do because he has buckets of money to throw at them). He’d get much more satisfaction from cooking for Winter than having their food prepared for them. Cooking is very sensual for Cade, and he loves sharing it with her. I imagine after all the cooking together—the touching and tasting and brushing behind each other while working in the kitchen—they’d head back to a hotel (this he wouldn’t be picky about, so long as it had a bed. And a couch. And a shower.), and…I don’t know. Probably watch TV until they fell asleep or something. ;)

Whereas Cade’s ideal date was extravagant and over the top, Winter’s would be much less elaborate. She doesn’t need much…she’s happy with just Cade and that’s about it. Since it’s boring to say they’d go out to eat and head back home to…watch a movie *ahem*, especially since money isn’t an issue, I’ll dig a little deeper. Where Cade has wanted to travel to Italy, Winter has wanted to travel, period. Her life was segregated to just two areas of the world, and she’s desperate to see what else is out there. I think she’d like to check out one of the places she’s never been. Maybe Maine or South Carolina or The Florida Keys. Somewhere quiet, where they could be alone, and she could just absorb everything with Cade by her side.

Now, if they were planning dream dates for the other person, that changes the answer a bit. Cade wouldn’t be too over the top for her because she’s not an over the top kind of person. Considering her history, I think he’d take her someplace she never got to go to as a kid. A fair or a carnival, maybe. Do all the traditional stuff a kid loves to do—ride the ferris wheel, win her a stuffed animal, eat too much greasy food. And then the stuff only grown ups do—like feel her up on top of that ferris wheel…

If Winter planned a date for Cade where money wasn’t an option, I think she’d do something very similar to what Cade would want to do for himself. She knows how much he wants to visit Italy, what his dream is, so I think she’d take him there, but her focus would be on getting him one-on-one time with a chef instead of on them cooking together. Let Cade spend the day shadowing the other chef while Winter watched—because, let’s be real, it’s not a hardship for anyone to watch Cade in his chef’s whites, sleeves rolled up and tattoos peeking out, while he’s cooking.

Now that I’ve shared their dream dates, how about you? If you could go anywhere or do anything—money and time aren’t an issue!—where would you go/what would you do?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

6548902Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with her first love: writing. When she’s not pounding away at the keyboard, she’s probably either reading or shopping—maybe even both at once. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children, and, yes, she considers forty degrees to be hoodie weather. Her home is the setting for frequent dance parties, Lego battles, and more laughter than she thought possible.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Huge thanks to Brighton and Jessica for letting me push my way onto this blog tour.  Make sure you’re subscribing to Brighton’s newsletter, following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page and adding all of her books to your TBR shelf on Goodreads.

Caged in Winter was released on 11/4/14.  Buy it at: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | iBooks | Kobo

Now.  Can’t wait to get your greedy hands on a copy of Caged in Winter?  Berkley is offering up 10 {TEN!} signed copies.  Giveaway is US only.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The time it was a giveaway relay

As you guys may or may not know, I’m part of the Blogger Caravan for Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios.  Well, for the next month, we’ve got something pretty special happening…

caravan

Before we get to the goodies, let’s check out the book!

18106985Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.

Sounds good, right?

right

And now the good stuff…

Every week day for the next month, there will be a daily giveaway for a hard cover copy of Exquisite Captive with a signed book plate.  Pretty awesome, yes?  Each giveaway will start at 9am EST and end at midnight of the same day. The winner will be announced on the next day’s blog.  The giveaway is US only and additional rules for my giveaway post are here.

Go here for the complete schedule of blogs participating.

Meanwhile, make sure you’re checking out Heather’s blog, following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page and adding all of her books to your Goodreads TBR shelf.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The time it was about Mara’s Retribution {3}

Hi everyone! Are you done with The Evolution of Mara Dyer?

Mara Dyer Banner Final

Today is the official day that you should be done. I’ll be completely honest, I’m not done.  Halloween is our anniversary and we spent the day at Disneyland…and then I got a call saying my copy of Retribution was available to pick up.  Needless to say, we ditched Disneyland a bit early and I spent the evening devouring it. I’m still working on rereading Evolution, but I’ll be done soon. I need to take my time with a Retribution reread so I can savor every single word.

So again, my discussion post isn’t going to be super discussion-y. Maybe a bit flaily, but I think you guys all expect that, right?

We all know my undying and maybe a bit obsessive love for Noah Shaw, yes? {He’s mine. See here for proof.}

Team Noah Shaw copy

Much like Unbecoming, I haven’t read Evolution since 2012 when I saw Michelle in Chicago.   I have so many favorite parts of this book.  The swoons are strong and here are some of my favorites:

One of the first conversations with Mara:

“They’ll get complacent. As long as you keep improving.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Is that your way of telling me to keep my shit together?”

At this, Noah closed the distance between us. He leaned down until his lips grazed my ear. My pulse raced at the contact and my eyes closed at the feel of his five o’clock shadow on my cheek.

“It’s my way of telling you that I can’t bear to look at my bed without seeing you in it,” he said, and his words made me shiver. “So try to avoid a lockdown.”

I felt him withdraw, and I opened my eyes. “I’ll get right on that,” I breathed.

One final wicked smile. “You’d better.” {Evolution, pg 66}

Body_Swoon

Their banter is adorble:

“Well, you are awfully pale.”

I exhaled slowly. Refused to look up.

He reached for my bare foot and squeezed my toes. “And cold.”

I pulled my feet away. “Bad circulation.”

“You could always bit me, just to test.”

“I hate you, too, by the way. Just so you know.”

“Oh, I do. I would suggest make-up sex, but…”

“Too bad you have scruples,” I said.

“Now you’re just being cruel.”

“I like pushing your buttons.”

You’d enjoy it more if you undid them first.”  {Evolution, pg 284}

emmaswoon

But wait. This is one of the best and probably one of my favorite passages in the entire series:

“Never mind what I want.” His voice quieter, now. “What do you want?”

“You.” Always you.

“You have me,” he said, his eyes meeting mine. “You inhabit me.” His face was stone but the words issued from his lips in plea. “You want to know what I want? I want you to be the one wanting me first. Pushing me first. Kissing me first. Don’t be careful with me,” he said. “Because I won’t be careful with you.”

My heart began to race.

“You can’t hurt me the way you think you can. But even if you could? I would rather die with the taste of you on my tongue than live and never touch you again. I’m in love with you, Mara. I love you. No matter what you do.”

My breath caught in my throat. No matter what. The words were promise, a promise I didn’t know if anyone could keep.

“We’re only seventeen,” I said quietly.

“Fuck seventeen.” His eyes were defiant. “If I were to live a thousand yeas, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mind in each one.” {Evolution, pg 348-349}

Fanning-Myself

So, what did you think of Evolution?  What was your favorite scene or line?

Don’t forget to have your discussion post up by 11/21 and go here for more details on the readalong and to add the link to the rafflecopter for more entries to win the complete set of Michelle’s books!