Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Unnatural Blog Tour: J.A. Belfield's Top 10 Forbidden Romances!!! #Giveaway #TopTen


Title: Unnatural
Series: Holloway Pack #4
Author: J.A. Belfield
Release Date: April 7, 2014
 
Description: 
Unnatural. One word to sum up werewolf Kyle Larsen—his mood swings, abnormal body, and choice of female.
 
The first two, he blames on the vampire venom.

The third, though? No, feline shifter Brook Nicholls was all his doing—a female of whom the pack will never approve.
 
As part of the Coalition, an organisation with even stricter rules than the pack and a rigidly warped sense of responsibility, Brook comes with a whole lot of opposition of her own.

No wonder the two of them keep their relationship secret for as long as they can.

Now, distanced from his family by his own indiscretions, Kyle’s left to fight battles he’s unsure how to win—some of them even against his own pack.

Is one woman really so important that he’s willing to defy his Alpha for her?

If his heart has any say in the matter, the answer will be yes.
Best known for her Holloway Pack Stories, J. A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, two cats and a dog. She writes paranormal romance, with a second love for urban fantasy.



J.A. Belfield's Top 10 Forbidden Romances:

To me, a forbidden romance isn’t just about sneaking off behind everyone’s backs and fighting the forces for moments together, though I do consider these, too. It’s more about romance that has roadblocks—or lines—that shouldn’t be crossed, but must be for the duo to be together. With that in mind, I’m going to list my favourites—in no particular order.

Roarke and Eve Dallas (In Death series by J.D. Robb)
Read this series? Think back to the very first, Naked in Death, when Eve should have steered clear of Roarke, who just happened to be a suspect on the case she was investigating. Dude, that was some physical attraction in there, which went on and evolved into a powerful romance. Love this couple.  

Alex and Aiden (Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout)
Pures and Halfs can’t be together. It’s the rules. Alex, though, ain’t a follower of rules and watching the slow development of this forbidden romance unfold was something pretty awesome.

Zsadist and Beth (Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward)
Okay, yes, I know they weren’t actually forbidden, but … they did have a lot of opposition, because not only did Z think he wasn’t good enough for Beth, but there seemed to be some serious concerns in that department from other corners, too. Most of the lines crossed in this one were ones drawn by Zsadist himself—and those can sometimes be the best kind.  

Isaiah and Rachel (Crash Into You by Katie McGarry)
Differing social backgrounds can make for a great barrier to a relationship, and only circumstance of Rachel’s hobby brings this great duo crashing together. This book is my favourite in the Pushing the Limits series so far.  

Sascha and Lucas (Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh)
An unlikely coupling. One loves stimulus; one shies from it—could these two be any more opposite? Yet, somehow, it worked.

Katy and Daemon (Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout)
Sure, the Luxen can fool around with a human, but have a relationship, fall in love with one? Nuh-uh. Not allowed. Try telling rule-breaker Daemon Black that. He won’t listen, though—dude wouldn’t even listen to himself.

Cas Lowood and Anna (Anna Dressed in Blood)
This is an unusual one, and one I pondered over including, but in the end, the romantic in me won out. Whilst the story isn’t exactly a romance, I found Cas’s perceptions and feelings about Anna to be definitely romanticised, and yeah … Anna’s non-living status is a pretty big barrier for anything like that truly happening.  

Faith & Jace (Shifters by Rachel Vincent)
Okay, don’t pound on me and yell that the romance was actually between Faith and Marc, because I know. However, that didn’t stop me falling in love with Jace, and having a really tough time trying to decide on Faith’s behalf which of them she should be with. This is possibly my favourite love triangle I have read to date. My heart still aches for him whenever I think about sweet Jace. *sigh*  

Nick Merrick and Adam (Breathless/Secret by Brigid Kemmerer)
This one isn’t forbidden in actuality, but Nick’s concerns over how his relationship and sexual orientation will be received by his family are just as debilitating. Watching this teen struggle with his feelings, his fears, and how his family reacts to this piece of news he has managed to keep secret for so long is as uplifting as it heartbreaking. If this series isn’t on your to-read shelf, then you should be asking yourself why not?

And, of course, Romeo and Juliet Now, I feel I should come clean and admit that I’ve never actually read this iconic tale of forbidden love, though, regardless, who doesn’t know the story of Romeo and Juliet? This is the biggest tragic love story of all time, and a great inspiration to romance writers everywhere. Proven by the fact folks are still reading and discussing it this amazing number of years later.

So, there’s my list. What are your favourite forbidden romances in literature?

GIVEAWAY



FOLLOW THE REST OF THE UNNATURAL BLOG TOUR!

What do you think about J.A. Belfield's list of forbidden romances??
And do you think her characters, Kyle and Brooke, make the list? ;)

Waiting on Wednesday (8): Sweet Filthy Boy!

 
"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It gives us the chance to fangirl over all of the books that we can't wait to read!


SWEET FILTHY BOY
(Wild Seasons #1) by Christina Lauren

Hitting the shelves on May 27, 2014 from Gallery Books

Book Description:

One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.


MY THOUGHTS

I'm a huge fan of Lauren Billings and Christina Hobbs, the two authors who co-write under the pen name of Christina Lauren, so I absolutely cannot wait to read Sweet Filthy Boy! It sounds like it's going to be just as sexy, and hilarious as their Beautiful Bastard series! I also just think that the story sounds fantastic, and I'm sure that Sweet Filthy Boy is going to be yet another one of their books that I can't put down! :D

Have you read anything by Christina Lauren yet?
Is Sweet Filthy Boy on your to-read list?
And what are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Don't Look Back Release Day!! #Excerpt



Today's the release day for Jennifer L. Armentrout's DON'T LOOK BACK!! DON’T LOOK BACK is a young adult suspense being published by Disney Hyperion! I've got an awesome excerpt to share with you today, too, so keep reading! :)

ABOUT DON’T LOOK BACK:
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all—popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her—even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory—someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?
“This engrossing thriller packs a heady atmospheric punch with plenty of theatrical scares,” Kirkus Reviews

“Armentrout has written another winner. From the first page to the last, she builds both terror and confusion to the point where readers will be hooked and on the edge of their seat. This standalone contains all of Armentrout’s usual trademarks– a strong and determined heroine, witty comments and hot guys–but she adds in an extra layer by ratcheting up the suspense to the highest degree and follows it up with an ending no one will see coming.” RT BOOK REVIEWS 4 1/2 Stars TOP PICK

EXCERPT

I didn’t recognize the name on the street sign. Nothing about the rural road looked familiar or

friendly. Tall, imposing trees and overgrown weeds choked the front of the dilapidated home.

Windows were boarded up. There was a gaping hole where the front door had been. I shivered,

wanting to be far away from here…wherever here was.

Walking felt harder than it should be, and I stumbled off the chilly asphalt, wincing as

sharp gravel dug into my feet.

My bare feet?

I stopped and looked down. Chipped pink nail polish peeked through the dirt…and blood.

Mud caked the legs of my pants, leaving the hems stiff. It made sense, seeing as how I wasn’t

wearing any shoes, but the blood…I didn’t understand why there was blood staining the knees of

my jeans.

My vision clouded and dulled, as if a gray film had been dropped over my eyes. As I

stared at the weathered asphalt under my feet, large and smooth rocks replaced the tiny stones.

Something dark and oily seeped over the rocks, slipping through the cracks.

Sucking in a sharp gasp, I blinked and the image was gone.

Hands trembling, I raised them. They were also covered with dirt and scratches. My nails

were broken, bloodied. A silver ring wrapped, encased in soil, around my thumb. Air froze in my

chest as my gaze crawled over my arms. The sleeves of my sweater were torn, revealing pale

flesh covered in bruises and gashes. My legs started to shake as I swayed forward. I tried to

remember how this had happened, but my head was empty—a black void where nothing existed.

A car drove by, coasting to a stop a few feet in front of me. Somewhere in the trenches of

my subconscious, I recognized the flashing red and blue lights as a source of safety. Elegantly

scrawled along the black-and-gray side of the cruiser were the words ADAMS COUNTY SHERIFF’S

DEPARTMENT.

Adams County? A flash of familiarity came and went.

The driver’s door opened, and a deputy stepped out. He said something into the radio on

his shoulder before he looked at me.

“Miss?” He started around the cruiser, taking tentative steps. He looked young for a

deputy. Barely out of high school and able to carry a gun seemed wrong somehow. Was I in high

school? I didn’t know. “We’ve received some calls into dispatch concerning you,” he said

gently. “Are you okay?”

I tried to respond, but only a hoarse squeak came out. Clearing my throat, I winced as the

motion scratched and pulled. “I…I don’t know.”

“Okay.” The deputy held up his hands as he approached me, as if I were a skittish deer

about to bolt. “My name is Deputy Rhode. I’m here to help you. Do you know what you’re doing

out here?”

“No.” Knots formed in my belly. I didn’t even know where here was.

His smile strained. “What’s your name?”

My name? Everyone knew their name, but as I stared at the deputy, I couldn’t answer his

question. The knots started twisting more. “I don’t…I don’t know what my name is.”

He blinked, and the smile was completely gone. “You don’t remember anything?”

I tried again, concentrating on the empty space between my ears. That was how it felt.

And I knew that wasn’t good. My eyes started to tear up.

“Miss, it’s okay. We’ll get you taken care of.” He reached out, lightly taking hold of my

arm. “We’ll get this sorted.”

Deputy Rhode led me around the back of his cruiser. I didn’t want to sit behind the

Plexiglas, because I knew that wasn’t good. Only bad people sat behind the glass in police

cruisers. I wanted to object, but before I could say anything, he settled me into the seat and

wrapped a coarse blanket around my shoulders.

Before he locked me in the bad part of the car, he knelt and smiled reassuringly.

“Everything’s going to be okay.”

But I knew he was lying, trying to make me feel better. It didn’t work. How could

everything be okay when I didn’t know my own name?
About Jennifer L. Armentrout:
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.




 I can't wait to read Don't Look Back! :D
It sounds amazing, and that cover is fantastic! It's creepy and beautiful all at the same time! :)

What do you think?
Did you enjoy the excerpt?
And are you planning to read Don't Look Back?

Tea Tuesdays! (7): Today's Tea is...a combination of Cold 911 & Redberry Tonic!

I'm totally obsessed with tea, so every Tuesday, I'm sharing one of my favourites...and maybe sometimes something just totally awesome and tea-related.

Recently my biggest tea obsession has been loose tea! If you're new to loose tea, check out my first Tea Tuesday post and see how easy it is to brew! You can also click my "Tea Tuesdays!" button above to see my previous tea posts! :D

So, instead of having one tea as my tea of the day today, I've got a combination of two! Pretty much all of last week, I was a coughing, sneezing, sniffly mess, so I combined two of DAVIDsTEA's teas, and they really helped me feel better! :D 

Today's tea is then a combination of them both! It's a combination of DAVIDsTEA's COLD 911 and REDBERRY TONIC (which was also the first tea I shared :P).

Here's what both teas look like! :D


And here's what DAVIDsTEA has to say about them both: 

COLD 911

EMERGENCY RELIEF
Bad colds require great interventions. Take this tea, for example. It’s a deliciously soothing mix of peppermint, juniper berries and orange peel. Pretty great, right? If that’s not extreme enough for you, you could try eating raw garlic, or gargling salt water, or inhaling lots of steam. Yeah...we didn’t think so. Probably better just to stick to the tea. With its soothing citrus and mint aroma we can’t guarantee miracle results, but at least we can guarantee it tastes great. (MK Kosher)

INGREDIENTS
Organic: Peppermint, juniper berries, orange peel. With natural eucalyptus and orange flavouring

REDBERRY TONIC

MAGIC ELIXIR
Ladies and gentlemen, step right up and get a taste of our revitalizing, tantalizing, exhilarating, invigorating tonic. Put some zip in your sip with tart and tangy hibiscus, rosehips, lemongrass and immortality-boosting goji berries. But that’s not all! We’ve harnessed the power of the legendary sea buckthorn wonder-berry, prized for centuries in Chinese, Indian and Tibetan medicine. You’ve got to see it to believe it folks, so get your hands on a cup today.

INGREDIENTS
Apple, rosehip, hibiscus, lemongrass, sea buckthorn, goji berries, natural sea buckthorn flavouring

When I make this combination, I put about half of the amount it says to add of each into my perfect tea mug, and then I steep according to the instructions. The instructions for both of these ones were pretty much the same, so it made it nice and easy to combine them. :)

Here's what the tea looks like once it's steeped:


Cold 911 is pretty strong, and tastes slightly medicinal, so I found that the Redberry Tonic toned that down a little bit and the two actually complimented each other pretty well. I wasn't a huge fan of the combination at first, but I have to admit that I actually really love it now! haha 

Have you ever tried combining teas before?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cover Catch-Up (7): Bright, Blue, and Beautiful!! :D

In "Cover Catch-Up" I share some covers that have either been recently revealed, or that I've just found and really wanted to share.

Today, I've got three fantastic covers to share, and they're all gorgeous!!! :D

The first cover I have to share is for FOUR, the collection of short stories from Four's POV, by Veronica Roth!

 

I absolutely LOVE this cover! It's gorgeous! And I love that it still contains elements from the trilogy, too...the ferris wheel, and the flaming circle, which reminds me of Dauntless....I just love it! :D

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The second cover I have today is for The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson!



Eeek! This one is gorgeous, too! I also just can't wait to have all of these short novellas in one place!!! :D I also can't wait to see this cover in person...it's gonna be one of those ones that's just stunning to look at, I can tell! :)

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The third and final cover that I have to share for today is for Betrothed by Wanda Wiltshire!



I stumbled across this cover a while back, and thought it was absolutely breathtaking!! :D I've seen two variations, and this is the more vibrant one...in either variation, it's stunning! :) The story also sounds amazing!!! :D

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What do you think?
Do you find these covers as beautiful as I do?