Sunday Showcase #22

Okay, people. It’s been so long since I’ve done a Sunday Showcase, I don’t even know all I’ve received since the last time. All I know is I’ve collected a LOT of books over the last few weeks. The sad thing about it all is I haven’t taken the time to do any major reading with NaNo in November and working on the latest releases. Anyway… time for the rundown of the ones I remember. 🙂

Eighteen-year-old Jess Bonner is casting off pretense—and, with it, some friends from his past who aren’t particularly trustworthy. In just a few months he’ll be starting college, and it’s time for him to admit the truth: he’s gay, not bi, and only one of his childhood buddies holds any kind of real interest for him. When Dylan Finch, aka Mig, follows his lead and puts some distance between himself and the old crowd, he and Jess give in to a mutual attraction that’s been building for years.

But navigating a fledgling relationship isn’t easy for beginners, and forces they can’t seem to control keep tripping them up: sexual appetite, personal insecurities, fear of discovery, and more. They need clarity. They need courage. Just as they’re on the verge of finding both, a vindictive act of jealousy sends one of them to jail. All their hard-won victories are in danger of falling to dust. The only way to save what they have is to recognize it for what it is . . . and fight for its integrity.

Why I chose it: I totally need to expand my horizons. Really, I’m curious. I’ve never read a straight gay (can you use straight and gay in the same sentence?) YA book. Perhaps with a bit of understanding, I might be encouraged to write Seth Richard’s story. I’ve got a whole lot of reading to do before I can even consider that.

Available: Barnes & Nobles, The Book Depository

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it’s his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

Why I chose it: This book just plain sounds weird, plus it’s dystopia — my new favorite genre.

Available: Barnes & Nobles, The Book Depository

If someone gave you a chair and said it was made by Jesus Christ, would you believe them?

When an elderly lady shows up in Corin Roscoe’s antiques store and gives him a chair she claims was crafted by Jesus, he scoffs. But when a young boy is miraculously healed two days after sitting in the chair, he stops laughing and starts wondering . . . could this chair heal the person whose life Corin destroyed twelve years ago?

As word spreads of the boy’s healing, a mega-church pastor is determined to manipulate Corin into turning over the chair. And that mysterious woman who gave him the piece flits in and out of his life like a shadow, insinuating it’s Corin’s destiny to guard the chair above everything else. But why?

Desperate, he turns to the one person he can trust, a college history professor who knows more about the legend of the chair than he’ll reveal. Corin’s life shatters as he searches for the truth about the artifact and the unexplained phenomena surrounding it. What’s more, he’s not the only one willing do almost anything to possess the power seemingly connected to the chair.

Why I chose it: I’ve really been getting into the Christian genre lately — Amish romances, Christian non-fiction, a bit of Christian fiction here and there. And this one sounds extremely intriguing. A chair Jesus made…. hmmm?

Available: Barnes & Nobles, The Book Depository

Lupita, a budding actor and poet in a close-knit Mexican American immigrant family, comes of age as she struggles with adult responsibilities during her mother’s battle with cancer. A novel in verse.

Why I chose it: I’m intrigued by cultures other than my own. Some might have read that The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan is my favorite book. My interest in other cultures came about many, many, many (don’t think there’s enough many’s for this but go with me) years ago when I took a Women’s History class. Later, I joined the military and had an opportunity to learn about Korean… There’s a whole other world out there my fellow Americans, and it’s cool. I believe this will be my first Mexican-American book. I’m excited to read how the Mexican-American culture differs from other American cultures.

Available: Barnes & Nobles, The Book Depository

You can run from the grave, but you can’t hide . . .

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield is now Special Agent Cat Crawfield, working for the government to rid the world of the rogue undead. She’s still using everything Bones, her sexy and dangerous ex, taught her, but when Cat is targeted for assassination, the only man who can help her is the vampire she left behind.

Being around him awakens all her emotions, from the adrenaline kick of slaying vamps side by side to the reckless passion that consumed them. But a price on her head—wanted: dead or half-alive—means her survival depends on teaming up with Bones. And no matter how hard she tries to keep things professional between them, she’ll find that desire lasts forever . . . and that Bones won’t let her get away again.

Why I chose it: I’m a Book Depository loyalist. Well, I’ve been waiting and waiting for this book to come in stock at the Book depository ever since I read Halfway to the Grave (review here). It’s been half a year, and it hasn’t happened yet. When my husband asked me if I wanted anything from Amazon, you better believe I hopped on this book!

Available: Barnes & Nobles, The Book Depository

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can’t tell anybody about what she does they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant.

Why I chose it: I picked up the second two books in the trilogy back when Borders was having their going out of business sale. Well, they didn’t have Wake. Today, we stopped by the Books a Million store which opened in the same shopping center. haha Would you believe the same clerks from Borders are working at Books a Million now? That’s another story. Well, they had Wake in the bargain aisle for more than 1/2 the regular price. Odd, because they also had the same book on the regular shelves for full price. Guess it pays to cruise the bargain bins. 😀

Available: Barnes & Nobles, The Book Depository

If everyone told you love wasn’t real, would you still be willing to die for it?

Citizens of a six-moon system in our arm of the Milky Way don’t remember Earth, only the History of a generational worldship culture. In their multi-partner society a caste system rules tradition, but the governing body of the Embassy rules everything else. Obsessed with celebrity, beauty, and power, relationships and conceptions are based more on DNA than emotional ties…or should be.

What the citizenry can’t escape are the human feelings of love and jealousy that turn the sterile to honorable suicide, force a couple to make the ultimate sacrifice, and allow rebels to spin their world into a violent revolution.

Ambasadora Sara Mendoza becomes the unwilling face of this revolution. Captured, tortured, and given a second chance at freedom, she proves that sacrifice for the man she loves is more honorable than sacrifice to a society’s antiquated mores.

Why I chose it: Ms. Miller offered me a copy of her book a few weeks ago when she sponsored giveaways here. 🙂 Yep… I’ll be reading my copy along with the winners. Thanks, Ms. Miller!

Available: Barnes & Nobles, The Book Depository, Smashwords

JUSTINE JONES FACES HER ULTIMATE ENEMY: HERSELF

In an attempt to put her unhappy past behind her, Justine Jones throws herself into nursing school and planning her wedding to the man of her dreams. But something is off. Random details aren’t adding up…and is it her imagination, or are her friends and fiancé keeping secrets from her? And what’s with this strange sense of unease, and her odd new headaches?

Justine tries to stay upbeat as Midcity cowers under martial law, sleepwalking cannibals, and a mysterious rash of paranormal copycat violence, but her search for answers leads her into the most dangerous mind game yet.

With the help of unlikely allies, including her paranoid dad and best frenemy Simon, Justine fights her ultimate foe…and unravels the most startling mystery of all.

Why I chose it: I’ve been waiting for this book since I finished the 2nd CLIFFHANGER book in the series (see review here). At last, it’s arrived. You know this book is only available in eBook right now? And for once, the traditional price isn’t outrageous. Well, I picked up my copy, did you?

Available: Barnes & Nobles

 

So… what’s in your wallet? I’m mean… shelf.

 

Julianna Baggott, K.Z. Snow, Jaems L. Rubart, Guadalupe Garcia Mcall, Jeanienne Frost, Carolyn Crane, Heidi Ruby Miller, Lisa McMann, Brodi Ashton

Sunday Showcase #14

I checked out my list of NetGalley requests and see I made a decent dent in it. I decided it’d be okay to request a few more works, so I did. These aren’t set to release for over a month, so it’ll give me time to work on other books before having to tackle these.

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don’t know it’s there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.

Why I Picked It up: This one I debated requesting. It sounded a little dystopia, which I’m totally into these days, but not quite. I really wasn’t sure what to make of the genre. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least read the first few pages and see if it’s for me or not. NegGalley Copy.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Identity Crisis.As a biracial teen, Nina is accustomed to a life of varied hues—mocha-colored skin, ringed brown hair streaked with red, a darker brother, a black father, a white mother. When her parents decide to divorce, the rainbow of Nina’s existence is reduced to a much starker reality. Shifting definitions and relationships are playing out all around her, and new boxes and lines seem to be getting drawn every day.Between the fractures within her family and the racial tensions splintering her hometown, Nina feels caught in perpetual battle. Feeling stranded in the nowhere land between racial boundaries, and struggling for personal independence and identity, Nina turns to the story of her great-great-grandmother’s escape from slavery. Is there direction in the tale of her ancestor? Can Nina build her own compass when landmarks from her childhood stop guiding the way?

Why I Picked It up: Another NetGalley request. My children are bi-racial, and I always wonder how they fit in with society. I wouldn’t mind seeing the perspective from another view point.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night’s experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. . . . What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?

Patrick Carman’s Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, memory, and— ultimately—immortality.

Why I Picked It up: I just finished reading Ultraviolet (review here) and quite enjoyed it. The blurb reminded me of Ultraviolet even though the story line seems completely different. NegGalley Copy.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust…and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

Why I Picked It up: Did I mention I’m into dystopia? This world seems really messed up. I’m really excited about it. NegGalley Copy.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

The going out of business sales continue at Borders (my Walden bookstore), and I’m having a hard time keeping money in my pocket. So I stopped by again. I stuck with the bargain books this time.

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that?

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license — for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world — and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Why I Picked It up: I’ve seen this book on other blogs, but never bothered to read anything about it. I figured it was a contemporary YA novel about some ugly kid in school who didn’t fit in. My daughter, who’s read the entire series, straightened me out. I rather like the concept, so I picked it up.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect. Perfectly wrong.

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

Why I Picked It up: Couldn’t resist buying the sequel which was also on the bargain shelf.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

“Special Circumstances”:

The words have sent chills down Tally’s spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor — frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally’s never been ordinary.

And now she’s been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.

Still, it’s easy to tune that out — until Tally’s offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete. Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.

Why I Picked It up: See above.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

SOME NIGHTMARES NEVER END.

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They’re just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.

Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody’s talking. When Janie taps into a classmate’s violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open — but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie’s in way over her head, and Cabe’s shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability — and it’s bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what’s to come is way darker than she’d feared….

Why I Picked It up: I debated pretty hard about this one, since it’s a sequel. I think it was only $2.99 though. My daughter said it was a decent book, so I picked up it, thinking I’d find the first one in time.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And she’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear. And it’s going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life — and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she’d ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out. . . .

Why I Picked It up: See above.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Self-taught tinkerer Kali McAlister is determined to build an airship and escape the frigid Yukon forever. Unfortunately, she’s the heir to the secrets of flash gold, an alchemical energy source that tends to make her a popular target for bandits, gangsters, and pirates.

With the help of her bounty-hunting business partner, Cedar, Kali has outwitted and eluded attackers before, and she thinks she’s prepared for anything. Then her ex-fiancé strolls into her workshop.

As if fooling her once wasn’t enough, he aims to embroil her in a fresh scheme. Meanwhile, a new nemesis is stalking her, a shrouded figure with an arsenal of deadly machines that make Kali’s inventions seem like toys. This time, it’ll take more than her ingenuity and Cedar’s combat skills to survive.

Hunted is a 27,000-word steampunk novella.

Printed page count equivalent: 120

Why I Picked It up: I really enjoyed Flash Gold (review here). When Lindsay Buroker said she’d released the sequel, I couldn’t help but pick it up.

Available at: Smashwords  and Barnes & Nobles

Seems like I’ve picked up enough books this month to last the rest of the year and beyond. Have you all able to pace yourself? Or are you going crazy too with all the available books on the market?