That's What HE Said Thursday #18:Cole from #scandal

That's what HE said Thursday is a weekly meme hosted at Chapter Break where you post a favorite line of a book boyfriend to his heroine. It's the perfect meme to share all those awesome quotes!

For this week's book quote I chose my last read, #scandal by Sarah Ockler


"I know you'd rather be shooting zombies," he says, "but
we're not leaving until you have eight consecutive minutes
of fun. I'm timing you."

                        Cole to Lucy, #scandal

To tell you the truth, to me, Cole isn't a romantic guy but he does have this wonderful personality. He is funny, cute, straightforward and he is that kind of geeky boy many would love to fall in love with (or in my case, to be close friends).   ;)

Cover Reveal: Breaker by Emma Raveling

CoverReveal_July31 (1)

Hey guys! Today I bring you the cover reveal for Breaker by Emma Raveling, the fourth book in the Ondine Quartet, an upper Young Adult Urban Fantasy series. 

I haven't read this series yet but I DO own the first book, Whirl, which I got a looong time ago as an Amazon freebie. But with so many books to read, I'm afraid this book (along with tons of others) got buried deep into the TBR pile. Big mistake. I've heard many great things about it and now with the fourth book coming, I must get my read on.

That's why I'm so excited to show you THIS cover:


Pretty, isn't it? Read what this book is about!

War. Prophecy. Freedom.

She fought for herself. She fought for friendship and love. Now, Kendra Irisavie fights for the survival of her world.

War rages on, leaving no one untouched. Destruction rips through elemental communities and terror flourishes in its wake. Suspicion soars, order fractures, and loyalties crumble despite Kendra’s desperate attempts to protect everyone she holds dear.

When an organized Aquidae army launches a series of merciless assaults, Kendra and her friends set out to end the bloodshed once and for all. With the fate of elementals hanging in balance, the Shadow and sondaleur hunt each other down in a brutal match of cunning and will.

Kendra has trained for this her entire life. But in a ravaged world where trust is scarce and no life is sacred, she soon realizes her battle may be against an invincible enemy and that her darkest days lie ahead.

Twists and turns shape her harrowing odyssey, leading to a stunning climax that challenges everything she believes in.

Torn between destiny and autonomy, Kendra must finally decide whether the cost of freedom is too high.

Heartbreaking decisions, turbulent alliances, and shattering revelations collide in Breaker, the explosive conclusion to the Ondine Quartet.

Tell us about the covers in this series.

The main novels of the Ondine Quartet (Whirl, Billow,Crest, Breaker) have conceptual covers. Each cover’s imagery captures a particular theme or motif in the book, and the coloring conveys a sense of the story’s mood and emotional arc.

The shorter works/novellas in the series (Ondine,Chevalier, and Warrior Prince) are essentially character portraits and are told through the eyes of different characters in the series. Those covers use models.

The goal for Breaker’s cover was to visually convey high stakes, explosive energy, and a brilliant, sharp intensity.This is the epic finale to the series and everything that has happened in previous books has led to this moment.

Out of all the covers in the series, this one took the most amount of work. My designer and I went back and forth multiple times, going through several drastically different versions before finally arriving at the right
imagery and coloring.

How does it feel to end a series?

It’s bittersweet. A part of me is thrilled to share the end of Kendra’s journey with readers. I’ve had the entire series planned since the very beginning so finally releasing what’s been in my head is a relief.

But the process of writing this final book has been a highly emotional one. There’s a personal attachment to the work itself. I’ve spent countless hours thinking and living with these characters and with this world over the past four years. It’s difficult to bring not only Kendra’s story, but my journey with her story,to an end.

A few easy questions:

Top 3 books?

Only 3?? Argh! There are so many books I love for different reasons and my list of favorites is always changing, depending on what’s going on in my life. Right now, if I had to name three, they’d be:

1. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. And of course, the Harry Potter series

Top 5 movies?

1. Aviator
2. Mulholland Drive
3. The Matrix
4. The Breakfast Club
5. Okay, I couldn’t just pick five. So the last one is a tie between The Usual Suspects, Reservoir Dogs, Star Wars (ep. 4-6), and Catch Me If You Can.

Top 5 foods?

1.Fresh basil pesto – I’ll add this on anything
2.Sashimi (Japanese-style raw fish)
3.Dark chocolate
4.Jamón ibérico(Spanish ham)
5.And my terrible guilty pleasure: pizza

Author Bio:
Emma Raveling writes a wide variety of fiction for teens and adults. Hopelessly addicted to coffee and diet coke, she is the author of the Ondine Quartet and Chancer young adult series, and is currently working on the first book in her new Steel Magic series for adults.

 Previous Novels:


Previous Novellas:

This event was organized by:


Book Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: April 24th, 2012
Page count: 484 pages
Format: Kobo eBook
Source: Purchased
Book Summary:
To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for… again.

Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

     *The Reader's Review*

     My rating: 5/5 stars
OH.MY.GOD. Why didn't I read this book sooner? The Immortal Rules is GENIUS. Agh, I fell in love once again with Julie Kagawa's fantastic writing. This book is dark, gritty, and simply stunning. If you're a fan of vampire books, then you must read this book now (if you haven't already).

I thought there wasn't anything new to add to the whole bunch of vampire books out there, but I was so wrong. Julie managed to twist many things and add her personal touch to our favorite bloodsuckers. They are strong, they are immortal, they are deadly... and things are about to get crazy even for them.

Allie is now, hands down, my favorite vampire ever. She is kick-ass, smart and terribly sarcastic. I loved the way she held herself in the toughest of times and how she fights the monster inside  her in order to maintain her humanity. Even when people pushed her away once they realized what she was, she would be faithful and look after them. The best, I tell ya. Zeke knows that too.

Oh, who is Zeke, you ask? Well, he is none other than the guy who doesn't want to leave my mind and heart for a second! The wonderful Ezekiel Crosse is a human boy who has a heart of gold and fiercely protects those in need. He is handsome and completely swoon-worthy, so much that even Allie's dead heart almost starts thumping again whenever he is near. Sadly, their feelings for each other are dangerous. Allie IS a vampire after all. ;)

I know I'm a bit late for all the hype of this book, but at least there's something good about that: No waiting. The Blood of Eden series is now complete and I can thankfully read right away the rest of the books without the painful gaps of unreleased sequels. Again, don't even doubt to read this book, you won't regret a single page.

The Week's Entrée #25

Oh, you guys, what a week the last one. It has been one of the hardest ones for us since we started blogging. First off, we didn't have internet or a place to plug in our computer. We immediately went to buy a car power converter and everything seemed fine. Problem solved. I (the reader) started catching up with posts and stuff, but then *shudders* our father's mobile hotspot stopped working properly. We can't use facebook, nor instagram, NOT EVEN GOOGLE. That means I can't open blogger either. 

Yes, I'm going crazy right now.

Only my father's phone can open blogger (still no facebook). So I made most of last week's and will be doing the next to come with his phone (I've actually claimed it as mine for now). It's a big pain to do so, but it is better than nothing at all. I apologize in advance if my posts don't look that neat.

This is the reason why I haven't been around much, but I'm trying to keep up as much as I can. Book blogging friends, I haven't forgotten you at all. Will visit you soon! :)

In other news...
I posted a new review at Kate Tilton's blog! The Distance Between Us by Kasie West is one of my favorite contemporary reads and I'm glad I finally had the chance to review it. If you have the chance, I'd love for you to check it out and leave me your thoughts about it. 

Books I Bought, Won or Received:


An ARC of #Scandal by Sarah Ockler (Simon Pulse, June 2014) and Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (Square Fish, May 2007). These are both pre-loved books I bought (donated for ARC) at Seattle's Central Library. I practically squealed when I saw these two lovelies just sitting there waiting for me. I already devoured #scandal and the chef absolutely adored Elsewhere. Can't wait to have internet on the computer to start posting those reviews!

The chef also bought The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies by C. Norman Shealy. It's an interesting book with great info on it, and quoting her: It's a great book because it shows you how to use plants and herbs for not only illnesses, but also to learn what goes well with food to make it much more healthier, and in a way, to lead a different lifestyle.

To Read This Week:

I'm about to start Chameleon's Spell by Roni O'Connell. The blog tour is stopping by the blog this Friday and I'm excited to check this one out. It better be good!

Thanks for stopping to another small edition of The Week's Entrée! What are you reading right now? ;)

Slip by Leslie J. Portu Playlist & Giveaway

Hey guys! Today I'm thrilled to bring to you the playlist of Slip, a YA book written by Leslie J. Portu. Leslie's book is a good one and I'm happy to finally know about those songs that inspired it. But before you go to check it out, read first a little about her book ( check out my review here). 

 Slip by Leslie J. Portu
Published June 8th, 2013 / Createspace Independent Publishing
Book Summary:
Of late, Vivien Allen’s life has cruised safely on autopilot. And safety is exactly what she clings to. Heaven knows her sixteen years have been struck with enough drama to last a lifetime. Yet while the status quo provides a sense of comfort, Vivien can’t ignore the small voice inside that yearns for something different. As junior year begins this longing is answered in the form of Christophe Laval, the young and fabulously different new French teacher. Before long an exciting yet indefinable friendship develops which complicates things considerably as she suddenly finds herself falling for Declan Mieres, the senior star lacrosse player. The need to hide the two sides of her life becomes increasingly difficult, the omissions and half-truths weighing on her conscience. When at last she resolves to change her ways, the truth is far more frightening than any lie.

 Hi all!
I would like to share with you some of the music that was my inspiration while writing Slip. Music is a powerful generator of all kinds of emotions. These are the songs that helped me to visualize my characters more clearly, and access the emotions of a particular scene. The list (more or less) follows along with the storyline. Happy listening! And, more importantly, happy reading!

Leslie J Portu

Slip: Top Ten Eleven Playlist

1. Live: Lightning Crashes  (What’s this? Could it be love?)
2. Marcy Playground: Sex And Candy  (Riley’s Halloween Party)
3. Big Data: Dangerous  (Things are not always what they seem)
4. Tame Impala: Feels Like We Only Go Backwards  (When is it OK to lie?)
5. Icona Pop: Good For You  (Dinner party at Lauren’s)
6. How To Dress Well: Cold Nites  (Turn up the heat (Ch. 20))
7. City and Colour: Weightless  (Declan’s world crashes down)
8. Prince: I Would Die 4 U  (The chase)
9. Death: Denial of Life  (In the mind of a killer)
10. The Limousines: Wildfires  (Passion in the winter woods)
11. Ghost Beach: Miracle  (Love trumps all: final scene)

Love the songs! They are indeed perfect for each scene. My favorite is from Icona Pop ;)

A few things about Leslie J. Portu:

1. I believe reading novels is one of the best ways to increase your knowledge on just about ANY subject. As you follow the characters into their world you can't help but soak up all sorts of new information. There is nothing like the feeling of losing yourself in a good book. 

2. Most kids/young adults these days do not read enough due to an overabundance of competing distractions. (Obviously this does not apply to YOU, since here you are on a blog about books! So congratulations! Take a second and give yourself a pat on the back). 

3. It is my great aspiration to make a connection with all you voracious readers. I love YA! Writing about that particular period in life fills me with energy and excitement! It is the point in time when you are trying to figure out who you want to be. I would be especially grateful to hear your thoughts: Do you identify with any of my characters? Do you hate/love one in particular? Would you act the same if you found yourself in a similar situation? The questions are endless...

4. Other factoids: I attended the University of Wisconsin for four of the best years of my life (Go Badgers!). After spending hour upon hour sitting in a chair, I love to head for the stair climber and lift weights (my family will tell you I am a serious grump without exercise). I love the beach and the sun and chicken lettuce wraps and coffee and atomic fireballs. Currently, I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan (not a Wolverine fan, sorry) with my husband, four children, and two dumb dogs. In the summers I can be found in Carolina Beach, North Carolina where I have recently converted to a country music fan (the most touching lyrics—seriously!).

5.  More books are coming. 

Eeeep, awesome! And because I want more people to know about her book, I'm going to give away and ebook (kindle) copy of Slip. Just enter the rafflecopter below and start crossing your fingers. Giveaway is open international!

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That's What HE Said Thursday #19: Tiam from Drowned

That's what HE said Thursday is a weekly meme hosted at Chapter Break where you post a favorite line of a book boyfriend to his heroine. It's the perfect meme to share all those awesome quotes!

Today's quote is of the amazing Tiam from Drowned written by Nichola Reilly.

"If it is true that another person can hold the other half of my heart, then there is no question who that person is. You and I have always been together. You're the one who stands next to me in formation. I know our spaces were assigned, but I swear to you, Coe, there is no one on the island I'd rather be next to. I always felt like it was the two of us, against everything and everyone else. And I thought you felt the same way. After all, you're the one who came to my rescue. Not Star." 

                        Tiam to Coe, Drowned

This part of the book is one of the sweetest moments there, all because of our beautiful Tiam. He starts to show Coe that she has been the only one for him all along, and he thought she felt the same way. But Coe struggles to believe it, considering she is deformed and not as beautiful like him, or like the princess.

Drowned Blog Tour: Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

I'm super stoked to have Drowned's blog tour stop at The Reader and the Chef! This book is nothing short of amazing and I hope many get to get their hands on this book soon. Scroll down this post to read my review, a guest post from the author and the tour wide giveaway!

Title: Drowned
Author: Nichola Reilly
Series: Drowned #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Published: June 24th, 2014 
Page count: 304 pages
Format: eBook
Source: Provided for tour in exchange for honest review
Book Summary:
Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival. Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot comprehend, she is invited into the privileged circle of royal aides. She soon learns that the dying royal is keeping a secret that will change their world forever. Is there an escape from the horrific nightmare that their island home has become? Coe must race to find the answers and save the people she cares about, before their world and everything they know is lost to the waters.

 *The Reader's Review*

     My rating: 5/5 stars

I need the sequel NOW. This book is sooo good and such a surprise because it's unlike any other book out there. It's weird, it's unique, and it will pull you underneath its pages. I hope you know how to swim!

The story takes place on a tiny island known as Tides. Supposedly, it's the last bit of earth that hasn't been completely covered by the floods. Each day when the tides rise, the habitants are forced to line up on a platform according to their number and wait for the tides to lower if they don't want to be carried away by the ocean. Life is hard on the tiny island since food is scarce and the odds of making through another day are pretty slim thanks to all the casualties, and even more when you are only a one armed girl.

Everything about Drowned was unusual and unexpected, from the one-armed heroine to the castle secrets withheld by the royal. I must admit that at first, it was a bit hard for me to get used to Coe and her life in the tiny island of Tides because I silly enough, had my doubts on Coe's ability to kick ass thanks to her “deformity”. However, not only did she kick ass, but she also rocked the whole island from its core! She didn't need to have all of her limbs to dream and fight for what she wanted, she went for them all the way.

Tiam was another character I loved from this book. The guy had an amazing attitude and cared for Coe right from the start.  I adored his innocence (and Coe's too) when it came to showing feelings. This island hardly knows what love is, let alone what a hug or a kiss means. Yes, my favorite part of this book is when Tiam and Coe discover what a Kiss truly is *happy sigh*.

There is so much more about Drowned I wish I could tell you right here and now, but I don't want to spoil the book for you. All I have left to say is that this book is a must and I hope many read it. It may be a bit weird, yes, but it's the good weird you can't stop yourself from loving.

The Inspiration Behind Drowned 

I used to spend my summers at the Jersey Shore and sometimes there would be storms that would make the ocean on our East meet the bay on our West, so I’ve always had enormous respect for the power of the ocean. Now, I live in Pennsylvania, but I make it to the shore as much as I can. I guess you can say the ocean has a big hold over me—there is nothing I miss more than the smell of the ocean breeze as it floats in the windows at night.

For DROWNED, maybe 5 or 6 years ago, I was lying in bed, missing the ocean, and I kept thinking a group of survivors who lived on an island, and twice a day, whenever the tide rolled in, they were forced to squeeze together on the only dry land—a small platform that only got smaller as the days dragged on. The survivors would each be given a spot on the platform based on their “worth” to society—the more important people would be safer, in the center, where the dregs would be at the very edge. Weak and deformed Coe, the main character, is still a child, so she’s in the center, but when she turns 16, an adult, she is destined to be cast out to the edge.  

It’s post-apocalyptic, because mostly everyone is dead, except for this small group of 496 survivors. But they’re not rebuilding their world—they can’t. Land is constantly eroding. I’ve always been haunted by that last line of T.S. Eliot’s poem The Hollow Men, “This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper.”  And for these people, that’s it. Life is slowly fading away, like the last embers of a fire that’s been stamped out.

That’s a heck of a lot of hopelessness, so I thought I should introduce one bright spot to the world, one ray of hope. Coe may, on the surface, be weak and pathetic. But she is strong in other, hidden ways. She is obsessed with fairy tales, since that’s the only remaining book on the island, and the one she reads constantly. No one else can read, so she is the only one who believes in these fantasies of love and heroism and loyalty and happily ever after. She is hopeful.

The rest of the island is filled with an interesting set of characters—the fight for survival has worn many of them down, driving them mad or bloodthirsty. But perhaps Coe has the power to convince others that all is not lost, which would make her the most valuable person of all. 
Meet the author

About Cyn Balog: Cyn Balog is a normal, everyday Jersey Girl who always believed magical things can happen to us when we least expect them.  She is author of young adult paranormal novels; FAIRY TALE (2009), SLEEPLESS (2010), STARSTRUCK (2011), TOUCHED (2012), and her most recent release: DEAD RIVER (2013).e.  She lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters.She also writes under the pen name Nichola Reilly Nichola Reilly is Cyn Balog’s post-apocalyptic fantasy-writing alter-ego. The first book in her series, DROWNED, will be releasing from Harlequin TEEN sometime in 2014, followed by a sequel, BURIED, in 2015.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Facebook - Nichola | Goodreads  | Twitter - Nichola

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Follow the Tour:
July 14th  Like A Bump On A Blog  – Promo/Excerpt 
July 15th  Cabin Goddess  – Playlist/Excerpt/Recipe 
July 16th – Fandom Monthly Magazine – Review/Top 10 
July 17th – Bookish – Review 
July 18th – All Things Romance – Review 
July 21st – I Feel The Need The Need To Read  – Review/ Top 10 
July 22nd – Bookraptured – Review 
July 22nd – Sleep. Eat. Read. – Review 
July 23rd – Bookish - Debbie – Review 
J uly 23rd – The Bookish Confessions – Review/ Top 10 
July 23rd – The Reader and the Chef – Review/GP 
July 24th  Ohana Reads  – Review 
July 25th – Guest Review - Karin Baker  – Review 
July 25th – The Cover Contessa – Review 
July 25th  Little Red's Book Reviews – Review/Playlist
Hosted by:

The Week's Entrée #24

Happy start of the week, everyone! The Chef and I are on vacation in the U.S. so it's been hard staying in touch with the blog, bloggers and other bookish activities. I miss having wifi and a computer 24/7, there are so many posts and reviews to finish for upcoming tours that I'm going a bit crazy right now trying to have everything ready. The time finally arrived for me to get more organized.

For now, I'll leave you once again with a short post about my VERY small book haul and what I'm reading this week. ;)

Books I Bought, Won or Received:

{Received for blog tour}

Changes by Gillian Felix
Published: July 25th, 2013/GillianFx Publishing, LLC
Genre: YA Contemporary
Adriana Banovic’s 15th birthday sucked! She got fired after eight years of playing Shayanne Montgomery on the #1 soap in the country, found out that her family was on the verge of bankruptcy and worst of all, forced to return to Westwood Academy. Her only saving grace was a chance glance at dreamy mystery boy Haze Lyndon. Armed with only his picture and a determination to find him—even if it means turning Los Angeles over on its ass.

In this young adult novel, you’ll meet Robin Banovic, Adriana’s father; financially challenged, dealing with the death of a family member and his brother’s disappearance. You’ll meet Savannah DaCosta aka Savi, mother/manager; Savi enjoys the life her rock star daughter Leighann has provided. When Leighann makes a choice to end her career, Savi sees it as a personal attack. You’ll meet college boy Haze Lyndon; New to Los Angeles, Haze soon realizes how quickly money changes hands in the City of Angels. Will he return to questionable ways to survive or go back to the safety of his family in Wisconsin?

I was invited to join the blog tour for the Family Portrait series by Gillian Felix, and since I'm flooded with so many books, I chose to only review the first book/novella. It's a quick read and by the looks of it, a grea start to the series. 

Currently Reading:

Drowned by Nichola Reilly is turning out to be GREAT. Mind you, I'm barely 27% into the book but its MC is so different and so so awesome, I already feel in  love with this book. Hope it doesn't disappoint me!
Thanks for stopping to another small edition of The Week's Entrée! What are you reading right now? ;)