Brandi Breathes Books formerly Blkosiner's Book Blog has undergone a make-over, you're in the right place!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stacking the Shelves, The Sunday Post, Bought Borrowed and Bagged


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews,  check it out and sign up  here
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged is a weekly meme, hosted by TalkSupe, where I share with you the books I have bought, borrowed, or bagged. Link up with me here.

Sent:
thanks to Harper Teen, love you guys!


What I read:
Zac and Mia
Source: Edelweiss
Opposition (Lux, #5)
Source: bought

Girl Nevermore
Source: author for honest review

Last Week on the blog:
http://blkosiner.blogspot.com/2014/08/exclusive-giveaway-5-amazon-gift-card.html Exclusive Giveaway: $5 Amazon gift card and 5 ebooks Out of Sync and author interview with A. Bin Juran
Feuds
Source: Macmillan via Netgalley
Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn, #1)
Source: library
Starry Night
Source: MacMillan via Netgalley
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)
Source:  Bloomsbury via Netgalley

My week: Back is killing me, I semi fell down stairs and having some behavior issues with my little girl. But I have started an intense bible study and it has been wonderful to get in depth and the convos in class.


What are you reading? Any of my books new to you or have you read any of my books? If so, what did you think?
Also, feel free to link up your blog and mailbox post.


Follow on Bloglovin

Exclusive Giveaway: $5 Amazon gift card and 5 ebooks Out of Sync and author interview with A. Bin Juran

 

Out of Sync by A. Bin Juran

I'm a magical misfit
I won't let it define me
A bolt-zapping disaster magnet
But at least I'm still trying
The guy I like asked me out
I hoped my luck was changing
Then my coven trials began
...they're harder than I expected
Now my life hangs in the balance
I don't know what I'm doing
But I do know this:
I'm not going down without a fight



“Out of Sync” will be released on the 23rd of October 2014, and is currently available for pre-order through the following sites:
The novel will also be available on Amazon.
Updates and additional links can be found here.

About the Author
When not immersed in books — be it writing or reading them — Ainat can usually be found nestling a cup of coffee in the company of her husband and twins.
A former fast-food employee, T-shirt seller, and glorified secretary, Ainat eventually found herself with Bachelor’s and LL.M. degrees and working as a lawyer.
A few years later, listening to a catchy pop song about dream fulfillment, Ainat decided to buy a clunky little laptop and get to work. Ten novels and a much better laptop later, she came to the realization that hitting the double-digit mark meant it was time to publish and start consuming coffee (though not necessarily in that order).
When she isn’t writing, editing, or mothering, Ainat enjoys reading promiscuously, watching political dramas and sci-fi series, and taking embarrassing memos-to-self complete with accents and dramatic pauses that should never be unleashed, ever.

Author links for A. Bin Juran:

Interview with A. Bin Juran, author of Out of Sync
The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
Out of Sync: A magical misfit faces her perilous coven trials, falls in love and nearly dies more times than seems polite to mention.

How did you get the idea for the story?
The idea for Out of Sync came out of a curious mental image (courtesy of my strange imagination) of a grandmother making a spectacular entrance, emerging from the center of her granddaughter’s bed. The granddaughter, Bree, was sitting in her armchair, studying.
This image wouldn’t leave me. I was writing a much darker story at the time, and when I came up for air, I yearned for something lighter. I began seeing the humor in Bree’s world; before long, her sarcastic, witty tone colored my own, and I embraced it — and her — wholeheartedly.
The scene was ultimately — and wisely — edited out of the novel, though its spirit remains.
Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
From my book: If you take the ‘dinner’ portion out of the equation, then Lee, the vampire, because of his dark and twisted sense of humor that’s sometimes inappropriate.
If I can choose any character from any book or TV series, I would love to have dinner with Kerry Washington’s character from the TV show Scandal, Parry, the Devil from Piers Anthony’s “Incarnations of Immortality” series, and George R. R. Martin’s Tyrion. I think the combination will make for some interesting dinner conversation.
Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
Out of Breath (the second book of this series), will be released by the end of February 2015. The tagline reads: Are you sure you want to know?
I would give you a sneak peek into the back blurb, but seeing as it contains a spoiler for the first book, I won’t; I’m pretty sure that sort of behavior can get you killed.
I have two more books lined up to be professionally edited; the first will be available by Spring 2015, and the second will become available by early 2016.
I will, however, share with you the tagline for the latter of the two: Death — it’s more of a job than a calling.
Other than that, I have three more novels that are waiting their turn in the editing queue, promising to keep me busy for the near future.
What book(s) is your book’s “cousin”? (Similar kind of read, set-up or style)
A witch who attends magic school, desperately trying to withstand her perilous coven trials; hmmm, let me think… Harry Potter does The Hunger Games?
What are some of your favorite books?
I’m an eclectic, ravenous, if somewhat promiscuous reader (a phrase I did not invent, just borrowed, which to me means I’m usually reading five different novels simultaneously). Some of my favorite books are: 11/22/63 by Stephen King, Redshirts by John Scalzi, Night Film by Marisha Pessl, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, Blood Promise by Richelle Mead, Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, The Martian by Andy Weir, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris, 14 by Peter Clines to name a few.
Do you still have much time to read?
Being a mom, a wife and a full-time writer, I try to find untapped moments to read or listen to books. I usually sneak in a couple of minutes of listening while driving, or on my coffee breaks, and have been known to try to stretch out the night with my Kindle before going to sleep.
If a fairy godmother told you could be put into the world of your favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?

Early Harry Potter, though that would probably entail going to Hogwarts to get a grip on the whole magic thing, then tutoring under Snape … so, nix that idea. I want a world in which I have access to powers without the requirement of schooling for eight years; given that technology feels like magic to me (I still marvel at my iPhone), then perhaps my best bet is going with a technologically advanced society with a sense of humor, which naturally means, Douglas Adam’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but only if I can hitch a ride with Zaphod Beeblebrox. Otherwise I might look daft carrying around a towel.
Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
I am fueled by coffee and (usually) require silence to write. As a mother of twins, this is achieved with careful planning and a wonderful support system (i.e., my mother-in-law and mom).
However, there were moments in which I felt I needed music to correctly capture the way I was feeling; to explore and explain the sensations that I was experiencing so I could correctly translate them to the page. For example, there’s a scene in the book in which Bree lets go of her thoughts, fears and doubts by dancing; it allows her to feel connected — not only to the people dancing beside her, but also to feel a part of something greater. I listened to different songs during the writing of this scene, and although I can’t pinpoint the exact ones, I will try to re-capture the essence of what I experienced through sound: Far East Movement’s “Like a G6”, Pitbull ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack, Nayer in “Give me Everything”.

Music inspired me when I needed it most; I was working on the blurb for the book — having quite a difficult time with it to be honest — and decided to go out for a drive and clear my head for a little bit. Once I listened to Kelly Clarkson’s “People Like Us I experienced an “a-ha moment”: the center of the story is Bree’s experiences of being a misfit and finding her people.
I remember the sensation of finding my people when I entered the seventh grade; people who got my sense of humor, who enjoyed reading / watching sci-fi and accepted me for who I was.

Bree goes through an internal journey throughout Out of Sync and its sequel, Out of Breath, in which she finds her own voice and stops listening to other people’s opinion of who she is and what she’s capable of. I feel as if Katy Perry’s song “Roar captures the same feeling.


If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

I already fly in my dreams, without the dubious benefit of adding bugs to my diet. So, I think I would go with an ability that I believe I saw in the 1984 movie “Starman,” which depicted an alien reading an entire book in seconds, by placing his hand on its cover. Add to that the ability to understand it, and if at all possible, remembering it for later use, and it would be the ultimate superpower.

Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
TV gazing, reading to my kids, listening to audiobooks, spending time with my hubby.
Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
Thank you. Come again, please J

Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate? Both, melted into yummy gooiness in the microwave. Before you ‘eww’ all over yourself, please note that this trait has been passed down to the next generation (my son) without any prior influence (I caught him stirring his ice cream until it reached the right consistency) — ergo, it’s in the genes, and therefore should be exempt of any and all prejudices.
Video or Board Games? Board games. I’m currently learning how to play one of my husband’s favorite games growing up, “Hero Quest” with the kids, and am failing spectacularly.
Summer or Winter? Spring or Fall; I can’t function without an air conditioner, and would much rather linger about in the seasons that don’t require binding myself to one for dear life.
Edward or Jacob? Neither; Jacob is a great guy, but can you really see yourself with someone you’re not in love with? And Edward … well, I never liked the idea of someone watching me sleep; especially since drool will probably be involved, and there’s a good chance of unappealing mouth positioning. Also, it’s creepy, and slightly stalker-ish. In any case, I’m anemic enough without “donating” my blood to interested parties who suffer from self-control issues.
Hockey or soccer? Neither; I vote for “seldom use of an elliptical machine, while actively watching TV”. I can’t envision kicking a ball while multi-tasking; I’ll probably end up tearing some ligament I’ve never heard of, a bad case of sunburn, and in desperate need of two weeks of bed rest, none of which are compatible with raising twins.
Ebook or paper? Ebook, for those late-night readings, when my eyes are so sore after a day of gazing at the computer screen, and require an adjustment of the font size to blind-bat large. That being said, there is something special about taking a book off the shelf, holding it and leafing through its pages for a quick re-acquaintance; it somehow feels a little more…yours than an e-book does. At least, that’s what I tell myself when I look at my overflowing bookshelves, or when I browse the aisles of a bookstore and want to ‘adopt’ more books than my hands can carry.
Salty or sweet? Salty. I’ve been known to eat pickles with my chocolate cake.
Beach or mountains? Beach, with a side of grapes, please.
Phone call or email? Email, definitely. I express myself much better on page than I do live. Some people can achieve witty-comeback status on the fly, but unfortunately I’m not one of those people (despite repeated attempts to outwit my big sister, who is a natural).
Early bird or night owl? Night owl masquerading as an early bird. Getting caught ‘lounging about’ in bed after ten a.m. on a Saturday was frowned upon in my parent’s house, and now I’m married to a self-proclaimed night owl who comes from a long tradition of waking up after noon and staying up late; very late.
Dog or cat? Both, though I am more of a cat person. Regretfully allergic after living with both species.
Messy or neat? Neat, which helped me considerably throughout my Bachelor’s and LL.M. law degrees. Color-coded tags, mind-maps and remarks scribbled in the sidelines have crossed over to my writing career.
Ninjas or pirates? Ninjas, for their skill and speed, though, admittedly, I probably need some of the pirate’s audacity as well.









 -$5 Amazon gift card and 5 ebooks Out of Sync (INT)
-Fill out Rafflecopter to enter
-Ends on 9/27/2014 11:59 pm EST
-If you win a review on your blog and/or amazon is appreciated but not required.

*If, for whatever reason, the Rafflecopter widget does not appear, you can click on the link where it says rafflecopter giveaway and it will show up, sorry for the inconvenience.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: Feuds by Avery Hastings


Feuds by Avery Hastings
In this breathless story of impossible love, perfection comes at a deadly cost.
For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or “Imps.” A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother’s legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.
Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he’s a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father’s campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.
Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis’s friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world...in Avery Hastings's Feuds.
”add
Publishes in US: September 2nd 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: YA Scifi
Source: Macmillan via Netgalley
Series? Yes, Torn, the 2nd releases in 2015

Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository

Author stalk away: ~twitter

 

    Feuds was on my radar because I am attracted to anything ballet in books or movies. I've never danced, but I am engrossed reading about it. Its so graceful and beautiful and requires such dedication and heart. Along with the dancing, there is also this virus, which is another element that would have drawn me to Feuds and its beautiful cover. 

   It was a bit slow to set me up and make me like Davis, the female main character. But her dream of dancing and the way that she even daydreams about riding horses makes me like her. Cole, the male main character is a fighter in hardcore underground fights, and besides his toughness, something about him drew me to him. Maybe its his strength or maybe its the sense that he is working so hard and he seems to have something driving him. Also, the way he was concerned about the girl at the party right after he met Davis made me know that he was compassionate. 

   I liked how they got together, and even though it was under false pretenses going both ways, because of the manipulation of Cole by Parsons, Davis' dad's rival for government. Cole didn't know she was his daughter, and Davis didn't know that Cole wasn't a Prior. 

    The world set up was pretty easy to grasp. They seem to be in the future quite a bit, and the Priors have plenty of genetic programming to be sick less often, and chose genes so they are stronger and better able to learn and succeed in general. But there are those on the outside, the Gens they call themselves that haven't had the genetic treatments and are on the outside of the living arrangements and they are the workers. 

    The virus element was interesting too. They don't go into much on how it was created or why they are vulnerable besides saying it was an effect of all of the gene therapy. The Priors were in denial that they were getting sick and they were just throwing out bodies in the Slants, outside where Priors live and also where the Gens fight in the Feuds. 

    The Feuds, or the fights that Cole participates in played more of a part of his character growth and showing what he is fighting for, his family, rather than just for the sport of it. It was also more of a thread in the story than Davis' dancing. That really didn't play as much of a role as I thought it would, but it may in the future books. 

    This is a series that I will be continuing, because while I felt like it was a semi-ending, nothing really was wrapped up to my satisfaction, and want to see how things will change for the better in this society. 


Bottom Line: Great series beginner with characters I enjoyed.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever been interested in dance?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

It's not you: It's me: DNF Starry Night by Isabel Gillies

Starry Night
Starry Night by Isabel Gillies
Sometimes one night can change everything. On this particular night, Wren and her three best friends are attending a black-tie party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of a major exhibit curated by her father. An enormous wind blasts through the city, making everyone feel that something unexpected and perhaps wonderful will happen. And for Wren, that something wonderful is Nolan. With his root-beer-brown Michelangelo eyes, Nolan changes the way Wren’s heart beats. In Isabel Gillies's Starry Night, suddenly everything is different. Nothing makes sense except for this boy. What happens to your life when everything changes, even your heart? How much do you give up? How much do you keep?

”add

Publishes in US: September 2nd 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) Macmillan
Genre: Ya contemp
Source: MacMillan via Netgalley
Series? No

Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter

 
    I wrote a post about negative reviews, and how I don't review if I don't finish, and a very wise blogger pointed out that knowing what a blogger doesn't like can be valuable to publishers and authors too. I think that it also helps my readers build trust that I am not just slapping good ratings on everything I read. I have a knack for picking what I will lack based on synopsis and reviews, but that even fails. Then another blogger mentioned she did a did not finish post and I thought it was a great idea. So, here we go:

    I couldn't connect with Wren because she had a younger voice, and the jumping about in time from current to so many different places. I felt lost and I don't think I met Nolan quick enough. The theme of friendship could have been very well, but I felt a bit like they were an accessory. And if I wouldn't have know from the synopsis that Charlie wasn't the object of the romance I would have been even more disappointed because he is mentioned so many times in the beginning. 


    That isn't to say that the writing is poor or the characters are poorly constructed, it's personal on my end.

Positive reviews:
Lamont from Goodreads

Follow on Bloglovin

<

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday, WoW


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. I also feature books that may have already released, but I am anxiously waiting to read.

This week, I'm featuring:
The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

Releases: September 2nd 2014 by HarperTeen

What are you waiting on?

Follow on Bloglovin