Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray



Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2)
Author:  Claudia Gray 
Publisher: Harper Teen
Expected publication date: November 3, 2015

Marguerite Caine has done the impossible, traveling to alternate dimensions with the Firebird—the brilliant invention of her parents, her boyfriend, Paul, and their friend Theo. But she has also caught the attention of enemies willing to kidnap, blackmail, and even kill to use the Firebird for themselves.

When Paul’s soul is splintered into four pieces—pieces that are trapped within Pauls in other dimensions—Marguerite will do anything, and travel anywhere, to save him. But the price of his safe return is steep. If she doesn’t sabotage her parents in multiple universes, Paul will be lost forever.

Unwilling to sacrifice her family, Marguerite enlists the brilliant Theo to help. The two forge a plan to save Paul and the Firebird, but succeeding means outsmarting a genius and risking not only their lives but also the lives of their counterparts in every other dimension.

Their mission takes them to the most dangerous universes yet: a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each leap brings Marguerite closer to saving Paul—but her journey reveals dark truths that lead her to doubt the one constant she’s found between the worlds: their love for each other. 

I'm super busy this week, so a short WoW post this week - but honestly, I'm not sure I need to say much about this book. Just feast your eyes on that cover and check out my review of A Thousand Pieces of You, which was one of my favourite non-contemporary books last year. 

"Romance, adventure, suspense, mystery, time travel, historical, sci-fi...definitely one of the most fun and addictive reads I've had in awhile!"


Side note: has anyone done a book mani with these covers yet? If you see one let me know - I feel like amazing things could be done with nail polish and these books. =p 

Have you read A Thousand Pieces of You (if not, go now!)? Are you into parallel worlds and intrigue? Are those covers not the most gorgeous thing ever? Which do you like better? What are you waiting for this week? Let me know in the comments!

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"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that book bloggers are eagerly anticipating.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Book Blogger Love-a-Thon 2015: High Fives


For my last post for the Book Blogger Love-a-Thon 2015, I'm sharing some of my current faves - please leave me a link if you've done this and I'll come check out yours! And thanks so much to Alexa from Alexa Loves Books for organizing this wonderful two-day blogging event!

Book? My current fave is I Was Here by Gayle Forman - it was one of those books that was really important to me.

Genre? Please. Do you even have to ask? CONTEMPORARY

Author? I have two right now: Gayle Forman is my ultimate "I love everything she writes and wish I could be her" author (reviews of her work). Diana Peterfreund is my ultimate "challenges me with her ideas and always, always gets me even though it's not always my type of book" author (lots of reviews of her work).

Blogger? I HAVE SO MANY. I'll try to list a few:

I love Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner for her wonderful, feels-y reviews and creativity. 
I love Andi @ Andi ABCs for her bookish fashion sense and the way she shares that. 
I love Melissa @ YA Bookshelf for her literary, insightful reviews. 
I love Sarah @ You Should Read This because she is one of those bloggers who interacts with everyone - and really gets into good discussions. 
I love Jen @ Pop Goes the Reader for her beautiful designs, especially those bookish wallpapers!
I love Sarah @ What Sarah Read for her enthusiasm and Fangirl Friday posts.  
I love Estelle and Magan @ Rather Be Reading for sharing their friendship, and for having some of the best recs ever. 
I love Hannah @ So Obsessed With for promoting classics and re-reading to everyone. 
And of course, I love Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books for doing features like this (and like her and Rachel @ Hello, Chelly's feature on Filipino culture!). 

I could name so many more, and I'm so sorry if I missed you (I really do love you all). This is such an amazing community to be part of and I'm so glad that I get to interact with you all!

Bookish merchandise? The lovely Becca at Pivot Book Reviews does the most gorgeous handpainted totes ever. I've already got one and I'm saving up to get a special one made!

What are your faves right now? Leave some links and I'll check them out!

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon: Book Spine Poetry!

Hi guys, as part of the Book Blogger Love-A-Thon hosted by Alexa Loves Books, I'm coming at you with a little bit of book spine poetry! Leave comments if you've done this as well and I'll stop by!

 when it happens / just one year / i'll meet you there

what waits in the woods / dreambirds / let's get lost / like it never happened

Have you done book spine poetry before? What's your favourite fun thing to do with books? Let me know in the comments! And head over to Alexa's blog if you want to participate or learn more about all of the peeps participating!

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon 2015: The Questionnaire



Hi guys, for the next two days, I'm (selectively) participating in the Book Blogger Love-A-Thon hosted by Alexa Loves Books. This is an event to help spread the love and positivity in our book blogging community. 

First off, a questionnaire so that you can get to know me (and vice-versa! I'll be going to comment on some blogs tomorrow - please leave links if you can!)


What’s your name? Tiffanie - or Tiff

Where in the world are you blogging from? Toronto, Ontario, Canada

How did you get into blogging in the first place? I've been reading YA for years, and I've dabbled in the publishing industry here and there. I started reading book blogs around 2012...and after a lot of prodding from friends and family, who I think were just sick of me talking about YA, I took the plunge and started my blog in July 2012.

How did you come up with your blog name? I spent a ton of time googling and trying to think of a name that was right for me and wasn't taken...I settled on Mostly YA Lit because that's what I thought I'd be writing about...but I also wanted to let myself be creative about my life outside of books, too (that hasn't happened much!).

What genre do you read and review the most on your blog? YA contemporary.

What other types of posts do you do on your blog, apart from reviews? I try to do one meme a week - either Waiting on Wednesday or Top Ten Tuesday. I occasionally just do random posts to spark discussion, which are sometimes called Friday Rants. And then I have a feature called Why Eh? which is a spoiler-based post where I talk about my burning questions about books already published (it hasn't been super successful, but I want to bring it back!).

Best blogging experience so far? Getting to meet and be part of the bookish community - especially last year, when I went to BEA and got to meet so many of the bloggers and authors I've been following for so long!
IMG_2496
Me with bookish pals Emilie and Katherine at BEA!

Favorite thing about the blogging community? The fact that when I mention a book, almost everyone knows what I'm talking about - or will at least listen to me gush and we can fangirl/boy together!

Name the 5 books you’re most excited for this 2015! I already read I Was Here by Gayle Forman and All Fall Down by Ally Carter. I'm super excited to read We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach, Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray, and The Heir by Kiera Cass (and more).

What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read? I wrote about this a few weeks ago, but The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy - I think it has such a good message and it's so fun and swoony.

Which book boy or girl would be your book BFF? Dee from Gayle Forman's Just One Day. I had a BFF like him in high school, but Dee is even better.

Apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests? I'm a classically trained singer, so I take lessons and sing in a choir. I'm also in a band sometimes. And as I mentioned, I love fashion, and I'm a serious TV and movie addict.

Apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for? EVERYTHING. I'm pretty clothing obsessed, because I used to be a fashion blogger. Now that's changed a bit to food and housewares...but I'm still a fashion person at heart.

At a party, the DJ suddenly changes the song – and it’s your song. What song would be playing? I actually don't know - I listen to a LOT of music and different genres...maybe Hold On When You Get Love by Stars?

Pick out either a book you want turned into a film/TV show, or a film/TV show you want turned into a book. Secret Society Girl series by Diana Peterfreund - I think it would make an excellent TV mini-series.

Thanks, all, for checking out my questionnaire! Head over to Alexa's blog if you want to participate or learn more about all of the peeps participating. You'll see book spine poetry from me tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness


The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker Books / Harper Teen
Expected publication date: August 27, 2015 / October 6, 2015

What if you weren’t the Chosen One?

What if you’re not the one who’s so often the hero in YA fiction; who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you were like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend might just be the God of mountain lions...


So, I liked Patrick Ness' The Knife of Never Letting Go a lot. My husband reviewed it and liked it, too. But I haven't finished the series or gotten to his other books because...I don't really know? 

But when I read this synopsis, I knew this had to go on my TBR - and right to the top. It immediately brought to mind Xander from the TV show Buffy - one of my favourite underrated characters. Because I'm a contemp reader, I love the little moments, and so often, like Xander and like Mikey, a lot of the lesser known contemporaries are overlooked for the Next Big Thing. 


I really like how the synopsis asks the MC to look for the extraordinary in his (not-so) ordinary life. I think, like Xander, this is going to be a funny, quippy, underrated contemporary with a lot of heart, and I'm looking forward to it. 

Plus, don't you love the cover? I'm such a sucker for a good typography cover. 

Are you excited for The Rest of Us Just Live Here? Are you into funny contemporaries? Do you like the underrated characters best, like I do? What are you waiting for this week? Hit the comments and let me know!

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"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that book bloggers are eagerly anticipating.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"Blood Stains, Ball Gowns" Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen (Red Queen Trilogy #1)
Author: Victoria Aveyard (website | twitter)
Publisher: Harper Teen (Harper Collins Canada)
Source/Format: eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss (thank you!)
Publication date: February 10, 2015 (yesterday!)
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Buy It: Indigo.ca | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | B&N | IndieBound | iTunesGoogle Books | The Book Depository | Audible

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn't know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.

From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.


Review: 


Mare Barrow is a Red. In Norta, this means that she's a normal human being, poor, and needs to scrape a living for herself and her family through thieving and general servitude. Reds are seen as the lowest of the low by Silvers, who have magical abilities that are highly esteeemed in the country. Mare and her family and friends despise Silvers, who treat Reds like dirt and have Reds fight an unending war with a neighboring country for them.

When circumstances for Mare send her right into the path of royals, she ends up discovering that she has magic abilities - and thus, is made a noble who is set to marry the second of two princes so that the reigning royal family can keep an eye on her. Meanwhile, an uprising is gathering through the country, and Mare has to figure out who she is and where her loyalties lie.

This one was hard to review because on one hand, I found the story very compelling, but on the other hand, there were lots of little things that I just couldn't get into. I've broken them down below.

Things That Frustrated Me:

The heroine: my biggest frustration with this book was the lack of character development in Mare. I didn't feel like I went on a journey with her as a character at all - she was kind of sassy and funny, and she clearly had some cool abilities...but that was it for me. I didn't feel like I knew her at all by the end of the book because she was the same person the entire way through. That was hard for me to connect with.

The romance: There were (count 'em) THREE love interests for Mare in this book. None of them really go anywhere big, but it just felt like every friggin guy in the book was into her. The hardest part about that is that there is an obvious choice - I genuinely thought that one guy was better than the others, and that just makes for a love triangle (or square?) that's unsatisfying.

The writing and the "I've Read This Before" feeling: There would be moments that I was really into the writing and then I would get pulled out of it by just a few too many cliches. Here are some examples:

"I'm standing on the balcony a full ten seconds before I realize it's raining, washing me clean of my boiling anger."

To me, this is just obvious writing - because there could have been a better description of the character's anger or the rain or just the fact that she was being cooled down by the rain...but it just ends up lost in cliche.

"This is the world I'm trying to bring down, the world trying to kill me and everything I care about...I've never felt smaller than I do now, with the great bridge looming above us. It looks ready to swallow me whole." 

Again, the writing feels very obvious. I feel like I've read this line before - "bring down" "never felt smaller" "swallow me whole" - it feels a little tired.

The tropes: The problem with obvious writing is that if you have a story hat relies on a lot of tropes (poor girl who's special and different; prince who is not thrilled about being prince and just wants to be normal, world that is separated into classes that needs to be overthrown), you can guess what's going to happen, and your mind tends to wander. And because of that, every scene starts to feel predictable, and you notice every trope for what it is, instead of the trope extending beyond just a trope. It's frustrating because I couldn't help but notice and compare this book to a ton of other YA books (I thought of The Selection, Divergent, Hunger Games, even Harry Potter while I was reading), and the book never went beyond or did anything better or different with those tropes.

Things I Liked:

The world-building and concept: I liked how the Silvers and Reds were divided and how there was hierarchy even among the Silvers - there were higher and lower houses and they each had distinctive features. I enjoyed getting into this world through Mare's eyes - as a Red, she really doesn't know much about it, and it's both interesting to see it develop and to see her thoughts on it in her unique position.

The princes: There are two, and they are both interested in Mare romantically. To me it felt very obvious who the superior prince was, but I liked that they were well-rounded and different enough that they kept me guessing on their true natures. I felt like I knew more about them than I did about Mare by the end of the book.

Julian, the elderly wizard Silver who has Mare's best interests at heart and is awesome: This is a classic fantasy trope, but damned if I didn't really like Aveyard's version of the mentor. I especially liked the detail of how his skin was like the parchment that he read so much of, his abilities, and his secretiveness about his own life.

The villains and layered secondary characters: I'm not going to tell you who the villains are because that's complicated, but I liked how many of them there were, and how much they all influenced and encroached on Mare's life. I also liked how a lot of the characters in the novel weren't all black-and-white - some of the people who were supposed to be "good" weren't exactly the nicest or best people, and EVERYONE in the novel lied in order to get what they wanted. It's a dark view of life, but it worked.

The fast pace and the action: This is probably the first fantasy book I've read in a long time that I haven't put down because it had too much exposition or description and not enough action. The action scenes are pretty explosive, and the pacing moves quickly to bring the action to head.

Book Theme Song: 


I've never seen a diamond in the flesh...

And I'm not proud of my address

In a torn-up town, no postcode envy

But every song's like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin' in the bathroom
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room,
We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams...

And we'll never be royals (royals).
It don't run in our blood,
That kind of luxe just ain't for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz.


The Final Word:


Red Queen is a very enjoyable, if derivative, fantasy read. Brimming with action and classic speculative fiction tropes, this is a good book for younger teens new to fantasy or looking for a book with magic to devour like popcorn. I wanted more depth in writing and character, but there's no doubt that I had fun while reading.

RED QUEEN came out yesterday! Are you interested in reading it? Do you like fast-paced books with a lot of action, or do you prefer more contemplative reads? What do you think of love triangles (or squares)? Are you into fantasy? Will you be picking this up? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, February 6, 2015

That One Book...

Everyone has that one book.

You know, that book that you absolutely loved but no one else seems to know anything about.

The book that almost seems like your best-kept secret, even though you've told a ton of people to read it.

And maybe it was a series that didn't get the best pick-up so it might have been shelved. Or maybe the people around you don't read in the same genre. Or maybe they do and they just didn't like it as much as you did.

And you don't know why people don't love it as much as you do because it's perfect and special and meant a lot to you at that time in your life, and you learned so much about it and OMG THE FEELS and THE SWOONS.

It's the book that kind of makes you feel a bit special because you get it, and so few people do.


And maybe you've tweeted the author and he/she has tweeted back, so yeah, other people do like it, because the author is still an author, but are those other people your nearest and dearest and can you talk to them ALL THE TIME about this book?

It makes you feel like you're in a special club. You're a hipster for that book. It's not supposed to be exclusive, but it is.

Well, screw exclusivity.

For me, that book is The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy.


It's about a cheerleader who gets recruited into a secret society of good girls. It's about learning to live positively and taking on bullies. It's about a romance that feels too good to be true - and almost is because the people in the relationship can't accept themselves as being as good as the other person sees them.

I've given this book to a few people. I've mentioned it a few times. I've tweeted it as a rec to a bunch of people.

No one seems to get it. Even the editors didn't get it because they dropped the series, so yeah, I'm STILL wondering what happened to the characters.

But it's okay. I'm still reading it. I'm still learning from it.


I might be the only one, but I'm owning it like the Book Hipster that I am.

What's That One Book for you? (Y'know. If you feel like sharing). What book are you a Book Hipster for?

Tell me.

Let's give some of those books the recognition they deserve.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #18: Paranormal/Fantasy YA Books I Can't Believe I Haven't Read Yet

You guys, I am the worst at getting out of my favourite genre. In fact, just last week, book buddy Sarah of You Should Read This looked at my GR read shelves and text-yelled at me for having so few para/fantasy books on there. I literally do not have words for how much of a fail I am for not getting to these sooner. Please, shame me into action on the non-contemporary YA front!


Do you have a favourite genre? Are you terrible at getting out of it like I am? Which of these books do you think I should start with first (I'm inclined to think ToG, but let me know)? What books can you not believe you haven't read yet? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish to highlight a top ten list related to book blogging, and to get to know fellow book bloggers.

Monday, February 2, 2015

"All of The Sadness I Cannot Live With" Review: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

I Was Here
Author: Gayle Forman (website | twitter)
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (Penguin)
Source/Format: Hardcover purchased from Chapters/Indigo.ca 
Publication date: January 27th 2015 
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.


Review:

I couldn't write a normal review for this book, because I couldn't separate it from my feelings. so I wrote a letter to Gayle. I hope it conveys some of the thoughts and feelings I had while reading. 

Dear Gayle,

When you told us at BEA14 that I Was Here was the book of your heart, I was, I don't know, expecting another beautiful and fragile epistle about the extraordinary powers of the human heart and how fate brings us together with the people we love and how family creates a space where we can feel safe to play harder, fly farther, and find our way in life.

Those are the things that I got from If I Stay and Where She Went and Just One Day, Just One Year, and Just One Night.

I was not expecting such a deep, dark, and soul-searching journey through a psyche that is grieving. Because that's what I Was Here is - an exploration of grief and how to handle it when something more devastating than circumstance happens to you. When your best friend, the person you loved and talked to more than any other, decides to take her own life, and you are left to figure out why.

Your other books are about how fate and rightness and circumstance can make things happen or not happen, and how love can overcome. This one is about what happens when love doesn't overcome. And because of that, it is so much harder to read because, I don't know about other people, but for me, the guilt and grief would just overtake me, force me into dark wells of despair.

But that's where I Was Here is so confident and sure, because the way you wrote Cody's examination of Meg's descent into a suicide, and her journey to try and understand why Meg did it and how she couldn't have seen it coming, and didn't she matter as a friend at all and did she even know her  - these are all questions I've asked of death - and questions I've asked when I've been depressed myself.

You looked this special kind of grief in the face and you wrote about it truthfully. And, like the rest of your books, you sent Cody on a journey not only to try to find our more about Meg, but also one of coping, finding herself and forgiving herself, which is the hardest thing for anyone to do. You navigated the broken, sarcastic voice of Cody and gave her a heart that was both closed off and vulnerable, unable to cry, but able to delve into her own pain so that she could find some closure.

And you gave us the makeshift family that is in the rest of your books - they're not quite as close as the family that Allyson and Willem or Mia and Adam find, but I can tell that they will be. Harry Kang, and Alice, and Tree, and Richard, and Scottie and Sue and Joe and Tricia and especially the wonderful, sexy, and enigmatic Ben (and kittens Pete and Repeat!)...they will be there for Cody as she keeps fighting to live.

Because that's what I felt you did best in this book. You made a living character who didn't feel like a character at all, but felt like an extension of me and all my feelings. I was Cody while she was in the library everyday researching Meg's death. I was her while she was packing up Meg's life. I was her when she took bold and rash steps, alone and with others, to try to understand.

It's easy to understand why Meg did what she did. It's a complex answer, but the truth is easy to absorb. The harder question is how to move on afterwards and how to make things better. I think, by putting the story in Cody's voice, instead of Meg's, you did a beautiful thing.  You made it a little bit easier for people to move on after such a tragedy because you gave it a face and a voice and you made Cody so real. And you made it a bit easier to talk about mental illness and why awareness is key. And you reminded people like me, who do suffer from depression sometimes, why fighting those demons off matters so much, everyday.

Thank you for writing this novel.

Love,

Tiff

P.S. I discovered while reading this book that I couldn't just listen to anything while reading, so here is my personal playlist for I Was Here. I hope it lives up to Meg's standards for music.

Friday, January 30, 2015

$50 Gift Card GIVEAWAY + Cover Reveal/Excerpt: Losing at Love by Jennifer Iacopelli (OBX #2)

Hi guys! Today I'm hosting a cover reveal for Jennifer Iacopelli’s Losing at Love, the second book in a fantastic new adult series about professional tennis players. If you haven't read the first book in the Outer Banks Tennis Academy series, Game. Set. Match - trust me when I say you're in for a treat! It's super sexy and full of your favourite sports-y moments. And—bonus!— I'm also revealing athe new redesign for the first book in the series AND there's a giveaway, so read on!


book2-publicity-front
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Add to Goodreads

Grass courts, tennis whites and the fiercest competition in the world. Wimbledon. After two crazy weeks in Paris, the girls of the Outer Banks Tennis Academy are headed to London with just one thing on their minds: winning. 

Indiana Gaffney is fresh off a surprise win at the French Open junior tournament. Sponsors are clamoring for her attention, but what she wants more than anything—aside from a wild card to Wimbledon—is to be with Jack Harrison, but international fame and a secret relationship rarely mix well. 

When Penny Harrison dreamed of playing at Wimbledon she never imagined agonizing pain shooting through her ankle with every step. With just a month until the tournament and the whole world expecting her to win, she’s determined to play, with or without the support of her coach or the love of her life, Alex Russell. 

For the first time ever, no one expects anything from Jasmine Randazzo. After a crushing first-round defeat in the French Open juniors, the tennis world has given up on her, but worse than that, so have her parents, her best friend Teddy and maybe even her coach. With everyone writing her off, can she find it within herself to go after her dreams?

Excerpt:

Stepping into the sunshine, Indy shouldered her bag and turned towards the OBX library, her mind running through the assignments she still had to complete when a shadow crossed over her path, a large body falling into step with her, close, but not touching, their strides matching.

“Jack,” she said, glancing up at him sideways, a small smile threatening at the corner of her mouth.

“Indiana,” he said, echoing back her name, sending a shiver down her spine. He was the only one allowed to call her that, the only person who made the name she’d hated since forever sound friggin’ good.

They walked together without another word, turning the corner that separated the courts from the residential area of the complex, but her stride was suddenly cut off when Jack shuffled his feet, sliding his arm around her waist and pulled her into a shady walkway between buildings. Her bag slid off her shoulder, but he caught it before it crashed to the ground and smashed her laptop to smithereens. He let it settle on the ground gently before leaning over her, forcing her to step back into the wall.

Walls were their thing. Their first kiss had been against a wall in a random hallway at Roland Garros, their second pressed against the wall of their hotel in Paris and now that they were back in North Carolina, they found any excuse to push each other against a wall and kiss until they were gasping for air and their bodies begged for relief. Jack’s lips trailed from her temple, using the wall behind her as an anchor before bending his head to hers. Pushing up onto her toes, Indy met him halfway. She’d never been so grateful for every millimeter of her five feet ten inches as she was when she was kissing Jack. His hands slid through her hair, twisting it around his fingers, then cradling the back of her head, drawing her mouth more firmly against his. Indy brought her hands to his torso, gripping his t-shirt, letting her palms press against the cut of muscle that disappeared into his cargo shorts. The skin on skin contact made his breath hitch, his mouth opening just enough to allow her tongue to slide in, deepening the kiss, before letting her teeth nip at his bottom lip. A groan rumbled in his throat as he stumbled forward, pressing his body full length against hers. He wrenched his lips from hers, trailing his mouth over the line of her jaw to the spot just behind her ear. It was her turn to gasp and her head fell back as she arched into him. No one had ever kissed her there before. Jack smiled against her skin as her fingertips dug into his sides and she let a moan slip free as he focused his attention on that spot, scraping his teeth against it then soothing that small pain with a flick of his tongue. Her hands scrambled to get purchase against his shoulders, desperate for some leverage, anything to help her slide her body against his. Then he was gone, his hand gone from her hair, his mouth gone from her neck and his body inches then feet away. Indy blinked at him, trying to figure out what happened when the voices echoing down the pathway towards them finally reached her ears.

Bending down, he lifted her bag as she ran her fingers through her hair, knowing he’d made an unholy mess of it. “You’re fine,” he muttered, handing her the bag, then keeping the distance between them as a group of junior boys stomped past them, none giving them a second glance.

“You have good ears,” Indy said, biting her lip at the close call. If those boys had seen them, the news would have spread like wildfire through the OBX campus and everyone would have known by the end of the day. She was only seventeen for another few months, but that wasn’t really the problem, seventeen or eighteen wouldn’t matter to other people. She was a young tennis pro, he was an up and coming agent. The last thing either of their careers needed was the heightened publicity of a controversial relationship, even if Jack Harrison was far more of a gentleman than any guy she’d ever met. Sometimes a little too much of a gentleman, truth be told.

Jack shrugged, glancing back over his shoulder again before facing her fully. “I’m sorry about this.”

She reached out and took his hand, “We both agreed,” she said, entwining their fingers together, “it’s just between us for now. It makes sense for the both of us.” Pressing his lips together in a thin line, he nodded, but she knew he wasn’t entirely convinced. “Jack, we talked about this. You said you were okay with it.”

“I just wish it were different,” he said, tugging her closer, pressing a soft kiss to her forehead. His hands released hers and dropped to her hips, the edges of his thumbs brushing against her hipbones in slow circles sending shivers over her skin.

“Me too.” She wanted to scream it from the rooftops that this amazing guy was hers. That he had deep green eyes and a smile that brightened them whenever he looked at her. That he was brilliant in ways that she couldn’t even fathom with his degree from Harvard. That he’d fought their attraction for so long because of that ingrained sense of honor, like one of those heroes in a fairy tale, except Jack was real, flesh and blood.

"Have you thought...maybe we should tell Penny?" Indy asked, her fingertips landing on his forearms, gently stroking up to his elbows and back down to his wrists.

Jack let out a heavy breath. "Penny has a lot on her plate right now."

"I know, I just feel funny keeping it from her. Jasmine knows."

"We'll do whatever you want to do. This is your show, baby."

"I don't need a supportive…" she hesitated, almost using the word boyfriend, but that didn't really fit, did it? Not if they were keeping it a secret, "I need honest Jack."

He leaned back, looking her in the eye. "Honest? Honestly, my sister doesn't do well with change. It freaks her out and right now, I'm not sure that the idea of you and me will go over that well. On the other hand, if we don't tell her and she finds out?"

"She'll be pissed."

"Yep."

"Maybe we wait a little longer. We could tell her in London?"

Jack nodded, "Face to face instead of over the phone."

“There’s always Skype,” she said, not really sure if she wanted to know what Penny, the only girl who’d made an effort to befriend her when she first arrived at OBX, would think if she found out she and Jack were together.

“There’s that.”

Indy shook her head. They should do it in person. They should have done it before they left Paris, but Penny had been so devastated by withdrawing from the tournament that it hadn’t felt like the right time then either. “In London. We’ll be there in less than a week. We’ll tell her then.”

“Okay, in London.” They stood there for a moment, just breathing each other in until Jack leaned away. “I’ve gotta go. I have a meeting with a potential new client this afternoon and I’ve got to prep.”

Indy snorted a laugh. “Right, like you don’t already have a complete profile worked up along with potential sponsors to contact if they sign.”

“You know me so well,” he said, leaning around the building, checking the pathway for any more unwanted spectators. “I’ll go this way.”

Indy nodded back in the opposite direction. “And I’ll go that way.”

With a bow, he was gone, around the corner and out of sight, so she turned and adjusted her bag over her shoulder, heading out from between the buildings and towards the library. She’d have about half the time to get her Calc done than she originally planned. Fingertips pressing against that spot on her neck lightly recalling the feel of his mouth and the way her entire body was lit on fire by his touch, it was totally worth it.

“Are you sure that is a good idea?” a voice rang out from just a few steps behind her, the French accent giving its owner away, if the superiority and condescension weren’t enough of a clue. Indy spun around and came face to face with her agent, tall, blonde, perfectly put together in a silk blouse and linen skirt, somehow looking completely cool and calm despite the blaze of the sun. She was in town before they all left for England, mostly to go over her plans for Indy’s future off the court.

A denial formed on Indy’s tongue, but she knew it was useless. Caroline had seen them and it probably just confirmed what she’d suspected for a while. Her agent was damn good at her job and it wasn’t like she and Jack had been super careful about keeping private moments behind closed doors. “Good idea or not, it’s none of your business.”

Raising her eyes to the sky and shaking her head Caroline said, “You are my business, Indiana.”

“How many times do I have to say it? Don’t call me that, and my tennis is your business,” Indy corrected. “Keep your nose out of everything else.”

“It is not that simple,” Caroline insisted, her voice inching up in pitch.

“It really is.” She turned on her toe and walked away, wanting to look back, hoping that Caroline’s brow was furrowed and her hands were on her hips, lips pursed in aggravation. But looking back would ruin the moment because despite getting in the last word, Caroline now had the upper hand and it was only a matter of time before she used it to her advantage.

To celebrate the cover reveal, Game. Set. Match. is on sale for $0.99!!

book1-publicity-front
Publication date: May 1, 2013
Buy It: Amazon | BN | iTunes | Kobo | Goodreads

Nestled along the North Carolina coast, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the world's most elite training facility. In this pressure-cooker environment, futures are forged in blood and sweat, and dreams are shattered in an instant.

Penny Harrison, a rising female star, is determined to win the French Open and beat her archrival, Zina Lutrova. But when her coach imports British bad boy Alex Russell as her new training partner, will Penny be able to keep her laser-like focus?

Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. The daughter of two Grand Slam champions, she's hell-bent on extending her family’s legacy and writing her own happily-ever-after...until her chosen Prince Charming gives her the just-friends speech right before the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic.

With a powerful serve and killer forehand, newcomer Indiana Gaffney is turning heads. She’s thrilled by all of the attention, especially from Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and hot older brother, except he keeps backing off every time things start heating up.

With so much at stake, dreams—and hearts—are bound to break. Welcome to OBX: Where LOVE is a four-letter word, on and off the court.



About Jennifer Iacopelli:

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Jennifer Iacopelli was born in New York and has no plans to leave...ever. Growing up, she read everything she could get her hands on, but her favorite authors were Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M. Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett all of whom wrote about kick-ass girls before it was cool for girls to be kick-ass. She got a Bachelor's degree in Adolescence Education and English Literature quickly followed up by a Master's in Library Science, which lets her frolic all day with her books and computers, leaving plenty of time in the evenings to write and yell at the Yankees, Giants and her favorite tennis players through the TV.



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