Merry Christmas from JKSCommunications!

December 9, 2012 Giveaway 3


Santa has come to visit today, with two awesome giveaways in honor of Christmas! Treat yourself or stuff the stockings of your loved ones with a number of wonderful titles up for grabs in this giveaway, sponsored by JKSCommunications and the publishers and authors affiliated with them. I’m delighted to offer all of them to you, as many of them have been on my to-read list for a while now.

 

Comeback Love: A NovelComeback Love by Peter Golden

What would you do if you had a second chance with the one that got away? More than thirty-five years ago, Gordon Meyers, an aspiring writer with a low number in the draft lottery, packed his belongings and reluctantly drove away, leaving behind Glenna Rising, the sexy, sharp-witted med student he couldn’t imagine living without.

Now, decades later, Gordon is a former globe-trotting consultant with a grown son, an ex-wife, and an overwhelming desire to see Glenna again. Though she’s stunned when Gordon walks into her Manhattan office, Glenna agrees to accompany him for a drink. As the two head out into the snow-swept city, they rediscover the passion that once drew them together—before it tore them apart. And as the evening unfolds, Gordon will finally reveal the true reason for his return. . . .

Comeback Love is an evocative journey into the hearts of two lovers who came of age in the 1960s, and who never truly let each other go. Plumbing the depths of youth, regret, and desire, Peter Golden deftly illuminates the bonds that mysteriously endure in the face of momentous change.

The Chosen of GaiaThe Chosen of Gaia by M. Mariz

Fifteen-year-old Albert has just received an invitation that could transform his disappointing life completely – a chance to belong to an advanced and hidden society that only reveals itself to a select few. Immersed in a new world of mind-boggling technology and intriguing peers, Albert will overcome his fears enough to ignore a few suspicious details. But soon he’ll find his family dragged to the center of a scandal that threatens to tear them apart and erase their very identities.

A conflicted Albert must find the strength to challenge authority by relying on his newfound allies and gift for Revelation.

Prepare for adventure, humor and suspense in this fast-paced tale of a “normal” family striving for their place in a “perfect” world.

HuntedHunted by Cheryl Rainfield

Caitlyn is a telepath in a world where having any Paranormal power is illegal. Caitlyn is on the run from government troopers, who can enslave, torture, or even kill her, or make her hunt other Paranormals. When Caitlyn settles down in a city, she falls for Alex, a Normal (someone without Paranormal powers), which is dangerous because he can turn her in. And she discovers renegade Paranormals who want to destroy all Normals. Caitlyn must decide whether she’s going to stay in hiding to protect herself, or take a stand to save the world.

2:32 AM (The Djinn Master's Legacy, #1)2:32 by Emily Ford

In the early morning hours nearing her 17th birthday, Cat Townsend woke to the sudden blur of a mysterious unknown man sitting on the edge of her bed. She did not feel fear — rather a strange calmness overtook her. In an instant their eyes locked, he lightly touched her hand, and then he disappeared into the nothingness of night. Caught in that undefined place between asleep and awake, the moment felt hazy and surreal. A chill ran down Cat’s spine as she glances at the time – it’s 2:32 a.m.

What unfolds in the first book of The Djinn Master’s Legacy trilogy, is young Cat’s personal struggle with the overwhelming choice to accept a destiny of magic. As she contemplates the merits of unparalleled power, her new and ordinary world in Savannah, Georgia is understandably shaken. The closer her decision gets, the more twisted her life with family, friends and boyfriend becomes. Will she choose to give up everything she cherishes?

 

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Model Spy (The Specialists, #1)Model Spy by Shannon Greenland

Teen genius Kelly James is in a lot of hot water. A whiz with computers, she agreed to help her college rA, David, uncover some top-secret information. After all, she doesn’t have many friends and David has always been nice to her. it doesn’t hurt that he’s supercute and irresistible, too. All she has to do is hack into the government’s main computer system. but a few hours later, her whole life changes. she is caught and taken in for questioning, only this isn’t your run-of-the-mill arrest. rather than serve a juvenile detention sentence, she accepts the option to change her name and enlist in a secret government spy agency that trains teen agents to go undercover. As if that wasn’t overwhelming enough, she discovers that David works for this agency as well! And before she even begins to understand what is going on, she’s sent on her first mission as an undercover model. And who better to partner with than David himself!

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Good luck! I hope you win!
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Bookish Finds: Christmas Edition

December 8, 2012 Bookish Finds 2

Bookish-FindsOriginal

Bookish Finds is a feature here at That Artsy Reader Girl, where I highlight awesome bookish things I come across during my exciting life.

To see what else I’ve found, click here!

 

 

It’s Christmas all month here at That Artsy Reader Girl! Today I’m going to show you all the cute bookish Christmas things I’ve found: decorations, DIY projects, and fun ideas!


Such a simple way to add your love of books to your Christmas home decor!


Christmas trees made of books/newspapers!
Learn to make it here.


Book page snowflake ornament!
DIY here!


Glitter and mod podge book/sheet music ornaments.
This is how it’s done!


DIY fleur de lis book page ornament.
Learn how to make it.


Christmas tree ornaments made of book pages!
Find the instructions here!

Merry Christmas! I’m off to make ornaments, bake cookies, and get all crazy festive! I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

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Santa Maybe by Aubrey Mace (Mini Book Review)

December 6, 2012 Adult Fiction, Book Review 1 ★★★

Santa Maybe by Aubrey Mace (Mini Book Review)Santa Maybe by Aubrey Mace
Published by Cedar Fort on September 8, 2009
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Holiday, Romance
Pages: 186
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought it!
Amazon Add to Goodreads
3 Stars
With a successful bakery to run, super cute nieces and nephews to spoil, and plenty of good friends to keep her company, Abbie s not about to start crying over the fact that she s doesn't have a boyfriend to spend Christmas with. But when her sister convinces her to write a note to Santa, Abbie has no idea that a little Christmas magic is about to land her the man of her dreams. Or rather, that man is about to land smack dab on the floor in front of her Christmas tree with no memory of how he got there.

Now Abbie and Ben have to figure out where he came from, who he really is, and if he's actually available.

Aubrey Mace, the award-winning author of Spare Change, has done it again! This light-hearted holiday romance is sure to please even the most cynical scrooge. Told with humor, sweetness, and Aubrey's signature wit, this is one Christmas story that will keep you smiling all year round.

Santa Maybe is a cute, quick read with lots of adorable Christmas spirit and tradition. It all starts when Abbie writes a letter to Santa, asking for a husband. She does this as a joke, not expecting anything to happen, seeing as how she has sworn off of men. Low and behold, she is awakened by a thud in her living room. Armed with a rolling pin and lots of adrenaline, she sneaks out and finds a man asleep under her tree. I swear, I need to write my letter to Santa now. I need a man for Christmas too!

I’d been wanting to read this book for a few years, and am so glad I started my Christmas reads further in advance this time. Santa Maybe is the perfect book to get you into the Christmas spirit. Abbie owns an adorable sounding bakery, and she spends a lot of time there baking goodies as the snow falls outside. I could practically smell the cookies baking in the oven. When Ben shows up, he immediately fits into her life perfectly, and is so persistent and amazing. It was fun watching the two of them try to figure out who he was!

Oh, and boy, did Abbie end up with a winner. Ben is amazingly perfect (well, except for the amnesia), and the dream man that fills up my single girl’s mind. He’s chivalrous and handsome and thoughtful, caring, etc. He’s all the good things! He and Abbie have great chemistry, but she is convinced that he has a wife and children somewhere. This really hinders the relationship, and I wish we had been given more time to see them as a couple, rather than in this stage of limbo.

Aspects of this story are pretty unrealistic. I mean, Abbie had absolutely no problems accepting a stranger into her house. I’m a bit too paranoid to be able to do that, but he is pretty handsome, so maybe I’d bend the rules for a guy like him! Ben’s face went up on the news, and women began posing as his wife so they could have him to themselves. I found that a bit far-fetched as well. And Abbie’s sister’s reaction to all of this was also rather unrealistic. If this happened to my sister, I’d be flipping out! I certainly would not immediately start shoving her into him. I’d have to interrogate him first!

All in all, though, Christmas is a time for magic. Santa Maybe is a cute, magical story chock full of family, food, and romance. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves simple little contemporary Christmas romances.

(Disclaimer: This book was written by an LDS woman, so aspects of the LDS faith are woven into the story. Nothing is pushed on the reader, though. Ben and Abbie go to church once, so the readers are given a few churchy details during that portion of the book. Other than that, there’s nothing else.)

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Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

December 4, 2012 Top Ten Tuesday 9

TTT
I kind of love this topic! There are so many amazing books I’d like for Christmas this year, that I hardly know where to begin. A lot of great ones are coming in January as well, so I might have to see if Santa can sneak it to me early. He’s magical like that, right? So, here’s my letter to Santa!

 

 

What do you have on your Santa wish list this year? I’m always up for more recommendations, plus it’s totally possible to send a second letter, right? Give me links and I’ll stop by!

Oh, and don’t forget to enter my Christmas book giveaway! The link is in my side bar. :) 

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The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer (Book Review)

December 3, 2012 Book Review, Young Adult 2 ★★★★★

The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer (Book Review)The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer
Published by Laurel Leaf on October 11, 2005
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Holiday, Romance
Pages: 192
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought on Amazon Marketplace
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
I’m Kate Bjorkman. I don’t like romance novels. They’re full of three-paragraph kisses describing people’s tongues and spittle. But what do you do if you’ve lived a real romance with a great-looking guy (Richard) and he loves you as much as you love him? I know what I did. I wrote this romance novel about myself, using the Romance Writer’s Phrase Book. I also used stuff my English teacher taught me about writing. He said a story must have conflict. No problem there. My life was one big conflict last Christmas. I didn’t make anything up. This is the honest truth and I want truth even in romance. I’m betting you’ll want the same.

This was probably the best possible book to begin my Christmas event with. It was absolutely adorable, and everything I look for in a cozy Christmas read. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Kate Bjorkman, aka Boo, is the author and narrator of this book, and she is hilarious. We’ve got a story within a story, as we read both about Kate’s experiences as well as her writing process. Kate’s a bit of an ugly duckling, with coke bottle glasses and boots with fruit on them and stubbly legs. Plus, she’s 6 feet tall and not the smoothest talker out there. It’s Christmastime, and her brother, sister-in-law, her brother’s best friend, and a girl named Fleur all come home from college to celebrate with the positively perfect Bjorkman family. Of course, she has had a crush on her brother’s best friend, Richard, and spends the bulk of the book hopelessly pining after him. Her inner dialogue and her antics had me giggling with delight. 

2. Every so often, we get to a point in the book where we can read Kate’s revision notes. In these notes, she either talks about how she hates what she just wrote, how she needs to add or take away experiences she talked about, or her frustrations as an author trying to come up with the right words and presentation. I really loved this portion of the book, because we get to learn a lot about Kate here.

3. I loved every character in this book, and that rarely happens. Richard is adorable. Fleur is the kind of person you want to hate because she’s absolutely perfect, but can’t hate because she’s absolutely perfect. You know what I mean? I love her bother and sister-in-law and their cute newlywed spats and romance. Her parents are awesome.

4. This book is so witty! I loved the funny things the characters said to each other, plus reading Kate make fun of romance novels was great. The Romance Writer’s Phrase Book, which she quotes a lot is just amazingly hilarious. I wish this book really existed! Rather than having real chapter headings (Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc.), Kate wrote things like, “I really love those awesome 3-paragraph kisses in romance novels, and Chapter 4 is where mine happens.” That’s not a direct quote, but you get the idea.

5. I loved the wonderful word choices and love of language that the author exhibited in this book. It’s young adult, of course, but I had to pull out a dictionary to define some of the words! I loved that!

6. This book is dated. 90’s references are everywhere. Embrace them, because they are stupendous.

7. CHRISTMAS! This book is so sparkly and Christmasy, and perfect. Kate’s family has this huge traditional Swedish Christmas with lots of yummy food, decorations, great music playing all the time, a TON of snow, Christmas tree shopping and trimming, etc. I am so in the mood for Christmas right now.

Rather than continuing with my review, I thought I could explain my love of this book best just by giving you a taste of it for yourself. It’s wonderful, a new favorite, and I will be recommending this to everyone. I don’t re-read books, but this one deserves it. Anyway, read the quotes!

  • Richard Bradshaw filled the doorway.

Okay, a flourish of trumpets here. The hero has arrived. And because he was my hero long before I began writing this novel, ever since I can remember, in fact, my face grew hot.  He was four years older now, of course, and shorter than I remembered, but I wasn’t six feet tall four years ago either.  His eyes – I need the help of The Romance Writers Phrasebook Guide to describe those eyes:

–unfathomable in their murky depths? 
No!
–shades of amber and green?
 Maybe.
–dark gray-green-flecked eyes?
 I don’t know. Maybe.
–hooded like those of a hawk? Absolutely not! The hell with it. They were warm eyes. They were Richard’s eyes. I wouldn’t care if they were cone-shaped.

  • That was me, Kate Bjorkman, a potential Ph. D. candidate, and fairly rational young woman–that’s what my dad always said, even-tempered: “If I could only have one daughter, then Kate was the perfect one to have,” he’d say. And my mother agreed. The only bad thing about me was my eyes: blind as Milton without those glasses. But that morning, January 2, I was deranged. I knew it, I guess, but I couldn’t stop it. Didn’t want to. It wasn’t until I sat in a booth at Bridgeman’s that I realized I was wearing flannel pajamas and had no money.

See? Don’t you want to buy this one now? :)  

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That Artsy Reader Girl’s Bookish Little Christmas Event Kick-Off

December 2, 2012 Uncategorized 1

Happy December! I love December, and I love everything to do with Christmas. I love the snow, the food, the decorations, and the music. One of my favorite things to do during this time of year is sit by the fire and read Christmas books. I spend all year searching for good ones. The next 24 days at That Artsy Reader Girl are going to be filled with Christmas posts, Christmas/winter book reviews, festive features, music, recipes, and a LOT about me. Definitely feel free to link me to any Christmasy posts that you’ve got on your blog, and I’ll announce them here as well! And feel free to steal my button and participate right along with me. Just make sure to link back to my blog. :)
Here is the schedule of this month’s posts. Be sure to check back often as I update the list of happenings around my blog, as well as other fun Christmas events.

December 1st: Christmas Books Giveaway Hop
December 2nd: Event Kick-Off and schedule
December 3rd: The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman (Book Review)
December 4th: Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings
December 5th: Christmas Reading on a Budget
December 6th: Santa Maybe by Aubrey Mace (Mini Book Review)
December 7th: Author Guest Post and Book Excerpt – Stacy Joy Netzel
December 8th: Bookish Finds: Christmas Edition
December 9th: Merry Christmas from JKS Communications! (2 Giveaways)
December 11th: Christmas Goodies to Munch While You Read!
December 12th: Snowed Over by Angie Stanton (Mini Book Review)
December 13th: Inner Child: Christmas Books I Grew Up With
December 14th: ‘Twas the Night by Sandra Hill, Kate Holmes, and Trish Jensen (Book Review)
December 15th: A Man’s Opinion on Let it Snow by Green, Johnson, & Myracle
December 16th: My Favorite Christmas Book Covers
December 17th: Christmas Around the Book World (Guest Post from Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books)
December 18th: Christmas with Reece and Jenna from Danielle Sibarium’s Heart Waves
December 19th: Bah, Humbug! by Heather Horrocks (Mini Book Review)
December 20th: Singletons: Unite in Seasonal Solidarity (Author Guest Post – Libby Mercer)
December 21st: The Magic of A Christmas Carol (Guest Post by Kimberly)
December 22nd: My Christmas Playlist (The Songs I Grew Up On)
December 24th: Decked with Holly by Marni Bates (Book Review) 
December 25th: Merry Christmas! (+ My Top 10 Favorite things About Christmas)

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Christmas Books Giveaway Hop

December 1, 2012 Giveaway 32

What better way to kick off my 24-day event, A Bookish Little Christmas with That Artsy Reader Girl, than to offer up a giveaway for a book to get you in the Christmas spirit?

I love Christmas, and you’re going to discover this over the next 24 days as I review Christmas books, post recipes and music recommendations, and invite authors and blogger friends to come celebrate with me. The event schedule will be posted tomorrow, so hopefully you’ll stop by more throughout the month to see all the fun and festivities going on over here as my blog becomes the go-to spot for a very merry bookish Christmas.

Now, on to the giveaway! You get to pick whichever Christmas book you like, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, romance, picture, etc. It just has to be Christmas-themed, and it has to be under $12 (USD). If the winner lives in the USA, the book will come from Amazon. If you live anywhere else, it’ll be arriving from The Book Depository (make sure they ship to you!). Once I announce the winner, you’ll have 24 hours to get back to me before I choose someone else.

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Click here to enter all the other amazing Christmas giveaways!

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Bookish Finds: Home Decor Edition

November 24, 2012 Bookish Finds 5

Bookish-FindsOriginal

Bookish Finds is a feature here at That Artsy Reader Girl, where I highlight awesome bookish things I come across during my exciting life.

So, today I wanted to show you some awesome home decor ideas for the truly bookish at heart! I really think I need to completely re-decorate everything now!

 

I love this! Books hung from the ceiling, interspersed with light bulbs. It would be way cute in a home library or a kid’s room!


A book reading table! Learn how to make it here.

I saw this on Pinterest, and thought it was the most adorable way to display books and knick knacks in a kid’s room!


Oh. My. Stop it now. Madeline on the wall! I love this entire thing. (HGTV)

Pick your favorite book, buy an extra copy, and decorate your wall with the pages!

Wrap your couch in bookshelves! I love this!

Does anyone else want to re-design their houses with me?

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Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Book Review)

November 14, 2012 Book Review, Young Adult 7

Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Book Review)Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Series: Black City #1
Published by GP Putnam's Sons on November 13, 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 374
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
Amazon Add to Goodreads
0 Stars
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Black City is a very dark romance that takes place under harsh conditions and during very harsh times. It’s gory and bloody and actually rather upsetting, which is why I’m having such a hard time reviewing it! I wanted to love it, and while I loved aspects of it, parts of it upset me so much that I’m afraid my thoughts about the book are a bit tainted. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. The idea is awesome. I’ve always been a fan of forbidden love, but a love that makes a dormant heart beat after so many years? That’s powerful. And I’ve always enjoyed post-apocalyptic stories. I love watching an author’s creativity run wild with all the possibilities of a new beginning.

2. I really liked Ash and Natalie. Ash is this bad boy, who softens and becomes a force for good once he has a reason to fight. Natalie is his reason, and I loved the devotion he felt for her, even when he was confused and trying to figure his life out. Natalie developed throughout the story into a really strong, exciting character. She went from a ball of nerves to a spitfire, crusading for what’s right. She took so many risks and cleared so many hurdles, and I really enjoyed reading of her strength.

3. I also really liked the supporting characters: Day and Beetle. I loved the friendships and love that circled around these four people.

4. This story is gory, and I had a really hard time with that. There’s SO much blood, death by crucifixion, torture, a rape attempt, drug overdose, numerous attacks, sacrifices, and murder. And it was all described in depth.

5. The worst part of this book, though was a very upsetting scene with the murder of a cat. Many of you know, I can not handle cat killings. I just can’t, especially when they are overly gruesome and detailed. They are unnecessary, and I slaughter books with scenes like these. I refuse to read anything else by an author who does this, because I think it’s terrible and I think it promotes animal violence among young people. I boycotted Origin when I found out about a similar scene in that book, and I vowed to never read another book by Elizabeth Chandler after reading her Kissed by an Angel trilogy and coming across another scene like this as well. I honestly had to talk myself out of quitting this book. I set it aside for hours, and finally went back because by accepting this ARC, I promised a review. I had to try and give the book a fair chance. I’m glad I finished it, because I was very curious about how things would go down. I was either intrigued enough or horrified enough, that I had to see if these people could pull out of the evil world they were living in and make a better life for themselves. Honestly, though, I did not recover from the heartbreak of that one scene. Luckily Black City did not end in enough of a cliffhanger that I’m dying for the next book. I can just quit here and be satisfied enough with the ending I’ve been given.

All in all, this book was dark. I can handle dark, but not this dark. I was super intrigued, and really enjoyed aspects of the story. The characters were great, and I loved the romance and the creativity of the idea. But the violence was just too much for me to handle, and the animal violence has me so sad that I don’t even want to continue with the series. I can definitely see why people are raving about the story, but I also wish I had known about this one scene before I chose to read it. I know there are many readers who feel the way I do, so this is the warning I wish I had received. I’m extremely disappointed that I did not love this book as much as many of my fellow readers did.

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Debut Author Challenge 2013 – I’m so doing this!!

November 12, 2012 Uncategorized 2

I’m so excited to be participating in the Debut Author Challenge, hosted by Tara at Hobbitsies, 2013! And I was also incredibly honored when Tara wrote and asked me to design the buttons for this year! 2013 is already looking like it’s going to be full of amazingly wonderful debut authors, and I know I’ll be shoving as many of them into my reading list as possible. I love supporting new authors! Anyway, here’s my list of DAC hopefuls, although I’m sure I’ll be editing this (and adding to it) as time goes on.

 

Taken by Erin Bowman (coming April 16, 2013)
MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza (coming March 12, 2013)
Dualed by Elise Chapman (coming February 26, 2013)

Linked by Imogen Howson (coming June 11, 2013)
Reboot by Amy Tintera (coming May 7, 2013)
Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller (coming June 18, 2013)

The Reece Malcom List by Amy Spalding (coming February 5, 2013)
The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar (coming March 21, 2013)
That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard (coming April 2013)


How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski (coming May 7, 2013)
The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan (coming May 14, 2013)
Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green (coming May 14, 2013)

So, which debuts have you giddy with excitement?
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