*Win a Something in the Air themed prize pack
*Win a Something in the Air swag pack
*Win a copy of Every Word by Ellie Marney (CAN/US)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: Cam Girl by Leah Raeder

Cam Girl by Leah Raeder
Series: Standalone
Published: November 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Atria
320 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary New Adult/LGBTQ
Acquired this book: From the publisher in exchange for honest consideration
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

{Read my review of Black Iris}

Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art and her best friend—and sometimes more—Ellis Carraway. Ellis and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.

Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.

Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.

She’s got nothing left to lose.

So when she meets some smooth-talking entrepreneurs who offer to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night stripping on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.

It’s just a kinky escape from reality until a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they chat intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. It’s an easy decision: she’s starting to fall for him. But the steamier it gets, the more she craves the real man behind the keyboard. So Vada pops the question:

Can we meet IRL?

Blue agrees, on one condition. A condition that brings back a ghost from her past. Now Vada must confront the devastating secrets she's been running from—those of others, and those she's been keeping from herself..

Cam Girl is the second book I’ve read by Leah Raeder. After reading and loving Black Iris and hearing a few early things about Cam Girl, I was prepared for another mindfuck of a book, and that’s exactly what this was. A mindfuck, an emotional roller coaster, a story with themes that make you think, make you question, and for a lot of people, myself included, make you feel not so alone. Cam Girl is intense, it’s emotional, it’s sexy, and it deals with gender and sexuality and identity in a way I haven’t seen before, but that’s so important and necessary. In a lot of ways, it’s a story about blurred lines - between friendship, between identity, between the person you are the person the world thinks you are.

In a lot of ways, I identified with and understood Vada. Many of her thoughts about sexuality and orientation rang very true for me. In the last year or so, I’ve only really started to realize the assumptions people make about others. I’ve been guilty of it myself. This book talks about inherent misogyny and homophobia - it’s how a lot of us grew up, the ideas we were taught about right and wrong, about sex and gender and identity. For a lot of us, sex was a taboo thing that wasn’t discussed, so of course there weren’t discussions about gender beyond things like blue being for boys and pink being for girls, and assigned/stereotypical gender roles, the things 'only women do' and 'only men do', and god forbid a boy wants to play with a doll or a girl is into trucks or sports or superheros. Gender is decided at birth, and you’d better stick within the confines of that gender. It’s an amazing thing to have your eyes and mind opened, how ever it happens. For many people, being comfortable in their skin and knowing who they are is a luxury. If you’ve never questioned it, if you’ve never struggled, been afraid, wished you were different, you’re lucky. These are just some of the many things Cam Girl deals with.

It’s hard to say too much about this book without getting into plot details and spoilers, but I will say the writing was beautiful, the characters were complex, the setting was incredibly vivid, and there was plenty of suspense that kept me wondering, questioning, and also kept me on the edge of my seat.

Cam Girl
is raw, emotional, powerful, and beautiful. It’s an unforgettable story that has the power to open your mind in a lot of ways, make you think and question and see things you might not have seen before.

"The older we get, the more shadows we let in. There was nothing left in me that shone. If I could still do a self-portrait, all I’d draw would be a silhouette." ~ 13%

Have you read Cam Girl? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Let's talk here or on Twitter!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Blog Tour: Every Word by Ellie Marney

Welcome to my stop on Tundra's Every Word Blog Tour! If you know me at all, you'll know I'm obsessed with all things Sherlockian. I've read my fair share of Sherlock-related books, but Ellie Marney's Every Breath and Every Word are definitely my favourites. I'm going to share a short playlist I created of songs I think fit Every Word, plus talk a bit about visiting Baker Street in London.

{Read my review of Every Breath || Read my review of Every Word}

~Marie's Every Word Playlist~
Song for Someone ~ U2
Amsterdam ~ Coldplay
Wonderwall ~ Oasis
Dare You to Move ~ Switchfoot
Do It For Me Now ~ Angels & Airwaves
Radioactive ~ Imagine Dragons
Home ~ Phillip Phillips
London Calling ~ The Clash

Visiting Baker Street in London

In June I fulfilled a lifelong dream: I got to visit London for the first time! I fell head over heels in love with the city. One of the places I was looking forward to visiting most was Baker Street. My travelling companion and I decided beforehand we wouldn't go into the museum; we wanted to see the outside once it was closed because we figured that'd be a good time to get pictures with less people around (we were right). A good portion of Every Word is set in London (yay!). When Rachel and Alicia set out one day to do some sightseeing, I had a feeling I knew where they were going...and then when they emerged from the tube station and Rachel mentioned seeing a Pizza Express across the street, I knew for sure where they were going: 221 Baker Street! I clearly remember the Pizza Express because we were looking for a place to eat and we were so hungry we were willing to eat almost anything. There was a Pizza Hut down the street, but my friend said if we were going to have pizza, she wanted to eat it at a place we don't have at home, and we don't have Pizza Express. Luckily we decided to venture a little further and found a restaurant called Bill's, where we had a delicious three-course meal, but that Pizza Express was stuck in my brain. I thought it was brilliant how Marney worked a visit to the museum into the book.

Ellie Marney was born in the tropical northeast of Australia, and has lived in Indonesia, Singapore and India. Now she writes, teaches, talks about kids' literature at libraries and schools, and gardens when she can, while living in a country idyll (actually a very messy wooden house on ten acres with a dog and lots of chickens) near Castlemaine, in north-central Victoria. Even though she often forgets things and lets the housework go, her partner and four sons still love her. Ellie's short stories for adults have won awards and been published in various anthologies. Every Word is her second novel for young adults.

Find Ellie online: {Website || Twitter || GoodReads || Instagram}

Want your very own copy of Every Word? (Hint: yes, you do.) Tundra and Ellie Marney are generously donating a copy of this fantastic book to one lucky winner in Canada or the US! Enter using the Rafflecopter below - you can do as many or as few entries as you like.

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Have you read Every Word? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Do you like books about Sherlockian characters? Let's talk here or on Twitter!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Review: Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler 
Series: Standalone
Published: November 17th, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
348 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Acquired this book: From the author in exchange for honest consideration
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

Other books by Dahlia:
{My review of Behind the Scenes || My review of Under the Lights || 

Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas.

Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn't go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won't stand out for being Mexican.

One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective... only to learn she's set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants… only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they've sworn to leave.

As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don't know about each other's pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they'll have to decide whether their friendship has a future.

Just Visiting is a book that does something rare and wonderful: it focuses on friendship in all its wonderful, messy, complicated, beautiful glory. The book has elements of romance, and the story deals with a lot of other real-life issues, but the main focus of the book is friendship, and I love that.

Victoria and Raegan are very different people. They have different home lives, different hobbies, different goals. They’re both sort of outcasts for different reasons, but when they befriended each other, they found something magical - true friendship, the kind that can get through anything.

The friendship between Vic and Rae was realistic and hit close to home for me in a lot of ways. All of Adler’s books have had some aspect that truly spoke to me on a personal level, and in Just Visiting, it was the main theme of the book: friendship. I'm going to get personal for a bit here...I had friendships similar to Raegan and Vic’s in high school. My best friend and I planned everything around each other and there were times when she practically lived with me because her home life was so crappy. But she was secretive and started doing things behind my back, and it slowly caused cracks in our relationship. We went to the same college, same program and everything...but more secrets, more lies, and she ended up dropping out before the first semester was even over. It was devastating, and things were never the same between us. My other best friend went away for college. We talked all the time and saw each other whenever she came home. Her college course was only a year long, and after that she went to university. She made new friends, had her first boyfriend, and this distance grew between us until we barely spoke or saw each other anymore. But then a couple years ago, we started talking here and there again, and ended up reconnecting and are now closer than ever. We even spent two weeks travelling through Europe together this past summer. Sometimes people’s differences can’t be overcome, and sometimes hurt feelings and anger can’t be overcome. I was glad to see Raegan and Vic work through things, even though it wasn’t always easy. They truly loved each other and wanted each other to be happy. They learned a lot about themselves and each other, and about friendship in general.

Other things in this book I appreciated: how realistic the romance was between Raegan and Dev. It was complicated and caused a lot of confusion, which sums up a lot of relationships when you're a teen. I also really liked how close Vic was to her family. We get something else that’s quite rare in YA: parents who are involved in their kid’s life. Vic loved her parents and they loved her; she actually enjoyed spending time with them and wanted to tell them things. They cared about her education, her hobbies, and wanted her to have friends. It was refreshing after seeing so many absent parents in books. One of my absolute favourite stand-out things about this book was that there was a deaf character. My brother is deaf, as are his in-laws, and we live in a town with one of the few deaf schools in the country, so I’ve been surrounded by the deaf community my whole life. Even though it was a side character who was deaf, it still made me really happy. I also grinned a few times when Vic and Rae said they signed to each other when they didn’t want people to know what they were saying, because I specifically taught some of my friends signs in high school so we could communicate ‘secretly’ when we didn’t want others to know what we were saying.

Another common reaction to Adler’s books: me crying at the end. With her last book, Under the Lights, I happy-cried through the last 10% because it was so perfect and beautiful. With Just Visiting, I cried in the epilogue because, again, it was perfect. It was bittersweet but realistic and I was glad to see the girls happy and doing what was right for them.

Just Visiting is a realistic look at the trials and triumphs in friendship. It captured that feeling of uncertainty about the future when you’re a teenager and getting ready to set out into the ‘real world’. I would definitely recommend Just Visiting to fans of contemporary YA.

Have you read Just Visiting? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? What are some of your favourite books with strong friendships? Let's talk here or on Twitter!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Review: I Do by AJ Pine

I Do by AJ Pine
Series: If Only... #3
Published: November 16th, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
208 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary romance
Acquired this book: From the author in exchange for honest consideration
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

The first two books in the If Only... series:

Sometimes you have to trust your heart to find out what home really means.

Duncan McAllister is marrying Elaina Tripoli tomorrow. Except--he's missing. Jordan, Noah, Griffin, Maggie, and Miles arrive in Greece for the festivities to find frantic messages from both the bride and groom. Noah and Griffin set off to find Duncan while Jordan, Maggie, and Miles try to salvage what should be a day of celebration before the wedding.

But the Americans have their own baggage. Noah's got a surprise planned for Jordan that has to go perfectly. Griffin's keeping life-changing news from Maggie. And Miles--well, he wasn't looking for love on this trip until a Greek sous chef named Alex rocks his world.

The race is on for Duncan to make it back to Elaina before she decides not to take him back at all. For Noah to make sure his monumental plan goes off without a hitch. For Griffin to tell Maggie the truth without losing her. For Miles to admit that letting himself fall in love is worth the risk.

Happily Ever After waits at the finish line…if the four couples can make it on time.

I loved the first two books in AJ Pine’s If Only... series, If Only and What If. When I heard there was going to be another book in the series, I was ecstatic. I wanted to know what would happen to these couples I loved so much, plus I’d hoped for a story that involved Miles from the second book. I Do is a beautiful, fitting end to the series, and made me fall for these characters even more.

When I heard I Do was told from multiple points of view, I thought it would get confusing, but it was easy to keep up. Pine took something that could have been a mess and did a brilliant job with it. All the characters had such distinctive stories and personalities, I never got lost. It was actually the perfect way to tell the story, because we got to know the characters so well in the first two books, it was nice to be back inside their heads and see things from each perspective. 

One of the things I loved most about this book (and Pine’s other books) was that things weren’t easy for the characters. In If Only and What If, we got to see Noah and Jordan, Griffin and Maggie, and Duncan and Elaina get their happily ever afters, but with I Do we see what comes after the happily ever after. Each couple was madly in love, but they still had struggles and fights and misunderstandings. It was wonderfully realistic, and it made me continue to root for them the way I did in the previous books. I absolutely loved Miles’s story; I adored him in What If, so to get him as a main character instead of a side character was great, and his story was beautiful (and sexy!).

Reading I Do was like being reunited with old friends. It was a perfect ending to a series I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. It was laugh-out-loud funny, romantic, sweet, and full of feels. Noah, Jordan, Griffin, Maggie, Duncan, Elaina, Miles, and Alex will stick with me for a long time to come.


AJ Pine writes stories to break readers' hearts, but don't worry--she'll mend them with a happily ever after. As an English teacher and librarian, AJ has always surrounded herself with books. All her favorites have one big commonality--romance. Naturally, the books she writes have the same. When she's not writing, she's of course reading. Then there's online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes). And a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires and superheroes. You'll also find her hanging with her family in the Chicago 'burbs. 

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Have you read any of the books in the If Only... series? What did you think? If you haven't read them, do you plan to? If you've read I Do, what did you think of this final installment? Let's talk here or on Twitter!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon 2015

The Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon runs from today until the 17th, and is hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Jennifer @ The Book Shelfery. Be sure to head over to their blogs and find out how to join the fun!

Reading goals:
Dec the Holls by Jasinda Wilder
Completions and Connections by Kathryn R Biel
Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe by Rebecca Raisin
Christmas in the City ~  Anthology

 Are you participating in the read-a-thon? What books will you be reading? Let's talk here or on Twitter!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Something in the Air hits virtual bookshelves today!

I’m so excited that Rose and Declan’s story is finally out in the world. This book has been a long time coming. I started writing it in the summer of 2013 and got stuck, so I decided to set it aside for awhile. ‘A while’ turned into almost two years, during which I wrote and published several other books. When I finally went back to Something in the Air, I had an amazing critique partner who helped me get through the issues I was having with the story so I could finally finish. After over two years of carrying Rose, Declan, and the other characters in my mind, this book feels like a labour of love. I really do love this story about self-discovery, friendship, love, and following your dreams, and I hope you’ll love it, too!

Add to GoodReads
When Rose Morgan put off her college plans to help her mother through a difficult time, she thought it would just be a bump in the road of her journey. She got a job to help pay the bills and started picking up the slack at home. But three years later, her bumpy ride hasn’t smoothed out yet, and Rose feels stuck. She’s working at a job she hates and living with a manipulative mother. She’s tired of feeling like her life has stalled, tired of the resentment and anger building inside her with each passing day.

Then Declan Connolly appears in her life, and even though the hot Irishman is seriously tempting, Rose is determined not to let him in. She’s afraid to suck anyone into her bizarre life, especially someone who seems too charming for his own good. She soon learns there’s more to Declan than his sexy accent and charismatic personality, though. He’s a good man, and he wants Rose in his life, baggage and all. He’s got his own, and he isn’t scared away like she originally feared he would be.

Everything in Rose’s life is changing quickly. It’s finally her time--time to figure out what she wants and what her future holds. Time to get swept off her feet and not fight it. But when her plans might take her away from all the amazing new things in her life, including Declan, Rose has to make a choice. Is she willing to chase her dreams, even if it means letting go of love?

The Something in the Air release week book blitz, hosted by YA Bound Book Tours, started yesterday. The blitz includes a special giveaway with goodies related to the book. You can check out the main blitz post and enter the giveaway here.

Annnnd I have another giveaway! Want to win a Something in the Air swag pack that includes a signed postcard, some mini bookmarks, a bottle cap charm (made by Jessica Sankiewicz - aka my bestie! - at Impulsivities), and a Celtic knot charm? Enter below! Open internationally. 


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Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me get here, whether it's by reading early drafts, cheering me on while writing, leaving comments on the blog, buying my books, reading and reviewing all matters, it all means the world to me, and I'm so grateful.
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