Summer of Love Blog Hop & GIVEAWAY

SummerofLoveBlogHop

Ahh summertime… swimming, sun, sand, surf, lemonade (or margaritas), and love.

What’s my ‘summer love?’  Why reading, of course!  And not just reading, but reading by the pool.

Here are a few of my favorite reads from THIS summer:

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The Summer I Became a Nerd
By Leah Rae Miller
YA Contemporary Romance

On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl’s body isn’t just unknown, it’s anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.

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Slammed
By Colleen Hoover
YA/NA Contemporary Romance

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

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Waiting for the Storm
By Marie Landry
YA/NA Contemporary Romance

Seventeen-year-old Charlotte O’Dell knows this summer is going to suck. Her mother just died, her sister hates her, and her dad has completely checked out. Fulfilling her mother’s final wish, the family heads to Angel Island for the summer to stay in a beach house her mother once loved.

After a year of being shut away taking care of her mother, Charlotte is numb and practically afraid of her own shadow; she hopes going to the island will give her the time and space she needs to begin healing, and an opportunity to bring her family back together. When she meets her mysterious neighbor, Ezra, it doesn’t take long for Charlotte to confess the issues she’s developed. Ezra begins giving Charlotte assignments to get over her fears, and although she accepts his tasks, all she really wants is to be with him. When she’s with Ezra, she’s able to forget the hollow ache in her heart and the fact that her family is falling apart. But Ezra has secrets…

Can Charlotte pull what’s left of her family together, mend her broken heart, and allow herself to fall for Ezra? Or is it all just a storm waiting to happen?

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Letters to Nowhere
By Julie Cross
YA Contemporary Romance

Her family may be shattered, but her dreams aren’t…

From the International Bestselling Author of the Tempest series

A Mature YA contemporary set in the tough world of Elite Gymnastics.

Seventeen year old Karen Campbell has just lost both her parents in a tragic car accident. Grief stricken and alone, her gymnastics coach opens his home to Karen, providing her a place to live while she continues to train, working toward a spot on the world championship team.

Coach Bentley’s only child, seventeen year old Jordan is good-looking and charming enough to scare away a girl like Karen—someone who has spent ten times more hours on balance beams and uneven bars than talking or even thinking about boys. But the two teens share a special connection almost immediately. It turns out Jordan has a tragic past of his own, grief buried for years.

As Karen’s gymnastics career soars, her nightmares and visions of the horrible accident grow in strength. She can only avoid facing her grief for so long before it begins to surface and ultimately spin out of control in a very dangerous way. Can discovering love and lust (simultaneously) help with the grieving process or will it only provide a temporary distraction while waiting for reality to hit full force.

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Of Poseidon
By Anna Banks
YA Science Fiction/Fantasy

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom…

Told from both Emma and Galen’s points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

So what were some of your favorite romance books this summer?

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Alright, now time for the fun part!  One lucky reader is going to win one of the following romance e-books.  Before you enter, be sure to check out the T&C.  This contest will be open August 12th (12a.m.) through August 18th (11p.m.), central standard time.  Good luck and have fun!  Be sure to spread the word!

One lucky entrant will win their choice of ONE of the following e-books from Amazon.com:

Click Here to Enter the Summer of Love Giveaway!

Want to see other stops on the blog hop? Click the linky below!

Blog Hop hosted by:

Hello Goodbye. (June/July)

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Hello Goodbye is a new feature I’m introducing to Such A Novel Idea.  The idea for this feature came from the lovely Emma Snow!  Go visit her blog, it’s fantastic.  Hello Goodbye is a monthly feature highlighting a few of my favorite things from the past month. Enjoy!

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June was a busy month!  I read 2o books (no lie!), applied for 29474390283 jobs, spent a gazillon hours at the pool with my kiddos, celebrating 8 wonderful years with my husband, and blogged lived to tell about it!

Summer here in Texas has gone from hot, to deadly hot, to ‘Ineedovenmittstodrivemycar’ hot.  Now that it is July, we’re seeing cooler temps (YAY 97-98 degrees!) and a bit of rain, so maybe we won’t all melt off the side of the earth.

Favorite Books

I read a lot of great books in June, but my favorites have to be: Slammed, The Summer I Became A Nerd, and Ghost Hand*.

Slammed had all the feels, poetry, and COLLEEN HOOVER. How could I not love it!?  And WHY did I wait so long to read it?

From my review: Colleen Hoover knows just how to reel you in, rip your heart out, and give it back to you slowly, one page at a time.  I have yet to read something by Hoover I haven’t immediately loved.

The Summer I Became a Nerd was full of nerdy goodness.  I want to be best friends with the main characters, the author, and anyone who likes this book as much as I do!

From my review: This book is full of nerdy goodness — comic books, comic con, LARP’ing and more.  And romance.  Over comic books.  I mean, I don’t think I can sell it any better than that.

I cannot express how much I enjoyed this book.  I didn’t even know it existed until the author e-mailed me to review it. And man, SO MANY THANKS to her for that!  I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for her to finish/publish book two.  The best part – both of her books were crowd-funded on Kickstarter! SO cool.

From My Review: *Look for my review on Saturday, June 6th!*

Favorite Music

There are three songs I’ve had on repeat all June!  Old Pine by Ben Howard, Young Blood (White Sea Remix) by The Naked and The Famous, and Red Hands by Walk Off the Earth.

Old Pine by Ben Howard

This song. THIS SONG.  Seriously, this is my favorite song of the year.  I know it isn’t FROM 2013, but I didn’t find out about it until now. And now that I have it, I listen to it over and over and over.  Click the cd cover and YOU can too!

First there is the beautiful twang of the guitar. I mean, the first full minute is nothing but guitar, and I could seriously just listen to that all day long.  And then there are the hauntingly beautiful lyrics.  The song is relaxing and transports you to another time.

“Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,
I’ve come to know that memories
Were the best things you ever had
The summer shone beat down on bony backs
So far from home where the ocean stood
Down dust and pine cone tracks

We slept like dogs down by the fire side
Awoke to the fog all around us 
The boom of summer time

[Chorus]
We stood
Steady as the stars in the woods
So happy-hearted
And the warmth rang true inside these bones
As the old pine fell we sang
Just to bless the morning.”

Young Blood (White Sea Remix) by The Naked and The Famous

I first heard this song over a year ago on SYTYCD.  As a fan of the original, I had already been listening to that version for a couple of years.  But the White Sea remix seriously called out to me… And I HAD to have it.  A year later, it was FINALLY released on an album and my little heart couldn’t be happier!

“We’re only young and naive still
We require certain skills
The mood it changes like the wind
Hard to control when it begins

The bittersweet between my teeth
Trying to find the in-betweens
Fall back in love eventually
Yeah yeah yeah yeah

Can’t help myself but count the flaws
Claw my way out through these walls
One temporary escape
Feel it start to permeate

We lie beneath the stars at night
Our hands gripping each other tight
You keep my secrets hope to die
Promises, swear them to the sky”

Red Hands by Walk Off the Earth

This band is incredible!  I first heard of them when they did a cover of Goyte’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” and it blew me away.  So, when I first heard this song, I immediately knew that’s who it was!  Love this song and can’t wait to see more from them.

“I’ve seen it all before, you back out, and everything’s changing
I needed something more, you stepped down, so what are you chasing?
I’d put it on rewind for this time only
(Is that what you really want?)

I realize that I got red hands, I wanna change this (day-oh)
Don’t ask me why I choose to lie, I stay blind, oh (day-oh)
It’s clear to me that you are fuming too, your accusations are burning through-oo
(Is that what you really want?)

Oh yeah, oh yeah-ah, that gun is loaded

That gun is loaded, but it’s not in my hand
That gun is loaded, but it’s not in my hand
The fire burns, I’m not the one with the match, man
That gun is loaded, but it’s not in my hand”

Favorite Television Show

I didn’t watch a lot of tv, with the exception of Law & Order: SVU reruns. However, there was this one show that I was sort of peer pressured into watching. And then proceeded to become obsessed with. In fact, I watched the entire series (three seasons) in five days. God Bless HBO Go! Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season

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This show gave me ALL THE FEELS. And luckily, after the Twitterverse went mad, I wasn’t so surprised when the shocker of season three happened.

My favorites: Daenerys Targaryen, Lord Tyrion Lannister, and Arya Stark (obviously!). Now I just have to deal with the fact that there are no more episodes for months.

Favorite Thing I Did

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I figured out how to read IN the pool. Not by the pool, not sort of in the pool where only your feet get wet, but in the pool.  Turns out 1 quart size Ziploc bag + Kindle Paperwhite = reading perfection. And trust me, it works… Kids were splashing me left and right and my Kindle just stayed as dry as can be.  I think this may have been the best thing I figured out all year long, honestly.

So, that’s it!  June was real fun, but I’d like to welcome July to the world. I hope it’s good!

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The Summer I Became A Nerd — Book Review

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The Deets

author: Leah Rae Miller

released: June 7, 2013

format: e-arc, e-book, paperback

pages: 352 pages

publisher: Entangled Teen

Read: May 7, 2013

Book Pages: Amazon.com • Goodreads.com • Author’s Website

The Down-low

On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl’s body isn’t just unknown, it’s anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.(From Goodreads.com)

Why You Should Buy It

This book is full of nerdy goodness — comic books, comic con, LARP’ing and more.  And romance.  Over comic books.  I mean, I don’t think I can sell it any better than that.

My Thoughts

*I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, courtesy of NetGalley*

First of all, I must say that if I knew Leah Rae Miller in real life, I imagine we would be the best of friends.  All the nerdy-goodness of this book left me quite blissful.  As a nerd when it wasn’t cool to be a nerd, I’ve grown up on all the things our main character relishes in.  And the voice of Maddie was just so likable.  Yeah, we’d definitely be friends.

As far as the writing, I really liked it.  The ‘voice’ of our main character was so realistic — I could actually picture having a conversation with this girl.  And the story line, while maybe seeming to be one-dimensional, really made a great point.  We suppress and hide who we are from the world, and for what?  I know what it is like to be humiliated and laughed at like Maddie.  I understand why she is the way she is when this book began.  But I also have the luxury of being older and seeing that what seems so important when you are 16, always isn’t.  In the end, being true to who you are is most important to your happiness.

The romance was super cute, and I really liked where the story went.  I really just loved everything about this book.  It was like a big bag of cotton candy.  And I could eat it all day long!

Overall

Four point five out of Five Stars

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