Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Nose Stuck in a Book's Top 10 Picks of 2014: Michelle's List & Giveaway

Ok so there may be something wrong with me. Most of my very favorite books are ones that gutted me in fact the more angst and devastation the better in my book. I am a total glutton for punishment and a sucker when it comes to the ugly cry. I have complete admiration and adoration for an author that can evoke such pure raw emotion in readers and touch so many with words on a page. The books on my list are ones that made me feel and ones that touched me in some way, many ways actually. If you love to be moved, to feel the onslaught of emotion, and have a good cry here and there I highly recommend, enthusiastically suggest, and all but beg you to give these incredible books a read.


Bang by E.K. Blair

Michelle's take: "Bang is a dark, emotional, thriller that is beautifully crafted and so evocative, so intense you feel every emotion, every scenario, every word so viscerally that it makes you ache and feel physically ill at times."


They say when you take revenge against another you lose a part of your innocence.
But I’m not innocent.
I haven’t been for a very long time.
My innocence was stolen from me. Taken was the life I was supposed to have. The soul I was born with. The ruby heart embedded in a life full of hopes and dreams.


I never even had a choice.
I mourn that life. Mourn the what-ifs.
Until now.
I’m ready to take back what was always meant to be mine.

But every plan has a fatal flaw. Sometimes it’s the heart.

**Due to the dark and explicit nature of this book, it is recommended for mature audiences only as some scenes may be particularly disturbing.**

Read Michelle's full 5 Star Review of Bang

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Michelle's take: "Maybe Someday is absolutely transcendent, the embodiment of sheer perfection. It is heart-shatteringly, gut-wrenchingly, tear-jerkingly painful yet exquisitely beautiful, ardently captivating, and blissfully stirring."


Includes a free original soundtrack by musician Griffin Peterson.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance—and the enchanting music that inspires one young woman to put her life back together.

At twenty-two years old, aspiring musician Sydney Blake has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her good friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter cheating on her with Tori—and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor, Ridge Lawson. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the daily guitar playing he does out on his balcony. She can feel the harmony and vibrations in his music. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either: He seems to have finally found his muse. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…

From the author of the New York Times bestsellers Slammed, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, This Girl, and Losing Hope, Maybe Someday is destined to become another bestseller and long-lasting fan favorite.

Read Michelle's full 6 Star Review of Maybe Someday

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Michelle's take: Colleen Hoover is a force to be reckoned with. She is a true artist and such a master of prose that you don't simply read her stories you live and breathe them. She doesn't conjure feelings in you that slowly trickle from within in the form of a small smile or a single tear, she creates a torrent of emotion that reaches inside and rips feelings so visceral, so intense, and so overwhelming from you that you have no choice, absolutely no say in the matter, and there is not a single thing that you can do but sit back and experience all the joy, the sorrow, the hope, and the devastation, the as if it were your own. Colleen Hoover has completely wrecked me. Ugly Love is another breathtakingly stunning, ridiculously emotive, painfully beautiful story.


When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

The Space Between Us by Anie Michaels

Michelle's take: "The Space Between Us is cute and innocent, sweet and joyful then completely heartbreaking and intensely emotional. It is a wild rollercoaster ride that is deeply affecting and immensely enjoyable."


They always belonged to each other but even a fated love can be fractured.

Shy, artistic, and withdrawn 11-year-old Charlie McBride tries to get her footing as she copes with the loss of her mother, the move to a new town, and starting a new school. Asher Carmichael steps into her life, provides a steadfast friendship that offers her protection to grow into a beautiful, young woman. As years pass, their friendship evolves into a passionate first love neither one of them can deny. Together they explore a new relationship filled with all the butterflies and heartache expected as two young adults navigate sex, love, and trust.

One fateful night, a painful mistake leads to cataclysmic results, setting the lovers on separate paths. Charlie is too hurt to forgive and Asher has never been so lost without his Charlie. Years pass. Hearts remain broken. Neither one can forget their first love or overcome the space between them.

Contains sexually explicit language and other mature content. Readers should be 18 or older.

Read Michelle's Full 5 Star Review of The Space Between Us

Therapy by Kathryn Perez

Michelle's take: "Therapy is positively crippling and brutally devastating yet the intoxicating blend of both forward and backward momentum that takes place along the arduous journey undertaken in this story is powerfully potent, intensely moving, and highly inspirational."


I’m needy.

I’m broken.

Cutting breaks through my numbness, but only opens more wounds.

Depression, self-harm, bullying....that's my reality.

Sex and guys....that's my escape.

The space between the truth and lies is blurred leaving me torn, lost and confused. And while the monsters that live in my head try to beat me-- the two men that I love try to save me.

This is my story of friendship, heartache, and the grueling journey that is mental-illness.

Sometimes you have to get lost in order to be found…

Read Michelle's Full 5 Star Review of Therapy

Burying Water by K.A. Tucker

Michelle's take: "For quite some time I have worshiped at the K.A. Tucker alter, but Burying Water has taking my devotion and adoration to a whole new level. Burying Water is beautiful, brilliant, complex and is sure to stay with you whether you read it once, twice, or one hundred times."


The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.

Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.

Read Michelle's Full 5 Star Review of Burying Water

In Her Wake by K.A. Tucker

Michelle's take: "K.A. Tucker is always a master of emotion, but In Her Wake went above and beyond. Trent's pain is so potent, his struggle so severe, you feel his torment so acutely, it consumes your heart and your mind and continues well after you have finished the book."


Cole Reynolds had it all. And then one night he makes a bad choice... and loses everything.

When a drunken night out at a Michigan State college party results in the death of six people, Cole must come to terms with his part in the tragedy. Normally, he’d be able to lean on his best friends—the ones who have been in his life since he could barely walk. Only, they’re gone. Worse, there’s the shattered body of a sixteen-year-old girl lying somewhere in a hospital bed, her entire life ripped from her because of a case of beer and a set of keys.

Everyone assures him that they know it wasn’t intentional, and yet he can’t ignore the weight of their gazes, the whispers behind his back. Nor can he shake the all-consuming guilt he feels every time he thinks of that girl who won’t so much as allow him near her hospital room to apologize. As the months go by and the shame and loneliness festers, Cole begins to lose his grip on what once was important—college, his girlfriend, his future. His life. It’s not until Cole hits rock-bottom that he can begin to see another way out of his personal hell: forgiveness.

And there’s only one person who can give that to him…

Read Michelle's Full 5 Star Review of In Her Wake

Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan

Michelle's take: "Not only is Archer's Voice thoroughly gripping and amazingly moving, it is beautifully poetic with writing so masterful you are sure to become an instant Mia Sheridan fan. Archer Hale with steal your breath and your heart. A love story that will speak to your soul and stay with you."


When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

Archer's Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

THIS IS A STAND-ALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY SAGITTARIUS. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller by L.B. Simmons

Michelle's take: "The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller is the absolute perfect mix of dark and light, excruciating and amusing, depressing and uplifting. A never-ending rollercoaster of emotion that has you laughing out loud one minute and sobbing the next."



For some, it’s simply one of life’s certainties, nothing more. For others, it’s merely a fleeting thought, one often overshadowed by the reckless delusion that they have been blessed with the gift of immortality.

For Aubrey Miller, death is the definition of her very existence. Overcome with the guilt resulting from the loss of her beloved family, she alters her appearance from the once beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl to that of one shrouded in complete darkness, enveloping herself in her own unbreakable fortress of solitude as a form of protection for others.

As she enters her first year of college, her goal is simple: Earn a degree with the least amount of social interaction as possible. What she never anticipates is the formation of very unlikely relationships with two people who will change her life in ways she never believed possible: Quinn Matthews, the boisterous former pageant queen, and Kaeleb McMadden, a childhood friend from her past who never really let her go.

Over the years, as their connections intertwine and grow, a seemingly indestructible bond is formed between the three…

But when death painfully reemerges, Aubrey is lost once again, burying herself deeper than ever before inside the familiar fortification of her fears.

Will the refuge of friendship, the solidarity of life-long bonds, and the power of unconditional love be enough to do the impossible?

Will they be enough to finally bring about…

The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller?

****NA Contemporary Romance****

****WARNING - Due to the graphic nature of some scenes, this book is not recommended for those who are particularly sensitive to the death of a child and/or suicide and is intended for mature audiences only. Contains adult language and themes.****

Read Michelle's full 5 Star Review of The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller

Captured by Jasinda Wilder

Michelle's take: "There are quite a few soul shattering, agonizingly tragic, terribly devastating elements to this story. Whatever you do, do not let this deter you, do not miss out on this extraordinary story. This is about war at its most brutal and it is unrelenting, uncaring, and unforgiving but there is just enough humor and intimacy sprinkled throughout to give you some much needed relief and the awe-inspiring hope, love, and inspiration are by far worth it in the end."


You go into combat, you fear death. It's what keeps you careful, keeps you alive. I've faced death more times than I can count. I've taken bullets. I've taken lives.

But nothing can prepare me for the soul-crushing terror of being captured.


I married a Marine. I knew the risks. Every time my husband shipped out, I knew there was a chance he wouldn't come back. But Thomas always did. Always. Then one day two officers in full dress uniform knocked on my door and shattered my world.

How do you keep going when you lose what made life worth living?

Read Michelle's Full 5 Star Review of Captured

Click to Buy Michelle's Top Picks on Amazon:

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  1. Happy Holidays, and thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Some awesome books on this list. Thank you. Happy Holidays

  3. There are some awesome choices on this list! Some I've read, some I've yet to get to. Happy holidays and thanks for the chance!

  4. Awesome choices!! Thanks for the chance and for sharing your top reads!

  5. Thank you very much for this awesome giveaway! Happy Holidays!

  6. Merry Christmas! Thanks for the post and the tote giveaway. I actually went to Penned Con, but it was my first and only signing, so I missed so much. I was overwhelmed! Thanks!

  7. Merry Christmas! Several of your top books are on my TBR list...I guess I need to move them up!

  8. Awesome list! Thanks for the chance!

  9. I've read 3 from your list and they were awesome! 😊

  10. You guys are so awesome with all your giveaways!! Thanks for them!!

  11. Great list of books! Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. Thanks for the giveaway! Happy Holidays!

  13. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! Merry Christmas!

  14. Great picks, I've read a lot of them and loved them all!

  15. Wow you chicks rock! 😃Love your blog! So many new authors you've introduced me too!

  16. Thank you for the chance. Hope you have a great holiday.

  17. This selection of books is amazing! LOVE IT! Thanks!

  18. Hope you and yours have a wonderful Holiday Season! :)

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  20. This list is fantastic, thank you for this giveaway. Merry Christmas

  21. Merry Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings!! :)

  22. Sending you a very merry Merry Ho ho HO!

  23. What a wonderful giveaway! I'd love to win! Thank you so much for the opportunity! Happy Holidays!

  24. Happy Christmas!!
    Love your picks! I've read most and they are 5 star.

  25. Happy Holidays!! Thank you for all your hard work

  26. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones💜

  27. YESSSS to Archer's Voice!! This is my favorite book EVER!!

  28. Thank you for the opportunity, Happy Holidays!

  29. Ty for the chance, Merry Christmas!

  30. Hapy Holidays & Thank you for the chance :)

  31. Merry Christmas !.. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway !! I would love to win Archer's Voice

  32. thanks for the chance!!!! Merry Christmas

  33. Awesome list of books! Good luck everybody!

  34. Thank you. This is awesome. Happy Holidays <3

  35. Going to check them out! Thanks for the recommendation.