It’s a Cover Reveal! Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez

Happy Monday!

We are so thrilled to kick off a brand new week with a cover reveal for Jessica Martinez’s upcoming YA thriller: KISS KILL VANISH. We are a huge fans of Jessica’s past work — Virtuosity and last year’s The Vow — and can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve with this newer, darker novel!

We hope you love the cover as much as we do.

Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez Cover Reveal

Isn’t it sexy and mysterious? The splash of color is gorgeous!

So what’s it about? Here’s an official description:

Valentina Cruz no longer exists.

One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.

She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.

She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.

And a quick note from Jessica:

27 (1)My first dark cover.

I’ve written serious books, but not fishnets-and-cocaine books. Not dark books. This is the first time I’ve had to be concerned about what the NSA is thinking while monitoring my online activity. (Oh, come on, if not mine, then whose are they actually monitoring?) And because of KISS KILL VANISH, if I’m ever accused of a violent crime, I could be convicted based on my Google searches alone. Your honor, she googled blood splatter images from a close range bullet to the brain AND how to get rid of a body. The State rests.

The day this cover appeared in my inbox I went out and bought myself tights to match Valentina’s. (No pictures. This is the internet, folks. People are creepy.) I love them. I love that assault of color over the black and white. I love the font. I love Valentina’s pose. Actually, I can’t think of a single thing I don’t love, and that’s something of a miracle, so I’ll be sitting here all day staring at it—a dark smile on my face. Feel free to join me.

(And eat your heart out with all that brain splatter research, NSA.)

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Mark you calendars for KISS KILL VANISH’s release on October 7th! I know, I know — it’s a long time to wait BUT we have some good news! Jessica and the very nice people at Katherine Tegen books are offering up a copy of THE VOW and an ARC of KISS KILL VANISH. Be sure to enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Be sure to add KISS KILL VANISH to Goodreads or reserve your copy on Amazon or B&N.

Stay up to date with Jessica Martinez on Twitter + her website!

Top Ten Tuesday: Let’s Talk 2014 Resolutions

top ten tuesday hosted by the broke and the bookish

Hey-lo! It’s Tuesday and time to talk about New Year’s Resolutions! Do you do this every year, do you follow them, do they change? Well thanks to Broke and Bookish’s meme this week we are spilling the good stuff. We can’t wait to hear what all of you are hoping for and striving to accomplish in the next 12 months!

Estelle:

  1. Take a break from electronics. I am obsessed with my phone and my computer and it just needs to end. Ya know, life happens when you are staring at a screen and I want to discipline myself better when it comes to all of those things. This also leads to managing my time better so I can keep up with my writing, my side projects, and such. But it also means focusing on hobbies I haven’t been able to give much attention to like crafting and baking. (I think I cheated and put a whole lot of resolutions in 1.) If anyone has suggestions about this, please help me. (My husband and I thank you.)
  2. Finally get my money situation under control. This has been the first full year of James going to school and me working. And it wasn’t until a few months ago that something snapped in my head and I realized just how difficult this was going to be. In the past few months, I’m significantly cut down on shopping (for clothes and for books) and also tried to manage when I was going out with my friends and when James and I would be going out. Things seem to be slowly but surely looking up and I want to have at least a tiny savings to show for it by the end of the year. (This will be the year I finally learn, right?)
  3. Read in a different way. Whether it be picking up books from my shelves, re-reading, reading a non-fiction book at the same time, I need to make use of the books I already own and read what I want. Again, toward the end of last year if I didn’t like something I stopped reading and found what I did like. Life is too precious to stick with something you don’t like. And there are so many amazing, touching books out there. I want to find those. (This also leads to me writing reviews for books where I actually have something to say. What’s the point otherwise?)
  4. Nurture friendships. I need to stop focusing on the negative and focus on those who are there for me during the bad AND the boring times. (I am going to sing Frozen’s “Let It Go” to remind myself of this.)
  5. I don’t know what to title this last one, but I keep picturing myself a year from now and I just want to know that I tried new things, connected with new people, my friendships are on track, my marriage is getting stronger and stronger, and that I just enjoyed myself. Whether that’s finally hanging up new pictures of us in our apartment, getting a new coffee table, traveling to Boston for the first time in forever, or moving forward in other ways … I’m not sure but I’m ready and I’m pumped! (I’m also already counting down the days until Christmas. I’m a sad sad person, I know.)

Magan:

  1. Develop a System for Choosing What to Read Next: Very often I find myself questioning what to read next. I stare at my shelves and just have no idea what to grab because seeing everything is … overwhelming. One of my go-to things-to-do is to search through my Goodreads to-read list and select one of the best rated books. I’d say that often works in my favor and I end up reading a book I love, but this can lead to a) me buying a book I don’t already own or b) being disappointed because there was so much book hype and I didn’t agree with the ratings. I need to find a better way of choosing what to read next. Any suggestions? My one idea is to make a list as I see something on my shelves and think “I should read that soon.”
  2. I Need to Learn to Say I Need More “Me” Time: Estelle can confirm this, but Dustyn and I are always, always on the go. ALWAYS. It feels like there’s rarely time to sit and be lazy or enjoy quiet time. We’re busy people who love to spend time with our families and friends. That’s not something I’m upset about; I love spending time with people. But, guys… I’m worn out. And no, that’s not just the pregnancy talking. I mentioned in my Q&A with Estelle that I’d like to be more welcoming and have people over more often. Maybe these two concepts can work together? We stay at home more, AND have people come visit us.
  3. Stop Spending Money: I have a shopping problem. I’m quite addicted to Pick Your Plum and Jane these days. I’m a sucker for a good sale. Dustyn and I made a list of house things we’d like to fix up or accomplish over the next year or so. I should apply that to myself as well and make a list of things I’d like to buy eventually or suggest to Dustyn when he asks what I’d like for my birthday. I did a much better job with this in 2013 than in previous years, but there’s still so much room for improvement here.
  4. Embrace Snail Mail: Something I started *trying* to implement at the end of 2013 was mailing out random cards to friends that were on my heart. I didn’t do it much, but I really want to continue dropping notes in the mail this year. Over the last year, I’ve been very fortunate to have received several extremely thoughtful notes from friends when I was having very down days. I’ve kept them and have them sitting in a special place as a reminder that there are people out there rooting and praying for me. That was a huge, huge lesson for me as it can feel like so much of our lives is based on competition — for example: who has more comments or visitors, who has a more clever idea and receives more recognition, etc., etc., etc. That, my friends, is draining. I’d rather focus on raising someone up, even if they’re “competition” per se, and encourage them to keep going.
  5. Be Realistic About My Reading Goal for 2014: And last but not least, I have to be honest and say that I have no idea what to expect of myself for how many books to aim to read. None whatsoever. I’m going to be a new mom. I’m potentially going to see my foster daughter returned to her biological family. I’m going to be working through a lot of change. I suppose more than anything, I should be saying that I will allow myself to work through that change and not put so much pressure on myself to be so composed through all of it. I’m going to be elated and I’m going to cry tears (of joy and sorrow). I’m not going to expect myself to pick up a book if that’s just not what I can do that day. But I do resolve to keep reading as books have potentially been some of my best friends through some of my roughest times.

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What’s on your agenda for 2014?

Nailed It: Upcoming January Releases

Eeep! Welcome back for our first 2014 Nailed It post! We’re switching things up again to focus on January 2014 book releases because the new year just screams new releases, doesn’t it? Besides, you might have a gift card or two burning a whole in your pocket that you *need* to spend on one (or both) of these books!

Magan’s Pick:

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

My Review | Add to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Buy from B&N

pairing book covers with nail polish

Something Blue | Tatiana | Evelyn

Just my personal opinion, but I think Lauren’s books have the prettiest covers. I LOVED the Meant to Be cover, and I’m equally excited about this one. The colors are fun and exciting, especially for this time of year when things can seem a bit drab and gray. During the winter, I tend to be drawn to darker colors, but I think I should really consider spicing things up a bit more with some color. Evelyn is absolutely gorgeous — I am so, so tempted to order it right now. (*restrains self and works on online shopping addition as New Year’s resolution*)

Estelle’s Pick:

When I Was The Greatest by Jason Reynolds

Add to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Buy from B&N

Nailed It When I Was the Greatest Jason Reynolds

Marion | Nellie | Catrina | Cleopatra 

I’ve been looking forward to this title since I first read about it during BEA last year. It’s on deck as far as my reading list goes, and I can’t wait: New York setting and a male narrator. The cover is very intriguing and I’m looking forward to seeing how it fits in with the rest of the story. I heard Reynolds speak during a blogger get together during BEA too, and I love how he talked about family and being a neighbor and big cities. (Plus April gave it a big thumbs up!)

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What colors + books are you looking forward to this January?

Top Ten Books We Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Us

Happy Almost-Christmas, friends! Today we’re participating in The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday feature by sharing TEN books we wouldn’t mind Santa bringing us. (*hint, hint* *wink, wink*, husbands!) Do you have books on your wish lists this year? Let us know what they are and which of ours you’re hoping for, too!

Top Ten Gifts We Hope to Get for Christmas

Top image from Botanical Paperworks — Check out the site for beautiful ideas and cute printable gift tags!

Estelle’s Picks – all of E’s picks have received seals of approval by other bloggers!

Magan’s Picks — all of M’s picks are books she can’t believe she hasn’t read yet (eep!)

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Tell us what books you hope are under YOUR tree this year!

It’s Here: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Christmas has come early at Rather Be Reading!

We are really excited to present you with the cover of Miranda Kenneally’s upcoming novel: Breathe, Annie, Breathe. We have been huge fans of Miranda’s work since the release of Catching Jordan: she writes about brave young women with different backgrounds, beliefs, goals, and dreams. We love that about her.

Okay, okay, we can’t hold it in any longer. Here’s the gorgeous new cover of Breathe, Annie, Breathe:

Breathe Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally: cover reveal at Rather Be Reading Blog

Breathe, Annie, Breathe is part of the Hundred Oaks series and will be releases on July 1, 2014. Here’s the official summary:

Eighteen-year-old Annie Winters can barely run a mile without wheezing. Still, she’s training to run the Music City Marathon in seven short months. Running is so not her thing, but she has to finish what her boyfriend started… before he died.

Annie feels guilt that she’s still alive and blames herself for his death; she has to do this to honor him – running a marathon was his dream. Plus training gives her something to do, it’s a distraction. So is Jeremiah Brown. 

He’s an adrenaline junkie who runs marathons backwards. He flirts with Annie on the trails and it makes her feel alive and happy and guilty all at the same time. She wants to both race into his arms and sprint in the opposite direction – because loving is a risk she’s not sure she’s ready to take again…

Are you as psyched as we are?!

Be sure to add Breathe, Annie, Breathe to your reading list and stay up to date with Miranda’s work on Twitter and her website!

Now we just have to sit around and wait until July….

(In the meantime, take a visit to Hundred Oaks and check out Miranda’s latest: Racing Savannah! It’s so so so good!)

TTT: Our New Favorite Must-Read Authors

Welcome back for a new Top Ten Tuesday post! Today, the awesome ladies at The Broke and the Bookish are asking which authors were new-to-us this year. That doesn’t have to be limited to newly published authors, but it could be someone we’ve had on our radar for a long while and finally picked up their book. We’re tag-teaming for this post since we both fell in love with some pretty amazing authors this year!

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Magan:

Amy Spalding: Author of Ink is Thicker Than Water and The Reece Malcolm List

new author amy spalding

Amy explores really unique family situations with extremely in-depth character development. I adore how her character’s lives are so well-rounded and not focused on just one specific aspect with everything else left to question.

Andrew Smith: Author of Winger

andrew smith author

Have you guys noticed that I’ve recommended this book for just about every list we’ve created since I read Winger? I’m not kidding. It’s fantastic. I want ALL of Andrew’s books now.

Leila Sales: Author of This Song Will Save Your Life

recommendation for leila sales

I love books that really dive into finding your place and growing to accept who you are, even if you’re different than everyone else. This book is the epitome of that and though I didn’t always relate to Elise, I loved her journey.

Rainbow Rowell: Author of Fangirl and Eleanor & Park

recommendation for books by rainbow rowell

Full disclosure: Rainbow is an auto-buy. My husband has to accept that any books by her will be immediately pre-ordered. No questions asked.

Leila Howland: Author of Nantucket Blue

book recommendations for leila howland

As someone who has gone through some weird friendship mishaps, I felt Leila nailed the frustration and unease over a friendship disbanding. But then then there’s also the amazing setting and sexy love interest, too. 😉

Estelle:

For the record, Magan STOLE a few of my picks from me. HOW DARE SHE DO THIS? I absolutely loved Leila Howland, Andrew Smith, and Amy Spalding’s work this year too!

Elana K. Arnold: Author of Burning

Burning by Elana K. Arnold

With so many YA books out there, it’s hard to stand out but Arnold succeeded with Burning: two teenagers, who grew up in totally different environments (one in a soon-to-be extinct mine town and the other with a family of modern gypsies) and are trying to come into their own. Unique circumstances but genuine and true feelings at the core. I need to read the rest of Elana’s backlist.

Rachel Shukert: Author of Starstruck

Starstruck by Rachel Shukert

Historical young adult books make me nervous but Shukert has researched Hollywood of the 30s so well I felt like I was really there. It’s glamorous, it’s daunting, and each of the ladies in this story have to deal with a certain amount of roadblocks and expectations. Such a well-rounded story, and I can’t wait for the next installment. (Plus Shukert used to write recaps of SMASH for New York Magazine and she is hilarious.)

Bill Konigsberg: Author of Openly Straight

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Konigsberg has delivered some of the most memorable characters I have ever read — Rafe, oh Rafe, I want you to be my best friend. He’s trying to figure himself out, making mistakes left and right, but he has so much heart. Openly Straight is one of my favorite books this year (maybe ever) and made me a Konigsberg fan for life.

Corey Ann Haydu: Author of OCD Love Story

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

It can’t be easy to write a character who thinks she is the “normal” one when really she is just as much of a work in progress as the rest of her therapy group. OCD Love Story made me feel so uncomfortable, but only in the best way. I was totally channeling Bea, and whew, was it a journey. Can’t wait for Haydu’s Life in Committee (spring release) and you know what? She’s the best tweeter too!

Tamara Ireland Stone: Author of Time Between Us series

Time Between Us series by Tamara Ireland Stone

Why oh why did I wait so long to read these? I haven’t reviewed them on the blog but Ireland’s time travel rules, the romance, the families, and all the love of music? It’s so so wonderful and incredibly addicting.

[ Bonus ] Katie Cotugno: Author of How to Love

How to Love by Katie Cotugno

From page 1, I was completely invested and enthralled in Sawyer and Reena’s story. I stayed up all night to read it, and I still can’t pinpoint what exactly it was about this book. Here’s a guess: gorgeous, well-paced writing, the mystery of second chances, and a great balance of friends, family, and obtaining those out-of-reach dreams.

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Who were your standout authors this year?
Who should we be looking forward to reading books by in 2014?