Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











Ready Player One.pngFrom Goodreads: In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

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Ernest Cline’s bestseller, Ready Player One, packs a serious punch that any gamer in our Galaxy can easily get behind. But what about non-gamers? No worries, you’ll still be drawn in as the characters are fleshed out and their story between the real world and the virtual OASIS intertwines. I’m not an avid gamer; I haven’t played video games in probably ten years, but the idea behind a society where people are jacked into a virtual game, where they can live their entire lives, going to school, working a job, etc., and at the same time, immerse themselves in the past, mainly the 1980s, well, that kind of tickles my fancy. Especially because for us, right now, the 1980s isn’t that far in the past, and for me, it’s still fresh in my memories, so traveling down memory lane, focusing on movies and other fun 80s mementos makes for a fun background to the story.

I really liked how Cline began his novel, stating the ending outright, and then circling around to explain how everything came to be. Yet, even though I was aware of how it all would end, the novel was still fraught with suspense as Wade fights his way through both the game and the real world as well. With many friends and foes, this novel is really a non-stop ride, one I highly enjoyed and hope that you’ll give a try, especially as this novel is slated to hit the big screen in 2018. This is one I’ll be watching on release night, but just remember, the book is always better than the movie! Five stars.

5 stars

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The Reflective CauseFrom Goodreads: Could you find your soul mate in thirteen worlds… would you survive long enough to claim them?

Beth Jasper, a rare female warrior Reflective, has been momentarily freed from the brutality of Sector One, only to discover her home world of Papilio has been reshaped into chaos by Reflective Ryan. A flesh trade has ruined the female Reflectives who were unprotected while their male counterparts were held on One under Slaver Dimitri.

Her soulmate has been revealed, yet another fills her mind. Beth cannot forget Slade, the prince of the bloodlings. Their tie is undeniable. Can Beth forsake The Cause and her home planet’s ruination to forge answers to the questions raised during her brief stay on One?

Will the dissenting Reflectives find a way to exterminate the one threat to their plans of absolute control over the thirteen sectors? Can Beth, along with Jeb Merrick, save their world and uphold The Cause. Or will ancient blood ties rule Beth’s destiny.

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This amazing sequel to The Reflective, by Tamara Rose Blodgett, is indeed just as spell-binding as the first novel in the series.

I love the continuing characterization throughout this novel; Beth is a strong character, as is Maddie, and I loved watching them further come into themselves as the story progressed. Though our beloved female lead, Beth, is pulled in two directions as she wars with her feelings concerning Merrick and Slade, creating an almost triangular effect, Blodgett puts her own personal spin on it, making this relationship trope fresh and exciting as she shows that not all is fair in love and war. Filled with many trials and tribulations bordering on betrayal, the extent of deception others go to procure what is deemed theirs has no bounds. I thoroughly enjoyed the tug of war on Beth’s heartstrings throughout the novel, though I already know where my true allegiance lies.

The vast world building Blodgett has created is absolutely mind-blowing, and as the characters jump from one world to the next, it never ceases to amaze me just how realistic and complete each world is in its own right. Of course, fraught with males with abusive tendencies on what seems to be every world Beth and her companions encounter, the reader is once again left on the pinnacles of a harrowing cliffhanger; The Reflective Cause will leave readers’ with their hearts in their throats at the conclusion, dying for more, as is Blodgett’s way. I cannot wait for more. Five stars.

5 starsI received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Barnes and Noble

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PC070040About Tamara Rose Blodgett:
 
Tamara Rose Blodgett is the author of over fifty titles, including her NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling novel, A Terrible Love, and the international bestselling TOKEN serial, written under the pen name Marata Eros. Tamara writes a variety of dark fiction in the genres of erotica, fantasy, romance, sci-fi and suspense. She lives in South Dakota with her family and enjoys interacting with her readers.
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Werewolves of ShadeFrom Goodreads:

When the entire population of Shade go missing, investigative reporter Mila Watson knows this could be the big break she has been waiting for. Setting off into the mountains to the village of Shade, Mila soon learns that the village isn’t as deserted as she first believed it to be and that creatures lurk in the shades…

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WoS OneIt’s no secret that I LOVE Tim O’Rourke’s writing. Every single piece, be it novel or novella (and there are a ton–over 50 currently, I believe), has captured my attention from the very first page, and I’ve been drawn into the seamless, heart-pounding stories where the characters and landscape come alive before my very eyes.  And so is the case with O’Rourke’s latest serial, Werewolves of Shade, a 6 part story that is absolutely mind blowing.

Part 1:

Opening in the creepy, dismal town of Maze, we meet Mila, a young woman hell bent on finding out what happened to her parents when they disappeared so long ago, traveling to Shade, a town where everyone seems to have vanished.

Her uncle has been less than forthcoming, and as the first installment takes off, readers learn that a war between Werewolves and Vampires once plagued the lands, but since the ONE came, they have all disappeared.  But, have they?

The first novella, approximately 70 pages give or take, chronicles Mila’s abhorrence as the truth about her parents emerges, and I loved her characterization.  She is definitely the heroine of the story, but knowing O’Rourke, some terrible events are bound to take place for this young adventurer.  While her lover, Flint, seems to be another main character in this series, I am interested to see how their relationship pans out in the next few installments.  I like him, but I’m not sold on him yet.

And of course, there are O’Rourke’s sprinkle of creepy moments when the possibility of tragedy, horror, and death take the forefront.  I love how he keeps me on my toes, nervous for the characters, but always dying to know what happens next.

Five Stars for Part 1

5 starsGrab part 1 now for just 99 cents: Amazon


WoS TwoPart 2:

I made the mistake of starting the second installment in the Werewolves of Shade Serial late at night. I know better, I really do; I’ve read nearly all of O’Rourke’s work, and I know that the suspense and horror he places in his books means I should never, ever, pick these up at night–I have a rather active dreamscape fraught with nightmares–but I just couldn’t help myself. The first installment ends on an enticing cliffhanger, and I just HAD TO KNOW what happens next. So I started the second portion immediately, and I was not disappointed.

Mila has made it to her destination, the town of Shade, but something lurks in the darkness, and the few people she finds in the town are… less than forthcoming. I can’t decide who I like more: the sweet and sexy Rush or the frustrating and sardonic Calix. For those who’ve read O’Rourke’s Kiera Hudson series (and if you haven’t, please do!), I’d almost liken Calix to a younger version of Potter, and I just love Potter… so I’m torn between the characters.  But neither seem to be very truthful, and their sudden appearance, almost out of thin air, has me suspecting that they aren’t all that they seem… making me wonder just who they truly are, and whether they’re for or against Mila.

And, I am about to pick up the third installment right now, because once again there is a lovely cliffhanger, and I am dying to know what happens next. Especially as some events in this novel, such as a lack of blood where there should be blood, and that penetrating glare from what seems to be distant eyes–but are they?–has me on pins and needles.

Five Stars for Part 2

5 starsGrab part 2 now for just 99 cents: Amazon


WoS ThreePart 3:

The story just keeps getting better and better as the plot thickens.  Every time I think that I know what’s happening, or who these characters really are, O’Rourke throws another wrench into the story, and I find myself derailed yet again.  Truthfully, this is part of the allure of O’Rourke’s books for me–I love that he always keeps me guessing.

As I previously mentioned in my review of Part 2 of this series, Calix is indeed very much like Potter from the Kiera Hudson Series.  The similarities continue to abound, and I find myself falling in love with his cocky mannerisms, especially when it comes to Mila and his interactions. Do I trust him? Not as far as I can throw him, but as I get to know him, I’m really enjoying the banter and his overall self-importance.

Of course, the already eerie series is beginning to take on a more gruesome feel as there is a death of a minor character, yet it’s jarring all the same, especially when the reader gets to the cliffhanger and realizes that not everything, or every DEATH, it what it seems…  I had chills as I read the final paragraph, and I am so excited to start part four right now.  This is just too good to put down.

Five Stars for Part 3

5 starsGrab part 3 now for just 99 cents: Amazon


WoS FourPart 4:

I’ve been reading each part of this series faster and faster through all the plot twists and turns, and I just can’t get enough.  The people of Shade are strange yet alluring, and while Mila seems to be second guessing herself and making some terrible decisions, I just can’t look away, even though I’m finding myself constantly yelling at her through the pages.  I’ve said, “don’t do that!” at least five times in this installment alone, and I can only imagine it’s going to continue and O’Rourke works up to the climax of the series.

O’Rourke always hits the ground running and completely takes me by surprise; in each of the installments so far, he’s left readers with a cliffhanger that has made me, personally, dying to read the next installment, and I love how he’s able to create suspense and terror in each one of these short novellas.  At approximately 70 pages, one would think that the story would grow stale, but such is not the case with the Werewolves of Shade series. I’ve been on pins and needles as Mila uncovers eerie truth after eerie truth, and while it doesn’t all make sense yet, I know it eventually will… though I’m seriously beginning to wonder if any of what Mila’s uncovered is real, or if she’s just imagining it all, like Calix and Rush keep asserting.

I feel I have a good handle on who, or what, the people of Shade are, but there are so many different directions this series is going that I’m just not sure anymore. On to part 5.

Five Stars for Part 4

5 starsGrab part 4 now for just 99 cents: Amazon


WoS FivePart 5:

Things are starting to get really out of hand in the town of Shade–who to trust and what’s real versus what’s fantasy have me, and Mila, scratching our heads as this roller coaster of a story unfolds.  But I’m loving it.  What I thought I knew has been thwarted by a few intense events that have happened in this specific installment, and I have to admit that at one point I was so confused that I was afraid to continue… but I know O’Rourke will bring it together for me in the end, because he always does, and when I look back at all the crazy that happened in this installment after I finish the 6th and final portion of this amazing serial, I just know it’s going to come together like a perfect puzzle.

Who are the people of Shade?  Where did they come from?  What’s with the strange writing in the textbooks and on Calix’s body? Who was this Julia they speak of, and why is there a werewolf stalking Mila–is there a werewolf stalking Mila? Why aren’t the dead in the grave? What of Magic? These are just some of the questions that have arisen for me while I’m reading, and though I know O’Rourke will eventually answer them all for me, the wait is killing me!  But the ride makes it so much fun.

I love the characters, the bit of sassy romance, the strange, sensual dreams, and trying to decipher fact versus fiction in order to understand the strangeness of the townsfolk in Shade… it’s just amazing. Part 6 is going to floor me, I just know it.

Five Stars for Part 5

5 starsGrab part 5 now for just 99 cents: Amazon


WoS SixPart 6:

This final installment of the Werewolves of Shade completes the Beautiful Immortals Series One, but it’s not technically the end of the story. It does answer many questions, but also leave readers with a jarring cliffhanger, one that they might have figured out through context clues given in parts 1-6 (I didn’t, though), but I guarantee there are still questions. And since there’s so much more of the story to tell, O’Rourke has thankfully begun work on the next series, Beautiful Immortals Series Two, which is aptly titled Vampires of Maze, again written in serial parts just like Werewolves of Shade. Part one is slated to release on September 8, 2015.

And I can’t wait!

O’Rourke’s Werewolves of Shade has been an amazing ride, and while I did figure out a few of the plot twists, O’Rourke kept them coming, and the revelation at the end nicely tied together a ton of my questions that arose in parts 4 and 5, but as I already said, there is so much more to tell; so much more I need to know.

Overall, the characters in this series are very well written.  While some are more of a static character, like Rush, Mila has definitely flourished.  She’s been at war within herself over the duration of the serial, and she’s really matured and come into herself.  She extremely real, as is Calix, and I’m excited to note that one of the characters from Part 1, Flint, makes another appearance in this portion, which ties together a few loose ties concerning romance while also throwing some wrenches into the entire story.  Full of suspense, horror, mystery, and intrigue, this is a series that you simply must read; fall in love with Mila, Rush, Calix, and Flint.  Come on, September 8!  I need more!

Five Stars for Part 6

5 starsGrab part 6 now for just 99 cents: Amazon




SweetFrom Goodreads:

He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.
She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.

He was damaged and wild, but resilient.
She’s always been obedient. Now she’s restless.

Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.

And one more trait he hides from everyone but her:
Sweet.

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If there’s one thing I know, it’s that Tammara Webber’s novels are going to take my breath away, and her latest treasure, Sweet, definitely delivers in more ways than one. Boyce Wynn is the epitome of dreamy, sexy, and sensual; a bad boy with a soft spot for none aside from Pearl, his long-time crush, the one he let get away. Living life on the edge has always been his motto, and dealing with more than his fair share of bad, he’s hardened himself against the world. Rightfully so; with an abusive father, a mother who abandoned him long ago, and very few prospects in the world, he’s thrown himself into his father’s car repair shop. And now, Pearl’s back.

Boyce Wynn, for all intents and purposes, is my new book boyfriend. Extremely gritty and real, I felt a connection with him from the get-go. Webber has always been a master at fleshing out her fictional characters, and Wynn is no exception. His emotions and reactions are fluid and tangible, and watching him struggle with his inner self as he begins a relationship with Pearl made me feel like he was a real person in the next room. I love when I feel I’ve become part of the story, that the characters are real, and Webber definitely does this with Wynn.

Pearl is also a loveable character, sweet and caring, ready to take on the world, if her mother lets her. Her assertion over her life had me rallying behind her, and as she struggled to come to terms with her feelings for Boyce, I cheered. This novel is told is dual perspectives, a narrative style I just adore, and as Pearl reveals her thoughts both past and present, as does Boyce, the reader is given full access to their thoughts and feelings, connecting the dots of their childhood and love for one another before either of the characters. At times, I was bursting with joy and anticipation, knowing the two loved one another, waiting, just waiting for them to realize their relationship was written in the stars.

Perhaps my favorite part of the novel actually comes near the end when a person from Pearl’s past comes to wreak havoc in her life, and I was definitely shocked by the twist the novel took as I had chalked it up to a beautiful contemporary NA romance. It’s more than that, though, with a bit of mystery and some heart-pounding action that had me on pins and needles as the novel began its climax.

Although this novel is the third in the Contours of the Heart series, it is indeed a stand-alone, as are all the others. Boyce Wynn and Pearl Frank are characters from the same world as those in the other books, but this is the first novel where they are the main focus, and I loved getting to know them as much as I loved getting to know Lucas and Jacqueline in the first two books. Sweet is undeniably a novel you need to read, though it’s definitely for a more mature audience as it gets a bit hot and heavy at times. Five stars.

5 stars

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About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of EASY and BREAKABLE (Contours of the Heart series – NA), as well BETWEEN THE LINES, WHERE YOU ARE, GOOD FOR YOU and HERE WITHOUT YOU (Between the Lines series – YA/NA).

I’m a hopeful romantic who adores novels with happy endings, because there are enough sad endings in real life. Before writing full-time, I was an undergraduate academic advisor, economics tutor, planetarium office manager, radiology call center rep, and the palest person to ever work at a tanning salon.

I married my high school sweetheart, and I’m Mom to three adult kids and four very immature cats.

tammarawebber.com

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God's FormulaFrom Goodreads: It is 1939. The scourge that is Nazi Germany is trampling Europe as its scientists vie to deliver ever-increasing destructive power. Now physicist Walter Friedeman – a friend of Albert Einstein’s since childhood – has found a formula to enrich uranium in three months rather than the previously expected five years. Such a formula could deliver Germany the first atomic arsenal. But Friedeman does not believe in the Nazi cause. Friedeman wants the formula in the hands of America, but getting it to them himself will be nearly impossible. He sets into motion a plan to use his teenaged son, a Hitler Youth, to unwittingly do the job using a message Friedeman has encoded in the Elvish language created by J.R.R. Tolkien in his novel The Hobbit.

What follows is a quest across continents as Einstein, Tolkien, and MI-6 officer Ian Fleming work together to find Friedeman’s son, decode the message, and wrest control of the nuclear future before Hitler can steal it for himself.

Reuniting Tolkien and Fleming after their adventure in No Dawn for Men, God’s Formula is a heart-pounding thriller filled with history both real and imagined.

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James LePore and Carlos Davis are back with another riveting tale of espionage surrounding Nazi Germany and Tolkien’s famous novel, The Hobbit. If you’ve read No Dawn for Men, then you already know God’s Formula is going to be a riveting read. And riveting it is—told in chapter format specific to date and time, readers are whisked away to Germany, the United States, England, and beyond as we follow multiple characters through the pages, intertwining with their stories until they collide, leaving us breathless in anticipation as the plot thickens.

I truly love how this story builds suspense; jumping from character to character, situation to situation always leaves me on pins and needles, and I thought it was extremely easy to keep track of all the characters, since LePore and Davis do such a wonderful job fleshing them all out and making them realistic in my mind. The fact that the novel is peppered with real people—real famous people—such as Einstein, Tolkien, and Fleming also adds a bit of fun to it all, dire circumstances and all.

And while God’s Formula does bring together some old favorites from No Dawn for Men, God’s Formula is more of a companion novel, and not a sequel; it can definitely be read as a standalone if you so choose. Though I really do suggest reading both novels because they’re both absolutely intriguing, especially as they combine fact with fiction, leaving readers pondering the aged old question, “what if…” As the final chapter in The Hobbit saga readies for release in the theatric world, now is the perfect time to pick up God’s Formula and see how masterfully LePore and Davis weave fact and fiction together. Four stars.

4 starsI received this novel from the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This title releases today, December 2, 2014

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble

Read my review of No Dawn For Men HERE.

No Dawn for Men



Silver VengeanceFrom Goodreads: Were-witches. These hybrid creatures stalk the earth with the raw, primal power of the werewolf and the cunning, dark magic of the witch. They’re deadly hunters with the capability for both bloodthirsty vengeance and an unwavering loyalty to their own.

Gabrielle Gayle is an ambitious chef in one of New Haven’s trendiest restaurants. Her concerns consist of getting ahead in her career, dodging barbed insults from her sharp-tongued mother, and dealing with the nagging certainty that she has always had powers. However, when the Clan of were-witches seeks revenge for her mother murdering one of their own, she and her sister are brutally attacked. With nowhere else to go, she turns to Nick, a Hunter of witches, werewolves, demons, and any combination thereof.

However, Gabrielle learns that she has much more in common with the Clan than she ever imagined. And, in order to save herself and her family from being destroyed, she must embrace her powers and become the very creature she fears the most.

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If you’re looking for something completely different in the paranormal world, or urban fantasy, for that matter, then look no further than Kasey Shoemaker’s enticing novel, Silver Vengeance. Filled with mystery and mayhem, readers are introduced to Gabrielle Gayle, a kick-butt heroine who must seek the truth about her own heritage in order to survive a deadly game of cat and mouse.

The characterization within this novel is a wonderful testament to Shoemaker’s writing capabilities. All the characters, both good and evil, are exceptionally real, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them as the novel unfolded. Nick reminds me very much of Dean Winchester from Supernatural, out to take down those who shouldn’t exist, and as Gabrielle and her family team up with him to fight against the were-witches, a coven/pack dead set on ripping apart the Gayle family, sparks and blood fly.

I really enjoyed the combination of werewolves with witches, an ingenious idea that has me wondering what other hybrid concoctions would produce in the paranormal world… being a lover of all things strange, I find it absolutely fascinating, and I loved how Shoemaker brought the two together, creating a unique backdrop to this awesome story. All around, this novel is a ton of fun, and if you’re a fan of Supernatural or Grimm, then I highly suggest you check it out. Four stars.

4 starsI received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon | Kindle (.99 cents) | Nook



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2014-10-21_2011From Goodreads:  When Mac Faraday decides to do something, there’s no stopping him … even murder!

Not wanting to wait until their big day to start their life of wedded bliss, Mac Faraday and his lady love, Archie Monday, decide to elope to the little church where his ancestors had all married—along the tranquil shore of Deep Creek Lake. However, before they can say, “I do,” the sanctuary erupts into chaos when Gnarly finds a dead body in the church office.

As they dive into the investigation, Mac and his team discover more questions than answers. What kind of person walks into a church and shoots a man for no apparent reason? How do you solve the murder of a man who has no enemies in the world? Which of the seemingly kind-hearted church members is really a cold-blooded killer?

Then, there is the all-important question, how long do Mac Faraday and his lady love have to wait to get married?

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Lauren Carr’s mystery novels are indeed one of my go-tos when I’m looking for a good whodunit.  Her characters, especially Mac Faraday and Archie, really make for an amazing read.  I love how vivid they are, and I especially love how far they’ve come in this series.  The best part is, each one of the novels in the Mac Faraday mysteries is actually a standalone–you don’t have to read the previous novels to understand what’s going on, and I find that absolutely enthralling!  Of course, I have read all the previous titles in the series, and I must say that they’re beyond awesome!

Carr’s latest novel, A Wedding and a Killing, finally has our beloved couple about to tie the knot, but of course, nothing goes as planned for Mac Faraday.  With two different crimes running the gamut, one years old and one fresh, the characters are whisked off on a sleuthing mission that has me entertained from the get go.  With Gnarly’s antics and Mac Faraday’s wit, the novel takes on a life of its own.  I will say that I was able to figure out the culprit of each murder mystery fairly early on, but even so, the novel is still a great read, and I loved watching the characters slowly begin to uncover the truth.  If you love a good mystery and are looking for a fresh read, definitely give A Wedding and a Killing a chance.  Fours stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

For More Information

A Wedding and a Killing is available at Amazon.

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

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laurenAbout the Author

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. A Wedding and a Killing is the eighth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder. Dead on Ice (A Lovers in Crime Mystery) was released September 2012. The second installment, Real Murder was released to rave reviews in June 2014.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

For More Information

  • Visit Lauren Carr’s website.
  • Connect with Holly on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Visit Lauren’s blog.
  • Is your group looking for a speaker for your next event? Click here.
  • Contact Lauren.

 



SCT RDL Banner Final

 

I am thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout’s STONE COLD TOUCH!

STONE COLD TOUCH is the second full-length novel in Jennifer’s The Dark Elements Series, a young adult paranormal romance being published by Harlequin Teen!!

 

Stone Cold Touch

 

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** Kobo ** iTunes

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 STONE COLD TOUCH Synopsis:

Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

SCT available now________________________________________________________________________________

EXCERPT:

I’d remained in bed after that, trying to sort through the odd tingling in my chest. There was a slight smile on my lips, because Zayne…well, he’d made my day, but then I’d remember what Roth had said to me the night before and the smile would wash away as if it had never been there.

I probably needed to get used to the whiplash mood swings.

It wasn’t until after dinner that I decided to scrub a day’s worth of gunk off myself. Gingerly, I peeled the bandage off, happy to find that the cut in my arm was healing as expected. I didn’t need to cover it anymore. The arm was still tender, but the Warden blood in me was quickly undoing the damage from the iron.

After changing into fresh pj’s, like a total hermit, I padded over to my desk, where I’d left my cell phone. It had been on silent all day and when I tapped the screen, I wasn’t surprised to see a slew of texts from Stacey.

Where r u?

R u skipping, u ho?

A minute later: Your locker misses u. Guess u sick with the herp?

Oh my God. I laughed out loud, grinning as I thumbed through her texts. Our bio sub is still hot. U r missing this.

Bio is lonely.

My boobs miss u. How weird is that?

That was notably weird and yet not surprising.

If I get my cell taken from me, it’s ur fault.

Holy shit, Layla, where r u?!?

Air punched out of my lungs as I read the next text and the several following them.

U have no idea who just walked into bio!!!

Roth is here!

Holy Canola oil, why aren’t u here to witness this?

Ok. He says he had mono. Srlsy? Do people still get mono? And who in the duck was he kissing? A second later—Duck? I didn’t mean duck. That’s SO not what I meant, autocorrect.

Another text had come in about fifteen minutes after the last one. He asked where u were. I told him u joined a cult. I laughed. He didn’t.

Finally, the last text was to call her if I wasn’t dead.

“What in the Hell?” I tossed my cell onto the bed, mouth hanging open.

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StoneColdTouch-YouDecideSharable

And don’t forget! The choice is yours…

Beginning today you’ll have 3 weeks to visit the series website, www.thedarkelementsseries.com, to take a poll and decide which guy Layla should ultimately choose in the final book in the trilogy, Every Last Breath.

At the end of 3 weeks, we will tally all the votes, and that’s when Jennifer L. Armentrout will start writing Every Last Breath. The guy who gets the most votes is the one Layla will pick.

To prevent early spoilers, we’re not going to reveal who won the poll in advance…you’ll have to wait until Every Last Breath goes on sale on July 28th, 2015 to find out whether Zayne or Roth wins Layla in the end. We promise the book will be epic and definitely worth the wait!

Who do you want Layla to end up with? Go to www.thedarkelementsseries.com and vote for your choice!

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Author PhotoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

Series Website | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads | STONE COLD TOUCH Goodreads



For 5 days only, you can pick up the FIRST TWO novels in the Blood Series for FREE!

Blood Bundle

Available here Oct. 8-12:

AMAZON

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Wednesday's ChildFrom Goodreads: Dylan Brice is living his days out of order, but it hasn’t always been that way. One Tuesday evening in July, he went to sleep expecting tomorrow to be Wednesday, but when he woke up the next morning it was Thursday instead. A frightening and confusing day ensued with Dylan trying to figure out whether he was losing his mind or the victim of some cosmic prank.

If struggling to come to terms with his new reality on his surreal Thursday wasn’t enough of an ordeal, late in the afternoon, just as his anxiety was finally beginning to subside, a voice from the past he’d hoped never to hear again added a terrifying new dimension to his situation. Dylan had once been a warrior in the battle against nuclear terrorism. A sleeper since the months following nine-eleven, he has suddenly been activated to help combat a new, deadly threat. His nerves in a shambles, he finally drops off to sleep hoping he’ll wake up to find Thursday was a dream.

When, after his harrowing Thursday, he awakens on the Wednesday morning he thought he’d missed, he doesn’t know what to believe. He cannot believe Thursday’s events were coincidental. He must be living his days out of order for a reason — some powerful, unknown entity has cast him in a role he never asked for, and everything he holds dear may be at stake. He “knows” he will continue to live Thursdays before Wednesdays until he figures out how to use the unique perspective that gives him to avert a disaster that may be global in scope.

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Imagine if Thursday came before Wednesday, followed by Friday. But only for you… giving you the ability to learn the future and change events. I would have so much fun with that. Of course, I’m certainly not as hardcore as Dylan Brice, so I would probably only use it for selfish gain. Luckily, Dylan is trained to deal with terrorism, able to call in the big dogs and assess violent and potentially deadly situations, which is a huge plus, especially since nuclear terror is on his doorstep.

This is a really cool time-travelish novel set in present day America. Though I admit that I wasn’t really sure what was happening in the beginning, and it took me a little while to warm up to the characters and the situations, I eventually found myself completely wrapped up in the story. It’s a thriller with a bit of mystery thrown in, taking readers on an awesome ride as it all unfolds. If you’re looking for something a bit different with a strong male lead, then this is definitely a novel for you. Four stars.

4 starsI received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Kindle | Nook



A Matter of Grave ConcernFrom Goodreads: Bestselling author Brenda Novak unearths love in the darkest of places.

When Maximillian Wilder hides his noble identity and joins the notorious body snatchers known as the London Supply Company, the last thing on his mind is love. He’s worried about Madeline, his vanished half sister, who was last seen in the company of Jack Hurtsill, the gang’s conscienceless leader. Raiding graveyards, stealing corpses, and selling them to medical colleges as dissection material is dirty work, but Max knows he must gain Jack’s trust. He’s determined to find out what happened to Madeline—and to bring Jack to justice if she was murdered for the coin her body could earn.

Beautiful, spirited Abigail Hale, daughter of the surgeon at Aldersgate School of Medicine, detests the challenging, hard-bargaining Max almost as much as Jack. But she must procure the necessary specimens if she is to save the college and her father’s career. She believes she is going to be successful—until Jack double-crosses her. Then she’s swept into a plot of danger and intrigue, one where Max must intervene to protect her, no matter the risk to his plan…or his heart.

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Brenda Novak’s latest novel, A Matter of Grave Concern, is a gem that lovers of romance and all things historical absolutely must read. Filled with enticing characters, harrowing grave robbery, and a relationship so tense it will melt your heart, this novel is sure to leave you yearning for more. I absolutely adored Abigail and Max, and as their journey towards the truth brings them closer to danger, the intensity of the novel and its swoonworthiness make it hard to put down.

Though I wouldn’t have thought that historical fiction was a genre that I crave, I have found that I truly enjoy Novak’s style and am indeed growing to truly love it. This is my second Novak novel, and it certainly won’t be the last. Complete with grave robbery, close encounters with the law, fear of death, betrayal, and of course, a steamy romance, this novel caught my attention from the get go, and I highly recommend you give it a read.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This title releases tomorrow.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



{September 30, 2014}   {ARC Review} Schizo by Nic Sheff

SchizoFrom Goodreads: Miles is the ultimate unreliable narrator—a teen recovering from a schizophrenic breakdown who believes he is getting better . . . when in reality he is growing worse.

Driven to the point of obsession to find his missing younger brother, Teddy, and wrapped up in a romance that may or may not be the real thing, Miles is forever chasing shadows. As Miles feels his world closing around him, he struggles to keep it open, but what you think you know about his world is actually a blur of gray, and the sharp focus of reality proves startling.

Written by the New York Times bestselling author of Tweak, Schizo is the fascinating, and ultimately quite hopeful, story of one teen’s downward spiral into mental illness as he chases the clues to a missing brother.

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I’m sorry to say this novel didn’t really speak to me. It’s a fairly quick read, but Miles and I never really connected. Going in, I knew that this is a book about a schizophrenic young man, I knew he probably wasn’t going to be a reliable character, but truthfully, I found the story sad more than anything else. Watching him go through his episodes, listening to him and his thought process, knowing that others were afraid of him–was just so sad. And knowing that he knew he wasn’t reliable was difficult to watch. He worries, he’s upset, he wants to fix everything, but his illness won’t allow him peace, and watching him go through everything, only to realize that some of his most prominent wants in the world would never be realized, were never real, well, that was rather difficult for me as a reader. I can’t imagine living with this illness, and Miles really wore me down. His last ditch efforts at the end had me in tears, and all to find out the truth, well. It was difficult. I just wanted him to get better.

The writing is good, but the reality of the story was too heavy for me, so while I liked it overall, I can’t say I really enjoyed it.

3 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



SacrificeFrom Goodreads: Earth. Fire. Air. Water.

One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick understands pressure. He’s the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it in for his family, and he’s all that stands in the way.

His girlfriend, Hannah, understands pressure too. She’s got a child of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could put her life in danger at any moment.

But there are people who have had enough of Michael’s defiance, his family’s ‘bad luck’. Before he knows it, Michael’s enemies have turned into the Merricks’ enemies, and they’re armed for war.

They’re not interested in surrender. But Michael isn’t the white flag type anyway. Everything is set for the final showdown.

Four elements, one family. Will they hold together, or be torn apart?

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Kemmerer’s Elemental series has been my guilty pleasure for a few years now. And with this novel, Kemmerer has technically closed the story with this final chapter of the Merrick brothers, giving readers Michael’s story as it all comes to a head. And yet… I’m not certain it’s really over.

Let me explain.  Kemmerer has always woven a tale that pulls readers in from the get go.  Sacrifice is no different.  By this point in the series, the Merrick brothers and their friends are like a part of my family.  I know them so well because Kemmerer really knows how to create realistic, beautiful characters, and Sacrifice is no different on this end.  The brothers, who I’ve come to love, are again faced with hardship–perhaps the worst yet, and it tore my heart in two as I read.  The emotions are real, and I just adored everything about it.  Everything, except the ending.  The ending, while a resolution that works, comes on quite fast, leaving readers with questions. Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting the antagonist to be who it was, and I liked how Kemmerer threw me for a loop with the big reveal, but I didn’t understand all the aspects that went in to it. I reread it twice, but in all honestly, the ending was too neat; everything wrapped up much too quickly once all is said and done. And I still have questions. I have questions about the bad guy, about newcomer Irish, Hunter’s grandparents, the guides reactions to it all, and what’s going to happen next for the Merricks. Yes, a resolution is there, and I loved it, even though it happened a touch too fast for me and not everyone gets out unscathed, but even so, the potential for more chaos is there, too, and I’m waiting for more–for the other shoe to drop. This is a wonderful novel, and I truly enjoyed it… but I need a spinoff series…

Of course, Kemmerer did leave me stunned with one aspect that I knew was coming from the title, SACRIFICE, but still didn’t expect. I spent the next few pages hoping it’d be undone, but alas, it’s not. You might want some tissues. I think I was stunned enough that I didn’t even blink. No tears for me, it just… can’t be. Right? And it happens so fast that if you do blink, you’ll miss it. I really have no words. Except that you must read it. If this is really the end, then you just have to read it, but I’m still waiting. For more. I need more. The Merricks are a part of me now, and… I just need more. Four stars.

 

4 stars

I received this novel from Kensington Books, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This title releases on September 30, 2014.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble

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Brigid Kemmerer HeadshotBrigid Kemmerer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, and several stops in between, eventually settling near Annapolis, Maryland. Brigid started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years. (Though sometimes that just makes her sound nuts.)

Brigid writes anywhere she can find a place to sit down (and she’s embarrassed to say a great many pages of The Elemental Series were written while sitting on the floor in the basement of a hotel while she was attending a writers’ conference). Most writers enjoy peace and quiet while writing, but Brigid prefers pandemonium. A good thing, considering she has three boys in the house, ranging in age from an toddler to a teenager. You can learn more about Brigid and the Elemental boys at www.brigidkemmerer.com.

Follow Brigid:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Kemmerers Books____________________________________________

READ THEM ALL (I’ve given 5 stars to nearly every one)

Elemental Kindle | Nook (Book #0.5)
Storm Kindle | Paperback | Nook (Book #1)
Fearless Kindle | Nook (Book #1.5)
Spark Kindle | Paperback | Nook (Book #2)
Breathless Kindle | Nook (Book #2.5)
Spirit Kindle | Paperback | Nook (Book #3)
Secret Kindle | Paperback | Nook
(Book #4)
Sacrifice Kindle | Paperback (Book #5)

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Book Depository | iBooks | IndieBound

Pre-order your copy of Sacrifice today!

Klovers



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Review:Neurotica

From Goodreads: If you find yourself talking to Jayne Dandy, keep the conversation on Star Wars and rubber ducks—best not to mention men, dating, or S-E-X. Because Jayne is fine with the way things are: writer of obituaries and garage sale ads by day, secret scribe of adventures in distant galaxies by night. But her crippling fear of intimacy has made her the butt of jokes since forever, and hiding behind her laptop isn’t going to get her lightsaber lit.

After her therapist recommends that she write erotica as a form of exposure therapy, Jayne joins forces with pen and paper to combat the demons that won’t let her kiss and tell. Unexpectedly downsized at work, she adopts a pseudonym and secretly self-publishes one of her naughty books to make ends meet. When her adorable, long-time friend Luke, co-owner of the popular Portland food truck Luke Piewalker’s, hears she’s been demoted, he insists on hiring her to sling éclairs and turnovers at his side. Her secret must be kept, but sparks ignite between them, sending Jayne and her X-Wing into a tailspin that will either make her face down her neuroses or trigger a meltdown of Death Star proportions.

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This novel is absolutely amazing, giving readers an in-depth look at the indie publishing world through the eyes of Jayne, a young woman who struggles with intimacy.  Jayne, better known to her readers as Jaina Jacen, is an intriguing character who innocently enough begins a maelstrom when her erotica books take off in the ebook world–a feat Jayne never imagined, nor wanted.  Published under a pseudonym and only in hopes of making ends meet, Jayne’s world is turned upside down when the demand for more, including public appearances and signings, become a reality she cannot ignore.  But these books were never supposed to hit it big, and no one is supposed to know her true identity, especially not her family nor Luke, the friend who is really interested in so much more.  This conundrum adds much humor to the novel as it takes off, and Gordon’s writing style kept me captivated from the very beginning.  Jayne is such a sweet, shy character, and watching her try to dodge all romance, while in the throes of writing and publishing erotica behind closed doors, makes for a great read, perhaps more so because it’s 100% clean.

Though I am indeed a prude and dislike heavy sex in my novels, I have to admit that Gordon MADE me WANT to read Jayne’s fictional books just to know what all the hubbub was about throughout this enticing story.  Gordon really does an amazing job keeping readers on edge, snickering, and in love with all the characters as this humorous story unfolds, making it a must read. Especially as Luke is such a great guy.  And perhaps my favorite part is that it’s completely clean. While Jayne does write erotica, Gorgon keeps this NA novel PG, which is exactly where it needs to be to get the point across.

If you’re looking for a hilarious, clean, introspective read, then look no further that Neurotica.  Five stars.

5 stars
I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Top Ten Movie Scores for Jayne (aka. Jaina Jacen) While Writing:

One way Jayne Dandy deals with the complexities of Life and Related Topics is through her love of writing. (What a *novel* idea!) Though she starts out penning stories in the sci-fi/fantasy realm, her therapist encourages her to try a little erotica to help her work through her intimacy issues. Think of it as exposure therapy, as in, write us a story about naked bits and the people attached to them! But when circumstances of the unemployed type dictate that Jayne find a new way to pay the rent, she decides that sending her naughty stories out into the Big Bad World to earn their keep just might work.

Like many writers, Jayne relies on auditory inspiration—music! What would her playlist look like? Well, if Jayne is anything like me (and I dare say she might be, at least atiny bit), she listens to movie scores. Because lyrics, while awesome, make a writer stop and sing and possibly dance. (I’ve been known to dance while writing. Which means no writing gets done. Just a lot of embarrassment, especially if the windows are open and the neighbors can see in.Although last time I put an open guitar case on the lawn and made $4.85. Groove on, baby!)

The following is a list of five fantastic movie scores with romantic overtones that Jayne—or, I mean, Jaina Jacen—might have listened to while breathing life into her erotic novels:

Pride and Prejudice, Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Leap Year, Randy Edelman

Winter’s Tale, Hans Zimmer and Rupert Gregson-Williams

Romeo and Juliet, Abel Korzeniowski

Twilight Saga: New Moon, Alexandre Desplat

And what about when she’s writing her sci-fi stuff? This list could go on and on. Here are Jayne’s ten favorites:

Man of Steel, Hans Zimmer

Guardians of the Galaxy, Tyler Bates

Godzilla, Alexandre Desplat

Inception, Hans Zimmer

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Jesper Kyd and Lorne Balfe(Never underestimate the awesomeness of video game scores!)

Divergent, Junkie XL

Captain America: Winter Soldier, Henry Jackman

Thor: The Dark World, Brian Tyler

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore

The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, James Newton Howard

I LOVE movie scores because they are already a story all their own. Often I purchase movie scores without seeing the films they belong to as then the music molds to whatever I have going on in my own head, in my own fantasy worlds—I dare say Miss Jayne thinks along those same lines. There’s nothing like a heart-slamming chase scene or face-melting love scene done in music to really get those creative juices flowing. And when writing her erotica, Jayne Dandy needs all the creative juices she can get.

Happy reading!

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Eliza Gordon

About the Author:

A purveyor of fictions, Eliza Gordon has excellent taste in books, shoes, movies, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone. www.elizagordon.com

Connect:

Website |  Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Giveaway:

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Blog Tour Imitation1

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ImitationFrom Goodreads:

Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me.

Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face.

Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now.

When there is an attack on Raven’s life, Ven is thrust into the real world, posing as Raven to draw out the people who tried to harm her. But as Ven dives deeper into Raven’s world, she begins to question everything she was ever told. She exists for Raven, but is she prepared to sacrifice herself for a girl she’s never met?

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Though the idea of clones is nothing new, Hildenbrand has created a completely unique storyline, giving an old idea new flight.  Imitation follows the life, or lack thereof, of Ven, a scientifically engineered “product” created to serve her authentic if the need ever arises.  What’s different here, though, is the fact that Ven and her friends know they are not “human.”  They’ve been told this from the beginning, when they first awoke as an imitation, and I found this aspect very interesting.  Knowing your purpose is to serve another changes things, quite literally.  The imitations have also been told they cannot feel emotions like love and sorrow, which further adds to Ven’s belief that she’s not human and, therefore, expendable.  As the plot unfolds, throwing Ven into the realm of the living, impersonating her authentic, Raven, in order to draw out a threat against Raven’s life, Ven must make the choice to either fulfill her purpose or to fight back.  Either way, especially with the kill switch in her arm and a growing love for bodyguard Linc, the going will not be easy.

I really liked that, unlike every other novel or movie I’ve seen concerning clones, the imitations in Hildenbrand’s novel are not just meant to be harvested for their parts should their authentic die.  Instead, these authentics know they’ll serve a purpose on the outside, and they’re trained in combat, are physically fit, and are ready for anything, because their purpose is quite broad—from total assimilation of the authentic’s life, to acting as an expendable decoy, to being used for parts, the options are endless.

I loved Ven’s struggle.  As soon as she’s on the outside, her “life” is thrown upside down.  The constant fear of death and fulfilling her purpose, along with the close calls, creates much anticipation for the reader.  I was extremely worried for Ven, and I couldn’t believe that Raven’s father, Titus, could be so cruel, continually taunting Ven with the threat of the kill switch—either die by his hand, or that of Raven’s attackers.  I can’t imagine being in her shoes.

Likewise, there is a mystery afoot.  Who is trying to kill Raven in the first place, and why?  How is Raven’s father, Titus, in cahoots with the creation of imitations?  And, why are more and more imitations suddenly flooding the city?  All these questions lead up to some awesome answers, twisting all we thought we knew and presenting a completely different picture, while some of these answers leave us with even more questions… especially as Hildenbrand leaves readers with a pretty big cliffhanger that left me yelling, that’s it?!

This is a great read that I highly recommend.  The writing is as beautiful as the cover.  Five stars.

5 stars

I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy it on Amazon for just $3.99!

Don’t forget to pick up book two in the series, Deviation, as well!

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Buy it on Amazon

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About Heather Hildenbrand

Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. (She’s only slightly socially awkward as a result.) Since 2011, she’s published more than eight YA & NA novels including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. She splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places. Her most frequent hobbies are riding motorcycles and avoiding killer slugs.

Heather is also a publishing and success coach bent on equipping and educating artists who call themselves authors. She loves teaching fellow writers how to create the same freedom-based lifestyle she enjoys. For more information visit www.phoenixauthorink.com and find out how to create your own Outrageous Life.

She is represented by Rebecca Friedman. You can find out more about Heather and her books at www.heatherhildenbrand.com.

Or find her here:

Facebook ~ Facebook Fan Page ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Newsletter

Hello From Guam!!!



AfterworldsFrom Goodreads: Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved – and terrifying – stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

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While I generally love Scott Westerfeld’s novels, this one fell just a bit flat for me. The novel itself is extremely long, and after the first 200 pages, I found that both storylines began to drag a bit, which is unfortunate since the novel started out with much intrigue. Unfortunately, I ended up not caring much for either protagonists, and I think a lot of my enjoyment of the story diminished as I got to know them more and more.

Darcy is somewhat of a boring person. Unsure of herself within the world of authors, she stumbles along and overspends on her writing advance time and time again, wrapped in the throes of what, to me, seemed like an instant lesbian relationship meant to shock readers more than drive the plot. The relationship seems to fabricate out of thin air, and while Darcy definitely learns the ropes of authorhood from girlfriend Imogen, this portion of the story felt forced to me. And while I do enjoy novels that portray the world of authors, Afterworlds is the third novel I’ve read over the past month that deals with this topic, and by this time, it sort of felt old hat. Having read and loved both The Write Stuff by Tiffany King and Neurotica by Eliza Gordon prior to Afterworlds, I found that Darcy’s story just didn’t bring anything new to the table for me, aside from a protagonist who’s story was juxtaposed with her novel–awesome in theory, less so in execution.

As Afterworlds tells two different stories, one of the real world in which Darcy resides, and one of the paranormal world in which Lizzie, the protagonist of Darcy’s debut novel, resides, I actually found myself more drawn to Lizzie’s story. Westerfeld alternates between the two, and I found myself, in the beginning, really wanting more and more of Lizzie’s story, but again, as the novel progressed, I found myself liking Lizzie less and less, and as it turns out, we don’t get the full story of Lizzie and her newfound powers—instead, it’s more of a shell. And I soon found myself losing interest in Lizzie and her world as well.

Honestly, I feel as if the novel could be divided up into two shorter novels as the worlds don’t really intersect in the book, aside from the fact that Darcy is the author of Lizzie’s story, and that the publisher wants massive rewrites to the story. I really would love a fully developed novel surrounding Lizzie and her world, but I doubt we’re actually going to get it. Two stars.

2 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Full of GraceFrom Goodreads: Landon Grace is a stand-up guy, but running about 7-bananas-strong, from tequila shots at Oscar and Hale’s wedding reception, what happened between him and Sher was supposed to be a one time thing. A quickie, between the Best Man and Maid of Honor, at their best friends’ wedding.

But some one-night-stands refuse to be finished in one night.

Especially when they return with a hard shot of morning sickness.

Now, Landon is faced with a problem he never thought he’d have to consider…

Just how much sway does a guy really have, regarding a woman’s choice to pursue or terminate the pregnancy of his child?

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Full of Grace is my third Misty Provencher book, and let me tell you, she’s got a fan for life.  Every single one of her novels is expertly crafted, with prose that lifts right off the page making readers feel as if they’re part of the story, as if the characters are real-life friends.  And for an author to be able to do that takes immense talent.  Talent that Provencher is blessed with; talent I adore as I read her novels.

In Hale Maree, readers are introduced to Landon Grace and Sher Traifere , but as side characters, their story remains untold, until now. I absolutely love companion novels that continue a storyline through someone else’s eyes, and that’s exactly what Provencher gives us as she focuses on Landon and Sher–making this novel just as amazing as the first, though vastly different.  Perhaps what I love about this book is that it not only stands alone, but it also looks at deep topics while captivating the reader from the get go.  While Sher is full of nonstop giggles, it seems, her personality really shines through as she struggles with her choices concerning her pregnancy after a one night stand, and Landon’s choice to man up and do what’s right, even though Sher fights him every step of the way, really makes for an intense, yet lovely read.

And of course, our beloved Hale and Oscar are in this novel as well, though this time they’re the side characters, which I really enjoyed because their story continues as well in this novel, and it’s just amazing how Provencher is able to go so indepth with all her characters’ lives, keeping us abreast of  what’s happening while focusing more so on others.

If you read no other series this fall, make sure you pick up Crossed and Bared–these novels are true gems that you just must read.  Trust me.  Five stars.

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And make sure you pick up Full of Grace’s amazing companion novel, Hale Maree, for FREE!!!

2014 Hale Cover

Hale Simmons dreams of getting herself a titanium crash helmet, so she can bust through the welfare-cycle of her crappy life. But for now, she’s just a 18-year-old girl stuck with the responsibility of looking after her alcoholic father, Jerry. 

But for Hale, ‘crappy’ suddenly takes a nosedive, when Jerry and his old friend, Otto Maree, go for a drink one night.  A horrible accident occurs and Jerry is the sole witness. Otto, who is also a prominent business man, stands to lose everything, if news of the accident goes public.

Out of mutual moments of desperation, the two fathers forge a deal. 

Otto offers the finances that can lift Jerry out of the poverty cycle.  In exchange, Jerry agrees to an alliance cemented with family bonds; an arranged marriage between Hale and Otto’s playboy son, Oscar.

As the mystery surrounding the accident continues to grow, Hale has to figure out if this situation is something she wants to escape or if it is an amazing twist of fate that has just been waiting around for this particular accident to happen.

Read it now for FREE!

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 GIVEAWAY:

 

US Only

1st prize 1 autographed copy of Hale Maree by Misty Provencher

2nd prize 1 autographed copy of Full of Grace by Misty Provencher

International Only

Winner will receive 1 ebook copy of any Misty Provencher book – winner’s choice

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Hale MareeFrom Goodreads: Hale Simmons dreams of getting herself a titanium crash helmet, so she can bust through the welfare-cycle of her crappy life. But for now, she’s just a 18-year-old girl stuck with the responsibility of looking after her alcoholic father, Jerry. 

But for Hale, ‘crappy’ suddenly takes a nosedive, when Jerry and his old friend, Otto Maree, go for a drink one night.  A horrible accident occurs and Jerry is the sole witness. Otto, who is also a prominent business man, stands to lose everything, if news of the accident goes public.

Out of mutual moments of desperation, the two fathers forge a deal. 

Otto offers the finances that can lift Jerry out of the poverty cycle.  In exchange, Jerry agrees to an alliance cemented with family bonds; an arranged marriage between Hale and Otto’s playboy son, Oscar.

As the mystery surrounding the accident continues to grow, Hale has to figure out if this situation is something she wants to escape or if it is an amazing twist of fate that has just been waiting around for this particular accident to happen.

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Sometimes you read a book and the story is so intriguing, the characters so realistic, and the events so vivid that, when all is said and done, you feel like a piece of yourself is missing. That book, for me, is Provencher’s beautifully written Hale Maree. Captivating from the get go, I found myself so engrossed in the story that I truly feel like I know Hale and Oscar—they’re more than just characters in a story—they’ve become friends. I truly feel like I know them as well as I know myself, and while the going was tough and their relationship was touch and go in the beginning, watching them grow together and fall irrevocably in love with one another was absolute beauty.

Provencher is a master storyteller, enchanting readers with her words and characters, and I absolutely adored everything about Hale Maree, with its realistic portrayal of humanity and its swoon-worthy, often humorous events. Of course, Oscar is my absolute favorite, and I found myself wishing numerous times that he’d pick me since Hale was so dead set against him. And yet, I am no match for Hale. She, too, swept me off my feet with her level head, fierce determination, and all around good soul. This is a beautiful happily-ever-after that has remained with me since I read the very last page; and I already cannot wait to read it again.

Filled with romance, snark, and even a little bit of mystery, this novel is indeed a must read for those who love contemporary romance. While a little hot and heavy in some scenes, overall it is a beautiful testament to human nature and love at its finest. Hale Maree is a gem that I highly recommend for those looking for a lighthearted, fun read.  Five amazing stars.

5 stars

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And be sure to read the companion novel, Full of Grace as well–another gem in the Crossed and Bared series. Only $2.99 for a limited time!

 

Landon Grace is a stand-up guy, but running about 7-bananas-strong, from tequila shots at Oscar and Hale’s wedding reception, what happened between him and Sher was supposed to be a one time thing. A quickie, between the Best Man and Maid of Honor, at their best friends’ wedding.

But some one-night-stands refuse to be finished in one night.

Especially when they return with a hard shot of morning sickness.

Now, Landon is faced with a problem he never thought he’d have to consider…

Just how much sway does a guy really have, regarding a woman’s choice to pursue or terminate the pregnancy of his child?

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 GIVEAWAY:

 

US Only

1st prize 1 autographed copy of Hale Maree by Misty Provencher

2nd prize 1 autographed copy of Full of Grace by Misty Provencher

International Only

Winner will receive 1 ebook copy of any Misty Provencher book – winner’s choice

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Here!

 

 



Vault of DreamersFrom Goodreads: From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.
 
The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success:  every moment of the students’ lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students’ schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What’s worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

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The idea of a reality show that follows students around a boarding school is completely unique and piqued my interest from the get go. The fact that the students have to take sleeping pills and sleep for 12 hours also adds an ominous tone to the novel, and as it all unfolded, it became clear that the Forge School is much more than it appears to be.

Rosie Sinclair is an interesting young woman, and I loved getting to know her, as well as watching her relationship with Linus bloom. Unfortunately for Rosie, happily-ever-after doesn’t seem to be written in the stars, and as she continually refuses her sleeping pills and roams the silent halls at night, readers learn some rather disturbing things about her new school—things that would have the best of us running for the hills. That is… if any of it is real.

Presented with a mystery that keeps readers frantically turning the pages, this novel has many ups and downs, causing readers to question everything the know and have learned within the pages of the text. What is real? What is fiction? How sound of mind and body is Rosie, really? As the novel progresses, readers are given key insights into the mind of the characters, and it’s a heart-pounding ride. But reader beware, this is definitely not a happily-ever-after scenario, and yet, while I was crushed by the end, it is indeed a perfect conclusion for this story, setting it further apart from any other boarding school novel I’ve ever read. Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.  This title releases today.

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The 100 Day 21From Goodreads: No one has set foot on Earth in centuries — until now.

It’s been 21 days since the hundred landed on Earth. They’re the only humans to set foot on the planet in centuries…or so they thought. Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost. And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself.

In this pulse-pounding sequel to Kass Morgan’s The 100, secrets are revealed, beliefs are challenged, and relationships are tested. And the hundred will struggle to survive the only way they can — together.

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This sequel to The 100 is much more action packed than its predecessor, in my opinion, and I found that I was drawn into the story much more than I was with the first novel. Now that introductions to the characters are aside, the plot really thickens as the threat of another people group surrounds the 100—those sent down from Space as an alternate resort to execution, those meant to show their Space community whether or not Earth is still plagued by radiation.

This novel again follows Bellamy, Glass, Clarke, and Wells, giving us a much deeper look into their lives as they trudge along, looking to survive the ever-present, new dangers that crop up in this novel. While Glass is still in space, her story intertwines seamlessly with those of her counterparts, and seeing just how truly connected this group is, through past and present circumstances, made this novel extremely exciting, especially with the addition of some new characters and the inner turmoil amongst the 100 as they strive to decide what to do next. Throw in the added danger of a people group intent on murdering the 100 as quickly as possible, and you can see why this series was optioned and chosen for a TV series.

I feel like I finally know the characters extremely well now, and thought Morgan again ends with a cliffhanger of sorts, it’s not necessarily as dire as the first novel’s cliffhanger. I am excited to see where the series goes from here, and I can’t wait to actually start watching this series on Netflix—when it finally releases.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.  This title releases today.

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