Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











{September 15, 2014}   {Review} The 100 by Kass Morgan

The 100From Goodreads: In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth’s toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland… before it’s too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they’ve only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they’re haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust – and even love – again.

______________________________________________________________

Originally I picked up this novel when I recently heard that the CW had turned it into a TV series. I generally like the CW’s shows, and I was extremely excited and interested in the premise. And while this is indeed a good story, it reminded me very much of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. In both, the Earth is no longer inhabitable and an elite group of people have been living in space for years. In both, people from space find themselves sent to Earth against their will, and a battle for survival ensues. So, while I found the premise to by extremely interesting, I couldn’t help but continually feel like I’d read this before…

Now, there are a lot more characters in The 100 than in These Broken Stars, and having insight into the lives of characters both on Earth and in space was intriguing as well. I can totally see why the CW picked up the series, and I’m dying to watch it as I enjoyed seeing how people reacted in Space as well as learning about their culture—one that, even though removed from Earth, has not changed much in terms of hierarchy, though punishment for crimes certainly has.

Thrusting 100 “guilty” teens on Earth as an alternative to death was a nice plot twist, and learning about each main character’s individual “crime” definitely kept me glued to the pages because in reality, they’re all intertwined with one another, another awesome aspect of the story. But because we follow the story of four distinct characters—Wells, Glass, Bellamy, and Clarke—I didn’t feel like I really got to know the characters as well as I wanted to. There were a lot of questions left unresolved for me, and I did, in truth, find the character’s first few days on earth to be a bit boring. However, there is a fairly big cliffhanger at the end that turns everything on its head, so I can’t wait to read the next novel; I’m hoping that I get to know the characters even more as their stories continue, because while I don’t feel like I know them very well, I want to. The characters are very well written and I have a feeling that a lot more bombshells are going to be dropped in the sequel. Three stars.

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

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble

Advertisements


Who R U ReallyFrom Goodreads: Thea’s overprotective parents are driving her insane. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her online time so severely that Thea feels she has no life at all. When she discovers a new role-playing game online, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. She’s living a double life: on one hand, the obedient daughter; on the other, a girl slipping deeper into darkness. In the world of the game, Thea falls under the spell of Kit, an older boy whose smarts and savvy can’t defeat his loneliness and near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she creates a full plate of cover stories for her parents and then even her friends.

Soon, Thea is all alone in the dark world with Kit, who worries her more and more, but also seems to be the only person who really “gets” her. Is he frightening, the way he seems sometimes, or only terribly sad? Should Thea fear Kit, or pity him? And now, Kit wants to come out of the screen and bring Thea into his real-life world. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit’s allure, and hurtles toward the same dark fate her parents feared most. Ripped from a true-life story of Internet stalking, Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea’s life spins out of control.

_________________________________________

When I was a teen, I played an online role playing game much like Skadi, and I met some guys online. The good news? We didn’t really have cell phones then… it was a new concept and they were really expensive, and since everyone I wanted to talk to lived in my tiny little town and had a landline, I didn’t have any use for a cell. Neither did the guys I talked to ask me for my number, but I do wonder now if any of them were potential threats. I’d forgotten about this phase in my life until I read this novel. I constantly spoke to a man in Denmark and a man in Florida–I say man because I’m pretty sure they were past college age, but I don’t remember ever really asking them. And I used computers at the local college for this, not at my house, so tracking would have been a little more difficult, but still. Wow. Technology is fighting and I can’t believe that I ever decided it was a good idea to start chatting up random strangers I met in the online gaming community… and back then, as a teen, I never even thought of predators or internet safety, which is what makes this story all the more real for me.

And while Thea is an aggravating main character because she just doesn’t get it, she’s very much like I was at her age. She’s oblivious to the world around her, it seems, and not even when her friends and family try to spell it out for her does she relent and realize the danger she truly is in. She’s so far gone believing that Kit is her one true love that no warning signs blare for her, and so I spent a majority of this novel yelling at her through the pages. Mainly because this is very realistic, even though I hate to admit that. I hate that there are girls who fall prey to internet predators, and I hate that Thea’s parents still couldn’t protect her once they realized what was happening. It’s a sick and twisted world we live in, but thankfully we have novels like this one that paint a very real picture for our teens and tweens—showing them that sometimes we don’t know best, that our family and parents can see things we can’t, and that we need to listen to them.

The plot itself moved right along, and I really enjoyed the novel, though I did find that the predator in this story was, unfortunately, obvious. There are some telltale signs early on in the story, and everything points to this person, so I was a little disappointed with this specific aspect of the story, but otherwise it was really well done. And while Thea did drive me crazy at times, I loved the suspense that begins to build as her parents get involved and strange things begin to occur. The end had me rigid in my seat, and I really enjoyed it. This is definitely going on my students’ outside reading list as an option.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for a honest review.  This title releases officially on September 18, 2014.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble



Of River and RaynnFrom Goodreads: They found me when I was five; a little girl sitting on a bench in Grand Central Station, soaking wet, asking about the rain.

I remembered nothing about how I got there, or who my parents were. I couldn’t even remember my name. I was tagged, labeled and doomed to cycle through state care for the next twelve years; moving from one family to another. They all rejected me as the dreams began to come, the memories began to return, and things around me began to explode.

Now my mind is full of a world of shadows, things that my heart pleads with me to be true, that I hope are only fantasy. That the disturbing past I see is not mine.

When I sleep I hear whispers of magic, and of evil queens, and a world that exists alongside our own. Things that could never be. But, there is one thing I know to be true. That there was a boy who was torn from me. A boy that I know means more to me than a brother, or than a lover. But what he is to me, I am not sure. I hear him cry for me in my dreams, I hear people call him The Catalyst.

I know I need to find him.

I wouldn’t have tried, if I would have known that finding River would have made all my dreams turn into a haunting reality.

__________________________________________________________________________

I have been waiting with bated breath for the release of this novel for a while now, as Rebecca Ethington’s interactive website, riverandraynn.com, piqued my interest way back in June, involving me in the story even before the novel even released. Ethington’s unique way of bringing the story to life captivated me from the get go, and this new wave of interactive storytelling is definitely something I’d like to see more authors begin emulating. Told through a series of videos, journal entries, and social media updates, potential readers were given a glimpse into the world of River and Raynn, the main characters in the novel—a story that, until today, hadn’t actually released yet. This allowed readers like me to meet the characters as Ethington envisioned them, hearing their voices and seeing their emotions and expressions as I viewed cryptic portions of their story.  It also allowed me to actually interact with both River and Raynn via social media… and I fell in love. With River. With Raynn. With the dark nature of the story. This—this interaction—is what bringing a story to life is all about, and I truly loved the novel before I ever opened it thanks to Ethington’s ingenious interactive website. I nearly popped through the roof when River responded to a tweet I sent my followers about how much I loved him. And while I know the story itself is fiction and the characters are actors, the interactiveness of the site and the actors portraying the characters blew my mind and had me continually coming back for more. So. you can image that when I received an ARC of this fabulous novel a few days ago, I tore into it immediately.

I’m extremely excited to note that Ethington’s captivating interactive storytelling moves seamlessly from the web to the pages of her novel, and going into the story I already felt connected to the characters. Yet, one does not need to take part in the interactive website in order to understand it—the web interactions are completely optional and everything you need to know is in the book, but if you want an experience like no other, I highly suggest you visit the interactive site, too. For me, it made having River and Raynn’s story in front of me, in book format, an added bonus, and I love how it is told through alternating first person narratives from River and Raynn—just like the interactive site.

But rest assured, even with all the information online leading up to this fabulous book’s release, I was still surprised by events in the novel as it indeed went in a completely different direction than I expected it to, and lovers of fantasy novels and world building are going to absolutely adore the parallel world that Ethington creates as the story unfolds. Truthfully, I’m not really a fan of fantasy or otherworlds, I’m more of a contemporary paranormal lover myself, but I was floored by the revelations and events Ethington creates in this novel, and all I can say is, you need to read it.

With magical ties, great evil, a fantastical world, a smidgen of romance, and many dire, dark circumstances, this novel is a gem that is sure to leave you wanting more. The characters are realistic and well written, and living their story alongside them is both harrowing and exhilarating at the same time. I really, really enjoyed the novel, and I am excited for more to come–especially as the interactive journey continues with more in-depth videos to come with deeper insight into each chapter of the novel! Four and a half stars.

4.5 stars

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

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

______________________________________________________________________________

Meet my book boyfriend, River:

Watch the official trailer:



SinnerFrom Goodreads: A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole’s story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole’s darkest secret — his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel’s life. Can this sinner be saved?

_____________________________________________________________

I am sorry to say that this novel just isn’t for me. I read the Shiver trilogy a long time ago, and I remember I liked it well enough, but this companion novel just didn’t do anything for me. I didn’t care for the characters, especially cryptic Cole St. Clair, and while I did enjoy the idea of a reality TV show, nothing much seemed to happen for the majority of the book aside from tension between Cole and Isabel. The pacing was just too slow for me, and while it is well written, it just isn’t my style. If you’ve thoroughly enjoyed Stiefvater’s Shiver trilogy, though, I’d say you’d probably really enjoy this one, as well.  Two stars for me, though.

2 stars

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

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



unnamed

PerceptionFrom Goodreads:

The world will never look the same…

There comes a defining moment in every young person’s life that irrevocably shifts their point of view. For a new teacher who still compares herself to her students, it’s a missing girl and a false accusation that could cost her more than her career. For a young man who settles into a rut that not even his broken marriage can pull him out of, it’s a drifter’s gun to his head. For an idealistic college student, it’s her parents’ divorce pulling back the curtain on who they really are, shattering everything she thought she knew about love. And for a recovering addict who’s not ready to change, it might just be an unhappy ending to her illicit affair.

In Perception, discover five captivating stories that explore what it means to be a new adult.

AddtoGoodreads

Available now:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Smashwords | iTunes

_______________________________________________________________________________________

dsfw

_______________________________________________________________________________________

ENTER TO WIN:

Rafflecopter Link

_______________________________________________________________________________________

defew



BrandedFrom Goodreads: Fifty years ago The Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society.

To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are ready to kill anyone who steps out of line.

Now, LUST wraps around my neck like thick, blue fingers, threatening to choke the life out of me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit, and the Hole is my new home.

Constant darkness.

Brutal and savage violence.

Excruciating pain.

Every day is a fight for survival.

But I won’t let them win. I will not die in the Hole.

I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

_____________________________________________________________

I went through an entire array of emotions as I read this novel, from fear to joy to hatred to sadness, I really think the authors of Branded did an amazing job bringing the story to life.

Lexi is extremely real, and while I personally wanted to strangle her at times, her perseverance and mostly strong personality had her bouncing back, time and time again, even when no end to her pain was in sight—and that’s extremely admirable considering what she’s up against. Although insecure about herself due to abuse at the hands of her step-father, Lexi triumphs and focuses on the good that still remains in her life, even though she’s scared beyond belief. She grabs what little life she has left by the horns, and I really respect that about her.

I also really liked how this novel unfolded, Lexi’s insecurities aside. There’s a little bit of everything sprinkled into this novel, with a forbidden relationship (yet this novel certainly isn’t a romance novel), a corrupt world, immense danger, extreme tension, and a mystery surrounding the identity of the Commander—and it’s all incredibly well done. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride that the authors take us on, and this certainly is one hell of a ride, if the gamut of emotions expressed above are any type of indication.

While I did struggle with some of the actions and interactions of the characters here and there, mainly in regards to some of Lexi’s insecurities, overall, this is an extremely well written, action packed novel that held me captive throughout the pages. And while I did momentarily lose some interest around the middle with Lexi’s antics, I plugged through and found it to be a highly explosive read that I highly recommend. Four stars.

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

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



Illusions of FateFrom Goodreads: Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.

__________________________________________________________________

This novel pulled me in from the get go with its alluring magic and snarky, realistic characters. I absolutely adored it, and I am really hoping that there will be more novels set in this world. While a stand-alone, I’d love some companion novels or, better yet, a sequel. But, as it is, perfection abounds. If you’re a lover of Downton Abbey and all things paranormal, then this is definitely the novel for you. Similar to the hidden world of Harry Potter, White’s archaic world gives an old-world, realistic feeling to readers, and it exists exactly how I expect the early 1900s to have existed in Europe, but with a catch. Unbeknownst to the populace, the upper class possess magical traits, passed down through their lineage, adding an air of mystery and intrigue to this novel as the plot unfolds. And I loved every moment of it!

Jessamin is a wonderful, snarky, quick-witted character, and I just loved her interactions with my dear swoonworthy Finn. While utterly infuriating, Finn is indeed the epitome of the perfect man, and I really enjoyed getting to know him, as well as watching his and Jessamin’s love grow. Jessamin is a strong character, set in her ways, full of pride, and it was amazing to watch her carry on, especially once she was pulled into the magical war between Finn and Lord Downpike—a despicable man we just love to hate.

I have to admit that White had me on pins and needles as the novel progressed, especially near the end then the other show seemed to drop and I feared the worst. Thankfully, White does tie the end up with a nice bow, leaving readers exhaling in relief—and in my opinion, White also leaves the ending open enough that there could be more to come, should she choose to write it. And as I said, I hope she does. Five amazing stars!

5 stars

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

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble

 



unnamed

Review:

For the Love of DeathFrom Goodreads: The year is 2049 and in the new dystopian order, the Randoms have risen to the top like cream. Earth faces dire consequences because of the Helix Complex and their illicit use of mass-sterilization. Many who could have children, were made into mules from the virulent Zondorae concoction of 2030.

Now middle-aged, Death’s children do their best to move forward in a world where technology and paranormal powers collide in a mix of tragedy and circumstance. Zombies have been raised for the slave trade by those Randoms in power.

Paxton Hart and Parker’s twin girls are grown and on the radar for those that understand how critical they are for the future. The tight-knit circle of friends continues to network for solutions to the depravity that has taken hold.

Can the original group right a tremendous wrong? Will the new generation of Randoms find a solution for propagation, or will their power base cannibalize those who choose harmony instead of greed?

________________________________________________________________

Um, WOW. Blodgett is back in the latest Death series novel, and our beloved characters are all grown up with teens of their own now. And. It’s. Awesome!

Gramps is still kickin’ at 80 years old, but as we find out fairly early on, his daughter, Ali, Caleb’s mother (the main character in death 1-6), is dying, and Caleb’s teenage son, Paxton, is having a really hard time with this.

So begins the novel, as Paxton struggles with his powers as he watches the cancer eat away at his grandmother (not Gramp’s wife), a woman that so totally gets him, he can’t handle the inevitable separation. And like his father Caleb, Paxton struggles to control not only his gifts, but his anger as well. And it is this anger that sends him and his twin sister, Deegan, on an adventure not unlike those his father and his friends used to have when they were young… lovers of Death rejoice!!

Paxton has an awesome ability that is new to the Death series–the ability to jump, or blink, to another dimension, and as the story unfolds, Blodgett presents two vastly different worlds that are so imaginative and amazing that you’ll feel like you’ve blinked there alongside them. As Deegan finds herself in dire circumstance after dire circumstance, and the dead continue to rise in both worlds, readers are in for some action packed sequences as the new “greysheets” once again mess with Harts.

This novel focuses on Paxton and Deegan, but soon our beloved Caleb and his old band of friends come on the scene once again, up to their old antics, and the fun really begins. I will admit that I was on pins and needles throughout this entire novel, especially with the new threats that await our characters, and I loved that we get to see the parent/child bond in this novel; seeing some of my favorite characters of all time, all grown up, is a real treat, and I hope that Blodgett continues this tradition with all her novels. And, from the ending we’re left with in this novel, I at least know there will be one more novel following this beloved cast of characters, if not more, as Blodgett leaves us with a fairly evil cliffhanger.  Five epic stars.

5 stars

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

AddtoGoodreads

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Excerpt:

“Mom—no. Brother,” I rake a hand through my hair, on the look out for the BS bots.

They swarm inside the toxic fog of smoke, everything all screwed up by noise and odd pulse tech gone haywire.

Two ram together, fall on their mechanical asses and stumble to get up. They knock heads and fall again.

The parents watch them crash into each other.

“Not very bright,” Dad remarks.

God, Dad.

“Right, listen… you guys we need to get to Pax. He’s taken off to find Deegan and he’s the blinker in the group and we don’t want to be stuck with them.” I sweep my hand out and they take in the idiot bots.

“They appear to ignore mundanes and focus on the paranormal.” Dad is sliding into the default Scientific Observation Mode.

Great.

“Yeah, they’re juiced about everyone but Organics.”

“Caleb,” Mom says, her voice a shadow of the strident Nazi-word queen of my youth, “I think we need to go wherever we’re going—right now.”

A bot advances, its circuitry is buzzing, some of the lightweight flesh of whatever alloy they’ve used in the manufacture torn away like a flap of scalped skin.

Instantly, I think of the Skopamish.

I repress a hysterical chuckle, the crooked mouth rising like a Phoenix. Don’t think the parents will dig the humor.

“I think this one is a little brighter than the rest, son.”

It shambles forward like a metal zombie. I notice it has been soundly torched but whatever covers its body has shielded it from the blanket of my bungled torch episode.

Cripes.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Guest Post:

Hybrid Authoring

Tamara Rose BlodgettIndie?

Traditional?

Hybrid?

What on God’s green earth are all these new monikers for authors now? Well, we’re a secret club, making these classifications as difficult as possible to figure out for our readers!

Ha! Just joking. Actually, until a few years ago, it was pretty straight forward.

You (the author) wrote a really cool story, sent it out to a million agents, hoped someone gave a care, and got published by one of the Big Five publishing houses.

Sounds reasonable.

Not.

I wrote my first book in 2007, and was so inspired by TWILIGHT. I know there’s readers out there rolling their eyes so hard in their collective heads it’s like a seizure. I hear you, I do. But Twilight was a big deal. Why? It helped put YA paranormal romance on the map; big time. Did you know that Fifty Shades is fan fiction based on Twilight? Yeah. Twilight was revolutionary. I loved it. I wrote Blood Singers and finished it after reading that book. I was too chicken to send it out so I put BS in a drawer. Then I hit on the idea for Death Whispers and did get brave enough to send it out. I fully expected a ton of rejections. I got a few (lol). Then there were agents who made helpful comments (yay!). Then one agent wanted a partial (that’s about 50 pages).

I was stoked like a chimney on fire.

Then he was like: revise this hard and I’ll look at it again.

I was crushed! What? He doesn’t like my “baby?”

Well—yeah. But the good news? The really great news? He gave me hope. I revised the MS hard (like a good girl). The day before I was going to send him the entire thing, I heard about Amanda Hocking. A chick that was truly brave had tossed her stories on Amazon. I was riveted.

Could I do that?

Yes.

So I did.

Self-publishing changed my life. A homemaker of twenty-five years that always wrote stories can [now] do it as a job?

But was I really a writer if I didn’t get pubbed from a Big Five?

Yes.

It sure felt real when I was working 40-60 hour weeks, at a minimum. Then Hubs encouraged me to write under a pen name. He made it up himself (super-sexy). I wrote a lot of titles under that name.

Then A Terrible Love came out under my pen name and made the New York Times list. I about died. (I had an agent by then.) She phoned and told me, because the magic reaches their ears first.

Did I feel like I was a real writer then?

No. I felt like I was a writer in 2007 when I finished Blood Singers.

Then Simon and Schuster picked up ATL and had me write two more books. That’s when I became a “hybrid.”

I’m not the only indie who went on to get a traditional book deal from a Big Five publisher.

I’ve done both now, and love the hybrid thing. It diversifies an author. That said, I am completely pleased to self-publish and enjoy the freedom the Amazon platform provides.

I dig a guest post that breaks down the mystique of a profession. And that is the case with writing. It’s a cool job. But like any job, it’s hard work. Now we have Amazon and our dream of storytelling can be realized whether it be through self-pubbing or traditional.

Being a hybrid is a wonderful thing.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Giveaway:

Win a $25 Amazon gift card PLUS a paperback of For the Love of Death!

Enter the Rafflecopter HERE!

 



Stone of DestinyFrom Goodreads: Allison thought it was crazy enough when she found out her father, Liam, wasn’t entirely human. But now she has to join his magical allies to unravel his former mistress’s plans. Aoife wants to keep Allison’s parents apart forever.

Despite Allison’s efforts to keep Ethan, the only guy she’s ever cared about, out of this supernatural mess, fate keeps throwing him back into the mix.

Will Allison be able to find the amulet that holds the enchantment Aoife placed on Liam and destroy it? Are Ethan’ s feelings for Allison strong enough to endure the magic of the Tuatha De Danaan?

_____________________________________________________________

Imagine a person so incredibly selfish she’d ruin lives just to possess the man she “loves.” Welcome to the world of Aoife, a faerie intent on possessing Liam forever, slowly forcing Allison’s mother, Elizabeth, farther into her schizophrenia as she keeps Allison’s parents apart. And now, the risks are even greater as Aoife has escaped her binds, intent on finishing the O’Malley’s forever, and claiming Liam as hers, wiping his memories and releasing the bind he has with Allison’s mother.

There is always the question of who to trust in the world of the fae, and Allison has her work cut out for her as she attempts to figure out where Aoife is and who might be aiding her. With Ethan by her side, she has more to worry about than ever lest he be used against her–true for all those she loves in the series. I really enjoy both Allison and Ethan, and their budding romance is swoonworthy-cute. They are indeed my favorite characters in the series, and I hope to see much more of them as the series continues.

As with the fae, there are a lot of names that are hard to pronounce in this novel, but thankfully there is a guide for readers in the front of the book. I, personally, would have really enjoyed a description alongside the pronunciation guide in order to try and keep them all straight, because there are a ton of characters in this novel, and at times I got them confused with each other. The good news is, Howard is thinking of putting together just that on her blog, so make sure you stop over and see if its up before you go to read this awesome series!

Stone of Destiny is the second book in the Danaan series, and the books do need to be read in order as book two picks up soon after book one, The Forgotten Ones, ends. Luckily, both are short, fast-paced, awesome reads that you’ll really enjoy, so if you haven’t yet started the series, make sure you begin with The Forgotten Ones. Four stars.

4 stars

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



RKOW RDL Banner

It’s HERE!!  Chelsea Fine’s RIGHT KIND OF WRONG releases today! Published by Grand Central Forever, RIGHT KIND OF WRONG is the third novel Chelsea’s Finding Fate Series and is a New Adult Contemporary Romance. Check out my 5 star review below, as well as an excerpt, and make sure you enter the giveaway!

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Right Kind of WrongREVIEW:

From Goodreads: Sometimes wrong can feel oh so right . . .

Jenna Lacombe needs complete control, whether it’s in the streets . . . or between the sheets. So when she sets out on a solo road trip to visit her family in New Orleans, she’s beyond annoyed that the infuriatingly sexy Jack Oliver wants to hitch a ride with her. Ever since they shared a wild night together last year, he’s been trying to strip away her defenses one by one. He claims he’s just coming along to keep her safe-but what’s not safe for her is prolonged exposure to the tattooed hottie.

Jack can’t get Jenna out from under his skin. She makes him feel alive again after his old life nearly destroyed him-and losing her is not an option. Now Jack’s troubles are catching up to him, and he’s forced to return to his hometown in Louisiana. But when his secrets put them both in harm’s way, Jenna will have to figure out how far she’s willing to let love in . . . and how much she already has.

________________________________________________________________

I really loved this third installment of the Finding Fates series, Fine’s awesome series of standalone novels that focus on a different cast of characters within the same world. While a bit darker than the others with its ties to drug trafficking and the mob, Fine does a great job creating a realistic backdrop, fleshing out the characters, and making readers fall in love with them, past sins aside. This novel also carries a bit more tension within the pages than the other novels in the series, with the threat of death surrounding the characters, and I liked the added drama and anticipation this brought about as I read. Though I will admit I thought some of the situations in the novel were resolved a bit too neatly, I still really loved this novel and was indeed glued to the pages from the get go.

Fine is a magnificent storyteller—I have yet to read a novel of hers I haven’t absolutely adored. Both Jenna and Jack bring a realness to the story that makes readers feel like they’re right there alongside them, steamy scenes and all, and I loved getting to know the people behind the names that are spoken about in the other two standalones in the series. I actually got extremely giddy when I realized that Fine was cross-referencing a scene from Perfect Kind of Trouble, giving us the other side of the coin—seeing events unfold from Jack and Jenna’s viewpoint, already knowing them from Kayla and Daren’s point of view. It takes a talented author to be able to weave together multiple scenes within standalones, and Fine certainly delivers in this swoonworthy, high tension story. Five stars.

5 stars

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

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo Indiebound ** BAM

____________________________________________________________________________________________

EXCERPT:

Padding my bare feet back into Jack’s bedroom, I start riffling through his drawers like a wet raccoon, searching for something that can pass as pajamas. I try on four pairs of basketball shorts and two shirts before finding items small enough to fit me without being obscene.

I’m not a small person—not at all. I’m average height, average weight. It’s just that Jack’s a giant who, apparently, wears size 100 in everything. Twisting the shirt around my middle so it hangs properly, I absently inhale and smile when I catch Jack’s scent.

What? No. Don’t smile about that, you idiot.

RKoW teaser 6I unclench my fists from his shirt and smooth out the wrinkles I created clutching it to my nose. I’m not like a wet raccoon at all. I’m worse. Raccoons would be ashamed of me.

My inner dialogue—I’ve just accepted that I’m certifiable, at this point—comes to a halt when I hear an engine in the front yard.

Jack.

My first instinct is to run outside and smack him—you know, violent tendencies and all—but I regain my composure and choose a more mature tactic.

I stand perfectly still in the dark living room and wait for him with a scowl.

Through the window, I watch his dark figure stumble out of the car and slowly climb the front steps all hunched over. What did he do, go get drunk? Great.

I cross my arms, scowl still poised to kill, and wait as he opens the door and quietly steps inside. He flicks on the living room light and I ready myself for the shit storm I’m about to rain all over his ass. But my words, my anger, my bitter intentions fall away the instant I see his face.

“Jack.” It’s more of a gasp than a word as it leaves my mouth.

He pulls his eyes up from his bloody and torn hand, and sets them on me. “Jenna. What the hell?” Several emotions cross his eyes. Anger. Fear. Relief. Anger.

I pull a face. “Don’t ‘what the hell’ me. You’re the one who stole my car and drove off into the night.”

He screws his face up. “So you waited up to yell at me?”

“Well…” I pause.

Is that why I waited up? Well, crap.

“Yeah,” I finally say, not particularly proud of my answer.

“Typical,” he mutters. “Listen. I’m not in the mood to bicker with you right now so if you don’t mind rescheduling this bitch-out for tomorrow, that would be great.”

He brushes past me, his shoulder lightly sweeping mine, and halts at the touch. Facing me, he softens his husky voice. “I’m sorry.”

Long eyelashes lower over his storm-gray eyes as he searches my face, and the wicked wildfire inside me instantly reignites as his gaze drops to my mouth.

The thick frustration that filled the room just moments ago thins into a sweet trepidation, curling around us with a daring charge. So delicious. But so dangerous.

I carefully step back and clear my throat. Jack does the same. We’re masters of avoidance.

Without another word, he moves past me and marches down the hall. That’s when I spy the blood running down the back of his shirt from a large gash between his shoulder blades.

My heart stops.

“Jack?” I say, staring with wide eyes. “What happened to your back?”

He looks over his shoulder and frowns. “Oh. That.” Turning back around, he continues striding down the hallway. “Knife wound.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Tattooed beautiful woman in old spooky interior

And don’t miss Book 1 in the Finding Fate Series…

BEST KIND OF BROKEN

See my 5 star review HERE!

Best Kind of Broken

Finding Fates

And book two:

Perfect Kind of Trouble: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

See my 5 Star Review Here

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Author PhotoABOUT CHELSEA FINE:

Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She’s ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** YouTube ** Instagram ** Author Goodreads ** RIGHT KIND OF WRONG Goodreads

 Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!



Heir of FireFrom Goodreads: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

_________________________________________________

This novel, like the others in the series, in indeed very, very good, but it’s also extremely long. Even with series that I absolutely adore, there sometimes comes a time when reading that I tend to zone out a bit, and I’m sorry to say that that did happen with Maas’ third novel, Heir of Fire. Whereas the other novels tend to be a bit more action packed and, let’s face it, shorter, this novel is nearly 600 pages and there is a bit more down time than I personally can handle in a 600 pager. Don’t get me wrong, the novel is fantastic, but there were a few points in the middle where I personally felt like it was just dragging along. Thankfully, Maas would come in a spruce it up a bit with a fight scene or some other tidbit that would throw me right back into the pages with a vengeance, so the downtime was few and far between, but enough that it sticks out in my mind.

Heir of Fire follows four different stories at the same time, all including a new cast of characters to love, which was tons of fun. We are given an indepth look at events in both Adarlan and Wendlyn, following Chaol and newcomer Aiedan as they placate the King of Adarlan, Dorian and newcomer Sorcha as they work together to protect Dorian’s secret, Celaena and newcomer Rowan as he teaches Celaena how to harness her powers, and newcomer Mannon Blackbeak, an iron witch intent on fulfilling her duties to the King of Adarlan before retaking her homeland. I have to say, that out of all of them, Manon’s story was the most interesting to me. It is with Manon that we are introduced to the Wyvern, beasts I liken to a dragonish creature, similar to the black fell beast—sometimes known as a Hell-Hawk or Nazgûl-bird—we see the Witch-King of Angmar and his comrades ride in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. As the witch covens fight to tame the Wyverns, Manon seeks to win the games with her coven of 13 in order to lead the vast witch army—a group of cutthroat women who despise the other covens. Though I will admit that some of Manon’s story did feel like it could be cut out—I certainly didn’t need all the background information that was provided—readers will walk away knowing Manon and the Iron Witches quite well, and I am extremely interested to see what happens when Manon meets Celaena as some foreshadowing is at play that has me wondering just where Manon’s loyalties will lie.

Celaena’s story paints her in a much weaker light throughout this novel. In fact, all the characters are painted as weak as this novel unfolds. Chaol is not the same, unable to speak his mind to his best friend Dorian, and even Dorian seeks solace in the most surprising of places. I guess that at some point the strong characters must be portrayed as weak in order for growth to happen, as well as for the plot to thicken, but I found myself losing patience with them as the story unfolded as they continually backed down throughout the novel.

The end, however, was a wake-up slap to the face, and suddenly everyone we love, and I do mean everyone, is in danger, leaving me on pins and needles for the next installment, though I see that right now this series is slated for six novels, and we’ll only be at number four with the next—I do hope Maas picks up the pace in the next segment. Four stars.

4 stars

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

This title releases today.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



Mary The SummoningFrom Goodreads: There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them–Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna–must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY.” A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though–at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary’s wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary–and Jess–before it’s too late?

__________________________________________________________________________

I don’t believe in ghosts, and certainly not in Bloody Mary, but that doesn’t mean you’ll catch me chanting her name to the bathroom mirror. Why tempt the powers that be? Yet even so, Monahan succeeded in scaring me quite often throughout this novel, as Mary’s powers grew and she haunted the girls. And I do enjoy a good scare. I suggest reading this one late at night in a room with mirrors. It really adds to the storyline.

This is a series, so there is going to be more, but even knowing that going in, I have to admit that I am dissatisfied with the ending. While Shauna may be doing better at the moment, nothing is truly resolved in this first installment, and I want to know more. Many questions arose as I read, and many of them seemed to suddenly crop up near the end, so I feel like I have more questions than answers at this point, which I never a good feeling at the end of a book, whether part of a series or not.

I enjoyed this novel overall, though I didn’t care for any of the characters. Yes, Mary was scary and I didn’t want bad things to happen to the innocent characters, but when they did, I never really felt any emotions. I think more detailing of the characters, more fleshing out, would have helped me connect with them more. Jess is a piece of work, and I really didn’t like her or her hold over the other girls–I wish they’d have grown a backbone and actually said no a time or two instead of thinking about it, complaining about it, but then ultimately going along with Jess.

I did enjoy the ghost aspect of this story; as I said, I liked the scare—but I really need to know the WHY behind Mary. Three and a half stars.

3.5 stars

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

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



Blog Tour

FThe Write Stuffrom Goodreads:

Twenty-two-year-old historical romance writer Nicole Blake, or N.S. Blake to her readers, hasn’t taken an official poll, mind you, but she is convinced she may be the only romance author on the planet who is still a card-carrying member of the virgin club.

Not that she hasn’t tried to end her membership. Life just keeps finding pesky ways to interfere. With no prospects on the horizon, Nicole begins to feel like the closest she will ever get to experiencing a man is within her own stories.

Opportunity presents itself in the form of hot-as-sin-on-a-lollipop-stick bartender/premed student Alec Petropoulos, who agrees to be the cover model for her upcoming book. Sparks fly instantly between them, and Nicole begins to entertain the possibility that she’s finally found the right guy to hand over her tattered V-card. Alec has all the makings for a perfect one-night-stand candidate except, much to Nicole’s surprise, he seems to be the only man in existence not interested in bagging a virgin.

Stuck between a rock and a stubborn male, what’s a virgin to do? Seduce him, of course. How hard could it be? If it works for the characters in her stories, why wouldn’t it work for her?

After all, what happens under the cover…stays under the cover.

___________________________________________________________________

Oh. My. Goodness.  If you’re looking for a sexy read full of laughs, then look no further that Tiffany King’s The Write Stuff.  This amazing story pulled me in from the get go, and I loved how much I was able to connect with both the characters and the story itself, seeing the ins and outs of self-publishing as N.S. Blake begins to make a name for herself with her intoxicating stories.  If you’ve never been to a mass signing or weekend book conference before, then you’re really missing out, and you’ll see just how much when you read Kings novel.  I had to laugh out loud at all the antics of the ladies, ogling the male models, lining up for pictures and signatures and insisting that the models take off their shirts for photos–an aspect that has indeed become a “thing” at book conferences and signings.  And King captures the chaos and awesomeness that it is as she writes from personal experience from the many signings and conferences she’s attended (and I’m lucky enough to say that I’ve attended two with her, as well!).  Everything about the writer/reader world that King incorporates in her novel is 100% true, and having experienced much of it at conferences I’ve attended, I was just tickled pink with how much I could truly visualize as I read.  King certainly has a way with words, and I adored her insights into the bookish world, a world we don’t hear much about inside books, which makes it all the more awesome.

And Alec?  Mmmmmmmmm.  He is definitely hotness on a stick, and I loved how honest and forthright he was.  He’s a man who knows what he wants, and he has some shocking but valid reasons for denying N.S. Blake, reasons that made me respect him on a whole nother level as the novel unfolded.  Of course, there is definitely a lot of friction between N.S. Blake and Alec, and I loved how their friendship bloomed.  Their relationship is extremely realistic, and I enjoyed their antics as the plot thickened.

One of the aspects that I really adore about this novel is that it’s completely unique.  While the “virgin trying to de-virginalize herself” seems to be a plot that I’m noticing more often lately, King doesn’t follow the same patter as others, and her novel really stands apart.  From the intricacies of the bookish world to the chemistry and maturity of the main characters, King takes readers on a realistic journey of love and heartache, and it’s so very amazing.  This is a must read!  Five stars!

5 stars

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

AddtoGoodreads

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks

____________________________________________________________________________

Tiffany King new profile pictureAbout Tiffany King

USA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iPhone and iPad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

For information on any of Author Tiffany’s titles, visit her blog at www.authortiffanyjking.blogspot.com

Where to connect with Author Tiffany

Twitter@AuthorTiffany

FacebookAuthorTiffanyKing

PinterestTiffany King

Blogauthortiffanyjking.blogspot.com

GoodreadsTiffany King

Email– authortiffany@yahoo.com

“Dreams do come true…Dream big.”



Guardian RDL Banner

 GUARDIAN is a YA Paranormal Romance, and a book close to author Courtney Cole’s heart. And, it’s Courtney’s birthday! To celebrate all of the awesome, she is making a few select titles only .99 TODAY ONLY! Grab them all!

 ________________________________________________________________

Review:

GuardianSynopsis: Sometimes, things that go bump in the night are real.

My name is Whitney Lane. I’m sixteen years old and at first, I thought I was crazy.

I kept seeing shadows move along walls, and hearing whispers around corners, but whenever I looked, there was never anything there.

Until one day, there was.

Our world isn’t what we think. There are things around us, good things, bad things, scary things.

Things that we tell ourselves aren’t real, but they are.

They’re very real, and they’re terrifying.

I’ve been swept up now, in a battle of good and evil, confused about love and what is supposed to be love, but isn’t. I don’t know what to think anymore. I can’t trust my emotions and I don’t know what is true.

There’s only one thing I know for sure.

Nothing is what it seems.

___________________________________________________

The idea of a guardian angel is one that I’ve always been curious about. What if everything bad that happens to me happened because something worse was trying to get to me, and the bad is actually a saving grace? What if the losses in my life are the result of a bigger, grander scheme where all the pieces fit neatly together? These questions have been something I’ve found myself thinking about a lot over the past few years, and it really has helped me see the positive in even the most dire situations, and so when I read the title and synopsis for Courtney Cole’s Guardian, I knew I wanted to read the novel.

This is a very well written story that I enjoyed very much, though I will admit that I personally didn’t connect with Whitney as much as I’d like to, but I believe that’s because Whitney and I are actually in completely different places in our lives, and that’s okay. Whitney is struggling—her life began to fall apart the moment her father died, and her mother’s inattention to both Whitney and her little sister, as well as the frustration and sadness that accompanies a sudden death, are eating Whitney alive. Tasked with taking care of her sister, attending school, and trying to keep a lid on her mother’s spiraling depression, Whitney is full of fear and anger. I feel like these emotions are completely just, but at the same time, as an outsider looking in, knowing that relatives are just a phone call away, I had some issues with how Whitney handled some situations. And this is what I mean about being in different places in our lives. What Whitney does, and what I would do, are two completely different entities, and that’s reality. Yet while I didn’t really agree with some of Whitney’s choices, they are realistic and valid, especially as she’s dealing with some terrible situations no teenager should have to deal with, and I really liked the believability of this portion of the novel.

I loved the idea of Whitney’s Guardian showing himself, and his explanations of the way guardians work was awesome and really got me thinking. It was fun learning about his duties and though frustrating for both Whitney and me, I enjoyed being kept in the dark as well, since the Guardian was only allowed to divulge so much to Whitney as the story progressed. These is a decent amount of foreshadowing within the novel as well, so I was easily able to predict what would happen next, and seeing it all unfold was fun, though I wouldn’t have minded just a bit more mystery. Overall, this is a good read; if you’re interested in the lore behind guardian angels, I suggest you give it a read. Three and a half stars.

3.5 stars

I received this novel from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon | Kindle | iBooks

Barnes and Noble Coming Soon

AddtoGoodreads

______________________________________________________________________________

Excerpt:

Sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real.

Happy birthday to me.

I close my eyes and burrow into my pillow as I try to sleep, as I try to escape this life.

It’s a life I never thought I’d have, a life I most certainly don’t want.

I’m still feeling sorry for myself as the blackness of sleep finally overtakes me.

I don’t know what time it is when I shoot straight upward like a rocket. Something had yanked me from the oblivion of sleep, something loud and shrill scraping my window.

My room is completely dark and I glanceat my clock in confusion.

3:00 a.m.

As my heart pounds hard against my ribcage, I quickly scan every corner of the room.

In the last few hours, dark shadows had migrated onto my pink walls, but they’re familiar, nothing out of the ordinary, although in the night, they seem twisted and scary.

I remain motionless as I allow the sleep-induced fog to clear from my brain.

As I sit, I feel common sense and logic slowly returning.

Of course nothing had touched my window because my bedroom is on the second floor. Nothing can reach it. And there are no trees near enough to brush against it. It was just a dream.

It was only a dream.

I chant it silently to myself like a mantra as I consciously slow my breathing down, hoping that my racing pulse will soon follow. It was only a dream.

But just as I’m calming down, I hear it again.

A high-pitched shrill shriek, reminiscent of fingernails on a chalkboard, scraping down my window. I gasp and pull my feet up to my chest, which is when I notice the temperature.

I notice because I can see my breath.

Timidly, I blow a puff out again, watching the way my breath turns white in the air.

Holy crap. Oh my God.

What the hell?

The sound stops and stillness surrounds me once again, the silence so loud that it echoes in my ear.

Nothing moves around me, the shadows are perfectly still as they twist across my wall. They look like mangled fingers and arms and legs, but they don’t move.

My legs are weak and shaking, but I know I have to move. I have to move off my bed because it feels like something is under it. Something terrifying.

With a leap, I bound across the room, my feet hitting the floor several feet away from the edge of my bed.

The floor is ice cold, as though it had been covered in a blanket of snow.

I’m trembling as I race to the far wall and check the thermostat. Because that’s the only explanation. I must’ve bumped it earlier, I must’ve turned the AC way down.

But the luminous numbers stare at me in contradiction.

74 degrees.

It must be broken. It has to be broken.

My breath is coming in pants now, terrified, anxious pants.

My fear isn’t logical. I know there’s nothing here. I’m the only one in this room.

Or am I?

The air seems to push at me from all around, something dark, something heavy, something real. Something unseen.

My fingers shake, my legs tremble, and then all of a sudden, they can no longer support my weight. I go down like a pile of bricks, collapsing onto the floor. I lie still because I can’t move, because something seems to sit on my chest, holding me down.

The shadows start to move, to slither across the walls, to reach and pull and dance.

I struggle to focus, to see what it is.

But all I can see are the numbers on the thermostat suddenly moving, rapidly counting down from 74 to 20.

Twenty degrees?

The air is frigid as I suck it in, as I try to pull the ice crystals into my mouth so I can breathe.

All of a sudden, there’s a blackness in front of me. It hovers over me, a shapeless mass, sucking in the cells of the air, the atoms and the molecules. It’s darker than the blackness of my room, blacker than the blackest black.

Something is here.

With me.

“Dad?” I whisper in a white puff. Because what else could it be?

I reach out a finger to touch it, and then I can’t see anything else, because the darkness of it surrounds me, bleeding into everything else, even my vision. The shriek is back, screaming into my ears, bleeding into my brain.

Then there’s nothing.

______________________________________________________________________________

To celebrate the release of GUARDIAN and Courtney’s birthday the following books are on sale for .99, today only!

Birthday book Sale Banner

GUARDIAN
Confessions of an Alli Cat
Dante’s Girl
Mia’s Heart
The Minaldi Legacy
Soul Kissed
Soul Bound

______________________________________________________________________________

HeadshotABOUT COURTNEY COLE:

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

 Website |Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp| Pinterest

ENTER THIS RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Blogger Button



IP BT Banner Final

Iron PendulumREVIEW:

From Goodreads: A month ago, Avery thought the world ended outside Dome Four. Thought she was one of the few of her kind. Thought the war that brought the human race to the brink of extinction was over.

But a month can change everything.

After fighting to escape a tyranny she didn’t even know existed, Avery has had to come to grips with all the secrets she’s uncovered. But more secrets continue to come to light, revealing how little of her world she truly knew. When evidence starts to show that Dome Four might be under siege, Avery knows what she must do.

Returning to the dome she longed to escape is a challenge for Avery, but now she knows there’s corruption lurking in the shadows. A massive steam shortage leaves half the dome without power, and people are falling ill. Dying.

And they’re blaming Avery.

A month can change everything. One more month could kill everyone. The clock is ticking.

__________________________________________________________

This second novel of the Periodic series knocked my socks off—if you’re looking for an awesome steampunk dystopian series, then look no further! Curd has woven a tale so captivating that when all is said and done, you’ll be dying for more. And dying for more is exactly where I am as Curd leaves us with a most amazing cliffhanger that had my mind in a whirl!

Avery and all her beloved companions are back in Iron Pendulum, including swoonworthy Jaxon, best-friend Alice, and tech savvy Sari, a cast of characters I would certainly throw my lot in with if the chance ever came up. From the get go, I was enthralled with this second installment, jumping right back into to fierce world that Curd has created in this dystopian steampunk adventure.

As Avery tempts fate with her presence back in Dome 4, where corruption runs rampant and the tables have drastically turned against Avery and her friends, there were many a time that I just wanted to reach through the pages and punch her adversaries—they are awful, and I just loved to hate them as the story progressed. Erin, another teen able to produce steam, as well as another foe who I shall not name because his/her appearance in the novel had my jaw dropping, are so loathsome that I cannot wait for them to get their comeuppance; Curd has definitely turned this story on its head with betrayals and, like I said before, a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers.

The world building is absolutely superb, and as evil slowly begins to take over all aspects both inside and outside the Dome, it’s a heart-pounding race against time for not only Avery and her friends, but everyone else, as well.

If you love a good story and you’re looking for a series that is kick-butt and will leaving you breathless, then look no further. Curd’s Periodic series has it all—mystery, elements, zombies, romance, kick butt fight scenes, betrayal, heartache, joy, fear… read it. You won’t be disappointed. Five amazing stars.

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

This title releases tomorrow.

AddtoGoodreads

Be sure to pick up book 1, Steel Lily, now!

Steel Lily

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

________________________________________________________________________________________

EXCERPT: 

Alice huffed, the sound sending static through the earpieces. The Alliance had provided us the new and improved masks, capable of allowing us to speak without lifting our masks and exposing us to low oxygen levels. It was a great development, one that Sari had worked on for months to perfect. One that was currently annoying me, since all I heard was a flurry of irritation at my momentary attention lapse.

I adjusted the map and clicked on my headlamp, its dull glow illuminating the wrinkled, water-stained blueprints in my hands. I traced the lines of our route. “I think we need to go left.”

“You think?” I heard Jaxon’s voice, not through the muffled sound of the speaker, but loud and clear beside me. His lips grazed the side of my cheek, not exactly kissing me, but dissolving my focus all the same. His musical tone sent shivers down my spine, even when he was being infuriatingly sarcastic.

Jaxon’s ability to breathe in lower-oxygen situations was because of his father, Riggs, who had performed research on Jaxon from a young age. While Riggs had been forced to do it by Xander—the man behind the Resistance, and the one responsible for the fact that we were living in hiding—I still didn’t have much love for Riggs. He’d hurt Jaxon, and that hurt me. It would be a while before I trusted Riggs, no matter what he said or how many times Lexie vouched for him.

Jaxon leaned against the cement wall with his arms crossed, his dreads pulled back in a standard leather tie. His headlamp sat cockeyed, as if in tribute to his off-kilter humor and devil-may-care attitude. I wouldn’t want it any other way, even though I knew he did care, and he wasn’t nearly as unimpressed with the world as he’d like everyone to think. He’d proven that when he’d taken a vial of my blood, allowing himself to be a test subject once more for the sake of learning more about my abilities. We didn’t know how the blood would affect him—would it hurt him? Give him abilities like mine?—but it was a chance he was willing to take.

________________________________________________________________________________________

GIVEAWAY:

Win a $5 gift card to your choice of Amazon or Barnes & Noble PLUS an ecopy of Steel Lily!!

Click this Rafflecopter Link to ENTER!

________________________________________________________________________________________

About Megan Curd:Author photo

Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college.

When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Photography, traveling and snowboarding are hobbies she loves, and she doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.

Megan currently resides in Ohio with her husband and son, where she is trying to convert them into Buckeye fans.

Links:

Website | FacebookTwitter | Pinterest | Author Goodreads | IRON PENDULUM Goodreads

 

____________________________________________________________________________________

Make sure you stay tuned to the rest of the tour!

Blog Tour Schedule:

August 26th

Book Lovin’ Mamas – Excerpt

Fabulous and Fun – Excerpt & Review

Once Upon a Twilight – Excerpt & Review

Coffee Books & Art – Excerpt

August 27th

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Excerpt & Playlist

A Book Vacation – Excerpt & Review

Becky on Books – Excerpt

Born To Read – Excerpt & Review

August 28th

Adventures in Writing – Guest Post & Review

In between The Pages – Excerpt & Review

Let Me Be Fictional – Excerpt & Review

Bibliophilia, Please – Excerpt

August 29th

Roxy’s Reviews – Excerpt & Review

A Dream Within A Dream – Excerpt & Review

Paperback Cowgirl Reviews – Excerpt & Review

SassyCat’s Books Review – Excerpt & Character Playlist

August 30th

Book Sense – Excerpt & Review

Loves All Things Books – Excerpt & Dream Cast

Girl in the Woods Reviews – Excerpt & Review

The Small Nerd – Excerpt & Review

August 31st

Ashley’s Paranormal Book Blog – Excerpt & Review

One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads – Excerpt & Review

deal sharing aunt – Excerpt & Interview

Chibi Reader – Excerpt & Review

September 1st

GenGen’s Book Blog – Excerpt & Review

Resch Reads and Reviews – Excerpt & Review

Shelfspace Needed – Excerpt & Review

This Redhead LOVES Books – Excerpt

September 2nd

The Revolving Bookcase for Young Readers – Excerpt

Dowie’s Place – Excerpt & Review

Istyria book blog – Excerpt & Review

The Bearded Scribe – Excerpt & Review

September 3rd

Addicted Readers – Excerpt

Shayna Varadeaux Books & Reviews – Excerpt & Guest Post

K.R. Grace – Excerpt & Review

Mercurial Musings – Excerpt & Review

September 4th

Avid Reader Musings – Excerpt & Review

Bookinfatuation – Excerpt & Review

Out of Time – Excerpt & Review

Morgan Wylie~Author – Excerpt

September 5th

Fabulous and Fun – Excerpt & Interview

A Cup of Coffee and a Book – Excerpt & Review

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

September 6th

The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Excerpt & Review

Write Away Bliss – Excerpt & Review

Racing To Read – Excerpt & Review

September 7th

Such a Novel Idea – Excerpt & Guest Post

The La La Land of Books – Excerpt & Review

paranormal book club ( PBC) – Excerpt & Review

The Book Beacon – Excerpt & Review

September 8th

Much Loved Books – Excerpt & Review

Life Between the Pages – Excerpt & Review

Reading on the Farm – Excerpt & Review

Shelves of Books/ Reading For Fun – Excerpt & Review

September 9th

Books for a Delicate Eternity – Excerpt & Review

The Bookie Monster – Guest Post & Review

Dizneeee’s World of Books – Excerpt & Review



How to FallFrom Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Jess Tennant has never met any of her relatives, until her mom suddenly drags her out of London to spend the summer in the tiny English town where her family’s from. Her mom’s decision is surprising, but even more surprising is the town’s reaction to Jess. Everywhere she goes, people look at her like they’ve seen a ghost. In a way, they have—she looks just like her cousin Freya, who died shortly before Jess came to town.

Jess immediately feels a strange connection to Freya, whom she never got to meet alive. But the more Jess learns about the secrets Freya was keeping while she was alive, the more suspicious Freya’s death starts to look. One thing is for sure: this will be anything but the safe, boring summer in the country Jess was expecting.

Beloved author Jane Casey breaks new ground with How to Fall, a thrilling and insightfully written mystery.

________________________________________________________________

This novel is actually about two separate things: How Freya died, and the truth about Dan Henderson. However, only one aspect is actually answered in the novel, which left me a bit frustrated since the mystery surrounding the police officer is definitely a key point in novel, even though it does not really relate to what happened to Freya.

Jess Tennant has an uncanny resemblance to her deceased cousin, Freya, a person she never met due to her mother’s estrangement from her twin sister. Because of her looks, and Freya’s apparent accident, she’s the talk of the town, it seems, which spurs Jess on to find out the truth about Freya’s death. I agree with Jess, I’d be determined to find out the truth, too, and I love Jess’ spunk. She has some crazy ideas and awesome comebacks throughout the novel, and I really enjoyed that about her. I loved the end too—the way Jess finally learns the truth–while a bit far-fetched (or, not something I would ever consider) it works well with the storyline and I was glad that this aspect of the novel had a conclusion.

But I am left unsatisfied. What do I need to know? More about Dan and Jess’ mother’s relationship. Is Dan a real creeper, like he seems? Why is he so rude and aggressive towards everyone? What is he hiding? Was he coming on to Jess, or was she just overreacting? What is the relationship between Dan and his son really about? What’s going on there? Why do people seem to fear Dan? While we’re given a small paragraphish glimpse into the story behind Dan and Jess’ mother, it’s not enough to answer any of my questions, and I really felt like the novel set itself up to tell this story, but then didn’t. Which left me confused. I have one thought about Jess and Will’s relationship and why Dan might not want it, but I can’t go into specifics because, A. I’m probably wrong and, B. it’d be a bit spoilery to state it.

Dan aside, I did love the language of this novel. It is so very British in its colloquialisms, and I enjoyed them very much, having spent some time abroad when I was in college. There are some terms that some may need to look up, but overall they translate easily enough for readers outside Britain, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Three stars.

3 stars

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

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



Can't Look AwayFrom Goodreads: Donna Cooner establishes herself as our own Jodi Picoult in this timely tale of sisters, loss, and redemption.

Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey’s sister is killed in an accident — maybe because of Torrey and her videos — Torrey’s perfect world implodes.

Now, strangers online are bashing Torrey. And at her new school, she doesn’t know who to trust. Is queen bee Blair only being sweet because of Torrey’s internet infamy? What about Raylene, who is decidedly unpopular, but seems accepts Torrey for who she is? And then there’s Luis, with his brooding dark eyes, whose family runs the local funeral home. Torrey finds herself drawn to Luis, and his fascinating stories about El dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

As the Day of the Dead draws near, Torrey will have to really look at her own feelings about death, and life, and everything in between. Can she learn to mourn her sister out of the public eye?

_________________________________________________________________

This is an interesting read that depicts the life of a teen beauty vlogger, a wildly popular young woman who posts to YouTube, which I admit is a channel I personally rarely visit. My students are obsessed with youtube videos, so I definitely wanted to check out this novel and see if it brought on any insights, because truth be told, vlogs tend to drive me insane. I don’t think I’ve been able to watch very many straight through, because the spontaneity and bloopers of it all just isn’t for me. But, that’s exactly what Torrey does, or did, prior to the novel’s beginning, and as Torrey looks back on her past life, one where her little sister still existed, we begin to see just who Torrey Grey truly is, both now and then.

I definitely enjoyed this novel, and it did make me tear up a time of two, but I personally don’t follow why people are blaming Torrey for her sister’s death, or why they feel the need to write nasty comments on her vlogs. I get that trolls exist, and over the past three years as an online reviewer, I’ve seen some pretty nasty comments left on both author and blogger accounts alike, but I don’t quite understand the why behind it, and while I think this novel attempts to answer this question, it really doesn’t. Why are people so callous and rude? Torrey fought with her sister, just like all siblings do. She was mean, just like all siblings can be. But she didn’t push her sister into the street, and she certainly didn’t cause the accident, so I don’t see where anyone has the right to bully her, or why they would ever think to, in the first place. Of course, it seems that that is what humanity is good at doing; putting others down anonymously, and this happens to Torrey, though I have to say that I really felt like this was more the background story than the forefront, and I really wish this aspect of online life, with the trolls and wannabes, was dived into more deeply as it’s the main aspect I was more interested in.

Now, as I said, the story focuses on Torrey, and she’s definitely going through a hard time at the moment, and she struggles to pull herself together. Her attempt to piece her life back together, hanging with the popular crowd, is a farce, an attempt at healing—if only things could go back to the way they were, but unfortunately they never do, and Torrey has to learn this the hard way. I respected this about her, but she rubbed me the wrong way on some occasions, snubbing her true friends in order to make a name for herself… I think we’re all probably guilty of this in some way or other, but it did leave me a bit disappointed in Torrey, though she does eventually seem to get her head on straight.

I really liked Luis and enjoyed the Dia de los Muertes references and make-up tutorial (I’m so doing this), but again, never really understood why people were bashing on Torrey, or why the popular crowd at her new school disliked her so much. As I said, I liked the idea behind this novel overall, and the story is indeed well written, it’s just a little beyond me; I don’t really understand why anyone acted the way they did within the novel. Three and a half stars.

3.5 starsI received this novel from the publisher, via Netgalley, prior to its release today.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



GrimnirsFrom Goodreads: Straight out of the psych ward, Cora just wants her life to be normal. She doesn’t want to see souls or the reapers collecting them. The guy she’s loved from a distance for years moves away without saying goodbye. So yes, she’s nursing a serious heartbreak. It’s no wonder love is the last thing on her mind when Echo storms into her life.

The chemistry between them is mind-blowing.The connection defies logic. Even better, the souls leave her alone when he is around.

Too bad Echo is the poster boy for everything she hates in a guy—hot, beautiful, and cocky. He is also a soul reaper. A Grimnir.

The very beings she wants out of her life. Maybe normal is overrated because Cora wants it all. Answers. Love. A life.

This is a full novel, not a novella.

_________________________________________________________

Walters is a great writer and I love her world of the runes—it really is Norse mythology at its finest. Cora and Echo’s story is an amazing addition to the already awesome Raine and Torin, and I actually might just love them a little more than the previous main characters… a close tie, to say the least.

This novel is a little more hot and heavy than its predecessors, and my one and only issue with it is the sexual escapades. I’m not 100% sold on the love relationship between the characters, but as immortals and soul mates, it is indeed more than plausible—I just feel like I need a little bit more relationship building and a little less sex. I especially don’t need the visuals when it comes to their personal happy times together. Thankfully, Walters fades to black for the majority of it, which I am extremely happy about, but she doesn’t every time, and there’s more times than I personally feel like need to be in the story as it doesn’t necessarily drive the plot. Aside from this, Cora and Echo’s story is fantastic, and I really enjoyed getting to know them more in this novel. Four stars.

*update: Walters did release a CLEAN version of this story.  I just don’t know if it overrides the novel available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, though.

4 stars

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

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



Secrets and LiesFrom Goodreads: Magdelyn Becker lost her entire family when she was seventeen. Ever since, she’s avoided relationships at all costs: personal, physical, emotional. She doesn’t trust anyone and won’t allow herself to get close enough to create a connection. It’s the way she is. Take it or leave it. Her new job as an FBI agent has her letting her guard down, and letting the wrong person into her life, her mind and her heart.

Taylor Donovan is tall, sexy and powerful. He doesn’t show emotion and he can spot an agent a mile away. Being an FBI agent is the farthest thing from his mind when he lays eyes on Maggie Becker. She’s beautiful, sweet and honest and honesty is not something that Taylor is used to in his business. It’s her beauty that blinds him, though, and it might be what costs him everything, including his heart.

No one can be honest 100% of the time, not even Maggie. It’s her job to lie to Taylor. It’s her job to break him down then bring him down. The only problem is she has to do it without Taylor realizing it’s happening. After all, Taylor Donovan is supposed to be dead. The FBI shouldn’t be looking for him.

Secrets & Lies is a companion novella to A Secret Life. It is recommended to read A Secret Life first.

____________________________________________________________

This companion novel to A Secret Life takes place a few years after the conclusion of its predecessor, focusing on a whole new cast of characters as the plot unfolds, drawing readers once again into the world of the FBI as they track a killer hell bent on finding the only girl he ever lost, Courtney (also known as Kat in A Secret Life). This is a well written story, and I liked the change of pace, seeing everything from the opposite side as Brownell focuses on the “bad guy” as opposed to the good, as she did in her previous novel.

I will admit that I feel as if a piece of the story is missing—the gap between how Taylor survived and has since outwitted the FBI alludes me a little, mainly as Taylor was portrayed as being less than smart when a teen. Years have passed, and he certainly has turned hard, but I really want to know the backstory here—how, why, and while there is a sentence of two that define this a little for readers, I’m dying for the whole story and am hoping that Brownell will fill readers in with another novel in this series.

Brownell does a great job making Taylor a likeable character. We don’t see the bad in him as much as maybe we ought to, which is the same issue Maggie has as she attempts to infiltrate his business, and watching the two dance around one another was a ton of fun. The instant-love connection showed up again in this novel, though, and I’m not really one for a whirlwind romance. However, I completely get the characters feelings, and I do love how hard they fall for one another, even if it is instant.

This is definitely a book that needs to be read after the first in the series, A Secret Life, so that readers understand Agent Cam’s obsession with Taylor, and who Taylor really is, in the first place. Though seemingly far-fetched at times, this is a fun read and I did thoroughly enjoy it. I am certainly hoping for a follow-up, or perhaps a novel that bridges the gap behind the lost years. Three and a half stars.

3.5 stars

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

Amazon | Kindle (99 cents) | Barnes and Noble



A Secret lifeFrom Goodreads: “I think you and I were meant to meet. I think all of this was supposed to happen. You are my destiny.”

She never thought that her life would be this complicated. Or this dangerous. Running from her past, Kat and her mom end up in a small Colorado town when Kat run’s directly into her future. She changes everything about herself to try and blend into the background, to go unnoticed. She pushes everyone away and erects walls around herself and her heart. As hard as she tries, though, Kat can’t seem to escape the pull that Cam has on her.

Cam has never been so intrigued by anyone. Not only is Kat the most gorgeous girl he’s ever seen but also the most mysterious. She’s hiding something and he’s hell-bent on finding out what it is. The only problem is that she’s trying to shut him out which only furthers his determination to get close to her.

When Kat learns that her past is catching up with her again she has to run, leaving Cam, and her broken heart, behind.

___________________________________________________________

I read this novel a few weeks back, and it’s stuck with me ever since. While I did find the insta-attraction portion of the novel just a tad cheesy in the beginning, as the novel progressed and the characters grew up, going from high school to college, I found myself rooting for the lovebirds, Cam and Kat, enjoying their antics and so happy that their attraction to one another lead to a much deeper relationship. Brownell tells their story in two parts, glossing over a few years in between in order to take her YA novel into the NA world while keeping it clean, and it works very well.

This novel has many different layers; many stories to tell. It’s about a mother and daughter in witness protection. It’s about first love. About danger. Crime. Grief. Protection. The FBI. Doing what’s right. Outrunning your past, and looking to the future. And I enjoyed this aspect of the novel very much. There is so much going on and Brownell slowly peels back the layers, providing a fun, easy, engaging read, though I will admit that I have many more questions than I have answers, and I think that’s one of the reasons this novel has stuck with me long after I finished it. I find myself trying to figure it out at random times during my days, and that’s a rarity for me as I read so many books and move from one to the next quite rapidly.

I am intrigued by Cam and his love for Kat. I love Kat’s tenacity and her yearning for a simple life. Together, they are perfect, insta-love aside, and I’m glad they found one another. What I don’t necessarily get is what happened during the climax of the novel–we’re led up to it, but as we’re looking through Kat’s eyes, and she’s not watching events unfold, we seem to miss everything as it unfolds, and as no one clarifies the event for Kat, we are left in the dark. All we know is that some very bad things went down, and I’m dying to know what happened to everyone. I need to know. And I also need to know how some of the people mixed up in it all got mixed up in it all. I’m not giving names nor explanations, because that’d be a spoiler, but I keep wracking my brain trying to figure it out. I need to know, and Brownell’s next novel in the series, Secrets and Lies, releases tomorrow… so here’s hoping for more. Four stars.

4 stars

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

Amazon | Kindle (only $1.99) | Barnes and Noble



et cetera
%d bloggers like this: