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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

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

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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.

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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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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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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?

Kindle | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Paperback

 _______________________________________________________________________________________

 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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{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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Available now:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 



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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.”

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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Email– authortiffany@yahoo.com

“Dreams do come true…Dream big.”



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