Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











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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Common DescentFrom Goodreads: Eighteen-year old Jaycie Lerner’s telekinesis is finally in check – too bad levitating a picnic table is now a workout. Not to mention her previously dormant telepathy is back and raging out of control. As she struggles to manage her frightening power, the Dey-Vah announce they will soon reveal the supernatural world to the human race. To make matters worse, people start dropping dead all over northern Alabama. Then, a mysterious new enemy emerges. Jaycie must elicit the help of the world’s only master vampire slayer and an assassin who converses with the voices in her head. Strengthening the Core is the only way to protect mankind from the coming vampire army, and that’s not even their most dangerous threat. Jaycie and her family face their darkest hour when an innocent young girl serves as a pawn to form a deadly Alliance. The perfect vampire, Lilith Bradshaw, becomes an eye-opening example of how far the Alliance will go to serve their own destructive ends. The world around Jaycie plummets into darkness, and betrayals from the past threaten to undo them all.

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Jaycie Lerner’s story continues in this third installment of the Darwin’s Children series, an action packed ride for those in love with all things paranormal. As is Larry’s nature, this novel indeed picks up where the Unnatural Law left us, and we thrust deep into the storyline from the very first page.

As is true in all things, once one aspect of Jaycie’s life within the Core seems fixed, all hell breaks loose elsewhere. Such is the case time and time again as Jaycie, her beau Matt, Haylee, and the entire cast of characters complete or smooth over an aspect within the novel. I almost feel bad for them; while there is some downtime, much of the novel itself is action related as Jaycie attempts to figure out the truth behind her enemies and the growing vampire army intent on destroying everything she holds dear. And yet, these constant events keep the novel hopping with its fast paced nature, easily gluing readers to the pages as it all unfolds.

Jaycie and Haylee continued to grow on me throughout this novel, and at this point, I really do love them. As their budding relationships blossom as well, there are some swoonworthy scenes that steal the show, as it were. And as the threats around Jaycie and Haylee abound, I couldn’t help but begin to really fret for their safety, especially at the end, where Larry again throws readers one hell of a cliffhanger. I’m looking forward to the fourth installment already! Four stars.

4 stars

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

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The Hunt Project Paper DollsFrom Goodreads: Ariane Tucker has finally escaped GTX, the research facility that created her. While on the run, Zane Bradshaw is the only person she can trust. He knows who-and what-she is and still wants to be part of her life.

But accepting Zane’s help means putting him in danger.

Dr. Jacobs, head of GTX, is not the only one hunting for Ariane. Two rival corporations have their sights set on taking down their competition. Permanently. To protect Zane and herself, Ariane needs allies. She needs the other hybrids. The hybrids who are way more alien and a lot less human. Can Ariane win them over before they turn on her? Or will she be forced to choose sides, to decide who lives and who dies?

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In an inhospitable world where aliens are hidden away in the depths of research facilities, experimented on and treated terribly, Ariane has escaped. Away from GTX, proving her mentors wrong about her ability to feel emotion and love, Ariane falls even harder for swoon-worthy Zane. But with her newfound emotions and fierce loyalty to Zane, she can’t shake the feeling that she needs to let him go in order to truly save him. Luckily for us, Zane is just as stubborn as Ariane, refusing to let her leave him by the wayside, even if it is the best course of action.

In this intense game of cat and mouse, with Ariane and Zane versus GTX, who will come out on top? Filled with action packed sequence and anxiety promoting events, I couldn’t help but be drawn into the novel as it unfolded. Picking up immediately after the conclusion of The Rules, Ariana and Zane share some steamy romance while also attempting to protect themselves from the incoming threats on all sides. And though it seems that Ariane and Zane are always one step ahead, GTX slowly bides it’s time only to come forth with a most amazing and sinister plot to draw Ariane back to them…

I really enjoyed the first novel in the Project Paper Dolls series, The Rules, and The Hunt turned out to be just as fun. With the advent of the other hybrids, Kade spurs readers on as we learn about the other threats to Ariane’s safety. And though I didn’t agree with all Ariane’s plans to free herself once and for all, I liked her guts. My one complaint of her, though, is that she needs to be a little more trusting of those who love her, (aka. Zane). As it all comes to a head, this lack of trust is what will cause Ariane’s plans to fizzle at the worst opportune time. But in doing so, other events are set in motion concerning Zane’s person and, even though left with a little cliffhanger, evidence points to Zane coming out of this altogether different—a feat I am dying to read about in the next installment.

Overall, this is a great middle novel, full of intense moments, deadly games of hide-and-seek, and ultimate betrayals… but who’s? Four stars.

4 stars

In exchange for an honest review, Disney-Hyperion has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel prior to it’s release tomorrow, April 22, 2014.

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{February 27, 2014}   {ARC Review} Panic by Lauren Oliver

PanicFrom Goodreads: Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

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Initially, this story started like any other, and while interesting, it took a while for it to build, but build it did, and by the end I was on the edge of my seat in fear and anticipation.  Oliver knows how to pack a punch, and I was taken with this story as the characters went deeper into the game, as their secrets came out, and as the stakes went higher and higher.

While some of the situations in Panic may seem a bit far fetched, I have no doubt that, given the proper setting, they could indeed be very real.  It is said that the brain does not fully develop until around age 25, so it is no surprise that our teens in this novel make many rash decisions—some spurred on by the want of money, others by revenge, and still others in anticipation of finally breaking free of their provincial lives—paying no attention to the risk factor, or thinking through the actual consequences of their actions.  As the stakes rise, I found my stomach coiled in knots, yelling at the characters through the pages as they make ill decision after ill decision, and I just couldn’t tear my eyes away.  As an adult, it’s easy to say I’d never ever play in these games, and I feel that, as a teen, I wouldn’t have either, mainly because I just wasn’t a risk taker, and I wasn’t wild, but there is something about mass hysteria, or the mob mentality, that makes me wonder, just what would I have done had something underground like the game Panic been going on in my town when I was a teen.

I’m not sure how I feel about Heather, Dodge, and all the other characters in the book (and there are many).  Their choices at times drove me batty, but I was rooting for them the entire time, especially as we learn more about the tragedies that has befallen them both.  Overall, I found this to be a great read that I highly suggest to anyone who likes intense competitions and novels like The Hunger Games. Four stars.

4 starsIn exchange for an honest review, HarperCollins Children has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Edelweiss, prior to its release on March 4, 2014.

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Be sure to pre-order this one now–you don’t want to miss it!



Doing HarmFrom Goodreads: “It’s amazing that there are so many different ways to die in a hospital that have nothing to do with being sick…”

Steve Mitchell, happily married with a wife and two kids, is in line for a coveted position at Boston’s University Hospital when his world goes awry. His over-reaching ambition causes him to botch a major surgery, and another of his patients mysteriously dies. Steve’s nightmare goes from bad to worse when he learns that the mysterious death was no accident but the act of a sociopath.  A sociopath he knows and who has information that could destroy Steve’s career and marriage.  A sociopath for whom killing is more than a means to an end: it’s a game.  Because he is under a cloud of suspicion and has no evidence, he knows that any accusations he makes won’t be believed. So he must struggle to turn the tables, even as the killer skillfully blocks his every move. Detailing the politics of hospitals, the hierarchy among doctors and the life and death decisions that are made by flawed human beings, Doing Harm marks the debut of a major fiction career.

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This was a good mystery novel, but it takes a while for it to really get going.  From the get go we are immersed in Steve Mitchell’s life, learning about his daily routine, his hopes and fears, and his extreme talent for surgery.  He has a great life, though perhaps he’s a little too cocky about his abilities, which in turn causes him to begin making mistakes–mistakes that cost lives and put him under intense scrutiny and his job on the line.  It’s very interesting tale of espionage and betrayal, but the reader really has to wait for it to begin.

The first 30% or so of the novel focuses on Steve and his surgeries, and there are many gritty detailed descriptions as he cuts into people and feels around in their abdomens… cutting through fat, slicing apart muscle, and really digging his fingers in there.  If that makes your squeamish, then you may want to skim those parts, because there are quite a few in the beginning, and they’re somewhat long.  I also recommend reading this the old fashion way and not listening to it on tape. I was listening to the novel on my Kindle using the text-to-speech feather when I was blindsided by these gory descriptions and had to nix that straight away.  Perhaps it’s just me, but there was something exceptionally creepy and nerve-wracking about a mechanical voice reading off the details… so this would be a book that I definitely recommend you read as opposed to listen to…

Detailed descriptions and long introduction aside, though, this novel really begins to take off as the Steve begins making bad decisions in terms of his family due to the pressures at work.  Thus, he and soon finds himself in a race against time to save people’s lives within the hospital, especially once the truth comes out about who has been sabotaging him and the rules are set on the table.  As the novel progresses, it becomes apparent that Parsons really knows his way around the medical field and, apparently, around special opts as well. He did a great job fleshing out the scenes, explaining procedures, and putting into play some key special opts scenes that really made the novel an intriguing read, and I highly suggest it if you like murder mystery novels.  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before.  Four stars.

4 stars

St. Martin’s Press has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on February 4, 2014.

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From Goodreads: In search of Kayla and on the run, Kiera and her friends make a race against time across the Cumbria Mountains. With the vampires predicting their every move, the trust amongst Kiera and her friends starts to fade.

From the desolate monastery set high between the mountains to the mysterious lake and the caves beneath the fountain, Kiera must discover the connection between the vampires and her mother, Isidor and Kayla, and resolve her inner feelings for Potter and Luke.

Kiera herself has started to change and this frightens her. So turning to her friends for help, she realises that it is only her mother who can provide the truth. But Kiera has other questions that she needs to have answered. Why did Isidor murder an innocent girl? Who is the person that Murphy has been meeting in secret? But above all, why have they put their lives and trust in the hands of a serial killer?

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I don’t know how it is possible to write a series and have each new book always be better than the last, but that is exactly what O’Rourke is doing with his Kiera Hudson novels.  These novels, Vampire Shift, Vampire Wake, and now Vampire Hunt, have been an extremely riveting rollercoaster ride, each novel taking the reader further into the story and creating more action and suspense.  It seems so unfeasible to be able to create such mind-blowing texts, yet O’Rourke obviously possesses the gift of storytelling, and this dark vampire novel cranks up the action tenfold as Kiera and her friends run for their lives.  Vampire Hunt picks up right where the second novel, Vampire Wake, left off, jumping directly into the action, with cars and helicopters blowing up, vampires taking on vampyrus and, overall, trust being shaken among Kiera and her friends.

This novel deals more intently with a love triangle than the previous novels did, and something that I absolutely love about O’Rourke is that he keeps his novels clean.  While Kiera harbors feelings for both Luke and Potter, none of the scenes are racy or inappropriate, which is rare to find in both YA and adult novels in this day and age.  I really enjoyed O’Rourke’s portrayal of this love triangle and, though I do hate to say it, I am starting to lean a little more towards Potter, whereas in the previous novels, I haven’t even given him a second thought!  The fact that O’Rourke has been able to cause me to swing sides is a testament to his sheer writing abilities, and I am stunned.

I especially enjoyed watching Kiera begin her shift and, though we don’t have all the answers yet, O’Rourke has set the scene for a pretty intense plotline in the near future.  The ending of this novel left me breathless, and I am extremely excited to read the next installment–I’ve now read the first three books in the series for a second time, and my thoughts remain the same: 5 amazing stars!!  So if you haven’t yet begun this series, I highly suggest you do.  It’s an amazing tale and you really won’t be disappointed.  Five stars!!

5 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review and have read it twice.

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Vampire Shift, book one in the series, is FREE on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo at the time of this post, so do make sure you scoop it up and join the world of Kiera Hudson.

Check out O’Rourke’s other novels (they are indeed all amazing):

Kiera Hudson Series 1

Vampire Shift (#1)

Vampire Wake (#2)

Vampire Hunt (#3)

Vampire Breed (#4)

Wolf House (#4.5)

Vampire Hollows (#5)

Kiera Hudson Series 2

Dead Flesh (#1)

Dead Night: Potter’s Secrets (#1.5)

Dead Angels (#2)

Dead Statues (#3)

Dead Seth (#4)

Dead Wolf (#5)

Dead Water (#6)

Dead Push  (#7)

Dead Lost (#8)

Dead End (#9)–Coming Soon

Kiera Hudson Series 3

Lethal Infected (1)–Coming Soon

Jack Seth Novellas

Hollow Pit (#1)

Vampire Shift Graphic Novels

Vampire Shift Volume 1

Black Hill Farm Series

Black Hill Farm (#1)

Black Hill Farm Andy’s Diary (#2)

Return to Black Hill Farm (#3)–Coming Soon

Doorways Series

Doorways (#1)

The League of Doorways (#2)

The Queen of the Doorways (#3)–Coming Soon

Samantha Carter Series

Vampire Seeker (#1)

(Formerly known as Cowgirls and Vampires)

The Moon Trilogy

Moonlight (#1)

Moonbeam (#2)

Moonshine (3)–Coming Soon

Sidney Hart Series

Witch (#1)

Yellow (#2)

Raven (#3)–Coming Soon

Unscathed Series(?)

Unscathed

Stilts Series

Stilts (#1)

Eat Me Series

Eat Me (#1)–Coming Soon

Pick Series

Pick (#1)–Coming Soon

Flashes Series

Flashes (#1)–Coming 2013

Tim O'Rourke Covers



et cetera
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