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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon | Kindle (.99 cents) | Nook



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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:

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Enter the Rafflecopter HERE!

 



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Unlikely FamilyFrom Goodreads: When Joshua Anthony finds himself homeless at fourteen, he is determined to survive on his own. With the help of motel owner Curt, Josh is doing just that when he encounters three other homeless teens; Charles, Elise and Leah. They decide to band together, pool their resources, and form their very own unlikely family. Along the way, they encounter Liz, a 27 year old woman who is down on her luck and needs a break. Will these teens be just what she needs to get her life back on track?

This is the story of four resilient teenagers, determined to thrive in spite of their circumstances. They encounter many hardships on their road to adulthood, but also learn to love, hope, and find success.

Join this unlikely family on their journey of discovery. Laugh with them, cry with them, fall in love with them as they do with each other.

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This story is indeed amazing. Told from five different first-person perspectives, readers get to know five homeless people, four teens and one adult, as they make an unlikely family. Though the story sometimes reads a bit clipped, it drew me in as a reader and captivated me. These kids are amazing, and as the story unfolded, I found myself drawn to them and their plight, rejoicing with their triumphs, and crying with their failures. Adams has written a clean read–though homeless, there is no sex or prostitution, an aspect that generally is prevalent in stories I’ve read about homeless teens. While not every situation in the novel struck home with me, I connected very much with the characters, and by the end Adams had me ugly crying so hard that I had to set the book aside–it tour my heart out, and yet it was a most beautiful scene… be ready to have your world rocked as you fall in love with the five main characters.

Honestly, this is a beautiful, poignant story that is definitely a must read. Yes, it made me cry, but overall it’s a story of triumphs, and there is a believable happy ending. In my opinion, the only aspect that needs work is the cover. Unfortunately, the cover is one I would definitely pass up in a bookstore or anywhere I saw it, truth be told, because it looks too fake and it just isn’t interesting to me. A new cover, sleek cover would grab readers’ attention, which needs to happen because this is an amazing, poignant read. And you really do need to read it. Five stars.

5 stars

I purchased this novel from the author at a book festival.

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The Things You Kiss GoodbyeFrom Goodreads: Bettina Vasilis can hardly believe it when basketball star Brady Cullen asks her out, and she just about faints when her strict father actually approves of him.

But when school starts up again, Brady changes. What happened to the sweet boy she fell in love with? Then she meets a smoldering guy in his twenties, and this “cowboy” is everything Brady is not—gentle, caring, and interested in getting to know the real Bettina.

Bettina knows that breaking up with Brady would mean giving up her freedom—and that it would be inappropriate for anything to happen between her and Cowboy. Still, she can’t help that she longs for the scent of his auto shop whenever she’s anywhere else.

When tragedy strikes, Bettina must tell her family the truth—and kiss goodbye the things she thought she knew about herself and the men in her life.

Leslie Connor has written a lyrical, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about family, romance, and the immense power of love.

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Connor captures the essence of a low self-esteemed, smitten teenaged girl traversing her first-ever relationship in this novel, and as we all know, love is “blind.” Thus, Bettina makes excuse after excuse for her abusive, sexually aggressive boyfriend, and she continually goes back to him time and time again, even after her hurts her in ways that no person should never allow. On the outside looking in, it’s easy to judge. I judged Bettina, and I’m sure any and all readers are going to do the same. We don’t understand her choices; we are screaming at her to wake up, to break up with Brady, to listen to Cowboy and pull it together. But sometimes it isn’t as easy for the person actually in the relationship to do that. If it were, I feel like there wouldn’t be as many domestic violence cases in the news—that no woman/man would allow it to happen to them, but think about it. There are many, many women in Bettina’s place right now. Why?

This novel is very realistic, and it’s not a happy story. There certainly is no happy ending, Bettina’s home life isn’t the best, her psyche is damaged, and she’s looking for love in all the wrong places. And though we may not want to acknowledge it, this is true for many teens out there in the world. It’s also true that there are teens out there with great families, great high schools, great relationships, and happy endings. This story isn’t one of them, though, and that’s okay. Even though it’s depressing and really not necessarily enjoyable for me as a reader, it’s real, and that’s why it’s so powerful. Perhaps that’s also why we don’t like it? No, I didn’t love this story. But I didn’t hate it, either. It’s somewhat eye opening for me as a reader, and makes me want to be even more vigilant and less condemning of others who are in situations that I just can’t understand. It also makes me want to help—to keep my eyes open and intervene when I can. Perhaps that’s the point of the story? Three and a half stars.

3.5 stars

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

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The Girl From the WellFrom Goodreads: You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

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This novel is intense—from the very beginning—and scary to boot! If you’ve seen The Ring, then you’re familiar with the insanely creepy girl that crawls out of the well, out of the TV, and into the life of strangers—to kill them. Well, that very frightening girl is indeed our narrator! Talk about scary! Now, while the narrator, Okiku, is the same ghost-like figure from the movie, this is not that story. Instead, Chupeco focused heavily on the Japanese folklore surrounding Okiku’s murder and her ghostly decision to murder child killers and protect the pure of heart.

Opening with Okiku standing on the ceiling observing a vile man who has murdered a young child, the introduction quickly escalates as Okuku removes all the lights and taunts the man as she appears in his mirror, crawls out of his bathtub, and ultimately sends him screaming to his watery death. INTENSE. I began this novel on a sunny afternoon, and I had chills as I descended into this amazing story. And it only gets better from there.

As the story progresses, we see other characters through Okiku’s eye and also learn more about her and why she is haunting the world—including the circumstances surrounding her death. As the living main character, Tark comes on the scene, the ghost’s interest is piqued, and we learn much about ancient Japanese beliefs, the spirit world, and exorcisms. Of course, I saved the novel for the nighttime because I do enjoy a good scare, and that’s exactly what I got…

The writing is unique, and our ghost, Okiku, is fascinated with numbers, hence, her constant counting throughout the novel. While generally a silent entity throughout, observing those around her but rarely speaking with them, we still learn so much about her and, as Tark’s darkness becomes ever more present, the things that go bump in the night will leave narrators completely and utterly petrified. I loved the characterization, and while not all the events seemed plausible to me in terms of how Tark’s father treated him, etc., the eerie nature of the novel has be almost believing in ghosts myself…

This novel is great–from the scare factor to the characterization, I was in love from the very beginning. Read it. You don’t want to miss this fantastic story. Five stars.

5 starsI received this novel from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review prior to its release tomorrow, August 5, 2014.

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Shoveling SnowFrom Goodreads: Ben and Caroline barely recognize each other any more. Their once solid relationship now broken and beaten by unfathomable events, leaving only a shell of past promise. When pressure cracks the last vestiges of their bond, Ben hastily leaves their Southern California home, pointing the car east to what he hopes is the edge of the Earth. After driving until he can no further, he settles in the small, coastal town of Swintonport, Maine to lose himself in quiet and anonymity, renting the quaint guesthouse of Maggie and her ten-year-old daughter, Smoof. But when tragedy strikes his landlord’s family, Ben is confronted with a sobering truth reminiscent of the one he left behind.

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This is an intriguing novel in which our three dysfunctional main characters must learn to lean on one another in order to heal. A man, Ben, running from a relationship, a teacher, Rose, wishing for a connection with her estranged son, and a young girl, Smoof, wishing for her mother’s recovery all tie unlikely bonds to one another as the novel unfolds.

Initially, readers are only given the overview of each character, but as the novel progresses, we are given deeper insight, and as the truth comes out concerning the Ben’s reason’s for running, the Rose’s reasons for estrangement, and the Smoof’s heartbreaking family circumstances, the puzzle pieces begin to click and it leaves readers with feelings of hope for the future.

It’s a very well written piece, more so for those who enjoy adult fiction (not because of anything sexual–that’s just the genre) as the novel truly focuses on the adults in the story as they attempt to overcome their past in order to help young Smoof have a brighter future. It’s a story that will make you think, and while the end is a bit abrupt, leaving me with a yearning to know more/read more, based on the characters and all they’ve been through, it is indeed perfect. Four stars.

4 stars

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

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Quarantine The BurnoutsFrom Goodreads: Lord of the Flies in a 21st-century high school setting.Welcome to Quarantine 3: The Burnouts , where readers of The Maze Runner, Gone, and Divergent go when they’re hungry for more dark, compelling survival stories.

When an explosion rocks David and Will’s suburban high school one morning, a deadly virus is unleashed on the school. After a year of quarantine, with no adults around, the students have created their own society. All of the social cliques have developed into gangs-The Nerds, The Geeks, The Freaks, The Sluts, The Skaters, The Burnouts, The Pretty Ones, and The Varsity-and each gang provides a service with which they can barter for provisions. Without a gang, it’s almost impossible to secure food, water, territory, or supplies. In the final installment in the Quarantine trilogy, the brothers are reunited on the Outside and it appears as if, for once everything is going right. But inside the school, Lucy is alone with no gang and no hope, until the Burnouts welcome her into their filthy arms.

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This is a series that, though gruesome and not for the faint of heart, I have thoroughly enjoyed. The characters are realistic, and over the course of three novels, we’ve really gotten to know them—all of them, both the good and bad. The novels have perfectly built on one another, and though they made my cringe more often than not, I can see events like this unfolding in any high school, mine included, should students be cut off from the adult world and locked in a school for years due to a deadly virus. And it’s scary, but Thomas does an amazing job portraying events.

But while I really, really liked this third installment, I’m less than pleased with the entire ending. Truthfully, as I received an ARC from Netgalley, I’ve been wondering if perhaps I received an unfinished copy, doubtful as that is, but the hope remains the same as Thomas just sort of leaves readers hanging with a rather strange sentence. It took me unawares.

As I’ve said, the novel itself is extremely well done, as are the two novels that come before it, The Loners and The Saints. I love David, and always have, and I’m glad he’s back in the picture in this novel. His good sense helps drive the plot, though he’s definitely in over his head in this one. Will has a tendency to get on my last nerve, but I love him anyway, and Lucy’s story made my heart bleed. I knew Thomas’ style certainly wouldn’t let these three main characters finally get out of the school and go unscathed, but, like, whoa. What Thomas does to them isn’t nice… not one bit, and a piece of my heart sort of died with this particular event. And, while I could see the other big revelation coming a mile away, it was still jarring when it occurred, and, true to Thomas’ style, filled me with horror. I sort of feel like it couldn’t have come about any other way—no clean breaks would have fit the story, but… I had to read it twice to really believe that Thomas has done it. But all that aside, it’s the epilogue that really stuns me. It jumps time, barely explains anything, and ends with a hanging sentence, as I mentioned, that just leaves the reader unsatisfied. Perhaps there will be a novella conclusion later—that would be nice. Four stars.

4 stars

EgmontUSA has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release today.

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Where Silence GathersFrom Goodreads: In this companion novel to the critically acclaimed Some Quiet Place, Alex must choose between Revenge and Forgiveness.

For as long as she can remember, Alexandra Tate has been able to see personified Emotions, and she’s found a best friend in Revenge. He’s her constant companion as she waits outside Nate Foster’s house, clutching a gun. Every night since Nate’s release from prison, Alex has tried to work up the courage to exact her own justice on him for the drunk driving accident that killed her family.

But there’s one problem: Forgiveness. When he appears, Alex is faced with a choice—moving on or getting even. It’s impossible to decide with Forgiveness whispering in one ear . . . and Revenge whispering in the other.

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This novel is a companion to Some Quiet Place; a standalone that is set in the same world, but with different characters. Whereas Some Quiet Place focuses on Elizabeth, a young woman unable to feel emotion, and her relationship with Fear, Where Silence Gathers brings us new characters and emotions in that of Alex, Revenge, and Forgiveness.

Alex is a fairly complex character and I enjoyed getting to know her. I can’t imagine how I would react should my family be decimated by a drunk driver, and I certainly don’t know how I’d react should said drunk driver be released from prison, only to come back to town as a constant reminder of what I lost. Alex struggles, and I found her struggle to be an extremely real one. While I’d like to say that I wouldn’t act like her, that I wouldn’t allow my family’s death to consume my life, I feel like that’s a lie, and I’d most likely be in the same boat as Alex.

With Revenge as a constant companion, Alex has many choices to make—and some of them are quite horrible, but as she grows throughout the novel, I liked how she began to connect with Forgiveness and begins to come back into herself—the girl she was before the death of her family.

I wasn’t expecting the final truth about Revenge and Forgiveness—I was surprised, but in retrospect, I don’t think I should have been; it only makes perfect sense. There is an added element of mystery to this novel as well as Alex learns about information she found on her father’s flash drive, and I enjoyed this aspect of the story as well, though I preferred that of the emotions and their constant companionship of Alex. I just find it so cool to think that emotions are invisible entities that constantly appear and interact with us, without our knowing.

Overall, this series is a unique, interesting read. If you’re looking for something different, I highly suggest picking it up. Four stars.

4 stars

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The String DiariesFrom Goodreads: A family is hunted by a centuries-old monster: a man with a relentless obsession who can take on any identity.

The String Diaries opens with Hannah frantically driving through the night–her daughter asleep in the back, her husband bleeding out in the seat beside her. In the trunk of the car rests a cache of diaries dating back 200 years, tied and retied with strings through generations. The diaries carry the rules for survival that have been handed down from mother to daughter since the 19th century. But how can Hannah escape an enemy with the ability to look and sound like the people she loves?

Stephen Lloyd Jones’s debut novel is a sweeping thriller that extends from the present day, to Oxford in the 1970s, to Hungary at the turn of the 19th century, all tracing back to a man from an ancient royal family with a consuming passion–a boy who can change his shape, insert himself into the intimate lives of his victims, and destroy them.

If Hannah fails to end the chase now, her daughter is next in line. Only Hannah can decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to finally put a centuries-old curse to rest.

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Imagine being hunted by a shape shifter–you’d never know your enemy, they could silently become a loved one at any moment, getting close to you without sparking an inkling of suspicion until it’s too late. Imagine a life where you’re forced to constantly pay attention to every small detail and validate everyone who crosses your path, being on the run to stay ahead of a crazed killer intent on reuniting with his love from so long ago… so is the story of Jakab, a sociopathic shape shifter obsessed with the female lineage of one specific family. Of Hannah’s family.

This novel opens in a whirl as Hannah drives recklessly towards an abandoned farmhouse, her husband bleeding out in the passenger seat while her nine year old daughter sleeps in the back. Fraught with danger, this novel exemplifies the creep factor, and as I read it late at night, I was constantly on watch as Jakab sent fear coursing throughout my body as I turned the pages.

Told in alternating timelines, both present and past, the novel sucks readers in from the get go. The characters and events within the story are puzzle pieces waiting so patiently to be put together, and as the tale weaves in and out, readers learn of what hunts Hannah, how Jakab came to be, what lore resides behind shape shifters, and the faction that plans to finally finish wiping the seemingly immortal shifters from the world.

Intense and amazing, this is a must read novel that kept me on my toes as it unfolded. I loved putting the pieces together, learning about Hannah’s current story, that of her parent’s in the 1970s, and that of Jakab as he became the sinister, sociopathic enemy that he truly is. You wont be able to stop reading once you start, and I highly suggest you pick up this amazing read stat. Five stars.

5 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley, prior to its republication, in exchange for an honest review.

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sdlgjkhsdlcjhasodifvhsd io jFrom Goodreads: Julia’s sworn enemies are safely sequestered in a prison of the fey and her forever mate has been chosen. Not by blood, but by a circumstance shaped from coincidence. However, it’s not enough to save Julia and the others who came from Alaska their fate by the hand of the Alaska den, whose reacquisition has come alarmingly full-circle to capture them. Tharell of the fey aligns with the Singers, Were and remaining vampire to take back the one Queen who could stop the interspecies wars and establish a truce of genetics that would free all the groups from extinction and conflict. Can they rescue Julia and her allies before it’s too late? Will the Red Were’s lineage prove to be the catalyst of victory against a corrupt pack that’s grown too debauched by greed and power to be overcome?

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An even darker, bloodier tale that its predecessors, book four in Blodgett’s Blood Series, Blood Reign, packs a powerful punch as it unfolds. Captive in the clutches of the Reds, a controlling Were group set on world dominance, The Rare One, Julia, and her band of friends, both Singers and Weres alike, must outthink and overcome their captors in a game of cat and mouse as the Reds’ plans of genocide begin to take hold.

As the story jumps back and forth between the characters simultaneous adventures, readers become enamored with the story. Blodgett is a master at setting up mini cliffhangers within her writing, and these are perfectly executed as she jumps from character to character as they unwittingly make their way towards one another, all leading up to the final battle that will have heads rolling (literally) with the final climax.

Expertly crafter, Blodgett has created intense, well-rounded characters, including those we hate. From their sarcasm, humor, anger, and fear, the emotions of these characters are palpable; spanning from Julia’s good-heartedness to the evil Tony’s misogynistic ways, Blodgett leaves readers feeling like the character could indeed step right off the page, which is both thrilling and terrifying at the same time. Reader beware, Tony is indeed an awful, awful character, and you will hate him to his core… but he will finally get his comeuppance—and it is indeed satisfying.

In the third installment of the blood series, Blodgett wowed me with her inclusion of the Fey. Not to be outdone, she does it again in Blood Reign, this time including new revelations and a mythical group that I didn’t think would make it into her books at all! At this point, Blodgett has brought together almost all the popular mythical beings out there, and I love how she seamlessly weaves them into her tale, aiding and abetting the characters as the series unfolds. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the series, and if you haven’t started it yet, I highly suggest you pick up book one, because this series is to die for. Five stars.

5 stars

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

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Strawberry WineFrom Goodreads: Ten years have passed since Tanya Smith’s last summer at Laurel Lake – the summer of Marie. Today Tanya is a confident, successful music promoter – a far cry from the naïve seventeen-year-old who showed up at the lake full of rosy notions of first love, lifelong friendships, and evenings spent sipping strawberry wine on the shore. That September changed everything, and as far as Tanya is concerned, there’s no going back. That is, until a mysterious phone call from Marie’s lawyer brings Tanya face to face with the past. Suddenly she finds herself returning to Laurel Lake and to everything she left behind there. Will the dark secret that haunts the lake break her heart all over again? Or will Marie’s legacy be the key that unlocks the future Tanya gave up on ten long years ago?

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Strawberry Wine is a NA/Adult novel with a splash of YA intermixed as the story focuses on both present day and the not-so-distant past. Revolving around Tanya, a 27ish, put together, self-made music promoter, readers are instantly drawn into her life as the novel opens with the death of her estranged friend Marie, a girl Tanya only knew for one summer during her high school years, a summer that for her is impossible to forget; a summer that changed everything. Almost instantly, the novel jumps from present to past, allowing readers to live through the events of that summer as Tanya begins to fall for Michael, explore the deeper recesses of love, and become friends with Marie, the quiet girl with abusive step-relatives. What starts off cute and carefree, turns jarring and sinister as the summer progresses, and everything abruptly comes to a halt when a few drunken decisions change everything for Tanya and Marie.

Here, the novel once again jumps back to the present, and it is also here that Adams sends readers a curveball, one I never saw coming, but in retrospect, should have. With the death of Marie, Tanya’s entire world is upended, altering the course of her world, should she so accept it, and in doing so, allowing her to go back to those carefree summer days and claim what she lost. It’s a beautiful tale, and I thoroughly enjoyed that present to past to present narration—it’s not back and forth, but steady, almost like a circular novel, but continuing on once it comes full circle to give readers deeper insight into current events.

From carefree to brokenhearted, from on top of the world to uncertain, from safe to vulnerable, this novel spans the gamut of emotions, and they’re a very tangible aspect of the novel. Although the story itself sometimes flows a bit clipped in terms of transitions, it’s well done just the same, and as surprise and fear edge their way into the story, so does the reliance on God—though not preachy. I wouldn’t say this is a religious novel by any means, but when faced with a bad situation, as Tanya finds herself in after the death of Marie, one does tend to rely more on God. For me, this was all a bit sudden, but understandable as the plot thickens, lives are threatened, and a sinister danger lurks on the horizon.

It is said that we write what we know, and Adams definitely does this in that Tanya is a music promoter, as is Lee, and a deadly kidney complication comes in to play—something Adams has also dealt with as a donor. Although fiction, Adams’ own personal experiences come through in the novel, adding validity and giving the novel extreme realism, which is an aspect I highly enjoy in my stories. Overall, this is a very well-done novel—and if you’re looking for an alluring summer read, I highly suggest adding Strawberry Wine to your reading pile. Four stars.

4 stars

I purchased this novel from the author at Martinsburg Chocolate Festival and Book Fair.

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ComplicitFrom Goodreads: Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor’s fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else. But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie. Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know the truth about their past. A truth she’s kept hidden for years. A truth she’s not supposed to tell. Trust nothing and no one as you race toward the explosive conclusion of this gripping psychological thriller from the William C. Morris Award-winning author of Charm & Strange.

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The synopsis of Complicit drew me in from the get go, and I knew I had to read this novel. With a premise like this one, you just know it’s got to be good, and it was. Very good, especially with its ending that completely knocked me on my butt. I mean, WOW.

According to her confession and the evidence her brother Jamie found in the woods, Cate Henry set alight a horse barn with the horses still inside in hopes of drawing out their riders and doing as much damage to both them and the horses as possible. Sent to juvie for two years, the novel begins as Jamie learns that his sister, Cate, has been set free, sending him spiraling down as she taunts him with statements about their deceased mother and the fact that Cate’s now coming for Jamie.

Determined to find the truth at any cost, Jamie begins to stir up the past, including that surrounding his mother’s murder when he was a young child; an event that not only left him emotionally scarred, but also suffering from blackouts and seemingly sporadic loss of his hands mobility. Unable to remember the events of his past, or even his mother’s features, though certain that they hold the key to Cate’s odd, cultish behavior, Jamie sets off on a journey of self-discovery, and what he finds is beyond alarming. Told through both past and present revelations, readers begin to put together the puzzling pieces of Jamie and Cate’s existence, understanding that not everything is as it seems, and that the cost of protecting the fragile mind of the young can indeed turn deadly.

I highly enjoyed this novel, especially with this ending that left me mystified and chilled to my core. While I was able to pinpoint the truth behind Cate’s actions fairly early on, the events that readers are left with at the very end were still shocking and, in a way, more appalling than that of the horse barn burning in the first place. Jamie’s attempts to placate his sister while maintaining the semblance of his life, including his very first crush, sends readers on an intense psychological ride as Cate gets ever closed to Jamie, and as everything comes to a head, it’s beyond mind blowing. If you’re looking for something completely different, I suggest picking up Complicit—be prepared for a chilling conclusion. Four stars.

4 stars

I received an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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Dead EndFrom Goodreads: Fighting for her friends and fighting for her life, Kiera Hudson must finally unravel the pushed world and its secrets. But most of all, Kiera must make her choice. A choice that she fears will change everything and the lives of her friends forever. Does Kiera have the heart to choose them or choose for them? ‘Dead End’ – the heart pounding conclusion to ‘Kiera Hudson Series Two’.

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This is indeed the perfect ending to the perfect, heart-pounding Kiera Hudson Series Two. Spanning 18 books and two series, Kiera’s story is finished, for the moment. But rest assured Kiera Hudson lovers of the world, she’ll be back. In fact, based on this ending, I’m certain they will all be back, and I’m already on pins and needles in anticipation.

O’Rourke is one of my all-time favorite authors, encompassing all things paranormal in his pushed worlds—alternate versions of the world you and I know—worlds where vampyrus run underground and lycanthrope walk the earth in human skin. The very first series blew me away, and when that series ended, I was devastated, but with the spin off, Kiera Hudson Series Two, readers are thrust back into Kiera’s world, and it’s so seamless, so perfect, that words cannot suffice.

In this final installment of the second series, Kiera must once again make a choice. Will she choose her own happiness, or that of her friends? It’s difficult, but knowing Kiera, and after 18 amazing, detailed books, I’d say readers know her fairly well, it’s a given that she’s going to do the right thing, no matter how much pain it will cause her, or readers, for that matter. I was brought to tears near the end as it all comes to a head–the characters in this novel are like family for me; I know them that well and love them that much, and I lived their pain alongside them. Thankfully, O’Rourke ties it all together neatly at the end, presenting both Kiera and readers with hope. It is beautiful, and the third spin off series is going to be epic, if O’Rourke’s imaginative capabilities and foreshadowing is any indication (which it is). Five amazing, superb stars.

5 stars

If you haven’t yet started the phenomenon that is Kiera Hudson, you really need to do so, beginning with the first book of the first series, Vampire Shift (FREE). Due to the details and succession of the novels, they really do need to be read in order. Luckily, the storyline and characters are so well written that the pages just fly by.

I purchased this novel from Amazon.

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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)

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)

Flashes Series

Flashes: Charley (#1)

Flashes: Tom (#2)

Flashes: Kerry (#3)

 

Eat Me Series

Eat Me (#1)–Coming Soon

Pick Series

Pick (#1)–Coming Soon

Tim O'Rourke Covers



From the WreckageFrom Goodreads: “In a matter of minutes on a Friday night, I lost my school, my identity, the security of my first love, the personality of my sweet fearless brother, my best friend, my town, everything as I knew it. Everything changed.” “Minutes – that’s all it takes to change your entire life. How do you deal with that?” For high school senior Jules Blacklin surviving the storm is only the beginning. Faced with the new reality of her life, she must find a way to rise From The Wreckage and answer the question – how do you get back to normal, when everything that was normal is gone?

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In the wake of the recent tornadoes touching down across the Midwest, perhaps the most prominent being those in Arkansas and Oklahoma, Miller creates a touching, poignant story that truly captures the fear, panic, loss, and ultimate renewal that comes from the destruction of Mother Nature’s ferocity. Told through the memories of survivor Jules Blacklin as she relates her story for a video memorial, readers are brought into her personal world and experience events through her eyes as an unexpected tornado rips through the Friday night hang out attended by many of the counties teens.

Imagine turning around and seeing a tornado coming for you. Miller captures the fear and horror surrounding these events as her main characters experience their lives being ripped apart, both literally and figuratively. Recounting her experiences, and with a new outlook on life, Jules takes readers through her healing process, her revelations of love and loss drawing the reader even deeper into the story. The tenses in the story are a bit jarring every now and then, jumping between past and present, first and third person as the story develops, but I feel like this fits the upheaval of the storyline itself, and as Jules is recounting past events in a present memorial to the dead, it works.

“From the Wreckage” is both a literal and figurative phrase that perfectly fits as the title of this novel. From the wreckage comes loss. From the wreckage comes survivors. From the wreckage comes unity. And from the wreckage comes rebirth, love, fear, and strength, and it’s a beautiful story that I highly recommend. Four stars.

4 stars

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

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Dark DaysFrom Goodreads: The future world has been divided into sectors–each the same as the other. Surrounded by thick steel fences, there is no way in and no way out. Yet a cyborg army penetrates each sector, picking off its citizens one by one, until no one is left. Behind the sectors’ thick walls, the citizens wait to die. Few will be chosen to survive what’s coming; the rest will be left behind to suffer. A new world has been created, and its rulers are incredibly selective on who will become a citizen. They want only those with important roles in society to help create a more perfect future. Sixteen-year-old Sia lives in one of the sectors as part of a family that is far too ordinary to be picked to live. According to the digital clock that towers high above her sector, she has only fifteen days to live. Sia has seen the reports and knows a horrific death is in store for her, but she is determined to make the most of her final days. Sia refuses to mourn her short life, instead promising herself that she’ll stay strong, despite being suffocated by her depressed mother and her frightened best friend. Just when Sia feels more alone than ever, she meets Mace, a mysterious boy. There is something that draws Sia to him, despite his dangerousness, and together, they join a group of rebels and embark on an epic journey to destroy the new world and its machines, and to put an end to the slaughter of innocent people.

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Imagine knowing the exact day you’re going to die—as if you could forget, the clock tower is counting down the days for you. Imagine knowing a cyborg army is coming to kill you and everyone you love; knowing there is no chance of survival. Welcome to the future, where the select are creating a new world, and you’re not invited. In 15 days, the cyborgs will come, and everyone knows it’ll be a painful death—the 24 hour TV footage of other sectors’ demolishen proves that. You can’t hide; there’s nowhere to go. No one in any sector has survived the cyborgs. No. One.

This is Sia’s reality; thankfully it’s not ours, but Ormand does a great job putting readers right in the thick of the action as Sia lives out her last 15 days, first in fear, then in resignation, and then in determination to fight back. Who has the right to say you’re not worthy to live? According to Sia, nobody.

While the novel starts out believable enough, with Sia’s revelations and resignations, I have to admit that as the action begins to quicken, the believability became a bit disjointed for me. Infiltrating a high security site with little to no incident just didn’t seem real, especially as Sia flys by the seat of her pants, has had no infiltration training, and doesn’t know anything about the people she needs to know about in order to survive in this new world. Her ill-thought-out plan does backfire, but the ease of escape was just too perfect in my mind—not that I’m looking for terrible things to happen to the characters, but it just seemed to me that every time an obstacle came up, it was easily overcome by the characters in one way or another. Of course, this is just a small segment of the overall novel; much more is to come for Sia and the characters after her antics, and the final events and showdowns were, in my opinion, much more up to snuff in terms of believability. So while the novel seems to take a small dive in the midst of it all, by the end I found it to be back on track and intense, and I certainly do not want to switch places with Sia. Three and a half stars.

3.5 stars

Sky Pony Press was extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

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Dancing with DeceptionFrom Goodreads: How far would you go to keep your nightmares a secret?

Wendy has been struggling with vivid, chilling nightmares that leave her exhausted and horrified. What will Wendy do to protect her secret when she discovers her nightmares are real? Death is coming and he’s coming for her.

Read the chilling prequel novella to the paranormal romance, Dancing with Death.

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I’m sorry to say that this prequel didn’t spark my interest like I had hoped. For me, it moved too quickly, jumping years in a short span of time, and I felt like too much was left unexplained or unsaid. I realize this is a prequel that is supposed to just give readers a taste, but in terms of fluidity, I just didn’t feel like there was enough to make me connect with the characters or really get into the story. There is a lot of repetition, and the fact that Wendy refuses to tell anyone what’s happening to her, not even her besties, irked me.  I tend to be a lover of trust and less of secrets, so Wendy’s choices just weren’t to my liking.  There seems to be a lot of love for the first full novel, however, so I’m certainly not writing off the series, I just didn’t care for the prequel all that much.  Two stars.

2 stars

I picked up this novella from Amazon during a FREE promotion.

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