Friday, February 27, 2015

Fairest: A Review

Goodreads (description):

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.



My Review:

I have loved the Lunar Chronicles from book one: Cinder. It is by far one of my favorite fairy tale retelling series. It is a futuristic novel filled with cyborgs and space travel, but it is still fantastic.

This novella begins when Levana is fifteen. We see her relationship with her terrible sister, Channary. I thought Levana was a horrible person, but then we see Channary. At least we know where Levana gets it from, considering her parents barely paid attention to her, and were mrudered.

As the story moves on, we see Levana's motivation of wanting to be loved and accepted. She manipulates people to do what she wants and goes so far as to coerce a man to marry her.

It gets to the point where I simply felt pity for Levana. She is an incredibly formidable adversary and a strong antagonist, but underneath all her hate and bloodthrity psycho crazy, she is really pathetic.

She desperately wants to be loved, but she goes to extremes and always makes the wrong choice, especially when she knows what she is doing is wrong.

At one point, she was reduced to begging. It was at this point that I realized just how pathetic she really is.

I'm not saying she isn't a well developed character. She is! Meyer created a 3D character who is believable. Levana is terrifying and will go to extremes to get what she wants.

We also get to see Cinder before she becomes her cyborg self and why she had to become a cyborg to live. Because of this, I don't believe that Fairest should be read as a prequel. If you read it after the third book--which it was released after--it would make a lot more sense when it comes to explaining some backstory to Cinder. It would also spoil a few things, I think.

I give this a 4.5 out of 5! A fantastic novella to a fantastic series.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Asking for Trouble: Book Excerpt


A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.


Asking for Trouble (Tremayne Family, #1)

Asking for Trouble
(Tremayne Family #1)
Anna J. Stewart
Adult Contemporary Romance
February 17th 2015 by Berkley InterMix
Goodreads



The Tremaynes are one of the most prosperous families in Lantano Valley, California. But money can’t buy everything—especially when it comes to love…

Morgan Tramayne has a heart of gold, but to keep her children’s charity afloat she’s had to resort to some less than legal means: donations from a notorious cat burglar who targets the wealthy. It’s only a matter of time before Morgan’s criminal connection blows up in her face—especially since her undeniable attraction to the man heading the investigation keeps putting her in tricky situations.

Former police detective-turned-investigator Gage Juliano has two goals: salvaging his career and nabbing Lantano Valley’s present-day Robin Hood. But when he meets a beautiful, curvaceous woman who’s more interested in helping others than amassing a fortune like the rest of the town’s residents, Gage finds his desires pulled in an unexpected direction…

Note: This novel contains some mature content.





Here's an Excerpt:

Morgan watched Gage walk away before she blinked herself back to reality. A few moments around Gage had locked her in some sort of trance, one that broke as she caught sight of her father heading her way.

To anyone else, Jackson Tremayne was the picture-perfect host. Only those closest to him noticed the specter of grief hovering around him like a fog that might never lift.

For over a decade, Catherine Tremayne’s Annual Foundation Fund-raiser was the season’s biggest social event. Morgan couldn’t help but feel that tonight’s, the first since Catherine’s death, was decidedly somber despite the celebratory casino atmosphere.

“Hi, Dad.” Morgan heard the telltale twitter of her phone’s appointment alert chime from her purse. Her father smiled, shaking his head as Morgan plastered on her “everything is perfect” expression just in time.

“Right on time as always.” Jackson Tremayne wrapped his arms around her, the ice cubes in his Scotch glass clinking as he hugged her and kissed her cheek. “Does that thing ever let you relax?”

“Nope,” Morgan laughed. “How are you doing?” She knew she should have arrived sooner, come by more often, but there never seemed to be enough hours in the day. Thank goodness her sister Sheila had moved home after the accident so her father wouldn’t be left alone in the enormous house.

“I’m fine, Morgan. You worry too much.” He gave her another squeeze. “Everything good with you?”

Little did her father know those four words held the potential to open a floodgate of panic.

The exhausted part of her wanted to say, “I’ve siphoned off charitable funds and left almost a quarter-million-dollar hole in the foundation’s property purchasing account. I’ll be lucky to make the property taxes this year. Your mother’s old house needs a new water heater and copper pipes installed. By the way, I’ve accepted over one hundred thousand dollars from a thief stalking some of your biggest clients.”

But instead she said, “Everything’s great, Dad,” with nary a trace of anxiety.

“District Attorney Marshall sends his regrets.”

Morgan’s head snapped around as Gage joined them, pocketing his donation receipt and bidding marker.

“Inspector Gage Juliano, Mr. Tremayne.” He held out his hand. Jackson inclined his head as if trying to place him.

Inspector? Morgan’s throat slammed shut like a bear trap as blood pounded in her ears.

“Evan hired me to oversee his new Special Investigations Task Force,” Gage said. “I thought tonight was the perfect opportunity to introduce myself, touch base, and get your opinion on some of the cases we’ll be working on.”

Morgan rubbed her hands down her suddenly chilled arms. This distracting, disarming man was a cop? That hissing sound in her ears must be the burning fuse on a time bomb.

“Any case in particular?” Jackson asked, but Morgan already knew. Her skin went clammy. She felt her face grow cold as if every drop of blood had drained to her toes.

“The Nemesis burglaries,” Gage stated as he gestured to a passing waiter and ordered a whiskey, neat. “Now that I’ve caught up on the investigation, I believe everything I need to catch him can be found right here in this house.”








About the Author

You’ve met Anna J. Stewart (or someone like her) before. She was the girl who spun in circles on the playground hoping her Wonder Woman costume would magically appear before playing cops and robbers a la Charlie’s Angels–as Sabrina (she was the smart one). Anna was the girl in the back of the class with a paperback romance hidden in her algebra book (and yes, she failed algebra).

Growing up in the 70′s and 80′s meant there weren’t a lot of YA books, so she ventured early into mainstream fiction and read Stephen King’s CARRIE at the age of 8. Discovering Nora Roberts and romance novels early in high school opened her eyes to the wonders of storytelling and the beauty of a happily ever after.

So here she is, many years later with an English degree from CSU Sacramento, an RWA Golden Heart nomination behind her, countless stories in her head, and a serious addiction to STAR TREK, SUPERNATURAL, and SHERLOCK. She recently wrapped up a nearly 8-year stint working as assistant to NYTimes bestselling author Brenda Novak where she helped run Brenda's annual online auction for diabetes research. When she's not writing or reading (which she never has enough time for!), she's working on dollhouse miniatures and tolerating her overly-affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her).




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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Fear: A Review

Goodreads (description):

The sickness struck everyone sixteen and over. Mothers and fathers, older brothers, sisters, and best friends. No one escaped its touch. And now children across London are being hunted by ferocious grown-ups who are hungry, bloodthirsty, and not giving up.

DogNut and the rest of his crew, in search of the friends they lost during the fire, set off on a deadly mission from the Tower of London to Buckingham Palace and beyond, as the sickos lie in wait. But who are their friends and who is the enemy in this changed world?

My Review:


The Fear is the third installment to the enemy series. Once again, I got to see the terrifying world of diseased, children eating adults.

Originally, anyone 16 and older got sick and were turned into boiled-covered monsters. Now it is over a year into the disease, and some of the kids are turning or have already turned 16, but they remain healthy. It makes me wonder ... what caused the disease in the first place and why only people 16 and older get sick? Was this sickness caused by someone? It seems to specific to have been a natural disaster.

One of the characters found a way to keep a science lab up and running, and though he is only fourteen, I do hope that his genius mind will uncover the truth.

Not only are there kids still surviving and somewhat thriving, but the sick adults aren't as mindless as I was once led to believe.

No.

It seems that the enemy isn't as addled and mush-brained as they acted in the first two books. They're getting smarter, remembering certain skills they obtained during their pre-diseased life. It's terrifying. Mindless zombie-like enemies are one thing, but gathering, intelligent, bloodthirsty enemies are a whole other picture.

I am excited to see what will happen next in this series. I had the misfortune of saying goodbye to two of my favorite characters. I figured that since they survived two books, they might survive more ... I was sorely mistaken.

David is one character that has lasted through all three books so far. He is ruler over Buckingham Palace. He is terrifying, weird, and power crazy. His goal is to gain power over all London and then spread his reaches even farther. I'm curious as to how he will go about this, considering there are several other settlements who simply want peace.

A new main character was introduced in this book. Shadowman. More than any other character--other than Sam from the first novel--I want him to live. He is a freaking ninja. He is also intelligent and perceptive.

Let's hope he survives the next book.

I give this a 4.5 out of 5!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Ghost of You: Book Blitz!








The Ghost of You
by Amanda Burckhard
Release Date: 02/24/15
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:
Emmy has everything she’s ever wanted: a hot boyfriend she adores, great friends, a promising future, and even a well-connected family. But one night rips it all away.

A car accident shatters her world, claiming the lives of her twin brother and her best friend. In the wake of the accident, her friends drift away, her family falls apart, and her boyfriend cheats.

The grief is more than she can handle, so she finds escape at the bottom of a bottle of painkillers. Taking the pills makes her brother alive again, if only in her head. Seeing and talking to her brother as if he were still alive is the only thing that keeps her going. Until Logan King moves to town.

Logan sees past the mask of pristine popularity she wears in public and he’s the only one who can tell she hasn’t moved on. His uncanny ability to read her forces her to open up and she starts to fall for him, no matter how unwilling she is to admit it. But Emmy isn’t the only one keeping secrets and when a close brush with death sparks events that bring everything to light, Emmy will have to decide what’s more important: learning how to forgive and move on, or holding onto the pills and the ghost of her past.



Buy Links:
Amazon



Here's An Excerpt!

Over the past year, I developed a system. It took some trial and error, but eventually I got it down to a science. I knew exactly how many to take and at what time to maintain the constant calm the pills gave me without any side effects. I took a pill right before school at eight, a pill after lunch at one, one after practice around six, and one before bed. I never take them too close to practice, not wanting to get groggy or slow. Someone would notice that.

I didn’t have to turn around to know Derek had a scowl on his face. I sat on the bench next to him. He crossed his arms over his chest, a frown creasing his brow into a wrinkly mess. “This isn’t healthy.”

“Neither is talking to your dead sibling, but you don’t have a problem with that.”

The wrinkles in his face deepened. I walked to the shed. He was leaning against the wall of the shed when I opened it and pulled out a rake. “It’s not the same and you know it.”

“We’ve had this argument a dozen times. What’s the point? You know what’ll happen if I try to stop taking them. Just drop it.” The pills brought him to me and they kept him there. If I stopped taking them, he disappeared. That wasn’t happening. “What’s the big deal anyway? I have perfect attendance at school, perfect grades, and I’m better than ever at softball. It’s not like I’m some freaking junky or something. They aren’t hurting me. They’re helping.”

When I walked back onto the field, he was waiting for me. The metal rake made a harsh scratching sound against the small stones in the dirt as I removed all signs of grooves and cleat marks from the field.

The hard set of his jaw told me he wanted to continue the argument, but he changed the topic instead. “You made some great plays today.”

“Thanks.” I paused in my work, something nagging at my brain. It had been bothering me all day. “I’m afraid to tell Dad about the photo class.”

“Then don’t tell him.”

“He’s going to find out eventually. It’ll be worse if it’s not from me.” I knew there was nothing I could do about taking it, but that wouldn’t stop Dad from being angry. He’d see it as a waste of time.

“True.”

I continued working away at the field. When I had removed every divot, I dragged the rake back into the shed and locked it up. “I still can’t believe I have class with Zane.” I pulled off my cleats and stashed them in my bag, slipping on my sandals. We walked to my car and I made sure to chain up the gate of the four-field complex.

“Maybe if you gave photography a chance, you’d enjoy it. Even with Zane.”

I threw my bag in the trunk and slumped into the driver’s seat. He already sat situated next to me. “Maybe. We’ll see.”

The drive home was silent. I didn’t feel like talking at the moment. I just wanted him around. He always seemed to sense when I was in that kind of mood.

My stomach growled so I stopped and got a sandwich from the local sub shop. He stayed in the car.

When we got home, I pulled my car into the empty garage. He stared at the deserted driveway. His voice grew sad. “I wish Mom spent more time at home instead of spending every hour she’s not working at the shelter. Then maybe Dad wouldn’t spent most nights at the office. And you wouldn’t take those pills.”

Mom was the queen of volunteering. She helped at the local Women’s shelter, the soup kitchen, suicide hotline, and even the animal shelter. She knew how to help everybody but her own daughter. She used to organize some charity events when I was younger, but since Derek died, Mom had turned volunteering into an obsession. She was always planning some sort of charity auction or walk or something. Dad worked ninety hours a week.

In the weeks following Derek’s death, I kept telling myself they needed time. That they lost their son, that they were hurting as much as I was and eventually things would get better. Only weeks turned into months and months into a year. Now whenever I wonder if they’re okay, if they’ll ever be the same as before, the empathy is quickly masked by anger and resentment. Derek was gone, but I was here and they abandoned me. I was practically invisible. To them, I might as well have been dead too. “Even if she was home more, Dad would still be a workaholic, and I would still take them. Because you’d still be gone.”

He didn’t respond.





About the Author

Amanda Burckhard grew up exploring bat caves and hunting for dinosaur bones in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When she wasn’t crossing paths with mountain lions, she was making up stories and devouring books at the library. Although, she still does that.

Amanda loves to travel and cross out things on her adrenaline packed bucket list. Some of the things she's been able to cross out include see an active volcano erupt, ride a gondola in Venice, and pet a tiger.

She currently lives in North Sioux City, South Dakota and works as a microbiologist by day. Some of her obsessions include comic book movies, hot chocolate, sushi, sunshine, and Doctor Who.

Author Links:





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Monday, February 23, 2015

After the Silence: GRAND FINALE!

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

We're blitzing the GRAND FINALE for
After the Silence
By Rula Sinara


Two people from different worlds and separated by an ocean. Can love span the distance? Did you find out more during the tour? Did you miss some posts? Go back and check them out now!
What do you hope readers take with them when they read your book?

That there are no boundaries to love: not mountains, oceans, physical or emotional challenges, race, different cultures and not even species (sometimes a pet can open a heart when another person can’t). Love is a universal power that has an extraordinary ability to heal. And it always finds a way.

The Written Adventure - Ten Tips on Strategic Parenting from a Marine
A marine accustomed to battlefields—not babies—is thrown into single parenthood after the tragic loss of his wife. This man has braved worse things than a civilian could imagine, but raising a ten year old who hasn’t spoken since her mother’s death, a hyperactive four year old and an infant who can some major diaper damage…is a whole new kind of battle.


I Am A Reader - Soul Mates Stranded Oceans Apart

In my latest book, After the Silence, Ben Corallis, a widowed marine in America and Hope Alwanga, a medical intern in Kenya manage to meet despite the ocean between them, but that’s just the beginning of the impossible road ahead of them.

Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima - Suffering in Silence: Selective Mutism in Children

It’s a whole different world when the inability to communicate doesn’t stem from language differences, but from deeply rooted fear or anxiety. In particular, trying to help or raise a child who suffers from selective mutism is heartbreaking and often frustrating because you don’t want to watch them suffer.


JoJo's Corner - Review

"The author does a fabulous job immersing readers into the story and creating powerful scenes throughout. . . . If you love stories of love and loss and second chances…don’t miss After The Silence."

Mythical Books - Heroes and Heroines: How Visual Are You?
When I embark on a new story, one of the first things that pops into my head is an image of the hero and heroine. After all, it would be kind of creepy stepping into their world and encountering faceless people. Don’t you think?


Christy's Cozy Corners - Review 

"The characters in After the Silence are very well-written, and you'll feel like they could be your neighbor or best friend. This story drew me in very quickly, and I finished it within 2 days. It is very realistic and moving."

Brooke Blogs - Excerpt

     But I need you to get some rest before I end up having to resuscitate you. Or before you do make a human mistake.”

    Hope pressed her lips together and cringed at the mental image of Zamir resuscitating her. He’d love that, wouldn’t he? Zamir to the rescue. Always looking out for her. That was exactly why her parents loved him so much.

i blog 4 books - Review

"[After for Silence] is a sweet romance that tackles some tough issues as well. The intro gives readers a glimpse into the "what could have been", making the reality throughout the rest of the book even more heartbreaking. . . . I thought this was a great book. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series, so we can keep track of Ben, Hope, and the kiddos! [4 stars]"

WV Stitcher - Review

"Easy to connect with characters that provide depth and feeling for what they are going thru really captured my emotions as I read this story. . . . A touching story that left me wanting to read more from this author." 


Wishful Endings - Review

After the Silence was a wonderful, heartfelt story. It was full of challenges, family, self-awakening, friendship, grief, and hope for a brighter future. I loved the romance and I loved these characters. If you enjoy sweet romance and this line of books then this is one you definitely don't want to miss!

Katie's Clean Book Collection - The Month of Love

Have you ever played the word association game? Isn’t it funny how, any given month is identified by its main holiday? I say November, you say….I’m betting you said Thanksgiving. I say December, you say…Christmas, right? And I can’t think of February without thinking of Valentine’s Day. But in a perfect world, shouldn’t every single day of the year be Valentine’s Day? Doesn’t love deserve 365 days instead of just 30…or 1? 

Savings in Seconds - Review

"The story is gentle yet heartbreaking; the contrast makes the sweet parts even sweeter. . . . This clean romance has a tender story that all women, especially moms, can appreciate."

Rockin' Book Reviews - Interview & Reviews (Book One & Two)

5. Give us a hint of what the next book in the series will be about.
Thanks for asking! I'm so excited about Book 3 (yet to be titled) in the series. Those who read Book 1, The Promise of Rain, may remember Mac, the Serengeti bush pilot who volunteered time to helping wildlife rescuers and who had a thing for Anna ;). Well, he's the next hero, it'll be back to the wilds of Africa for his story! Stay tuned!

"I love her approach in addressing each topic and in the way she truly draws the reader into the story. The characters are very real and endearing and the scenes portrayed well and easily visualized." (Review)


After the Silence
(From Kenya, With Love #2)

Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 368 pages
March 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming


Does following her passion mean losing her way?

Marine Ben Corallis is an expert at facing death, but nothing comes close to the terror that grounds him when his wife is killed in a car accident the day he returns from duty. He's left to raise an infant, a toddler and a ten-year-old girl who hasn't uttered a word since her mother's death.

It's hard not to care for the widowed marine with three young children. Yet he's still grieving, too burdened with guilt to fall in love again. And Hope Alwanga's future as a doctor awaits her on the other side of the world, in Nairobi. If two such opposites can't agree on a common country, how can they ever create a safe place to call home?


About Book One in the Series
(Each can be read as a standalone.)

The Promise of Rain (Book 1)The Promise of Rain
(From Kenya, With Love #1)

Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 384 pages
January 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming


He wants to take her child out of Africa...

The Busara elephant research and rescue camp on Kenya's Serengeti is Anna Bekker's life's work. And it's the last place she thought she'd run into Dr. Jackson Harper. As soon as he sets eyes on her four-year-old, Pippa, Anna knows he'll never leave...without his daughter.

Furious doesn't begin to describe how Jack feels. How could Anna keep this from him? He has to get his child back to the States. Yet as angry as he is with Anna, they still have a bond. But can it endure, despite the ocean--and the little girl--between them?

Rula Sinara

Rula Sinara lives in Virginia’s countryside with her husband, three boys and zany but endearing pets. When she's not writing or doing mom stuff, she loves organic gardening, attracting wildlife to her yard (cool bugs included) or watching romantic movies. She also enjoys interviewing fellow authors and is a Special Contributor for USA Today's Happy Ever After blog. Her door is always open at her website and blog.


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Friday, February 20, 2015

Game: A Review

Goodreads (description):

Billy grinned. “Oh, New York,” he whispered. “We’re gonna have so much fun.”

I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jazz, the son of history’s most infamous serial killer, Billy Dent.

In an effort to prove murder didn’t run in the family, Jazz teamed with the police in the small town of Lobo’s Nod to solve a deadly case. And now, when a determined New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz’s door asking for help, he can’t say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple–and its police force–running scared. So Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer’s murderous game.

My Review:

This book was equally as horrifying as the first ... actually, maybe even more so.

Once again, Jasper is subjected to the insane world of Billy Dent.

This book seems like it's serial killers galore. At one point, I was convinced everyone was a serial killer. Okay, not everyone, but I was sort of freaking out internally.

Jasper is not only plagued with his father's craziness, but he also has several internal problems. It is interesting to see him struggle through his problems and how he solved (or tried) to solve them. He is deeply troubled, to the point where I wish he would invest in a psychiatrist, or someone he could vent his problems to. And yet, he is a freaking genius. Having grown up with a serial killer father, whose IQ is off the charts, Jasper knows things about serial killers and bad guys no one else does. He reminds me of someone off Criminal Minds. He definitely knows his stuff.

Connie grew a little more on me in this book. Although, her attitude on some things were sometimes laughable--maybe because I knew some girls like her in my high school days ... but I won't go into that. She took the initiative and began to figure out parts of the crime scenes. Although, I thought she was an idiot to not go to the police.

Howie was as ridiculous as ever. He made for some good laughs--which was a nice break from all the scary serial killer stuff. Jasper is lucky to have him as a friend. He doesn't judge, and he is brave despite all his ridiculousness.

This was certainly a page turner. I would consider it a mature YA book, it language and sexual innuendos.

I give this a 4 out of 5!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

I Hunt Killers: A Review

Goodreads (description):

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?



My Review:

This book was terrifying. Why? Well, because it is about serial killers. And unlike The Enemy series I'm reading--which is about zombies--serial killers actually exist, are actually that crazy, and do those horrible things. That's what made this book so freaky.

Not to mention the writing was good ... as are the descriptions of certain things. I was drawn into the story, amazing and horrified at the same time. It was even worse when the POV switched to the serial killer. *Shudder*

Jasper Dent aka Jazz is the son of the infamous Billy Dent. A man who has killed nearly 150 people with no regrets, and has taught Jazz how to do the same. Thankfully, Billy had been thrown into jail four years earlier and now Jazz is trying to live a normal life.

Unfortunately, serial killers find themselves drawn to him.

This is definitely a thriller in one way. We are kept in suspense and mystery as to who the killer is (for when it goes to the serial killer's POV, his name isn't mentioned, just his killer title The Impressionist). Jazz knows he is being hunted right along with all the victims that keep showing up.

With the help of the police chef, his best friend, Howie, and his girlfriend, Connie, Jazz sets out to find who is murdering all these innocent people--some even close friends.

This isn't a book for delicate minds, that's for sure. The situations were realistic, as were ALL the characters. I believe that's why it was so creepy.

I give this a 4 out of 5!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ensnared: A Review

Goodreads (description):

After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She's determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles . . . and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world--a parallel dimension filled with mutated and violent netherling outcasts. In the final installment of the wildly popular Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that's gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after?




My Review:

I don't really know what to say about this conclusion to the Splintered series ...

I have thought about it and yet, I still don't know.

Although I didn't think it possible, Alyssa still didn't make the best decisions. She was still playing two guys while trying to be a people pleaser. She wouldn't take a firm stand, and for the life of her couldn't chose. Morpheus pretty much made all the decisions and Alyssa just thought she made decisions ...

Morpheus is still my favorite. Had the series been about him, I would have totally been okay with that. Actually, now I wish it was from his POV instead of Alyssa's. Morpheus does what's right, even if his ways of doing it are strange and dangerous. Though he will never admit it, he cares for the human world, because Alyssa is a part of it, and he did help in saving the human world too. Even though he hates Jeb, he finally gained a gruding respect and together they helped heal Wonderland. Not Alyssa--Morpheus and Jeb.

It's funny, but toward the end when Alyssa was meant to do so many great and wonderful things, I felt like she had become a secondary character, because she ended up doing nothing. It was actually quite disappointing.

And the end ... I just ... it was just so ... lame.

And short. It was like, this is what happened, the end.

Um ... okay. That's all I get after investing in this series?

Yeah ...

I love the writing, though. The descriptions are fantastic as well as haunting. A.G. Howard is definitely a talented writer. The Wonderland she created was brilliant and terrifying. If she releases new books, I won't hesitate to read them. I just had some personal issues with this story, that's all.

I give this a 3.5 out of 5!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Glimmer of Hope: A Review

Goodreads (description):

Stunning Miranda Harford once had the world at her feet. She was young, carefree, and desperately in love. But when her new husband left for London without her, her world fell apart. Devastated by his abandonment, Miranda fled their home, taking residence at her husband’s rarely visited countryside estate. For three years, she lived alone. But now, as the holidays draw near, an unexpected visitor arrives . . .

Carter Alexander Harford, Seventh Viscount Devereaux, is a man driven to succeed. His work is his life, and the position of Prime Minister of England is within reach. But in truth, Carter is a man haunted by lost love. Estranged from his beautiful wife, Carter is shocked to find Miranda—the woman he’d loved and who he believes has left him—in residence at his country home.

As plans for a holiday party move forward, the uneasy couple realizes that to avoid further scandal, they must keep up appearances in a charade of marital happiness. Thrust together by fate, it quickly becomes clear that they have both been living beneath a conspired cloud of misunderstanding. As family, career, and social pressures threaten to keep them apart, can love have even a glimmer of hope?


My Review:

This was a touching story about a couple which has been separated for three years falling back in love with each other.

Carter is a man of standing. He is on his way to becoming Prime Minister, and dedicates his time to his work, trying to ignore his heartbreak over his wife leaving him. Over the past three years, he has gained much ground in the politcal world and is only mere steps away from his mighty goals ... that is, until he goes to one of his many manor homes to entertain his friends with a house party. Here, he finds Miranda, the wife who left him.

Miranda is a sweetheart. Shy, but strong. She married one of the most pretisous men in all of England, a man who helps pass laws in Parliment. A man, who until three years ago was the center of her universe. Now Miranda resides in one of her husbands manor homes, having given up home that he might return to her. That is ... until her once beloved Carter appears and demands her to be hostess of his house party.

Through many miscommunications, heartbreak, and sweet, tender moments, Carter and Miranda begin to unravel the past and befriend each other once more. Though it takes some time, they discover what truly kept them apart. They learn how to trust each other once more, how to love again. I can't get over just how cute this story is. Carter and Miranda are real characters, with real problems, and they handle them in realistic ways. I enjoyed seeing them fall for each other again.

Once again, Sarah M. Eden has written a beautiful Regency Romance which grips your emotions and makes you feel everything the characters are going through.

I give this a 4 out of 5!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Asking for Trouble: Book Launch


A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

We're Launching the BOOK TOUR for
Asking for Trouble
By Anna J. Stewart
More About Asking for Trouble and Author Anna J. Stewart


What is your motivation behind this book? Why did you want to write it?



For me, it's always about the happily ever after and the journey the hero and heroine go on to get there. The original idea behind this story was actually the Robin Hood aspect--the Nemesis character who robs from the wealthy and redistributes what's stolen in the hopes of making others' lives better. Over the years (and the many rewrites), that story changed, but at its core, I think ASKING FOR TROUBLE is about what so many of us go through, family issues, health issues, finding our place and where we belong...and realizing that the people we surround ourselves with should make things better, not drag us down.



I wanted to write it because it felt like a fun story to tell. Also, I've always been intrigued by the dynamics of large families and the way they interact with one another. I come from a very small nuclear family (I'm my mother's only child), so from an "investigative" point of view, it was out of my realm of experience, which always makes telling a story a little more exciting.



What do you hope readers take with them when they read it?



While what Morgan Tremayne has taken on is a huge task (helping critically ill children), it doesn't take a lot to make a difference in someone's life. A hug here, a pair of shoes there, giving back to someone, at some point can have a butterfly effect . We're all in this crazy, insane and sometimes disturbing world together and while yes, one person can definitely make a difference, what we can accomplish as a team is an incredibly powerful possibility. Wow. I didn't realize how Pollyanna-ish that sounds (and believe me, I'm not one <G>). Kindness. Yeah, if there's one thing I'd love people to take away from reading ASKING FOR TROUBLE, it's the fact that kindness that can and will change the world.



Do you have a favorite scene?



I have a couple and funny enough, neither one has changed very much since the first time I wrote the book. Morgan's first encounter with Gage's family I think is my favorite; actually any scene where Gage's mother is involved tends to make me laugh. There's a conversation among the women at one point (I'll just say Crock-Pot and readers will know which one I'm referring to) that to this day brings a smile to my face. Yeah, it would have to be one of the scenes featuring Theresa Juliano. She's just really fun to write.



Share something about you that is unique--maybe about how/where you write...or favorite snack foods?



My friends and close writer buddies know this but...every one of my heroines has a Barbie representation sitting on my desk. I'm a doll collector from way back, so when I first start a project, the first thing I do is go in search of a new heroine. The hairstyle, the clothes (I have 2 big tubs of fashion doll clothes, LOL), it all starts to come together and I get a clear picture of what she looks like and who she is. Although, I add a few extra pounds...with a few exceptions, most of my heroines are quite curvy--gotta write from what I know, right?



Another quirky fact? I write in my kitchen. The best days are when the dishwasher is running. That white noise is awesome. Favorite snack food? Cheez-It...which is why I rarely get them in the house. Man those little suckers are yummy.



Asking for Trouble (Tremayne Family, #1)Asking for Trouble
(Tremayne Family #1)
Anna J. Stewart
Adult Contemporary Romance
February 17th 2015 by Berkley InterMix
Goodreads



The Tremaynes are one of the most prosperous families in Lantano Valley, California. But money can’t buy everything—especially when it comes to love…



Morgan Tramayne has a heart of gold, but to keep her children’s charity afloat she’s had to resort to some less than legal means: donations from a notorious cat burglar who targets the wealthy. It’s only a matter of time before Morgan’s criminal connection blows up in her face—especially since her undeniable attraction to the man heading the investigation keeps putting her in tricky situations.



Former police detective-turned-investigator Gage Juliano has two goals: salvaging his career and nabbing Lantano Valley’s present-day Robin Hood. But when he meets a beautiful, curvaceous woman who’s more interested in helping others than amassing a fortune like the rest of the town’s residents, Gage finds his desires pulled in an unexpected direction…



Note: This novel contains some mature content.




You’ve met Anna J. Stewart (or someone like her) before. She was the girl who spun in circles on the playground hoping her Wonder Woman costume would magically appear before playing cops and robbers a la Charlie’s Angels–as Sabrina (she was the smart one). Anna was the girl in the back of the class with a paperback romance hidden in her algebra book (and yes, she failed algebra).

Growing up in the 70′s and 80′s meant there weren’t a lot of YA books, so she ventured early into mainstream fiction and read Stephen King’s CARRIE at the age of 8. Discovering Nora Roberts and romance novels early in high school opened her eyes to the wonders of storytelling and the beauty of a happily ever after.



So here she is, many years later with an English degree from CSU Sacramento, an RWA Golden Heart nomination behind her, countless stories in her head, and a serious addiction to STAR TREK, SUPERNATURAL, and SHERLOCK. She recently wrapped up a nearly 8-year stint working as assistant to NYTimes bestselling author Brenda Novak where she helped run Brenda's annual online auction for diabetes research. When she's not writing or reading (which she never has enough time for!), she's working on dollhouse miniatures and tolerating her overly-affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her).




Tour-Wide Giveaway



$50 Gift Card (Winner's Choice of Amazon, BN or iTunes)
Ends March 8th



a Rafflecopter giveaway


 Prism Book Tours

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dearest by Alethea Kontis

A themed tour with Prism Book Tours.


Dearest (Woodcutter Sisters, #3)
Dearest
(Woodcutter Sisters, #3)
by Alethea Kontis
YA Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 320 Pages
February 3rd 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
“A fabulous fairy-tale mashup that deserves hordes of avid readers. Absolutely delectable.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review of award-winning series debut Enchanted

Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this delightful third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?





Guest Post

1) When did you first start writing?

I started writing around the age of eight...probably around the same time I saw Romancing the Stone. I knew I had the potential to be an author at the age of ten, when I had to write a poem for our ALERT program in school—beautiful, eloquent words that came to me in a golden rush of inspiration. As I looked at the paper, the world CLICKED. I still remember that perfect moment, notebook in hand, frozen in time. I had already acted in a TV series by that age, but from that moment on, my friends all knew me as “The Writer.”

2) What gave you the idea for this book?

I always start each one of the Woodcutter Sisters books with a “base note” fairy tale (like a base note in perfume). The base note for Dearest was “The Wild Swans” (aka “The Six Swans”). But I can't think of fine-feathered fairy tales without thinking of my personal favorite, “The Goose Girl”...so I had to add that too. From there, the rest just sort of fell into place. 

3) What is your favorite thing about writing?

Goodness, I could decorate a Christmas Tree with all of the things I love about writing. Personally, my favorite thing up to now has been listening to Enchanted on audiobook. Maybe it has something to do with my background as an actress...but hearing Katherine Kellgran perform all those characters—characters I invented!--it's like watching the movie of my dreams and realizing it couldn't have happened without me. 

4) What's the hardest part about writing?

My gut reaction is to say putting my butt in the chair and slogging away day after day...but honestly? The current state of the NY publishing industry has been the hardest part about writing. That's a long, horrible rant I don't want to get into right now...suffice it to say that 2015 is going to be my experiment in taking NY out of the equation. Fingers crossed!

5) Who are some of your favorite authors?

My best friend once asked me for a list of my 15 most influential books—I managed to get it down to 21 and listed them here: http://aletheakontis.com/2009/06/my-21-most-influential-books/

I will say that if any readers out there love Dearest (or other romantic stories with wings), I highly encourage them to read the Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce, and the Samaria series by Sharon Shinn. Dearest in particular owes a lot to these books, on many levels. 

6) What would be your advice to novice writers?

Put your butt in the chair. Never stop writing. And finish what your start. Just like playing the piano or baking a cake: the more you write, the better you'll be able to communicate those fantastic ideas in your head. There is no such thing as “The Muse” or “Writer's Block.” There is just you and the chair and the computer (or pen and paper, or blood and wall). Just put your butt in that chair and never stop writing.




The Other Woodcutter Sisters Books


Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2)

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="290"] Alethea Kontis courtesy of Lumos Studio 2012[/caption]

New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a fairy godmother, and a geek. She’s known for screwing up the alphabet, scolding vampire hunters, and ranting about fairy tales on YouTube.

Her published works include: The Wonderland Alphabet (with Janet K. Lee), Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (with Janet K. Lee), the AlphaOops series (with Bob Kolar), the Woodcutter Sisters fairy tale series, and The Dark-Hunter Companion (with Sherrilyn Kenyon). Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines.

Her YA fairy tale novel, Enchanted, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012 and the Garden State Teen Book Award i 2015. Enchanted was nominated for the Audie Award in 2013, and was selected for World Book Night in 2014. Both Enchanted and its sequel, Hero, were nominated for the Andre Norton Award.

Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea currently lives and writes in Florida, on the Space Coast. She makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie.

Check out Alethea's Road Tour HERE!


Tour-Wide Giveaway

3 Woodcutter Sisters Prize Packs (signed copies of Enchanted, Hero, & Dearest - US Only)
Ends March 8th






Follow the February Tour!

1 - Launch
2 - Lilac Reviews
3 - Special post @ Waterworld Mermaids

3 - Coffee Books & Art & The Book Lovers' Lounge
4 - Special post @ USA Today's Happy Ever After

4 - Buried Under BooksMommabears Book Blog, & Rabid Reads
5 - Interview @ J.T. Elison

5 - Gidget Girls Reading
6 - Zerina Blossom & Geo Librarian
8 - Welcome to Book City
9 - Kelly P's Blog & Katy's Krazy Books
10 - Mel's Shelves & Jan Edwards
11 - Katie's Clean Book Collection
12 - A Backwards Story 
Wishful Endings
13 - Library of a Book Witch & The Quotable
14 - 
Biggest Literary Crushes post on @ Dear Teen Me
15 - The Written Adventure
16 - My Life Loves and Passion & Colorimetry
17 - I Am A Reader & The Library of the Seen

18 - Special post on @ Dear Teen Me
18 - Printcess & Living a Goddess Life & Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
19 - 100 Pages A Day & mrsjennyreads
20 - Books and Ashes & Addicted Readers
22 - Miss Little Book Addict YA House of Books
23 - SBM Book Obsession
24 - Deal Sharing Aunt
25 - Min Reads and Reviews
26 - Pieces of Whimsy & Wonderous Reviews
27 - The Scribbling Sprite
28 - Grand Finale


Prism Book Tours

Friday, February 13, 2015

Kiss of a Stranger: A Review

Goodreads (description):

When Crispin, Lord Cavratt, thoroughly and scandalously kisses a serving woman in the garden of a country inn, he assumes the encounter will be of no consequence. But he couldn't be more mistaken--the maid is not only a lady of birth, she's the niece of a very large, exceptionally angry gentlemen, who claims Crispin has compromised his niece beyond redemption. The dismayed young lord has no choice but to marry Miss Catherine Thorndale, who lacks both money and refinement and assumes all men are as vicious as her guardian uncle.

Trapped between an unwanted marriage and a hasty annulment, which would leave his reputation tainted and Catherine's utterly ruined, Crispin begins guiding his wife's transformation from a socially petrified country girl to a lady of society. Their unfolding relationship reveals encouraging surprises for both of them, and privately each of them wonders if theirs may become a true marriage of the heart. But their hopes are dashed when forces conspire to split asunder what fate has granted. As a battle of wits escalates into a life-threatening confrontation, will it be possible for Crispin and Catherine to live happily ever after?


My Review:

This book was absolutely amazing! It was filled with sweet, tender moments, alongside real life difficult situations (at least, for the 1800's...)

Catherine is a girl who has grown up abused by her uncle's cruelty. She does not know how to truly function in society because her uncle has kept her hidden and dressed like a servant her whole life. Although, when Catherine is married to Crispin, she proves herself far more resourceful and witty than I ever thought she could be. She is kind, funny, and compasionate--all things opposite of her ghastly uncle. I love how her character, though tentative and cautious at first, has proven to be the opposite of weak. She learned how to stand up for herself and not take any nonsesnse from those around her. I loved the growth I saw in her.

Crispin was awesome. He was such a gentleman in many ways. Although he was roped into marrying Catherine, he treated her with the utmost respect and protected her from her evil uncle. I loved how he didn't go straight into an annulment, knowing that it would ruin Catherine entirely. He wanted to save her from the harsh realities of society.

And then, as Crispin's friend said it, he did one of the most unthinkable things in society back then: He fell in love with his wife.

I can't even get over how cute and frustrating their love story is. Yet, what is a good love story without frustrating parts?

Crispin finally learned how to love someone outside his family, and Catherine learned how to trust. Though they went through some tense parts in their relationship, they finally discovered that they had fallen for each other and admitted it.

I loved this book! Sarah M. Eden has done it again :)

I give this a 5 out of 5!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fire Study: A Review

Goodreads (description):

The apprenticeship is over—now the real test has begun.

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before...

Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.




My Review

This was another great installment in the Soulfinder series. Although, I do have to admit it wasn't my favorite.

In this one, Yelena suddenly becomes too good for anyone. Meaning, that even though she's always been head strong and wanted to make her own decisions, she doesn't really listen to the sound advice that her friends give her. She came to think that she was the only person who knew what she was doing... Which was very wrong.

This book also seemed to drag more than the first two. But other than those two things, this book was equally as good as the first two.

I liked the adventure in this one, and how most of the main side characters finally came together to take down the villain--the Fire Warper. The things Yelena had to go through to bring this guy down showed us her true colors. She is very powerful, and through her mistakes, she recognizes that she wants to use her abilities for good. The magic that binds her to the Power Source is tempting to steal and let it corrupt her, but she stands strong and fights for what is right.

Once again, Valek proved to be an amazing person. I think he is the character who has grown the most. He went from being die-hard assassin with a one track mind, to helping people he once tried fo kill. In essence, he became nicer. Though he's still super tough and wicked good a fighting, he is now softer when it comes to the more delicate.

I'm interested to see where the series will go from now. I give this a 4 out of 5!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Rewind to You: A Review

Goodreads (description):

“A rapturous, beautiful debut with a romance that seeps into you like a sizzling Georgia summer.” —Amber Hart, author of Before You

Wish You Were Here

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…

“A fabulous, fresh new voice in YA.” —Kay Lynn Mangum, author of The Secret Journal of Brett Colton

“Laura Johnston scores a touchdown with this coming-of-age love story.” —Kelly Nelson, author of The Keeper’s Saga

“This poignant, sweet romance gripped my heart from beginning to end.” —Jennette Green, author of The Commander’s Desire

My Review:

I just have to say that this story was adorable, heartbreaking, and heartwarming all at the same time.

Laura Johnston has written a beautiful story with wonderful characters that have so much depth to them, I could have sworn they were real.

Sienna and her family are spending the summer in Georgia, a year after her father passed away. His death brought many strains to the family, both relationship wise and financially. Sienna is traumatized by the event that killed her father and has begun to have fainting spells. Although, these aren't normal fainting spells--strange dreams are attached.

Austin is a strong young man who has one of the biggest hearts I've ever read about. He is kind to everyone he meets, and is head over heels swoon worthy. It's no wonder Sienna fell for him so quickly. He is a football star, and an incredibly hard worker. One of his greatest flaws though, is his ability to forgive.

I also liked the parts of the story that included Sienna's younger brother, Spencer. The love she had for him was so touching. Austin was equally amazing with him, nearly becoming the older brother Spencer never had. It was touching and made my heart swell.

Not only is this book a beautiful love story, but it teaches us how to forgive. This book helps us realize the burden a grudge can be, and how love strengths us to do things we never thought we could.

I was brought to tears several times near the end of this book. The characters felt so real and I could feel their pain. Sienna and Austin's love story is realistic and develops well. Their relationships with their family and friends are also genuine. It was like I was walking beside them on their journey of friendship, love, growth, and forgiveness.

Truly, this is a fabulous story. I give this a 5 out of 5!!