Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: Plus One by Brighton Walsh

Goodreads Summary:

Olivia hates the singles scene, so when her best guy friend, Ian, offers to be her plus one to a series of weddings she has to attend, she agrees. Although she doesn't want to complicate their lifelong friendship, she can't pass up the chance to have a steady date without the dating drama. What she doesn't expect is to now find Ian so incredibly sexy.

When Ian sees his old friend Olivia dolled up for wedding #1, the boyhood crush he once nurtured transforms into smoldering attraction. It doesn't take long for their no-strings arrangement to turn physical. But as Olivia's desire to stay "just friends" becomes clear, Ian's feelings are deepening. In the time they have together, how will Ian convince Olivia that one plus one can make for a lifelong pair?

Publication Date: May 6, 2013

I was in the mood for a cute and light read and Plus One fit the bill. The characters were semi-likable and although this was a novella, I enjoyed the development of the romance and didn’t feel like it was too rushed. The sexy time scenes were steamy and the end tied up the plot nicely.

To be honest, Livvy and Ian had to grow on me a little bit. They were definitely on the superficial side and although I felt the physical attraction between the two, I didn’t totally feel the love part. They would say things annoying from time to time like “She had a great sense of humor, if she did say so herself, and gave one mean blow job—or so she’d been told” and “…there weren’t enough martinis for him to even get a kiss on the cheek.”

That being said, I still liked the younger brother crushing on his older sister’s best friend angle. The wedding trips were fun and steamy and the build up had me anticipating when the two would finally get together. The sex scenes had a good level of heat and Ian was definitely hot (although he was described as having wild blond hair and green eyes, nothing like the cover model).

If you’re looking for a contemporary romance to get lost in for a couple of hours, then I definitely recommend Plus One.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel for review!  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review: The Holders by Julianna Scott

Goodreads Summary:

17-year-old Becca spent her whole life protecting her brother from, well, everything. The abandonment of their father, the so called 'experts' who insist that voices in his head are unnatural and must be dealt with, and the constant threat of being taken away to some hospital and studied like an animal. When two representatives appear claiming to have the answers to Ryland's perceived problem, Becca doesn't buy it for one second. That is until they seem to know things about Ryland and about Becca and Ryland's family, that forces Becca to concede that there may be more to these people than meets the eye. Though still highly skeptical, Becca agrees to do what's best for Ryland.

What they find at St. Brigid's is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together the information of their family's heritage, their estranged Father, and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they've been waiting for. However, they are all--especially Becca--in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.

She meets Alex, a Holder who is fiercely loyal to their race, and for some reason, Becca and Ryland. There's an attraction between Becca and Alex that can't be denied, but her true nature seems destined to keep them apart. However, certain destinies may not be as clear cut as everyone has always believed them to be.

Becca is lost, but found at the same time. Can she bring herself to leave Ryland now that he's settled and can clearly see his future? Will she be able to put the the feelings she has for Alex aside and head back to the US? And can Becca and Ryland ever forgive their father for what he's done?

Publication Date: March 5, 2013

This was an interesting read, a lot different than I expected, but in a good way. I liked the lore surrounding the Holder race and loved the Ireland setting. I thought Becca was a fun main character and I especially loved her relationship with her little brother.

I liked Becca from the beginning. She’s fiercely protective of her little brother and their interactions were honestly my favorite of the book, even more so than Becca’s time with the love interest named Alex. What was also great about Becca is that her thoughts actually seemed like those of a seventeen-year-old girl. She may have been irrational and thoughtless at times, but her reactions came across as genuine.

I loved that most of the plot took place on the school grounds. I feel like schools for the paranormal always make intriguing settings in novels.  

The romance was cute. It’s very innocent and sweet with the development between the two characters being fairly predictable. One scene that was particularly adorable was when Alex and Becca are playfully arguing over what country is better.

The plot was intriguing and a lot about the Holder race is covered in the novel. I feel like the rich amount of history provided in the first book should allow for more action in the next book. There were a few twists thrown in there and the second half of the novel was hard to put down.

My only complaint is this is the first YA book in a while that made me feel old, ha-ha. I guess since I’ve been reading a lot of edgy YA that this seemed closer to a middle grade book to me. This is the perfect clean read for teens and I’ll definitely be continuing with the series.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book for review!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Writer Wednesday: Selling Your First Novel

Yesterday, I was at The Book Diva's Reads and shared my thoughts on selling your first novel. Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a $75 Amazon gift card as part of The Disappearing Girl tour.

The thing that I never realized after writing my first novel, the aptly named First Visions, is that putting the story to paper was the easy part. Everything else involved with selling a book would be the cause of my sleepless nights and nail biting.

I was completely clueless after I wrote First Visions. I knew very little about the book blogging community, honestly I never even heard of Goodreads. Most of the information I learned about book publishing and marketing came from Absolute Write, a forum for authors. It is hard for me to fathom that this was only last year.

Querying my first novel was such an eye-opening experience. The one thing I learned is that you shouldn't query every single agent you can find contact information on. If you want to sell your book, find the agents that are looking for manuscripts within your genre. AgentQuery is a fabulous resource to find information on agents that are accepting submissions. Read guidelines closely to avoid ending up in the slush pile.

Selling your first novel may also be the first time you experience the worst type of ego bruising. Expect to hear back from agents and publishers with phrases such as “not for me,” “didn't connect with me,” and “nope.” Do not let them break you! Be strong, author, and keep writing. Agents and publishers may ask you to revise and resubmit. This can help get you closer to an offer as well as improve the quality of your manuscript.

With First Visions, I did receive several offers through small publishing houses. Ultimately though, I decided to self-publish the novel. This is not an easy or inexpensive route and although I've been successful, I've put a lot of work into marketing my books. I'm working with Crescent Moon Press for an upcoming series and it has been less stressful to hand over cover and editing duties to them.

Once my book was released, successful marketing was a trial and error process. Book tours are a great way to get the word out about your novel. It can also help your book get reviews on Goodreads and book retailer sites. Other successful promotions I’ve done are sponsorships through Kindle Nation Daily and BookBub. Offering your book for free as part of the KDP Select program on Amazon can also help boost sales.

I hope this helps new and aspiring authors avoid some of the mistakes I made. But above all else, writing should be fun! Even if the sales don't happen, you should be proud that you accomplished something that many other people were unable to do.

The Disappearing Girl Book Tour and $75 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

The Disappearing Girl is going on tour with Reading Addiction Blog Tours! Yesterday was the start of my month long tour. There will be giveaways, reviews, guest posts and interviews about my latest release at each of the stops. Best of all, you can enter here or on my Facebook page for a chance to win a $75 Amazon gift card!

Virtual Book Tour - May 27 - June 21

May 27 - Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet
May 28 - The Book Divas - Guest Post/PROMO
May 29 - Kindle Obsessed - Review
May 30 - Mama Knows Books - Promo
May 30 - Pink Fluffy Hearts - PROMO
May 31 - Hooked in a Book - Interview
June 1 - Simply Me - Review/Interview
June 2 - The Selkie Reads - Review/Guest Post
June 4 - My Cozie Corner- Review
June 4 - Paulette's Papers - Guest Post/PROMO
June 5 - Faerie Tale Books - Review/Guest Post
June 6 - A Bibliophile's Thoughts - Review
June 7 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Interview/PROMO
June 8 - Busy Mom Book Reviews- Review
June 8 - Must Read Faster - PROMO
June 10 - Bean Counting Mommy - Review
June 12 - Romance Book Addict - Promo
June 13 - My Devotional Thoughts- PROMO
June 15 - Bookishly Devoted - Review
June 16 - The Muse Unleashed - Review
June 17 - Book Bunny's Burrow - Guest Post/PROMO
June 18 - Bianca2B - Review/Guest Post
June 19 - Noemi Betancourt - Review
June 21 -RABT Reviews - Review

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Unbreak Me Blitz: Author Interview and Giveaway

Book & Author Details:

Unbreak Me by Lexi Ryan
Publication date:  May 27th, 2013 
Genre: New Adult Romance

“If you’re broken, I’ll fix you…”

I’m only twenty-one and already damaged goods. A slut. A failure. A disappointment to my picture-perfect family as long as I can remember. I called off my wedding to William Bailey, the only man who thought I was worth fixing. A year later, he’s marrying my sister. Unless I ask him not to…

“If you shatter, I’ll find you…”

But now there’s Asher Logan, a broken man who sees the fractures in my façade and doesn’t want to fix me at all. Asher wants me to stop hiding, to stop pretending. Asher wants to break down my walls. But that means letting him see my ugly secrets and forgiving him for his. 

With my past weighing down on me, do I want the man who holds me together or the man who gives me permission to break?

Direct purchase links will not be available until release day but can be found here:


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Ryan writes romances with humor, heat, and heart. Her books are described as fun, flirty, and wickedly sexy. A lover of learning, Lexi has been in the classroom all her life and currently holds the title of assistant professor of English at her local community college. Lexi is a proud member of Romance Writers of America. She lives in rural Indiana with her husband and two children.

Author Links:

Lexi’s Answers to the Inside the Actor’s Studio 10-Questions

1. What is your favorite word?
Love. It’s all that matters.

2. What is your least favorite word?
Utilize. I was taught never to use a three-syllable word in a one-syllable word will do. If a person says utilize when the word use would have worked just as well, it totally makes me roll my eyes.

3. What turns you on?
Words—sexy ones, silly ones, intelligent ones. I love words and reading and writing and conversation and…*sigh* (Just, you know, not the word utilize.)

4. What turns you off?
Pretentiousness—in society, in literature, in education, in everything. Just, yuck. (See #2)

5. What sound do you love?
My kids’ laughter. Bonus points if they’re laughing together.

6. What sound do you hate?
The sound of a crying baby that isn’t being held (I swear it’s a different sound than a crying baby that is being held). It kills me.

7. What is your favorite curse word?
No contest.

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I’ve been writing professionally since 2008, but not until this month was I finally able to leave my day job as a college professor to write full-time. There’s truly nothing I’d rather do than write. That said, if I couldn’t do this anymore, I’d love to get paid to bake!

9. What profession would you not like to do?
Childcare. I don’t know how the daycare providers and preschool teachers of the world keep a smile on all day. Not only can kids be difficult, they have to put up with the parents. Yet, they (the good ones) seem to thrive, despite the demanding work and long days. God bless them, every one.

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“What? You think I can’t read?”

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox #41

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual. In My Mailbox from the Story Siren is another meme that highlights the books that bloggers have bought or received for review.

For Review:
Once We Were by Kat Zhang

Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Dragonfly by Leigh T. Moore

Saving Ben by Ashley Farley

Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cover Reveal: Chasing Memories by Tia Silverthorne Bach

About Chasing Memories (Tala Prophecy, Book 1)

There isn’t another way; not now. The others are coming. I can’t let them have you…

Seventeen-year-old Reagan has a problem: She can’t remember what happened the night her brother was taken. Now, the dreams haunting her from the incident are becoming more intense by the day. All the while, the lines between what’s real and what’s a product of her paranormal-obsessed mind are becoming blurred.

Is she losing her mind or has she just stepped into a world she thought only existed in books? 

Caught in a web of worried parents, competing boys, Wiccan relatives, protective amulets, and psychiatrist babble, Reagan must determine the truth before it’s too late.

Expected Publication Date: June 10, 2013

Cover design by Jo Michaels.

About the Author

Tia Silverthorne Bach is an avid reader, sometimes runner, involved wife and mother, and rabid grammar hound in addition to being a multi-genre writer. Her three daughters were born in Chicago, San Diego, and Baltimore; and she feels fortunate to have called many places home. She's the award-winning co-author of Depression Cookies, a coming of age story written with her mother. Tia's office is wherever her laptop takes her and any place that's conducive to allowing a wild imagination like hers to flourish.

Please visit her at her 
blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Interview With Kate Edwards from First Visions: Second Sight Book One

As part of First Visions Birthday celebration, I was feeling nostalgic and I found this interview Kate Edwards did last year as part of my very first blog tour. The answers are so Kate lol and I even dropped in a few hints about things that happen in later books. Just a reminder First Visions: Second Sight Book One will remain on sale for 99 cents through the weekend on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

When did you first realize you’re psychic?

Jeez lady, don’t you have to do a little research before you go and interview someone? I lived in a skeezy college dorm when I was 19 and caught meningitis. One near death experience later, I woke up with the ability to slip into other people’s memories.

Why did you keep being psychic hidden for so long?

When you’re psychic, it not only makes you uncomfortable, but the people around you. Everyone has dirty little secrets they don’t want you to find out. Since I don’t have much control over my visions, I often find out things about people I rather not know. It was just easier to say that the vision that led me to Matt Spencer two years ago was a one-time occurrence.

What changed for you?

I know I have my hang-ups. I’m immature and tend to have my guard up at all times. I think part of it comes from feeling like a freak of nature when I woke up from the coma with a second sight. But I’m not a horrible person. I want to help people and if my visions give me the chance to locate the missing, that’s what I need to do.

I’ve heard rumors you’re personally involved with a detective on the Cori Preston case, is this true?

Personally involved, that’s such a strange term, don’t you think? I mean my gynecologist gets an eyeful once a year, but you wouldn’t say I was personally involved with him, would you?

It seems like you’re dodging the question?

Jared Corbett is a great guy and a very dedicated detective. And he just so happens to be genetically blessed. I mean everyone has a crush on him, it would be impossible not to.

If you were a color, what color would it be?

What kind of Psych 101 B.S, is that? What if I say red, does it mean I’m deep down an axe murderer or something? Anyway, I guess I would pick gray. I can have a bit of a stormy personality at times. Plus, this hot guy I know has gray eyes.

Favorite TV show?
The Maury Show. I know I’m psychic, but I can usually guess who is the baby’s daddy way before the paternity test results are revealed.

What is it like to be in someone else’s mind?

You would think it would be really exciting, right? Nope, not usually. Since I can’t control the visions I see, most of the time I either witness people’s most mundane or grossest memories. I really don’t want to know about the affair my dentist is having or how my neighbor stole fifty bucks worth of undergarments from the local Wal-Mart. This is not to say all of my visions are horrible. They can help me understand a person’s motivations better. Sometimes they also offer up the chance for me to help others.

How did your family react when you told them about your gift?

I think most of my family thinks I have daddy issues and I’m making up the visions to get attention. Believe me, I could do a lot more outrageous things if I wanted to get my father’s attention. However, my mom has been super supportive and thinks maybe there’s a reason I developed these powers when I almost died.

Is it hard to hide that you are psychic?

Most people think psychics are full of it, so it’s easy to play it off and pretend I don’t really have this strange ability. When I do confide in them, they ask me to predict something. Believe me I wish I could predict something. I’d buy a lottery ticket with winning numbers and move me and my mom into the biggest McMansion in all of Franklin.

Do you plan on returning to college?

I’m doing online classes now and majoring in English. I wanted to take a few art classes, but that’s not really possible since you typically need to be physically present.

What do you have planned for yourself after you graduate?

Well, I’m going to have an English degree and I don’t want to teach, so that’s a tough question to answer. I may end up having to set up a psychic booth down the shore and charge the tourists tenners if I can’t decide on a real job.

If you could choose to have a super power, would you keep the one you have or choose another?

Hmm, I probably would want the ability to see into the future. I see into the past and there’s nothing you can do to change what’s already happened.

What’s your favorite thing about living in NJ?

That people always expect you to be a cliched representation of a cast member of the Jersey Shore. Just kidding, you get the best of both worlds and live close to both the city and the beach.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Writer Wednesday: 5 Reasons to Write New Adult

It’s New!
New Adult is like a shiny new toy, there’s a big demand for it. If you look at the top 100 books on, you’re likely to find that many of them come from the New Adult genre. Book retailers have noticed the demand and Amazon recently officially added New Adult & College as a category.

You Can Take Risks
If you write young adult, you have to restrict the content. If you don’t, you’re going to ruffle a lot of feathers. A lot of readers don’t want to see books labeled young adult with the f-bomb or a lot of sexy time between the characters. With New Adult, your main characters can go beyond first base! The characters are in college, so getting busy isn’t as frowned upon like books with high school students.

Unique Experiences
College is the time of many firsts, which can inspire plenty of story ideas. College kids are often living on their own for the first time and experiencing the freedom of not having to answer to their parents. College is also often the time when you must decide what you plan to do with the rest of your life. I know I struggled with choosing a career (hence the four major changes lol) and writers can share stories about these issues.

Twenty-Something Issues
College isn’t the only experience that can be found in New Adult literature. Writers can explore topics that are also important to the age group, which may include getting engaged, pregnancy, military deployment, etc. In The Disappearing Girl, I focused on eating disorders because I feel that a lot of people in this age group face this problem.

Tight Knit Writing Community
New Adult writers are very supportive of each other. When I first started writing, new adult was a new term being tossed around and other authors from the genre really helped me understand the appeal of the genre and how to write books that fit into this category. There are so many blogs, Goodreads groups and Facebook groups around now that can help new and aspiring writers of NA.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Publication Date: April 30, 2013

The Program was a strange read for me. After finishing it, I can’t really tell you how I feel about the novel as a whole. There were parts I really loved and others that were just okay. I think the series has a lot of promise and with improvements in the world building and character development it can be truly exceptional.

The setup was intriguing—a suicide epidemic has brought into existence The Program, a government run mental health project that forces teens into a treatment program that erases their memories. Sloane begins to lose those close to her to either suicide or The Program. Her emotional outbursts due to these losses make her fearful that she’ll be locked away in one of The Program’s treatment facilities.

The Program had a strong start. I actually liked that Sloane and James were already a couple. Often I love the development of a new romance, but this was almost like witnessing the process in reverse. Although I liked the romance between them, I wished Sloane had her own identity. I appreciated the deep bond and how much James and Sloane loved one another, but it would’ve been nice to see Sloane have her own hobbies and interests outside of her boyfriend.

The secondary characters were all interesting, except for the unnecessary inclusion of a few baddies. I liked that the story was told from Sloane’s POV and I thought the author did a good job of portraying the emotions of someone who had lost someone close to them to suicide.

What I felt the book was lacking is that it didn’t delve enough into how the Program came into existence and what the reasoning was behind the us (teens) versus them (parents, therapists, etc) mentality. I could almost empathize with the parents. If the alternative were death, why wouldn’t I want to do everything in my power to hold onto my child? What is the basis for the resistance? Plus, wouldn’t facilities use proven treatment methods to cure the teens, not wiping all of their memories away?

The Program was thought provoking for sure and I’m curious to see how the series continues. There were some mature scenes and I’d recommend this book for older teens and adults.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel for review!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Belated One Year Book Birthday to First Visions! On Sale for 99 Cents All Week

I'm a little late, but I realized First Visions: Second Sight Book One turned one a few weeks back on April 27. I can't believe it's only been a year since I published the first in the series. Since then, I released two sequels and my new adult contemporary The Disappearing Girl. I also signed with Crescent Moon Press to publish my upcoming Memory Witch.

Thank you to all my readers! I can't believe how much support I've received as an unknown author. The indie author and book blogger communities are amazing and I'm so proud to be part of them both. To celebrate, I've discounted First Visions to 99 cents through May 26.

Kindle Version:
Nook Version:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blog Tour Stop and Review: Wanted by Amanda Lance

Welcome to my stop on the Wanted blog tour hosted by YA Bound.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

by Amanda Lance
Release Date: May 2013
From Limitless Publishing

Summary from Goodreads:
Considering she’s a girl who calculates everything, Addie Battes knew the statistical probability of being abducted in her lifetime—too bad she never analyzed the odds of falling in love with her captor.

While stopping at a crowded rest area one summer night, seventeen-year-old Addie accidentally catches a truck hijacking in progress. Desperate to rid the crime of its only witness, one of the thieves kidnaps Addie. Yet surprisingly, when a renegade thief attempts to silence her for good, Addie is saved by the very man who abducted her. Now, forced on board a cargo ship in the middle of the ocean, Addie finds herself surrounded by international smugglers who want nothing more than to throw her overboard.

All except the artistic and intriguing Charlie Hays, whose strange protectiveness convinces Addie to trust him, even when common sense tells her otherwise. Yet, despite her doubt, and his unrelenting temper, their relationship develops into something much more. But, Charlie’s scorned colleague has stowed away, and as he seeks revenge against his coworker, Addie and Charlie are forced to put their new love—and lives—at risk.

Buy Links:

About the Author
A native of New Jersey and lifelong nerd, Amanda Lance recently completed her Master in Liberal Arts at Thomas Edison State College after her BA in English Literature and AFA in creative writing. As an avid reader of all genres, some of her favorite authors include Hemingway, Marquis de Sade, Stevenson, Bukowski and Radcliffe.

When she isn’t writing or reading, Amanda can found indulging in film noir or hiking with her other half and their extremely spoiled dog. She is obsessively working on her next book and trying to tame her caffeine addiction.

My Review:

Wanted was an entertaining and engrossing read about a captive that falls in love with her captor. I thought a few things were a little odd about the development of the romance, but I think the characterizations were strong enough that I was able to buy into it.

There was a lot of action in Wanted and I loved the fast pace of the book. Addie is taken by a group of men at a truck stop after she witnesses an armed robbery. During her initial captivity, one of the men tries to off her and she finds an unlikely savior in one of the kidnappers. The action continues as Addie is smuggled onto a ship and taken across international waters by the criminals.

Addie and Charlie were very well developed characters. The story is told from the POV of Addie and although I couldn’t completely understand her actions, I could empathize. Addie is pretty sheltered and naïve at the beginning of her ordeal and it was good to see her grow as a character. Charlie was damaged and something about him appealed to Addie’s need to be a caretaker.

The romance was hard for me to wrap my head around. I always have a tough time with these captive/captor love stories and Wanted was no exception. I just didn’t expect Addie’s feelings to develop as quickly as they did and I didn’t really see what she found so attractive about Charlie initially. He’s violent, arrogant and a chain-smoker and I just didn’t see what would make her so hot for him before she got to know him as a person.

All in all, the action was what I really loved about Wanted and I couldn’t wait to see how the story was resolved. I highly recommend this to fans of New Adult romances with a twist.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

I received Wanted as part of the YA Bound Blog Tour.

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Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox #40

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual. In My Mailbox from the Story Siren is another meme that highlights the books that bloggers have bought or received for review.

I love my library! I thought there would be no way they'd have The Elite and I was so excited to see that it was available. I've got some other great books as well from Netgalley, Edelweiss and upcoming blog tours.

The Elite by Kiera Cass
For Review:
Stealing Harper by Molly McAdams

Shady Cove by Ava Catori

In Too Deep by Michelle Kemper Brownlow

How to Love by Katie Cotugno

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton

Friday, May 17, 2013

Castles on the Sand by E.M. Tippetts Promo and Book Giveaway

Title: Castles on the Sand (Shattered Castles, #1)

Author: E.M. Tippetts

Release date: August 20, 2012

Genre:  Contemporary Romance/coming of age

Age Group: Young Adult

Event organized by: AToMR Tours

Links to the book:

Book Description

"A fast-paced blend of high-stakes drama and average teenage concerns (sex, appearance, friends), capped with a welcome message of hope." ~Kirkus Reviews

If there’s one thing Madison Lukas understands, it’s pain. The pain she feels when her mother ignores her completely. The pain her best friend endures as her parents starve her as punishment. The pain of a dangerous boy whose mother has to be carried away by law enforcement on a regular basis.

She gets it. She feels the pain of others as if it were her own.

But when a mysterious man claiming to be her long lost brother appears with promises of relieving her suffering, trusting him could reveal more truths than Madison is ready for. Because the truth can hurt, too.

About the Author

Emily Mah Tippetts writes romance under the name E.M. Tippetts and science fiction and fantasy under the name Emily Mah. Originally from New Mexico, she now lives in London with her family. Before she was a published author, she was an attorney who specialized in real estate, contracts, and estate planning, especially literary estate planning.

Author social media links:


Several hours later, as I'm drying my hair, the doorbell rings, or I think it does. I turn off the hairdryer and listen. Sure enough, it rings again. I put my hair up in a ponytail.
When I go to answer the door, I find those same two Mormon missionaries from the other day on my doorstep. “Madison, right?” he says the blond one. His name tag says he is Elder Britton.
Kailie must've told him my name.
“Madison... Udall?”
Udall is Mom's last name, and the way Elder Britton breaks off lets me know that he saw my reaction. “No,” I say.
“Madison...” He frowns, deep in thought. “Lukas?”
Now I just stare. How on Earth would he know my last name?
At that, the missionary's eyes moisten with barely contained tears. “Listen. My name's John Britton, and I'm your brother.”
For what feels like eternity, Elder Britton and I just stare at each other. Then he presses his palms together in front of his face and shakes his head slowly. “I don't know what to say right now, other than sorry. I know I scared you yesterday. I wasn't thinking. One minute I'm just out tracting and the next, there you are, plain as day. I've been looking for you for fifteen years.”
“Elder Britton,” says the other missionary. “You sure?”
“Your name is Madison Lukas,” he recites, “and your mother, our mother, is named Sharon Udall. She used to be Sharon Britton. She's got dark blond hair, about this color-” he points to his own head “-and you'd be sixteen years old, as of last April twenty-seventh. Mom would have turned forty on December fourth.”
I can only stare. All the facts are right, but the situation feels all wrong. For my entire life, it's been just me and Mom. Every time I asked about my father, she'd say, “He's long gone, so it doesn't matter.” She never mentioned being married before or having other kids, and that seems like the sort of thing you'd bring up now and then.
He looks around at the large pot that doubles as an umbrella stand just inside the door, the wall hangings with glazed clay scales that overlap like fish scales, the potshard wind chime on the front porch, and the enormous planters on either side of the front door. “I'm gonna to out on a limb and guess that she still makes pottery.”
“And I have no idea what to say now. Or do.”
“Hey,” says the other missionary, “you'll be released from your mission in less than a week. Figure it out then? Maybe we call the mission president now just to let him know?”
“Yeah, good point. Listen, Madison, we're not supposed to have contact with our families outside of letters or emails while we're on our missions. I'll get in touch with you the moment I finish mine, all right?”
“Um...” That's about all I can say. I try to force my thoughts into some kind of order. “Mom was Mormon?”
“She didn't tell you about that?”
“She never told me about you.”
“Really? At all?”
I shake my head.
“Then this has to be really, really strange for you. She mention Lance and Logan?”
“Who are they?”
His eyebrows shoot up. “The twins? They're our oldest brothers.”
The world shifts under my feet and I grab the doorframe to steady myself. From the way both missionaries look at me, I can tell it wasn't an earthquake. It was my knees starting to buckle.
The guy who claims to be my brother radiates sympathy and concern, and now that I take a good look at him, I have to admit, he does look like Mom. Same shape to the eyes. Same stance, one shoulder forward. Same way of pursing his lips.
I picture Mom, back in the shed, oblivious to all of this, and wonder if I should mention she's only about thirty feet away. She does not tolerate interruptions while throwing pots, but this is the most extreme circumstance I can think of.
“Okay,” says the other missionary. “We need to call the mission president. Madison, Elder Britton, write down your email addresses. We'll figure out what to do once we talk to our priesthood leaders.”
“Yeah, okay,” says my alleged brother. “Right. Sure.” He pulls a pad of paper out of his breast pocket and starts to write. After he rips the page off like a doctor tearing off a prescription, he hands it to me. With shaking fingers, I write down my email address, while a little voice at the back of my mind babbles that I shouldn't give this info out to a stranger. What if, it babbles, this missionary is a stalker? What if he's wearing a disguise? Maybe he looked up all this information on me, put on a suit, got a name tag, and this is all part of some elaborate ruse?
I should take him back to see Mom. I should stop right here, right now, and take control of this situation.
I finish writing and hand the pad of paper back. He takes it, tucks it in his pocket, looks into my eyes, and says, “I'll talk to you soon. Any questions you have, ask, okay?” He hands me his email address and I fold it over and over again.
The other missionary guides him away from our door with a hand on his shoulder and pulls a cellphone out of his pocket. “...figure this out...” I hear him say.
I make myself step back and shut the door, then lean my forehead against it. Talk to Mom, I think. She'll clear this up. I stuff the missionary's email into the pocket of my jacket on the way past. That's where I keep every slip of paper, receipt, tissue, and used tissue I accumulate. It's a bad habit. Right now I couldn't care less.
Mom, I know, is going to ream me out for interrupting her work. She's an artist through and through. She lives to make pottery and if she doesn't get to make enough of it in one day, she makes sure to spread the misery around. “Interrupting my pottery making is like choking me,” she's said before. “You don't like it if someone interrupts your breathing.” And true to analogy, she'll push every interruption away, no matter who they are or what it is they might want to tell her.
Today, however, I'll risk it.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Goodreads Summary:

Reminiscent of the Elizabeth Smart case, Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological mystery about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity.

Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she's returned home…only to find that it's three years later and she's sixteen-or at least that's what everyone tells her.

What happened to the past three years of her life?

Angie doesn't know.

But there are people who do — people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren't locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her "alters." As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?

Liz Coley's alarming and fascinating psychological mystery is a disturbing - and ultimately empowering page-turner about accepting our whole selves, and the healing power of courage, hope, and love.

Publication Date; March 19, 2013

This book was good, but I feel like it could’ve been so much more. I think there needed to be more internal narrative in order to allow readers to get inside Angie’s head as she struggled with not only her memory loss, but the “alters” that took over while she was held in captivity.

The setup was intriguing. Angie’s last memory is being thirteen and getting accosted while camping with her Girl Scout troop. When she comes to, she’s sixteen and walking down the street to her home. Her alters protected her from the ordeal and Angie must not only find a way to integrate her other personalities, but also deal with being a thirteen year old trapped in a sixteen year old body.

As far as characters go, Angie’s alters were much more likable than the actual Angie. I think the author did a good job of demonstrating Angie’s immaturity, but I never felt like I connected with her as a character. I would’ve liked more of a snapshot of how Angie was handling everything internally.

What was intriguing about her multiple personalities was that each fulfilled a certain responsibility in order to help her survive. There were so many horrifying things that Angie went through and their goal was to shield her from the pain and anguish of the ordeal.

A few of the twists were gut wrenching while others were a little too unbelievable. I think there was enough drama surrounding the central plot that a few subplots could’ve been trimmed. Instead, more focus should’ve been on Angie’s emotional healing.

Overall, Pretty Girl 13 was an enjoyable psychological drama with very dark undertones. Due to some of the depictions of abuse in the book, I’d recommend this for older YA readers and adults.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book for review!