Monday, September 30, 2013

The Final Omen: Second Sight Book Four Teaser and Update

If you've been following along on my Facebook page, then you may have heard about my Macbook Air fail that basically took half of The Final Omen with it. After being sent to the best technological genuises in the field of data recovery, it was deemed a total loss. Since I'll have to rewrite a good chunk of the book, the release date is now November 9. In the meantime, enjoy an unedited excerpt from the final series novel:

Just breathe, Kate…
Hysteria bubbled up inside of her as Kate Edwards realized her ridiculous line of thinking. She couldn’t breathe. Because she was dead and the dead didn’t need to breathe.
Grasping the edge of the kitchen countertop for support, she used her free hand to touch the side of her face. She needed assurances of the corporeality of her body. Her flesh felt real. Taking a quick inventory of the rest of her body, she saw the same arms and legs, the same ten pounds she’d been trying to lose.
Her head snapped up and Rose Corbett was still standing before her, staring at her with a mix of emotions Kate couldn’t discern. Anguish floored her again as she took in Rose’s raven colored hair, the same hair of her son Jared. The son Kate craved with her entire being. The one she had told she loved before she died on him.
They were in the Edwards home or some alternative version of it. Minutes ago or possibly longer since Kate was unsure if time worked the same in this place, Kate had been murdered. Killed by an insane masked intruder in her own home. The tragedy was Kate had a premonition of her murder before it happened. Details had changed, but the gist was she still ended up in a puddle of blood on the floor, butchered, her ex-boyfriend Jared too late to revive her. 
When she came to in the dining room, nary a cut in sight, she assumed it was another premonition. A flash of black hair in the kitchen had her heart singing. Jared was there! She would confess her visions about her murder and he’d protect her. Instead, Rose had stepped towards her, saying her name.
“Why?” Kate demanded. “What was the point of it all? Why did I have the premonitions if I was going to die no matter what I did?”
A security system and self-defense training hadn’t stopped her attack. Investigating her future murder with fellow psychic Declan Brayden hadn’t unmasked her killer. Months of knowing she could die, but foolishly believing her case wasn’t hopeless.
“Kate, I…” Rose began.
“You can’t…I can’t hear you say it. Because when you say the words, it’ll make it real and I’ll be forced to accept that it’s all over.” She took a long minute to study Rose, taking in her thick dark eyelashes, her glossy midnight black hair, cascading in waves to her waistline. She was exquisite, unearthly beautiful in a yellow sundress. “Is this my purgatory? Being stuck inside of my house and forced to stare at a spitting image of him?”

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #58

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.

Well, I got my Macbook back this week sans my book =( Starting the rewrite for the final book and it's going better than expected. I also received some books that I can't wait to read.

For Review:
The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank

Ripper by Isabel Allende

Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Shark Bait by Jenn Cooksey

Come as You Are by Theresa Weir

Alienated by Melissa Landers

Friday, September 27, 2013

Blog Tour and Review: Remembering Joy by Jenni Moen

Goodreads Summary:

Alexis doesn’t believe in fairytales. She knows first hand that life can turn on a dime – that one stupid mistake can shatter dreams and irrevocably shape the future. Even though her memory of that day is hazy, she has spent the last ten years trying to put it behind her and focus on the future.

Armed with the knowledge that her career will be her only legacy, Alexis works night and day to prove that she is more than just her last name. It’s not only that she doesn’t have time for love – she doesn’t have the heart for it. After all, there’s no point in starting something that you can’t finish.

However, when she meets Adam, she’s drawn to him in a way even she can’t deny. He is dark and brooding and strangely charming. He’s the perfect distraction from the mundane life she’s created for herself. And, as if fate is pushing them together, he seems to be around every corner. It’s enough to almost make her entirely forget about her past and take a chance.

Unfortunately, Adam’s memory isn’t hazy . . . not in the least. And, what she doesn’t remember, he can’t forget.
*Mature New Adult/Adult novel – contains adult situations and sexuality and is suited for ages 18 and up*

Publication Date: June 7, 2013


Goodreads Link:

Amazon Link:

Additional Buy Links:

B&N:



Kobo:

Author Info:

Facebook Author Profile Link:  


 Goodreads Profile Link: 

Website Link: 

Twitter Link:

Author Bio:

Jenni Moen lives in her hometown in Oklahoma with her husband and three crazy, exuberant kids that have the potential to burn the house down at any moment.

When she’s not chauffeuring kids around town, performing her mom duties as a short order cook and maid, or vacuuming for her fastidious husband, she hammers away at her keyboard at her big girl job as a patent attorney. While vodka and exercise have provided some relief from the daily grind, it is reading … and now writing … that are her true escapes.

My Review:

For some reasons, I adore love stories where the main characters start off not liking one another. I really enjoy watching the transformation from dislike to love. Remembering Joy takes this one step further with the love interest Adam hating Alexis and wishing to exact revenge against her for the wrongs he feels she has committed.

Remembering Joy was very well done and I really enjoyed the chemistry between Adam and Alexis. Both of the main characters are complex and damaged and it could’ve led to a very destructive relationship. Instead I loved how they were able to heal one another and create something beautiful out of a horrible tragedy.

The pacing was good and I liked how the story is told from Alexis and Adam’s point of views. Adam was really hard to cheer for at first because of his actions, but I was pleased that the author didn’t paint him beyond redemption. As the mystery unfolds about why he hates Alexis, the reader is able to understand his motivations much better. Alexis was likable but I wished she were a stronger female character. It was sad to me that she felt like she warranted Adam’s mistreatment.

I loved the themes of love, healing and redemption touched upon during the story. The ending resolved everything nicely and I was glad that the characters had evolved. I would definitely recommend this to fans of contemporary romances with a twist.

Rating; 4/5 Stars


I received a copy of this book for review as part of the blog tour.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kinetic by S.K. Anthony Book Blitz and Giveaway

Kinetic by S.K. Anthony
Series: The Luminaries, #1
Publication date:  September 2013
Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy

Synopsis:
Being strong is one thing. Being an unlimited source of power is quite another.

Genetically altered by the Organization, Annie Fox takes down criminals CIA-style with her luminary strength. With nothing to mend but her broken heart, she is relentlessly pursued by her boss Derek Lake. Just when Annie is about to give him a chance, her ex-husband unexpectedly comes out of hiding.

A wanted man, Nick Logan is a cold-hearted murderer who is considered enemy number one, and orders are clear: kill on contact. He is more powerful than ever and threatens the lives of those she holds most dear. His plan? Get his hands on Annie and use her Kinetic energy to destroy them all. When Annie finds herself with an opportunity to end him, she pauses, horrified by the scars covering the face she once loved. A split second that will cost her everything…



AUTHOR BIO
S. K. Anthony is a writer, a reader and a make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York with her husband and toddler twins. She is a wine connoisseur, which just really means she knows she loves it, and a caffeine addict. When she isn’t busy with her family she finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders…she is convinced they are out to get her!

Author links:
Twitter: @SKathAnthony

Excerpt:

Coming to my feet, I ran into the vault and found myself at the bottom of what seemed like three floors. It was filled with storage units, all next to each other. It reminded me of prison cells, each of them with their own armored doors. I smelled more smoke coming from above, so I ran up the first set of stairs and let my nose guide me. I saw the figure trying to melt one of the armored doors, and I launched myself at him. He was ready for me, though, so I found myself thrown across the room like a ragdoll. I pretended to be injured as he approached me, and when he was close enough, I kicked his feet from under him and he fell, hitting his head on the concrete floor. I jumped on him and pinned his hands down just as he looked up at me.

And there he was, Nick Logan. My ex-husband.

I stared at the face I'd once loved, now with a patch covering his left eye and scars running all the way down his jaw. They were almost hidden under his days-old beard and wild, dark hair. His deep hazel eye looked at me, empty, daring me to speak first. I punched him. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Release Event: Loved by You by Kate Perry

Kate Perry's newest release in the Laurel Heights series is now available! Read a teaser below and enter the giveaway!
Title: Loved By You

Author: Kate Perry

Publisher: Phoenix Rising Enterprises, Inc. (Indie)

Release date: September 18, 2013

Genre: Contemporary romance

Age Group: Adult


It’s time for Karma Taylor to ante up.

When her mom raises the stakes, KT has no choice but to prove that she’s living up to her potential. To her mom, that means performing in the upcoming concert, but KT would rather run naked through Golden Gate Park than expose herself on stage.

Chance Nolan, world traveler and all-around gypsy, offers KT a solution: distract her mom by faking an engagement—to him. KT would be doing him a favor, too, so he can shake the overzealous blonde who won’t take no for an answer.

Only pretending to be in a relationship feels very real, and Chance wonders if he hasn’t been searching for KT all along. He just has to convince her he’s so much more than a decoy fiancé.


About the Author

Kate has tangoed at midnight with a man in blue furry chaps, dueled with flaming swords in the desert, and strutted on bar tops across the world and back. She’s been kissed under the Eiffel Tower, had her butt pinched in Florence, and been serenaded in New Orleans. But she found Happy Ever After in San Francisco with her Magic Man.

Kate’s the bestselling author of the Laurel Heights Novels, as well as the Family and Love and Guardians of Destiny series. She’s been translated into several languages and is quite proud to say she’s big in Slovenia. All her books are about strong, independent women who just want love.

Most days, you can find Kate in her favorite café, working on her latest novel. Sometimes she’s wearing a tutu. She may or may not have a jeweled dagger strapped to her thigh...

Facebook | Twitter

Excerpt:

He answered on the second ring. "I was thinking about you right now."

His voice was low and husky, a sexy rasp in her ear—an auditory caress no less powerful than the feel of his hands on her skin the day before. "Did I have clothes on?"

"Do you need to ask?"

To enter the author's Facebook giveaway for $200 Gift Card to any online store of choice, visit here.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review: Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Left DrowningLeft Drowning by Jessica Park

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?

Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn’t expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.

*This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.

Note: due to mature content recommended for Ages 17+

Publication Date: July 16, 2013

You should have a box of tissues handy when you read this emotional and powerful book. Although there was a lot of sadness in the stories of Blythe and Chris, there was love and healing too. This is the first book I read by Jessica Park and I’m certainly a new fan.
Blythe was a character I really connected with. From the beginning, you can see her struggles to feel anything since a tragedy that left her and her brother orphaned. Her relationship with her brother is strained and the only way she knows how to cope is drinking and steering clear of emotional attachments.

Blythe meets Chris and his endearing siblings and she finally starts to gain a sense of belonging. However, Chris and his family have their own dark pasts and they each have their own set of self-destructive tendencies. Chris and his family were very likable and I loved how they adopted Blythe. Sabin was a personal favorite and he added a lot of comic relief to heavier moments.

The relationship between Chris and Blythe is complicated from the get go and they go through a lot of ups and downs. I loved how their lives intersected even when they weren’t together and I really could feel the strong feelings they had for each other. They felt more like two halves of a whole than merely a pair of lovers.

My only dislike of the book was the religious debates and the disdain that the characters express over Estelle’s zealous belief in God. It’s just a personal preference for me, but I prefer books that don’t touch on religion and politics. The pacing was also just okay for me. I found some parts slow-moving and others rushed.

A very good read overall and the rave reviews are definitely deserved. It was great to read a standalone with an ending that tied up everything nicely. I’d love to see a few spin-off stories from the book especially from the siblings’ point of views.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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

View all my reviews

Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: Bound by Night by Larissa Ione

Bound by Night (MoonBound Clan Vampires, #1)Bound by Night by Larissa Ione

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

The first installment in a sexy new paranormal romance series by Larissa Ione, author of the bestselling Demonica series!

A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOOD
Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .

A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGE
A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.

Publication Date: September 24, 2013

This was my first Larissa Ione book and overall I really liked it. I enjoyed her writing style and I found myself completely invested in the story. The romance was hot and I thought the main characters had good chemistry.
The premise was a little hard to buy into. I could see the government using vampires as medical test subjects (a la the latest season of True Blood) but the slavery angle didn’t make much sense. Why would humans or vampires think it could work out when vampires have superhuman strength and speed? A rebellion of course happens and the main character Nicole’s family is decimated.

Nicole was a frustrating character and for a doctor she could be pretty dense. However, I emphasized with her confused feelings regarding vampires and her family’s role in their subjugation. Riker was stubborn and a pretty standard alpha-male vampire. I thought his relationship with Terese and her son gave him a lot of depth. I liked the love/hate relationship between Riker and Nicole. The hurdles they had to face to be together felt real and not simply added drama for the story. I honestly didn’t know if they could have a happy ending.

The plot had plenty of action and a few super sexy scenes with Riker and Nicole. This definitely wasn’t an insta-love relationship and it took a lot for them to trust each other. I liked how despite their differences, they couldn’t fight their growing attraction.

This was a good series starter and I will likely pick up the subsequent book once it’s released. The secondary characters that were great, an especial favorite was Myne, and I hope the sequel features him.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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

View all my reviews

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #57

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.

Not the greatest week for me. I found out my book is unable to be retrieved which means I have a month's worth of rewriting to do =( I'm going to try and keep up with the blog as I attempt to redo the work, but I may have fewer posts than usual.


For Review:
Aberrant by Ruth Silver

Dead Dreams by Emma Right

Desired by Shadow by Cynthia Luhrs

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Made of Stars by Kelley York

Notable by Marni Bates

Ruby Hill by Sarah Ballance

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase

The Wrong Billionaire's Bed by Jessica Clare

Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader

Escape from EdenEscape from Eden by Elisa Nader

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary:

Since the age of ten, Mia has lived under the iron fist of the fundamentalist preacher who lured her mother away to join his fanatical family of followers. In Edenton, a supposed “Garden of Eden” deep in the South American jungle, everyone follows the Reverend’s strict but arbitrary rules—even the mandate of whom they can marry. Now sixteen, Mia dreams of slipping away from the armed guards who keep the faithful in, and the curious out. When the rebellious and sexy Gabriel, a new boy, arrives with his family, Mia sees a chance to escape.

But the scandalous secrets the two discover beyond the compound’s façade are more shocking than anything they ever imagined. While Gabriel has his own terrible secrets, he and Mia bond together, more than friends and freedom fighters. But is there time to think of each other as they race to stop the Reverend’s paranoid plan to free his flock from the corrupt world? Can two teenagers crush a criminal mastermind? And who will die in the fight to save the ones they love from a madman who’s only concerned about his own secrets?

Publication Date: August 18, 2013


This was a really good read! I’ve never read a young adult book about a girl escaping a cult and I thought Escape from Eden was incredibly well done. The Edenton cult was scary! I was biting my nails at the end and hoping everything turned out okay for Mia and her love interest Gabriel.

Mia was easy to sympathize with. Against her will as a young girl, Mia is taken by her mother to a South American commune where their reverend has recreated a Garden of Eden. Mia begins to expect more nefarious things are going on once she connects with a new member by the name of Gabriel.

I really liked Gabriel. He was the resident troublemaker, but I loved how much depth he had. His back story was interesting and heartbreaking and made him an appealing YA love interest. The secondary characters were also great, the villains were especially terrifying.

The plot was suspenseful and there were some twists thrown in that were completely shocking. At times, I had to take a breather because I was so overcome with disgust by the reverend and his actions. The book was written in such a way that I honestly couldn’t tell if Mia would be getting out of Edenton alive.

The romance was sweet and earnest and I enjoyed the back and forth between Mia and Gabriel. Mia was strong when she needed to be and it was great to see a female lead with a backbone.

Definitely a must-read for fans of YA thrillers or anyone interested in books about cults. I’m not sure if there’s going to be a sequel, but I hope so.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

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




View all my reviews

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sia by Josh Gryason Book Blitz



Sia Book Promo

Author Bio

Josh Grayson was born in Mexico, raised in Massachusetts, and now lives in Martinsville, Virginia. It was his move to the South that stirred his imagination and gave him the courage to start writing. During his free time, Josh enjoys reading, jogging, swimming, and watching YouTube videos.
Josh currently works as a medical driver, shuttling people all over Virginia and North Carolina. He has also worked as a machinist, film sales rep, administrative assistant, and telemarketer (he apologizes if he called you).
Sia is his debut YA novel.


Social Media Links

  
Book Description
When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

  
Reviews for SIA

(1)“A compelling read full of intrigue, romance, and lots of surprises. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next!” - Jennifer Read Hawthorne, #1 New York Times bestselling author

(2)“An original and captivating story with a beautiful message.” –Lola’s book Reviews

(3)“There have been very few books that made me think they made to someday become a movie (i.e. Warm Bodies, The Host). And I guess Sia can join the club, because this book, I say, is perfect for it. I felt like I was reading a script for a movie, the plot is fantastic and the characters are great, there's a little of humor as well as tragic situations.-Bookish Randomness

(4)“Sia completely blew me away. Within the first few pages I was hooked and the book refused to let me go until I reached the end.” – Obsession is a Book

(5) Sia would be an excellent novel for the Disney Company to adapt for film. Hers is a story of cruelty and kindness, pain and redemption and ultimately of making the world in which you live a better place. A good example for any teen who might choose to read this exciting work of fiction.” –Rabid Readers

(6) “Well I finished this book amazingly fast. This whole book will leave you amused, intrigued, in awe, and most importantly in love with the whole story line until the very last word. I'll have to go with 5 stars for this book.”  - Lovely Reads

(7) “Beautifully written…this one will have you reflecting on your current and past actions. Although a fiction, Sia inspires.” –A Starry-eyed Heart Review 

(8) I started this book and finished it in one day. It's the type of story that makes a person feel good inside…a story filled with hope.” –Musings of a Reader Geek

(9) “A beautiful story about forgetting the past and living in the present to make a better future.  Sia is a heroine we can all relate to and aspire to become. I really enjoyed it, and I had a smile almost the whole time reading this.  Because if a mean-girl like Sia can change her ways and overcome her meanness, can't we all? If you've got an afternoon, go read this one.  It'll make you happy.”  -Manda-Rae Reads a Lot

(10) “A heartwarming, sometimes tear jerking story that reignites one’s faith in humanity. An excellent debut!” – Alexia Purdy, Bestselling author


Q&A

If you could fly anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
Italy, simply because it’s always ranked as having the best food in the world. Its beaches are nice too. I’ve Googled it.
What is your favorite genre to read/write?
Young adult (YA), because those stories carry universal themes we can all relate to, a peek into the lives of characters who are more intriguing, real, and raw.
What is one silly fact about you?
I can mimic Enrique Iglesias’s voice pretty well. I sang “Hero” at a friend’s birthday party once and received an enthusiastic response. Some applauded, others laughed. Overall, though, I felt good about my performance.
 What got you started on your writing journey?
My move from Massachusetts (where I’d lived most of my life) to Virginia. The first year here was difficult. I was alone, depressed, and in completely new surroundings. But it was here in the South that I began seeing all these stories in my head, and that my “writing gene” got activated. So it seems the old saying is true, everything does happens for a reason.
Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? 
I don’t choose, per se. I just write whatever I see in my head. And so far, all the romantic parts have been sweet and clean, which is fine with me.
What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2013?
I’m working on another YA novel that Sia fans should enjoy as well. If things go according to plan, I’ll publish that in the summer of 2014.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Being able to partake in the wildest adventures imaginable, all without ever leaving your house.
Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
One reviewer said, “It, without a doubt, inspired me to find ways to help others in need. I’m looking into charity work.” I loved hearing that, because that’s exactly what I wanted Sia to do: to motivate others to become their best self, to make positive changes in the world, wherever they are.
 Where do your ideas come from?
I find muses everywhere! In books, magazines, poems, movies, YouTube videos, and so much more. I always try to be receptive. You never know what might trigger your next story.
What inspired you to write Sia?
Initially? Oprah. (laughs). I saw an interview she did on a man with fugue amnesia that impacted me. Fugue amnesia occurs when someone, usually in response to excessive stress, takes off on some unexpected travel. And during the travels, that person assumes either a partial or complete new identity. I found it both fascinating and frightening to think that stress alone can cause the human brain to demand a reset like that. I often wonder why I haven’t gotten fugue amnesia yet!
Is it true you wrote the screenplay adaption as well?
Yes! I wrote it as soon as the book was finished. I’m about to hire a seasoned Hollywood screenwriter to polish it. When it is up to industry standards, we’ll submit it to film companies and cross our fingers. I think Sia would translate wonderfully to film.
If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?      Determined. Compassionate. Humble. Kind. Brave.
 Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
Because I believe it will leave you touched, encouraged, and—of course—entertained.


Excerpt from SIA

  
While I wait for my driver, I sit on a step outside the school. I watch the kids go by. No one stops to say hello to me, and I'm starting to understand why. Then I see Kyle trudging out of the school, shaking his thick brown hair back from his brow. I decide to go talk to him. But he changes direction when he sees me approaching.
“Wait! Kyle? Is that your name? Kyle?”
He stops, but doesn't turn around.
Undaunted, I run up from behind. “Listen, I just wanted to apologize for Duke in the cafeteria today.”
“Why? Can’t he take care of that himself?”
“I guess he can, but I don’t think manners are his strong point.”
Kyle squints at me, trying to read my expression, so I keep my eyes wide open. If he's looking for dishonesty or cruelty, I'm determined he won't find any there.
“I don’t get it,” he says skeptically. “Why would you apologize to me?
I shrug. “Because it was wrong of him to be like that.”
“If you're gonna apologize on behalf of Duke, you should apologize to Ben, not me.”
“Um…okay, I will.”
After a moment of quiet, Kyle says, “Okay. Thanks.” He sniffs and looks at the ground, obviously uncomfortable. “As long as we’re apologizing, I guess I owe you one, too.” He runs his fingers through his hair. “I’m sorry about yelling at you at the soup kitchen. That was you, right?”
I nod.
“So I guess it was my yelling that made you run into the street, wasn’t it?”
I nod again.
“Well, I’m really sorry. About all that. I had no idea.”
“Of course you didn't. Don’t worry about it.” I look down the street, past Kyle, but I can't see John and the car yet. I glance down at my nails, still torn and ratty from living homeless. “What were you doing there, anyway?” I ask.
He shrugs. “I volunteer there sometimes.”
“Oh.”
“My parents own a bakery nearby. I work there almost every afternoon. When we have day-old bread and stuff, I take it over to them.”
“You…Oh!” I suddenly recall the slice of bread I'd enjoyed just before Kyle yelled at me that day. Soft, homemade, and unforgetable. It brings a smile to my face. “Well, I know from personal experience that they really appreciate that. It’s very generous of you and your family.”
“It’s the least we can do.” He hesitates. “So you’d been eating there?”
“Yup. All week. With my friend Carol.”
“Carol? That older lady? I know her. She’s sweet. Helps a lot of the kids out. I guess she’s kind of a teacher for lost souls, huh?”
“You could say that,” I agree, remembering my wise friend fondly.
A dark car pulls up to the curb.
I smile with apology. “Sorry, but I have to go. That’s John, here to pick me up. So are we okay?”
“We?”
“Yeah. You and me.”
After a second, he returns my smile and holds out a hand. “Sure.”
I step closer so I can shake it, and while I'm there I purposefully inhale the smell Amber had so detested. She's right. He smells like bread. Banana bread, I think. And cinnamon. Not unpleasant at all.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our YesterdaysAll Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice


Publication Date: September 3, 2013


This book was absolutely wonderful. It is certainly in contention as my favorite YA read of the year. I loved the suspense and how the author tied together the two parallel timeframes. The characters were also fantastic and I’m thrilled to hear a sequel is in the works.

The action starts from the beginning as Em finds herself tortured and imprisoned by government officials trying to retrieve information from her and her companion Finn. The pair plans their escape and ventures back in time four years earlier.

During the present, teen Marina is harboring a huge crush on her genius neighbor James. She’s willingly to do anything to protect him when she finds out someone wants to kill him. Their lives intersect in heartbreaking ways with Em and Finn.

I finished All Our Yesterdays days ago and my heart still hurts. Time travel novels are hits or misses for me and I loved this one. The concepts weren’t difficult to follow and the pacing never dragged because of scientific jargon. There was a lot of action in the book and although I guessed a lot of the twists, I was still hoping for a different outcome.

The ending wrecked me. It was perfect, sad and hopeful all rolled up into one. I would highly recommend this book to lovers of YA reads, time travel books, dystopians and star-crossed romances.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

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

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Guest Reviews: Never Again by Theresa Paolo, While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell and Where My Heart Breaks by Ivy Sinclair

Jessica is here again to help me put a dent in my TBR pile! Today, she's reviewing Never Again, While Beauty Slept and Where My Heart Breaks.

Goodreads Summary:

Just when she had finally moved on…
…He moved back.

When college freshman Liz Wagner hears her ex's voice for the first time since he moved clear across the freaking country, she does what any respectable girl would do: Dive into the girls' bathroom.

Zach Roberts—the Zach Roberts—is back. And he’s everywhere Liz looks—infiltrating her friend group, buddy-buddy with her brother. It’s enough to ruin college altogether. But what choice does she have but to put on a happy face and pretend he didn't leave her vulnerable and alone in a pile of emotional wreckage?

Pretending works, until tragedy strikes and the only person available for comfort is the one person she wants to stay away from. When Zach turns out not to be the jerk she convinced herself he was, but the boy she used to love, Liz needs to decide whether to open her heart again to the boy who tore it out.

Publication Date: October 15, 2013

Jessica's Thoughts:

3 stars. The writing was good, but Liz was annoying going back and forth with Zach and letting Joe walk all over her. I didn't see the part with Josh coming, that was a surprise, but the rest was pretty predictable.


Goodreads Summary:

A beautiful princess lies in a sleep so deep it is close to death. Was Sleeping Beauty revived by a prince's kiss? What really happened in that tower so long ago?

While Beauty Slept re-imagines the legend through the lens of historical fiction, telling the story as if it really happened. A Gothic tale of suspense and ambition, love and loss, it interweaves the story of a royal family and the servants who see behind the glamorous facade, following the journey of a young woman as she lives out a destiny that leads her to the brink of death.

Publication Date: February 20, 2014


Jessica's Thoughts:

5 stars. I loved this book and I would have read through it sooner without taking a break, but life got in the way. Lol. The characters and attention to detail was fantastic and the story was just so beautifully written. I can't wait to add this one to my collection.


Goodreads Summary:

If there were a course in screwing up your life, Kate Spivey would get an A+.

Trust is in short supply for Kate at the start of the summer before her senior year of college. Her parents sentenced her to spend it under the watchful eye of her aunt at the famous Willoughby Inn. It was further proof that she was a prisoner in, and not the decision maker of, her life. Nothing she does is good enough to prove that she learned from the mistakes of her past.

Almost immediately, Kate finds that her new summer home holds another person who understands the unfairness of her situation better than most. Reed Black has had his own share of tragedy and regrets, but instead of trying to fight his reputation, he embraced it.

Sparks fly between Kate and Reed, but his mixed signals remind Kate that she needs to watch her step. He is one temptation she can't afford to indulge in, no matter how strong her attraction to him. If she isn't careful, she'll lose more than her heart.

Publication Date: August 29, 2013

Jessica's Thoughts:

4 stars. The writing was great, the characters enjoyable, and the story was just plain sweet. I liked that there wasn't any unnecessary drama and it just showed you can have a sweet story in and of itself. I didn't give it 5 stars, but only because as sweet as it was, it's not a book I feel compelled to rush right out and buy for my shelves.

Thanks to the publishers for copies of these books for review!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: Golden by Jessi Kirby

Goodreads Summary:

Love, tragedy, and mystery converge in this compelling novel from “an author to watch” (Booklist).

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.


Publication Date: May 14, 2013


Golden was a very sweet coming of age story. It tells the story of Parker, who begins to question her life choices as she comes across a journal of a girl who has been missing for ten years.

I loved the premise of Golden, especially the mystery aspects. I really wanted to know what happened to Julianna and Shane and I was touched by their story in the same way Parker was. Like Parker, I really wanted a happy ending for Julianna despite the widespread belief that she had died along with Shane in a tragic car wreck that forced their bodies to the bottom of a lake.

I liked Parker and the secondary characters as well, although I felt her love interest was bland. I think the romance for her actually could’ve been written out altogether. The story isn’t about Parker finding love, but about forging her own identity as she prepares to graduate high school.

The writing and pacing was great and I never found myself bored with the story. The emotions of the characters jump off of the page, especially the sections that feature Julianna’s journal entries.

The ending tied everything together nicely and I was pleased with Parker’s emotional growth. I was glad to see she stood up to her mom, but I didn’t necessarily agree with the idea that she never truly lived because she took advanced classes and spent most of her time studying. However, I did really enjoy the book and would certainly read more from the author.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #56

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.

Not the greatest week for me. My Macbook died and took my book with it =( The repair shop couldn't retrieve it, so I sent it off to a specialty lab in California. It's going to cost me an arm and a leg, but hopefully they'll be able to save it. To any writers out there: BACKUP YOUR WORK!


For Review:
Courage by Carrie Butler

Freak of Nature by Julia Crane

Miracle Lane by Edie Ramer

Never Too Late by A. Destiny

Ostrich by Matt Greene

A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron

Undertow by K.R. Conway

You Are Mine by Janeal Falor