Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review: Getting By by Claudia Y. Burgoa

Getting By ~ A Knight’s Tale I by Claudia Y. Burgoa is a new-adult contemporary romance novel, published February 18, 2014.

Synopsis:

When Emma Anderson arrived at San Francisco International Airport, she regretted accepting the distinction of being the maid of honor to Gaby’s—her childhood friend—wedding. It had been years since the last time she set foot in Menlo Park, where her parents had been killed. The rug where she had been shoving her feelings since that day looked bumpier than a camel’s hump. Who could blame her; if she hadn’t been selfish they’d still be around. Ever since that fateful day, Emma has been perfecting the knack of Getting By.

Cade’s wedding in Menlo Park—a city close to San Francisco—might be the perfect place for Jake Knight to shake the memories of his ex, Emma Anderson for good. Single, available women galore for an entire week was the perfect medication, one he intended to take three times a day for an entire week to return to his player days. It was a plan the former spy thought flawless until he came face to face with the maid of honor. Jake’s perfect retreat turns into a flight, fight or hide week of celebrations.



Excerpt from Getting By:

Nights meant sleep and dreams—my archenemies. The Crowley to my Dean Winchester, the Green Goblin to my Spider-man, the list of superheroes and their opposites was long, and so became the analogies I used on a daily basis. My lack of sleep began with Dad and his conditions for me to continue my art. Then came my parents’ deaths. Those took a toll on me because I mixed dreams with realities and hopes. Not once did I have a nightmare, all of them were sweet and real. Seeing Mom and Dad on those nights filled my gut with nails, and my head pounded with the reminder that they were gone the next morning. Those had been merely fantasies that would never become a reality.

For the past three months I had been evading sleep and working overtime, over the overtime. The dreams of elevators, trips to sophisticated-secluded spots after a week of work and delicious nights with a man who I was required to forget in order to move on, came daily—nightly. They not only hit me with vengeance, but they came tangled with what humans liked to call hope. The urge to crawl inside myself to avoid the need of his touch, kisses and whatever it was that we had not long ago, consumed me. If I had the powers to morph into an animal, it’d be a sea turtle and I’d stay inside my shell for the next hundred years. Past the stage of melancholy and into the real world, I pushed my body outside of the bed and into the shower, where I got ready to face the Clements and the house next door.

About the Author:

Claudia lives in Colorado with her family and three dogs. Two beagles who believe they are human, and a bichon who thinks she’s a beagle. While managing life, she works as a CFO at a small IT Company. She’s a dreamer who enjoys music, laughter and a good story. Claudia is currently working on Standing By, the second book in the Knight series.


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7202946.Claudia_Y_Burgoa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudiaYBurgoa

Twitter: https://twitter.com/yuribeans
  

My Review:

Getting By was a unique contemporary romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. It had several elements that made it stand out and I know it’s not a book I’ll forget anytime soon. I found the characters likable and I really hoped that Jake and Emma would be able to make their relationship work.

Emma was a good female lead and I felt for her. She was truly a survivor and had experienced so much heartbreak in her life. It was nice to see she didn’t let her past define her and she had carved out a successful career.

I wasn’t sure I’d like Jake at first. But since part of the story is also told from his POV, it was good to see his side of things and realize he had more depth than I first thought. I actually liked him and his brothers a lot, so it was a good way to set things up for future books.

The book moved at a good pace and the dual POV didn’t slow it down at all. It was a lot of will they and won’t they back and forth which had me anxious to see how things would work out. My only complaint would be the writing was a little confusing at times. It didn’t always flow and it made me confused over what the characters were talking about. The characters had quirky senses of humor and I didn’t always get their jokes.

All in all, an enjoyable read with realistic characters and a romance filled with plenty of angst.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

I received a complimentary copy of Getting By for review purposes.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Guest Reviews: Heartbitten by Aubrey Rose and Fall With Me by Julie Particka


Goodreads Summary:

Billionaire playboy Robert Chatham is as bloodthirsty as it gets. Snarky and self-obsessed, he has a new girl every day of the week. What the London tabloids don’t know is the reason Robb acts like a lady-killer: to avoid having to kill them. A four-hundred year old vampire, he feeds and moves on, never getting attached to any girl.

Until Liz.

A shy American transplant in the heart of London, Liz is slaving away on her grad school project: working to find a cure for the blood cancer that her younger sister died from years ago. Dead focused on her studies, she’s more interested in the chemistry of hemoglobin than in the chemistry between her and any guy.

Until Robb.

After an old vampire friend comes asking for a favor, Robb has to choose between repaying a life debt and chasing after the one girl who’s broken through his emotional walls. And when Liz stumbles upon evidence that seems to solve the puzzle of his mysterious seclusion, she confronts him in his lab. Only the dark secret she thought she had uncovered turns out to be something even more terrifying.


With a dead body in the trunk of his Porsche and a vial of cancerous blood in the pocket of her lab coat, Robb and Liz are heading for a collision course that will change both of their lives forever…

Publication Date: March 12, 2014

Jessica's Review:

3.5 stars. I had a hard time with this one. The premise sounded good and all the major story components were there, but it was boring and there isn't much of a build up to give you a chance to connect with the characters. I mean seriously, one minute she's calling him an asshole and the next she's dressed to the nines for a "date" with him? He didn't even ask her to her face, he just left a note in her lab coat. Such crap.


Goodreads Summary:

In the game of love…

Dumped by her college boyfriend for her best friend, the last thing Jenna Brandt needs to deal with is working beside her backstabbing-BFF's hotter-than-hot brother. But when he offers her a chance to get some revenge on her ex, she can hardly say no--even if spending more time with Sutton puts her heart in jeopardy all over again.

Someone's going to get hurt…

Sutton Bell has had a thing for Jenna since they were in high school, but after one screwed-up night, she didn’t want anything to do with him. Now, with just the summer before he leaves to begin his new career, Sutton’s determined to convince Jenna he’s not the player he used to be. But saving his sister from making an awful mistake may mean losing Jenna for good.

Publication Date: April 28, 2014


Jessica's Review:

3 stars. Ugh, what is with books lately. Again, the premise was good and the key components were there, but this story jumped right in and I felt like I started in the middle of it. The author definitely could have expanded on the backstory of Jenna and Sutton and maybe I would have been rooting for them a little more instead of wanting to yell at them to just grow up and get on with it. I just has a hard time relating and connecting with any of the characters. 

Thanks to the publishers for copies of the novels for review!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Author Interview and Book Spotlight: Sing Sweet Nightingale by Erica Cameron

A couple of months back I read Sing Sweet Nightingale and I absolutely loved it! It's definitely a series I'm obsessing over. I'm thrilled to have the author today on the blog to discuss her writing!

Book Summary:

Mariella Teagen hasn't spoken a word in four years.

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella's life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.


About the Author:

Erica Cameron knew that writing was her passion when she turned a picture book into a mystery novella as a teen. That piece wasn't her best work, but it got her an A. After college, she used her degree in Psycology and Creative Writing to shape a story about a dreamworld. Then a chance encounter at a rooftop party in Tribeca made her dream career a reality.

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dancer, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.

Her debut novel Sing Sweet Nightingale released March 4, 2014 from Spencer Hill Press. It is the first book in The Dream War Saga.

Interview with Erica Cameron:

Hi Erica and thanks so much for stopping by the blog today! I loved Sing Sweet Nightingale and I’m so excited about the sequel.

Thank you! I can’t wait to share more about Deadly Sweet Lies. I only hope people like it as much as they’ve enjoyed Sing Sweet Nightingale so far!


How did your writing career begin?

I have always been a story addict, the kind of kid who could re-read favorite books a dozen or so times and re-watch favorite movies a couple hundred times. They don’t really cover “how to be an author” in grade school, though. So even though I understood that there were mystical “authors” somewhere in the world who created the stories I so loved, it wasn’t until college that I got it. It really clicked that I could be one of those mystical authors.

In 2007, I wrote my first original novel and in early 2008 I began shopping it to agents. While I did get some really fantastic feedback, no one signed me as a client. Someone eventually pointed out all of the errors and inconsistencies in the first book and, while writing book two I realized how many corners I’d written myself into with the world. I shelved that series and moved on to something new.
It wasn’t until 2010 that I wrote Sing Sweet Nightingale and that is really where my actual “career” began. This book was strange from the start, beginning life as a single POV past-tense short story and ending up as a dual POV present-tense novel. It makes sense that the way it became a “real” book is strange too. I wrote a pretty detailed blog post about how I met my editors at a party I crashed and another one about the incredibly roundabout way I signed with my agent Danielle Chiotti seven months AFTER I sold Sing. Now I just have to keep the career running in the right direction as long as possible!


Do you read often? Any favorite books and authors?

Yes. As often as I can. This is, admittedly, not as often as I wish I were able to. My TBR pile is not actually a pile. It’s a whole six-foot-long, double-stacked shelf. Plus everything in my Kindle app. As for what I read, I tend to go on genre binges. If I read an excellent YA fantasy, I try to find a lot of other books in the same vein. But eventually something will hit a sour note and I’ll genre jump. Maybe mystery/thriller, maybe contemporary romance, maybe historical. I don’t read a lot of horror, really “literary” literature, or non-fiction. Because of my really wide reading range (and the seemingly permanent oddities of my brain), I don’t really have a true “favorite” author. However, my earliest “I will buy anything you write” author was Tamora Pierce. And my first book boyfriend was George Cooper from her Alanna series. I still adore her writing, her characters, and her worlds. They’re phenomenal!


The beginning of Sing Sweet Nightingale grabbed me from the beginning and I fell in love with Hudson from the first pages. Where did you get the inspiration for his character? What about Mari’s character?

I’m going to start with Mari only because the inspiration for her character is really easy to explain. I plucked her, name and everything, from a song by Kate Nash called “Mariella.” If you’ve read the book and you read the lyrics to the song, you’ll see exactly what I mean. What’s funny is that, as straightforward as the inspiration for her character was, no character I have written has ever, EVER fought me as much as she did. We had an incredibly contentious relationship for a long time.
Ahh, Hudson. <3 The inspiration for Hudson is harder to explain because there wasn’t some lightning bolt inspiration moment. When I started writing Sing (the very first draft of the short story version) I had no clue where the story was going. I knew there was a voluntarily mute girl, a guy in a dreamworld, and a guy in the real world. I didn’t know which side would be the “good” guy. The dreamworld guy looked hot but weirded me out for some reason I couldn’t explain, and the guy with the black eyes and the scars who showed up out of nowhere looked creepy but felt a lot safer. Hudson is one of those characters I had to get to know slowly, but it didn’t take long at all for me to realize that he was definitely the good guy. From the first draft to the very last, Hudson didn’t change much at all. He still is almost exactly who he was when he stepped on to the page that first time.


The DreamWorld was described in vivid detail and I really could picture it in my mind. Was it challenging to come up with all of the intricacies of the DreamWorld?

Thank you! A lot of the concept and imagery for Mariella’s dreamworld came from the movie What Dreams May Come (which I highly recommend watching if you’ve never seen it). Writing within the dreamworld itself wasn’t challenging mostly because I knew I could do almost whatever I wanted. That part was SO FUN! The hard part of the dreamworld came in all of the ways that world interacts with ours. And how people like Mariella and Hudson interact with the dreamworld. What’s possible? What’s impossible? How far does their power stretch in each place? What are the creatures like Orane capable of? If they can’t do something within our world, why not? How long can the doorways remain open? At what rate does time pass in each world? There are so many questions I had to answer in order to keep the possibilities for both Sing Sweet Nightingale and the rest of The Dream War Saga consistent. So, short answer? Yes. So much yes. It was definitely a challenge.


Willing to give any tidbits up about the next book in the Dream Wars saga?

The only thing I can say before the cover reveal on May 30 (everyone should come see me at BEA if you’re going to be there!) is that book two will probably not take the shape anyone expects it to. And I sincerely hope they’ll see this as a good thing.


I love the cover for Sing Sweet Nightingale. Have you seen the cover art for the next book?

Isn’t it GORGEOUS?! Spencer Hill is fantastic about asking for author input through the whole process. I don’t have a designers eye at all, so I didn’t have a clear concept of what I thought the cover should look like. The only thing I insisted on was that the cover relate to the book in a clearly defined way. My favorite covers are all ones that make perfect sense once you read the story. The “hot girl” or “pretty picture for no reason” covers make no sense to me. That was the ONE thing I insisted on and that’s definitely what I got. Also, Jeremy West (my cover photographer and designer) is a freaking prodigy child. I’m so glad I have him on my team!

And I have seen the cover art for Deadly Sweet Lies and O. M. G. Guys? He’s done it again. It’s perfect.


What’s your writing process like?

I always laugh/cry in my head when I see the word “process” applied to writing. It makes it seem as though there’s actually a way to do this. Worse, it makes some people think there’s some secret trick that’ll make writing a breeze. To date, and over the course of ten completed first drafts, I can say that I’ve never written a book the same way twice. One thing I am definitely not good at is outlining before I write. And by not good I mean awful. Horrifically awful. I hate it. 

For me, it is impossible to predict how people will react in a given situation until I know them. Characters are people. Until I have a handle on their voice, their quirks, and their backstory, I cannot possibly know what they’ll do if I throw them in the way of a gunfight or toss them on a desert island. Even more importantly, I won’t know WHY they react the way they do. And I know that some people can create these intricate questionnaires for their characters before they write to get to know them, but that doesn’t work for me either. I subscribe more to the ideology of letting the character introduce themselves to me as I write. The “listen to the voices in your head” theory.


Any advice for aspiring authors?

My friend Marni Bates recently wrote a FANTASTIC blog post with advice (and gifs!) for aspiring authors. She titled the post The Best Writing Advice I Don’t Feel Qualified to Give… I will tell you right now that there is a VERY GOOD REASON she titled her blog post this. Even people who have been in this industry for decades can’t tell you how to become an author. Or what it might take to make your career successful. Trust me, I know. I’ve asked them.

THAT BEING SAID, here’s some advice:

Take advice when it’s offered and apply it whenever it’s useful, but don’t listen to anyone who tells you there’s a “right” way to write.

Fight for your dream, but don’t beat your head against a brick wall with a project that isn’t right.
Don’t quit your day job until you’re really sure you’re ready. If you like your day job, you don’t have to quit ever unless you want to. Lots of authors have dual professions.

Writing is an art and therefore subjective. Extremely. Not everyone is going to like everything you write, but all you need is one agent and/or editor to say “Yes! I love that.”

In the same vein, don’t sign with an agent who isn’t extremely passionate and enthusiastic about both your current book and your potential career. Also, don’t sign with an agent if the only thing they have going for them is passion. Writing may be an art, but it’s still a business. You need someone who knows the industry to help you navigate the technical aspects of your chosen career.

Learn to love (or at the very least cope with) editing. It’s going to be a very big part of your life.
Last, but possibly most importantly, don’t become an author unless you honestly, seriously cannot see yourself doing anything else. It’s stressful, time consuming, and utterly rewarding. Be sure the prizes you’ll get from writing (and what those prizes are is different for every author) is worth everything else.  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #88

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.

For Review:
Mine to Spell by Janeal Falor

Retribution by Amy Thompson

Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge

The Perfect Stranger by Wendy Corsi Staub

Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

What a Wallflower Wants by Maya Rodale

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review: (Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

Goodreads Summary:

Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

Except...
There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.

Publication Date: June 10, 2014


This is the type of book that makes you feel a little crazy when reading it. You never truly know what’s going on and you decide just to go with it and see what happens. I enjoyed the novel, but at times I did put it down in order to try and figure out what the hell I was exactly reading.

I love the author’s writing style and from the first page her words drew me into the story. This is the second book I read by Quinn and I’m always impressed at how she’s able to create a creepy mood for her novels. The beginning starts with a bang with a flashback to the night Piper lead her classmates to their watery death.

The world building was confusing at first and it did turn me off a bit. However, I’m so glad I stuck it out because as the mysteries unravel, so many things began to make sense. Gardnerville was unlike any town I ever read about and I loved learning about the mythology of the place where no one is sick but every four years tragedy strikes when a teen decides to go on a murderous rampage.

Skylar is an unreliable narrative and because of her drug use and depression, her thoughts are jumbled and hard to follow. It added to the mystery, but I did prefer the narrative when Skylar gets clean and tries to find out what exactly happened to her sister after the night of the tragedy.

It’s hard to talk about the plot without giving away spoilers, but I did think I had a lot of things figured out from the early pages. I was pleasantly surprised when some of the twists really made my jaw drop. The book is a bit of a mind freak and it’s a novel readers will want to pick up again after finishing to see if they can make sense of everything.

I’d recommend the novel to fans of edgy YA novels. The book blends romance, horror and suspense in order to create a page-turning read.

Rating: 4/5 Stars


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

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike

Goodreads Summary:

Oracles see the future but are never supposed to interfere. Charlotte learned that the hard way. If she hadn't tried to change one of her childhood visions, her father would still be alive. Since the accident, Charlotte has suppressed her visions to avoid making the same mistake. But when she receives a premonition of a classmate's murder, she can no longer ignore her powerful gift.

Then Charlotte meets someone who not only knows her secret but who also has a way for her to stop the killer. He offers to teach her how to manipulate her visions to change the future. But doing so will put Charlotte in the path of the murderer.…

Aprilynne Pike's bestselling Wings series was called "remarkable" by Stephenie Meyer, bestselling author of the Twilight Saga. And her most recent novel, Life After Theft, was cheered as a "whirlwind adventure" by School Library Journal. Now Aprilynne returns with this exhilarating departure from her previous novels. Sleep No More is a psychological thrill ride that is sure to keep readers' hearts racing until the very end.

Publication Date: April 29, 2014


Sleep No More had a strong beginning, but the ending kind of lost me. I liked the premise of the Oracles and how Charlotte has to decipher her visions to find a murderer. The serial killer scenes were so scary and the mystery may have been a little predictable, but it still had me eager to find out what would happen.

Charlotte is a loner, forced by her aunt to block out her psychic visions. Oracles aren’t supposed to change the future, but Charlotte finds this difficult to do when she sees her classmates being murdered. A mystery man named Smith contacts her and offers his help and they work together to save her classmates.

Charlotte was a good lead and I could sympathize with how hard it was to be ostracized by her classmates because of the cover story she used to hide her visions. I wish the secondary characters were a little more developed, especially Charlotte’s love interest Linden and her aunt Sierra.

The pacing was good, especially as Charlotte is thrown into horrific vision after vision of the murders. The details of the murders were gruesome and I could understand how horrified Charlotte was to see people close to her killed in such gory ways. The paranormal angle was interesting, especially as Charlotte experiments with her powers.

My issue was the end, so frustrating! There were random twists thrown in and I didn’t like the direction they took the story in. I also didn’t understand the killer’s motives at all once they were revealed. I was actually a little depressed after finishing the book because I wasn’t thrilled with the final outcome.

The conclusion seemed open ended, so I’m hoping this will become a series and some of the problems I had with the book would be worked out. I mostly enjoyed Sleep No More and would certainly read another book by the author.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: Deliver Me by Kate Jarvik Birch

Goodreads Summary:

One People. One Union. One Future.

Wynne’s entire life is dictated by the Union: the clothes she wears, the books she reads, even the genes she inherited. And like every other girl in the Union, Wynne dreams of being chosen as a Carrier on her 16th birthday—one of the elite selected to carry the future generation within her womb. Wynne and her best friend Odessa are certain they will both make the cut, but when Odessa is chosen and whisked off to a life of privilege, Wynne is left behind to work as an assistant, delivering perfectly planned babies for the Union.

As Odessa slips deeper and deeper into the role of Carrier, Wynne begins to see the Union for what it really is: a society that criminalizes the notion of love, and forbids words like mother and family.

For the first time in her life, Wynne is faced with a choice: submit to the will of the Union, or find a way to escape and save Odessa before she is lost forever.

Publication Date: April 15, 2014


Although I’ve never read The Handmaid’s Tale, I know of the plot. Deliver Me has similar themes and readers will be horrified over the things Wynne and the rest of the women of the Union must endure. It was a good read with an ending filled with possibility.

The dystopian society where best friends Wynne and Odessa live is terrifying. Women are groomed to become carriers of the next generation and those not chosen are assigned jobs as servants. Wynne is not chosen as a Carrier, but her best friend is. The novel then follows Wynne on her respective journey away from Odessa.

The world building is fairly good in Deliver Me although I would’ve liked more about how the society came about. With such cruel practices, I also thought there would be more about a resistance movement. Wynne is unhappy, but I would’ve liked more about her emotional turmoil.

Wynne was a relatable narrator and I felt for her as she tries to make sense of her life away from Odessa. Wynne is fairly naïve and it takes her a while to see things for what they are. She grew as a character and I was happy with her transformation by the novel’s end.

The plot moved at a good pace and there was a lot of tension when Wynne found herself going against the rules of the society. The conclusion was open-ended and I’d be curious to read a sequel about Wynne and Odessa. I was left with a lot of questions and I’d like to see how things could play out.

Overall, Deliver Me is a good debut with thought-provoking themes. I’d recommend the book to fans of YA dystopians.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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


Monday, April 21, 2014

Music Mondays: Falling for Autumn Playlist

Falling for Autumn has been released for a week, hooray! Hopefully you had a chance to check it out. Here's the buy links in case you missed them:

Today, I'm sharing some of the songs that inspired the book. It's definitely an eclectic mix, but the lyrics definitely define my characters. Here's the set list and the widget below has previews of each of the songs.


Falling for Autumn Playlist

Mad World by Gary Jules

Breathe by Anna Nalick

Ain’t It Fun by Paramore

Seal My Fate by Belly

Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos

Blood Red Summer by Coheed & Cambria

Girl (Beatles Cover) by Jim Sturgess

32 Flavors by Ani DiFranco

White Blank Page by Mumford & Sons

Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys

Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town by Pearl Jam


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #87

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.

Purchased:
All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry

For Review:
Obsessed by Jo Gibson

Undeniable by Ashley Simone

Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

The Lonely by Ainslie Hogarth

Fragile Line by Brooklyn Skye

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf

Friday, April 18, 2014

Shadow Fire by Kimber Leigh Wheaton Spotlight and $50 Gift Card Giveaway

Shadow Fire Tour
Shadow fireShadow Fire
Ashlyn – a free-spirited teenager whose peaceful life is shattered when the village elders honor her with a perilous quest to recover a stolen relic.
Zane – a jaded mercenary, torn by his undeniable desire for Ashlyn and the dark secret that could make her hate him forever.
Delistaire – a malevolent sorcerer driven by an insatiable lust for power.
All three are bound together by an ancient relic supposedly infused with the power of a Goddess.
Shadow Fire – adventure, passion, secrets, and betrayal
As Ashlyn and Zane race to stay one step ahead of the evil lurking in the shadows, their passions are ignited and their bond strengthens. But will they find the relic before Delistaire? Or has their entire quest been orchestrated from the very beginning by a madman in pursuit of ultimate power?
Each installment of The Light Chronicles is a standalone story.
Praise for Shadow Fire

"This book contains monsters, magic, majestic creatures, and a evil guy that wants to destroy the world. If you love hot guys.....Zane is all that plus a few tricks up his sleeve. Just read it!" Venture ~Amazon Reviewer

"Adventure, magical creatures, fun characters, and romance make this book a perfect read for all ages." James ~Amazon Reviewer

"I thought the writing was strong; it had me turning the pages quickly to see what would happen next. The characters were engaging and the dialogue well-written." Lisa Temple ~ Goodreads

"Oh, I truly loved this one! Shadow Fire, by Kimber Leigh Wheaton, is a snappy, sassy, sweet, all-that-kind-of-awesome-and-then-some YA read. I couldn't put it down." ~Sasha Hibbs ~ Amazon Reviewer
add to goodreads new
Excerpt
When we reach the deck, everyone stops to stare at me. Trying to ignore the blatant curiosity, I follow Hanna down the aft stairs to the brig. Zane and Taranis occupy cells across from each other. They're both sitting on the floor glaring daggers at each other. Hanna hands the key to me and slips away. Inching closer, I'm careful to remain out of reach of the two prisoners. As soon as they see me, both men jump up and start talking over each other.

"Ashlyn! How are you feeling, Love?" Zane asks.

"Ashlyn, my fiery angel, you are a ray of sunshine in this dank prison!" Taranis says.

"I'm gonna let you both out, if, and only if, you promise to behave," I threaten. Both men nod their agreement. "That means no fighting. It also means we never, and I mean never, speak of what happened last night." When I get no argument, I free Zane first and then Taranis.

"Do you even know what happened last night?" Zane asks, taking me into his arms. I stand rigid in his embrace, not sure if I'm ready to forgive him quite yet.

"Only what Hanna told me," I snap at him.

"I saved your virtue from this raving lunatic," Taranis says, pointing at Zane.

"Then you decided to take it for yourself!" Zane yells back at him.

"Did you not hear me?" I shout. Pulling myself from Zane's embrace, I back up and glare at both men. "No speaking of last night. Period. End of discussion."

"Yes, Love," Zane replies.

"Yes, virtuous virgin," Taranis replies.

"Taranis!" I release a menacing growl, and wince when my right eye starts to tic. "Yes?" he asks, eyes full of mock innocence.

"Run," Zane says.

Taranis listens to Zane's advice and takes off up the stairs to the deck with me hot on his heels.





KimberAuthor Kimber Leigh Wheaton

Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet romance and is a member of Romance Writers of America.

She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs and four cats. No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. Her house is filled with dragons, though she does lament that they are the porcelain, non-flying variety.

Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!)

Her debut novel, Shadow Fire, is the first book in The Light Chronicles series. Watch for book two, Stolen Moon, a standalone sequel, coming soon.




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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 5/15/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Meridian by Josin L. McQuein

Goodreads Summary:

Marina thought that she had solved all of the Arclight’s mysteries. She had found her own history—that she was one of the Fade, that she never should have been human. She knows that the Fade who surround the Arclight don’t want to be the humans' enemies at all. She knows that the leader of those inside the Arc, Honoria Whit, never told the whole truth. But there is so much more that Marina is just discovering. There are more survivors out there. Only Marina—and her friends, all of whom have connections to the Fade they'd never known about—can lead her people to them. But there are also darker dangers, things that even the Fade fear. And Marina slowly realizes she may never have been “cured,” after all. The sequel to Arclight, Meridian is an intense, action-packed page-turner about the lines we draw between right and wrong, light and dark . . . and the way nothing is ever that black and white.

Publication Date: April 22, 2014

I like the Arclight series, but I felt like Meridian dragged. Although I found it interesting to learn about how the Fade came into existence, I wanted more about the present conflict. However, I liked how Meridian set up the conflict for the next book.

The series definitely reminds me of The Host, which is one of my favorite books. Marina has a Fade conscience living inside of her named Cherish. Cherish is in love with a Fade named Rue while Marina has developed feelings for a human boy named Tobin. I actually wish more of the book focused on the complicated romance. Although it’s touched upon, there was very little development with the relationships.

There was a lot of action in the book, which made the novel hold my attention. The beginning was a little slow as the reader gets reacquainted with the Fade and a new type of threat. The Arclight survivors set out on a mission and the book really picked up. The writing was very descriptive and it gave me the ability to easily imagine what the Fade and Wild Fade looked like.

Meridian is a likable character and with Cherish inside of her, I could empathize with how she was being pulled in two different directions. I’m not sure how her dual personality issue will be resolved, but I’m curious to see if everyone is able to get a happy ending. I’m hoping for a way that Cherish ends up with Rue and Meridian stays with Tobin. Tobin is my favorite character. He’s such a real teen boy and I liked that the author didn’t make him out to be a boring Gary Stu and instead kept him flawed.

Overall, I do really like the series and will continue on. I was hoping for more resolution and romantic development, but Meridian did make me eager for the next book.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review: One Broke Girl by Rhonda Helms

Goodreads Summary:

Anna Parker’s life disintegrates with one phone call. Her dad’s selling their ritzy New York City condo because her Wall Street banker mom emptied their bank account and ran off with another man. Which means Anna has to drop out of her elite college and move with Dad back to their small Ohio hometown. Anna’s determined to reclaim her life ASAP, so she’ll use the next few months to save money, help Dad get back on his feet, and find and confront her mom.

But Anna doesn’t anticipate things going so wrong. The only job she can get is working as a lunch lady in an elementary school. Their money-pit duplex is falling apart around their feet. And her dad is depressed without her mom, who's proving hard to find.

One bright spot in the chaos is Gavin Metcalf, a kindergarten teacher she dated when they were young teens. With his easy wit and sexy smiles, he makes her forget her stresses—and the fact that her boyfriend Steven back in New York doesn’t know the truth yet about her dire circumstances. When past and present collide, Anna has to decide where her future lies...


Publication Date: April 2014


This was a short read with an interesting premise. I loved the idea of the main character going from riches to rags and discovering her self along the way. Although there were some cute moments, I think the length of the story didn’t allow me to form enough of a connection to the main characters.

Anna had a lot of growth during the novel. I liked how she changed for the better. It would’ve been interesting to read more about what she was like before her mom left. I think it could’ve helped to better understand what she was going through. If the book started at an earlier point, it would have made me understand her relationship with Steven and why she was torn up about potentially ending things with him.

Gavin was a cutie and I definitely loved him as a potential love interest (he’s a kindergarten teacher, such a swoony job). My favorite parts of the book were Anna’s run ins with Gavin and how much he flustered her. Anna’s budding friendships with Bianca and Natalie was also a strong plot point.

Overall, I liked One Broke Girl, but would’ve preferred more conflict and development. I think this book is the start of the series, so hopefully future books will let readers get to know the characters better.

Rating: 3/5 Stars


I received a complimentary copy of One Broke Girl for review.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Release Day!!! Falling for Autumn Sale Event and $20 Amazon and Paypal Cash Giveaway


Autumn Dorey had no problem leaving her hometown of Newpine and the friends there who’d betrayed her. Everyone thought they knew what happened the spring night Autumn’s world fell apart. Vicious rumors about the incident circulated, and she had to be homeschooled the last year of high school to escape her tormentors. All she wants now is to get away from it all and start over at Cook University. She leaves everything but the memory behind—something she swore she’d never forget—and sets off to rebuild what was broken.

Blake Preston is precisely the type of guy Autumn wants to avoid. He’s gorgeous, arrogant and the college’s beloved football star. As much as she believes he’s someone she should steer clear of, avoiding him proves to be impossible. He shows up everywhere around campus, offering her a no-strings attached friendship. 

Autumn can’t deny Blake stirs up emotions she thought fled years ago. But things he’s been hiding begin to emerge and collide with her past, leaving her heart ravaged in their wake.



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Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Goodreads Summary:

Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.

Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.

Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.

Publication Date: April 8, 2014


Plus One had an interesting premise, but I’m not sure if I totally bought into the idea behind the dystopian society. However, I did like some of the unique plot elements and interesting secondary characters.

I’m usually easily sold on dystopian setups, but for some reason Plus One’s world building didn’t really work for me. There was a vague explanation of why the country had separated into day and night dwellers (something to do with increased productivity), but it was a little too implausible for me to believe. The government was paying a huge expense to keep the program in place (guards to check IDs, surgeries to correct circadian rhythms, medications to treat vitamin D and melatonin deficiencies), with very little payoff. Also, the plot of Plus One could’ve been stronger. It just didn’t make much sense for a smart girl like Sol to enact this half-baked scheme to steal her niece for a few hours from the maternity ward so her grandfather can finally meet her.

Although Sol’s impulsiveness was maddening at times, I did admire her fierce loyalty to her family. The romance was also sweet and slow building with Sol and D’Arcy not really getting along for two-thirds of the novel. D’Arcy was a great love interest and I liked how kind and good he was, especially when it came to protecting Sol. The secondary characters, such as Jean and Poppu, were also very likable.

There was a lot of action in the novel, so I never grew bored while reading. The author also put in some unexpected twists that I hadn’t anticipated. Because of the gorgeous cover, I thought it would be more of a plot driven by the romance, but that wasn’t the case. It was more about how Sol’s race to save her grandfather while uncovering government conspiracies.

I did enjoy Fama’s writing style and her superb characterizations, which would make me pick up another book by the author despite my issues with the world building.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

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

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #86

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.

Purchased:

Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

For Review:
The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan

Feral by Holly Schindler

In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeline Kuderick

Fool Me Twice by Mandy Hubbard

A Kiss by the Book by Christy Hayes