Saturday, May 31, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #91

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:
Winterspell by Claire Legrand

Safe & Sound by T.S. Krupa

One Kick by Chelsea Cain

Dollhouse by Anya Allyn

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto

The Revealed by Jessica Hickman

Friday, May 30, 2014

Review: Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge

Summary:

Chloe Benson wakes up kidnapped and bound in an underground tomb with no memory of how she got there.

She escapes through deserted woods with her life, but no one believes her story.

And when she suspects her husband is lying to her, Chloe is forced to retrace her past, following in her own footsteps to find the truth and stay alive.

But who is following Chloe?

Look Behind You. You never know who’s out there.


I really loved Look Behind You. Although the plot seemed straightforward enough, the author kept me guessing. I would think I had the whole abduction plot figured out and then a twist would come up and I’d doubt my theories.

The book had a gripping beginning. Chloe wakes up in a crypt with no memory of her abduction. Chloe is injured and bound and she must find a way out of the tomb in order to survive. Chloe escapes the ordeal, but when she returns home, her horrors are only just starting.

I definitely connected with Chloe. When I read about her past and her relationship with husband Liam, it was obvious Chloe had been a pushover. I liked her transformation throughout the book and how strong and independent she became.  

I loved so many of the story elements. I empathized with Chloe as she tries to figure out the mysteries surrounding her abduction. Chloe is somewhat of an unreliable narrator once she discovers she had a mental break just before her abduction. Her shaky mental state makes everyone doubt her abduction and escape story.

The pacing was great and I never grew bored of the plot. The novel is a quick read and I had to finish as the suspense continued to build.

Fans of psychological thrillers will enjoy this book. The author is new to me, but I’ll be looking for more books from her.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Guest Review: Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Goodreads Summary:

Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are—or how they’ve been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction—and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.


Publication Date: September 18, 2012

Guest Reviewer Jessica's Take:

I'm really on the fence with this book. It started out sort of slow and weird, so I almost stopped reading it, then the middle picked up and it actually got really good. Then we got to the end. It was just too unrealistic and boring that it took all I had to finish it. I'm writing this and I'm still not sure if I'd recommend reading it.

3/5 Stars

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

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Spotlight: No Alligators in Sight by Kirsten B. Feldman

Book Summary:

In this coming of age novel, Lettie and Bert squeak by in a tiny town on Cape Cod, one parent an alcoholic and the other absent. After a string of bad decisions on Lettie’s part, their father ships them to their barely remembered mother for the summer, where they will learn hard lessons about themselves, their family, and their future by way of the Florida swamp. Throughout Lettie keeps her biting humor flowing, her razor-sharp pen at the ready, and her eye on her quest for a “normal” life.


Author Bio (photo taken by Tracy A. Lenz)
I grew up on Cape Cod and the Connecticut shoreline and now live outside of Boston, much too far from the ocean and the sand. Reading and writing have played a central part in my life both personally and professionally. I am rarely without a book in my hand. Brown University gave me my undergrad degree in comparative literature, and Tufts kindly did the same for my master's in English education. I have worked in a variety of school and museum education settings, including teaching 7th and 8th grade English. My graduate advisor once told me that if teenagers don't make you laugh then consider another career. To me the adolescent voice has such vibrancy and depth to it, whether funny or not; many of my favorite books have this point of view, including: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood. When I started writing No Alligators in Sight, it was unequivocally Lettie's voice that told me the story.  May she speak to you as well!

Author Blog

Other Links


Excerpt from No Alligators in Sight

“So.  Let’s get started.” He squinted up at the sun, just approaching its height.  “We’ve got a good eight to nine hours before it gets dark.  Plan is to bushwhack our way around the island, look for the best spot to cut through to the center, and make a site for the tents and the latrine.”  He reached into one of the moldy canvas bags he’d brought and pulled out four big knives with curved blades.  He slung the bag over his head and behind his back. “Know what these are?”
“Cool!  Swords!” Bert was already reaching for one.
I had seen them in the army/navy store in Provincetown.  I didn’t know anyone actually used them, I thought they were more sort of decorative, or if you were a veteran remembering your days in Nam.  “You’re giving an eight-year-old a machete.  Isn’t there some law against that, child labor or something?”
“Now you’re a joker, huh?  You need to work on your delivery.”
“Seriously, he can’t use that thing.  He’ll cut off his leg.”
“Yes, I can, I can.  See?” Bert grabbed for a machete and then swung wildly to cut down a mass of green growth.  I didn’t know what it was; all the plants were different down here and grew bigger overnight.  I’d seen in the paper that some of the vines in Key West were so strong they pulled down telephone lines.
“No blood, huh?  All set then.  We’ll go this way,” he put his leash hand on Gertrude’s shoulder, “and you two go that way.  We’ll meet at that big tree in a couple hours, report our progress.”   He waved vaguely at the great trees that crowded the central part of the island (like the whole island wasn’t covered in trees).  “And you better have made some.” He put one of the big duffels over his other shoulder.
“You look out for Bert, okay, Leticia?” Gertrude quavered.
“Like I ever do anything else,” I muttered.  “And don’t worry about me or anything.  I’m all set for Jungleland here, plenty of preparation.”
“Clearly her mouth is her best weapon.  Let’s go, True.  Time’s a waitin’,” and then they were off.  She didn’t even look back.
“Wasting, you idiot.”
 “Annie?”
“Yeah?”
“Is he serious?”

Monday, May 26, 2014

Review: Mine to Spell by Janeal Falor

Goodreads Summary:

Cynthia has always hidden from her father’s hexes behind her older sister. When her family gains independence unheard of for women, she’s relieved that her days of harsh punishments are over. But as her seventeenth birthday approaches—the typical age to be sold to a new master—death threats endanger her sisters. She now faces two options: run or meet society’s expectations.

For once, Cynthia isn’t going to let her older sister shield her from the problem. She’s going to prove to herself, her sisters, and society that her family isn’t a threat to their traditions. She willingly chooses to be purchased by a new master. A bold step that takes her somewhere she never thought she would go and to a man she might possibly fall in love with. With his help, she may just find a way to save her sisters while discovering how to stand up for herself. If she lives long enough.

Publication Date: May 5, 201
4

Mine to Spell was a great continuation of the YA fantasy series from author Janeal Falor. I really love how imaginative the series has been thus far. The author uses incredible imagery to draw readers into her world. I also enjoy the feminist movement at the center of the story.

Cynthia is a lot different from her sister Serena. She’s more impulsive than Serena and was very dead-set on changing the way women are treated in their oppressive society. Not only does Cynthia want freedom from being owned by a warlock, she also wants to be free to practice magic.

The secondary characters were fabulous. I especially fell for Cynthia’s love interest Lukas. The romance is kept very light in this book, like the previous, and although I understand why, I still would’ve liked more development in that area. I was also happy to see Zade take on a big role in this novel and it was great to see how caring he was about Serena and her sisters.

I love the magical scenes. The author uses color to describe the effects of the spells and hexes and it makes it easy to picture the battles between warlocks. The world building was well done and even though I read the first book months ago, I found myself able to understand how the society worked without a lot of extensive background information.

The feminist movement plot kept me interested and I can see the sisters working together to completely overhaul the government in future books. The novel ended in a good spot and I’m eager to read the next book. I’d recommend the series to fans of YA literature who enjoy fantasy with strong female leads.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


Thanks to the author for gifting me with a copy for review!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #90

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:
Monster in his Eyes by JM Darhower

For Review:
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Winning Miss Wakefield by Vivienne Lorret

Broken by M.L. Young

Blue Crush by Jules Barnard

Unwept byLaura Hickman

Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Friday, May 23, 2014

99 Cents Book Sales

Here are some sale books to grab for the weekend (including Falling for Autumn!!!) The books were 99 cents at the time of posting, but make sure you double check the price on Amazon before you one click.


Falling for Autumn-Buy on Amazon

Emma's Story Series Box Set-Buy on Amazon

Finding Us-Buy on Amazon

Abducted-Buy on Amazon

Devour Anthology-Buy on Amazon

Dark and Deadly Collection-Buy on Amazon

Mid Life Love-Buy on Amazon

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review: Chasing Shadows by Tia Silverthorne Bach

Goodreads Summary:

Reagan thought one night changed her life forever, but her fate was written long ago.

Merging creature and white blood,
One of flame, one of night,
At eighteen years it will commence,
Spiritual warrior and power,
Will bring an end to the lawless ones.

A war looms: One that pits brother against brother for werewolf supremacy. Angels and demons will each have a say before a victor is chosen.

With her eighteenth birthday only six months away, time is running out. Reagan must find a way to harness the two powerful, ancient bloodlines coursing through her: Werewolf and Wiccan. Then, she has to figure out her role in the century-old prophecy foretold by her great-grandmother.

However, if Reagan can’t save her family from her most vicious rival, Rafe, the forces of Hell will be unleashed and the war will be over before it starts.

Publication Date: May 7, 2014


Chasing Shadows was a great sequel! It was a gripping read and I was glad to see the action started early on in the book and never stopped. Reagan continued to grow on me in this book and I really enjoyed her character arc.

Reagan reads like a true teenager. Her emotions are all over the place and she desperately tries to make sense of her new reality. At times, in the first book, she annoyed me and I was glad to see she grew as a character. She became stronger despite having the burden of being associated with a prophecy at the heart of a supernatural war.

I loved the side characters in this one. Since we were introduced to most of them in the first book, I enjoyed getting to know them better. I liked the new additions too and how they added more intrigue to the plot. There are some huge reveals associated with a few new characters and I was truly surprised by the revelations.

The pacing was stronger in this book. Since the world building was already done, the author jumped right into the plot. The book picked up where book one concluded. Typically, I find myself lost after there has been a break between reading books in a series, but Bach did a great job of giving the reader the background they needed without an info dump.

The climax was exciting and I thought the author picked a good point to end the book. The ending also built up my anticipation for the next book in the series. The Tala Prophecy series is a great set of paranormal books for teens.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


Thanks to the author for providing a copy of the novel for review!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Finding Autumn (Falling for Autumn #1.5)

Finding Autumn is coming along and I expect the novella to be released in July. Finding Autumn will be Blake's POV of Falling for Autumn. It will also include bonus chapters taking place after the final pages of the book. Below is an unedited excerpt BUT proceed with caution. MAJOR SPOILERS if you have yet to read Falling for Autumn.

“Were you crying?”
She swiped her hands across her face before narrowing her eyes. “Yes, and my tolerance for your bullshit is at an all time low tonight. I don’t know how you got the idea that I’ve given you an open invitation to come to my dorm room whenever you like. It’s rude to me and my roommate.”
“Do you want to tell me why you’re crying?”
“No.”
She didn’t have to say it because I already knew. She had found out about Thomas’s release. As I looked at her, stared at this beautiful girl crying, a dark rage built inside of me. I hated my stepfather—hated that he had done something so horrible to someone who was so impossibly good. I had been a fool to believe my stepdad’s version and I could admit it to myself now. Autumn was never a liar. She had trusted Thomas in the same way I had and paid the price for her kindness.
“Do you want me to leave?” 
Please say no, I silently begged as an innate need arose inside my core to help her. I may not have broken her, but I had to shoulder some responsibility for her pain. I’d been one of her accusers—believing the worst instead of facing the truth. Loving someone evil was a small burden compared to what she’d faced.
A hiccupped sob escaped her lips and I could see the way she was trying to keep it all in. In the past two years, how many times had she been forced to hold back her emotions? She had been vilified despite the fact she was the victim. She needed to know my truth—but not tonight. Tonight, she needed a friend.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Goodreads Summary:

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.

Publication Date: April 8, 2014


I love time travel novels and I thought The Here and Now was a fast-paced and interesting book. I liked the relationship between Prenna and Ethan and how much they wanted to be together despite the impossibility of it.

I liked the main characters and it made sense for teenage Prenna to start questioning the rules of the time traveling society she hails from. Prenna was written like a realistic teenager with her jumbled emotions and her tendency to make impulsive decisions. Ethan was sweet and strong although at times I felt like some of the things he could do to help out Prenna were a little too convenient for the plot.

The beginning and end of the novel were my favorite parts and had the most action. The middle was a little slow while Prenna and Ethan left on their mission, but there were some cute getting to know each other scenes. The book is short, so I was able to finish in a few sittings.

I liked the mystery aspect of the novel and trying to figure out who the good and bad guys were. The ending was bittersweet, but did offer a solid conclusion. I’d recommend this book to fans of YA romances with a touch of sci-fi elements.

Rating: 4/5 Stars


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

Friday, May 16, 2014

Review: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Goodreads Summary:

The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she's gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor's nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy's athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly...

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight..

Publication Date: November 27, 2012


This book was the perfect weekend read! Funny, sexy, and light-hearted! I loved the characters and especially enjoyed the gradual friends to lovers relationship between Caroline and Simon.

I had held off for a bit on reading this book because the description made me a little leery. I expected to be turned off by Simon and the parade of women he brings into his apartment. But he wasn’t the stereotypical jerk who treats women as if they’re easily disposable. He’s sweet and funny and had amazing chemistry with Caroline. Caroline was great too and her inner monologue was really hysterical. She had great female friend relationships and was very career-oriented.

I had expected the relationship to progress super quick, but it was a slow-building romance. I liked reading how Caroline and Simon got to know each other and the hijinks that ensued before they became intimate. Caroline’s cat led to a few super silly moments that had me snorting while reading.

If you were looking to turn off your brain for a few hours and just read something fun and sweet, then I’d highly recommend Wallbanger.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Guest Reviews: Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose and A Kiss by the Book by Christy Hayes

Goodreads Summary:

Go Ask Alice was a hoax. But Dear Nobody is a true teen diary so raw and so edgy its authenticity rings off every page

"I am a freak."

The words and drawings of Mary Rose present a gritty, powerful, no-holds-barred true experience of a teen girl so desperate to be loved, so eager to fit in that she'll go to extremes that could cost her her life.

This is not a story about addiction. Or sexual promiscuity. Or cystic fibrosis. It's the story of a young woman with a powerful will to live, who more than anything wants to be heard...and loved.

This compelling, emotional account ensures her voice will not be forgotten.

Publication Date: April 1, 2014


Jessica's Review:


3.5 stars. I lived the idea of this story, especially the fact that they were using her actual journals, but there's only so much depressing writing a person can handle and I found myself getting bored. I understand she had a lot of crap on her plate and her life was less than ideal, but as I've said before, we all have that in some form and the truly brave overcome it instead of using it as an excuse for illegal and destructive behavior. 

Goodreads Summary:

College senior Zach Chamberlain’s charmed life has always gone according to script:
Date the prettiest girl in high school, check.
Football scholarship to a division-one school, check.
Heisman contender, check.
Buy engagement ring, check.
On track to graduate with honors, check.
There’s just one glitch. His girlfriend is in love with his younger brother and breaks up with him in the middle of his senior season. Shocked, betrayed, and embarrassed, Zach turns to the only woman he can trust: his nerdy tutor.

Tutoring college athletes at Southeastern State University is more than a job for Jenna Peterson; it’s a way for her to pay it forward after long-ago tragedy struck too close to home. SE State’s golden boy, Zach Chamberlain, isn’t the first jock Jenna’s tutored with cover-boy good looks, and he won’t be the last. When he asks for her help with statistics, Jenna assumes he’s as egocentric as the other athletes on her roster. A wildly inappropriate and lackluster kiss at the worst possible time doesn’t do much to disprove her theory.

Zach will do anything to save face in front of his family, and he uses Jenna’s bleeding heart and unfortunate circumstances to enlist her help over the holidays. Jenna begins to realize Zach is more than a pretty face as his storybook life begins to unravel. When a sprig of mistletoe provides the perfect opportunity for Zach to affirm his skill, the searing kiss pits the playmaker against the rule maker in a kiss to the end. When secrets are revealed and the game’s on the line, will they follow the script, improvise, or throw the book out the window?

Publication Date: April 2, 2014

Jessica's Review:

4 stars. I loved the snarkiness and banter between the lead characters and I totally got teary eyed towards the end during this particular scene, so it's worth reading. And I loved that Jenna was just your average girl and not some Barbie clone with a size zero figure. :) Not sure I'd race right out and get it for my shelves, but I'd definitely read more by this author.

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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Review: In the End (In the After #2) by Demetria Lunetta

Goodreads Summary:

The thrilling conclusion to In the After, the survival story of Amy and Baby, set in a near future where Earth has been overrun by vicious, predatory creatures.

It’s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she’s been surviving on her own, like she did in the After. Until one day, her former fellow Guardian’s voice rings out in her earpiece. And in a desperate tone, Kay utters the four words Amy had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby.

Now it’s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. In order to save Baby, Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison-turned-survivor-colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay’s brother. He alone holds the key to Baby’s survival.

One small slip-up on this quest could spark a downward spiral that would not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the very survival of the people in the After.

Publication Date: June 24, 2014


This was a little different than the first book, but still enjoyable. Fans of YA dystopians will likely enjoy this series. Amy is a tough and smart heroine and I enjoyed reading about how she survives the chaos of a world destroyed by a viral outbreak.

In the End started off strong. I felt like there was lots of action and Amy was consistently in danger. She had to fend off the “monsters,” survive corrupt and murderous survivors and steer clear of deadly infections. The book held my interest and I was curious to see where the author was going with the plot.

There are a lot of new characters introduced In the End. I liked most of them, but I definitely missed favorites from the first book. Rice, Kay and Baby don’t really show up until the finale of the story. I had loved Amy and Baby’s dynamic in the first novel and had wanted to see the relationship develop.

Fort Black was an interesting place and a complete departure from New Hope. I liked reading about another type of survivor community. Amy meets a tattoo artist named Jacks there and a love triangle is introduced between Amy, Rice and Jacks. I actually wasn’t feeling the romance, which is very rare for me. The romantic bits are usually my favorite parts.

This is the second and final book in the series. I wouldn’t mind reading another book. It felt like there was so much more that could be explored in the world created by the author. Overall, I liked the series a lot and look forward to future works from Lunetta.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of the book for review!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dream On by M. Kircher Spotlight Post

Title: Dream On
Author: M. Kircher
Author Bio: M. KIRCHER graduated with a B.A. in Fine Arts from Gordon College. She devours YA, science fiction, fantasy, and romance on a regular basis and is immensely happy to pour her time and energy into creating stories for other people to enjoy. Bob Ross and J.R.R. Tolkien tie for her two favorite people of all time.

M. Kircher lives in Connecticut with her husband, energetic son, and new baby girl.

Publisher: Astraea Press http://www.astraeapress.com/
Date: April 22, 2014
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy  Romance
Pages: 213
Language: English
Buy Links:


Tagline: Love is dangerous for Emily, even in her dreams.
Description:  Seventeen-year-old dreamwalker, Em, might have to choose—leave her mother forever in the dreamworld or save the life of hot, rebel Gabe. 

Emily Dal Monte and her mother, Lily, are special. They’re humans with a glitch in their genetic code that allows them to explore the fantastic, and often terrifying, world of their dreams for as long as they choose to remain asleep. But when Em’s father is killed in a tragic accident and her distraught mother loses herself more and more in the dreams of her crumbling mind, Em is forced to support the two of them the only way she knows how, by writing down her mother’s amazing dreams and selling them as books. Enter Gabriel Sobel, the punk newcomer at Em’s high school who realizes Em is the daughter of his favorite, reclusive author. Gabe can’t figure out why Em keeps brushing him off and makes it his mission to find out what’s really going on at the Dal Monte household. He stumbles upon their shocking family secret just as Lily takes a turn for the worse. It’s up to Em, Gabe, and one very nosy book editor to hop from one extraordinary dream to the next, to find Lily and convince her to wake up before she loses her mind…and before Em loses her first chance at love. 

Excerpt
Tiny shafts of sunlight stream down from the treetops above us, forming small rings that illuminate the red pine-covered ground below. It’s weird how quiet it is here. There are none of the sounds you’d normally associate with a forest, like the scurrying tread of small animals or the soft breeze rustling through the trees. Everything is completely still.
I rest my forehead against the warm bark of the tree and try to calm my racing thoughts. How do I get us out of this mess? Mom and Evan aren’t here with Gabe and me. At least, as far as I can tell, they aren’t here, and we don’t have any time to find them. Evan and Gabe need to wake up now, or they could die. It’s so simple, yet so complicated. Do I save Gabe’s life? Or do I continue to risk killing him and try to save everyone? If I pull Gabe out, I could risk losing both Mom and Evan inside this dream. I have no idea if Mom’s recognition of me was a moment’s clarity, or something more lasting. I might never be able to locate her and Evan again.
A sob rises in my throat. I can’t help it. I’m so tired and overwhelmed, and we’re all so deeply in trouble. Despite my best efforts, the sob escapes, and then I can’t seem to stop another one from bursting out of my mouth. And then another one. Huge, wrenching cries tear through me, and I double over, my face in my hands, as the tears stream through my fingertips.
It’s all just too much.
I hear Gabe come to stand beside me, and before I can protest, he draws me back into his arms. I can’t seem to stop crying. I’m so embarrassed, but I just can’t stop.
His rough fingers catch the bottom of my chin, and slowly he tilts my face up toward his, so we’re gazing into each other’s eyes. My breath hitches, and it’s not just from all the crying.
“I’m sorry, Em,” Gabe whispers, his soft words loud in the silence surrounding us. “But there’s no one I’d rather be with right now than you.”

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #89

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.

Sorry for missing next week, but I've been insanely busy with my book release and writing. It has cut into my reading, but with summer around the corner, I'm hoping for more free time.

For Review:
Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

Dark Hope by Monica McGurk

Stone of Destiny by Laura Howard

Blackbird by Anna Carey

Stray by Elissa Sussman

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Friday, May 9, 2014

Review: Ember Island by Kimberley Freeman

Goodreads Summary:

A riveting story of secrets and scandal

1890: Orphaned as a small child, Tilly Kirkland found a loving, safe home with her grandfather in Dorset. But nineteenth-century England is an unforgiving place for a young woman with limited means and as her grandfather's health fails, it seems perfect timing that she meets Jasper Dellafore. Yet her new husband is not all he seems. Alone in the Channel Islands, Tilly finds her dream of a loving marriage is turning into a nightmare.
2012: Bestselling novelist Nina Jones is struggling with writer's block and her disappointing personal life. Nothing is quite working. After a storm damages Starwater, her house on Ember Island, she decides to stay for a while and oversee the repairs: it s a perfect excuse to leave her problems behind her on the mainland. Then Nina discovers diary pages hidden in the walls of the old home. And a mystery unravels that she is determined to solve.

Though the two women are separated by years, Starwater House will alter the course of both their lives. Nina will find that secrets never stay buried and Tilly learns that what matters most is trusting your heart.

Publication Date: April 15, 2014

I was a little nervous when I found out the novel was told in two points of view from women from two different time periods. But I ended up loving Ember Island. I loved the author’s writing style and I found myself captivated over the mysteries surrounding Tilly and Nina.

Tilly and Nina’s stories were both interesting, but I was a little more intrigued by Tilly’s story and her nightmarish relationship with Jasper. Tilly was na├»ve at times, but I was able to see how desperate she was to be loved and cared for. Nina has her own personal demons and tries to escape them by taking over the repairs of a dilapidated house traced back to her ancestors.

I liked the way the author tied the two stories together by having Nina find the diary left behind by her grandmother Nell. Nell was also Tilly’s charge when she took on the role of governess as a way to escape her bad marriage. Nina is intrigued by Nell’s diary and searches the walls of the house to find the missing pages.

I liked the touch of romance involving handyman single dad Joe and Nina. It was sweet and I found him an endearing love interest. There are also strong female relationships featured in the book—a plot point I always like to see.

The Australian author is new to me, but I’m eager to check out her other books. I’d highly recommend the novel to fans of historical fiction.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


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

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Release Event and Giveaway: Chasing Shadows by Tia Silverthorne Bach


It’s here! And it’s only 99 cents through Sunday, 5/11/14.


About Chasing Shadows (Tala Prophecy, Book 2)

Reagan thought one night changed her life forever, but her fate was written long ago.

Merging creature and white blood,
One of flame, one of night,
At eighteen years it will commence,
Spiritual warrior and power,
Will bring an end to the lawless ones.

A war looms: One that pits brother against brother for werewolf supremacy. Angels and demons will each have a say before a victor is chosen.

With her eighteenth birthday only six months away, time is running out. Reagan must find a way to harness the two powerful, ancient bloodlines coursing through her: Werewolf and Wiccan. Then, she has to figure out her role in the century-old prophecy foretold by her great-grandmother.

However, if Reagan can’t save her family from her most vicious rival, Rafe, the forces of Hell will be unleashed and the war will be over before it starts.

Add Chasing Shadows on GoodReads 

Cover Design by Jo Michaels


Amazon Link


And don’t forget Chasing Memories (Tala
Prophecy, Book 1)
Until
Sunday, 5/11/14, it’s FREE!

Synopsis


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.


Amazon Link


Giveaways


Two great giveaway opportunities...


GoodReads










Goodreads Book Giveaway

Chasing Shadows by Tia Silverthorne Bach

Chasing Shadows

by Tia Silverthorne Bach

Giveaway ends May 28, 2014.


See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.
Enter to win



Rafflecopter


a Rafflecopter giveaway





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.

Connect with Tia