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Book Review: Fading Amber (The Cambion Chronicles #3) by Jamie Reed

Fading Amber (The Cambion Chronicles #3)
By: Jamie Reed
Rating:
5 stars
Genre:
Paranormal,Fantasy,Romance,YA Fiction
Publisher:
K-Teen/Dafina
Released Date:
December 24th 2012

Synopsis:

After falling for a Cambion and then turning into one herself, Samara never thought her senior year could get any more complicated. The gaps in her memory, the mysterious deaths and the constant danger that threaten her once quiet town have a common thread: Tobias, a demon with a lot of enemies. He’s also Samara’s other soul mate and he’s suddenly disappeared. But Samara isn’t the only one who wants to find Tobias. His enemies are getting closer and their plans for retribution could mean deadly consequences for Samara and her true soul mate, Caleb.

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Book Review: If You Could Be Mine by: Sara Farizan

If You Could Be Mine
Rating: 3.8./4 stars
Genre:
YA, Romance, GLBTQ, Contemporary,Culture, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Released Date: August 20th 2013

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants, in the body she wants to be loved in, without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?

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Audiobook Review: Six Of Crows (Six Of Crows#1) by Leigh Bardugo

Six Of Crows (Six of Crows #1)
By: Leigh Bardugo
Narrator(s): Jay Snyder, Brandon Rubin, Fred Berman, Lauren Fortgang, Roger Clark,Elizabeth Evans,Tristan Morris
Rating: 3 stars
Genre:
YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fiction
Length: 15hrs & 9 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Publisher: Audible Studios
Released Date: September 29, 2015

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible | B&N

Synopsis:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

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Book Review: Dragon Charmer (Legends of Tivara, Book #2) by J.C. Kang

Dragon Charmer (Legends of Tivara, Daughter of the Dragon Throne Book #2)
By: J.C. Kang
Rating:
4 stars
Genre:
Historical Fiction, Mythology, Fantasy/Adventure Fiction
Released Date:
June 1st 2016

Review Copy Received From  Author In Exchange For An Honest Review.

Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis:

Princess Kaiya has a voice that could charm a dragon, but her homeland’s ambitious lords consider her little more than a singing fool. With the Dragon Throne of Cathay at stake, her status as the last unmarried child of the ailing emperor overshadows her musical talent.

Potential suitors see her as a stepping stone. One ruthless cousin would rather step on her gravestone. Not one to get walked over or buried, Kaiya is holding out for the exiled foreign prince who first inspired her to sing.

Conspiracies eat away at the empire from the inside, while aggressive neighbors wait to consume what’s left. With her brothers unwilling or incapable of leading, Kaiya faces tasks worthy of an imperial princess: defuse escalating conflicts between rival lords. Negotiate peace with foreign powers. Beguile a dragon.

The magic of her voice is raw and unproven, but Kaiya finds mentors in unlikely places. An elf courtier. An ancient healer. A martial arts master. And an evil sorcerer. She’ll need their guidance to survive the final showdown with a dragon who has no intentions of being tricked by twice.

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Audiobook Review: Sorcerer To The Crown ( Sorcerer Royal #1) By Zen Cho

Sorcerer To The Crown (Sorcerer Royal #1)
By:
Zen Cho
Narrator:
Jenny Sterlin
Rating:
4 stars
Genre:
Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Magic
Length: 13hrs & 9 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Publisher: Recorded Books
Released Date:
September 1, 2015
Synopsis:

At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, freed slave, eminently proficient magician, and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers—one of the most respected organizations throughout all of Britain—ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up.

But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large…

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Book Review: Hammer Of Witches by: Shana Mlawski

Hammer Of Witches
By:
Shana Mlawski
Rating:
3.8 stars
Genre:
Historical Fiction, Mythology, Religion, YA, Fantasy, & Paranormal Fiction
Publisher: Lee & Low/ Tu Books
Released Date:
May 12th 2015
Ages 12 & Up
 Review Copy Received from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 Synopsis:

Baltasar Infante, a bookmaker’s apprentice living in 1492 Spain, can weasel out of any problem with a good story. But when he awakes one night to find a monster straight out of the stories peering at him through his window, he’s in trouble that even he can’t talk his way out of.

Soon Baltasar is captured by a mysterious arm of the Spanish Inquisition, the Malleus Maleficarum, that demands he reveal the whereabouts of Amir al-Katib, a legendary Moorish sorcerer who can bring myths and the creatures within them to life. Baltasar doesn’t know where the man is—or that he himself has the power to summon genies and golems.

Baltasar must escape, find al-Katib, and defeat a dreadful power that may destroy the world. As Baltasar’s journey takes him into uncharted lands on Columbus’s voyage westward, he learns that stories are more powerful than he once believed them to be—and much more dangerous.

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2016 Book Challenges Update: Month Six

Okay, need to focus and do this quick…

Hiya:

So, I only have about an hour or so to get this post up and running before I’m off chasing the new pup around.:-/. Which means my reviews might be shorter than expected, but also yay for less reading? Regardless, I have three new reviews for you below, as well as a reminder about the other book reviews I’ve posted this month: Wander This World by: GL Tomas, The Mother by Yvvette Edwards & Delilah by Angela Hunt. Now, on with the rest of the reviews.

Organized in the order I signed up for each challenge.

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Book Review: Greywalker (Greywalker #1) by: Kat Richardson

Greywalker (Greywalker #1)
By: Kat Richardson
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Fiction, Ghost, Mystery
Rating: 2.5 stars
Release: October 3rd 2006

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

Synopsis:

When Harper comes to in the hospital, she begins to feel a bit …strange. She sees things that can only be described as weird-shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring.But Harper’s not crazy. Her “death” has made her a Greywalker-able to move between our world and the mysterious, cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night exist. And her new gift (or curse) is about to drag her into that world of vampires and ghosts, magic and witches, necromancers and sinister artifacts. Whether she likes it or not.

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Book Review: Demon Within by: Alex Westmore

Demon Within (The Silver Legacy #2)
By: Alex Westmore
Genre: YA Fiction, GLBT,  FF Romance, Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Fiction
Rating: 3.5 stars
Release: Sept. 14th 2015

Publisher: Broad Winged Books

Review copy provided by Diverse Books.

Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis:

Heartbroken but not alone, Denny Silver finds her body overtaken by an ancient force so powerful she risks losing herself completely to its dangerous agenda. As if hunting and killing demons wasn’t hard enough, now the demons are after an innocent, young girl whose Wiccan womb seems the perfect incubator for their hell spawn. Like Denny can just stand back and let that happen.

She can barely control herself or her demon these days, so how in the hell is she supposed to protect the world? Add to all this the fact that her brother now faces the death penalty for a crime he didn’t commit, her mother is a vegetable, and her little sister has been removed from her protection, and—yeah—it’s been one hell of a fucked up year for Denny.

Desperate, she seeks help from the last place she expected to look: the local coven. She knows their help comes with a price tag. Will it be too high to pay? Can they help her level the playing field in a supernatural world bent on destroying all she holds dear? Find out as Denny and her merry band of supernatural rejects attempt to save Savannah from certain doom in Demon Within.

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Audiobook Review: The Wrath And The Dawn by: Renee Ahdieh

This audiobook was amazing.:-)

The Wrath And The Dawn
By: Renee Ahdieh
Narrator(s):
Arianna Delawari
Rating:
4.5 stars
Genre:
YA Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Cultural Retellings,
Mythology, Magic
Publisher:
Listening Library
Format:
Unabridged Audiobook
Length: 10hrs and 38 mins
Released Date:
May 12th 2015

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon | Audible

Synopsis:

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights.

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

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Book Review: Delilah:Treacherous Beauty (Dangerous Beauty #3) by Angela Hunt

Delilah: Treacherous Beauty (Dangerous Beauty #3)

By: Angela Hunt

Genre: Biblical Fiction, Historical Fiction

Rating: 3 stars

Release Date: June 7th 2016

Publisher: Bethany House

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible’s Baddest Girls  Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.

When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits

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Cover Reveal For: Daybreak Rising (Embers Of Redemption #1) by: Kiran Oliver

Happy Friday, Peeps! ^_^

So, I have an exciting post for you all today. On September 21, 2016, the F/F fantasy DAYBREAK RISING will be arriving to an e-readers near you from Torquere Press! Today, we get a first look at the amazing cover, designed by the amazing artist Kris Norris over at Torquere.

Here’s a bit about DAYBREAK RISING:

22-year-old Celosia Brennan spent sixteen years being raised as the heroine her nation needed. A dual-touched Elementalist with both the power to conjure fire and see glimpses of her future, Celosia was the best hope at overthrowing the oppressive Council in a mission called Daybreak, an attempt to secure justice for the massacre of her people and so many others. There’s just one problem: she couldn’t. Celosia broke down after realizing the enormity of her task, and is struggling to make things right while the blood of her fellows stains her hands.

Now branded a failure, Celosia desperately volunteers for the next mission: taking down the corrupt Council with a team of her fellow elementally-gifted mages. Leading the Ember Operative gives Celosia her last hope at redemption. They seek to overthrow the Council once and for all, this time bringing the fight to Valeria, the largest city under the Council’s iron grip. But Celosia’s new teammates don’t trust her—all except for a powerful ice Elementalist named Ianthe who believes in second chances.

With Council spies, uncontrolled magic, and the distraction of unexpected love, Celosia will have to win the trust of her teammates and push her abilities to the breaking point to complete the Ember Operative. Except if she falters this time, there won’t be any Elementalists left to stop the Council from taking over not only her country, but their entire world.

 

So here it is…The moment we’ve been waiting for…

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Wander This World by: GL Tomas Book Review (18+)

Wander This World  (18+)

By: GL Tomas

Rating: 4 stars

Genre: New Adult Romance, Paranormal, Horror, Interracial Romance

Publisher: Rebellious Valkyrie Press

Release Date: May 7th 2016

Review copy received from authors in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis:

Some people are just attracted to darkness…

Penley thought he had his life figured out. So why does his world turn upside down when Melanie Blue walks back in it?

Melanie’s lived a thousand lives–possibly taken even more. Targeted by serial killer, she’ll find she has more to worry about than resisting own her nature.

When Penley and Melanie’s path collide, they’ll find that want and need often lead to the same thing.

Will Melanie lose everything when she meets her match?

Book Review:

Like many of the New Adult narratives by GL Tomas, Wander This World offers unique and fresh character perspectives that go against expectations of the genre in the best way. For instance, an unconventional vampire, a creepy and (almost) darker character other than said vampire—that’s learned to curb her blood lust with mint chocolate—and Doctor Who.

I mean, need I say more?

Well, since you insist, I loved how this book had this dark and ominous undertone throughout the book that was entirely separate/independent from that fact one of the main characters is a vampire. Presented in both first and third person perspective, I think every reader will feel the horror/fear factor when it comes to the sadist, serial killer in this book. I mean I almost felt bad for him when Melanie turned on him—almost.

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The Mother by Yvvette Edwards Book Review

THE MOTHER
By: Yvvette Edwards
Genre:Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Publisher: Amistad
Release Date: May 10th, 2016

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HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 Synopsis:

From the critically acclaimed author of A Cupboard Full of Coats comes a provocative novel of a mother enduring the loss of her child, illuminating some of the most important and troubling issues of our time.

Marcia’s husband, Lloydie, expresses his tender love for his wife each morning by preparing a cup of tea and setting it by her bedside. This routine was part of the wonderful, secure life they had built, complete with a brilliant and handsome sixteen-year-old son, Ryan.

Then the unimaginable happens, and in a single moment Marcia is stripped clean of everything she had presumed was hers for keeps. Ryan, not the kind of boy to find himself on the wrong end of a knife, is brutally murdered. Consumed by grief and rage, she is forced to carry the weight of the family’s pain. She has to assume the role of supporter for her inconsolable husband, who has distanced himself and created a secret life. She must also bridle her dark feelings and endure something no mother should ever have to experience: she must go to court alone for the trial of her son’s killer, Tyson, another teenage boy. As the trial takes apart her son’s life and reassembles it in front of strangers, Marcia, always certain of Ryan’s virtues, finds her beliefs and assumptions challenged as she learns more about her son’s death and of Tyson’s life.

The Mother is a moving portrait of love, tragedy, and survival—and of the aftershocks from a momentary act of cruel violence that transforms the lives of everyone it touches.

Book Review:

It only took about twenty-four hours to get through this book, but a full hour to compartmentalize all of my thoughts. Broken up in a manner of a few days, the reader follows Marcia Williams’ first person narration, as she attends the trial of the boy accused of stabbing and killing her sixteen year old son, Ryan, whom it is perceptibly clear she loved dearly.

The effects of the first person perspective in this book are truly ones that that will grab a hold of the reader from page one. The pain, disconnection, emptiness and pure desperation Marcia William’s character emits at the need to know and understand the reasons behind her son’s abrupt death were almost crippling.

Nonetheless, this book was sad and powerful in such a low-key and abrasive way. Beside the context of this story, I really enjoyed the themes that woven into the narrative: class prejudice, racial stereotyping, parental methods, “suburban” vs. “urban” life styles and neighborhoods, gang involvement and the loss of a loved one from illegal weapon possession.

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Read Diverse Books Year-Round & Diversity On The Shelf 2016 Book Reading Challenges

Hiya, Guys:

So, I realize that I’m a little late to the Diversity On The Shelf 2016 book challenge here, but I’m not new to the game😉.

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I’ve already read about 12 or 13 diverse books this year (by authors of color), so I’m aim for the 4th Shelf: 19-24 books to complete this year. And based on the bit of research I’ve done so far, I’m going to have to list a few books I know I can get my hands on ie: Audiobooks and Physical copies from Amazon, thriftbooks and the library as my tablet (where I read most, if not all of my ebooks) has almost officially broken up with me and refuses to allow me access to all of the ebooks it’s holding captive -___- The rules for this challenge are simple: read books by and/or about people of color throughout the year to encourage other readers to have a more diverse reading experience and to support diversity in the publishing industry. Quoting challenge creator Akilah, over at The Englishist

And for the Read Diverse Books Year-Round, (which just started this month and is a variation of the first challenge), I’ve made a list of ten options that are subsidiaries of this particular challenge just below. And while these two reading challenges go hand-in-hand, the books of this #readdiversebooks2016  will have a few cross overs, but my ultimate goal is to stick to and only count books that have been written by/are about people of color, QPOC/LGBT characters books and characters with disabilities.

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Author: Patrick Smith

2016 Book Challenges Update: Month Five

I’ve finished so much this month!😄

Hiya, Guys:

May, for me, was a pretty good book month based on the material I got through. And just in case you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to check out my recent non-blog or reading challenge book review posts for, The Fold by: Peter Clines & Game of Fear by: Gledé Browne Kabongo. Two very different books with unique twists entirely their own.

I’d also like to mention that besides my #2016readingchallenge books, I will be reading The Mother by: Yvvette Edwards  for a June 15th blog tour date and Wander This World by: GL Tomas. (I love these girls):-). Now without further ranting, I present to you the reviews for this month’s reading challenge books.

Organized in the order I signed up for each challenge.

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Book Review: Game Of Fear by: Gledé Browne Kabongo

Game Of Fear
By: Gledé Browne Kabongo
Genre: YA Fiction, YA Romance, Suspense, Mystery
Rating: 2 stars
Release: February 24th 2016

Review Copy Provided by: Xpresso Tours

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

Synopsis:

A desperate act, an explosive secret, and a diabolical enemy—all part of a treacherous game, with no limits.
Overachieving good girl Abbie Cooper has her future all planned out. As senior year at her elite private school kicks off, she has one simple goal: get into the Ivy League. But at St. Matthews Academy, nothing is ever simple. The pressure is overwhelming, the secrets are dirty, and the games are wicked. Abbie has a dirty secret—one that could destroy her chances of getting admitted into Princeton, and the lives of those closest to her.

One morning, she discovers a note in her locker with the warning, “I know what you did”. Then a photo arrives in the mail. It captures her most shameful deed—the shocking blunder she can never erase, in glorious detail. Someone is out to ruin her, but who and why? The answer lies with the sender of the photo, a mysterious girl known only as The Avenger. For a price, she assures Abbie her secret will remain safe. There’s only one problem: The Avenger may not exist at all. If Abbie doesn’t uncover her true identity before acceptance decisions are made, it’s game over…

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Book Review: The Fold by Peter Clines

The Fold
By: Peter Clines
Genre: Scifi Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 3.5 stars
Release: June 2nd 2015

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

Synopsis:

STEP INTO THE FOLD.
IT’S PERFECTLY SAFE.

The folks in Mike Erikson’s small New England town would say he’s just your average, everyday guy. And that’s exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he’s chosen isn’t much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he’s content with his quiet and peaceful existence.

That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve: far out in the California desert, a team of DARPA scientists has invented a device they affectionately call the Albuquerque Door. Using a cryptic computer equation and magnetic fields to “fold” dimensions, it shrinks distances so that a traveler can travel hundreds of feet with a single step.

The invention promises to make mankind’s dreams of teleportation a reality. And, the scientists insist, traveling through the Door is completely safe.

Yet evidence is mounting that this miraculous machine isn’t quite what it seems—and that its creators are harboring a dangerous secret.

As his investigations draw him deeper into the puzzle, Mike begins to fear there’s only one answer that makes sense. And if he’s right, it may only be a matter of time before the project destroys…everything.

A cunningly inventive mystery featuring a hero worthy of Sherlock Holmes and a terrifying final twist you’ll never see coming, The Fold is that rarest of things: a genuinely page-turning science-fiction thriller. Step inside its pages and learn why author Peter Clines has already won legions of loyal fans.

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Book Review: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing Of The Lusitania by: Erik Larson

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of The Lusitania 
By: Erik Larson
Genre: Non-Fiction, Historical Literature, WWI, War/Military
Rating: 4.5 stars
Release: March 10th 2015

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

Synopsis:

On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack.

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.

It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love.

Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.

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Audiobook Review: Why Not Me? By: Mindy Kalling

Why Not Me?

By: Mindy Kaling
Narrator(s): Mindy Kaling, Greg Daniels, & B.J. Novak

Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Non-Fiction, Humor, Autobiography
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Format: Unabridged audiobook
Length: 4hrs and 57 mins
Released Date: September 15th  2015

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon | Audible

Synopsis:

In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions,” Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes,” Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.

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Book Review: Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda By: Becky Albertalli

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
By: Becky Albertalli
Genre: YA Fiction, GLBT, Realistic Fiction, MM Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4.5 stars
Release: April 7th 2015

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

 

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Under Ground (Under Ground #1) Book Review by Alice Rachel (+ Giveaway)

May 20th Blog Tour Date

 

Under Ground (Under Ground, #1)
By: Alice Rachel
Publication date: October 30th 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 3.8 stars
Synopsis:

Love is a taboo, a mere fantasy— foreign, unreachable, and dangerous.

Raised in a society where women have no rights, seventeen-year-old Thia Clay holds little hope for a bright future. When her parents sell her into marriage to elite member William Fox, Thia slowly gives in to despair. William is nothing but a cruel, selfish young man with no other interest than to serve his own.

Born illegally and forced to hide from the authorities his entire life, nineteen-year-old Chi Richards is an active member of the Underground—a rebellious group seeking to overthrow the government.

Chi only has one goal—to rescue his parents from the work camp they were forced into.

Meeting Thia was never part of the plan, and neither was falling in love with her.

If caught in their forbidden relationship, Thia and Chi could face a death sentence, and when devastating secrets surface from Chi’s past, Thia has to rely on her instincts to make a choice that could save her or destroy her forever.

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Audiobook Review: Voyage of The Defiance: Breaking Free Pt. 1 by S.E. Smith

Author: S.E. Smith
Voyage Of The Defiance: Breaking Free Pt.1
Narrator: Suzanne Elise Freeman
Publisher: Susan E. Smith
Unabridged Audiobook
Length of Production: 7hrs & 56 mins
Year of Publication: 12-15-15
Rating: 1.5 stars :/

Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary
Copy received graciously from Audiobookjukebox in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

An act of defiance that will either kill her or change her life forever…

Sixteen year old Makayla Summerlin enjoyed one thing in her crazy, messed-up existence: hanging with her friends at school. Her life is uprooted when she suddenly finds herself forced to live with the grandfather she barely remembers.

One act of defiance will change her life forever when she sets sail in her grandfather’s old sailboat after she has trouble adjusting to her new home. On a journey that will challenge everything she has ever believed about herself, Makayla must overcome her fears if she, and a surprising stowaway, are to survive.

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You & I (Pt.2 of Stages) Banner

You & I (Pt. 2 Of Stages)

Hiya,

So for this part of the Stages titled You & I, I have incorporated three elements: the passing of a loved one, a friendship ending and a romantic relationship coming to an end. This installment ties in with I Want Out, but on a slightly different level because of the other perspectives included within this poem as well as the dual perspectives You & I offers to the reader.

You & I (Pt. 2 Of Stages)

You’re the only person I let see me cry
You’re the only one who stays up late talking with me on the phone when I can’t sleep

I can remember when we said our goodbyes on that stale, hot August day
I can remember the way the light in your eyes faded as you slipped away

You’re the first person I want to share my good news with
You’re the only one who understands my jokes with just a look

I want to stop you, chase you down, and make you change your mind
I want to go back to hanging out in the park and talking on the porch at night

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Where Do I Get My Books From, You Ask…?

Hiya:

So, it occurred to me the other day (perusing through all of the e-Books on my tablet) and really realized that I have quiet a few books. Not including the ton I have on my bookshelf.

This fact made me really happy because for once the amount of fictional reading material I owned out numbered the non-fiction, informational and academic based material I have.

Likewise, I thought it’d be fun to share a list of places that I get my books from, besides signing up to participate in book blog tours, being gifted books by authors themselves and being asked to review material.

My Top Three Places To Buy Physical Copies Of Books:

1) Amazon

2) B&N

 

 

 

3) Thriftbooks

 

There is also of course the public library, but I live in a tiny suburban township. Which does have it’s own public library, but it’s slim pickings. I also know that B&N can be pretty pricey, but I remember when I asked for a B&N gift card for my birthday last year, I was able to get 7 books with the 50$ given to me.

How? You might be wondering. (I don’t. I’m not presuming to know what you’re thinking or that you’re thinking at all reading this.) Well, I waited a good month (haha, not even kidding) until B&N was having a big sale and went in to grab a few of the books I was waiting to buy and voilà.

The point is, book shopping at B&N is possible, if you’re patient enough. But for those who aren’t (which I am sometimes—or not? In this context) there are other options like Amazon or Thriftbooks.

What I love about Thriftbooks is that they offer older titles as well as several new ones, if you know when to look. Now, for those who do not know, Thriftbooks is a site that allows you to buy used books based on your preference of the book’s physical condition.

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2016 Book Challenges Update: Month Four

So, I have a little bit of news….

Hiya, Guys:

So as I mentioned, my birthday is early this month (next Monday, to be exact) and things have kind of been a bit hectic (what with Mother’s day being Sunday). This reading challenges post, along with the book reviews will be brief and straight to the point because who likes to read/hear me ramble all the time? (To the pair of hands in the back of this vacant imaginary auditorium, I thank you.😉 )

In all seriousness, I also thought I’d take the time to mention here that aside from the two (?) book tours I have scheduled for this month, I will be taking a break from book tour blogging for a while. Sadly, I’ve found that it’s taking too much effort to like a large majority of the books I have come across during the tours. Out of the 30 books I’ve read so far this year, I can name a handful (from blog tours) that were absolutely, full-stop fantastical.

Yes, I do enjoy the non-fictional, historical and comedy material better than general fiction and the romance/YA books, but I’ve been proven wrong a few times (and happily so) by a few romance/YA books this year. Now that I’ve just gotten back into the swing reading more fiction books, I’m desperate not to grow tired of the genre again.

So, from this point out, I will be exploring as many non-romantic centric books as possible, particularly with the books for my three reading challenges. Organized in the order I signed up for each challenge.

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Audiobook Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead

Soundless

By: Richelle Mead
Narrator(s): Kim Mai Guest

Rating: 2 stars

Genre: YA Fantasy, Romance, Mythology
Publisher: Listening Library Audio
Format: Unabridged audiobook
Length: 8hrs & 18 mins
Released Date: November 10th 2015

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon | Audible

Synopsis:

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.
 
When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.
 
But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.
 
Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever….

 

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Half-breed queen

Book Review: Half-Breed Queen (Skatia Narratives #1) by L.A. Hendricks

Half-Breed Queen (Skatia Narratives #1)
By: L.A. Hendricks
Genre: YA Fiction, Sci-fi, Action, Adventure
Rating: 4 stars
Release: March 2015

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis:

Devastating tragedy puts 14-year-old high school freshman Marla Owens, on a fast-paced journey of survival, revival and coming of age. Driven by a force she can’t begin to understand and a burning need to find out the truth, she heads toward her mother’s home in North Dakota. She soon learns more about herself and her family than she could have ever imagined — her mother was royal heir to the powerful Skatian throne! And now the Skatian people need her to protect their world from those who wish to conquer it.

In a classic tale of good versus evil, set on Earth and beyond, a young girl fights to survive to become a young woman—and the reluctant queen of Skatia. Who can she trust? Will she be able to control her own immense abilities and justified anger to do what’s right? One thing’s for sure: Marla’s not in Texas anymore!

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Eat, Pray, Love

Book Review: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

 

Eat, Pray, Love
By: Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: Autobiography, Spiritual, Travel, Non-Fiction, Adult Contemporary
Rating: 4.2 stars
Release: January 30th 2007

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

Synopsis:

In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want–husband, country home, successful career–but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she felt consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and of what she found in their place. Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Gilbert set out to examine three different aspects of her nature, set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.

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April 29th Blog Tour Date

Spotlight For: Love, Lies & Spies by: Cindy Anstey (Excerpt & Giveaway)

April 29th Blog Tour Date

Be sure to follow the full tour for Love, Lies & Spies here:-)

 

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 19th 2016
Genres: Historical, Young Adult, Romance, Humor

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo 

Synopsis:

Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.

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I Want Out (pt1 of Stages) Header

I Want Out (Pt.1 Of Stages)

Hiya, guys:

This post is clearly a bit different than the normal ones, obviously, but I’ve been kind of in a weird limbo lately. I used to write a lot of poems in high school to help put things into perspective and I was struggling with a bit of raw emotions this month, creatively, professionally and personally, so I decided to go back to my roots, sort of speak.

My original goal was to keep all/any poems I wrote on my writer’s cafe page here, basically because the pieces are usually short, but since it’s a short series, I figured putting them here would be better.  (Though I will still be posting them to my writer’s cafe page.)

There are a few parts to this collect and if it isn’t clear already, Stages deals with the different levels of separation. Not only romantic relationships, but familial ties and friendships. I hope you all enjoy it and take something from it or, at the very least are able to find some catharsis in it.

I Want Out (Pt.1 Of Stages)

I want out
Of this afflicting corrosion
Of this cage
Of these chains

Let me breathe
The fresh, brisk air of freedom
The wondrous curiosity of the future
The alluring excitement of adventure

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Spotlight For: AFTER: The Battle Has Just Begun by R.J. Belle

 
“It’s not about the war. It’s about the warrior.”

 

Publication Date: March 6, 2016
Genre: Military Non-Fiction
Book Synopsis:

Meet eight combat-injured men who sustained life-altering injuries. Read eight inspiring stories of heroism and the re-building of independent, productive and fulfilling lives after seemingly impossible circumstances.

This project looks at the struggles of these incredible men to reshape their lives after combat. It also sets these stories within the context of current veteran healthcare; injury, suicide, and disability statistics; and looks briefly at the impacts on the caregivers who support these men. Being face-to-face with combat-injured veterans has given me an insight that all Americans should have. Veterans of the Vietnam era began the process of opening our eyes to the grim realities that await veterans both psychologically and physically. These men’s stories show how much more we have to accomplish.

This book isn’t about war or politics – it is about figuring out what it takes to move forward AFTER the war. I wrote this book to raise awareness of what our warriors need most when they return, what the government does and doesn’t provide and why there is a high demand for private non-profits to fill the gaps. Make no mistake – we are in this period of recovery and rehabilitation for decades to come. It also introduces the non-profit organization Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station which has taken on the task of helping our combat-injured men and women make the daunting transition from military to civilian life. 100% of the proceeds benefit them in this much-needed labor of love.

It’s not about the war. It’s about the warrior.

100% of the proceeds benefit Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station.

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FIT book 1 cover

FIT (FIT Trilogy #1) (+18) By: Rebekah Weatherspoon Book Review

FIT (FIT Trilogy #1) +18 readers
By: Rebekah Weatherspoon
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, BDSM, Interracial
Rating: 4 stars
Format: ebook
Release date: June 23rd 2014
Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis:

Violet Ryan loves the delicious food she gets to eat on the reality shows she produces for The Food Channel. What she hates is her expanding waistline. Determined to drop the pounds, Violet hatches a plan to kick-start a fitness regimen. But when her determination isn’t enough to get her through even one intense group class without breaking down into tears, she knows she needs a new approach and possibly a new trainer—one with a lighter touch.

Grant Gibson has always managed to mix business with pleasure, but now this trainer by day, and Dominant by night, is bored. Bored and lonely. Even though he owns one of L.A.’s hottest private gyms, his personal life is sorely lacking. After his last submissive tried to kidnap his dog and the contents of his bank account, he’s in no hurry to take a new lover under his wing. Not until the voluptuous Violet falls into his lap.

She may be wary of his unorthodox approach of using sexual gratification as a reward, but even before her initial weigh-in Violet can’t seem to stay away from the sexy fitness god. She may have to let Grant show her there’s more than one way to get in shape…

**This story contains light acts of bondage and a feisty submissive who gives her Dominant a run for his money.**

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Friends that still cover

Friends That Still… (F*THS Book #2) (+18) by G.L. Tomas Book Review

Friends That Still… (Friends That Have Sex book #2) (+18 readers)
By: G. L. Tomas
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Interracial
Rating: 5 Stars
Format: ebook
Release date: March 24th 2016

Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis:

Teddy’s back in Miami with her mind made up. Live like it’s your last day. Love like it’s your last day.
The moment those steel-blue eyes gazed back into hers, there was no question. Asher wasn’t just the only one she wanted, but the only one she needed. This time around there would be no more room for regrets, but would they ever be more than friends that still…?

 

Book Review

Picking up where we left off in book one, (F*THS) in this duology, we get caught up on Teddy and how her treatment in Minnesota has gone.

I really liked the focus and pace of the story this time around. Teddy was not only trying to make an actual effort to establish a life for her self and accomplish something like with school and working to pay for her tuition. I also liked that she seemed to stay focused on the real and important relationships in her life. i.e. Reggie and Asher.

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A Writer’s Update: Concerts, Book Reviews, New Stories & Birthdays! Oh, My!

Hiya,

Did the post title grab your attention?? Good. ^__^ So this is just a quick update post. There will be a massive amount of reviews going live in the next few weeks, due to a backlog of notes that took a while to type up. Also because of a few book promos scheduled for this month on top of a few things that will keep me away from my computer for a little while.

Like the Penny & Sparrow concert I’m going to this Friday at World Café!!:-) I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS SHOW, GUYS. Just a few words aren’t enough to convey how ecstatic I am about this show. I absolutely love them❤. I’ll be sure to post pictures on me instagram for everyone to see, so if you aren’t following me yet, I suggest you hop to it😀

Back to the topic at hand, since my birthday is at the beginning of May, I will try to have my Reading Challenge update post up as soon as possible, but since I’m not sure if I will be surprised with anything by the fam, I can’t say that anything is set in stone.

I also wanted to mention that a few days ago, inspiration struck for a new mini-flash fiction series (YAY!) and I’ve been inspired to write new material for my Protector series as well (DOUBLE YAY!).

Unlike the Protector series, this new one is a five-part serial drama titled, Balloons with a handful (4-5) main characters who will be between the ages of 7-13 years old. I plan on using Medium for this series as well but I might switch it up and have parts of them posted here as well. At the moment, I’m still just working on the story structure.

Balloons will have bits of a few different genres, paranormal, thriller, comedy and drama, so stay tuned guys and stay classy. ^__^

P.S. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out my latest review post for That Thing Between Eli & Gwen. It was such a great book:-).

Thanks so much for reading!

Until next time,

Gia.

 

April 19th Blog Tour Date

That Thing Between Eli & Gwen by J.J. McAvoy Book Review (+Giveaway)

April 19th Blog Tour Date

That Thing Between Eli & Gwen blog tour organized by Indiesage PR. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour here.:-)

 

That Thing Between Eli & Gwen
By: J.J. MCAVOY
Genre: Comedy, Romance, New Adult, Drama, Multicultural, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Format: ARC ebook
Release date: April 21st 2016

Goodreads |  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis:

Eli Davenport thinks he’s found the perfect woman to be his wife. She’s a doctor, like he is. She’s brilliant, like he is. And she’s wealthy, like he is.

Guinevere ‘Gwen’ Poe thinks her fiancé is the perfect man. He’s handsome, successful and he was her first…

But when Eli’s bride runs off with Gwen’s fiancée on his wedding day, they are left to pick up the broken pieces of each other..

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April 11th Blog Tour Date

Dragon Scale Lute (Legends of Tivara, Princess of Cathay #1) By: J.C. Kang Book Review (+Giveaway)

April 11th Blog Tour Date

Dragon Scale Lute Book Tour hosted by: CBB Book Promotions, so be sure to check out the rest of the tour stops :-)  Also, For a limited time The Dragon Scale Lute is on sale for only .99 cents for Kindle!

Dragon Scale Lute (Legends of Tivara, Princess of Cathay #1)

By: J.C. Kang

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Magic, Epic Fantasy

Release date: March 2, 2016

Format: eBook

Rating: 3.95/4 stars

Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis:

Kaiya’s voice could charm a dragon.

Had she lived when the power of music could still summon typhoons and rout armies, perhaps Cathay’s imperial court would see the awkward, gangly princess as more than a singing fool. With alliances to build and ambitious lords to placate, they care more about her marriage prospects than her unique abilities.

Only the handsome Prince Hardeep, a foreign martial mystic, recognizes her potential. Convinced Kaiya will rediscover the legendary but perilous art of invoking magic through music, he suggests her voice, not her marriage, might better serve the realm.

When members of the emperor’s elite spy clan– Kaiya’s childhood friend and his half-elf sidekick (or maybe he’s her sidekick?)– discover mere discontent boiling over into full-scale rebellion, Kaiya must choose. Obediently wedding the depraved ringleader means giving up her music. Confronting him with the growing power of her voice could kill her.

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April 1st Blog Tour Date

Withering Hope By: Layla Hagen Audiobook Review (+Giveaway)

April 1st Blog Tour Date

Withering Hope by Layla Hagen Audio Tour organized by IndieSage PR

Author: Layla Hagen
Title:
Withering Hope
Narrators:
Coleen Marlo, Michael David Axtell &  Christy Romano
Publisher:
Audible Studios (Unabridged)
Length of Production:
6hrs and 57 mins
Publication:
December 11, 2015
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres:Contemporary,Romance  Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Books-A-Million | Audible

Synopsis:

Aimee’s wedding is supposed to turn out perfect. Her dress, her fiancé and the location—the idyllic holiday ranch in Brazil—are perfect. But all Aimee’s plans come crashing down when the private jet that’s taking her from the U.S. to the ranch—where her fiancé awaits her—defects mid-flight and the pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

With no way to reach civilisation, being rescued is Aimee and Tristan’s—the pilot—only hope. A slim one that slowly withers away, desperation taking its place. Because death wanders in the jungle under many forms: starvation, diseases. Beasts. As Aimee and Tristan fight to find ways to survive, they grow closer. Together they discover that facing old, inner agonies carved by painful pasts takes just as much courage, if not even more, than facing the rainforest. Despite her devotion to her fiancé, Aimee can’t hide her feelings for Tristan—the man for whom she’s slowly becoming everything. You can hide many things in the rainforest. But not lies. Or love.

Withering Hope is the story of a man who desperately needs forgiveness and the woman who brings him hope. It is a story in which hope births wings and blooms into a love that is as beautiful and intense as it is forbidden.

Excerpt For Withering Hope 5

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The Stone Legacy Series By Theresa DaLayne Review For Books 1-3

Happy Monday, folks. So, today I have my first ever book series review to share for The Stone Legacy Series by Theresa DaLayne. Hosted by HEA Book Tours, PR & More.

Overall, The Stone Legacy Series is an easy story and concept to follow with a steady pace that allows the reader to become immersed in the cultural and paranormal universe built into the narrative.

I found the characters layered, powerful and even some darkly intimidating. I think most readers will enjoy these books because of their even balance of action, danger, and bidding love triangles in this Paranormal, YA Fiction series. I’ve never done a book series before, so I thought it would be best to section my review by book and give individual ratings as well.

NOTE: since this is a series review post, it was kind of difficult not to include a few spoilers on a few plot points. Okay enough chit-chat. Strap in for a long review post😀.

 

MAYAN BLOOD by Theresa DaLayne
The Stone Legacy Series #1
|| SYNOPSIS ||
Their empires have fallen, but their mythology lives on…
 
Zanya Coreandero is a seventeen-year-old orphan with only a single friend and no hope for a normal life. Diagnosed with anxiety and night terrors, no one believes her cuts and bruises are a result of an evil entity, and not a brutal case of self-harm.
 
With the only home she’s ever known being the isolated institution—where breakfast is a handful of medications, the psychiatry sessions are mandatory, and her every move is watched—the only relief is her red-haired roommate named Tara, who’s more like a little sister than her best friend.
 
Free will is strong, but destiny is stronger…
 
When Zanya is kidnapped, she meets a group of gifted Mayan descendants, each with a unique ability. Gone from a nameless castaway to the only hope of mankind, Zanya is forced to make a grueling decision: bond with an enchanted stone and save humanity from rising underworld forces, or watch helplessly as Earth falls victim to a familiar dark deity from her dreams. This time, he’s playing for keeps.
 
A wicked secret hides behind a handsome face…
 
When Arwan, a dark-eyed timebender, takes interest in Zanya’s mission, it’s unclear if his intention is to help, or if he’s on a hell-bent mission for revenge. Wary of falling for another guy with major secrets and a tainted past, Zanya fights to keep her distance. If only her heart gave her a choice.
 
|| PURCHASE TODAY! ||

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1ldFdrY        AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/1IHMPYH

Mayan Blood Book Review  (Rating: 4 stars)

From beginning to end, (so far) this book remained my favorite. The character and story introduction and walk through Zanya’s life pre-guardian and post following the unexpected revelation of her Mayan/Riyata heritage. I found Zanya’s reactions and resistance relatable and naturally unique to her situation and I loved her connection and devotion to her best friend, Tara. I feel other readers will effectively feel the pain and fear Zanya struggles with when she’s faced with having to actually face the tormentor from her dreams, Sarian.

I found the Mayan warriors (aka Peter, Hawa, Arwan, Renato and Marzena) dedication, and support for Zanya and her mission endearing. While Jayden’s character (technically a Mayan warrior, but considered an outsider to the rest of the group) annoyed me 2/3rds of the book, I found his character really started to come around or become less annoying toward the end.

I may not be on the same page with everyone else, but I didn’t care much for the Zanya, Arwan and Jayden triangle that manifested at the half way mark because locating the stone and fighting Sarian seemed to take a back seat to the trio drama. I also felt like it stole precious time away from Zanya immersing herself in her mission and her role as guardian.

Spoiler–> I mean traveling back in time to meet her mother was a big deal, yet I felt like not enough time was spent on this pivotal focal point. Zanya has been an orphan her entire life and she knew nothing of her life, her family or her destiny. The time with her mother was over too quickly.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the fact that Arwan and Zanya were growing closer, but it is no secret that I am a fan of the slow burn and subtly when it comes to budding romances. (hint for my notes on the other two books) Plus, I just found it odd and irrational that on the brink of war, a supreme under-lord ruler with a heart of darkness (Sarian) Jayden and Arwan are consumed with bickering over Zanya……

As odd as it sounds, I liked the difficult place where the characters end up in at the end of book one because of the interesting physical and emotional directions Interlude and Aurora of Lights takes them in.

INTERLUDE by Theresa DaLayne
The Stone Legacy Series #2
|| SYNOPSIS ||
Tara may have spent years in an asylum, but that doesn’t make her crazy–just fearless. 
Dropped in Moscow with a the group of enchanted Mayan descendants, seventeen-year-old Tara Weeble is forced to wait on the sideline while her best friend—the Stone Guardian— battles to reclaim a friend’s soul trapped in the underworld. 
It sucks being ordinary when everyone else is superhuman… 
A mortal girl with a tainted past, Tara is left to deal with an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. Her boyfriend, Peter, is a healer. Her best friend is The Guardian, and everyone else is a powerhouse of awesome strengths. Meanwhile, she struggles to leave her childhood of abuse in the past, and while Peter picks her up every time she falls, it becomes clear he deserves better. 
When they opened Pandora’s Box, hell came pouring out… 
When she’s given a chance to aid in the group’s mission, Tara is eager to pull her own weight, even if it means uncovering buried memories of being held prisoner by the underworld general. Now haunted with flashbacks of torture, Tara wanders from the safety of Peter’s arms into a city of depravity and corruption. And amidst all this evil is a young man with an agenda of his own, who leads her down a road that will either prove she is a hero at heart, or drag her into a world she’s always feared. 
He wants revenge, she wants redemption. And in an underground ring of missing girls and bloody sacrifices, only the fearless can survive…

|| PURCHASE TODAY! ||
AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1JxP9Y6       AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/1T8tzwO

Interlude Book Review (Rating: 3.7 stars)

This book left me in a different mind set than the first book. I loved that with Interlude, the reader gets to see things from Tara’s perspective and learn more about her troubled past and the affects Sarian’s torture had on her. I think it was important for the second book to only focus on Tara’s voice and the development of her character, but I have to admit it took me a while to really get into the narrative.

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Broken Politics by Janae Keyes Book Review (+ Giveaway)

RB-BrokePolitics-JKeyes_FINALBroken Politics release blast/tour is hosted by, Tasty Book Tours, so be sure to check out the rest of the stops for this book here.:-)

“I didn’t quite understand any of this. I wasn’t a fan of his. I despised his administration and everything it stood for, but yet I wanted him in the worst way.” – Kayla

Broken Politics by: Janae Keyes

Genre: Political Romance, Interracial, New Adult

Release date: March 7th 2016

Rating: 3.89/4 stars

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis:

Kayla is stuck in a rut writing puff pieces for a magazine that she doesn’t even like and is far from being a political reporter for a publication with actual substance. Until then she writes a political blog that blasts the current administration and their policies. She can feel her big break coming soon when she gets the chance to do a piece on the President. President Matthew Von Hansen is the youngest president to date and the first single president in the last 130 years. He’s found himself in the seat of power, but with no real power. He wants to make a difference, but that can be hard when being forced to stay within party lines. Matthew is everything that Kayla despises about Washington or so she originally thinks. Sparks fly and love is on the horizon, but can these two find their way around broken politics?

Excerpt-BannerCheck out this tasty and heated book excerpt :-)

The door to the other room opened and Victor walked out with Matthew behind him. Victor didn’t even acknowledge me before he left the residence. I looked at Matthew who stood there looking pleased with himself. I knew what he’d just done and it pissed me off. I then stood.

“Are you going somewhere?” he asked me at once.

“Yeah I’m leaving.” I said as I picked up my bag.

“Seriously because I just vetoed that bill?” he questioned.

“Exactly you are an asshole.” I spat at him. I wasn’t going to hold my emotions back. He then laughed out loud. I walked to him and pointed my finger in his face. “You know that you just crushed so many hopes and dreams.”

“I did, but they will thank me in the end when this bill is rewritten, but for now it’s been denied.” He said in an overly confident tone.

“God you are just impossible.” I said before I turned around, but he quickly grabbed my arm and spun me to him. His face was right in front of mine. No more than a centimeter kept us apart. I could feel his warm breath on my face and his lips right there.

“But the fact that I’m impossible makes you like me more, admit it.” He said in barely a whisper his lips brushing against mine. I didn’t want to say anything.

“Not admitting anything.” I hissed feeling his hand let go of my arm, but instantly now on my waist. He slowly pulled my body just closer with his hand firmly on my waist.

“I’ve been trying to keep my distance from you. You piss me off, but I can’t help, but like it.” He said. I bit my lip slightly. He smirked at me. I took a shallow breath and before I could finish letting my breath go he crushed his lips to mine.

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2016 Book Challenges Update: Month Two

Hiya, Guys:

Here are the books I completed for the month of February for the three book challenges I’m participating in this year.  Organized in the order I signed up for each challenge.

 

#2016TBRPile Challenge

This has been on by TBR pile for a while and you might recognize that this another book by last month’s TBR author.

 

3volve

By Josefina Gutierrez

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Multicultural, Contemporary Romance, NA, Coming of age

Released: July 14th, 2015

Rating: 3/3.5 Stars

Goodreads OR buy 3volve  here: Amazon

Blurb:

From author Josefina Gutierrez, of “The Shadow of Loss”, comes a new New-Adult contemporary love story.

I thought my life began when I graduated high school and moved far, far away—okay three hours away. But I was wrong. My life didn’t start until it almost ended.

I’m Cristal Escobedo, twenty-two years old and a former wild child who favors tequila far too much. But that all changed when life happened, and I ended up being responsible for my younger brothers. To top it all off, I think I’m falling in love with my best friend—dammit.

This is my not-so-happy story of how I grew up and got my shit together. My story isn’t filled with a bunch of pretty analogies or hyperboles. The people are real, the hurt is deep, and the love is complicated. People are flawed in the ways that matter; it’s what makes us human.

For my 3volve review, click here.

 

#Rockmytbr Challenge

 

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

By Mindy Kaling

Genre: Humor, Autobiography, Writing, Essays, Funny, Non-Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

Synopsis:

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

For my Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) review post, click here.

#2016audiobook Challenge

Half-Resurrection Blues (Bone Street Rumba #1)  Author: Daniel Jose Older

Narrated by: Daniel Jose Older

Length: 7hrs and 56mins

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Thriller, Romance,  NA

Rating: 4.5 stars

Format: Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 1/06/15

Publisher: Audible Studios

Goodreads | B& N | Amazon | Audible

Synopsis:

“Because I’m an inbetweener—and the only one anyone knows of at that—the dead turn to me when something is askew between them and the living. Usually, it’s something mundane like a suicide gone wrong or someone revived that shouldn’ta been.”

Carlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead’s most unusual agents—an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death.

One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He’s summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague. They’ve already taken out some of NYCOD’s finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld—which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead.

But in uncovering this man’s identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life—and death…

For my Half-Resurrection Blues (Bone Street Rumba #1)  audiobook review, click here.

 

BOOKS COMING UP:

March should be a slower month for me. I will admit that I did get distracted reading even more books than I planned to (on top of the blog tour books this month) which is why I had to post pone the planned Redeeming Love expected read for my #RockmyTBR last month and replace it with Mindy’s book. To be honest, I’m really happy I did because it allowed me to end the month on a light and funny note.

For the month of March, I decided to  The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Eric Larson because I really liked what I remember reading from this book back when I first bought it and I just feel like getting back to the story.

For my #2016Audiobook challenge in February, I did end up listening to two audiobooks, but didn’t realized why I marked the second book as ‘to-listen to’ as I was not familiar with the author until after I finished the book and realized I was meant to participate in a blog tour next month (in April) for it😀 whoops! Well at least I’m a head of the game, right? Any-who, this month I choose to listen to The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins.

And for my #2016TBRpile challenge I picked Hard Love (Hacker #5) by Meredith Wild because the other two picks are kind of dark and I thought this would be a lighter read in the mix.

On top of these expected reads, I will be listening to Voyage Of The Defiance by S.E. Smith, and I’ll be reading Broken Politics by Janae Keyes , books 1-3 of the Stone Legacy series by Theresa DaLayne,  and The Fold by Peter Clines. Knowing myself, I’m sure I’ll squeeze in a few more this month, but I should stop because my body misses sleep😄.

As always, thanks so very  much for reading. I hope you liked reads this month and be sure to come back to check out what else I’ll be reviewing:-)

Until next time,

Gia.

medium_writing_prompt_942

I Don’t Feel Like Writing Because….(A Writers Write Prompt)

I Don’t Feel Like Writing Because… (A Writers Write Prompt)

Because I don’t want you to see me fumble for my words when I (try to) describe something I love or find totally and completely awesome and I just want you to fall in love as much as I have.

Because no matter how many times I practice it, memorize it or look it up, I will always spell the word “*insert any word ever* “ wrong.

Because I have a love/hate relationship with commas, the listing comma in particular, but I think anyone could understand that.

Because for some odd reason my brain always likes to randomly include “Subsequently” in every other paragraph I write when discussing something, even though it never fits.

Because as much as I love/know about writing, story and characters, there are a million and one things I still want and need to learn, so I don’t often want to drudge on and on with my opinion when I could be spending my time learning something new. (Might be the worst one)

Because I prefer to hand-write my thoughts before typing them up—this prompt not excluded—but when your notes are three pages long (front and back) well…

Because 99% of writing is intimate, regardless of what I am writing, these words are an extension of my mind, my thoughts, my perspective, my opinions, and me. What if someone doesn’t like what I have to say? What if they find my short stories and advice naïvely tedious, cumbersome, and subsequently lame?

Because sharing it with anyone has and always will be painstakingly nerve racking, but I am always happy when I do share.

 

Thanks so much for reading.:-)

Until next time,

Gia.

Feb 27th Blog Tour Date

Bluescreen (Mirador #1) by Dan Wells Book Review (+ Giveaway)

Feb 27th Blog Tour Date

Welcome to the Bluescreen (Mirador #1) Book Tour hosted by FFBC. Be sure to follow the full Book Tour Schedule and the other posts :-).

Bluescreen (Mirador #1) by Dan Wells

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Release Date: February 16th 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy, Action, Teen

Rating: 3.5 stars

Goodreads | Amazon | Kobo | B&N | Bookdepository | iTunes

Synopsis:

Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.

Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.

Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence, returns with a stunning new vision of the near future—a breathless cyber-thriller where privacy is the world’s most rare resource and nothing, not even the thoughts in our heads, is safe.

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Sinners in the Dark

Cover Reveal For: Sinners In The Dark by Inger Iversen

Sinners in the Dark

It’s here, guys!! Are you as excited for this book as I am?!

Sinners in the Dark-ebooksm

Sinners in the Dark by Inger Iversen
(Running in the Dark #2)
Publication date: March 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis:

War is coming between vampires and humans, and the Vampire Nation will stop at nothing to eliminate their enemies. Former assassin, Echo sees the Nation for what it is – a corrupt organization with its sights set on destroying the Sect, a group formed to eradicate all things vampire. Now Echo is a Ghost, a traitor of the Vampire Nation, determined to build a new life with the Sect. But choices he’s made in the past might cost him the one person who could truly redeem his soul.

 

If you don’t remember my review for book #1 of the Running in the Dark series, I recommend that you check it out. Sinners In The Dark is going to be out very, very soon:-)

 

Inger

AUTHOR BIO:

Inger Iversen was born in 1982 to Anne and Kaii Iversen. She lives in Virginia Beach with her overweight lap cat, Max and her tree hugging boyfriend Joshua. She spends 90 percent of her time in Barnes and Noble and the other ten pretending not to want to be in Barnes and Noble.

Author links:

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

 

Cover Reveal Organized by:

ButtonXBT

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out the Running In The Dark series and other books by Inger as well.

Until next time,

Gia.

Book Review: Same Page by GL Tomas (ages 18+)

Same Page by GL Tomas

Release date: December 4th 2015

Genre: New Adult, Romance, ages 18+

Publisher: Rebellious Valkyrie Press

Review copy: received from Author in exchange for honest review

Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis: Naima vibed with Timothy from the first moment they met. Attraction wasn’t supposed to happen, but it did with no time to turn back.

Timothy knew better. But that kiss made him forget about his girlfriend and he would do anything to get another chance to kiss those lips.

Can two close friends be on the Same Page in this “Brown Sugar meets Love Jones” Interracial Erotic Romance!

*Same Page Book One in a duology. It is suggested for Mature audiences due to strong sexual content and slight drug use.

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Feb. 23rd Blog Tour Date

Free Men: A Novel by Katy Simpson Smith Book Review

 

Free Men: A novel by Katy Simpson Smith

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Harper (February 16, 2016)

Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Historical, Literary Fiction

Copy Received from Publisher

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | HarperCollins

Synopsis:

In 1788 three men converge in the southern woods of what is now Alabama: Cat, an emotionally scarred white man; Bob, a garrulous black man fleeing slavery; and Istillicha, who seeks retribution after being edged out of his Creek town’s leadership.

In the few days they spend together, the makeshift trio commits a shocking murder that soon has the forces of the law bearing down upon them. Sent to pick up their trail, a probing French tracker named Le Clerc must decide which has a greater claim: swift justice or his own curiosity about how three such disparate, desperate men could act in unison.

Katy Simpson Smith skillfully brings into focus men whose lives are both catastrophic and full of hope—and illuminates the beating heart of a new America. A captivating exploration of how four men grapple with the importance of family, the stain of guilt, and the competing forces of power, love, race, and freedom.

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Trees of Life full spread cover US

Cover Reveal for: Trees of Life: A Coloring Experience By Jenna Lyn Field (+ Giveaway)

Trees of Life full spread cover US

Today is the cover reveal for Trees of Life: A Coloring Experience by Jenna Lyn Field. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

 

Trees of Life US cover

Trees of Life: A Coloring Experience

By Jenna Lyn Field

Genre: Coloring book/ non-fiction

Age category: for all ages

Blurb:

Trees of Life is a wonderful coloring experience that will relax your mind and bring peace to your soul. Inspired by life itself and what it means to others, each and every image is an original artwork just begging to be filled with color.

So, since I started coloring in The Time Chamber back in November, I kind of became obsessed with these adult coloring books. I’ve found so many different themes that it kind of feels like a sensory overload. These books are great for relaxing and thinking when it comes to project ideas and they are great to flip through when listening to audiobooks.

Book Pages Samples❤

Trees of Life Colouring picture 1 Trees of Life Colouring picture 3

You can find Trees of Life: A Coloring Experience on Goodreads

Other titles by Jenna Lyn Field include:

From the Colour Me Funky range:

– Alphabet Graffiti: http://www.amazon.com/Colour-Me-Funky-Alphabet-Graffit/dp/1511863323/

– Alphabet: Quake: http://www.amazon.com/Alphabet-Quake-Coloring-Color-Funky/dp/151944866X/

– Christmas: http://www.amazon.com/Color-Funky-Jenna-Lyn-Field/dp/151759765X/

– Advanced Colouring: http://www.amazon.com/Colour-Me-Funky-Advanced-Colouring/dp/1515135241/

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Feb 12th Blog Tour Date

Running In The Dark Book Review + Giveaway

Feb 12th Blog Tour Date

Happy, Friday, guys! Welcome to the Running in The Dark  Book Tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tour. Be sure to follow the full Book Tour Schedule and the other posts:-).

 

Running in the Dark (Running in the Dark #1)

Author: Inger Iversen
Publication date: February 8th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young/New Adult, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis:

He is known only as Trace—because he leaves no trace of his victims behind.

A deadly Russian slayer, Trace’s life has always revolved around death. Death, and preventing humankind from learning about the legendary creatures of the night. But now his position as a Watcher has become a prison, and dealing death for the Vampire Nation isn’t as prestigious as he once believed it to be.

College dropout Bessina Darrow has witnessed things she isn’t permitted to see, a simple case of wrong place at the wrong time putting her life in danger. When Bessina becomes his new mark, Trace is prepared to eliminate her—until he discovers a way out for them both.

Protecting Bessina means defying the leaders of the Nation, an act that has them both running for their lives. The more Trace fights to disappear from danger, the more he unravels the secrets crafting his world—secrets he must unveil in order to finally save a life, instead of destroy it. Okay, I can do that.

Review

If you love the paranormal, or ever wondered what goes on in the vampire underworld that may, or may not exist in real life, then you will enjoy this book.

Now, I am not the biggest vampire-based/concept fan in the world, but I do love strong story and universe structure. At times, I forgot I was even reading a book about vampires, which means the story and characters were so immersive that I didn’t notice and I love that.

Out of everything, the intensity and chemistry between Bessina and Trace is definitely the driving force within this book, never mind the fact that the two of them are running for their lives!😄 If I had to put a level or peg their heat meter, I’d say it’s between 3 ½ – 4 out of five.

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Book Review: F* THS by G. L Tomas (18+ readers)

F*THS  by: G.L. Tomas

Release date: Feb. 28th 2016

Publisher: Rebellious Valkyrie Press

Genre: New Adult, Romance, ages 18 +

Rating: 5 stars

Review copy: received from Author in exchange for honest review

Goodreads

Synopsis:

Teddy had two rules—Live for the moment and never look back.

With wealth, good looks and confidence at her fingertips, nothing was going to stop her from living life to the fullest. Not even the secret she’s been forced to live with.

When Asher Rose met Teddy King, he knew it’d be trouble but it was just the kind of trouble he didn’t mind himself falling in, what he didn’t plan was falling hard for the girl no one could tame.
What happens when you take a trip on this sexy ride? An intense, messy and wild ride all the way down.

*FTHS is the Book One in a duology. It is intended for Adults 18+ for explicit casual sex, drug use and profanity

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Feb 6th Blog Tour Date

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses Book Review + Giveaway

UB_Tour_Banner

Happy, Saturday, guys! It’s finally here: The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses Book Tour hosted by MMSAI. So, be sure to follow the full Book Tour Schedule :-)

 

TUB Cover_new 

THE URBAN BOYS
Author: K.N. Smith
Pages: 292
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
Publisher: Two Petals Publishing

Genre: Middle School, Paranormal, Diverse, Action, Friendship

Rating: 4 Stars

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads | Apple

Synopsis:

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is an action-adventure story about five teen boys who are mysteriously exposed to a foreign energy source that gives them extremely heightened senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become hypersensitive gifts that forever change the world. The story chronicles their effortless interrelations and later exposes the testing of their deep bonds. It introduces the reader to an array of supporting characters who alter the boys’ lives forever. The Urban Boys offers young and mature readers central themes of loyalty, responsibility, honesty, fear, and triumph, which become artfully integrated with cinematic-level action and high drama. The story twists, turns, and grinds through elements of paranormal and action-adventure in a diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narrative!

Overview: The story’s small town of Danville Heights, a carefully crafted universe, contrasts with the dark, gloomy town of Sandry Lake, where evil abounds. Upon the boys’ mysterious incident with the energy source, they’re instinctively called to Sandry Lake to root out evil. Their senses guide them each time. However, secrecy about their mission, furious battles with evil thugs, extreme fatigue, and stress and pressure soon overwhelm the boys, but they must find a way to embrace their fate. A lurking, Dark Stranger seems to know their plight, and a strikingly beautiful, fearless girl lends way to heightened confusion. Shocking details about these two characters, and the evil antagonist, the dreaded Druth, twist and grind the story even further.

Despite tension and fierce battles, will the boys hold it together long enough to fulfill their destiny?

Intriguing, intelligent, and full of action, The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses offers a memorable, emotion-packed, thrilling ride for young and mature readers alike!

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