Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blog Tour: Review: Burden of Souls





Sci-Fi / Dark Fantasy
Date Published:September 2014

   
  Small Town, Dark Heart…
A long way from anywhere, on a road going nowhere, lays a small, unremarkable town. It seems a peaceable, prosperous little place, on the surface at least.
Away from prying eyes however, in the shadows and the forgotten corners, there is a web being weaved through the lives of its inhabitants by the town’s urbane and mysterious Mayor. A man prepared to make a deal for your heart's desire and, maybe, for your very soul…
Welcome to Hawker’s Drift, a town where nothing is quite as it seems…


Andy Monk

Andy Monk lives in London with his partner and their goldfish.
After a high-flying academic career and glittering success in professional sport, followed by a jet-set lifestyle of wild parties, exotic holidays and beautiful women, he settled down to write internationally acclaimed best-selling novels.
Andy Monk has a tendency to exaggerate and has an occasionally tenuous grip on reality.
He does, however, have a goldfish.





My Thoughts: So I thought I'd try something a bit different this time and review as I am reading the book. Sounds fun.

I very much like the chapter titles. I think giving the characters titles and positions but not really names is incredible. It really sets up the chapter and gives some premonition into what will happen.

Wow. The description is very good. Pleasing. I am envisioning the little town and I see everything and it scares me and intrigues me at the same time. I want to visit. The author uses thought-provoking words that are carefully chosen to paint the picture correctly. I'm impressed.

I like how the setting is not a normal setting. How I picture this is a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, desert-like, with stereotypical western music playing in the background. Yes, it's playing all the time in my head. I think it really boosts the story and advances it, whereas it would not do half as well in a big city.

I'm just impressed with the style and writing of this book overall. It's very unique and original and nice to read.

I forgot to put this above: the characters are well-written, as well.

I feel bad for not writing a long review, but I've said before, a short review is good for me because it means I really liked it and had nothing to complain about:)

Rating: 5 stars

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: Joe

14759015
Joe
H.D. Gordon

Synopsis:
From the author of the Alexa Montgomery Saga, comes a book that will take you into the mind of a genuine psychopath, the lives of six ordinary people, and the world of a very special girl named Joe.

Joe is seemingly an ordinary college student. She works, studies and reads. But in between these activities Joe has a gift that promises to add a dose of color to her life at any given moment. Joe sees things before they happen. Bad things, and the worst thing she has ever faced is just around the corner. Someone is planning a massacre at the college university that Joe attends, and the only person with a hope of stopping the psychopath is her.


Oh, the beauty of foresight. More like a curse. Joe has four days to figure out the mystery, make plans to take down the psycho, and save the lives of people. People like you and me. Ordinary people.


Me thoughts:
Oh my gosh I think I'm slightly incomprehensible because this book was so amazing. It is told in seven (possibly more?) viewpoints, between five students, one extraordinary girl, and a psychopath. Everyone is college age and they each have totally different lives. One girl is about to commit suicide, one is about to see his daughter, one is about to see his long-lost love, one is becoming more and more attached to Joe, and one is just tired of her life as a teacher. I love reading in the different points, because you can hear the characters speaking and they each sound so lovely. They are all well-written and have a purpose in advancing the story.

Joe is so original and her story is incredible. I love her backstory and relationship with the neighbor, Mr. Landry. I also just enjoyed how she interacted with other characters. And my favorite thing? She isn't a typical hero. SHE HAS A STUTTER. I love that so much because I think it is so important for main characters/heroines to be flawed. It gives them a realistic edge and I think this totally hooked me.

The psychopath. Yes, there is a madman's point of view. And wow, you can tell this guy is a psychopath. Everything he does, from the planning and execution of his plans and just his way of thought. I love it. He is a perfect character and the point of view really is excellent.

I like how I was kept on my toes the entire book. The ending caught me unaware because I thought something else would stop it. It being...yeah. But I love how the characters continue to do surprising things with their lives. I also like how everything leads up to the specific date: Monday. It was nice to only span 4 days but still be so enticing.

The ending slightly killed me. I was so upset with the deaths because they were emotional deaths and yeah...sadness....

Rating: 5 stars
~Ashley

Book Blast: Silvern

For the rest of the blast, go here: http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2014/09/nerd-blast-silvern-by-christina-farley.html

Synopsis 

Jae Hwa Lee has destroyed Haemosu, the dangerous demi-god that held her ancestors captive, and now she’s ready to forget about immortals and move on with her life. Then the god of darkness, Kud, sends an assassin to kill her. Jae escapes with the knowledge that Kud is seeking the lost White Tiger Orb, and joins the Guardians of Shinshi to seek out the orb before Kud can find it. 

But Kud is stronger and more devious than Haemosu ever was. Jae is soon painfully reminded that by making an enemy of Kud, she has placed her closest friends in danger, and must decide how much she can bear to sacrifice to defeat one of the most powerful immortals in all of Korea.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After teaching and traveling internationally for ten years, Christina started writing about her adventures, tossing in a little fiction for fun. This inspired her to write the GILDED series, a YA series based on Korean mythology about a Korean-American girl who takes her destiny into her own hands. 

Besides writing, Christina loves traveling, running, driving too fast, and eating dark chocolate. 

Christina writes fantasy for teens. She is represented by Jeff Ourvan of the Jennifer Lyons Literary, LLC. 
Learn more about Christina by visiting her at www.christinafarley.com or by chatting with her on Twitter @christinafarley.



Giveaway:
One (1) $50.00 Amazon gift car

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blog Tour: Review: Stone of Thieves




Stone of Thieves (Robbin' Hearts Series #2)
by Diane J. Reed
Release Date: 05/08/14

Summary from Goodreads:

The Stone of Thieves . . . for centuries its magnetic draw has twisted the hearts of ambitious men and women with the promise of power, passion, and intrigue until it fell into the hands of unlikely thieves Robin and her boyfriend Creek. But can they steal their destiny away from the curse that pursues this magnificent ruby heart? As the stone begins to spread its sorcery, Robin races to find her long-lost mother in Italy in the hopes of discovering the truth about her unique gypsy heritage and the ruby heart that is rumored to steal souls. Yet when the desire for this stone by powerful members of her family threatens their very lives, Creek decides to take matters into his own hands to protect Robin, his greatest treasure of all . . . Stone of Thieves is a sensual, stand-alone new adult novel and the sequel to Robin in the Hood in the Robbin’ Hearts Series. Due to mature themes, readership is advised for ages 17+.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble


Book One: Robin in the Hood (Robbin' Hearts Series #1)
by Diane J. Reed
Release Date: 10/01/12

Summary from Goodreads:

“Is it any wonder I became a bank robber?”

But she never dreamed she’d fall in love…

Wealthy high school student Robin McArthur thinks she has it all figured out when it comes to bilking her wealthy dad for guilt money as a substitute for his genuine affection. Until one day he suffers a stroke, and she learns the brutal truth:

They’re broke.

Her stepmom has skipped the country.

And everyone from bankers to bookies has lined up in her dad's hospital room to collect on the millions he's racked up in debt.

Panicked and desperate, Robin figures she has two choices. Either surrender to the pestering caseworker and live in a skanky foster home, or take a chance and sneak her dad out of the hospital to make a run for it. Little does she know that stealing a car and hitting the road means that before the day is through, she will rob her first bank.


Now an outlaw, Robin finds a backwoods trailer park to hide her dad from authorities. There, she encounters Creek, a local bad boy who also commits crimes to provide for their motley neighbors. Realizing she could use Creek’s help, Robin proposes an ingenious plan—they should team up to rob banks together. But when their partnership leads to a romance that turns Robin’s world upside down, she soon begins to discover that people are more precious than pocketbooks, and real love means opening your heart to the kinds of treasures money can’t buy…

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble

My thoughts:
     I finished Robin in the Hood as quickly as I could because I really enjoyed it. Then it was on to Stone. I'll just say that this was a really good book. Yep, that's it. No, I'm kidding, I actually have a review.

I love the story idea and plot. It follows Creek and Robin to Italy to find Robin's mother. Along the way, they discover that a stone necklace she'd been given is magical and holds the secret to finding her mother. I also really like how the characters make decisions. They have internal conflicts before choosing something, whether it be a good or bad decision, even for something so small as leaving camp with a stranger without telling the other. I think it's so important to show that in literary novels, because if not, way too many characters just go wherever they are told, no matter what, and they can find themselves in so much trouble because of it. Or, even worse, they turn out to have a perfect life that convinces readers to just do anything without thinking about it.

I liked how the story resolved itself. We go through trying to find Robin's mother, and we do, except in such an unlikely way. I enjoyed the surprise felt with the reveal of her location, along with the intrigued feeling while they were in their...case (no spoilers here). I also loved how Robin gains the strength in the end to win over the sorta-antagonist (there is a much bigger antagonist they defeat right after). She never seemed weak before, but I also wasn't totally convinced she could take on a spirit. But in the end, she developed herself quickly and won. I liked it.

The style is very easy to read and Diane uses easy-going diction that lets you flow with the story. Very fun read that I enjoyed.

What I didn't like:
Not necessarily a 'didn't like', more of a thing that could be improved. I liked the detail of Robin in the Hood. I do feel like Stone could use a little more in some places. It's extremely good, but there were a few parts that I got slightly confused when the characters did something maybe too fast, and I didn't notice how fast, or something similar. Details are key:).

This didn't count off on my rating because it is simply a personal preference. I think everyone has something that just bugs them in a book. Mine is when anyone calls their lover/partner/romantic interest "babe" or "baby". I have no idea why it bugs me. For some reason it does. I thought I'd mention that; maybe talking about it will get it to go away.

Rating: 4 stars. I really did enjoy this book. It was nice to get a book that's only 230 pages (only, ha!) It was a nice refreshing breath. Cannot wait for Book 3! Will recommend.

*Also, I went out in public with Stone and someone asked what I was reading so I showed them. The first thing they could say was "Who is that?" So I will say your cover model is much appreciated. I actually had been more intrigued by the color scheme and how it matches Book 1, but he is quite nice;).



About the Author
Diane J. Reed has a Ph.D. in English and a lifelong passion for books—both popular, forgotten & literary—as long as they touch her soul & make her want to tuck them under her pillow at night to remember them in her dreams. She writes novels that are infused with enchantment, where characters dare to break through boundaries and believe in true love. She also has a soft spot for artisans & outlaws of the heart, those who burn brightly to live each day as a gift—because it is! She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to visit Diane J. Reed's website at www.banditsranch.com or message her here to share the whispers of your spirit.


Author Links: Website│GoodreadsTwitterFacebook


GIVEAWAY: 


~Ashley


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blog Tour: Interview: Neurotica


neuroticabanner (1)

Yay, yay, yay, look at this wonderful book! I'm so happy to have it on my blog!

Neuro AmazonGRSW
About the Book:
If you find yourself talking to Jayne Dandy, keep the conversation on Star Wars and rubber ducks—best not to mention men, dating, or S-E-X. Because Jayne is fine with the way things are: writer of obituaries and garage sale ads by day, secret scribe of adventures in distant galaxies by night. But her crippling fear of intimacy has made her the butt of jokes since forever, and hiding behind her laptop isn’t going to get her lightsaber lit.

After her therapist recommends that she write erotica as a form of exposure therapy, Jayne joins forces with pen and paper to combat the demons that won’t let her kiss and tell. Unexpectedly downsized at work, she adopts a pseudonym and secretly self-publishes one of her naughty books to make ends meet. When her adorable, long-time friend Luke, co-owner of the popular Portland food truck Luke Piewalker’s, hears she’s been demoted, he insists on hiring her to sling éclairs and turnovers at his side. Her secret must be kept, but sparks ignite between them, sending Jayne and her X-Wing into a tailspin that will either make her face down her neuroses or trigger a meltdown of Death Star proportions.

Goodreads | Amazon 

Interview:

a) What is your writing motivation?

Love of the process. And I live off making people laugh. When I have a captive audience, I don’t need a microphone. Just a few wacky ideas and off we go. You should’ve seen me at the gas station the other day. The attendant asked me about a sticker I have on my car (the Craigh na Dun standing stones from Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER series). He asked me if I was Scottish—“Why, yes I am!”—and then I had to admit that, yes, while a member of Clan Moffat, I am a mutt Yankee, transplanted to Canada, and they haven’t kicked me out yet, mostly because I haven’t committed a felony. This conversation ended with me making a “too soon” joke about a local politician, and two of the three pump attendants cracking up. You never know what I will do or say when I’m let out of the cage.

But writing motivation? Sanity. If I don’t write, I am not happy. That’s motivation enough. And my family is much happier when I’m writing because it keeps the temper tantrums at a minimum.

b) MLA or ALA writing style? (I personally don't love either, but I've heard of some who do.)

Neither. Ewww. And when I’m editing, I adhere to Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. I’ll use AP when I absolutely have to, but I prefer not. And I’ve resisted using ALA and MLA since university. *shudder*

c) If you had to describe Neurotica by one color, what would it be and why?

Yellow. Because ducks. And yellow is the color of hope. That’s what Jayne embodies: hope that we can be better than we are today if we learn how to be true to ourselves.

d) Writing inspirations?

I watch a lot of movies. There’s much to be learned in three-act structure thrown up on the big screen. I love romance, comedies, romantic comedies, and epic fantasy. Lately I’ve been on a superhero kick because Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel was hot—that dude can rock the Super suit—and my latest obsession is Guardians of the Galaxy. That whole cast is fantastic and the writing is razor sharp. At first, I was like, “A talking raccoon? Are you kidding me?” (Obviously I don’t read comics. I am a bad nerd. Baby steps, though.) But then I saw the film and have seen it again since and am planning a third journey to the theater because I bloody love to laugh. And laugh I DID. Loudly. Often. With gusto. Feels good to laugh.

I also find a lot of inspiration from actors, watching the choices they make when delivering a line and how that line was written, what is translated via body language and eye work and what is not said out loud in a given scene, how these choices come together to move things forward. It’s amazing how much can be learned from watching an inspired performance—it’s how I hone dialogue-heavy scenes. Otherwise, writing inspiration comes from authors I look up to. I always want to be better, do better, learn more, write with greater depth and nuance, create multifaceted characters that readers will remember after the last page is turned.

e) Did you listen to any music while writing Neurotica? What?

While writing, I typically listen only to movie scores. I get too caught up in the lyrics with pop songs, to listen to the story the songwriter is telling us. Plus I tend to sing along (a terrible predicament for those in the vicinity), and then nothing meaningful gets accomplished. I will say, though, that with Neurotica’s rewrite, I found myself listening to Sia, Great Big World, and Woodkid on repeat. That was pretty awesome. One of my friends, a great supporter of my work, sent me a playlist after she read an earlier draft, and that helped me see areas in the story that could be carved out with more definition based on this musical underscore.

f) Cookies with or without milk?

Never with the cookies in the milk. I hate soggy things. And if given the choice, I would have coffee with the cookies, only because drinking Irish whiskey midday is frowned upon. Silly society and its fantastical rules.

g) If you had to choose your favorite book in the entire world, which would you choose and why?

Shame on you! That is a terrible question, you mean, mean meanie-face. HOW TO CHOOSE? Ummm, right now? It would be Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. I am totally obsessed with this whole series. One of my dearest friends tried to get me to read it years ago and I balked. And so I’ve spent the last three months kicking myself in the ass for not diving in sooner because as soon as I read the first chapter, I was hooked. Beyond that, though, my fave of all time is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley—I read it during a transition time in my life, and it resonated deeply. Made me see things I’d not considered before. But then again, there is another recent discovery, Grasshopper Jungle, which is hands down the craziest, most insane, awesome thing I have read in years. What a breath of crazy-ass fresh air. I am currently inhaling everything Andrew Smith, and I just received his latest, 100 Sideways Miles, for my birthday. Looking very forward to diving in, as it was recently longlisted for the National Book Award.

I LOVE ALL THE BOOKS, my dear. I’m sorry. You asked for one. I cannot. Do I still get an A for effort? I’m a Virgo. We like getting A’s.

Thank you so much for the chat. I do hope your readers have a look-see at Neurotica and Must Love Otters. The possibility of giggling exists.

About the Author:
Eliza Gordon
A purveyor of fictions, Eliza Gordon has excellent taste in books, shoes, movies, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone. www.elizagordon.com

Connect:

Website |  Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 


Giveaway:

~Ashley

Book Trailer Release: Press Play

I'm really excited to be a part of the book trailer release for Press Play by Eric Devine! This book is looking incredible and I'll have to pick up a copy for myself when it comes out.

Press Play
Author: Eric Devine
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Running Press Kids

Greg Dunsmore, a.k.a. Dun the Ton, is focused on one thing: making a documentary that will guarantee his admission into the film school of his choice. Every day, Greg films his intense weight-loss focused workouts as well as the nonstop bullying that comes from his classmates. But when he captures footage of violent, extreme hazing by his high school’s championship-winning lacrosse team in the presence of his principal, Greg’s field of view is in for a readjustment.
Greg knows there is a story to be told, but it is not clear exactly what. And his attempts to find out the truth only create more obstacles, not to mention physical harm upon himself. Yet if Greg wants to make his exposé his ticket out of town rather than a veritable death sentence, he will have to learn to play the game and find a team to help him.
Combine the underbelly of Friday Night Lights with the unflinching honesty of Walter Dean Myers, and you will find yourself with Eric Devine’s novel of debatable truths, consequences, and realities.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20821457-press-play?from_search=true
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/press-play-eric-devine/1118741433?ean=9780762455126
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Press-Play-Eric-Devine/dp/0762455128/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1411421944&sr=8-2&keywords=press+play

Book Trailer (!!!):
video


About The Author
Eric Devine is the author of multiple works of Young Adult fiction, most recently Dare Me, with Press Play being published 10/28. He is also a veteran high school English teacher who spends as much time teaching as he does completing field research for his novels. His work has been listed by YALSA and Booklist for reluctant readers and for Best in Sports. He is married to his high school sweetheart, and his wife and he have two wonderful daughters and two not-so-wonderful Labradors. Find out more at ericdevine.org, facebook.com/ericdevineauthor, or Twitter: @eric_devine

Giveaway

Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US only.

1 Winner will get a signed copy of PRESS PLAY and a PRESS PLAY phone case. (Winners chooses case size)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Blog Tour: Review: Sulan

I'm really ecstatic to be on the tour for Sulan. Find my review about halfway down!

sulanbanner


Episode One: The League ~ Sulan by Camille Picott

Sulan Book Cover_Amazon
Sixteen-year-old Sulan Hom can’t remember life before the Default—the day the United States government declared bankruptcy. As a math prodigy, she leads a protected life, kept safe from the hunger and crime plaguing the streets of America. She attends the corporate-sponsored Virtual High School, an academy in Vex (Virtual Experience) for gifted children.
Beyond the security of Sulan’s high-tech world, the Anti-American League wages a guerrilla war against the United States. Their leader, Imugi, is dedicated to undermining the nation’s reconstruction attempts. He attacks anything considered a national resource, including corporations, food storage facilities—and schools. When Sulan witnesses the public execution of a teenage student and the bombing of a college dorm, she panics. Her mother, a retired mercenary, refuses to teach her how to defend herself. Sulan takes matters into her own hands. With the help of her hacker best friend, Hank, Sulan acquires Touch—an illegal Vex technology that allows her to share the physical experience of her avatar. With Touch, Sulan defies her mother and trains herself to fight. When Imugi unleashes a new attack on the United States, Sulan finds herself caught in his net. Will her Vex training be enough to help her survive and escape?

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible | The Book Depository | Kobo 



My Thoughts: Sulan is incredible. Absolutely phenomenal. This is such an original idea, paired with the ever-popular dystopian genre, though this isn't a normal the-world-is-ravaged world. This is a very high-tech society that is organized and have since recreated itself since the Default-when the US declared bankruptcy.

It's lovely to see diversity among characters, even if they are slightly stereotyped. But we have an Asian American protagonist, along with a few other friends who come from all different backgrounds. Also, it's cool to see how they all work together so flawlessly. Everyone seems to complete someone, and not even in a romantic way. Just in their friendships. I think that is amazing.

I loved the entire plot. From the start, when Sulan is at home, to the very end, when Sulan is with her dad (no spoilers here), there is action and important stuff; no fluff. Everything that has been said was said for a reason. Thanks for that. And dealing with the plot, it is definitely well-planned. I love seeing the characters thrown into so many different things and so confused throughout so much of the story (the characters, not the reader). I LOVE the plot twists! Do you know how many there are? So many. So many excellent twists that seriously throw you.

The research done is incredible. I learned so much about weapons and physics and bunches of other stuff that I never knew. Now who needs school?

I like how the ending wasn't a crazy cliffhanger that made you want to challenge the author to a duel. It was definitely an ending that makes me have to read the next book, but not in a ugh-I'm-forced-to-buy-the-next-book sort of way. Just a simple, wow that ended crazily. Have to read on. I like books that make me do that.

I really really enjoyed this book and I think I'll have to find myself a physical copy of this book to put on my shelf. It was that good. I absolutely adored this book and I hope my review reflects that though I am exhausted and probably rather incomprehensible. Just know, this is phenomenal. This book was astounding and I'm so glad I joined the tour.

Rating: 5 stars

About the Author:  
Camille Author PicCamille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings. To visit Camille, go to www.camillepicott.com.

Find Camille Picott online: 

Website | Facebook | Goodreads






Giveaway
Two $5 Amazon Gift Cards (INT) 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Blog Tour: Review: Finding Mr. Darcy: High School Edition

Finding Mr. Darcy: High School Edition 
by Erin Butler

Release Date: 09/16/14
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Liza Johnson takes fangirl to a whole new level of crazy when she decides to take dating advice from her literary hero: Jane Austen. With the help of her best friends, Liza sheds her ancient-speak and complete Austen wardrobe for something a bit more modern in an attempt at finding her very own Mr. Darcy. Enter Will, the new kid and Liza's Darcy incarnate. Add her BFF's ex to mix and the sexy Brit who kisses with an accent, and Liza is in trouble. So, what's a girl to do? Without her mom to go to relationship advice, Liza turns to the only person she can truly trust with matters of the heart via her mother's copy of COMPLETED WORKS OF JANE AUSTEN. It's too bad Austen's heroines have never played Spin the Bottle or Seven Minutes in Heaven. Liza's determined to find her true Austen-esque happy ending, but if she can't trust herself instead of books, she just might end up in her own tragic love story.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18716731-finding-mr-darcy?ac=1


My Thoughts: Oh my gosh this is fantastic! Finding Mr. Darcy is a story about a girl who ends up being involved with way too many guys, so she tries to take advice from her favorite literary author, Jane Austen. The story follows her from her home near New York City to England, finding new guys along the way.

Let me just say: I love the main character, Liza. She is a HUGE fangirl, which is really awesome because it makes her extremely relateable to all of us. But she takes it to another level when she decides to take dating advice from Jane Austen and her characters. We see Liza talk to Elizabeth Bennett and Emma, even visit the Jane Austen memorial. She wears Jane Austen shirts just about every day of her life and is determined to find her Mr. Darcy.

I love love love the romance! Watching Liza fall for three (3!!) different guys is really interesting and humorous. First there is Ryan, who dated her best friend and also the boy whom she kissed. They have a love-hate relationship. As in, Liza likes him but hates to admit it because of her friend, Janie. She and Ryan start talking more, though, and then are study partners, which just turns into an excuse to kiss. Then, throw in the swoon-worthy new guy in school, Will, who is really incredibly sweet. He is chosen to go on the trip to England as well, and Liza enjoys his company before realizing how much she likes him. She doesn't fully realize until her England roomie steals him away, much to his chagrin, Last is Ben. He is the accented British tour guide for Liza and Will, and the guy who Liza wants to like. They end up bleh and she flies back to America with Will in tow.

I laughed way too hard at this book. Everything that Liza does (okay, maybe not everything) is humorous. I also love how she deals with liking three guys at once. She ends up hurt and broken, but whole in the end. On the way, she dreams about talking to fictional characters about dating.

Thanks so much Erin for writing such a hurt main character. Hurt as in her mother had died in a car accident and (if I'm not mistaken) was in the accident with her mom and lived. It's interesting to see how Liza has to overcome her grief. At first, she cannot even drive past the spot without freaking out. With Will one day, she makes it mostly, only getting sick for a few minutes. In the end, she makes it by. Without noticing. I think it's so important that main characters are not perfect. They need to be flawed; they need to show readers that flaws are okay, but you can overcome them.

This book is definitely modern; it deals with fangirls and finding the perfect guy that is based off a literary character. I think it was a very cute read and I loved just about everything about it. From the backstories of the characters to the unique idea, this is definitely a must-read.

SPOILERS

The only thing I did not like was how Liza ended up with Ryan. Simply for the reason that she and Will were SO cute together. And they barely had time together because the book showed the problem of them not being together. But I would've even been fine with Ryan if he was portrayed slightly different. Maybe something as simple as seeming a lot sweeter. The reason I say that is because to me, I understand she liked Ryan more, but it felt like she left the almost-perfect guy for someone who didn't treat her quite as well. That was the only thing that prevented me from the full five stars, because it was also quite sudden. Just out of the blue, Will likes Janie and Liza starts dating Ryan. But maybe Janie and Will won't work out and he can be my Mr. Darcy;)

Rating: 4.5 stars

About the Author

Erin Butler is lucky enough to have two jobs she truly loves. As a librarian, she gets to work with books all day long, and as an author, Erin uses her active imagination to write the kinds of books she enjoys reading. Young Adult and New Adult books are her favorites, but she especially loves the ones with kissing scenes.

Erin lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, a stepson, and doggie BFF, Maxie. She prefers to spend her time indoors reading and writing, but will venture out for chocolate and sunshine. She is the author of BLOOD HEX, a YA paranormal, HOW WE LIVED, a contemporary New Adult novel, and FINDING MR. DARCY: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION, a contemporary YA.

Author Links: 

GIVEAWAY
 $10 Amazon Gift Card + ebook of Finding Mr. Darcy (INT) 


Blog Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours
~Ashley

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Book Blitz: Phantom's Dance


Phantom's Dance
by Lesa Howard
Release Date: 03/01/14

Summary from Goodreads:
Christine Dadey’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. Now, two years later, Christine struggles to compete among the Academy’s finest dancers, her parents are on the brink of divorce, and she’s told no one about her debilitating performance anxiety and what she’s willing to do to cope with it.

Erik was a ballet prodigy, a savant, destined to be a star on the world’s stage, but a suspicious fire left Erik’s face horribly disfigured. Now, a lonely phantom forced to keep his scars hidden, he spends his nights haunting the theater halls, mourning all he’s lost. Then, from behind the curtain he sees the lovely Christine. The moldable, malleable Christine.

Drawn in by Erik’s unwavering confidence, Christine allows herself to believe Erik’s declarations that he can transform her into the dancer she longs to be. But Christine’s hope of achieving her dreams may be her undoing when she learns Erik is not everything he claims. And before long, Erik’s shadowy past jeopardizes Christine’s unstable present as his obsession with her becomes hopelessly entangled with his plans for revenge.

Available from:


Excerpt
When I reached the back corner of the four-story, brick building, I hesitated. The sun had dipped below the adjacent structure, leaving the alley in a gray haze and giving it a creepy vibe. My heart sped up as I replayed all the horror stories Mom had drilled into me. Though we tell everyone we’re from El Paso, the truth is we lived in a small suburb outside the city. So Mom filled my head with tales about the dangers of living downtown in a city the size of Houston—muggings, assaults, drug deals, she’d warned me repeatedly, and now those cautionary tales were hammering through me with every beat in the music spilling from behind the building.

Pressing my back against the bricks, I felt the heavy thump of the bass in my chest. The music issued out, echoing around me, like a rhythmic call to battle. I stood there long enough for one song to end and another to begin. Then, clutching my bag to my side, I peeked around the bend and was surprised to see a group of about a dozen people gathered in a loose circle. A mixture of ethnicities, some shuffled and shimmied, while others bounced and popped to the music’s time.

When their formation shifted, I could see into the ring of figures. A young African-American man danced there, arms snaking in and out and legs nimbly swirling. After several steps, he twitched his head toward someone in the surrounding group, and a woman laughed uproariously before jumping into the center as he sauntered out. She jiggled and jolted to the music in a way that was captivating. It was as if the music emanated from the dancer, rather than the big boom box sitting on the trunk of a car.

Their laughter was exhilarating, and I could see that taunting and bragging was a part of the performance. Completely engrossed, I became careless and before I knew it, I’d drifted from the safety of the building’s shadow to stand in the open. Then someone spoke, and I knew I’d made a horrible mistake.



About the Author
I'm not the typical author. I didn't always enjoy reading or writing. While in school, I found it to be a chore I'd just as soon skip. I would rather have been daydreaming, my favorite past time. It wasn’t until I grew up and didn’t have to, that I realized reading was fun. I soon discovered that reading fueled my daydreaming. So, remembering a short story I'd written in high school, I began imagining expanding that story into a book. Before long I found I had loads of ideas for not just the short story but other books and stories as well. Fast forward a few years, a lot of studying about writing, practicing my writing, studying some more, taking classes from people who knew what they were doing, studying and practicing yet more, and ta-dah, author! In the same way I had learned I loved reading, I learned I loved writing, too. It’s just that writing is a lot harder than reading.

Author Links:

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Book Blitz Organized by:
~Ashley

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cover Reveal: Henge


cover_reveal_banner_HENGE
I'm excited to share the cover reveal of Henge by Realm Lovejoy. Henge is a YA Fantasy that is a modern spin-off of the Arthurian legends featuring Morgan le Fay as the protagonist. It is due to release this fall. The cover art is by the author, Realm Lovejoy.

LeFay_HENGE_Cover_byRealmL_lowres


About the book:
Modern-day Camelot. Where knights no longer carry swords. Magic is dangerous. And those who seek control are not to be trusted.

Sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is a fire user. An ordinary girl with an extraordinary skill, she has the ability to create and command fire at will. Her dream is to become the Maven—the right hand of the future King Arthur. In the chance of a lifetime, Morgan is selected to join Arthur’s Round, an elite group of young magic users from which the new Maven will be chosen.

Along with the other fire, water, and wind users in Arthur’s Round, Morgan is rigorously trained and tested. The handsome Merlin, a brilliant water user, takes a particular interest in her. Is his friendship to be trusted, or is Merlin simply trying to win the position of Maven for himself? Among the many rivals Morgan faces is the current Maven, Mordred, who seems determined to see her fail.

But Morgan has a secret—years ago, her mother was executed for using fire magic, and Morgan’s desire for justice makes her more than ready to take on the challenge before her. Can she prevail in Camelot’s tests of survival and magic? Only time—and Morgan’s powerful fire—will tell.

Realm Lovejoy’s modern Arthurian series features one of literature’s most complicated and powerful female figures. Henge is the first book in the LE FAY series, and—like Morgan le Fay’s magic—it is sure to dazzle and amaze.


Add it on Goodreads!
HENGE_author_photo_lowres

About the Author:

Realm Lovejoy is an American writer and an artist. She grew up in both Washington State and the Japanese Alps of Nagano, Japan. Currently, she lives in Seattle and works as an artist in the video game industry. CLAN is her first book. You can find out more about her and her book at www.realmlovejoy.com


Find the Author:
Webpage | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Tumblr




Giveaway:
$30 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Blog Tour: Review: Twinfinity: Nethermore

Twinfinity: Nethermore

Volume 1
Chris Podhola
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal,Urban Fantasy



Book Description:

Whitney Leighton has a secret. She is both blind and deaf but that’s not what she’s trying to keep hidden. Her secret is that she can both see and hear through her twin brother Tommy. They call it piggybacking because she can shift her consciousness into her brother’s mind.

Whitney’s not the only one with a secret; Tommy has one too and it’s Whitney that he’s keeping it from. His secret is that Whitney isn’t who she’s supposed to be. He has dreams of her, but in his dreams she has tattoos, battle-scars on her face, and a formidable look of determination. If Tommy’s dreams come true then Whitney is in serious trouble and so is everyone else. The simple Whitney that is, doesn’t stand a chance against the evil that exists in his sleep, and the world will be thrust into chaos.

The teen twins end up at Camp Tumbling Waters and Lake Amicolola where something is waiting for them. Something as dark as Whitney’s vision and as insane as Tommy’s dreams and IT needs Whitney to escape the prison that IT calls … Nethermore.

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/nfmpW8Kn4wM

Available at Amazon

My Thoughts:
I thought that I'd change up my review way a bit today. I'll do a review in gifs and then leave my major comments together below.


This story was really good. What with the prologue being totally interesting, it drew me in and I was like:

The characters are really interesting and the backstories to each are great. Kept me reading:

The idea is original. I mean, seriously, have you read any other book that had a blind AND deaf girl that could actually attach herself to her brother and use his eyes and ears? No, didn't think so.

The action was so well-written in the final rising action and the climax. 
OMG So Happy

Chris has a very unique voice and it's quite pleasant to read.
So Cute!

Things I didn't like:
Things were redundant. A little repetition is okay but too much is just that: too much.
Napoleon Dynamite shakes head

The romance aspect of the book seemed unrealistic to me. The twins arrive at camp, find another set of twins, and the next day, the twins have romantically paired off. IN A DAY. 
hmmm

I'm not one to knock Romeo and Juliet, but I would prefer a little more depth to the interest.

I did not like the constant capitalization of "IT". That's just me being a grammar freak, though. My brain would not let me move on without giving severe emphasis on the word. I did, however, enjoy the explanation of using the word in the end. I was very annoyed at first but the reason had me:
Cringe Worthy

Please, please, please never throw totally new information into the concluding area! No matter how great and interesting it is, I cannot handle the overload. It takes away from the wrap of the book without leaving a cliffhanger. The entire world of Nethermore was just there all of a sudden and I don't think it was given justice. I would LOVE to learn much more about it. Also, does the government end up finding Whitney and Tommy? Hmmmmm...
Ricardo Montalban

My Rating:  3.5 stars


Excerpt:

This excerpt is from Chapter 10 of Twinfinity: Nethermore. In it the main character, the blind and deaf Whitney Leighton, is preparing to make a physical statement to her summer camp peers. They are all gathered at the obstacle course located in Camp Tumbling Waters and the group is divided. Half of the campers blame her for the recent troubles in the camp, and the other half believe that she is the solution to those problems. Whitney knows that she needs to prove a point to all of them in order to unite them.

Whitney had been a little surprised by how clearly her course could be directed through her imagination and memory. Every step, and every move had been based on what she remembered from when she was piggy-backed with Kat, but she had been able to lay everything out in her mind with near perfect clarity.

She had been sitting on the bench brooding over her conversation with Kat. She was mad all right, but little Mike had changed her mood. She couldn’t see the fear in his face, and she couldn’t hear if he had said anything, but she had seen his shadow approach the wall and she had waited with anticipation for his shadow to ascend into the air. She might not be able to see it with her eyes, but she would have still felt pride for him as he succeeded. She could see that climbing it was important to him, and Kat had insinuated that it was so important that he had spent a year trying to get himself ready for it. His body appeared to be weak and frail and Whitney had searched Kat’s mind for an explanation for that.

He had an accident when he was younger--a tragic accident that had broken many bones and left him in a wheel chair for years. He was just getting to the point that he could walk again. And, according to Kat’s memories on the subject, climbing that wall was his motivation—his driving force. It was the thing that he talked about last year that inspired him to work so hard in his recovery. He wanted to do it, but he was afraid.

Like she was afraid.

He backed off and someone else was approaching the wall in his place. She didn’t want to sense someone else climbing the wall. She wanted to sense him doing it, and she didn’t think it was right for everyone else to just shrug it off.

When she first got up from the bench and started walking toward the group her intention was to find a way to convince Mike to make his climb. She was only vaguely aware of the clarity with which she could visualize her course. She could see every clump of dirt, every stone that could make her stumble, and she could even remember seeing a Twix candy bar wrapper as she walked by it.

Her mind was more focused on how to convince Mike to make his climb. By the time she got there she had figured it out. She would lead by example.

It was after Kam had put the safety harness onto her and attached the safety line onto the clip on the back when she knew she had to take it off. It was doing its job. It was making her feel safe. There was no danger. The spotters were trained to make sure that she wouldn’t be injured if she slipped. It was crazy, but she didn’t want to feel safe. She wanted every handhold and every foothold to be risky and she wanted to feel the danger of it.

Most of all she wanted to rely on others to catch her if she did fall.

She had been playing it safe all of her life and for once she wanted to leave safety behind her. She had never let herself rely on anyone but Tommy—who she depended on vigorously for help in almost everything and she was done with that too.

She had chosen the members of her net the way she did because she wanted to show everyone that she trusted them even if they didn’t really trust her. She didn’t just want to convince Mike to make the climb. She also wanted to find a way to bring the group back together again. She had divided everyone, and so she’d have to be the one to link them back together again.

She was a couple of levels off of the ground when the idea of the teambuilding element began to form in her mind. The concept was simple enough. You had to trust in the members of the team to catch you if you fell backward into them. That teambuilding element was about a three foot drop into the arms of your team. What if someone did it from the top of the climbing wall? It was a scary idea, but if that didn’t make an impact on the crowd than nothing would.

Whitney ascended the wall. Despite her nearly perfect memory of every hand and foothold her fear was a very tangible and real thing. Slipping off and falling was still extremely dangerous even with the group below her because she might not be able to control how she landed and a broken leg or arm or even both was a probability.

She reached up and grabbed the next handhold, brought her leg up, and hauled herself up another level. She had made it halfway up and she could feel her nervousness increase with her height. She was about fifteen feet off of the ground, and her limbs began to betray her. She was getting tired and her muscles were beginning to tremble despite her desire to remain steady and calm. She was no athlete and it was beginning to show.

This was stupid she thought to herself.

If she fell from that distance and they didn’t catch her she may or may not break a limb.

Just do it now her mind begged.

And she knew she could. She could steady herself, lean back, and fall into the arms of her safety net. She could do that safely and no harm would come to her. Her point would even be made pretty clearly.

But wasn’t Erik’s speech, as corny and predictable as it was, about just that? Wasn’t it about pushing past your fears even though they sometimes seemed like an impenetrable wall?

She could make her leap from that point but if she did wasn’t she still relatively safe? If so then was she really making her point? Wasn’t her point to go beyond safety and to leap when the outcome wasn’t predictable?

She reached up for the next grip-hold and brought herself up to it. Her nerves began to betray her even more. She had never been this tired before in her life. She had already exerted herself beyond exhaustion and she knew, from that very moment, that she needed to start training her body for more endurance. She was never again going to let herself tire out this easily. So much for being lazy, because she knew that those days had to be over.

She was three quarters of the way up but her muscles were aching and she was losing her breath. On top of that she wasn’t sure if making it to the top was even going to be possible. No matter how bad she wanted to get there.

She sucked in a deep breath, gathered her determination, and made two more handholds in quick succession. Her fingers began to throb and go numb. Her leg muscles were screaming at her to stop and her arms felt like rubber bands stretched out to their maximum.

The only good thing was that she only had three levels to go.

About the Author:

The author is a 43 year-old United States Air Force veteran of the first Iraq War. This is his debut novel in the Twinfinity urban fantasy series. He was born and raised in south-eastern Michigan and served his country in California, Germany, and Turkey.

http://twinfinitynethermore-novel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008110578089

http://www.amazon.com/Chris-Podhola/e/B00LZDKIEO/
https://plus.google.com/108904941895775375335/about

http://www.wattpad.com/user/Christopher_Robert

Tour giveaway: 

 2 $50 Amazon gift cards 
 5 free kindle copies 
 3 free paperbacks 


~Ashley